Life and Letters of Henry Lee Higginson

Life and Letters of Henry Lee Higginson

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Life and Letters of Henry Lee Higginson

Life and Letters of Henry Lee Higginson

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Excerpt

The material for a life of Henry Lee Higginson is abundant. He had a fondness for keeping letters and memoranda, and the correspondence to which I have had access is enormous in quantity, and covers a period of more than seventy years. During both of his long sojourns in Europe, in his youth, he kept diaries, as he did for a while during the Civil War; and later in life he dictated some vivid Reminiscences. He was passionately devoted to his friends, and wrote them with the great est frankness; and among his correspondents -- who were equally frank -- were some of the most interesting men of his generation.

In the earlier chapters I have drawn freely upon his correspondence with his father, George Higginson, and upon Henry's European diaries. The Civil War chapters utilize many hitherto unpublished letters from Charles Francis Adams, Greely S. Curtis, and other army comrades. In telling the story of Major Higginson's adventures with oil-wells in Ohio and with a cotton plantation in Georgia, during 1865 and 1866, I have had the assistance of Mrs. Higginson's diaries. In giving an account of the early years of Lee, Higginson and Co., I have been permitted to use an unpublished sketch of the history of the firm, by the late Professor Barrett Wendell. The chapter on the founding of the Boston Symphony Orchestra could scarcely have been written without the aid of the History of the Orchestra by M. A. DeWolfe Howe. In the chapter dealing with Major Higginson's relations with Harvard and other colleges, I have been particularly aided by his correspondence with President Eliot, President Lowell, Dean Briggs, and Professor William James. Henry Adams was another lifelong friend whose letters are frequently quoted, and Major Higginson's interest in public . . .

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