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One of Americas most influential thinkers and authors was Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25 1803 Emersons dad died when he was only eight which forced his mom to take in boarders to support the familys needs When Emerson was only 14 he entered Harvard where he ran became a sort of secretary for the president of the university When he graduated Harvard at age 18 he became a teacher When he got tired or teaching he enrolled in the Divinity School in Cambridge Massachusetts to become a preacher After his graduation of the Divinity School he started his minister career as a guest speaker at local churches Three years after his graduation he was appointed minister of the Second Church of Boston Because of personal doubts about the Church doctrine he felt he could no longer administer the Lords supper he quit as minister of the Second Church of Boston After Emerson left his career as a minister he sailed to Europe where he met many prominent European writers A year later he returned back to the United States where he settled in Concord Massachusetts At an oration at Harvard he gave one of his most famous if not his most famous speech The American Scholar The American Scholar was a speech about being intellectually independent Intellectually Independent simply means that everyone should think for themselves and not become a parrot of other mens thinking This speech was very important in Emersons life because he was able to mention his theory of Transcendentalism to an open audience Emersons most popular written work was probably Nature Nature was an essay on the theory of Transcendentalism and his personal views of nature Although Emerson wrote many famous works his main source of income was being a public speaker Among the places Emerson spoke were lyceums and universities Although Emerson mainly spoke at lyceums most of his famous
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