Futility Closet book ad

Priorities

In 1859, Harvard treasurer Henry G. Denny sent out an appeal for funds to buy books for the college library. Among the replies he found this:

Dear Sir,

Enclosed please find five dollars, for the object above described. I would gladly give more, but this exceeds my income from all sources together for the last four months.

Y’rs respectfully,

Henry D. Thoreau