William Henry Appleton was born 27 January 1814 in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts to Daniel Appleton (1785-1849) and Hannah Adams (1791-1859) and died 1899 of unspecified causes. He married Mary Moody Worthen (1823-) 16 April 1844 .


He was born at Haverhill, Massachusetts on January 27, 1814. Appleton began his career in publishing in 1838. He married Mary Moody Worthen in 1844.

In 1848 he became the senior member of the firm of D. Appleton & Company, in partnership with his brother John Adams Appleton; they were joined in partnership by three younger brothers. William became the firm's London representative in 1853. He was active in the struggle for an international copyright, and served a term as president of the American Publishers Copyright League. His firm published works by a range of noteworthy authors, including Lewis Carroll, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Darwin, Thomas Henry Huxley, Herbert Spencer, and John Stuart Mill, as well as leading American scientists and philosophers of his era.

Among the reference books brought out by him were The New American Cyclopædia (1858–63); Webster's Spelling Book; Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography (1887–1900), Applied Mechanics (1897), and an Annual Cyclopœdia (1885–1903). He wrote Letters on International Copyright (1872).

Appleton was a prominent figure in publishing for a period of sixty years. He lived at Wave Hill (New York); the house was later turned into a botanical garden in the Riverdale section of The Bronx, New York.[1]

He died on October 19, 1899.

Appleton City, Missouri was named after the publisher, in appreciation of his 1870 donation to the town's library.[2]


Offspring of William Henry Appleton and Mary Moody Worthen (1823-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
William Worthen Appleton (1845-1924)
Kate Appleton (1848-1873)
Mary Appleton (1850-)
Henry Cozzens Appleton (1863-)


Offspring of Daniel Appleton (1785-1849) and Hannah Adams (1791-1859)
Name Birth Death Joined with
William Henry Appleton (1814-1899) 27 January 1814 Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts 1899 Mary Moody Worthen (1823-)
Maria Louisa Appleton (1815-)
John Adams Appleton (1817-1881)
Charles Horatio Appleton (1819-1820)
George Swett Appleton (1821-1878) 11 August 1821 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts 1878 Caroline Archer Osgood (1830-)
Daniel Sidney Appleton (1824-)
Samuel Frances Appleton (1826-)
Sarah E Appleton (1829-1861)



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