VIPS in the Port of San Francisco

Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspapers

Born Henry Carter March 29, 1821, Ipswich, Suffolk England. Changed his name to Frank Leslie in 1857. Died January 10, 1880.

Miriam Florence Folline Leslie (The Baroness de Bazus): Born June 5, 1836, New Orleans, Louisiana. Died September 18, 1914.

Frank Leslie was an English-born American engraver, illustrator and publisher of family periodicals. He was born March 29, 1821 in Ipswich, England. At age 20, after submitting sketches to the Illustrated London News, he was made superintendent of engraving for that journal.

Frank Leslie's Weekly, later often known as Leslie's Weekly, actually began life as Frank Leslie?s Illustrated Newspaper. Founded in 1855 and continued until 1922. It was an American illustrated literary and news publication, and one of several started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie.

Frank Leslie's Ten Cent Monthly. Volumes 1-2.

John Y. Foster was the first editor of the Weekly, which came out on Tuesdays. While only 30 copies of the first edition were printed, by 1897 its circulation had grown to an estimated 65,000 copies. These weekly papers were about 12?x 16 consisting of sixteen pages to the issue. They followed a proven news formula of combining elements of war, politics, art, science, travel and exploration, literature and the fine arts in each issue, enhanced with between 16 and 32 illustrations.

Throughout its decades of existence, Frank Leslie?s Weekly provided illustrations and reports first with woodcuts and Daguerreotypes, later with more advanced forms of photography of wars from John Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry and the Civil War until the Spanish-American War and the First World War. It also gave extensive coverage to less martial events such as the Klondike gold rush of 1897, the laying of the 1858 Atlantic Cable and the San Francisco earthquake.

January 29, 1880, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

The objections to probate the will of the late Frank Leslie were filed at New York on Monday by his two sons, Alfred and Henry. Henry, who calls himself Frank Leslie, Jr., avers that the making of the will was caused by fraud and circumvention and undue influence practiced against decedent by the person named as executrix in the will, whose maiden name was known as Marion Florence Follin, otherwise knjown as Mrs. Squires, otherwise known as Mrs. Frank Leslie; that such person was not, at the death of Frank Leslie, nor at any time the wife of Frank Leslie; that, at the time he exeouted the will, if he did execute it, he was insane and incompetent.

January 31, 1880, Sacramento Daily Union
Sacramento, California

You have seen that the late Frank Leslie left his


Formerly the wife of K. G. Squier, giving not a copper to his two sons, Alfred and Harry, by his first wife, from whom he obtained a divorce. They are, as may be inferred, very wroth, and intend, I understand, to employ counsel to break the will. They amd their father have not been harmonious for years (a suit against one of them was, you know, penning at the time of Leslie's death to prevent him from using the name of Frank Leslie, Jr.), owing, I believe, to the fact that they naturally sympathized with their mother in her connubial troubles, and resented what they regarded as her great wrongs. They did not like Mrs. Squier either, while their father adored her, which was another cause of dissension.

Under the circumstances it was to be expected that the well-known publisher should do as he has done, and it is equally to be expected that his sons should use their utmost endeavor to gain by law their share ot the inheritance. The property is very valuable. Many persons have supposed because Leslie had failed and made an assignment, that he is worth very little. This is a grave mistake. It is believed that his publications will soon be released from legal complications, that all the debts will be paid, and that the business will yield from $600,000 to $80,000 annually. The Leslie sons need not have any money to secure shrewd counsel to aid them in breaking their father's will. Any number of lawyers can be got to espouse their cause, or any cause, where there is a prospect of obtaining recompense from an estate . . .

