Elizabeth Sherman Hoar (1814 - 1878)

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Birthplace: Concord, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts
Death: Died in Cambridge, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts
Managed by: Michael Reid Delahunt, art teacher & lexicographer
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About Elizabeth Sherman Hoar


Elizabeth Sherman Hoar (July 14, 1814-April 7, 1878) was a schoolmate of Henry Thoreau and his siblings. After his death she assisted Sophia Thoreau and Ellery Channing in collecting the posthumous works of Henry, close friend and traveling companion of her brother Edward. In her youth Elizabeth was engaged to marry Charles Chauncy Emerson, her father's young law partner. Charles died of consumption in May, 1836, before they were wed. Much beloved by his family, Elizabeth was for the rest of her life called "Aunt Lizzie" by the Emerson children and treated as a member of that family. She and Ralph Waldo Emerson were like brother and sister. He invited her to join the Transcendental circle. She helped prepare copy for the Dial magazine. Through Waldo Elizabeth became close friends with Margaret Fuller, Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley, the Alcotts, and the Peabody sisters. Sophia Peabody sculpted two medallions of Charles Emerson in profile, one for Waldo and one for Elizabeth.

Elizabeth often managed the Emerson household during Lidian's confinement or illness. Ruth Emerson, R.W.'s mother, died in her arms. Elizabeth was one of the few who could consistently deal with the eccentricities of R.W.'s Aunt Mary Moody Emerson. She often arranged her lodging and paid some of her expenses. When Nathaniel Hawthorne and his bride, Sophia Peabody, moved to the Old Manse in Concord, Elizabeth and Henry Thoreau prepared a vegetable garden for them.

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Elizabeth Sherman Hoar's Timeline

July 14, 1814
Concord, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts
April 7, 1878
Age 63
Cambridge, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts