Library Display and Timeline

A Timeline of Works on Display at the Mortola Library

1803 - Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 25, 1803.

1836 - Emerson's first book, "Nature" was published. It set forth the ideas that would form the basis for the Transcendental movement and established Emerson as its leader.

1837 - Emerson delivers "The American Scholar" address before the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Harvard on August 31st. In this address he sets forth a new standard for American scholars that set them apart from European traditions.

1840-1844 - The Dial was established in 1840 and Emerson served as its editor from 1842 until its demise in 1844. Many Emerson poems were first published in The Dial, including "Woodnotes, I" and "The Snow-Storm," on display in the library in an edition of his poems that was originally published in 1847.

1841 - Volume 1 of Emerson's essays are published, including "Self-Reliance," his most famous essay and many others that frame the core of his beliefs.

1842 - Emerson's son Waldo dies from scarlet fever in January of 1842. He writes the poem, "Threnody," to help cope with the loss.

1857 - Emerson hears the abolitionist John Brown speak at the Concord Town Hall and makes a contricution to his antislavery work in Kansas. Two years later John Brown's raid on the Federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry and attempted slave rebellion is unsuccessful. Brown is captured and hanged.

1882 - Emerson dies on April 27, 1882, although his legacy lives on through his extensive writings.

Books on Display

The Dial: A Magazine for Literature, Philosophy, and Religion. (Volumes 1 & 4).
New York: Russell & Russell, 1961.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Complete Poems. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1899.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Nature. Boston: Beacon Press, 1983.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Essays and Lectures. New York : Literary Classics of the United States, 1983.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Self-Reliance. New York : Funk & Wagnalls, 1975.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. The Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson. New York: Modern Library, 1960.