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John Greenleaf Whittier AQS Dedicated to Friend Ralph Waldo Emerson

An autograph quotation signed by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892), the Quaker poet and abolitionist, as "John G. Whittier" at lower right. Written at a place possibly called the "Tremont Club" (?) on June 19, 1884. Slight edge darkening, and a light wrinkle at the lower right corner, else near fine. 7.5" x 4.875."

Whittier praised his friend and fellow writer Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) in Section XIV of his poem "The Last Walk in Autumn," an excerpt from his poetry collection "Poems of Nature," published in 1886.

In full, with unchanged spelling and punctuation:


He who might Plato’s banquet grace
Have I not seen before me sit,
And watched his Puritanic face,
With more than Eastern wisdom lit.
Shrewd mystic, who, upon the back
Of his Poor Richard’s Almanac,
Writing the Sufi’s song, the Gentoo’s dream,
Links Menu’s age of thought to Fulton’s age of steam!

John G. Whittier

Tremont Club (?)

6th Mo. 19 1884 - ."

To Whittier, Emerson is an intellectual and spiritual giant whose intelligence combines the wisdom of the East and West, and that of the ancient with the modern. Emerson effortlessly bridges the gap between the timeless mysteries of Hinduism ("Manu's age of thought"), Islam ("Sufi's song") and the Middle East ("Gentoo," an ethnic group similar to Turks), with that of the modern world of American sensibilities ("Poor Richard's Almanac," "Fulton's age of steam," etc.)

Both John Greenleaf Whittier and Ralph Waldo Emerson were members of the Saturday Club, a salon of intellectuals which convened at Boston's Parker House after 1856. There they were joined by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Charles Francis Adams, Francis Parkman, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. and other New England luminaries.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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