Ralph Waldo Emerson

Born: 25 May 1803, Boston, MA
Died: 27 Apr 1882, Concord, MA

American Essayist and Poet

Common Ancestor:
9th Gr Grandmother
of Merle G Ladd
4th Gr Grandmother
of Ralph W Emerson
Stephen Hopkins Deborah Hopkins
Stephen Hopkins Richard Cooke
Phebe Hopkins Sarah Cooke
Allen Bangs John Haskins
Phebe Bangs Ruth Haskins
Allen Crowell Ralph Waldo Emerson
Charles Crowell  
Freeman S Crowell  
Graceland M Crowell  
Allen D Ladd  
Merle G Ladd  
Relationship to Merle G Ladd:
5th Cousin, 5 Times Removed
Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803 in Boston, Massachusetts. He is widely regarded as one of America's most influential authors, philosophers and thinkers. At one time a Unitarian minister, Emerson left his pastorate because of doctrinal disputes with his superiors. Soon after, on a trip to Europe, he met a number of intellectuals, including Thomas Carlyle and William Wordsworth.

The ideas of these men, along with those of Plato and some of the Hindu, Buddhist, and Persian thinkers, strongly influenced his development of the philosophy of "Transcendentalism". In 1836 Emerson expressed Transcendentalism's main principle of the "mystical unity of nature" in his essay, "Nature".

Emerson urged independent thinking and stressed that not all life's answers are found in books. In his "The American Scholar" address to the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Cambridge in 1837 Emerson states that: "Books are the best of things, well used; abused, among the worst." He believed that a scholar learns best by engaging life. Emerson's essays on "The Conduct of Life" outline what one might do to engage life "skillfully."