Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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CHILDS, George William, publisher, born in Baltimore, Maryland, 12 May, 1829. He was educated at private schools in his native City, and when but fourteen years of age removed to Philadelphia. Soon afterward he became a clerk in a book-store, and after a service of four years opened a small store of his own in the old "Ledger" building, at Third and Chestnut streets. In due time Mr. Childs became a publisher of books, and at the age of twenty-one was the head of the firm of Childs & Peterson. He was successful as a publisher, and many works of intrinsic excellence--among them Dr. Allibone's "Dictionary of English and American Authors "--were given to the public. In 1863 he retired from the firm, and on 3 December, 1864, became the proprietor of the "Public Ledger," Philadelphia. When Mr. Childs became owner of the paper it was unremunerative and its circulation was small; but soon after it sprang suddenly into public favor and became the most profitable paper in Philadelphia. Mr. Childs has made liberal use of his wealth for benevolent purposes. At his own expense he caused a stained-glass window to be placed in Westminster Abbey, in commemoration of the poets William Cowper and George Herbert, and he also caused a monument to be placed over the hitherto unmarked grave of Leigh Hunt in Kensal green. He rendered a similar service to the memory of Edgar Allan Poe, and was the largest subscriber to the fund, collected in this country by General Wilson and in England by Samuel C. Hall, for the purpose of placing a memorial window for the poet Thomas Moore in the church at Bromham, where he and "Bessie" are buried. In 1868 he gave to the Philadelphia typographical society the printers' cemetery, Woodlands, with a liberal sum, the interest of which is to be expended in keeping the grounds in order. He presented a Shakespeare memorial fountain to the City of Stratford-on-Avon, England, which was dedicated in 1887, the ceremonies including a poem written by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Mr. Childs's residence in Philadelphia is one of the finest ill the City, and his generous hospitality is well known. He was an intimate friend of General Grant.
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