James Freeman Clarke additional correspondence, 1787-1886

About this Collection

Clarke, James Freeman , 1810-1888
government publicationReceipts.Drawings-United States-19th century.Drawings-American-18th century.Autographs.Hair.Clippings.Invitations.Playbills.Photographs.
Collection Title
James Freeman Clarke additional correspondence, 1787-1886
5 boxes (2.5 linear ft.)
Houghton Library, Harvard University
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Clarke, James Freeman
American Philosophical Society.
Unitarian church
Abolitionists--United States--History
Harpers Ferry (W. Va.)--History
New York (N.Y.)--Social life and customs

Content Notes

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.
  • In English.
  • Selected color digital images available; see finding aid.

Biographical Notes

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.