14 May 2010

Harvey Newcomb (1803-1863)

His books are of interest to collectors, and some have been reprinted in recent years. Copies of the originals can sometimes be found online or in used book stores, and range in price from $15 - $1000 depending on title and condition.

B.M. Newcomb wrote:

Mr. Newcomb moved to Alfred NY in 181; he taught school for eight years. He learned the printing business; owned, edited and published the Western Star at Westfield NY 1826-28; edited the Buffalo Patrio, an anti-Masonic paper 1828-30; Pittsburgh Christian Herald 1830-31; and the next ten years wrote Sabbath-school books, a part of his voluminous authorship.

Some of Mr. Newcomb's works have had a large circulation. According to a calculation made several years before his decease, there had been circulated of all of his works nearly sixty-five million pages. He wrote 178 volumes, mostly for children, among them fourteen volumes of church history. In 1849 he was assistant editor, Boston Treveller; 1850-51, of the New York Observer; a regular contributor to the Boston Recorder, 1837-42, and to the Youth's Companion for a much longer period; also contributed to the Puritan Recorder and New York Evangelist. In 1853 appeared his "Young Ladies' Guide"; in 1842, "Four Pillars, or the Truth of Christianity Demonstrated", later, "Manners and Customs of the north American Indians" in two volumes and "Pastor's Life". His largest work was "Newcomb's Cyclopedia of Missions" in 1855.

In 1836 he moved to Massachusetts and resided near Boston. In 1840 he was licensed to preach; in 1844 in charge of West Roxbury, Mass., Congregational Church; afterward in charge at Needham and Grantville, Mass. He preached some time at Park Street Mission Church, Brooklyn NY, where he established many mission schools. In 1859 he took charge of the church at Hancock PA, seeking in the quiet of the country to regain is failing health. With difficulty he preached for two or three years, then returned to Brooklyn, where he died after a year and a half of suffering. he left an interesting autobiography.

From <i>Biographies of Notable Americans</i>:

NEWCOMB, Harvey, editor and author, was born in Thetford, Vt., Sept. 2, 1803. His parents removed in 1818 to western New York, where he worked on the farm and taught school in winter. In 1826 he entered journalism, and in 1831 was editing the Christian Herald, Pittsburg, Pa. He wrote and edited over 150 books for the American Sunday School Union, 1831-40. He was licensed to preach in 1840, and held pastorates in West Roxbury, Mass., and elsewhere in New England. He was an editor of the Traveler, Boston, 1849, and assistant editor of the Observer, New York city, 1850-51. In 1850 he took charge of the Park Street mission church, Brooklyn, N.Y. He is the author of: Manners and Customs of North American Indians (2 vols., 1835); Young Lady's Guide (1839); How to be a Man (1846); How to be a Lady (1847); Cyclopedia of Missions (1854). He died in Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 30, 1863.

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