James Cephas Derby

Portrait of J.C. Derby, circa 1884, engraved by G.E. Perine

James Cephas Derby (1818 – 1892) was an American book publisher in New York state. He created several business partnerships which issued works by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Henry Ward Beecher, Alice and Phoebe Cary, Margaret C. Conkling, Augusta Jane Evans, Fanny Fern, Samuel Griswold Goodrich, Josiah Hopkins, Solomon Northup, William H. Seward, Mary Virginia Terhune, Catherine Anne Warfield, and others.[1][2] A Republican Party activist, he served under Secretary Seward in the Department of State for the Lincoln administration. He also helped organize the American portion of the 1867 International Exposition in Paris.[1][3]

Publishing firmsEdit

  • J.C. Derby & Co., Auburn, New York. Established circa 1844 by Derby and H. Ivison Jr.[1]
  • Derby & Miller, Auburn, New York, 1848-1852. Established by Derby and Norman C. Miller.[1][4]
  • Derby, Miller & Co., Auburn, New York[5]
  • Derby, Orton and Mulligan, Buffalo, New York. Established in 1852 by Derby, William Orton, and Eugene Mulligan.[6][7]
  • Derby & Jackson, New York City, 1855-1861. Established by Derby and Edwin Jackson.[1][8]
  • Derby & Miller, New York City. Re-established in 1862 by Derby and Norman C. Miller.[1] Re-established once again in 1890 for the publication of the three volume biography of William H. Seward.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "James C. Derby: Obit.", Publishers Weekly (1079), October 1, 1892
  2. ^ Appletons' Annual Cyclopaedia ... 1892. 17. New York: D. Appleton and Company. 1893.
  3. ^ Reports of the United States Commissioners to the Paris Universal Exposition, 1867, Washington DC, 1870
  4. ^ The Literary World, New York: Duyckinck, January 15, 1853
  5. ^ Derby, Miller & Co. (list of titles), 1850
  6. ^ "Obituary: William Orton", Publishers Weekly, April 27, 1878
  7. ^ "Reminiscences of William Orton", Publishers Weekly, May 4, 1878
  8. ^ Trow's New York City Directory. 1857. Derby & Jackson, publishers, 119 Nassau

Further readingEdit