1845-1971 (BULK 1876-1922)

Edward Waldo Emerson.

Vault A45, Emerson, Unit 3

EXTENT: .83 linear feet (2 containers).

ORGANIZATION: Five series: I. Edward Emerson research and biographical materials relating to Thoreau, 1882-1918; II. Other Edward Emerson research, lecture, and writing topics, 1876-1922; III. Printed items from the collection of Edward Emerson, 1845-1918; IV. Edward Emerson ephemera (undated); V. Other Emersons, 1867-1971.

BIOGRAPHY: Edward Waldo Emerson (1844-1930)—the youngest child of philosopher, lecturer, essayist, and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson and his second wife Lidian (Jackson) Emerson—lived most of his life in Concord, Massachusetts. As a child, he grew close to Henry David Thoreau, who presided over the Emerson household as a live-in caretaker while Ralph Waldo Emerson traveled in Europe in 1847 and 1848. Edward attended Frank Sanborn’s progressive, coeducational Concord private school. Rejected for service during the Civil War because of fragile health, Edward went to college instead of war, graduating from Harvard in 1866. Although artistic, he bowed to practical considerations and studied medicine. He spent a year in Berlin and London while enrolled at Harvard Medical School, from which he graduated in 1874. Back in Concord, he assisted Dr. Josiah Bartlett, eventually taking over Bartlett’s practice. After his father’s death in 1882, Edward left the practice of medicine and spent his time writing, editing his father’s papers and manuscripts, and painting. He wrote the Social Circle biography of his father (1888), Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar (with Moorfield Storey; 1911), Henry Thoreau as Remembered by a Young Friend (1917), Early Years of the Saturday Club (1918), and edited his father’s correspondence with John Sterling (1897), the Centenary Edition of Emerson’s works (1903-1904), and (with Waldo Emerson Forbes) the 1909-1914 edition of Emerson’s journals. He taught at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In 1874, Edward married Concord girl Annie Shepard Keyes, daughter of John Shepard and Martha (Prescott) Keyes. They had seven children, six of whom predeceased their parents. Edward Emerson served Concord as Superintendent of Schools and on the Board of Health, the Cemetery Committee, and the Library Committee. He was a founding member of the Concord Antiquarian Society as well as a member of the Social Circle. He was also an accomplished horseman.

SCOPE AND CONTENT: Papers, printed materials, and ephemera generated or accumulated between 1845 and 1971 by three generations of Concord Emersons: Ralph Waldo Emerson; his son Edward and his daughter Ellen; and Edward’s son Raymond and daughter-in-law Amelia. Edward Waldo Emerson papers, 1876-1922, comprise the bulk of the collection, which includes much undated material, particularly undated transcriptions of earlier documents and papers. Edward Emerson’s Thoreau-related papers—manuscript, typescript, and printed items, 1882-1918—consist of notes based on the recollections of George Bradford Bartlett, Mrs. Edwin Bigelow, F.C. Brown, William Ellery Channing, James Garty, Edward S. Hoar, Horace R. Hosmer, Dr. Thomas Hosmer, George Keyes, B.W. Lee, Warren Miles, Edward Neally, Miss Mary Nicholson, D.F. Potter, Rev. Grindall Reynolds, Walton Ricketson, Sam Staples, Benjamin Tolman, Elizabeth J. Weir, Mrs. Deacon White, and Albert E. Wood; research notes; lecture notes; letters; chronologies; passages transcribed from the writings of Thoreau and Emerson; a note possibly in Thoreau’s hand; and manuscript, typescript, and proof sections of Edward’s book Henry Thoreau as Remembered by a Yound Friend (1917). The papers generated by Edward’s involvement in research, lecture, and writing topics other than Thoreau consist of similar types of materials, 1876-1922, organized around the following subjects: the Alcotts; the Barretts and Punkatasset; Edward Jarvis Bartlett; Perez Blood; Dr. William Palmer Bolles; George P. Bradford and Martha Bartlett; William Ellery Channing; the Concord Artillery; Dr. Edwin Lewis Drowne; William Lorenzo Eaton; William Emerson; Flint’s Bridge; William Torrey Harris; Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar; Josephine Hosmer’s recollections; Francis Augustine Houston; J.S. Keyes’s recollections; physicians of Concord; Adams Tolman, Charles Hosmer Walcott; and other medical and Concord-related topics. Printed titles from Edward Emerson’s collection include five pamphlet and book items, 1845-1918, among them Samuel Hoar’s copy of a Massachusetts Senate document (1845) dealing with South Carolina’s treatment of free Blacks from other states and referring to Hoar’s unsuccessful trip to South Carolina in 1844 to test the validity of that state’s law regarding the issue. Edward Emerson ephemeral materials (all undated) include, among other items, a printed list of Edward’s lecture offerings. Materials connected to other members of the Emerson family, 1867-1971, consist of presentation copies of printed items and of letters.

