Self Reliance and Other Essays
It contains the
most solid statement of one of Emerson's repeating themes, the need for
each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow
his or her own instincts and ideas.
25 May 1803 – 27 April 1882
Ralph was born in Boston, Massachusetts and he was the son of Reverend
William Emerson a Unitarian minister. You might find this hard to
believe but when Ralph was 14 years old he entered Harvard on a
Emerson graduated from Harvard in 1821 at the age of 18. Emerson made
his living as a schoolmaster and then a Unitarian minister. After a few
problems with the Church officials about public prayer Ralph resigned
from the church.
Emerson's first wife died from tuberculosis at the age of 20 and it
affected him deeply. Often visiting her grave daily.
Some of the people Ralph associated with where, Nathaniel Hawthorne,
Henry David Thoreau,
William James, Frederick Douglass and
He also agreed to be William James Godfather when he was born.
Henry David Thoreau lived on Ralph's property while writing Walden Pond.
He even built a cabin on the property to live while he was getting in
touch with nature.
Ralph is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Concord, Massachusetts.