THIS biography is based almost entirely upon the writings of Parker and of his contemporaries: it was a remarkably articulate and self-conscious group, and it left an historical record embarrassingly voluminous. The main body of Parker material is deposited in the library of the Massachusetts Historical Society- some twenty volumes of letters, journals, and notebooks. The Boston Public Library has a considerable collection of Parker manuscripts and clippings: eleven volumes of sermons, letters, clippings, and so on, collected by Rebecca and Matilda Goddard; two volumes of letters and clippings assembled by Miss Caroline Thayer; the Rufus Leighton scrapbook; a volume of material relating to Parker's South Boston sermon; a volume of clippings and posters on the fugitive slave cases, and another on Anthony Burns; several volumes of manuscript sermons, a day-book, a list of lectures, and a two-volume manuscript index of the Parker library. Here, too, are the William Lloyd Garrison manuscripts which contain some of Parker's letters. Parker left his library of some fifteen thousand volumes to the Boston Public Library: the collection has been maintained as a unit. Mr. Lewis Gannett generously permitted me to use two boxes of clippings and notes about Parker which had been collected by the Reverend William C. Gannett.
Parker's writings have been collected in two editions. The first was that edited by Frances Cobbe; "The Collected Works of Theodore Parker," 14 vols. ( London, 1863- 1874). The editorial work was not well done; there are some duplications, some omissions, and the arrangement of material leaves much to be desired. Not until almost half a century later did circumstances in the United States justify a similar collection. In 1910 the American Unitarian Association, tardily recognizing their debt to Parker, brought out a fifteen-volume edition of his "Works" ( Boston,