SOURCE OF ACQUISITION: Gift of the Emerson family in two accessions, 1978 (from Amelia F. Emerson) and 1982.

PROCESSED BY: LPW; finding aid completed October 28, 2003.




Interviews with, notes by, and letters from various individuals about Thoreau, 1882-1892:

Box 1, Folder 1:

George Bradford Bartlett (undated).

Box 1, Folder 2:

Mrs. Edwin Bigelow (1892, and undated).

Box 1, Folder 3:

F.C. Brown (undated).

Box 1, Folder 4:

William Ellery Channing (undated).

Box 1, Folder 5:

James Garty (undated).

Box 1, Folder 6:

Edward S. Hoar (1890).

Box 1, Folder 7:

Horace R. Hosmer (1890, and undated).

Box 1, Folder 8:

Dr. Thomas Hosmer (undated).

Box 1, Folder 9:

George Keyes (undated).

Box 1, Folder 10:

B.W. Lee (1890, and undated).

Box 1, Folder 11:

Warren Miles (1890, and undated).

Box 1, Folder 12:

Edward Neally (undated).

Box 1, Folder 13:

Miss Mary Nicholson (undated).

Box 1, Folder 14:

D.F. Potter (undated).

Box 1, Folder 15:

Rev. Grindall Reynolds (undated).

Box 1, Folder 16:

Walton Ricketson (undated).

Box 1, Folder 17:

Sam Staples (1882, 1891).

Box 1, Folder 18:

Benjamin Tolman (1890).

Box 1, Folder 19:

Elizabeth J. Weir (undated).

Box 1, Folder 20:

Mrs. Deacon White (undated).

Box 1, Folder 21:

Albert E. Wood (undated).

Box 1, Folder 22:

Lecture and other notes: manuscript and typescript lecture and miscellaneous notes on Thoreau (one item 1917/1918, remainder undated).

Box 1, Folder 23:

Chronologies: manuscript and typescript Thoreau chronologies (undated).

Box 1, Folder 24:

Letter, Thoreau to Ellen Emerson: typed transcript of letter from Thoreau to Ellen T. Emerson, 1849 July 31 (date of transcription unrecorded).

Box 1, Folder 25:

Passages from Thoreau: manuscript and typescript transcribed quotations from Thoreau’s writings (dates of transcription unrecorded).

Box 1, Folder 26:

Passages from Emerson: manuscript and typescript transcribed quotations from R.W. Emerson on Thoreau, and other R.W. Emerson material (passages 1837-1863 and undated; dates of transcription unrecorded).

Box 1, Folder 27:

Passage from Josselyn: detached lining leaves, back free endpaper, and back cover of unidentified book, the endpaper bearing a pencil note (quotation from Josselyn’s Voyages), in Thoreau’s hand(?), (undated).

Box 1, Folder 28:

Henry Thoreau as Remembered by a Young Friend (1917): early manuscript sections (undated).

Box 1, Folder 29:

Henry Thoreau as Remembered by a Young Friend (1917): typescript version, pages 32-121 (undated).

Box 1, Folder 30:

Henry Thoreau as Remembered by a Young Friend (1917): typescript version (with some manuscript sections), pages 20-121 (undated).

Box 1, Folder 31:

Henry Thoreau as Remembered by a Young Friend (1917): sections of proof (pages 5-8, 8-9) ([1917]).


Box 1, Folder 32:

The Alcotts: manuscript notes on the Alcott family (undated), and December, 1898 Ladies’ Home Journal article "When Louisa Alcott Was a Girl" (typescript and printed versions).

