Biography: 

Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803, in Boston and attended Boston Latin School from 1812 to 1817, and Harvard from then to 1821. His first career, as a school-teacher, lasted four years, after which he was licensed to preach as a Unitarian. In 1829 he was ordained minister of Second Church in Boston and married his first wife, Ellen Louisa Tucker.

Biography: 

Born December 17, 1807, in Haverhill, Massachusetts, John Greenleaf Whittier, inspired by reading Robert Burns, wrote and published poems in local journals beginning in 1826. After a two-year education at Haverhill Academy, Whittier embarked on a lifelong career of journalism, editing one newspaper after another.

Biography: 

Born in Huntington, Long Island, on May 31, 1819, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Walt Whitman was the second eldest of nine children.

Biography: 

Frances Ellen Watkins was born September 25, 1825, in Baltimore, Maryland. After receiving an education at her uncle's school, and working in a book store, she turned to publishing. A book of poetry entitled Forest leaves came out in 1845, no copy of which has survived.

Biography: 

Edmund Hamilton Sears was born on April 6, 1810, and educated at Union College in Schenectady, New York, 1831-34, and Harvard Divinity School, from which he graduated in 1837. He became a missionary for the American Unitarian Association, a minister for congregations in Wayland and Lancaster, Massachusetts, and editor, from 1859 to 1871, of The Monthly Religious Magazine.

Biography: 

Edgar Poe was born on Jan. 19, 1809, to David Poe Jr. and a widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Hopkins (née Arnold), both actors. Edgar and his sister Rosalie were orphaned in Richmond, Virginia, when their parents died of illness in December 1811. Taken in by Mr. and Mrs. John Allan, Edgar was baptised Edgar Allan Poe two years later.

Biography: 

A prolific American actor and playwright, born in New York City, who wrote more than 50 plays, Payne was renowned for one thing only, the song "Home Sweet Home" from his opera Clari, performed first at Covent Garden on May 8, 1823. He acted as American consul at Tunis 1842-45 and 1851 until his death a year later.

Biography: 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, on February 27, 1807, and was educated at Portland Academy and alongside Nathaniel Hawthorne at Bowdoin College and then at Harvard University.

Biography: 

Mary Botham, born at Coleford, Gloucestershire, was daughter of Samuel Botham, a Quaker, and in 1821 married William Howitt. They turned to joint-authoring for a living and made a success of their many interests.

Biography: 

Julia Ward was born in New York and married Samuel Gridley Howe in 1843. They had six children and co-edited the abolitionist organ The Commonwealth.

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