APPLETON, NATHAN (1770-1861) American merchant and politician, was born in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, on the 6th of October 1779. He was educated in the New Ipswich Academy, and in 1794 entered mercantile life in Boston, in the employment of his brother, Samuel (1766-1853), a successful and benevolent man of business, with whom he was in partnership from 1800 to 1809. He co-operated with Francis C. Lowell and others in introducing the power-loom and the manufacture of cotton on a large scale into the United States, a factory being established at Waltham, Massachusetts, in 1814, and another in 1822 at Lowell, Massachusetts, of which city he was one of the founders. He was a member of the general court of Massachusetts in 1816, 1821, 1822, 1824 and 1827, and in 1831-1833 and 1842 of the national House of Representatives, in which he was prominent as an advocate of protective duties. He died in Boston on the 14th of July 1861.
His son, Thomas gold Appleton (1812-1884), who graduated at Harvard in 1831, had some reputation as a writer, an artist and a patron of the fine arts, but was better known for his witticisms, one of which, the oft-quoted "Good Americans, when they die, go to Paris," is sometimes attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes. He published some poems and, in prose, Nile Journal (1876), Syrian Sunshine (1877), Windfalls (1878), and Chequer-Work (1879).
See the memoir of Nathan Appleton by Robert C. Winthrop (Boston, 1861); and Susan Hale's Life and Letters of Thomas gold Appleton (New York, 1885).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)