George Ticknor Papers, 1773 - 1870Manuscript MS-983

Introduction to the Collection

The papers of George Ticknor contain a manuscript biography of King John of Saxony, personal correspondence, two memorial books, newspaper clippings, and a ledger documenting Ticknor's role at home in Boston and abroad, with a particular focus on a lifetime's worth of correspondences with King John of Saxony. They also include letters to him, as well as letters and notes collected by him of notable individuals in the arts and sciences, including Friedrich Schiller, Carl Witte, Julius Schnorr, Gottfried August Buerger, Niccolini Giovanni Battista, Lord Acton, Alexis de Tocqueville, Madam de Blaze de Bury, Leicester Stanhope, Count Thun and others. The letters are in English, German, Italian and Spanish. A lock of his hair, cut in 1860, is also included. The papers also contain eighteen journals, numbering 8,900 manuscript pages, chronicling Ticknor's travels from 1815-1819 and 1835-1838.

The first nine volumes document Ticknor's departure from Boston for Europe on April 16th, 1815, until his return home on June 6th, 1819. The journals discuss German universities, and include narrative criticism and observations of European culture. In 1835, Ticknor returned to Europe with his family after nearly two decades teaching at Harvard. The second set of diaries detail his encounters with Dresden society and broader travel within Europe.

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