The friends of the late Frank Leslie regret that he left his whole property away from his sons, because they know that a suit on their part will create a most unsavory scandal. The entire history of Frank Leslie and his first wife, of his connection with E. G. Squier, long in his employ, and of Mrs. Squier, also in his service, will of course be brought out and made the most of by the plaintiffs. The prurient may enjoy such a thing; certain newspapers may profit by the sensation; but it can hardly afford wholefome reading, or increase faith in human nature. I hear that an effort will be made toward compromise, and I hope it may be successful, in order that reputable journalism may be spared many unsavory details. Whatever the truth of the Leslie marriages, there is no doubt they can be presented in the Courts in a way to appeal to vulgar and depraved tastes.

April 19, 1890, Daily Alta California, San Francisco California

The Alaskan Expedition

Port Townsend, Washington, April 18th -- The Government steamer Patterson arrived from San Francisco today, having aboard the expedition sent out by Frank Leslie's to explore the wilds of Alaska.

May 7, 1892, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Mrs. Frank Leslie's Latest.

New York World. May 1. Mrs. Frank Leslie-Wilde sailed for Europe with her husband, the famous Oscar's brother, yesterday. After her departure one of her agents announced that she was going into the hotel business. John W. Ryckman, who has had charge of a number of enterprises of various kinds in all parts of the country, and who is now secretary of the Chamber of Commerce at Augusta, Ga., is authority for the statement that Mrs. Leslie-Wilde is going to build a grand hotel at North Augusta, S. C, to cost about $250,000. It will be called the Hotel Frank Leslie, and Mrs. Wilde will live there.

July 3, 1898, Los Angeles Herald, Los Angeles, California

Mrs. Leslie's Return to Editorial Work

The failure of the Arkell Publishing company, which publishes Judge, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly and other periodicals, was a great surprise to Mrs. Frank Leslie, who is one of the largest stockholders ln the company, as it was to the general public.

Miriam Folline Florence Leslie."I was never more astonished in my life than when I heard that the Arkell company had failed," said Mrs. Leslie at her home in the Geriach today. "I cannot understand what caused the failure, for since war begun the circulation of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly has increased and the publisher has been obliged to print from 50,000 to 60,000 extra copies above the regular edition.

"I have perfect faith In Mr. Arkell's integrity and that in time everything will come out all right. I hold $103,500 worth of stock in the Arkell Publishing company, given as security for a third of the purchase money of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly. This failure will change my entire life. It will induce me to return to active work. I leased Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly to a syndicate and I've resolved today to take the presidency of this company and devote myself to the ediitorial management of the Popular Monthly. This is the first summer in fourteen years that I have not gone abroad. I was making preparations to go to Europe, but my plans have been changed by the Arkell failure and I shall remain in New York." New York Dispatch.

October 23, 1898, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California


Immensely improved. Superbly illustrated. Price cut to 10 cents. Buy a copy today. Edition limited.

November 27, 1898, San Francisco Call
San Francisco, California


Frank Leslie's 1882 Illustrated Almanac.

The Christmas number of the new ten-cent Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly has success written all over it. The picture cover by W. Granville Smith, is one or the most brilliant productions of that artist who has made a special reputation in this line of work. The literary feature of Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly le W. D. Howells' farce, "The Smoking Car," illustrated by Grunwalcl. These farces are perhaps the most distinctively popular things that Mr. Howells writes; and the one in the Christmas Frank Leslie's has all the characteristics of its predecessors from the same inimitable pen.

December 14, 1898, The North Adams Transcript, North Adams, Massachusetts

The return to the business world of that clever and energetic woman Mrs. Frank Leslie reawakens interest in a unique personage. Mrs. Leslie was born in New Orleans. Her maiden name was Miriam Florence Folline. Her parents were well-to-do French Creoles, who gave her all the advantages of education then open to a bright girl.

Shortly after the civil war Miss Folline went to New York. Like most southern families, hers had lost heavily, owing to the war. She was engaged in literary work when she met Mr. Leslie.

John Brown. 1859

John Brown. 1800-1859.

Frank Leslie was his pen name assumed over some sketches which he had contributed to a London magazine years before. When he came to America from his native England, be exchanged his own name of Henry Carter for that of Frank Leslie.

