Key Collecting Areas: Collecting Brook Farm

67.  Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Autograph letter, signed, to “My dear Charles” [Charles King Newcomb], Concord, August 16, 1842.

ALS, Emerson to Newcomb

Ink on paper.  From a group of twenty-two letters from Emerson to Newcomb in the Ralph Waldo Emerson Papers (part of the CFPL Vault Collection).  Letters to Newcomb gift of Mrs. Arthur Holland, 1929.

As a promoter and editor of The Dial, Emerson was in a position to encourage young writers of promise to produce work for publication in that magazine.  Through his agency, Charles King Newcomb’s “The Two Dolons” appeared in the July 1842 issue.  Newcomb was a boarder at Brook Farm from 1841 to 1845, although he never became a member of the community there.

Emerson met Newcomb in 1840.  In the early 1840s, he wrote Newcomb at Brook Farm, urging him to submit pieces for The Dial and to visit Concord.  He presented an enticing picture of Concord, focusing on its natural appeal and the comings and goings of interesting people like Margaret Fuller, Henry Thoreau, Elizabeth Hoar, Bronson Alcott, Caroline Sturgis, Elizabeth Peabody, George Partridge Bradford, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ellery Channing, and farmer Edmund Hosmer. 

In the letter shown here, Emerson comments on Newcomb’s recent return to Brook Farm.


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This letter may not be reproduced in any form, including electronic, without permission from the copyright holder(s), and without crediting the William Munroe Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library, Concord, Mass.