Ralph Waldo Emerson

1803 (Boston, Mass.) – 1882 (Concord, Mass.)

Whitman described him as “sane and clear as the sun.” Emerson gathered a community around him in Concord, including Hawthorne, Alcott, Fuller and Thoreau (a treasured friend and protégé, whose cabin by Walden Pond was built on Emerson’s land). He was supportive both of Alcott’s utopian projects, and (strongly at first) of Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass.’ James’ father was a disciple, and got Emerson to be his son’s godfather. Holmes also knew him, and wrote about his thoughtful mode of speech. He met Coleridge, Wordsworth, Mill and Carlyle (a strong influence and lifelong correspondent) on a visit to Britain.