Box 1, Folder 33:

Barretts and Punkatasset: typed transcribed notes (undated) on Barrett family; typed transcribed letter from George Tolman to Edward Emerson, 1906 Apr. 3, regarding the Barrett’s Punkatasset farm (dates of transcription unrecorded).

Box 1, Folder 34:

"Edward Jarvis Bartlett": manuscript for Social Circle Memoirs (published in Fifth Series, 1940) (1914).

Box 1, Folder 35:

"Edward Jarvis Bartlett": typescript for Social Circle Memoirs (published in Fifth Series, 1940) (1914).

Box 1, Folder 36:

"Perez Blood": manuscript list of books from his collection given to Concord Town Library (undated).

Box 2, Folder 1:

"William Palmer Bolles": typed (transcribed) sketch of life (1916).

Box 2, Folder 2:

"George P. Bradford; Martha Bartlett": manuscript lecture for Saturday Club, with typed transcript (1890).

Box 2, Folder 3:

"Channing-Hawthorne memoranda": photocopied typescript (no original) (June, 1917), and typed transcript of Channing’s poem "Sleepy Hollow"(undated).

Box 2, Folder 4:

Concord Artillery: undated typed transcription of 1804 document recording establishment of Artillery; manuscript notes; newspaper clippings (1876, 1898); printed roster (1898); manuscript speech on the departure of Company I, Sixth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, for the war with Spain (May 1898); manuscript and typed transcript of Edward Emerson’s speech "Centennial Celebration of the Organization of the Concord Artillery, 1904"; and typed record of the "Celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Mustering of the Concord Artillery into the Service of the United States at Washington, D.C., May 1st, 1861, on April 30th, 1911" (including introductory address by Edward Emerson).

Box 2, Folder 5:

"Doctor Edwin Lewis Drowne": typescript obituary (undated).

Box 2, Folder 6:

"William Lorenzo Eaton": article, Concord High School Voice, Vol. XIV, No. 2 (Nov. 1906).

Box 2, Folder 7:

"A Chaplain of the Revolution": typescript speech on William Emerson (1743-1776), read before the Massachusetts Historical Society, printed in the Society’s Proceedings (Oct. 1921); also, offprint (1922).

Box 2, Folder 8:

Flint’s Bridge: original manuscript page from town records relating to Flint’s Bridge (1837), and typed transcription of same (date of transcription unrecorded).

Box 2, Folder 9:

William Torrey Harris: printed obituary of Harris by F. B. Sanborn and pencil draft of letter of sympathy from Edward Emerson to Mrs. Harris ([1909]).

Box 2, Folder 10:

Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar: undated manuscript notes on Judge Hoar; typed, transcribed notes (date of transcription unrecorded); and the first few pages of Edward Emerson’s printed Social Circle biography of Hoar (published in Memoirs, Fourth Series, 1909).

Box 2, Folder 11:

Josephine Hosmer: "Miss Josephine Hosmer’s Letters about Concord Worthies"; "Notes of Miss Josephine Hosmer"(typed transcriptions, no originals; dates of originals and transcriptions unrecorded).

Box 2, Folder 12:

"Francis Augustine Houston": manuscript obituary ([1919]).

Box 2, Folder 13:

J.S. Keyes: notes (undated); clipping ([1908]).

Box 2, Folder 14:

Miscellaneous notes: manuscript, typed (transcribed), and photocopied typescript notes on Concord history and people (1913, 1914, and undated).

Box 2, Folder 15:

"Physicians of Concord": manuscript notes (undated).

Box 2, Folder 16:

"Adams Tolman": partial manuscript and full typed transcript of obituary ([1920]).

Box 2, Folder 17:

"Charles Hosmer Walcott": manuscript Social Circle biography (printed in Memoirs, Fourth Series, 1909) (undated).

Box 2, Folder 18:

Miscellaneous printed writings by Edward Emerson, 1876-1909:

"Address on Oliver Wendell Holmes, April 27, 1909 … (Reprinted from Proceedings of The Cambridge Historical Society, IV)." Inscribed in ink on wrapper: "Dr. Thomas Dwight / with kind remembrance of / Edward W. Emerson."

An April Day: A Poem Recited at Concord at the Celebration of the One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Concord Fight, April 19th, 1900 … (Cambridge: Printed at the Riverside Press, 1900). Inscribed in ink on wrapper: "To Cousin Sarah / with affectionate greetings / of / Edward Waldo Emerson."

