Posts Tagged ‘American’

Genealogy Quote of the Week – Ralph Waldo Emerson

This week’s genealogy quote comes from American essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson


According to Wikipedia, “Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.”

Born in Boston, Massachusetts to Ruth Haskins and the Rev. William Emerson, a Unitarian minister, Ralph was named after his mother’s brother and his father’s great-grandmother Rebecca Waldo. Ralph Waldo was the second of five sons. His father died from stomach cancer before Emerson’s eighth birthday. At age 9, he started school, and went to Harvard College at age 14, where he later served as Class Poet; and presented an original poem on Harvard’s Class Day, a month before his official graduation on at age 18. He graduated in the middle of his class of 59 people.

Emerson later met William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Thomas Carlyle in England, and in 1837 befriended Henry David Thoreau. Emerson gave some 1,500 lectures in his lifetime. He earned enough to buy 11 acres of land by Walden Pond and a few more acres in a neighboring pine grove. In 1862, Emerson’s protégé Henry David Thoreau died of tuberculosis at the age of 44 and Emerson delivered his eulogy.

Genealogy quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every book is a quotation; and every house is a quotation out of all forests, and mines, and stone quarries; and every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.

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