In the 1820’s Ralph Waldo Emerson was a young Unitarian minister living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As one of six children of a widowed mother in meagre circumstances, his twenty-three years had been a struggle of ambition over privation. His health had never been robust and in the autumn of 1826 he developed a bronchial ailment that demanded a change from the rigors of a New England winter. He was persuaded by family and friends to leave his ministerial duties and, his good uncle Samuel Ripley assisting with travel expenses, on November 25 Emerson sailed in the ship Clematis for Charleston, South Carolina, where he remained until January.
Richmond, Mrs. Henry L.
"Ralph Waldo Emerson in Florida,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 18:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol18/iss2/3