“THERE is a mystery in the soul of state Which hath an operation more divine Than breath or pen can give expression to”: First Edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Fortune of the Republic; Inscribed by Him to Elizabeth Peabody

  • Fortune of the Republic.
  • Fortune of the Republic.

Fortune of the Republic.


Item Number: 69055

Boston: Osgood, 1879.

First edition. Octavo, original publishers cloth. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “Miss E.P. Peabody from R.W.E.” The recipient Elizabeth Palmer Peabody was a close friend of Emerson’s, who tutored Peabody in Greek and were both integral contributors to the Transcendental Movement. She was an American educator who opened the first English-language kindergarten in the United States. She also served as the translator for the first English version of a Buddhist scripture which was published in 1844. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

Emerson delivered his last address, The Fortune of the Republic, at the Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts on March 30th, 1878. Throughout the address, Emerson emphasized the fundamental importance of morality in social and civil life; extolling the virtues of America’s birth and arguing the higher moral ground of the North’s position in the Civil War. In the historic address, Emerson argued: “I wish to see America not like the old powers of the earth, grasping, exclusive and narrow, but a benefactor such as no country ever was, hospitable to all nations, legislating for all nationalities. Nations were made to help each other as much as families were; and all advancement is by ideas, and not by brute force or mechanic force.”

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