Finding Aid for the Letters concerning George Harris' +A Philosophical Treatise on the Nature and Constitution of Man+. 1873-1877

Processed by Pat Walter.
Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences
History and Special Collections Division for the Sciences
UCLA
12-077 Center for Health Sciences
Box 951798
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1798
Phone: 310/825-6940
Fax: 310/825-0465
Email: biomed-ref@library.ucla.edu
URL: http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/biomed/his/
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The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Letters concerning George Harris' +A Philosophical Treatise on the Nature and Constitution of Man+.,
Date (inclusive): 1873-1877
Collection number: 10
Creator: Harris, George 1809-1890
Extent: 1 v. (various pagings) ; 22 cm.
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences
Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
Abstract: George Harris (1809-1890) was a barister and judge with strong interests in anthropology and psychology. During 1874-1876, George Harris solicited comments and suggestions from many eminent philosophers, theologians and naturalists concerning the ideas and language of his planned treatise on the nature of man. This collection includes approximately 150 original manuscript letters sent him in reply by 31 correspondents, bound into one octavo-sized volume. In 1876 Harris' work was published in two volumes titled "A Philosophical Treatise on the Nature and Constitution of Man"; in it he quoted from over 100 of these letters.
Physical location: History and Special Collections for the Sciences, Biomedical Library, University of California, Los Angeles
Language of Material: Collection materials in English, French

Access

Collection is available for use.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Letters concerning George Harris' +A Philosophical Treatise on the Nature and Constitution of Man+., 10, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles.

Acquisition Information

The volume bears a small sticker on the rear endpaper: "Ex Libris, C. K. Ogden". Charles Kay Ogden (1889-1957), British psychologist, linguist, and author of "Meaning of Meaning" among many other publications, amassed a vast personal library. After his death, ca. 100,000 of these volumes were bought by the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Biography

George Harris (1809-1890) was articled to his solicitor father at age 16. He subsequently became a partner in his father's firm in Rugby, but just before he reached the age of 30 he left for London to pursue a literary career. After some small success as journalist and editor, he decided to go back to the law and entered the Middle Temple. After ten not very lucrative years as a barrister he became a judge in county courts and finally the court of bankruptcy at Manchester, from which he retired in 1868.
During all his years in the law, Harris continued writing and publishing: e.g., "Life of Lord Chancellor Hardwicke", "Memoir of Lord Brougham", "The Theory of the Arts", and his proposal "The Manuscript Treasures of this Country, and the Best Means of Rendering them Available". He was a member of the Anthropological Society of London, and one of the founders of the Psychological Society.
In 1876 Harris published "A Philosophical Treatise on the Nature and Constitution of Man", the work which elicited the letters described in this collection. To quote from the "Dictionary of National Biography": it was "a work on which he had been engaged intermittently for forty-three years. While many of his theories were novel, his general treatment of the subject reverted to the principles and terminology of the medieval schoolmen, and he completely ignored the methods and conclusions of contemporary scientific psychology".

