Ralph Waldo Emerson is buried in
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord,
Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA. (Henry David Thoreau is also
Grave of Ralph Emerson
Photograph by Mike Reed
After studying theology at
Harvard Emerson became a pastor in Boston, but after the death of his
first wife he gave up his ministry.
Suffering from grief, Emerson departed for England in 1832. While
in England he met
Wordsworth and Carlyle. He corresponded with Carlyle for the
rest of his life.
On his return to America Emerson lectured widely on the new
In 1835 Emerson married Lydia Jackson and moved to Concord,
Massachusetts where his ancestors first settled. In 1840 he
founded the Dial magazine - which only ran for four years -
but was very influential. Many of his poems and philosophical
writings appeared in the Dial.Emerson was hugely influential in encouraging American writers to turn away
from European literary models and assert their own individuality. In
fact, Oliver Wendell Holmes called his philosophy an "intellectual
declaration of independence".
saw America as the raw material for a new type of poetry - which opened the door for the pioneering
Emerson's own poetry was
characterised by rough-hewn, but striking poems.
In his later
years Emerson was a fierce opponent of slavery.