Jared Sparks collection  1825-1860
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 25 letters and 1 book that historian Jared Sparks wrote about his work, about historical manuscripts, and about the historian's profession in the mid-19th century.

Jared Sparks corresponded with historians and other acquaintances in the United States and England about books and prominent figures in American history, among other subjects. Many letters pertain to his attempts to procure manuscripts written by George Washington and to a proposed publication of Benjamin Franklin's papers. Between 1852 and 1857, Sparks most frequently wrote to bibliographer and antiquarian Henry Stevens. In his final letter, he described Japanese tourists visiting New York City (June 16, 1860). Mary C. Sparks wrote 1 letter to Henry Stevens (on behalf of her ill husband) in March 1855, and Josiah Quincy added a brief note to Sparks's letter of December 30, 1842. The collection also contains a copy of Sparks's Reply to the Strictures of Lord Mahon and Others on the Mode of Editing the Writings of Washington (1852) and a spine from an edition of his Life of Washington (enclosed in October 28, 1858).

For more information on each item, see the Detailed Box and Folder Listing below.

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