Ralph Waldo Emerson correspondence with Franklin Benjamin Sanborn and other letters
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Extent.25 linear feet (1 box)
The curatorial file includes letters concerning this collection as well as typescript transcripts of some of the letters in the collection (so noted with each cataloged item). Readers should see public services staff for access to this curatorial file.
Biographical / Historical
Franklin Benjamin Sanborn (1831-1917) was an American journalist, author, and reformer, who lived in Concord, Massachusetts. He was a member of the Secret Six, or "Committee of Six," that funded the militant abolitionist John Brown.
The subject of the correspondence in these papers concerns Sanborn's courting of nineteen-year-old Edith Emerson. Sanborn proposed to Miss Emerson in 1861, and was rejected. Sanborn apparently took offense, and launched into a series of letters to Miss Emerson's mother, Lidian Emerson. Those letters angered the Emerson family, with the result that Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote to Sanborn, informing Sanborn of Emerson's wife's displeasure at having been accused. The matter did not end happily, with Mrs. Emerson writing her own letter of reproach to Sanborn. Ultimately, Sanborn begrudgingly apologized.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Microfilm on file (filmed prior to cataloging): No. 95-2920.
- Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882. Ralph Waldo Emerson correspondence with Franklin Benjamin Sanborn and other letters, 1862-1917: Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
- Description rules
- EAD ID
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.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA