Posts Tagged ‘Henry David Thoreau’

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.

Genealogy Quote of the Week – Henry David Thoreau

This week’s genealogy quote comes from American author Henry David Thoreau, who was born July 12, 1817 and died May 6, 1862.

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. His books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry total over 20 volumes.

To quote from American Transcendentalism Web: “He worked for several years as a surveyor  and making pencils  with his father, but at the age of 28 in 1845, wanting to write his first book, he went to Walden pond and built his cabin on land owned by (Ralph Waldo) Emerson.

While at Walden, Thoreau did an incredible amount of reading and writing, yet he also spent much time ‘sauntering’ in nature. He gave a lecture and was imprisoned briefly for not paying his poll tax, but mostly he wrote a book as a memorial to a river trip he had taken with his brother, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.”

A Genealogy Quote from Henry David Thoreau

I found that they knew but little of the history of their race, and could be entertained by stories about their ancestors as readily as any way.” From The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 3, p. 150, Houghton Mifflin (1906). Talking about the Mohawk American Indians near Moosehead.
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