Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Thomas Wentworth Higginson

We admit being late in writing about Thomas Wentworth Higginson. He was a contributor to, and editor of, the Massachusetts Magazine. Earlier, we looked at R.A. Douglas-Litghow, MD, LLD and F. B. Sanborn.

Today, I saw that several authors, including F.B. and Dr. Frank, had written about Thomas after he died (TMM, Vol. IV (1911), No. 3, pg 139). F.B. noted that he had corresponded with Thomas in regard to a topic that we addressed earlier (Final migration), in a different context. We quoted Cordley's book about the early efforts to found Lawrence, KS. There have been several posts about the long reach of New England into the western part of the country.

F.B. gives us a deeper look at the activity of Thomas in this regard. He helped form the State Kansas Committee. He was an active abolitionist. One motivation was the Charles Sumner attack. Charles was beaten in the Senate by a Southern Representative (1856). Too, Thomas, personally, knew, and admired, John Brown (more on that later). And, events in bleeding Kansas had gotten more violent.

There were several names for the Committee, such as The National Kansas Committee, as reported by The National Magazine, in Vol.17 (1893). Wikipedia does not have a page for this activity which is an oversight to be fixed.

Related material at Territorial Kansas On-line.

Thomas printed his notes and letters (in the New York Tribune) from his 1856 visit to Kanzas. Thomas stopped in several towns and wrote a lot of Lawrence. He gives us a view of the area just prior to the Civil War which ensued, largely, from those events out west.

We will look at all aspects of Thomas' life. He is [almost] a descendant of Thomas Gardner of Salem. Thomas was also first President of The Old Planters Society.
  • Note: 03/07/2022 -- Thomas' grandfather, John (#10, pg 13), married, in 1695, a descendant of Thomas and had six children. She died in 1713. His second wife was the mother of Stephen, father of Thomas. 
Several of the TMM authors had ventured west. For instance, Judge Francis M. Thompson, of Greenfield, MA, toured the west following Lewis and Clark. Too, he was a pioneer of Montana.


We used Col. T. W. Higginson (WikiTree, Higginson-380) as an example of the "Blended family" that was so common. This example comes from the early times and was documented by T. W. himself which we show with these two images. First, we have T. W.'s description of himself. 

 Then, we show the association of two of his great aunts with Harvard men: John Thornton Kirkland and A. Lawrence Lowell.  

Higginson and Harvard

Remarks: Modified: 09/23/2022

06/15/2017 -- Thomas donated his files related to Kansas to the Kansas Historical Society. Story of His Life (1914) by Mary Potter Thacher Higginson. "Kansas and John Brown" from The Writings of Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

07/11/2017 -- In 1929, a plague was put in a park in Lawrence, KS. It lists the names of the members of the first two parties. Thomas W. Higginson arrive two years later.

07/12/2017 -- Sanborn and Higginson were in the Secret Six.

08/13/2017 -- Posts on Lawrence (and surrounds): Trails WestWestward HoBlogging and suchFinal MigrationThomas Wentworth HigginsonKansas and Lawrence.

03/07/2019 -- Added image from this post to the index on our portal to truth.

09/16/2019 -- The Colonel wrote a book on his ancestor, Rev. Francis Higginson, who is buried in the Charter Street Cemetery in Salem, MA.

03/07/2022 -- The WikiTree profile for Thomas W. Higginson (Higginson-380) is fairly complete. 

09/23/2022 -- Added info from Col T.W.'s book about his lineage. There are many Harvard graduates mentioned, both related and of a collateral family. Higginson was old Cambridge University. 

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