John Russell Young Edit Profile
He entered the newspaper business as a proofreader at age 15. As a reporter for the Philadelphia Press, he distinguished himself with his coverage of the First Battle of Bull Run. By 1862 he was managing editor of the Press and another newspaper.
He began writing for Horace Greeley's New York Tribune and became managing editor of that paper. He also began working for the government, undertaking missions to Europe for the US Department of State and the US Department of the Treasury. In 1872, he joined the New York Herald and reported for them from Europe. was invited to accompany President Ulysses S. Grant on Grant's famous 1877-1879 world tour, chronicled in 's book Around the World with General Grant.
Grant persuaded President Chester A. Arthur to appoint minister to China in 1882. In this position he distinguished himself by mediating and settling disputes between the US and China and France and China. In 1885 he resumed working for the Herald in Europe.
In 1890 he returned to Philadelphia. In 1897 President William McKinley appointed him Librarian of Congress, the first Librarian confirmed by Congress. Spofford served as Chief Assistant Librarian under . held the post of Librarian until his death.
Member editorial staff New York Herald, 1872, worked for his paper in London, England., for next few years.
Married Rose Fitzpatrick. Married second, Julia Coleman.