Ralph Waldo Emerson
American philosopher, lecturer, poet, and essayist
Emerson was considered one of the great lecturers of his time. He had enthusiasm and respected his audience
In 1837, he gave a speech entitled The American Scholar, considered by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence". He was seen as a champion of individualism and expressed his thinking through dozens of essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the U.S.
Most of his important essays started life as lectures. His first two collections of essays – Essays: First Series , were published in 1841 and Essays: Second Series in 1844.