New Arrival

Key Member of the Secret Six

Autograph letter signed ("F.B. Sanborn") to Francis William Bird ("My dear Friend").

Boston: July 13 1874.

3 pp. bifolium, pen and ink on "American Social Science Association" letterhead. 8-1/4 x 5 1/4 inches. Key Member of the Secret Six. Old fold, fine. Item #315372

A heartfelt letter to his friend and fellow abolitionist, expressing his condolences for the loss of Bird’s son, and explaining that he cannot attend the funeral. Reading in part: “I heard on Saturday of your son’s sudden death, and in common with all your friends mourned over it. He was a fine youth worthy of his parentage and training; and his loss must fall heavily upon you and Mrs. Bird and all your family circle, so united and affectionate.I cannot come to his funeral, for I am under a standing engagement, which I cannot escape… I regret this, for it would give me a sad pleasure to be with you on that occasion…”

At the age of nine, Franklin Benjamin Sanborn (1831-1917) was already condemning the institution of slavery. Less than twenty years later, the Concord school teacher, journalist, author, and reformer, was a member of the “Secret Six,” a clandestine group of influential men that funded John Brown and his raid on Harper’s Ferry. The poet Walt Whitman called Sanborn “a revolutionary crusader” and Sanborn’s close friend, Henry David Thoreau said that Sanborn was the the kind of man that “calmly, ignites and then throws bomb after bomb." Our letter is written on letterhead from the “American Social Science Association,” which Sanborn founded in 1865.

Price: $300.00 Free Domestic Delivery