Miss Folline was one of the contributors to the Leslie publications. One day one of the editors of Leslie's Ladies' Magazine was taken ill and was in such straitened circumstances that out of kindness Miss Folline, who heard of it, offered to do her work and give the sick woman her salary. The sick editor died, but so well had the substitute done her work that she was offered the position.

The great publisher's attention was at first attracted by the ability with which the new editor conducted her department. Her beauty and charm of manner later won his admiration, and before long he had induced his fair assistant to become his partner for life. He was 30 years her senior, but the match was a happy one. She was able to be of great help to him in the management of his business, but in spite of their efforts when he died in 1880 Mr. Leslie left his wife, by will, the obligation of taking up work and paying off a debt of $300,000, owing to the panic of 1877, which hampered so many large firms.

When Mr. Leslie died, Mrs. Leslie adopted by legislative act the name of Frank Leslie and assumed courageously the burden laid upon her. She was so scrupulously honest in regard to the debt that until it was paid she lived in one corner of the office, cooked her own meals and walked to save carfare. She wore one gown until it was threadbare and, finding it wise, cut off several of the 13 of the publications of the house and concentrated her energies on the remainder!

Frank Hedges Butler. Motorist and Aviator. Leslie M. Ward

Frank Hedges Butler. Motorist and Aviator. Leslie M. Ward.

She soon placed the magazines on a paying basis, met every financial obligation and won for herself the reputation of being one of the best business managers in the country. Having made the Leslie publications valuable properties, she sold Leslie's Illustrated News to the Arkell Publishing company, who changed its name to Leslie's Weekly. She moved Leslie's Monthly to Bond street, New York, and devoted most of her time to that. Feeling at last that she had earned a rest, she leased the Monthly for a term of years and devoted her time to travel and miscellaneous literary work. She wrote several books of essays and had almost completed a novel when her financial affairs underwent a disastrous change.

A large hotel in which she had an interest was unsuccessful and cost her $35,000; some real estate transactions failed to the amount of $8,000 or $10,000, and the Arkell Publishing company, in which she still had an interest, made an assignment, and she lost a large sum, although the company expects in time to be able to meet its obligations, since it spublications are now under new management and on a more prosperous basis. At the same time the Monthly found it would be advantageous to make changes in its management and offered Mrs. Leslie the presidency of a joint stock company and an editorial chair. This she accepted and is again in control of that publication.

The offices used by Mrs. Leslie are beautifully fitted up. One of her fads is a love of pink, and pink curtains shade the windows, while a tinted screen stands behind her chair. The walls are a soft, dull green and silver, hung with beautiful paintings. Flowers in delicate vases fill the air with perfume, and the tinted light falls en richly carved furniture. It is more like a lady's boudoir than a business office. Mrs. Leslie's private apartments are now at Sherry's, where she still is on Thursday evenings, as in her days of leisure, the center of a brilliant company.

To and from the office each day Mrs. Leslie carries Chignito, her little Yorkshire terrier, which weighs only 1-1/2 pounds and is valued at $200 per pound. Chignito, when not engaged in eating or sleeping or barking, is playing with a rag doll especially provided to entertain him. Mrs. Leslie is very fond of dogs. Follette, the playmate of her childhood, long since gone to the reward of all just and deceased dogs, lived to be 17 years old. Zulu, and impertinent little black and tan, wore jewels worth $600. Bebe, a tiny white dog, addicted to late suppers and insomnia, was the next favorite. Midget, a miniature Yorkshire terrier with silver hair, wore expensive suits of clothes, including even shoes and night robes.

Mrs. Leslie's apartments at Sherry's are fitted up like rooms in the Petit Trianon. The walls are deep red, with gold, and large Turkish rugs display the same colors. The walls are adorned with costly paintings, and a few pieces of statuary grace the corners. The furniture in her sleeping room is beautifully inlaid and is made in the old Dutch, fashion. The suite faces the south and is so situated that all the noise and bustle of the great city is effectively shut out.

