The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Sanborn, Franklin Benjamin
SANBORN, Franklin Benjamin, American philanthropist and author: b. Hampton Falls, N. H., 15 Dec. 1831; d. 24 Feb. 1917. He was graduated from Harvard in 1855, became active in politics as a member of the Free Soil party in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, was for a time secretary to the Massachusetts State Kansas committee, and aided John Brown in the invasion of Harper's Ferry after having vainly opposed the scheme. From 1863 to 1868 he was an editor of the Boston Commonwealth; in October 1863 became secretary of the Massachusetts State board of charities, the first established in America; and in 1865 assisted in the organization of the American Social Science Association, of which he was until 1897 secretary. With Bronson Alcott and W. T. Harris he founded the Concord school of philosophy in 1879; and he was also an organizer of the National Prison Association (1871), and the National conference of charities (1865). Among his publications are ‘Life and Letters of John Brown’ (1885); biographies of Thoreau (1882), Alcott (1883), Dr. Howe (1891), and Dr. Earle (1898); ‘The Personality of Thoreau’ (1902) and ‘The Personality of Emerson’ (1903). He was through all his active life a journalist, having begun to contribute to the New Hampshire Independent Democrat in 1849, to the Boston Transcript in 1852, to the Christian Register in 1853, the Boston Traveller in 1856, and to the Springfield Republican in 1856. He was editor of the Republican after June 1868, furnishing from three to six columns a week. Between 1900 and 1917 he published Ellery Channing's ‘Poems of 65 years’ (1902); Channing's ‘Thoreau the Poet-Naturalist’ with additions (1903); Thoreau's ‘The Service’ (1902); ‘Bronson Alcott at Fruitlands’ (1908), and ‘Hawthorne and His Friends’ (1908); Recollections of 70 Years’ (2 vols., 1909), and ‘Sixty years in Concord’ (1916). A final life of Thoreau, ‘Thoreau and his Earliest Writings’ (1916). He also edited two volumes of ‘Theodore Parkers Writings’ (1914), introduced Newton's ‘Lincoln and Herndon’ (1913), and wrote brief biographies of Dr. Langdon, president of Harvard College, of Ellery Channing and of Mrs. Abbott-Wood of Lowell. For 30 years he edited the American Journal of Social Science, (1867-97), and contributed largely to the Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society (1903-15), and edited for the Boston Bibliophile Society five volumes of Thoreau's manuscripts, a volume of the Shelley-Payne correspondence, and one of the Fragments and Letters of T. L. Peacock.