Publisher Information: Boston: 1873.
Emerson, George Barrell (1797-1881). Autograph letter signed to Edward Emerson Bourne (1797-1873). 3 Pemberton Square [Boston], March 27, 1873. 2 pages. 206 x 128 mm. Minor offsetting but very good.
Emerson, American educator, botanist and president of the Boston Society of Natural History, was a pioneer of the American conservation movement. He was the author of the influential Report on the Trees and Shrubs Growing Naturally in the Forests of Massachusetts (1846), one of the earliest pleas for "a wiser economy" in the use of forests. Emerson was also largely responsible for the foundation of Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum (est. 1872), the oldest public arboretum in North America and one of the world's leading centers for the study of plants. As an educator, Emerson served as the first headmaster of Boston's English Classical School (later renamed English High School), the first public high school in the United States. He was also a pioneer in women's education, founding a school for young women in 1823 and lecturing widely on the education of girls and women.
Emerson's letter, written to Justice Edward Emerson Bourne, a trustee of Bowdoin College, deals with books and periodicals that Emerson was having sent, most likely on behalf of the college. Among the books were copies of Chambers's Vestiges of Creation, Carlyle's French Revolution and Emerson's own Memoir of Samuel Joseph May, which had just been published. Emerson also asked his correspondent whether he had seen Emerson's paper on forests in the Christian Register. Hay, "George Barrell Emerson and the establishment of the Arnold Arboretum," Arnoldia (Fall 1994): 12-21. 40652Book Id: 40652