Van Nostrand, David
- Robert L. Gale
Van Nostrand, David (05 December 1811–14 June 1886), publisher, was born in New York City, the son of Jacob Van Nostrand, a well-to-do merchant, and Harriet Rhoades (or Rhodes). Van Nostrand attended Lewis E. A. Eigenbrodt’s Union Hall, a classical school in Jamaica, Long Island, and graduated in 1826. A bookish lad who excelled in Greek, he was hired by John P. Haven, a prominent publisher and bookseller in New York on Broadway at John Street. Haven was also an agent of the Boston firm of Crocker & Brewater. Van Nostrand worked at Haven’s shop for the next six years, during which time he read widely, proved himself almost indispensable to Haven, and became his partner in 1832. In 1834 Van Nostrand evidently found changes in Haven’s business arrangements uncongenial; so he and a friend, William R. Dwight, established their own publishing and bookselling firm that dealt chiefly in religious books. Soon thereafter, probably in 1835, Van Nostrand was devastated by the death of his wife, the daughter of the Reverend Isaac Lewis of New York City; the childless couple had been married only eighteen months. The financial stress due to the panic of 1837, compounded by the widower’s inattention to his work, forced Van Nostrand & Wright to be closed down....