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John Stuart Mill papers

 Collection
Call Number: MS 350

Scope and Contents

The John Stuart Mill Collection extends from 1812 - 1888, with around 425 items, mainly correspondence to or from John Stuart Mill. There are 237 letters by Mill, 131 of which are to his wife, Harriet (Hardy) Taylor Mill. Twenty-four letters are from Helen Taylor (1831 - 1907), Mrs. Mill's daughter.

The collection contains letters from Jeremy Bentham (1748 - 1832) to James Mill and John Stuart Mill. Bentham's philosophy was very influential upon James Mill and John Stuart Mill in his early years.

Letters to or from John Sterling (1806 - 1844), John Austin (1790 1859), Augustus DeMorgan (1806 - 1871), Edward Livingston Youmans (1806 - 1873), Herbert Spencer (1820 - 1903), and George Grote (1794 - 1871) are important to the collection. George Grote's friendship is particularly vital to Mill's own thought. The Grote - Mill letters contain discussion of Platonic thought in conjunction with Aristotle, Socrates, and Xanophon. Augutus DeMorgan's letters contain discussions of Plato and Comte.

Of the female correspondents, an Isabella Beecher Hooker (1822 - 1907) letter of August 10, l869, covers Mill's book, The Subjection of Women, as well as some Hooker thoughts on woman suffrage.

Mill's own copious letters to Harriet give a thorough account of their, relationship and the overpowering influence which she held on his life. The subject is well covered in F. A. Hayek's work, John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor. The friendship was ostensibly one of equality, as reflected in Mill's letters contained in the collection.

The John Stuart Mill Collection reveals much of Mill's personal life and an ample amount of his published philosophy. Anyone interested in philosophy as it developed in the nineteenth century would find the Mill correspondence valuable.

Dates

  • 1812-1888

Creator

Language

English

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired through purchase and gift, 1944-1964.

Extent

3.5 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/mssa.ms.0350

Overview

Chiefly correspondence, to or from Mill. Of the 237 letters by Mill, 131 are to his wife, Harriet Hardy Taylor Mill. Twenty-four letters are from Helen Taylor, Mrs. Mill's daughter. In addition there are two volumes with drafts of letters by Mill written between 1851 and 1858 to a variety of recipients. Notable correspondents in the collection are John Austin, Jeremy Bentham, Augustus De Morgan, Isabella Beecher Hooker, George Grote, John Sterling and Edward Livingston Youmans. Other manuscript material includes four pages of his autobiography (dated 1861), his journal of a walking tour through Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey (1828) and several undated fragments, including several pages of medical advice to an unnamed person.

Biographical / Historical

John Stuart Mill, philosopher, and the eldest son of James Mill (1773 - l836), a utilitarian philosopher, was born in Pentonville, London, on May 20, 1806. Mill was sternly educated by his father in Greek, Latin, and arithmetic by his eighth year. At twelve years, he began studying logic, including Aristotle and Hobbes. In May 1820, he became a serious scholar of French, while living with Sir Samuel Bentham (1757 - 1831) in France.

In 1822, Mill went to work for the East India Company, a position that gave him much time for study and discussion. He began writing for newspapers by 1823, his first article being a letter in the Traveller.

Mill suffered a mental breakdown in 1836, which caused evaluation of the utilitarian philosophy and the beginning of his great works. A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive appeared in two volumes in l843.

In 1830, Mill met Mrs. Harriet Taylor (1807 - 1858), who was at the time married; however, Mr. Taylor died in 1849; and in 1851, J. Mill and Harriet Taylor were married. Both were ill during the majority of their marriage, and Mrs. Mill died of lung congestion in Avignon, 1858. Mill returned to intellectual pursuits and politics; he served Parliament in 1865, but was defeated in 1868. Mill died May 8, 1873, in Avignon.

For a chart outlining the genealogical relations of the Mill, Hardy, and Taylor families, please consult theGenealogical Chart.

