Emerson Chronology

1796
25 October Reverend William Emerson marries Ruth Haskins

1798
9 February Phebe Ripley Emerson born

1799
28 November John Clarke Emerson born

1800
28 September Phebe Ripley Emerson dies

1801
31 July William Emerson born

1802
20 September Lydia Jackson born

1803
25 May Ralph Waldo Emerson born

1805
17 April Edward Bliss Emerson born

1807
11 April Robert Bulkeley Emerson born
26 April John Clarke Emerson dies

1808
27 November Charles Chauncy Emerson born

1811
26 February Mary Caroline Emerson born
12 May Reverend William Emerson dies

1812
Spring? Enters Boston Latin School

1814
14 April Mary Caroline Emerson dies

1817
October Enters Harvard College

1818
January Begins occasional schoolteaching at Waltham

1821
29 August Graduates from Harvard College
October Assists William in a school for young ladies

1822
November “Thoughts on the Religion of the Middle Ages,” RWE’s first publication, appears in the Christian Disciple and Theological Review

1823
5 December Takes over William’s school when he leaves for Germany

1824
April Begins formally studying religion
31 December Closes school

1825
11 February Registers as a student of divinity at Harvard
12 September Opens school at Chelmsford (closes it at end of year)

1826
3 January Takes over Edward’s school in Roxbury when he leaves for Europe (closes it on 28 March)
1 April Opens school in Cambridge (closes it on 23 October)
10 October Approbated by American Unitarian Association to preach
25 November Sails to Charleston, S.C., and St. Augustine, Fla., to improve health

1827
3 June Returns to Boston
25 December Meets Ellen Louisa Tucker in Concord, N.H.

1828
2 July Edward is committed to McLean Asylum (released in the fall)
17 December Engaged to Ellen Tucker

1829
30 January Becomes colleague pastor at Second Church, Boston
11 March Ordained at Second Church
1 July Promoted to pastor
30 September Marries Ellen Tucker

1830
12 December Edward goes to Puerto Rico for his health (returns August 1832)

1831
8 February Ellen Louisa Tucker Emerson dies of tuberculosis
7 December Charles goes to Puerto Rico for his health (returns 1 May 1832)

1832
6 October Edward returns to Puerto Rico for his health
22 December Sends farewell letter to Second Church resigning his position
25 December Sails for Europe

1833
26 August Meets Jane and Thomas Carlyle
7 October Returns to America
5 November Delivers his first public lecture, “The Uses of Natural History,” in Boston
3 December William Emerson marries Susan Woodward Haven

1834
March Meets Lydia Jackson of Plymouth
13 May Receives partial inheritance of $11,600 from Ellen Emerson’s estate
1 October Edward dies of tuberculosis in Puerto Rico
9 October Moves to Concord, Mass.

1835
24 January Proposes to Lydia Jackson (engagement announcement at end of month)
29 January Begins first lecture series, “Biography,” in Boston
12 September Delivers discourse on Concord’s history (published in November)
14 September Marries Lydia Jackson (whom he calls “Lidian”)

1836
9 May Charles dies suddenly in New York
9 September Nature published
19 September First meeting of the Transcendental Club
30 October Waldo Emerson born
8 December Begins “Philosophy of History” lecture series in Boston

1837
late July Receives remainder of inheritance (another $11,675) from Ellen Emerson’s estate
31 August Delivers address on the “American Scholar” at Harvard (published 23 September)
6 December Begins “Human Culture” lecture series in Boston

1838
14 July Carlyle’s Critical and Miscellaneous Essays published, edited by RWE
15 July Delivers address at the Harvard Divinity School (published 21 August)
24 July Delivers address on “Literary Ethics” at Dartmouth College (published 8 September)

1839
24 February Ellen Tucker Emerson born
7 September Jones Very’s Essays and Poems published, edited by RWE
4 December Begins “Present Age” lecture series in Boston

1840
1 July First issue of Dial appears
20 March Begins “Human Life” lecture series in Providence
2 September Attends the last meeting of the Transcendental Club

1841
19 March Essays [First Series] published (and in England on 21 August)
11 August Delivers “The Method of Nature” at Waterville College, Maine (published 21 October)
22 November Edith Emerson born

1842
27 January Waldo Emerson dies of scarletina
March Margaret Fuller resigns as editor of Dial; Emerson becomes editor

