Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Sanborn, Charles Henry

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SANBORN, Charles Henry, physician, b. in Hampton Falls, N. H., 9 Oct., 1822. He was educated in the common schools of New Hampshire, taught for several years, was graduated at Harvard medical school in 1855, and has since practised medicine at Hampton Falls. He was active in the political revolt of the Independent Democrats of New Hampshire in 1845, which ended in detaching the state from its pro-slavery position. In 1854-'5 he was a member of the legislature. He published “The North and the South” (Boston, 1856). — His brother, Franklin Benjamin, reformer, b. in Hampton Falls, N. H., 15 Dec., 1831, was graduated at Harvard in 1855, and in 1856 became secretary of the Massachusetts state Kansas committee. His interest in similar enterprises led to his active connection with the Massachusetts state board of charities, of which he was secretary in 1863-'8, a member in 1870-'6, and chairman in 1874-'6, succeeding Dr. Samuel G. Howe. In 1875 he made a searching investigation into the abuses of the Tewksbury almshouse, and in consequence the institution was reformed. Mr. Sanborn was active in founding the Massachusetts infant asylum and the Clarke institution for deaf-mutes, and has devoted much attention to the administration of the Massachusetts lunacy system. In 1879 he helped to reorganize the system of Massachusetts charities, with special reference to the care of children and insane persons, and in July, 1879, he became inspector of charities under the new board. He called together the first National conference of charities in 1874, and was treasurer of the conference in 1886-'8. In 1865 he was associated in the organization of the American social science association, of which he was one of the secretaries until 1868, and he has been since 1873 its chief secretary. With Bronson Alcott and William T. Harris he aided in establishing the Concord summer school of philosophy in 1879, and was its secretary and one of its lecturers. Since 1868 he has been editorially connected with the Springfield “Republican,” and has also been a contributor to newspapers and reviews. The various reports that he has issued as secretary of the organizations of which he is a member, from 1865 till 1888, comprise about forty volumes. He has edited William E. Channing's “Wanderer” (Boston, 1871) and A. Bronson Alcott's “Sonnets and Canzonets” (1882) and “New Connecticut” (1886); and is the author of “Life of Thoreau” (1882) and “Life and Letters of John Brown” (1885).