ALCOTT BOOKS:

BOOKS FROM THE LIBRARIES OF AMOS BRONSON ALCOTT, LOUISA MAY ALCOTT, AND MEMBERS OF THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILY, 1824-1887

A finding aid including volumes from the “Alcott Books” section of the CFPL’s Concord Authors Collection.

Inscription from half t.p.

EXTENT:  Forty-six titles (forty-six volumes).

ORGANIZATION AND ARRANGEMENT:  Items are listed in a single file, arranged alphabetically by author, corporate body, or title, as appropriate.

BIOGRAPHY:  Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888)—Transcendental idealist, philosopher, educator, lecturer, essayist, poet, reformer, and resident of Concord, Mass.—married Abigail May on May 23, 1830.  Their children: Anna Bronson (born 1831); Louisa May (author; born 1832); Elizabeth Sewall (born 1835); a son (born and died 1839); and May (artist; born 1840).  Anna Bronson Alcott married John Bridge Pratt in 1860.  Their children: Frederic Alcott Pratt (born 1863) and John Sewall Pratt (later John Sewall Pratt Alcott; born 1865).  Frederic Alcott Pratt married Jessica L. Cate in 1888.  Their children: Bronson Alcott Pratt (born 1889); Elizabeth Sewall Pratt (born 1891); Frederic Alcott Pratt (born and died 1895); Louisa Alcott Pratt (born 1900); Frederic Wolsey Pratt (born 1903).  Bronson Alcott Pratt married Louise DeRevere Grant in 1913.  Louisa Alcott Pratt married William F. Kussin in 1926.

SCOPE AND CONTENT:  Titles published between 1824 and 1887, encompassing a variety of genres and subject areas (poetry, novels, memoirs, lectures, local history and genealogy, travel, Native American culture, philosophy, education, spiritualism, agriculture, and Goethe among them).  All titles but one (a volume in French by George Sand) are in English; a half dozen are English translations of foreign works.  The collection includes Boston, Burlington (Vt.), Cambridge, Chicago, London, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Washington, and Waterbury (Conn.) imprints.  Items are from the personal collection of Amos Bronson Alcott, Louisa May Alcott, Abigail May Alcott, Anna Bronson Alcott, and/or May Alcott, as indicated by supporting evidence presented in the item list, below.  A number of books in the collection were presentation copies to members of the Alcott family.  The Alcott Books copy of Henry David Thoreau’s A Yankee in Canada (1866) was presented by Thoreau’s sister Sophia to Louisa May Alcott.  The volume of George Sand in French bears an inscription suggesting that it was obtained by one of the Alcotts from Elizabeth Palmer Peabody’s Foreign Library and bookstore at 13 West Street in Boston.      

SOURCES OF ACQUISITION:  Multiple, as noted in the item list.  Some volumes were given directly to the CFPL by Bronson Alcott or members of his immediate family; some were passed down to Alcott descendants (Louisa Alcott Pratt Kussin in particular; also, Mrs. Bronson Alcott Pratt), from whom the library acquired them.    

RESTRICTIONS ON USE:  No photocopy permitted from this collection.

PROCESSING NOTE:  The Alcott Books in the Concord Authors Collection were cataloged individually through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1980-1983, this finding aid adapted from the cataloging in 2006 by Bette Aschaffenburg (preliminary preparation) and LPW.

ITEM LIST

Bible. O.T. Pentateuch.  The picture Bible, for the young. Containing sacred narratives, in the words of the Holy Scriptures.  Illustrated by engravings.  Genesis to Deuteronomy (London: Religious Tract Society, 1834).  vi, 170 pages; plates. 

Printed by C. Whittingham at the Chiswick Press.

Signatures of A. Bronson Alcott and Louisa Alcott Pratt on t.p.  Inscribed on front paste-down endpaper: “For / Louisa Alcott Pratt / from her Father’s / Library / April 27. 1912.”  Ownership stamp of F. Alcott Pratt on t.p., front paste-down endpaper, and back paste-down endpaper.  Signature of Frederic Wolsey Pratt on verso of front free endpaper.  From Louisa Alcott Pratt Kussin, 1982.  Half-bound in black calf; marbled paper boards. No accession no.

[Blind, Mathilde] (1841-1896).  Poems. By Claude Lake (London: Alfred W. Bennett, 1867).  94 pages.

