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Robert Gould Shaw was born in Boston Massachusetts on October 10 1837 His mother was twenty-two years old and his father was twenty-eight years old Shaw was the second and only son of Sarah Blake Sturgis Shaw and Francis George Shaw both strong abolitionists Shaw had a very prominent upbringing He grew familiar with nannies housekeepers and servants to children of his social standing Shaw played with his older sister Anna and his younger sisters Susanna Josephine and Ellen in the homes of his many uncles and aunts Although the Shaws were socially conscious they were also deeply devoted to the pursuit of intellect and spirit Friends in their circle included thinkers writers and reformers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson Nathaniel Hawthorne William Lloyd Garrison and Harriet Beecher Stowe Shaw began to develop an understanding of abolitionism however at this young age he did not yet fully embrace his parents philosophies on life Education held a high place in his parents understanding of individual perfection and in the attainments necessary to mail heirsDuncan 3 The Shaws lived at residences on the East Coast and overseas in Europe Robert Briefly attended a preparatory school in New York with Lessons in languages and Violin At boarding school in Switzerland he studied math various languages piano and violin His life was miserable at these institutions because he missed his family and disliked authority and discipline In 1856 Shaw enrolled into Harvard University but did not excel in academics preferring to spend more time on extracurricular activities He was initially very insecure about his height at five-feet five-inches He enjoyed playing football but was beaten up regularly by bigger players He gained more confidence when he was elected president for many clubs in which he participated Unsure about his career goals Shaw withdrew in March of 1859 from Harvard with out receiving his degree From there he entered into his uncles business in New York and became a
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