The Harper Fire of 1853

The Harper offices in New York City were claimed by fire in 1853, when a plumber lit a lamp with a roll of paper and then attempted to extinguish the burning roll in a tub of water. More

James Harper, Mayor Of New York City

With corruption rampant in New York City politics, the newly formed American Republican Party convinced James Harper, one of the brothers who had founded J. & J. Harper in 1817, to run for mayor. More

Herman Melville and Moby-Dick

Harper & Brothers turned down Herman Melville’s first book, Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life, and it was released to strong sales by another publisher. More

Early Offices

Thomas Nelson’s bookshop once sat in a half-timbered storefront at 7 West Bow in Edinburgh, one of many rickety buildings rising precariously from the Z-shaped street like upside-down pyramids. More

Founded on Religion

Though a shared love of the written word inspired those who laid the foundation of HarperCollins, spreading Christian principles was a calling for them. More

From Clerk to Chairman of the Board

One summer day in 1884, Horatio Harper, grandson of founder John Harper, began talking with a bright young boy during his regular steamboat commute from Long Island to Manhattan. More

The Steam-Powered Press

For years, the Harper brothers relied on a white draft horse named Dobbin, who plodded a circular path in the basement of their offices, turning a wooden shaft that powered the Treadwell hand press two floors above, until new technology sent him out to pasture. More

Protectors Of Authors’ Rights

In the early 1800s, American publishers were notorious for reprinting titles from overseas at a fraction of the price, and without payment to authors. More