Sylvester Judd (July 23, 1813 – January 26, 1853) was an American novelist.
Sylvester Judd III was born on July 23, 1813, in Westhampton, Massachusetts to Sylvester Judd II and Apphia Hall. He studied at Hopkins Academy in Hadley, Massachusetts, graduated from Yale College in 1836, and from Harvard Divinity School in 1840. While a student, on April 4, 1838, Judd traveled to Concord, Massachusetts to meet Ralph Waldo Emerson after reading his essay "Epic Poetry". Emerson was pleased by Judd's interest in seeking a mystical identification with Christ.
Judd was ordained a Unitarian minister on October 1, 1840, becoming pastor of a church in Augusta, Maine. Early in 1841, Judd met Jane Elizabeth Williams, the daughter of United States Senator Reuel Williams. The couple married on August 31, 1841; they had three children.
American critic and poet James Russell Lowell called Judd's novel Margaret "the most emphatically American book ever written". He mentioned the novel in his long satire A Fable for Critics (1848) as "the first Yankee book / With the soul of Down East in 't, and things farther East". In a 39-page review, however, critic William Bourne Oliver Peabody called the work unfinished and its characters and style inconsistent. After publishing his novel Philo, Judd sent a copy to Edward Everett Hale, who responded, "I think Philo glorious."
- 1838: A Young Man's Account of his Conversion from Calvinism
- 1845: Margaret: A Tale of the Real and the Ideal, Blight and Bloom; Including Sketches of a Place Not Before Described, Called Mons Christi, a Transcendentalist novel (revised 1851)
- 1850: Philo: An Evangeliad, a religious poem
- 1850: Richard Edney and the Governor's Family: A Rus-Urban Tale
- 1854: The Church, in a Series of Discourses
- The White Hills (a novel unpublished during his lifetime)
He also produced a large number of sermons and religious addresses.
- Dedmond, Francis B. Sylvester Judd. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1980: 17. ISBN 0-8057-7305-3
- Hathaway, Richard D. Sylvester Judd's New England. Pennsylvania State University Press, 1981: 41. ISBN 0-271-00307-3
- Dedmond, Francis B. Sylvester Judd. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1980: 33. ISBN 0-8057-7305-3
- Dedmond, Francis B. Sylvester Judd. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1980: 39. ISBN 0-8057-7305-3
- Gura, Philip F. American Transcendentalism: A History. New York: Hill and Wang, 2007: 198. ISBN 0-8090-3477-8
- Hathaway, Richard D. Sylvester Judd's New England. Pennsylvania State University Press, 1981: 13. ISBN 0-271-00307-3
- Dedmond, Francis B. Sylvester Judd. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1980: 77–78. ISBN 0-8057-7305-3
- Hathaway, Richard D. Sylvester Judd's New England. Pennsylvania State University Press, 1981: 349. ISBN 0-271-00307-3
- Eliot, Samuel A. Heralds of a Liberal Faith. Boston: American Unitarian Association, 1910. (pp. 301–307) googlebooks Retrieved May 4, 2008
- Sylvester Judd (the present subject's father), Thomas Judd and His Descendants, J. &. L. Metcalf, Northampton, 1856.
- Arethusa Hall, Life and Character of Sylvester Judd, Boston, 1854.