Author’s presentation inscription to Louisa May Alcott (dated “London 14th May”) on t.p.  Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1880.  Bound in green cloth. Accession no. 15245.

Brown, William Wells (1814 or 1815-1884).  The American fugitive in Europe.  Sketches of places and people abroad.  By Wm. Wells Brown.  With a memoir of the author … (Boston: John P. Jewett and Company, 1855).  320 pages; plate.

Inscribed in pencil on front free endpaper: “Mrs. A. M. Alcott / With the best wishes / of the author. / Walpole, Nov. 6th 1855.”  Early Concord Town Library volume, with Town Library bookplate on front paste-down endpaper.  Transferred to the CFPL in 1873.  Bound in brown cloth.  Accession no. 3999.

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett (1806-1861).  Aurora Leigh.  By Elizabeth Barrett Browning (New York: C.S. Francis & Co., 1857).  366 pages.

Inscribed on half-title by A. Bronson Alcott: “Anna Bronson Alcott. / a gift from / Her Father, / Walpole, January 1, 1857.”  Signature of Anna B. Pratt on front free endpaper.  Ownership stamp of F. Alcott Pratt on t.p. and front paste-down endpaper.  Signature of Louisa Alcott Pratt on t.p.  Inscribed on front paste-down endpaper (beneath stamp of F. Alcott Pratt): “”For / Louisa Alcott Pratt.”  From Louisa Alcott Pratt Kussin, 1982.  Bound in brown cloth. No accession no.

Buchanan, James.  Sketches of the history, manners, and customs, of the North American Indians, with a plan for their melioration.  By James Buchanan (New York: William Borradaile, 1824).  Two volumes in one (182, 156 pages).

Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1878.  Rebound in green cloth.  Accession no. 14003.

Burnand, Sir Francis Cowley (1836-1917).  My health. By F. C. Burnand (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1872).  xv, 290 pages.

Presented by A. Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Bound in red-orange cloth.  Accession no. 7700.

Burnand, Sir Francis Cowley (1836-1917).  To Buddlecombe and back.  By F. C. Burnand(Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1876).  iv, 98 pages.

Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1878.  Bound in red-brown cloth.  Accession no. 14005.

Calvert, George Henry (1803-1889).  Mirabeau[:] an historical drama.  By George H. Calvert (Cambridge: Printed at the Riverside Press, 1873).  103 pages.

BAL 2428.

Inscribed on half-title: “Miss Alcott / with kind regards of the author. / Newport R.I. / May 24th, 1873.”  Scattered markings in margins.  Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1878.  Gray paper wrapper.  Accession no. 14009.

Channing, Walter (1786-1876).  A physician’s vacation; or, A summer in Europe.  By Walter Channing … (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1856).  iv, 564 pages.

Signature of Louisa Willis (dated “Dec. 9th 1856”) on front free endpaper.  Presented by A. Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Bound in brown cloth.  Accession no. 7574.

Channing, William Ellery (1818-1901).  Poems by William Ellery Channing (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1843).  viii, 151 pages.

BAL 3057.

Presented by Amos Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Bound in brown paper boards; printed spine label.  Accession no. 8832.

[Cobbe, Frances Power] (1822-1904).  An essay on intuitive morals, being an attempt to popularize ethical science.  Part I.  Theory of morals.  First American edition,  with additions and corrections by the author  (Boston: Crosby, Nichols, and Company, 1859).  xv, 279 pages.

Presentation inscription to A. Bronson Alcott by H. Robie (dated “August 1st 1861”) on front lining leaf.  Signature of A. Bronson Alcott on t.p.  Presented by A. Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Bound in brown cloth.  Accession no. 7795.

De Forest, John William (1826-1906).  Playing the mischief.  A novel.  By J.W. De Forest … (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1875).  185 pages.

Harper’s library of select novels; 442.

“Summer Book-List” (6 pages) follows text.

BAL 4612.

Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1880.  Quarter-bound in sheepskin; marbled paper boards.  Accession no. 15392.

Denison, Mrs. Mary Andrews (1826-1911).  The master.  By Mrs. Mary A. Denison (Boston: Walker, Wise, and Company, 1862).  iv, 270 pages.

Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1878.  Rebound in blue-green cloth.  Accession no. 13996.

Drake, Samuel Adams (1833-1905).  Historic fields and mansions of Middlesex.  By Samuel Adams Drake.  Illustrated … (Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1874).  xiv, 442 pages; plates.

