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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2101

Thomas Wentworth Higginson additional papers


Compositions by author and Civil War colonel, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, along with correspondence.


  • Creation: 1779-1910

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


1 linear feet (2 boxes)

These additional papers contain correspondence of Thomas Wentworth Higginson as well as of his father Stephen Higginson and other members of the Higginson family. There are compositions by Thomas Wentworth Higginson including articles about the South Carolina Loyal Regiment, poems, and a draft of Monarch of dreams. There is also a diary kept by Higginson during his army service and diaries kept by his mother describing daily life in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Finally, there are texts of "Negro spirituals" transcribed by Higginson, among other items. Most items in the collection were received with explanatory notes; some in the hand of Higginson and some in an unidentified hand.

Biographical / Historical

Higginson, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Stephen Higginson and Louisa (Storrow) Higginson, graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 1847 and became a pastor first in Newburyport and then in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was actively involved in the abolitionist movement and served as colonel of the first regiment of African Americans in the Civil War. After the war, Higginson published biographies, essays, poetry, and histories, including Army life in a black regiment.


Arranged into four series:

  1. I. Correspondence
  2. A. Thomas Wentworth Higginson correspondence.
  3. B. Higginson family correspondence.
  4. II. Compositions.
  5. III. Diaries.
  6. IV. Other papers.
  7. V. Papers found at a later date.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

94M-82. Gift of Mary Potter Thatcher Higginson and Margaret Higginson Barney; received: 1938 July 27.

No accession number. Found with: MS Storage 281. Collection materials assembled by Carolyn Jakeman.

Processing Information

Processed by: Jackie Dean.

Processing Information

This finding aid was revised in April 2024 to address outdated and harmful descriptive language. During that revision, contextualizing processing notes were added to the description of one item. For more information on reparative archival description at Harvard, see Harvard Library’s Statement on Harmful Language in Archival Description.

Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911. Thomas Wentworth Higginson additional papers, 1779-1910: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

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