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Ralph Waldo Emerson Primary Sources

Historical documents. What clues can you gather about Ralph Waldo Emerson, the time, place, players, and culture?


Emerson's famed essay.

The Over-Soul

One of the key essays outlining Emerson's philosophies.

The American Scholar

Emerson's lecture before the Phi Beta Kappa society.


The introduction to Emerson's famous series.


Emerson's essay on the subject of immortality.


Emerson's 1862 essay in The Atlantic eulogizing his late friend.

The President's Proclamation

Emerson's 1862 essay supporting Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation.

American Civilization

Emerson's 1862 essay in favor of emancipation.

Four Poems

Poems Emerson published in an 1857 issue of The Atlantic.

"Boston Hymn"

Emerson's poem, published 1863.

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