Appendix: Correspondents

  1. Adams, Sarah Fuller (Flower) (1805 - 1848)
  2. Amberley, John Russell, Viscount, (1842 - 1878)
  3. American and Continental Literary Agency
  4. Argyll, George Douglas Campbell, Eighth Duke, (1823 - 1900)
  5. Arnold, Sir Edwin, (1832 - 1904)
  6. Ashburton, William Bingham Baring, Second Baron, (1799 - 1864)
  7. Austin, John, (1790 - 1859)
  8. Avignon, France
  9. Baer, Constantino
  10. Bain, Alexander, (1806 - 1873)
  11. Barnard, James Munson, (1819 - 1904)
  12. Beal, James
  13. Beggs, Thomas
  14. Bentham, Jeremy, (1748 - 1832)
  15. Bernays, Leopold John, (1820 - 1882)
  16. Bevans, John
  17. Bigot, Mary Healy
  18. Cairnes, Eliza Charlotte (Alexander)
  19. Cairnes, John Elliot
  20. Campbell, Alexander ,
  21. Cazelles, Emile Honore, (1831 - )
  22. Cazelles, Marie Anne Clotilde (Peyron)
  23. Chapman, Dr. John (1822 - 1894)
  24. Chape, Auguste Joanny
  25. Christie, William Dougal (1816 - l874)
  26. Colet, Madame Louise
  27. Cowper, Thomas A.
  28. DeMorgan Augustus (1806 - 1871)
  29. Derby, Edward George Geoffrey Smith Stanley, Fourteenth Earl, (1799 - 1869)
  30. Dilke, Sir Charles Vlentworth (1843 - 1911)
  31. Duffy, charles Garvari, (1816 - 1903)
  32. Fawcett, Dame Mellicent (Garett), (1847 - 1929)
  33. Fawcett, Henry, (1833 - 1884)
  34. Flower, Eliza, (1803 - 1846)
  35. Fox, Eliza (Florance)
  36. Fox, William Johnson, (1786 - 1864)
  37. Godwin, Parke, (1816 - 1901)
  38. Graham, William, (1839 - 1911)
  39. Grant, Horace
  40. Grey, Henry George, Third Earl, (1802 - 1894)
  41. Grote, George, (1794 - 1871)
  42. Gurney, Dr. H. Cecil
  43. Hardy, Arthur
  44. Hare, Eleanor Bowes (Benson)
  45. Hare, Thomas (1806 - 1891)
  46. Harrison, Frederick, (1831 - 1923)
  47. Helps, Sir Arthur, (1813 - 1875)
  48. Herbert, Auberon Edward William Malyneux, (1838 - 1906)
  49. Herschel, Sir John Frederick William, (1792 - 1871)
  50. Hobart, Vere Henry Hobart, Baron, (1818 - 187,)
  51. Hooker, Isabella Beecher, (1822 - 1907)
  52. Howitt, Mary Botham, (1799 - 1888)
  53. Huth, Augusta LouisA Sophia (Westenholz), ( - 1889)
  54. Irvine, Alexander, (1793 - 1873)
  55. Leslie, Thomas Edward Cliffe, (1827? - 1882)
  56. Ley, William
  57. Linett, James
  58. Longman, William, 1813 - 1877)
  59. Lord, Caroline Annie (Ley), (1847 - )
  60. McLaren, Agnes
  61. McLaren, Donnan, (1800 - 1886)
  62. Martin, Louis
  63. Matthew, Patrick
  64. Mazzini, Guiseppe, (1805 - 1872)
  65. Mill, Harriet (Hardy) Taylor, (1807 - 1858)
  66. Mill, John Stuart, (1806 - 1813)
  67. Morley, John, Viscount, (1838 - 1923)
  68. National Association for the Promotion of Social Science
  69. Paterson, John
  70. Pascal, Eugene
  71. Peirce, Charles Saunders, (1839 - 1911)
  72. Phin , John
  73. Political Economy Club, London
  74. Roebuck, John Arthur (1801 - 1879)
  75. Ruge, Arnold, (1802 - 1880)
  76. Rusden, H. K.
  77. Salisbury, Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne Cecil, Third Marquess of, (1830 - 1880)
  78. Schaeffer, J.
  79. Shirreff, Emily Anne Eliza, (lR14 - 1897)
  80. Smith, Goldwin, (1823 - 1910)
  81. Spencer, Herbert, (1820- 1903)
  82. Sterling, John , (1806 - I844)
  83. Taine, Hippolyte Adolphe, (1828 - 1893)
  84. Tauchnitz, Christian Bernhard von, (1816 - 1895)
  85. Taylor, Helen, (1831 - 1907)
  86. Taylor, Helen B.
  87. Taylor, R.
  88. Taylor, Sarah
  89. Thornton, William Thomas, (1813 - 1880)
  90. Trask, James
  91. Trubner &Co.
  92. Venturi, Emilie (Ashurst) Hawkes, ( - 1893)
  93. Villari, Pasquale, (183h - 1917)
  94. White, Horace, (1834 - 1916)
  95. Youmans, Edward Livingston, (182 1 - 1887)
Title
Guide to the John Stuart Mill Papers
Author
compiled by staff of Manuscripts and Archives
Date
1998
Language of description
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • May 1998: Finding aid revision description not supplied.

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
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