WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING PAPERS, 1843-1901

ALS, WEC, Concord, to My dear Mrs. Watson, [n.d.] Sept. 29

Vault A35, W.E. Channing, Unit 1

 

EXTENT: .44 linear ft. (2 containers)

ORGANIZATION: Organized into two series: I. Manuscripts; II. Correspondence.

BIOGRAPHY: American poet; friend of Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, and Hawthorne; friend and correspondent of Plymouth, Mass. horticulturist Benjamin Marston Watson and his wife Mary Howland Russell Watson; first biographer of Thoreau; resident of Concord, Mass. Born in Boston Nov., 1817; died in Concord, Dec., 1901. Channing attended the Round Hill School in Northampton, Mass. and the Boston Latin School. He entered Harvard in 1834, leaving shortly thereafter. He subsequently homesteaded in Illinois and moved to Cincinnati, where he met Ellen Fuller (sister of Margaret Fuller), whom he married. The Channings settled in Concord in 1843. (Over the years, they lived first on the Cambridge Turnpike in Concord, moved to Lexington Road, later to Punkatasset Hill, and after that to Main Street.) In 1844 and 1845, Channing lived in New York and worked at Horace Greeley’s Tribune. In 1845, he traveled to Europe. The Channings lived away from Concord from 1855, when Ellery Channing began to edit the New Bedford Mercury. Ellen Channing died in 1856, not long after the birth of the couple’s fifth child. In 1858, after his connection with the Mercury ended, Channing returned to Concord, where he lived for the rest of his life. His final years were spent in the Concord home of F.B. Sanborn.

SCOPE AND CONTENT: Papers include: ms. book of poems, with revisions and annotations, 1843-1875; mss. of Channing’s autobiographical works Leviticus ([early 1850’s]) and Major Leviticus ([not before 1854/1855]); two sewn booklets containing lectures on "Society"; ms. draft of Chapter 14 of Thoreau, the Poet-Naturalist (possibly also unpublished installment no. 9 of series for The Commonwealth begun in 1863); undated ms. copy of "Sleepy Hollow," not in Channing’s hand (poem written 1855, published 1902 in Poems of Sixty-Five Years); correspondence, including two letters to Elizabeth Hoar (one undated, one 1856), one to Sophia Thoreau (1868), and over one hundred to Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Marston Watson (1859-1901, the single 1901 letter from Mrs. L. L. Sanborn to Mrs. Watson, plus many undated letters and some fragments which might be matched with incomplete letters in the sequence).

SOURCES OF ACQUISITION: Multiple. Letter from Sophia Thoreau deposited by the Concord Antiquarian Society in 1971, converted to gift in 1974.

PUBLICATION BASED ON USE OF PAPERS: Dedmond, Francis B. "Ellery Channing’s Major Leviticus: His Three Days in Town. An Unpublished Satire." Studies in the American Renaissance, 1978.

NOTES/COMMENTS: Most of papers available on microfilm; for use in Library. Letter to Sophia Thoreau formerly CAS D-2030q. Four items transferred from Letter Files (Letter File 3, C2; Letter File 3A, C5; Letter File 5, C6 and C7); Mar., 1995. Various items (as marked on folders) sent to NEDCC for dismounting, washing, deacidification, mending, etc.; 1975-1976.

ASSOCIATED MATERIALS:
William Ellery Channing papers, Houghton Library, Harvard University.
Channing-Watson correspondence, Hillside Collection of Manuscripts, Pilgrim Society Library, Plymouth, Mass.

PROCESSED BY: LPW; finding aid prepared 10/1/95; expanded and prepared for mounting by RJA, 08/04.

 

CONTAINER LIST

 

 SERIES I. MANUSCRIPTS:

Box 1, Folder 1:
Poetry Vol. II [ms. book of poems with revisions and annotations, 1843-1875].

Box 1, Folder 2:
Leviticus (ms.; early 1850’s, prior to Major Leviticus).

Box 1, Folder 3:
Major Leviticus (ms.; not earlier than 1854/1855).

Box 1, Folder 4:
Two lectures on "Society."

Box 1, Folder 5:
Thoreau the Poet-Naturalist. Chapter 14 (Field sports). (Possibly also unpublished installment #9 of series for The Commonwealth begun in 1863.)

Box 1, Folder 6:
"Sleepy Hollow" (not in Channing’s hand; undated). (Written in 1855; published in 1902 in Poems of Sixty-Five Years.)


SERIES II. CORRESPONDENCE:

Box 2, Folder 1:
ALS, WEC, to Elizabeth Hoar, n.d.

ALS, WEC, New Bedford, to Elizabeth Hoar, 1856 Dec. 23.
ALS, WEC, to Sophia Thoreau, 1858 Jan. 4.

Box 2, Folder 2 (1859):
ALS, WEC, to Mary Howland Russell Watson, 1859 June "latter part."
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, 1859 July 1.
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, 1859 July 3.
ALS, WEC, New Bedford, to MHRW, 1859 Sept. 3.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1859 Sept. 10.
ALS, WEC, to Benjamin Marston Watson, 1859 Sept. "Friday the _."
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, 1859 Sept. 27.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1859 Oct. 9.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1859 Nov. 2. Includes poem ms. "To Edith – with the Lennons."
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1859 Nov. 10.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1859 Dec. 4.

