arrival of his goods. Having contracted with the St. Peter company to erect a building, and open his store on the first day of December, Mr. Lothrop, thinking that the goods might have come as far as some landing place below St. Paul, went down several hundred miles along the shore visiting the different landing places. Failing to find them he bought the entire closing-out stock of a drug store at St. Paul, and other goods necessary to a complete fitting of his store, had them loaded, and with several large teams started for St. Peter. The same day a blinding snow storm set in, making it extremely difficult to find the right road, or indeed any road at all, so that five days were spent in making a journey that in good weather could have been accomplished in two. When within a mile of St. Peter the Minnesota river was to be crossed, and it was feared the ice would not bear the heavy teams; all was unloaded and moved on small sledges across the river, and the drug store was opened on the day agreed upon. The papers of that section made special mention of this achievement, saying that it deserved honorable record, and that with such business enterprise the prosperity of Minnesota Valley was assured.
He afterwards opened a banking house in St. Peter, of which his uncle, Dr. Jeremiah Horne, was cashier; and in the book and drug store he placed one of his clerks from the East, Mr. B.F. Paul, who is now one of the wealthiest men of the Minnesota Valley. He also established two other stores in the same section of country.
Various elements of good generalship came into play during Mr. Lothrop's occupancy of this new field, not only in directing his extensive business combinations in prosperous times, but in guiding all his interests through the financial panic of 1857 and 1858. By the failure of other houses and the change of capital from St. Peter to St. Paul, Mr. Lothrop was a heavy loser, but by incessant labor and foresight he squarely met each complication, promptly paid each liability in full. But now he broke in health. The strain upon him had been intense, and when all was well the tension relaxed, and making his accustomed visit East to attend to his business interests in New England, without allowing himself the required rest, the change of climate, together with heavy colds taken on the journey, resulted in congestion of the lungs, and prostration. Dr. Bowditch, after examination, said that the young merchant had been doing the work of twenty years in ten. Under his treatment Mr. Lothrop so far recovered that he was able to take a trip to Florida, where the needed rest restored his health.
For the next five years our future publisher directed the lucrative business enterprises which he had inaugurated, from the quiet book store in Dover, N. H., while he carefully matured his plans for his life's campaign—the publication, in many lines, of wholesome books for the people. Soon after the close of the Civil war the time arrived for the accomplishment of his designs, and he began by closing up advantageously his various enterprises in order to concentrate his forces. His was no ordinary equipment. Together with well-laid plans and inspirations, for some of which the time is not yet due, and a rich birthright of sagacity, insight and leadership, he possessed also a practical experience of American book markets and the tastes of the people, trained financial ability, practiced judgment, literary taste, and literary conscience; and last, but not least, he had traversed and mapped out the special field he proposed to occupy,—a field from which he has never been diverted.
"The foundations were solid. On these points Mr. Lothrop has had but one mind from the first: 'Never to publish a work purely sensational, no matter what chances of money it has in it;' 'to publish books that will make true, steadfast growth in right living.' Not alone right thinking, but right living. These were his two determinations, rigidly adhered to, notwithstanding constant advice, appeals, and temptations. His thoughts had naturally turned to the young people, knowing from his own self-made fortunes, how young men and women need help, encouragement and stimulus. He had determined to throw all his time, strength and money into making good books for the young people, who, with keen imaginations and active minds, were searching in all directions for mental food. 'The best way to fight the evil in the world,' reasoned Mr. Lothrop, 'is to crowd it out with the good.' And therefore he bent the energies of his mind to maturing plans toward this object,—the putting good, helpful literature into their hands.
His first care was to determine the channels through which he could address the largest audiences. The Sunday School library was one. In it he hoped to turn a strong current of pure, healthful literature for those young people who, dieting on the existing library books, were rendered miserable on closing their covers, either to find them dry or obsolete, or so sentimentally religious as to have nothing in their own practical lives corresponding to the situations of the pictured heroes and heroines.
The family library was another channel. To make evident to the heads of households the paramount importance of creating a home library, Mr. Lothrop set himself to work with a will. In the spring of 1868 he invited to meet him a council of three gentlemen, eminent in scholarship, sound of judgment, and of large experience: the Reverend George T. Day, D. D., of Dover, N.H., Professor Heman Lincoln, D.D., of Newton Seminary, the Rev. J.E. Rankin, D.D., of Washington, D.C. Before them he laid his plans, matured and ready for their acceptance: to publish good, strong, attractive literature for the Sunday School, the home, the town, and school library, and that nothing should be published save of that character, asking their co-operation as readers of the several manuscripts to be presented for acceptance. The gentlemen, one and all, gave him their heartiest God-speed, but they frankly confessed it a most difficult undertaking, and that the step must be taken with the strong chance of failure. Mr. Lothrop had counted that chance and reaffirmed his purpose to become a publisher of just such literature, and imparted to them so much of his own courage that before they left the room, all stood engaged as salaried readers of the manuscripts to come in to the new publishing house of D. Lothrop & Co., and during all these years no manuscripts have been accepted without the sanction of one or more of these readers.
The store, Nos. 38 and 40 Cornhill, Boston, was taken, and a complete refitting and stocking made it one of the finest bookstores of the city. The first book published was 'Andy Luttrell.' How many recall that first book! 'Andy Luttrell' was a great success, the press saying that 'the series of which this is the initiatory volume, marks a new era in Sunday School literature.' Large editions were called for, and it is popular still. In beginning any new business there are many difficulties to face, old established houses to compete with, and new ones to contest every inch of success. But tides turn, and patience and pluck won the day, until from being steady, sure and reliable, Mr. Lothrop's publishing business was increasing with such rapidity as to soon make it one of the solid houses of Boston. Mr. Lothrop had a remarkable instinct as regarded the discovering of new talent, and many now famous writers owe their popularity with the public to his kindness and courage in standing by them. He had great enthusiasm and success in introducing this new element, encouraging young writers, and creating a fresh atmosphere very stimulating and enjoyable to their audience. To all who applied for work or brought manuscript for examination, he had a hopeful word, and in rapid, clear expression smoothed the difficulty out of their path if possible, or pointed to future success as the result of patient toil. He always brought out