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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1844

Pickard-Whittier papers


Correspondence and manuscripts of American writer and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier and his American biographer Samuel Thomas Pickard.


  • Creation: 1815-1915

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


5.7 linear feet (17 boxes)

The bulk of the collection includes letters addressed to John Greenleaf Whittier and to Samuel Thomas Pickard, and correspondence grouped under "Other letters" carried on between relatives and friends of Whittier's and Pickard's. Correspondents include: Mary Abigail Dodge, Annie Fields, Sarah Orne Jewett, Thomas Star King, Mary Todd Lincoln, Bliss Perry, Benjamin Perley Poore, Charles Sumner, Celia Thaxter, and J. T. (John Townsend) Trowbridge. There are significant collections of letters from Lucy Larcom and to Elizabeth (Hussey) Whittier, the poet's sister. The rest of the material includes typescript and manuscript copies by Samuel Thomas Pickard of Whittier's letters and poems. Pickard had sold many of Whittier's autograph letters and manuscripts in order to raise funds to preserve the poet's home in Amesbury. Finally there is a small collection of autograph manuscripts by Lucy Larcom and others which includes poems dedicated to Whittier and essays in the form of letters. The miscellaneous material contains notes and drafts by Pickard in relation to his biography of Whittier and printed ephemera.

Biographical / Historical

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) was an American poet and abolitionist. Samuel Thomas Pickard (1828-1915) was an editor of the Portland (Me.) Transcript. He was married to a niece of Whittier's and became Whittier literary executor and biographer.


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Letters to John Greenleaf Whittier
  2. II. Letters by John Greenleaf Whittier
  3. III. Letters to Samuel Thomas Pickard
  4. IV. Other letters
  5. V. Additional materials -- Compositions, MSS
  6. VI. Miscellaneous material

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Greenleaf Whittier Packard; received: 1935.

Whittier, John Greenleaf, 1807-1892. Pickard-Whittier papers, 1815-1915: 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.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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