Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-nineteenth century. A Unitarian minister, he gradually parted with the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of transcendentalism instead. Seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, he disseminated his thoughts through published essays and public lectures across the United States.