John Bigelow (bĬg´əlō), 1817–1911, American editor, author, and diplomat, b. Malden, N.Y. In 1838 he was admitted to the New York bar. From 1848 to 1861 he shared with William Cullen Bryant the ownership and editing of the New York Evening Post. His antislavery and free trade editorials were especially vigorous. In 1861 he was appointed consul general at Paris, and later (1865–66) he served as U.S. minister to France. He is given much credit for preventing French recognition of the Confederacy; he also treated with great skill the problems arising from Napoleon III's attempts to establish an independent state in Mexico. His France and the Confederate Navy (1888) is a valuable historical work. Bigelow found in Paris the original manuscript of Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, which he edited and published in 1868. His other works include a life of Franklin (1874) and an edition of Franklin's complete works (10 vol., 1887–88).
See his Retrospections of an Active Life (5 vol., 1909–13).