William Emerson (1801 - 1868)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA
Death: Died in New York City, New York, New York, USA
Managed by: Jason Peter Herbert
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About William Emerson

From childhood, Emerson was close to his brothers William, Edward Bliss, and Charles Chauncy.

  Emerson’s older brother William was a lawyer and judge in New York.  He had intended to become a Unitarian minister and went to Göttingen to study theology.  He explored German biblical criticism, became convinced of the divinity within each individual, grew disenchanted with traditional religion, and decided against the ministry.  He returned to America to study and practice law.  In 1833, he married Susan Haven.  They made their home and raised their family on Staten Island.  
  William and Ralph Waldo were constant correspondents about personal, family, and other matters.  They shared concern for their mother and anxiety over the care of their retarded brother Bulkeley.  After William’s retirement, he and his wife moved to Concord.  Susan died in 1868.  William returned to New York and died soon afterward.  Both are buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. 

“William, all too early called … to be the prop and stay of the family, kept school for several years, studied for the ministry at Göttingen in Germany, but was turned by honest doubts from the profession of his fathers. There is an excellent letter written by him to Dr. Ripley in September, 1830, on the observance of the Lord’s Supper, in which he sets forth very clearly but respectfully the argument that it was not intended to be obligatory. This strongly suggests the source of the reasons set forth by his brother later for the satisfaction of the Second Church … William chose the profession of Law, which he exercised with fidelity and honor in New York for many years. In his busy life he always cherished his scholarly tastes, and he and his brother Waldo in days of prosperity and adversity stood by one another most loyally.”—Edward Waldo Emerson, Emerson in Concord.

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William Emerson's Timeline

1801
July 31, 1801
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA
1833
September 3, 1833
Age 32
1835
1835
Age 33
1840
1840
Age 38
1841
1841
Age 39
1868
September 14, 1868
Age 67
New York City, New York, New York, USA