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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CROCKER, Uriel, publisher, born in Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts, 13 September 1796; died in Cohasset, Massachusetts, 19 July 1887. He went with his father to Boston in 1811, and was apprenticed to Samuel T. Armstrong to learn the printer's trade. Two months later, Osmyn Brewster, a son of Dr. Brew-ster, of Worthington, entered the same office. Mr. Armstrong's store, No. 50 Cornhill, was formerly occupied by Paul Revere, and is now 173 and 175 Washington Street. In 1814 Mr. Crocker was made foreman of the printing office, and in 1818 taken into partnership by Mr. Armstrong, with his associate Brewster. Mr. Armstrong withdrew in 1825, and the firm of "Crocker & Brewster" was continued until they retired from active business in 1876.
At the fiftieth anniversary of their co-partnership Mr. Crocker said:" Mr. Brewster and I first met in the year 1811, as apprentices of the late Samuel S. Armstrong. It was in the old building which stood on the same lot where we spent fifty-four of the fifty-seven years that we have been together, the old number being 50 Cornhill--that's old Cornhill--now forming part of Washington Street. We left it only three years ago, when we removed to the adjoining store. I had been an apprentice about two months when he came. It was pleasant to see him, as it removed from me the title that the youngest apprentice in a printing office has affixed to his name. Our partnership agreement, 1818, just fifty years ago, was drawn up and witnessed by Jeremiah Evarts, father of William M. Evarts. In the arrangement of our business, Mr. Brewster attended chiefly to the bookstore. I directed the printing office, the latter having been wholly in my charge since I was eighteen years of age. The numerous persons in our employ--and there were in former years from twenty-five to thirty in the printing office alone--were paid in full every Saturday night. The first large work we published was' Scott's Family Bible' (6 vols., 8vo, 1820). It was an experiment, and many of the older booksellers prophesied that we should not be successful. The result was entirely satisfactory."
On 29 November 1886, Mr. Crocker celebrated the seventy-fifth anniversary of his partnership with Mr. Brewster. A number of distinguished people were assembled at his home to congratulate the two nonagenarians. Among them were Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Dr. Samuel Herrick, Frederick D. Ames, ex-Gov. Rice, and Gov.-elect Ames. Each guest was presented with a portrait of these merchant princes, and a member of the Brewster contributed a poem in commemoration of the diamond wedding festivity. See Mr. Crocker's "Autobiography" (Boston, 1869).
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