Biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Celebrated Americans





RALPH WALDO EMERSON was one of the most noted literary men of his. time. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, May 25, 1803. He had a minister for an ancestor, either on the paternal or maternal side, in every generation for eight generations back. His father, Rev. William Emerson, was a native of Concord, Massachusetts, born May 6, 1769, graduated at Harvard, in 1789, became a Unitarian minister; was a fine writer and one of the best orators of his day; died in 1811.

Ralph Waldo Emerson was fitted for college at the public schools of Boston, and graduated at Harvard College in 1821, winning about this time several prizes for essays. For five years he taught school in Boston; in 1826 was licensed to preach, and in 1829 was ordained as a colleague to Rev. Henry Ware of the Second Unitarian church in Boston. In 1832 he resigned, making the announcement in a sermon of his tinwillingness longer to administer the rite of the Lord's Supper, after which he spent about a year in Europe. Upon his return he began his career as a lecturer before the Boston Mechanics Institute, his subject being "Water." His early lectures on "Italy" and "Relation of Man to the Globe" also attractedconsiderable attention; as did also his biographical lectures on Michael Angelo, Milton, Luther, George Fox, and Edmund Burke,. After that time he gave many courses of lectures in Boston and became one of the best known lecturers in America. But very few men have rendered such continued service in this field. He lectured for forty successive seasons before the Salem, Massachusetts, Lyceum and also made repeated lecturing tours in this country and in England. In 1835 Mr. Emerson took up his residence at Concord, Massachusetts, where he continued to make his home until his death which occurred April 27, 1882.

Mr. Emerson's literary work covered a wide scope. He wrote and published many works, essays and poems, which rank high among the works of American literary men. A few of the many which he produced are the following: "Nature;" ''The Method of Nature;" ''Man Thinking;" "The Dial;" ''Essays;" "Poems;" ''English Traits;" "The Conduct of Life;" "May-Day and other Poems " and ''Society and Solitude;" besides many others. He was a prominent member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of the American Philosophical Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society and other kindred associations.


FROM:
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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