Person Represented: Henry Oscar Houghton, publisher.
After purchasing an 1860, 1st edition of An Arctic Boat Journey in the Autumn of 1854 by Isaac I. Hayes, I discovered two pages were stuck together. Upon separation, I discovered that this book was Dr. Hayes’ presentation copy to publisher Henry Oscar Houghton and reads, “H. O. Houghton Esq. with the regards of his friend I. I. Hayes. Boston Feb 27th 1860.” The marbled inside cover bears Houghton’s bookplate with the motto “Tout Bien Ou Rien,” which translates to “everything well (done) or nothing (attempted).” This was Houghton’s business motto when he established the successful Riverside Press on the Charles River in 1852.
Houghton formed a partnership with Melancthon M. Hurd, a New York publisher, and after some setbacks, the firm dissolved. Nevertheless, Hurd and Houghton published Hayes’ 1867, 1st edition of the legendary The Open Polar Sea. In 1880, Houghton and Mifflin formed Houghton, Mifflin and Company, publisher of the 1883 edition of Hayes’ An Arctic Boat Journey. Photo of Henry O. Houghton, 1846.
Frances Hennessey has been fascinated with Arctic exploration for some time, and has concentrated on the writings of Isaac I. Hayes, MD. Frances writes informally on Arctic-related topics, and writes poetry, some of which are vignettes of her reading and personal experiences. She also tweets @openpolarsea and has a poetry blog www.oceanic-visions.com