1821 - 1880

Frank Leslie

As Henry Carter, he was born at Ipswich on 29 March 1821, son of Joseph Carter, the owner of a prosperous glove manufacturing firm. Henry was educated at Ipswich and on his way to school, his attention was drawn to the engravers working in a local silversmith's and, acquiring some engraving tools, at the age of 13 made his first wood engraving, the arms of his home town. When aged 17, Henry went to London to learn more about glove-making in his uncle's business but his spare time was spent in sketching, drawing or engraving. He contributed sketches to the Illustrated London News and, to ensure that his family who were against this work, signed them as Frank Leslie. He was very successful in his new venture and gave up his original glove-making work and after a time promoted as manager of engraving on the 'Illustrated London News'. He married in East London in 1842, Sarah Ann Welham (1820-1867) and they had three sons, Henry (born 1844), Alfred Arthur (born 1845), both born at Lambeth and Scipio Leon (1847-23 May 1878), born at Westminster. Leslie and his family went the the United States where he worked for Gleason's Pictorial in Boston but in 1853 he went to New York City engraving woodcuts for Phineas Taylor Barnum's short lived 'Illustrated News'. In 1857 he legally changed his name to Frank Leslie and began publishing the first of his many illustrated journalistic ventures, 'Frank Leslie's Ladies' Gazette of Fashion and Fancy Needlework', with woodcuts by Leslie & Hooper, a partnership which dissolved in 1854. Other journals followed 'The New York Journal'; an illustrated newspaper 'Leslie's Weekly'; 'The Boy's and Girl's Weekly'; 'The Budget of Fun' and others. Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, which included news as well as fiction, survived until 1922. Illustrations by Leslie and his artists on the battlefield during the American Civil War are well regarded for their historical value. He was commissioner to the Paris Exhibition of 1867 and received a prize there for his artistic services. Leslie had divorced his wife and an editor on 'Leslie's Lady's Journal' was Miriam Florence Squier née Folline (5 June 1836-18 September 1914) and on 16 July 1874 in Manhattan, she and Leslie were married, it was her third marriage. Frank Leslie died on 10 January 1880. Prior to his death his business had been unsuccessful but Miriam Leslie carried it on making it profitable and successful, she was a notable feminist and author in her own right. In 1891, Miriam Leslie married Willie Wilde, the older brother of playwright Oscar Wilde but two years later, they divorced. In 1902 she sold out all her publishing interests.

Works by This Artist