Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (who preferred to be called Waldo) was born in Boston on the 3rd of May, 1803.  Known as the “Sage of Concord,” Emerson was an original thinker best known for his poems, essays and other writings. 

His world view (referred to as Transcendentalism) was shared by other thinkers, such as Henry David Thoreau.  The Transcendentalists were the driving force behind America's nineteenth-century literary renaissance.

During April of 1882, Mr. Emerson took a walk during a rain storm.  Two weeks later, on the 27th of April, he died of pneumonia.  The citizens of Concord marked his passing by ringing the town's bell seventy-nine times - one for each year of his life. 

He was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, and his Concord (Massachusetts) home is now a national historic landmark and museum.

Media Credits

Photograph from Ralph Waldo Emerson: An Estimate of His Character and Genius in Prose and in Verse, by Amos Bronson Alcott.  Published in Boston by A. Williams and Co., 1882.) 

Houghton Library, at Harvard University, is the principal repository of Emerson’s archives.


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