February 10, 1910, San Francisco Call
San Francisco, California

Woman Publisher Enjoys Her Second Visit to City

Baroness de Bazus, who was Mrs. Frank Leslie, and continued publisher's work.
Baroness de Bazus, Formerly Mrs. Frank Leslie,
Returns to Scene of Honeymoon
Woman Who Turned Failure Into Fortune Praises American Suffragists' Campaign

There is at the Palace hotel one of the most interesting women , in the world, one who has done really big things. She is baroness de Bazus, or Mrs. Frank Leslie, widow of the publisher, as she is probably better known in the United States.

With a personality that has but few equals Leslie chats entertainingly of her affairs. When her husband died in I88O Mrs. Leslie stepped into his office and assumed the indebtedness of $300,000, which, he had contracted in an effort to float his publications. She was beautiful, but inexperienced in business.

The creditors were eagerly awaiting the time when they would be able to take over the valuable plant, but they were foiled by this same charming woman, who soon not only had the company free of debt, but was amassing a fortune for herself.

Palace Hotel. San Francisco.

Mrs. Leslie will remain in California about a month. She wanted to escape the rigors of the winter in New York and so selected California instead of Florida. This is her first visit to San Francisco in many years. Her arrival at the new Palace awakens fond recollections with her because it enables her to live over again those days when she was on her honeymoon with Leslie. They registered at the old Palace on their honeymoon and the old caravansary was illuminated in his Honor. Last night in her apartments at the Palace she expressed her amazement at the way San Francisco has recovered from the fire.

There are fewer conversationalists of greater brilliance than Mrs. Leslie. Tutored by her father, a noble Huguenot of New Orleans, she became proficient in the languages. She speaks French, Italian, Spanish and German as fluently as she does English. Besides, she has a good foundation in Latin.


As she chats of publishing, woman's suffrage or traveling, Mrs. Leslie lovingly fondles a golden key which, was once the property of the marquis of Campallegre, counselor to the former king of Spain. After the death of the marquis it developed that he was to have married Mrs. Leslie. That she cherishes the key is readily understood.

"It has been many years," said Mrs. Leslie, "since I have visited the coast, but I am amazed at the sight of the new San Francisco. After my former visit here I wrote my book 'Gotham to the Golden Gate.' The literature of the coast has been very dear to me, inasmuch as I have written a book on the subject.


Mrs.' Leslie has the happy faculty of clearly staling her position on all questions. In the course of an interview she took occasion to give her views on woman suffrage.

"I do not like the way the suffragettes of London are acting," said she. "I do not approve of throwing vitriol, but I do like the way the women are, acting in New York. Some of the best women socially are really taking a very active part in the suffrage movement.

"It does seem hard that a woman owning property can not vote. Of the leaders, Mrs. Catt, although unfortunate in her name, is conducting herself with great dignity in New York. She has taken the place of Susan B. Anthony. I think that ultimately women will gain suffrage rights.

"Of course, there will be bad women voting, but are there not bad men voting? I do not think weakness is confined to women. There will be bad men who will sell their votes and there will be bad women who will sell, theirs."


"Do you think the time will come when a 'woman will be president?" Mrs. Leslie was asked.

"I hope not, unless woman can be truer and better than man," was her response.

Because of her unusually active life, Mrs. Leslie has met the world's great people. By a sad turn of affairs, President Garfield, who frequently dined at her home, was responsible for her first great success after she had taken hold of the Leslie publications. After the magazine, had gone to press news was received that Garfield had been asassinatcd.

Mrs. Leslie stopped her presses, caused her artists to get out new pages for front and back and gave to the world an illustrated account of the great tragedy. From that day her work was successful. The circulation of the magazine jumped from 30,000 to 200,000 in four months.

After Mrs. Leslie had amassed a fortune out of the debts of her husband she sold the weekly for $300,000, because the dallies were cutting in so seriously on the field of illustration. She is now devoting her time to; travel and writing for a syndicate.

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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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