Franklin Benjamin Sanborn

Franklin Benjamin Sanborn

Sanborn, Franklin Benjamin, 1831-1917, American journalist, author, and philanthropist, b. Hampton Falls, N.H., grad. Harvard, 1855. An active abolitionist, he was a friend and agent of John Brown, although he disapproved of the Harpers Ferry raid. He was a correspondent of the Springfield Republican, editor (1863-67) of the Boston Commonwealth, and a founder of the American Social Science Association and editor (1867-97) of its journal. He served as secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Charities and helped found the Massachusetts Infant Asylum, the Clarke School for Deaf Mutes, and the National Prison Association. Long a resident in Concord, he wrote valuable biographies of Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, W. E. Channing, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and others.

See B. P. Broadhurst, Social Thought, Social Practice, and Social Work Education (1971).

Franklin Benjamin Sanborn (December 15, 1831February 24, 1917) was an American journalist, author, and reformer. Sanborn was a social scientist, and a memorialist of American transcendentalism who wrote early biographies of many of the movement's key figures. He founded the American Social Science Association, in 1865, "to treat wisely the great social problems of the day." He was a member of the Secret Six, or "Committee of Six," that funded the militant abolitionist John Brown.

Sanborn was born at Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, the son of Aaron and Lydia (Leavitt) Sanborn. He graduated Harvard in 1855. As secretary of the Massachusetts Kansas Commission he came into close touch with John Brown.

From 1863 to 1867 Sanborn was an editor of the Boston Commonwealth, from 1867 to 1897 of the Journal of Social Science, and from 1868 to 1914 a correspondent of the Springfield Republican.

He was one of the founders of, and was closely identified with, the American Social Science Association, the National Prison Association, the National Conference of Charities, the Clarke School for the Deaf, the Massachusetts Infant Asylum, and the Concord School of Philosophy.

From 1874 to 1876 he was chairman of the Massachusetts State Board of Charities, and from 1879 to 1888 State Inspector of Charities. He lectured at Cornell, Smith, and Wellesley, edited writings of Thoreau, Paul Jones, J. H. Payne, Mary Shelley, and Thomas Love Peacock, and also published a number of books. He lived at Concord, Massachusetts.


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