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Relationships of Emerson, Ralph

To explore the relationships between the various bohemian writers and artists who frequented Pfaff's bar, select a person or group, and then select a relationship type. This section of the site is currently under construction; new content is being added on a regular basis.

Displaying 1 - 23 of 23

Benton, Joel (1832-1911)

Benton was considered a valuable Emerson scholar, particularly following the poet's death.

Clapp, Henry Jr. (1814-1875)

Emerson is mentioned in a poem of Figaro's (Henry Clapp Jr.) published in the Times.

Curtis, George William (1824-1892)

Curtis cited Emerson's Dartmouth College oration as an example of his idea of "a supreme specimen of eloquence."

Greeley, Horace (1811-1872)

Emerson describes how the Pfaffians were crazy about Greeley and ignored Emerson once Greeley entered the room.

Whitman, Walt (1819-1892)

Winter, William (1836-1917)

Winter remembers Emerson as one of the literary authorities during his early days as a poet and writer in Boston and Cambridge.


Poe, Edgar Allan (1809-1849)

Poe fought against the smugness and prosperity of Boston, and for that reason he disliked Emerson very much.

Whitman, Walt (1819-1892)

On October 10, 1855, Whitman allowed Charles Dana to reprint Emerson's letter of endorsement of Leaves of Grass in the Tribune without Emerson's permission. This action was taken as a mildly rude affront by Emerson.

When Bellew informed Emerson that Whitman had published his congratulatory letter in the Tribune, Emerson responded that it "was merely a private letter of congratulation. Had I intended it for publication, I would have enlarged the but very much -- enlarged the but."


Aldrich, Thomas Bailey (1836-1907)

Aldrich mentions in a letter to Stedman how much he enjoys Emerson's Bacchus.

Clapp, Henry Jr. (1814-1875)

Levin discusses the similarities and differences in Emerson's and Clapp's writing and ideological stances.

Stedman, Edmund Clarence (1833-1908)

Emerson included Stedman's How old Brown took Harper's Ferry in his Parnassus.

Whitman, Walt (1819-1892)

Emerson reads a first edition of Whitman's Leaves of Grass and sends Whitman a letter which "greets" him "at the beginning of a great career."

Bellew discusses Emerson's reactions to other works of literature and recalls the day Emerson "drew my attention to an unbound volume of poems he had just received from New York, over which he was in raptures. It was called Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.

Boynton notes that Emerson and Whitman shared many similar fundamental beliefs (339-340). Boynton also states that Emerson was the single man of influence to greet Whitman at the start of a great career (364).

Lalor cites Frederik Schyberg's citation of Emerson that he "had great hopes of Whitman until he became a Bohemian."

Emerson gave critical acclaim to Whitman's first edition of Leaves of Grass but distanced himself from Whitman after the second "racy" edition.


Aldrich, Thomas Bailey (1836-1907)

Aldrich discusses in a Oct. 31, 1893 letter from Ponkapog to Laurence Hutton how Emerson and Whittier were the only members of their group not thinking solely of themselves.

Bellew, Frank Henry Temple (1828-1888)

Bellew discusses his knowledge of Emerson since their first meeting in 1855.

Clapp, Henry Jr. (1814-1875)

Emerson frequented a Boston bookstore where Clapp worked as a clerk. Clapp's stories seem to indicate that the two men were somewhat friendly.

Whitman, Walt (1819-1892)

Emerson once wrote of taking Whitman to dinner at a fancy New York hotel and then being escorted by Whitman to "a noisy fire-engine society" which was most likely Pfaff's.

Whitman once brought Emerson to Pfaff's, where Emerson called the residents "noisy and rowdy firemen and could not understand what bonds they claimed with Walt."


Curtis, George William (1824-1892)

Curtis lived at Brook Farm and was influenced by Emerson, one of the Farm's many residents.