« ZurückWeiter »
SOME COMMENTS ON
WHO'S WHO in America.
A very useful book. ---Hon. Leri P. Morton, er-President of the U. 8.
The best book now being made in America.--C'y. Warman, Author.
The book will be excellent for reference.-- Mary J. Holmes, Authore88.
A most valuable publication.-Hon. James T. Mitchell, Justice of Supreme Court of Pa.
A very convenient and useful publication. -Charles W. Dabney, President Unirersity of Tennessee.
Your Undertaking is cominendable. I can appreciate the value of a work of this kind.--Hon. Geo. 1. Atkinson, Governor of West Va.
The work that you have undertaken will be of the utmost value to us librarians.-Ernest C. Richardson, Librarian Princeton University.
The plan is one of merit that at once commends itself to a newspaper man.-Elwyn A. Barron, Author, Playwright and Essayist.
In my judgment such a book is more needed at the present time than almost any other that could be named.C. C. Bonney, Pres. World's Congresses, World's Columbian Exposition.
The book will be indispensable. There are a dozen questions I would like to ask this very minute. - Eduin A. Grosvenor, Prof. of European History, Amherst College.
Will meet a real want and be of great practical utility: All public libraries and many private persous will want it here in Germany.- Eduard Payson Evans, Author and Journalist, Munich, Germany.
I am very glad to see this book undertaken, for something of the sort and scope has long been needed. - Andreu Ilussey Allen, Chief of Bureau of Rolls and Library, Department of State, Washington, D. Č.
You are doing a great favor to the public generally, as well as to men of my profession, by printing this book. - William E. Curtis, Washington Correspondent Chicago Record.
WHO'S WHO in America.
Price $2.75 A. N. MARQUIS & COMPANY, CHICAGO.
A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF LIVING MEN AND WOMEN
OF THE UNITED STATES
JOHN W. LEONARD
A. N. MARQUIS & COMPANY
LIBRARY OF THE
a.37654 Copyright, 1899, by A. N. Marquis & Company
Whatever may be thought of it in other respects, Who's Who IN AMERICA can with confidence claim for itself the distinction of being something new in American book-making, for while, in its basic idea, it counterparts some wellknown foreign publications, it has no American predecessor by which its merits may be judged or its faults condemned.
The title of the book sufficiently suggests that its compilation was mainly inspired by the well-known English annual, "Who's Who" (now in its fifty-second year); but comparison will reveal many modifications and changes of arrangement and treatment, adopted in order to make Who's WHO IN AMERICA more perfectly suited to American conditions and requirements.
The need of some such volume has long been apparent. Biographical compilations are by no means rare, and there are some excellent cyclopædias of that kind in which the notable lives of Americans, from Columbus to the man of a decade or so ago, are narrated. Mingled with them may be found a few sketches of the men of yesterday, and an occasional man or woman of to-day, surrounded by the obituary notices of dead and gone compatriots; but the nature of such large compilations precludes any attempt to keep up with the times so far as presenting daily sought for information regarding living men and women. Yet the latter are precisely the persons whose careers are of the greatest interest to the largest number of people. The men who are making the history of the Nation, its , States and its municipalities, who are creating American literature, educating the youth of the country, leading in its religious, scientific, commercial, social, military, naval, productive and artistic activities, and who are in the innumeri able departments of useful and reputable effort most representative of American progress: these are unquestionably the people of whom average American men and women desire to know most.
The recognition of this fact has been the incentive to the compilation of this book of the living, the first of its kind to be made upon an American basis of American material. It has garnered in a new and fertile field, and if it has not gathered and brought in every sheaf, it can at least point to a well-filled granary of good American grain.
The book is autobiographical, the data having been obtained from first hands in all save a very few cases, where, persistent effort having failed to elicit person. ally furnished facts, other sources of information have been used. Even where this has been done the sketch has been submitted for correction and has, in nearly every case, been revised or approved.
To gather, in this authoritative way, the vast amount of material which has been condensed and compressed into these pages has been both difficult and
laborious. The task has, however, been lightened and brightened by many friendly words and much appreciative aid from those who have recognized the value of such a compilation. "That's the best book now being made in America," was the comment of a well-known and successful litterateur. "No book is more needed," said several, and hundreds more gave the same opinion in many and varied forms of statement.
Not every person approached for data exhibited a friendly spirit. A few complained that they had been victimized by various biographical schemes, which, beginning with an innocent demand for data, usually culminated in a bill for the insertion of the biography and perhaps for a portrait which accompanied it. These, however, were soon convinced of the entire absence of any commer. cial purpose, either in the selection of names or the insertion of the personal sketches in the present volume. Some objected that the title chosen for the book was too fippant, but a far larger number commended its preëminent fitness; some were afraid that the book would be too exclusive-others that it would place them in a too heterogeneous company. Some sent printed sketches in which their genealogy was traced through pages of small print, and insisted that notices of great length should be reproduced verbatim; others gave the briefest and most unsatisfactory responses. “I am really of no importance-your dictionary will be better for not including my name,” wrote one of the foremost scientists, educators and authors of the country. "Do you really invite women to publicly confess their age—and then expect them to commend your book?" queried one distinguished authoress. “Wait until I am dead before you embalm me!” said a noted poetess. “Leave me out,” curtly wrote a score or two of folk whose names were deemed requisite to the completeness of the work, and who were subsequently induced to furnish the desired information. The people who, from an excess of modesty or exclusiveness, tried to keep out of the book, were quite numerous; many supplied material with evident reluctance, and a few futilely offered to buy numerous copies of the book on condition that mention of them be omitted. Great persistence was often required to secure autobiographical data. A well-known Western journalist was written to several times without avail. Finally such facts as could be learned about him were compiled into as complete a sketch as possible, which was sent to him for revision. This brought a reply to the effect that he had received the various requests for biographical data and had avoided making any response to them because, while he was in the business of gathering information about others, he desired to escape public attention himself. He had, however, arrived at the conclusion that such persistent pursuers could not be evaded, and he therefore enclosed a correct sketch for fear that one would be printed in any event, and, if that must be, he wanted it accurate. Another wrote, "Such persistence as yours deserves to succeed." There were many similar cases, and there were also others who, having several times declined, subsequently wrote, voluntarily inclosing the requested information, with the statement that they had changed their minds and hoped they were not too late.
A still more numerous class, largely made up of those who had no claim whatever to be mentioned, tried to get into the work, frequently accompanying their