Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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JEWETT, John Punchard, publisher, born in Lebanon, Maine, 16 August, 1814; died in Orange, New Jersey, 14 May, 1884. He was employed when a boy in a book store and bindery in Salem, Massachusetts, became a partner in the business, and about 1849 established himself in Boston. He was a member in 1835 of the first anti-slavery society in New England, and wrote many controversial articles for the newspapers. His firm brought out in 1852 the first edition of Mrs. Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin." They also published Maria S. Cummins's "Lamplighter", and other popular works. He was a personal friend of Charles Sumner, Wendell Phillips, Governor John A. Andrew, and John A. Whittier. After losing his property in the panic of 1857, he went to Europe in 1862 in order to introduce a patent, and there became interested in a process of making lucifer-matches, and on his return established a factory in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1867 he removed to New York city.--his brother, Charles Coffin, bibliographer, born in Lebanon, Maine, 12 August, 1816; died in Braintree, Massachusetts, 9 January, 1868, was graduated at Brown in 1875, taught two years in Uxbridge academy, and studied theology at Andover, where he was for a time librarian of the seminary, and prepared a catalogue of the library, he intended to become a missionary in the east, and while at Andover made a special study of oriental languages and antiquities. After graduation, in 1840, he took charge of an academy in Wrentham, Massachusetts He was appointed librarian of Brown university in 1841, rearranged and catalogued the library, and in 1843 became professor of modern languages. The catalogue, published in 1843, attracted much attention. He went to Europe for study, and to inspect the library system of other countries, purchased many books for the department of Greek and Latin literature, also the works of classical French, German, and Italian authors, and after his return filled the two offices till 1848, when he became librarian and assistant secretary of the newly organized Smithsonian institution. He prepared an extended report of the public libraries of the United States, which was published as an appendix to the annual report of the Smithsonian institution for 1850. In advocating the policy of devoting a large part of the income of the institution to library purposes, he took issue with Professor Henry, the secretary, and other officers. He perfected a system of cataloguing by stereotyping separately the title of each work in a library. When the building of the Boston public library was completed in 1858, he was selected to be its superintendent, and filled that post until his death. The catalogues that he prepared and the rules that he suggested served as models of library economy throughout the United States. Besides the works mentioned above, he was the author of a pamphlet entitled "Facts and Considerations relative to Duties on Books" (1846); "Notices of Public Libraries in the United States" (Washington, 1854); and a work "On the Construction of Catalogues of Libraries and their Publication by Means of Separate Stereotyped Titles, with Rules and Examples" (1852).--Another brother, George Baker, educator, born in Lebanon, Maine. 11 September, 1818; died in Salem, Massachusetts, 9 June, 1886, was graduated at Amherst in 1840, and at Andover theological seminary in 1842. He was a tutor in Amherst during the next two years, and then taught in private schools at Salem and Lowell till 1850, when he was chosen professor of Latin and modern languages at Amherst. On 24 May, 1855, he was ordained pastor of a Congregational church at Nashua, New Hampshire. but, in consequence of a railroad accident, by which he lost a leg, on 15 April, 1856, left his charge. Finding various kinds of artificial legs unsatisfactory, he invented one of novel design, and engaged in its manufacture at Salem. He was the author of "Baptism versus Immersion" (3d ed., Salem, 1869); .... A Critique on the Greek Text of the New Testament as edited by the American Bible Union" (Salem, 1869); made "Translation of the Notes of Wendell's Edition of Farrar's 'Life of Christ'" (Albany); edited the third and fourth volumes of Punchard's "History of Congregationalism," comprising the portions of the work relating to American Congregationalism (Boston, 1880-'1); and assisted in preparing J. Henry Thayer's "Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament" (New York, 1886).
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