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Chapter 19:

In 1823 Mr. Ticknor was chosen a Trustee of the Boston Athenaeum, and at one time was its Vice-President, and he became greatly interested in enlarging the scope and extending the usefulness of this excellent institution. An effort was made in 1826 to increase its funds, which was successful, chiefly through the liberality of Colonel Thomas H. Perkins, and of his brother, Mr. James Perkins. With this was combined a project to unite the various subscription and society libraries of the city in one organization with the Athenaeum; and of this plan Mr. Ticknor, with his liberal views of the needs of public culture, was one of the most earnest promoters. Unfortunately the difficulties in carrying out the entire scheme proved insurmountable.

During the winter of 1826 Mr. Ticknor, in addition to his other occupations and pursuits, was much engaged in these efforts, in personally seeking subscriptions, and in preparing lists of books to be added to the library. The following letter to Mr. Webster contains some account of the plan:—

To Mr. Webster.

Boston, February 2, 1826.
my dear Sir,—We are much indebted to you for your agreeable letter, and I should have answered it sooner, but really, when every mornings breakfast-table was covered with the debates on the Judiciary Bill, I could not find it in my conscience. However, you have

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