Daniel Macmillan and Alexander MacMillan (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Article abstract: Starting as booksellers, the Macmillans, in 1844, founded Macmillan and Company, which would eventually become one of the world’s major publishing enterprises.
The Macmillan brothers were of Scottish stock, sons of Duncan and Katherine Crawford Macmillan, who had a dozen children. Born in 1766, Duncan lived on the Island of Arran. He succeeded his father-in-law in running a small farm. On this farm Daniel Macmillan was born in 1813. By 1816, the family had moved to Irvine in Ayrshire, where Alexander was born in October of 1818.
Duncan’s death in 1823 left the family hard-pressed. The eldest son, Malcolm, a schoolmaster who later became a Baptist clergyman, at twenty-five became head of the family and did what he could to help keep it solvent. Nevertheless, financial exigencies forced Daniel, only three months past his tenth birthday, to become self-supporting. He was apprenticed to Maxwell Dick, a local bookseller, for seven years and was paid a small wage.
Young Daniel was so dependable that when Dick went to London on business in 1828, he was able to leave his teenage apprentice in charge. Daniel learned from Dick how to buy, sell, and bind books. Dick also taught Daniel how to handle and groom horses. The apprenticeship was largely a positive experience for Daniel, a frail child, of normal height, perilously thin, whose lungs were weak.
(The entire section is 1962 words.)
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