Today at the age of 78, in the year 1882, poet Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) breathed his last breath. While some remember Emerson as a poet, he was also a popular essayist and philosopher.
1 ) Ralph Waldo Emerson was a leader in the Transcendentalism movement in America.
2 ) At the age of 14, Emerson was the youngest student in his class at Harvard. He graduated from Harvard Divinity School as a Unitarian minister.
3 ) Emerson left the Unitarian church in 1832 due to philosophical differences.
4 ) Ahead of his time, Emerson was both a supporter of the suffrage and abolitionists movements.
5 ) Emerson’s nickname among his friends was “The Sage of Concord”.
6 ) In 1836 Emerson published his essay title Nature anonymously. The topic was transcendentalism and was considered controversial hence the essay was published anonymously.
7 ) Some of Emerson’s friends included Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Wordsworth, and Henry David Thoreau.
8 ) Most of Emerson’s important essays were first written as lectures and then revised for print.
9 ) Emerson was disappointed that President Abraham Lincoln cared more about preserving the union than freeing the slaves. His views about the President soften after a meeting on 1 February 1862 at the White House and even spoke at a memorial service held for Lincoln in Concord.
10) Towards the end of his life, Emerson suffered from memory loss. Once he even forgot the name of the person who was buried during a funeral. That person was dear friend Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Zohar – Man of la Book.
- How to Have a Conversation with God. ~ Tom Rapsas (elephantjournal.com)
- Magazine Founded by Ralph Waldo Emerson Now Publishing Rage Comics [The Atlantic] (gawker.com)
- Image of the Week: Ralph Waldo Emerson (nines.org)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson’s head made out of electrical outlets and switches (boingboing.net)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Rendered in Electrical Sockets (neatorama.com)
Dementia in any one is a sad affair, but especially so when you know it to be a brilliant mind. I cannot believe he forgot friend Longfellow’s name at his funeral! And it warms my heart to know that Emerson was a liberal against slavery, I knew I liked him for more than just his brilliant works!!!
Very interesting facts! Thanks for this post. 🙂
Wow, he really forgot Longfellow’s name while giving the service at his funeral? That’s unreal. Also sad–a brilliant mind like that slowly slipping into oblivion.
Emerson is one of my wife’s favorite authors. She’ll dig this post. Thanks!
Jonathan @ I Read a Book Once