1843
10 January Begins “New England” lecture series in Baltimore
May Carlyle’s Past and Present published, edited by RWE

1844
8 April Last issue of Dial appears
10 July Edward Waldo Emerson born
1 August Delivers address on “Emancipation of the Negroes in the British West Indies” at Concord Court House (published 9 September and in England in October)
19 October Essays: Second Series published (and in England on 9 November)

1845
2 December Purchases forty-one acres at Walden Pond
31 December Begins “Representative Men” lecture series in Concord

1846
12 December Poems published in England (and in America on 25 December)

1847
5 October Sails for England

1848
7 May Arrives in Paris
2 June Returns to England
6 June Begins “Mind and Manners in the Nineteenth-Century” lecture series in London
27 July Returns to America

1849
1 February Begins “English Traits” lecture series in Chelmsford, Mass.
20 March First meeting of Town and Country Club
11 September Nature; Addresses, and Lectures published

1850
1 January Representative Men published (and in England on 5 January)
13 May Begins midwestern lecture tour (returns 28 June)
19 July Margaret Fuller dies

1851
22 December Begins “The Conduct of Life” lecture series in Boston

1852
14 February Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli published, co-edited by RWE
April Lectures in Montreal
24 November Begins midwestern lecture tour (returns mid-February 1853)

1853
16 November Ruth Haskins Emerson dies

1854
2 January Begins midwestern lecture tour (returns 20 February)
3 January Begins “Topics of Modern Times” lecture series in Philadelphia
16 December First meeting of the Saturday Club

1855
ca. 27 December Begins midwestern lecture tour (returns late January 1856)

1856
6 August English Traits published (and in England on 6 September)

1857
8 January Begins midwestern lecture tour (returns 10 February)

1859
27 May Robert Bulkeley Emerson dies

1860
16 January Begins midwestern lecture tour (returns 25 February)
8 December The Conduct of Life published (and in England on 8 December)

1861
2 April Begins “Life and Literature” lecture series in Boston
16 July Edward Waldo Emerson admitted to Harvard

1862
6 May Henry David Thoreau dies
August “Thoreau” appears in Atlantic Monthly

1863
2 January Begins midwestern lecture tour (returns 7 February)
1 May Mary Moody Emerson dies 10 October Thoreau’s Excursions published, edited by RWE
27 November Begins “American Life” lecture series in Boston

1865
11 January Begins midwestern lecture tour (returns 10 February)
22 July Thoreau’s Letters to Various Persons published, edited by RWE
3 October Edith Emerson marries William Hathaway Forbes

1866
9 January Begins midwestern lecture tour (returns 20 February)
23 June Complete Works published in two-volumes in England
10 July Ralph Emerson Forbes, RWE’s first grandchild, born
18 July Awarded LL.D. degree by Harvard

1867
8 January Begins midwestern lecture tour (returns 22 or 23 March)
29 April May-Day and Other Pieces published (and in England on 8 June)
17 July Appointed Overseer of Harvard University
2 December Begins midwestern lecture tour (returns 2 January)

1868
13 September William Emerson dies

1869
27 October Prose Works published in two volumes in America

1870
5 March Society and Solitude published (and in England on 5 March)
26 April Begins “Natural History of Intellect” series at Harvard

1871
11 April Begins trip to California (returns 30 May)
25 November Begins midwestern lecture tour (returns 14 December)

1872
24 July RWE’s house severely damaged by fire
23 October Goes to Europe with Ellen
25 December Arrives in Egypt

1873
19 February Returns to Europe
27 April Sees Carlyle for the last time
26 May Returns to America
1 October Delivers address at the opening of the Concord Free Public Library

1874
19 September Edward Waldo Emerson marries Annie Shepard Keyes
19 December Parnassus published, a poetry collection edited by RWE

1875
15 December Letters and Social Aims published (and in England on 8 January 1876)

1876
24 June The “Little Classic Edition” of RWE’s works is published in nine volumes

1878
25 February Delivers address on “Fortune of the Republic” in Boston (published 10 August)
7 April Elizabeth Hoar dies

1880
4 February Delivers one hundredth lecture before the Concord Lyceum

1882
20 April Catches cold
27 April Ralph Waldo Emerson dies in Concord, Mass.
30 April Buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord