Ralph Waldo Emerson: A Brief Biography

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Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts on May 25, 1803. He was the son of William and Ruth Emerson and was born second of five sons who made it to adulthood. The other four sons were named William, Edward, Robert Bulkeley, and Charles. Mr. and Mrs. Emerson also had three other children who sadly died during their childhood. Those three were named Phebe, John Clarke, and Mary Caroline. Emerson’s father died of stomach cancer two weeks before Waldo’s eighth birthday on May 12, 1811, which is pretty freaking depressing. A year after his father’s death, he began attending Boston Latin School in 1812. He then began attending Harvard College at age fourteen, where he was then made freshman messenger. This job had Emerson fetching delinquent students and sending messages to faculty. While at school, he would take a few jobs where he worked as a waiter for the junior commons and as a teacher working with his uncle in Waltham, Massachusetts to pay off his school expenses. Because of Emerson’s health he moved to St. Augustine, Florida for its warm climate, there he would write poems while taking a stroll on the beach. While living in St. Augustine, Emerson ran into Prince Achille Murat who was the nephew of the well-known, Napoleon Bonaparte; they became pretty good friends. After Emerson graduated from Harvard in 1821, he helped his brother with a school for young woman which he had made in their mother’s house. Waldo later became headmaster of the school for

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