Some Points in the Pathology and Treatment of Cholera Infantum … Read June 13, 1876.

A History of the Gift of Painless Surgery … (Boston; New York: Houghton, Mifflin, 1896). Inscribed in ink on wrapper: "E.W. Emerson."

"John Murray Forbes: A Sketch … Reprinted from the Atlantic Monthly, September, 1899." Inscribed in ink on wrapper: "Edward W. Emerson."

The Old Church of Concord Restored, October 9th, 1901 … With envelope.

Poem Read at Concord at the Celebration of the One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Concord Fight, April Nineteenth, 1900 …

Stimulants and Narcotics. Notes for the Use of Teachers in the Public Schools … (1887). Inscribed in ink on cover: "Edward W. Emerson."

The Winning Game: A Poem Recited Before the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Harvard University in the Memorial Hall, July 1st, 1897 … (Cambridge: Printed at the Riverside Press, 1897). Inscribed in ink on wrapper: "F.M. Barrie / with kind regards of / Edward Waldo Emerson / December / 1897."


Box 2, Folder 19:

Authors C-M:

Concord (Mass.). Ceremonies at the Dedication of the Soldiers’ Monument, in Concord, Mass. (Concord: Printed by Benjamin Tolman, 1867). Inscribed in ink on wrapper: "Edward W. Emerson."

Jarvis, Edward. Financial Connection of the Use of Spirits and Wine With the People of Concord, Massachusetts … (Boston: Beacon Press, 1883). Inscribed in ink on wrapper: "Dr. Edward W. Emerson / from Edward Jarvis."

Macdonald, Loren B. Harvey Wheeler: A Memorial Sermon Preached in the Meeting House of the First Parish, Concord, Massachusetts, January 6, 1918 …

Massachusetts. Senate. Senate—No. 31. Treatment of Samuel Hoar. Feb. 1845. Inscribed in ink on p. [1]: "Hon. Samuel Hoar" (E.W. Emerson’s signature above this).

Box 2, Folder 20:

Author T:

Thayer, James Bradley. A Western Journey with Mr. Emerson (Boston: Little, Brown, 1884). Inscribed in ink on title-page: "E.W. Emerson / June, 1884."


Box 2, Folder 21:

Gummed printed labels, "National Party. Edward Emerson of Concord" (undated).

Box 2, Folder 22:

Printed list of lectures offered by Edward Emerson; multiple copies (undated).

Box 2, Folder 23:

Clipped newspaper advertisement, annotated in manuscript (undated).

Box 2, Folder 24:

Portfolio (recycled book cover), labelled in ink "Concord Odds & Ends, EWE" (undated).


Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1867:

Box 2, Folder 25:

Wyman, Jeffries. On Symmetry and Homology in Limbs … (Boston: A.A. Kingman, 1867). Inscribed in ink on wrapper: "R.W. Emerson / with the regards of / J. Wyman."

Ellen T. Emerson, 1898-1902:

Box 2, Folder 26:

ALS, Percy Fuller to Ellen T. Emerson, Hatillo, Puerto Rico, 1898 Oct. 2 (with envelope).

Envelope (addressed in another hand), postmarked 1898, lacking letter.

Box 2, Folder 27:

Briggs, L.B.R. Address Delivered at the Twenty-Fourth Annual Commencement of Wellesley College … (Cambridge: Printed at the Riverside Press, 1902). Inscribed in ink on wrapper: "Ellen T. Emerson" and on title-page: "E.T.E. from E.E.F. / 29 October / 1902."

Raymond Emerson, 1937:

Box 2, Folder 28:

TLS, Allen French to Raymond Emerson, 1937 Jan. 23, regarding tomb in Old Hill Burying Ground, and carbon copy of typescript note about Peter Bulkeley’s grave.

Amelia F. Emerson, 1971:

Box 2, Folder 29:

Maxfield-Miller, Elizabeth. "Emerson and Elizabeth of Concord … Offprinted from Harvard Library Bulletin, Volume XIX, Number 3, July, 1971." Inscribed in ink on blank page before beginning of article: "To Amelia Emerson / granddaughter by / marriage of RWE / with grateful / appreciation and / affection / Betsy Maxfield-Miller / who hopes someday / to produce a / biography of / EH, RWE’s / beloved ‘sister.’ "


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