Sanborn, Franklin Benjamin, 1831–1917, American journalist, author, and philanthropist, b. Hampton Falls, N.H., grad. Harvard, 1855. An active abolitionist, he was a friend and agent of John Brown, although he disapproved of the Harpers Ferry raid. He was a correspondent of the Springfield Republican, editor (1863–67) of the Boston Commonwealth, and a founder of the American Social Science Association and editor (1867–97) of its journal. He served as secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Charities and helped found the Massachusetts Infant Asylum, the Clarke School for Deaf Mutes, and the National Prison Association. Long a resident in Concord, he wrote valuable biographies of Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, W. E. Channing, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and others.
See B. P. Broadhurst, Social Thought, Social Practice, and Social Work Education (1971).