Photographer's Note

The House of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord, MA

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, philosopher, poet, and leader of the Transcendentalist movement in the early 19th century.

Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. As a result of this ground breaking work he gave a speech entitled The American Scholar in 1837, which is considered to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence." He once said "Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you."

Considered one of the great orators of the time, Emerson's enthusiasm and respect for his audience enraptured crowds. His support for abolitionism late in life created controversy, and at times he was subject to abuse from crowds while speaking on the topic, however this was not always the case. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was "the infinitude of the private man."

Emerson lived most of his adult life at his home in Concord, MA. From there he wrote his well known essays, such as Self-Reliance and The American Scholar; cultivated friendships with Bronson Alcott, Henry Thoreau, Margaret Fuller and others; and traveled throughout the United States and Europe to give lectures on moral character, spiritual insight, education, political power and reform, the arts and sciences, and the social order.

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Additional Photos by Greg Davis (Greg1949) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1443 W: 102 N: 2512] (9011)
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