Larz Anderson English themes
Larz Nicholas Anderson (1866-1937), diplomat and businessman, was born on August 15, 1866, in Paris to Nicholas Longworth and Elizabeth Coles Kilgour Anderson; he received his Harvard AB in 1888. The collection consists of daily and longer themes written by Anderson for the course English 12 in 1886-1887, as well as themes written by Anderson as part of the prescribed course of study in English for the sophomore year in 1885.
- February 1885-June 1887
- Anderson, Larz, 1866-1937 (Person)
Conditions on Use and Access
The collection is open for research use.
Extent0.2 cubic feet (1 half document box)
The collection consists of 172 daily themes written by Anderson for the course English 12. It also includes eight longer themes for the same course; these are accompanied by brief descriptions of the chosen topics and titles, and criticism submitted by other students in the class. The collection also contains five themes written by Anderson as part of the prescribed course of study in English for the sophomore year.
Larz Nicholas Anderson (1866-1937), diplomat and businessman, was born on August 15, 1866, in Paris to Nicholas Longworth and Elizabeth Coles Kilgour Anderson. He prepared for college at Phillips Exeter Academy and received his Harvard AB in 1888. Anderson attended Harvard Law School from 1890 to 1891 before entering diplomatic service in London in June 1891. He subsequently served in Rome, where he met Boston socialite Isabelle Perkins; they wed in 1897. That same year Anderson resigned from diplomatic service. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1898 to serve during the Spanish-American War. After his military service, the couple split their time between Washington, D.C., Brookline, Massachusetts, and a summer retreat in New Hampshire. Anderson rejoined the diplomatic service in 1911 as Minister to Belgium. He later served as Ambassador to Japan from December 1912 to March 1913, resigning when Democrat Woodrow Wilson took over the White House. Anderson retired from the diplomatic corps in 1913; that same year he built the Anderson Memorial Bridge connecting Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts in honor of his father. Anderson died on April 13, 1937 in White Sulphur Spring, West Virginia.
Historical note on daily themes
Daily themes were assigned by Barrett Wendell (Harvard College Class of 1877), professor of English at Harvard from 1880 to 1917, in his English 12 course. The themes, which were assigned in addition to longer themes due every other week, were intended to help students develope style and ease in their writing through regular practice.
Anderson described the assignment in his first theme of October 2, 1886: “The ‘daily themes’ in English twelve should be dropped through the Instructor’s door, No. 18 Gray’s, on the day on which they are written, or before ten o’clock on the morning of the next day. As the name indicates they are to be written on every day, excepting a college holiday, and a colloquial, interesting rather than academic, style should be sought. The themes should be folded in the regular manner, and on the left-hand fold should be written the name of the writer and the date of the writing. Some regular time ought to be chosen for writing the daily theme as thus regularity is gained and the writing of the theme will become a habit more quickly.”
The collection is arranged in three series:
- Sophomore English themes, February-April 1885
- Daily themes in English 12, October 1886-June 1887
- Other themes in English 12, October 1886-January 1887
W.P. Anderson, February 2, 1942.
This document last updated 2019 March 19.
The collection was processed in 2013. Processing involved a collection survey, housing in appropriate archival sleeves, folders and boxes, and the creation of this finding aid. This finding aid was created by Juliana Kuipers in April 2013.
Short descriptive titles for untitled daily themes were provided by the archivist.
- Anderson, Larz, 1866-1937. Larz Anderson English themes, February 1885-June 1887 : an inventory
- Language of description
- EAD ID
Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository
Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.
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