Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) was a well known philosopher and poet. Educated at Boston Latin School and later Harvard University, Emerson became a Unitarian minister. However, in 1831, he resigned his ministry following the death of his first wife and traveled to England. It was in England that Emerson began to develop the philosophical ideas that would guide the rest of his career. He came back to America a year later and began giving lectures on transcendentalism—an idealistic system of thought based on a belief in the essential unity of all creation, the innate goodness of man, and the supremacy of feeling and intuition over logic and intellect.. At the height of his career, he co-founded The Dial, a literary magazine, and published some of his more well-known essays, including “The American Scholar” (1837) and “The Over-Soul” (1841). In his later years he spoke in favor of abolishing slavery. Emerson died of pneumonia at the age of 78. 

Concord Hymn

Ralph Waldo Emerson

American educator and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) wrote this poem on request from the Battle Monument Committee for the 1837 dedication of an obelisk commemorating the Battle of Concord, Massachusetts, fought on April 19, 1775 at the outbreak of the American Revolution.


Ralph Waldo Emerson

This poem about freedom, apparently addressed to the United States, was sung in the town hall of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s native Concord, Massachusetts on July 4, 1857.


Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82), essayist, poet, and leader of the Transcendentalist movement, was a staunch abolitionist and a vigorous supporter of the Union during the Civil War. Seeking to inspire more volunteers to join the Union cause, Emerson wrote this poem.