Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Ralph Waldo Emerson created the philosophy which has become, through the work of others who followed, the New Thought movement.
He was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1803. A self-proclaimed "Naturalist," Emerson founded a distinctly American philosophy emphasizing optimism, individuality, and mysticism. In the 1840's, his essays, speeches, and poetry defined him as a central character in the Trancendental movement, and ultimately shaped him into one of the most influential literary figures of the nineteenth century.