Signature of A. Bronson Alcott on t.p.  Ownership stamp of F. Alcott Pratt on front paste-down endpaper and t.p.  Printed sheet ([2] pages), “The History of the Royall House,” laid in.  From Louisa Alcott Pratt Kussin, 1982.  Bound in plum cloth.  No accession no.

Dudley, Marion Vienna Churchill, ed.  Poetry and philosophy of Goethe.  Comprising the lectures and extempore discussions before the Milwaukee Literary School in August, 1886.  Edited by Marion V. Dudley … (Chicago: S.C. Griggs and Company, 1887).  vi, 300 pages.

Inscribed on front free endpaper: “A Bronson Alcott / from / his / friend / W T [William Torrey] Harris.”  Stamp of ownership of F. Alcott Pratt and signature of Louisa Alcott Pratt on t.p.  From Louisa Alcott Pratt Kussin, 1982.  Bound in brown cloth.  No accession no.

Fawcett, Edgar (1847-1904).  Fantasy and passion.  By Edgar Fawcett (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1878).  xi, 191 pages.

BAL 5610 (Binding A).

Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1880.  Bound in green cloth.  Accession no. 15244.

Feuillet, Octave (1821-1890).  The story of Sibylle.  By Octave Feuillet … Translated from the French by M.H.T. (Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1872).  133 pages.

Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1880.  Quarter-bound in sheepskin; marbled paper boards.  Accession no. 15396.

Field, Kate (1838-1896).  Hap-hazard, by Kate Field (Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1873).  253 pages.

Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1878.  Rebound in beige cloth.  Accession no. 14006.

Fox, Caroline (1819-1871).  Memories of old friends.  Being extracts from the journals and letters of Caroline Fox, of Penjerrick, Cornwall, from 1835-1871.  Edited by Horace N. Pym (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1882).  xxviii, 378 pages.

Inscribed on blank lining leaf at front: “L.M. Alcott / Concord / Mass.”  Ownership stamp of F. Alcott Pratt on front paste-down endpaper, front lining leaf, and t.p.  Signature of Louisa Alcott Pratt on t.p., and inscription “For / Louisa Alcott Pratt” on front lining leaf.  From Louisa Alcott Pratt Kussin, 1982.  Bound in green cloth.  No accession no.

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von (1749-1832).  Goethe’s opinions on the world, mankind, literature, science, and art.  Translated by Otto Wenckstern (London: John W. Parker and Son, 1853).  viii, 174 pages.

Signature of A. Bronson Alcott, ownership stamp of F. Alcott Pratt, and signature of Louisa Alcott Pratt on t.p.  From Louisa Alcott Pratt Kussin, 1982.  Bound in tan cloth; printed spine label.  No accession no.

Grant, James (1822-1887).  Jane Seton: or, The king’s advocate.  A Scottish historical romance.  By James Grant … (London: G. Routledge & Co., 1857).  430 pages.

Presented by A. Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Quarter-bound in sheepskin; beige paper boards.  Accession no. 6424.

Hosmer, Burr Griswold.  Poems by Burr Griswold Hosmer (Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1868).  vi, 171 pages.

Inscribed on front lining leaf: “L.M. Alcott / from the author / April 24th 1868.”  Gift of A. Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Bound in brown cloth; printed spine label.  Accession no. 8431.

Hunt, Harriot Kesia (1805-1875).  Glances and glimpses; or Fifty years social, including twenty years professional life.  By Harriot K. Hunt … (Boston: John P. Jewett and Company, 1856).  xii, 418 pages.

Inscribed on front free endpaper: “Mrs. A.B. Alcott / from her friend / and Cousin / Saml E. Sewall / 56 [1856].  Inscribed in ink on t.p.: “Alcott.”  Clipped newspaper notices concerning the book pasted to back lining leaves.  Presented by A. Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Bound in dark brown cloth.  Accession no. 7391.

Jackson, Robert Montgomery Smith (1815-1865).  The mountain.  By R.M.S. Jackson (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1860).  xii, 3-632 pages.

Inscribed in pencil on t.p.: “A Bronson Alcott / with respects / of / the author.”  Signature of A. Bronson Alcott on front lining leaf.  Presented by A. Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Bound in purple cloth.  Accession no. 8053.

