Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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JOHNSTON, David Claypoole, artist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in March, 1797; died in Dorchester, Massachusetts, 8 November, 1865. He studied engraving with Francis Kearney, of Philadelphia, and became an engraver of original caricatures, which found ready sale; but the originals were so readily recognized that they became loud in their complaints and threats, and the print and book-sellers, fearing libel suits, declined to invest their money in his prints, or to expose them for sale. Johnston then adopted the stage, appearing for the first time at the Walnut street theatre on 10 March, 1821, as Henry in "Speed the Plow." In 1825 he went to Boston and entered on an engagement at the Boston theatre. At the close of the first season he retired from the stage and set up an engraver's office in that city. In 1830 he began the publication of "Scraps," an annual of five plates, each containing nine or ten separate humorous sketches. His work brought him both fame and money.
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