Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, 1831 - 1917

Franklin Benjamin Sanborn was a journalist, social reformer, social scientist, and memorialist of American Transcendentalism.  He was an ardent abolitionist and a friend and agent of John Brown, although he disapproved of Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry.  Sanborn was a correspondent of the Springfield Republican, editor of the Boston Commonwealth from 1863 to 1867, and a founder of the American Social Science Association and the editor of its journal from 1867 to 1897.  He lived in Concord, Massachusetts, writing valuable collections and biographies of Amos Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, W. Ellery Channing, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and others.  His Boston Commonwealth was instrumental in publishing some of Alcott's prose, poetry, and transcripts of conversations.  Sanborn's editions and histories, despite being marred by editorial inaccuracies and shabby scholarship, served well to keep Transcendental ideas alive and to translate the movement's idealism into meaningful social action.