Kingsley, Charles (1819-1875).  Lectures delivered in America in 1874.  By Charles Kingsley … (Philadelphia: Jos. H. Coates & Co., 1875).  149 pages.

Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1878.  Bound in red-brown cloth.  Accession no. 13997.

Knappert, Jan (1836-1893).  The religion of Israel, a manual;  translated from the Dutch of J. Knappert … by Richard A. Armstrong (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1878).  viii, 283 pages.

Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1878.  Bound in mauve cloth.  Accession  no. 14008.

Mann, Horace (1796-1859).  Lectures on education.  By Horace Mann (Boston: Ide & Dutton, 1855).  338 pages.

“A Catalogue of Books, Maps, Charts, and School Apparatus, Published, Imported, and for Sale by Ide & Dutton … ” (72 pages) bound in following text.

Inscribed on front free endpaper: “Mr. A.B. Alcott, / Dec 25th / 1859.” Signature of A. Bronson Alcott on t.p.  Presented by Amos Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Bound in dark brown cloth.  Accession no. 7787.

Martineau, Harriet (1802-1876).  The hour and the man: an historical romance.  By Harriet Martineau (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1873).  187 pages.

Harper’s library of select novels; 393.

Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1880.  Quarter-bound in sheepskin; marbled paper boards.  Accession no. 15394.

[May, Samuel], ed. (1810-1899).  A genealogy of the descendants of John May who came from England to Roxbury in America 1640 (Boston: Franklin Press, Rand, Avery & Co., 1878).  xxxv, 175 pages.

Compiled by Samuel May, John Wilder May, John Joseph May, and Richard Sullivan Edes—page viii.

Signature of A. Bronson Alcott, ownership stamp of F. Alcott Pratt, and inscription “For / Bronson Alcott Pratt” on t.p.  Some marginal annotations in pencil.  From Mrs. Bronson Alcott Pratt, 1981.  Bound in maroon cloth.  No. accession no.

[Montcrieff, Ascott Robert Hope] (1846-1927). A book about dominies[,] being the reflections and recollections of a member of the profession … (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1869).  265 pages.

Signature of Louisa May Alcott on (blank) p. [1].  Inscribed in pencil on front free endpaper: “From Louisa Alcott.”  Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1873.  Bound in maroon cloth.  Accession no. 9667.

Orcutt Samuel.  History of the town of Wolcott (Connecticut) from 1731 to 1874, with an account of the centenary meeting, September 10th and 11th, 1873; and with the genealogies of the families of the town.  By Rev. Samuel Orcutt (Waterbury, Conn.: Press of the American Printing Company, 1874).  xxiii, 608 pages.

“A. Bronson Alcott,” a biographical sketch by Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, p. [238]-261. Also includes sketches of Louisa May, May, Dr. William A., and Rev. William A. Alcott.  Alcott family genealogy, p. [425]-438.

Presented by A. Bronson Alcott, 1875.  Half-bound in maroon morocco; purple cloth boards.  Accession no. 10928.

Osgood, Frances Sargent Locke (1811-1850).  Poems, by Frances S. Osgood … (New York: Clark & Austin, 1846).  252 pages; plates.

BAL 15299 (State 1).

Inscribed on front free endpaper: “To Louisa Alcott—  / With all kind wishes—  / From L E. / Jany. 1st. 1847—.”  Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1878.  Bound in purple cloth.  Copy lacks frontispiece and vignette t.p.  Accession no. 14004.

Peabody, Elizabeth Palmer (1804-1894).  Crimes of the house of Austria against mankind.  Proved by extracts from the histories of Coxe, Schiller, Robertson, Grattan, and Sismondi, with Mrs. M.L. Putnam’s history of the constitution of Hungary … Edited by E.P. Peabody.  Second Edition (New York: G.P. Putnam, 1852).  230 pages.

Signature of A. Bronson Alcott on t.p.  Presented by A. Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Bound in purple cloth.  Accession no. 9763.

[Randolph, Richard].  Aspects of humanity, brokenly mirrored in the ever-swelling current of human speech … (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1869).  55 pages.

Presented by A. Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Bound in purple cloth.  Accession no. 8433.

Robertson, Frederick William (1816-1853).  Lectures and addresses on literary and social topics.  By the late Rev. Frederick W. Robertson … (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1859).  xxxix, 318 pages.

Presented by A. Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Bound in brown cloth.  Accession no. 7709.

