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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1569.7

James Freeman Clarke additional correspondence


Letters written to the Unitarian clergyman and author James Freeman Clarke and his family.


  • Creation: 1787-1886

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Conditions Governing Use

Images linked to the finding aid describing this collection are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.


2.5 linear feet (5 boxes)

Collection contains correspondence of James Freeman Clarke, and some additional letters that Clarke collected for the autographs. Letters written to Clarke address topics such as religion and the Unitarian church, life in New York City, comments and congratulations on Clarke's books, dinner invitations, reading suggestions, and a certificate of membership to the American Philosophical Society. There are several letters from Emerson to Clarke about Clarke's writing, and about Emerson's lectures. There are also several poems written by Emerson and Julia Ward Howe. Letters also discuss abolitionists, including a letter from John Brown that he wrote from prison before being put to death, and an article on John Brown's raid. There is a letter from Nathaniel Hawthorne requesting that Clarke perform his wedding ceremony, and also a letter from Henry James asking Clarke to perform funeral services for his wife. There are also several letters from Booker T. Washington asking Clarke for donations to help aid his school; letters from Presidents of the United States that Clarke collected, including John Quincy Adams, James Buchanan, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and George Washington; photographs or drawings of Clarke's correspondents; newspaper clippings; receipts; playbills; hair; and invitations.

Biographical / Historical

Clarke was a Unitarian clergyman, author, and reformer closely associated with the Transcendentalists. He was minister in Louisville, Ky. (1833-1840) and at the Church of the Disciples in Boston (1841-1850, 1854-1888). Clarke was editor of the Western Messenger (1836-1839). He was married in 1839 to Anna Huidekoper, daughter of Harm Jan Huidekoper, businessman, lay theologian, and founder of Meadville Theological Seminary.


Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

45M-183. Deposited by James Freeman Clarke; received: 1946 February; gift: 1956 December 13 and 1958 December 9.

Clarke, James Freeman, 1810-1888. James Freeman Clarke additional correspondence, 1787-1886: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

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