Thursday, December 16, 2021

Ralph Waldo Emerson

TL;DR -- How could a study of Harvard only point to a foreigner? Even if it's Dickens? So, to balance that, we are picking Ralph Waldo Emerson for several reasons. He had a long-term relationship with the institution. Too, he was there when the Count Rumford monies came in and changed things. He was in the Divinity School. And, juxtaposing these two talents has a lot of potential for considering the U.S. and its roles: past, present, and future. 


We got to Charles Dickens (1812-1870) from our study of the Heads of Harvard. On our first read of this material, we saw Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-182) mentioned. After looking at Josiah Quincy, III (1772-1864) whose biographer talked to Emerson, it is imperative that we give him some attention. 


Ralph Waldo Emerson (WikiTree: Emerson-46) was New England to the core via both parental lines. On his mother's side, he has Mayflower lineage. Emerson was in Harvard in 1817 when he was 14. John Thornton Kirkland was the President, at the time. That was about the time that Count Rumford's impact on the institution with his Loyalist's donation. Though, Emerson stayed true to his calling in the Divinity School. The secularization moves would come later. This has not really been addressed in our research, yet, but is on the agenda. 

With respect to Dickens, Emerson went to one of his talks and noted the obvious talent. That was during the 1842 visit. It was in the later visit by Dickens, in the 1860s, when the two had a chance to talk further. There were several commonalities, such as being abolitionists. And, they both had deep insights with disparate means of expressing these. Their two talents represent something that we have not learned to balance and must. 

A few mentions of Emerson by Dickens are noted in an article on Dickens meeting with Edgar Allen Poe. We mentioned Poe, earlier, in a post on Magazines

This is a cursory mention, mainly serving as a placeholder and reminder. We have been paying more attention of late to those who went west. Dickens bailed out at St. Louis. The travel was arduous. We really need to get the proper view back on what people did in the middle of the country to establish that part of the nation. With Emerson entering the picture, we can go back and look at the east coast over the same timeframes of the generations of the country. 

Reminder: Emerson is of the 7th generation. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/19/2021

12/19/2021 --  Put photo of Emerson with link to Self-Reliance. Actually, what I know now of Emerson and Harvard, the latter has dropped a load of sins. He grew up there, after his father died. For general purposes, we need to mention Walt Whitman

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