Sand, George (1804-1876). Oeuvres complètes de George Sand[.]  Nouvelle édition revue par l’auteur et accompagnée de morceaux inédits.  Horace I (Paris: Perroton, 1843).  408 pages.

Vol. 15 of Oeuvres complètes de George Sand.

Pencil note on half-title: “13 West St.” [address of Elizabeth Palmer Peabody’s Foreign Library and bookstore in Boston, 1840-ca. 1852].  Presented by May Alcott, 1875.  Quarter-bound in sheepskin; pale green paper boards.  Accession no. 11203.

[Sargent, Epes] (1813-1880).  Planchette; or, The despair of science.  Being a full account of modern spiritualism, its phenomena, and the various theories regarding it.  With a survey of French spiritism(Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1869).  xii, 404 pages.

Handy-volume series; III.

Signature of A. Bronson Alcott on series title.  Presented by A. Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Bound in green cloth.  Accession no. 8009.

Sargent, Epes (1813-1880).  The woman who dared.  By Epes Sargent (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1870).  vi, 270 pages.

Presented by A. Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Bound in purple cloth.  Accession no. 8418.

Schefer, Leopold (1784-1862).  The world-priest.  Translated from the German of Leopold Schefer… By Charles T. Brooks (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1873).  xv, 373 pages.

Signature of A. Bronson Alcott on t.p.  Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1878.  Bound in maroon cloth.  Accession no. 13995.

Shove, George A.  Life under glass.  Containing suggestions toward the formation of artificial climates.  By George A. Shove … (Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1874).  111 pages.

Some pencil markings in margins.  Presented by Louisa May Alcott, 1878.  Bound in blue cloth.  Accession no. 14002.

[Taylor, Isaac] (1787-1865).  Home education[,] by the author of Natural history of enthusiasms (London: Jackson and Walford, 1838).  viii, 379 pages.

Signature “C. [Charles] Lane” on t.p.  Extensive marginal notes in pencil in Chapter 1; scattered markings in pen (in another hand).  Presented by A. Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Bound in blue cloth.  Accession no. 7784.

Thoreau, Henry David (1817-1862).  A Yankee in Canada, with anti-slavery and reform papers.  By Henry D. Thoreau … (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1866).  286 pages.

Borst A7.1.a.

Inscribed in pencil on front free endpaper: “L M Alcott / With the love / of S E Thoreau.”  Source unidentified.  No accession no.

Tieck, Johann Ludwig (1773-1853).  The pictures; The betrothing.  Novels, translated from the German of Lewis Tieck (London: Printed for Geo. B. Whittaker, 1825).  xxxix, 255 pages.

Signature of A. Bronson Alcott (in ink) on t.p.  Some notes and markings in text (the pencil notes on the verso of page 225 extensive).  Presented by A. Bronson Alcott, 1878.  Quarter-bound in sheepskin, gray-beige paper boards.  Accession no. 7031.

Tupper, Martin Farquhar (1810-1889).  Proverbial philosophy: being thoughts and arguments originally treated.  By Martin Farquhar Tupper.  From the London edition.  Second edition (Boston: Joseph Dowe, 1840).  114 pages.

Signature of A. Bronson Alcott on t.p.  Presented (donor unrecorded), 1949.  Bound in blue cloth.  Accession no. 100034.

[United States Patent Office].  Report of the Commissioner of Patents for the year 1859.  Agriculture (Washington: George W. Bowman, Printer, 1860).  viii, 590 pages.

36th Congress, 1st session.  House of Rep. Ex. Doc.  

Charles T. Jackson’s “Report on American Grapes”: p. 57.  Jackson’s “Experiments on Paw Paw Spirits”: p. 370.

Early Concord Town Library volume, transferred to the CFPL in 1873.  CFPL bookplate and pencil inscription identify A. Bronson Alcott as donor.  Bound in brown cloth.  Accession no. 5815.

[Williams, Andrew].  A descriptive and historical guide to the Valley of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks (Burlington, Vt.: R.S. Styles’ Steam Printing House, 1871).  144 pages; plates, folding maps (in pocket).

Index and “Appendix” (advertisements) occupy xxiv pages following text.

Presented by A. Bronson Alcott, 1873.  Bound in black cloth.  Accession no. 8941.

c2006 Concord Free Public Library, Concord, Mass.
Not to be reproduced in any form without permission of the Curator of Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library.

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