Frederick Beecher Perkins

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Frederick Beecher Perkins

Birthdate: (70)
Birthplace: Hartford, Hartford, CT
Death: Died in Morristown, Morris, NJ
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Clapp Perkins and Mary Perkins
Husband of Mary Anne Fitch Perkins (Westcott)
Father of Thomas Henry Aide Perkins; Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Mary Clarissa Perkins
Brother of Emily Baldwin Hale; Catherine B Gilman and Charles E. Perkins

Occupation: Library Director in Boston, MA & San Francisco, CA, Author
Managed by: Susan
Last Updated:

About Frederick Beecher Perkins

Frederic Beecher Perkins (27 September 1828, Hartford, Connecticut - 3 February 1899, Brooklyn, New York) was a United States editor, librarian and writer.


He was a grandson of Lyman Beecher. He attended Yale as a member of the class of 1850, but left college in 1848 and began the study of law. Yale awarded him a master of arts degree in 1860. In 1851 he was admitted to the bar at Hartford, and a year later he entered the Connecticut normal school, now Central Connecticut State University where he graduated the same year.

He held various posts in Hartford until 1854, in which year he went to New York City, remaining until 1857. Then, returning to Hartford, he became assistant editor of Henry Barnard's American Journal of Education for three years, and was also appointed librarian of the Connecticut Historical Society. Two editing positions brought him into cooperation with his uncle Henry Ward Beecher and his brother-in-law Edward Everett Hale on Christian Union and Old and New respectively. Later he worked at the Boston Public Library from 1874 to 1879. From 1880 to 1887, he was librarian of the San Francisco Public Library, where he published his Rational Classification of Literature for Shelving and Cataloguing Books in a Library (San Francisco, 1881; revised ed., 1882).

He was married to Mary Fitch Wescott, and together they had two children, Thomas Adie in 1859 and Charlotte in 1860. They had only two children because after Charlotte's birth, a physician advised Perkins that his wife's life would be in danger if she were to bear any more children. While Charlotte was still in infancy, Perkins moved out and abandoned his wife and children, leaving them in an impoverished state. Charlotte would grow up to be a notable author and feminist. Her father's love for literature influenced her, and years later he contacted her with a list of books he felt would be worthwhile for her to read.


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Frederick Beecher Perkins's Timeline

September 27, 1828
Hartford, Hartford, CT
May 9, 1859
Age 30
July 3, 1860
Age 31
Hartford, Connecticut, United States
January 31, 1899
Age 70
Morristown, Morris, NJ