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 152 holograph letters, according to the numbering which has been added at some time. This numbering is somewhat erratic, however; an early cataloging record specifies "158 pieces". The letters have been folded and are bound into a handsome octavo-sized volume, preceded by a publisher's advertisement for the two-volume edition of "A Philosophical Treatise on the Nature and Constitution of Man," by George Harris. London: George Bell and Sons, 1876. The 18 pages of printed introductory matter consist of: Contents; Extracts; Opinions of the Press. A short paragraph after "Contents" states "Eminent authorities...have been in correspondence with, and have been consulted by the author...". This statement is followed by 24 names listed as "...among the gentlemen who have so kindly aided the undertaking."
Following the printed introductory pages is a two-page handwritten list headed "Letters from", giving the correspondent's name and the letter number or numbers coming from that person. All letters are dated 1873 through 1877 (most from 1874-1875). Letter no.l, from Charles Darwin, was probably missing from the volume at the time it was bound.
The finding aid is organized by series, each series naming one of the correspondents. The form of the names mostly follows the Library of Congress name file. The titles attached to each name are those used by Harris in the "Treatise..." and the identifying notes are mostly taken from the "Dictionary of National Biography".
The collection is organized into the following series:
  • Series 1. Barclay, Hugh, 1799-1884, Mr. Sheriff
  • Series 2. Beddoe, John, 1826-1911, Dr.
  • Series 3. Blake, Charles Carter, 1840-1897, Dr.
  • Series 4. Bloxam, John Rouse, 1807-1891, Rev. Dr.
  • Series 5. Bogouschevsky, Nicolas Casimir de, Baron
  • Series 6. Bray, Charles, 1811-1884, Mr.
  • Series 7. Chaplain of Hanwell Lunatic Asylum (William Grey?)
  • Series 8. Chapman, John, 1821-1894, Dr.
  • Series 9. Clarke, Hyde, 1815-1895, Dr.
  • Series 10. Coleridge, Derwent, 1800-1883, Rev.
  • Series 10. Galton, Francis, Sir, 1822-1911
  • Series 11. Cox, Edward William, 1809-1880, Mr. Serjeant
  • Series 12. Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882, Mr.
  • Series 13. Galton, Francis, 1822-1911, Sir
  • Series 14. Gladstone, W. E. (William Ewart), 1809-1898, Rt. Hon.
  • Series 15. Huxley, Thomas Henry, 1825-1895, Prof.
  • Series 16. Lubbock, John, 1834-1913, Sir
  • Series 17. Maudsley, Henry, 1835-1918, Dr.
  • Series 18. Newman, John Henry, 1801-1890, Rev. Dr.
  • Series 19. Plumptre, Charles John, 1818-1887, Prof.
  • Series 20. Quatrefages, A. de (Armand), 1810-1892, Prof.
  • Series 21. Richardson, Benjamin Ward, Sir, 1828-1896, Dr.
  • Series 22. Rogers, Charles (1825-1890), Rev.
  • Series 23. Sainte Croix, Le Roy de
  • Series 24. Seager, Charles (possibly 1808-1878), Prof.
  • Series 25. Smee, Alfred, 1818-1877, Mr.
  • Series 26. Sopwith, Thomas, 1803–1879, Mr.
  • Series 27. Tagore, Ganendro Mohun, 1826 – 1890, Mr.
  • Series 28. Vaughan, Charles John, 1816-1897, Rev. Dr.
  • Series 29. Wake, C. Staniland (Charles Staniland), 1835-1910 , Mr.
  • Series 30. Wallace, Alfred Russel, 1823-1913, Mr.
  • Series 31. Wood, J. G. (John George), 1827-1889, Rev.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Darwin, Charles Robert, 1809-1882
Harris, George, 1809-1890.
English letters--19th century
Philosophical anthropology


Container List

 

Series 1. Barclay, Hugh, 1799-1884, Mr. Sheriff

 

Letter #143 1876

Note

judge, sheriff-substitute of Dunblane and Perthshire, author of legal works
 

Series 2. Beddoe, John, 1826-1911, Dr.

 

Letter #52 1875

Note

physician and anthropologist, author
 

Series 3. Blake, Charles Carter, 1840-1897, Dr.

 

Letters #134, 134a, 135-138 1873-1875

Scope and Content Note

the first page of letter #138 seems to be missing

Note

Lecturer on Comparative Anatomy and Zoology, Westminster Hospital
 

Series 4. Bloxam, John Rouse, 1807-1891, Rev. Dr.

 

Letters #35-37, 42 1875-1876

Scope and Content Note

in letters #35-37 Rev. Bloxam serves as an intermediary between Cardinal Newman and Mr. Harris; letter #42 is more directly personal, thanking Mr. Harris for the gift of his 2-vol. "Treatise on Man"

Note

Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, Doctor of Divinity
 

Series 5. Bogouschevsky, Nicolas Casimir de, Baron

 

Letters #146-152 1877-1878

Scope and Content Note

letters in English, written from Pskof, Russia

Note

Russian landholder
 

Series 6. Bray, Charles, 1811-1884, Mr.

 

Letters #144-145 1876

Note

a freethinker and social reformer interested in phrenology, mesmerism and spiritualism
 

Series 7. Chaplain of Hanwell Lunatic Asylum (William Grey?)

 

Letter #139 1874

Note

the letter's signature is hard to decipher - it might be William Grey; Harris quotes from the letter in his treatise but identifies the source only as "The chaplain of one of our largest lunatic asylums..."; in the handwritten contents list bound into the letters volume, the writer is listed as "the Chaplain of Hanwell Lunatic Asylum"
 

Series 8. Chapman, John, 1821-1894, Dr.

 

Letter #92-93 1874

Scope and Content Note

there is only one letter, which had two numbers assigned to it

Note

physician and publisher, known for "editorship of the leading intellectual journal of the period, "The Westminster Review", his medical activities, and championing of radical causes"
 

Series 9. Clarke, Hyde, 1815-1895, Dr.

 

Letter #133 undated

Scope and Content Note

the letter has no salutation or date, so the first page might be missing

Note

engineer, philologist, author, member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science
 

Series 10. Coleridge, Derwent, 1800-1883, Rev.

