Before trying his hand at writing, Charles F. Briggs spent several years working as a sailor on voyages to Europe and South America. He also spent a few years as a merchant in New York City.
This gives a brief biography of Charles F. Briggs.
Briggs was born on Nantucket to John and Sally Briggs. He had an early career as a sailor, but soon left that profession to become "engaged in mercantile pursuits in New York."
In 1839, he published the novel The Adventures of Harry Franco: A Tale of the Great Panic, which drew on experiences from his days as a sailor. "Harry Franco" would become a psuedonym used by Briggs in several later works. In 1843 he wrote The Haunted Merchant and in 1844 he founded the Broadway Journal.
In 1853, Briggs edited Putnam's Magazine with Parke Godwin and George William Curtis. He worked there for three years until the magazine stopped running, but was reinstated as an editor when it resumed ten years later. During the gap, Briggs worked as an editor at the New York Times and was put in charge of the paper when Henry J. Raymond when to Europe. Briggs also worked at the New York Custom House during this intirim. Briggs was made the financial editor of the Brooklyn Union in 1870, and worked there for three years before leaving to join the editorial staff of the Independent.
He wrote the "annual preface" for Trow's New York City Directory for twenty-four years. Briggs was also asked to write the sketch of Poe for the Encyclopedia Britannica because of their association, which he did under his psuedonym.
Briggs died a few hours after taking his job at the Independent. He died at home in Brooklyn and was survived by his wife and daughter.
Curtis edited Putnam's Magazine with Briggs and Parke Godwin in 1853.
Charles F. "Briggs, with characteristic friendliness, began by admiring Poe and defending him against criticism, but could not long remain blind to his talented associate's temperamental peculiarities and weaknesses." [Referring to Poe's contributions to Briggs' Broadway Journal.
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