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Brook Farm correspondence

Identifier: C-151

Scope and Contents

The Brook Farm correspondence totals one box (19 folders), autograph letters, signed, to and from some of the founders and participants in Brook Farm. Most folders include copies of typewritten transcriptions. Of particular interest: John Allen's, James Kay's, John Orvis's, and John Sullivan Dwight's lengthy and descriptive letters relating to Brook Farm and other matters; Elizabeth Blackwell's feminist viewpoints, including those about a woman's role in medicine, as well as her own struggles to obtain a medical degree (she was the first female doctor in the United States); Marianne Dwight Orvis's and Anna Parsons' letters describing the fire that destroyed the Phalanstery; George Ripley's letter to Phineas Eastman on the unsuitability of Eastman's daughter for the Brook Farm school. The contents of the folders are as follows: John Allen (8 items) -- Elizabeth Blackwell (3 items) -- Ellen Channing (1 item) -- William Henry Channing (1 item)-- John Sullivan Dwight (5 items) -- Mary Emerson (1 item) -- Convers Francis (1 item) -- Lizzie Hoxie (1 item) -- D.H. Jacques (1 item) -- Henry James (1 item) -- James Kaye, Jr. (3 items) -- Marianne Dwight Orvis (1 item) -- John Orvis (11 items) -- Samuel Osgood (1 item) -- Anna Q.T. Parsons (1 item) -- George Ripley (1 item) -- Gertrude Sears (1 item) -- Robert Cassie Waterston (1 item) -- H. Ware (1 item) -- Brook Farm correspondence acquisition file (letters from 1837-1958)


  • Creation: 1839-1851


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

Brook Farm was founded by George Ripley in 1841 as a cooperative community based on a transcendental utopian model. The enterprise gradually failed, and the community officially ended in bankruptcy in 1847.


1 Box (1 box, 19 folders)

Language of Materials



Letters are arranged alphabetically by sender's last name.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Brook Farm letters formed a part of Dr. Julian Abernethy's collection of manuscripts, which was willed to Middlebury College at the time of his death in 1923.

Related Materials

Sophia Eastman letter to Mehitable Eastman, archived in Abernethy Collection manuscript miscellany, Authors D-F.

Related Materials

Information related to provenance of these materials available in Archives A11 (Abernethy Library Records).

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