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Helen Thoreau anti-slavery scrapbooks

Identifier: C-122

Scope and Contents

Collection contains two scrapbooks containing numerous newspaper clippings from the late 1830s to the 1850s, mounted into volumes originally used as account books from 1813-1817. Much of the subject matter relates to slavery in the United States and the antislavery movement. Clippings of published poems and prose include those by Whittier, Longfellow, Tennyson, and Lydia Maria Child. One volume has a hand-written index and is inscribed: "Begin March 1844. H.L. Thoreau, Concord, Mass." Some of the loosely inserted items have dates in the 1850s, after the death of Helen Thoreau.

Includes handwritten note from Mrs. Frederick W. Morris of New York City with brief description of volumes, dated May 15, 1922.


  • 1830s-1850s


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish materials, contact: Special Collections & Archives Middlebury College Phone: (802) 443-2387 Email:

Biographical / Historical

Helen L. Thoreau was a teacher and antislavery activist of Concord, Mass. Sister of Henry David Thoreau. Born Oct. 22, 1812 to John and Cynthia Dunbar Thoreau. Began to keep school in 1829, teaching in Concord and elsewhere, sometimes with brother John, sometimes with sister Sophia. Involved in organized abolition efforts during 1830's and 1840's. Thoreau died in Concord of tuberculosis June 14, 1849.


2 Boxes


Clippings are, for the most part, in chronological order.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States