Now in Accessible Archives: Frank Leslie’s Weekly, later often known as Leslie’s Weekly, began life as Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. Founded in 1852 and continued until 1922, it was an American illustrated literary and news publication, and one of several started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie. John Y. Foster was the first editor of the Weekly. 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 large quarto in size, about 12″ by 16″, and each consisted of sixteen pages to the issue. They followed a tested and proven formula of carefully combining elements of war, politics, art, science, travel and exploration, literature and the fine arts in each issue, enhanced with illustrations. Throughout its decades of existence, Frank Leslie’s Weekly provided illustrations and reports 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.
Among the writers publishing in Frank Leslie’s Weekly were Louisa May Alcott, H. Irving Hancock, Helen R. Martin and Ellis Parker Butler. Notable illustrators worked for the publication, including Albert Berghaus and Norman Rockwell, who created covers for the magazine in its latter years. … More