One of Americas most influential thinkers and authors was Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803. Emerson’s dad died when he was only eight, which forced his mom to take in boarders to support the family’s needs.
When Emerson was only 14, he entered Harvard, where he ran became a sort of secretary for the president of the university. When he graduated Harvard, at age 18, he became a teacher. When he got tired or teaching, he enrolled in the Divinity School, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to become a preacher.
After his graduation of the Divinity School, he started his minister career as a guest speaker at local churches.
Three years after his graduation, he was appointed minister of the Second Church of Boston. Because of personal doubts about the Church doctrine, he felt he could no longer administer the Lord’s supper, he quit as minister of the Second Church of Boston. After Emerson left his career as a minister, he sailed to Europe, where he met many prominent European writers.
A year later, he returned back to the United States, where he settled in Concord Massachusetts.
At an oration at Harvard, he gave one of his most famous, if not his most famous speech, “The American Scholar.” “The American Scholar,” was a speech about being intellectually independent. Intellectually Independent simply means that everyone should think for themselves, and not become a “parrot of other mens thinking.” This speech was very important in Emerson’s life, because he was able to mention his theory of Transcendentalism to an open audience.
Emerson’s most popular written work, was probably “Nature.” “Nature,” was an essay on the theory of Transcendentalism, and his personal views of nature. Although Emerson wrote many famous works, his main source of income was being a public speaker. Among the places Emerson spoke were lyceums, and universities.
Although Emerson mainly spoke at lyceums, most of his famous speeches, were the ones he gave while lecturing at universities. Emerson’s best known essays are: “The Over-Soul,” “Compensation,” and “Self-Reliance.”Emerson died on April 27, 1882, as a result of a small illness, he was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.
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