 

Letter #109 1875

Note

Rector of Hanwell and Prebendary of St. Paul
 

Series 11. Cox, Edward William, 1809-1880, Mr. Serjeant

 

Letters #75-79 1872-1875

Note

Serjeant-at-law, President of the Psychological Society
 

Series 12. Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882, Mr.

 

Letters #1-4 1874-1875

Scope and Content Note

letter #1 is listed in the handwritten contents list but seems to have been missing at the time the volume was bound: a folded blank sheet is included in its stead

Note

naturalist, geologist, and originator of the theory of natural selection
 

Series 13. Galton, Francis, 1822-1911, Sir

 

Letters #42a, 43-47 1874-1876

Note

biostatistician, human geneticist, eugenicist and author
 

Series 14. Gladstone, W. E. (William Ewart), 1809-1898, Rt. Hon.

 

Letters #33-34 1875-1876

Note

British prime minister and author
 

Series 15. Huxley, Thomas Henry, 1825-1895, Prof.

 

Letters #8-10 1874-1875

Note

biologist and science educationist
 

Series 16. Lubbock, John, 1834-1913, Sir

 

Letters #5-7 1875

Note

English banker, politician, naturalist and archaeologist
 

Series 17. Maudsley, Henry, 1835-1918, Dr.

 

Letters #67-72 1874-1876

Note

medical psychologist and author
 

Series 18. Newman, John Henry, 1801-1890, Rev. Dr.

 

Letters #38-41 1875-1876

Scope and Content Note

letter #38 is addressed to John Bloxam; the others are addressed to Harris

Note

Anglican theologian who converted to Catholicism and was named a cardinal; author
 

Series 19. Plumptre, Charles John, 1818-1887, Prof.

 

Letters #94-107 1874-1876

Scope and Content Note

the numbers have been assigned to the letters somewhat erratically

Note

barrister and writer, edited two volumes of "The County Courts' Chronicle (1860–61)" with George Harris
 

Series 20. Quatrefages, A. de (Armand), 1810-1892, Prof.

 

Letters #64-66 1874-1876

Scope and Content Note

letters in French, sent from Paris

Note

Jean Louis Armand de Quatrefages de Bréau, physician, professor of natural history, member of the French Academy of Sciences
 

Series 21. Richardson, Benjamin Ward, Sir, 1828-1896, Dr.

 

Letters #11-32, 32a, 32b, 32c 1873-1875

Scope and Content Note

includes some paragraphs of Harris' original printed proofs, with annotations

Note

British physician, physiologist, sanitarian and writer on medical history
 

Series 22. Rogers, Charles (1825-1890), Rev.

 

Letter #142 1876

Note

Church of Scotland minister and historian
 

Series 23. Sainte Croix, Le Roy de

 

Letters #114-121 undated-1877

Scope and Content Note

in French, sent from London

Note

in his volumes, Harris refers to this correspondent as Le Roy; in the handwritten contents list bound with the letters he is referred to as Dr. de Sainte Croix (Paris); the signature is L. R. de Sainte Croix; there are records of an author by that name with the appropriate years of 1834-1882, whose books concern French history
 

Series 24. Seager, Charles (possibly 1808-1878), Prof.

 

Letters #140-141 1874-1875

Note

orientalist, graduate of Magdalen College, converted to Catholicism, taught at Catholic University College, Kensington
 

Series 25. Smee, Alfred, 1818-1877, Mr.

 

Letters #48-51 1875

Note

chemist and surgeon, MCRS
 

Series 26. Sopwith, Thomas, 1803–1879, Mr.

 

Letters #53-63 1874-1875

Note

surveyor and civil engineer, fellow of the Royal Society
 

Series 27. Tagore, Ganendro Mohun, 1826 – 1890, Mr.

 

Letters #122-132 1874-1875

Note

first Asian to be called to the English bar, 1862, professor of Hindu Law, University College, London
 

Series 28. Vaughan, Charles John, 1816-1897, Rev. Dr.

 

Letter #108 1874

Note

headmaster of Harrow School, Master of the Temple, headmaster and dean of Llandaff
 

Series 29. Wake, C. Staniland (Charles Staniland), 1835-1910 , Mr.

 

Letters #80-91 1874-1875

Note

anthropologist, author
 

Series 30. Wallace, Alfred Russel, 1823-1913, Mr.

 

Letters #73-74 1874

Note

naturalist and evolutionary theorist
 

Series 31. Wood, J. G. (John George), 1827-1889, Rev.

 

Letters #110-113 1874-1876

Note

natural historian and microscopist