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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1162-1162.9

Thomas Wentworth Higginson papers

Diaries, notebooks, journals, and autograph compositions of the American writer and abolitionist Thomas Wentworth Higginson.


  • 1856-1911

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


2 linear feet (10 volumes and 3 boxes)

Includes 47 autograph diaries, a memoranda book from Higginson's trip to Kansas in 1856, field book of observations on nature, and other autograph compositions. Also includes transcripts of 33 African-American "Negro songs" (in another hand, with annotations by Higginson), and early recollections of James Russell Lowell, among others.

Biographical / Historical

Higginson was an American writer, Unitarian minister, and leader in the abolitionist movement. He was a colonel of the First South Carolina Volunteers (the first African-American regiment in the Civil War), an advocate of women's suffrage, and a close friend of the poet Emily Dickinson. A lifelong radical, in his old age Higginson joined with Jack London and Upton Sinclair to found the Intercollegiate Socialist Society.


Arranged by call number.

Physical Location

f, b

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired from various sources at various times. See items for full acquisition information.
Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911. Thomas Wentworth Higginson papers, 1856-1911: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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