Box 2, Folder 3 (1860):
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1860 Jan. 15.
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, 1860 Jan. 23.
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, 1860 Jan 26.
ALS fragment, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1860 Feb. 14.
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, 1860 Mar. 9.
ALS, WEC, to [MHRW] ("Mrs. Valentine"), 1860 Mar. 16.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1860 Apr. 14.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1860 May 29. Includes poem ms. "Teamster’s Song."
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1860 June 17.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1860 Sept. 25.
ALS, WEC, Concord to BMW, 1860 Sept. 29.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1860 Nov. 7; postscript dated Nov. 15.
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, 1860 [Nov. 23] ("day after Thanksgiving").
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1860 Dec. 11.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1860 [Dec. 25] ("Christmas Day").

Box 2, Folder 4 (1861):
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 Feb. 3.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 Feb. 13.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 Feb. 17.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 Mar 26.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, [1861] Mar. 29.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 Apr. 3.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 Apr. 14.
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, 1861 Apr. 16.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 June 11.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 June 14.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 June 19.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 Aug. 1.
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, 1861 Aug. 20. Includes untitled poem ms.; first line "A wail for the dead and the dying."
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 Sept. 3.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 Sept. 6.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 Oct. 2.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 Oct. 7.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 Oct. 21.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 Nov. 10.
ALS fragment, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1861 Dec. 9.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to [BMW], 1861 Dec. 22.

Box 2, Folder 5 (1862):
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1862 Feb. 13.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1862 Feb. [28] ("Last Day").
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1862 Mar. 13.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1862 Mar. 18.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1862 June 13.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1862 Sept. 13.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1862 Sept. 26.
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, 1862, Sept. 29.

Box 2, Folder 6 (1863-1901):
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, 1863 Apr. 6.
Poem ms. (not in Channing’s hand) "The Wigelia – addressed to B.M. Watson," Hillside, 1863 June [n.d.].
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 1863 July 23.
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, 1876 Feb. 27.
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, 1877 Feb. 27.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, 188[7?], June 1.
ALS, L.L. Sanborn (Mrs. Frank Sanborn), Concord, to MHRW, 1901 Mar. 17.

Box 2, Folder 7 (undated):
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, [n.d.] Apr. 14.
ALS, WEC, to [BMW], [n.d.] July 17. Includes untitled poem ms.; first line "Here the rich blackbird’s warble fills the air" with note "(From the Cape Cod notebook, May 1852)."
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, [n.d.] Aug. 15.
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, [n.d.] Feb. 19.
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, [1865?] Sept. 16.
ALS, WEC, to [MHRW] ("My dear M"), [n.d.] Sept. 22.
ALS, WEC, to [BMW], [1865?] July 22.
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, [n.d.] Apr. 19.
ALS, [WEC], to MHRW, [n.d.] [June/July?] 19. Signed "Melujah G. Jones."
ALS, WEC, to [BMW], [n.d.] Jan. 22. Includes text of a poem by [Alfred Billings ?] Street’s poem; first line "The whizzing of the humming-birds swift wings."
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, [n.d.] Feb. 24.
ALS, WEC, to [BMW], [n.d.] May 16.
ALS, WEC, to BMW, [n.d.] June 3.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to [BMW], [n.d.] June 15.
ALS, WEC, to [BMW], [n.d.] June 27.
ALS, WEC, to [BMW], [n.d.] July 1.
ALS, WEC, to [BMW], [n.d.] July 6.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, [n.d.] July 7. Includes text of Thomas Hood’s poem "Past and Present."
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, [n.d.] Aug. 24.

Box 2, Folder 8 (undated and fragments):
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, [n.d.] Aug. 25.
ALS, WEC, to BMW, [n.d.] Sept. 1.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to BMW, [n.d.] Sept. 7.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to BMW, [n.d.] Sept. 8.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, [n.d.] Sept. 29.
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, [n.d.] Oct. 8.
ALS, WEC, Concord, to MHRW, [n.d.] Oct. 20.
ALS, WEC, to BMW, [n.d.] Oct. 24.
ALS, WEC to BMW, [n.d.] Dec. 8. Includes untitled poem ms.; first line "The splendid Turnips came."

ALS, WEC, to MHRW, [n.d.].
ALS, WEC, to [MHRW], [n.d.].
ALS, WEC, to MHRW, [n.d.], Includes untitled poem ms., from 1848;" first line "In Goethe’s subtle art I take no part."
Poem mss., including "Of Fortune" and two untitled; first lines "I dream of thee, I dream of thee" and "He may let the world run on." Possible third untitled poem; first line "Hast thou one hour that thou dost call thine own."
Poem ms., "Coming in of Spring."
Poem ms., "Absence" with note "written in 1842."
ALS fragment, WEC, [n.d.].
ALS fragment, WEC, "[18]63, 4, 5, 6 etc." "Jan. 1, 2, 3, etc."

Box 2, Folder 9 (undated and fragments):
ALS fragment, [WEC], [n.d.].
ALS, WEC, to [MHRW], [n.d.]. Includes "a chapter on ‘gilded plants,’ (now called variegated)."
ALS, [WEC] to [MHRW?], [n.d.].
ALS, WEC to [MHRW?], [n.d.].
ALS fragment, [WEC] to [MHRW?], [n.d.].
ALS fragment, WEC to [MHRW?], [n.d.].
ALS fragment, [WEC] to [MHRW?], [n.d.].
ALS fragment, [WEC] to [MHRW?], [n.d.].
ALS fragment, [WEC] to [MHRW?], [n.d.].
ALS fragment, [WEC] to [MHRW?], [n.d.].

c1995-c2004 Concord Free Public Library.  Not to be reproduced in any form without permission from the Curator of Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library.

 

Back to the Selected Finding Aids Page

Back to the Special Collections homepage

Home