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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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4. Spirit of Nationalism   

4. Spirit of Nationalism

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Activities: Author Activities

Ralph Waldo Emerson - Selected Archive Items

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[1029] Wilfred A. French, The Old Manse (n.d.), from F. B. Sanborn, Emerson and His Friends in Concord (1890),
courtesy of Cornell University Library, Making of America Digital Collection.
Ralph Waldo Emerson loaned his home at the Old Manse to Nathaniel Hawthorne for three years. This was one of his many efforts to encourage fellow authors.

[1030] Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letter, Ralph Waldo Emerson to Walt Whitman (1855),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-MSS-18630-5].
When this letter was written, Emerson was a well-known lecturer, and Whitman a young, aspiring poet. This is an example of Emerson's eagerness to support and encourage fellow writers.

[3662] Allen & Rowell Studio, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Reading (n.d.),
courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.
Emerson was a prominent writer who articulated American ideals and celebrated the potential of the American individual. He supported the endeavors of such contemporaries as Hawthorne, Thoreau, and Whitman.

[3694] Thomas Cole, The Falls of the Kaaterskill (1826),
courtesy of the Warner Collection of the Gulf States Paper Corporation.
Cole was one of the first American landscape artists and a founder of the Hudson River School of painting. Romantic depictions of wilderness became popular as the United States continued its westward expansion.

[9037] Detroit Publishing Company, Emerson House, Concord, Mass. (1905),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-D4-11360 DLC].
Photo of Ralph Waldo Emerson's house in Concord, Massachusetts. Emerson moved here at the age of twenty-five and lived here for the rest of his life.

[9041] Christopher Cranch, Transparent Eyeball (n.d.),
courtesy of Virginia Commonwealth University.
Christopher Pearse Cranch was a contributor to such Transcendentalist publications as the Dial and the Harbinger, and he enjoyed drawing caricatures, such as this one, which satirizes Emerson's essay Nature.

[9049] Ralph Waldo Emerson, Divinity School Address (1838),
courtesy of rwe.org, The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Emerson delivered this lecture to the senior class of the Divinity College of Cambridge. Emerson was himself a Unitarian minister for a period.

[9050] Ralph Waldo Emerson, The American Scholar (1837),
courtesy of rwe.org, The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Emerson addressed "The American Scholar" to the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Cambridge and stressed the importance of lived experience, especially for a scholar.

[9051] Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature, Introduction and Chapter 1 (1836),
courtesy of Project Gutenberg.
The writing of Nature was interrupted by the death of Emerson's brother. Emerson's grief comes through in the essay with such thoughts as "nature is not always tricked in holiday attire, but the same scene which yesterday breathed perfume and glittered as for the frolic of the nymphs, is overspread with melancholy today."

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