Friday, August 21, 2009

27. Historical Esperanto-Unitarian Connection

An early Unitarian-Esperanto connection may exist, perhaps ignored till today. It deals with an indirect relation with a leading Unitarian--Ralph Waldo Emerson and a leading Esperantist--Colonel George Brinton McClellan Harvey.The first literary journal in the United States was the North American Review, which ran regularly between 1815 to 1940. From 1818 onwards its main theme was public education.
The North American Review was initiated by the Anthology Society (or Club). The well-to-do members (of the Boston area) were led by Reverend William Emerson. Reverend Emerson was the father of Ralph Waldo Emerson, perhaps the most cited all-time Unitarian. (While living a year in Brazil, I noted numerous Esperantists and others with the name Emerson. Some acknowledged that the name was in respect for Ralph Waldo Emerson--some didn't know the history of the name.)
During the life of L.L. Zamenhof, perhaps the most famous U.S . citizen advocating Esperanto was Colonel George Brinton McClellan Harvey--sometimes called just George Harvey.
Here is a brief time-line in Harvey's life:
1. 1889 - He purchased the North American Review.
2. 1901- He purchased Harper's Weekly.
3. 1906-1908 - He advocated Esperanto regularly in the North American Review.
4. 1908-1909 - He was president of the Esperanto Association of North America.
5. 1921-1923 - He was the United States Ambassador to England.

Considering the Unitarian concerns for public education, the emphasis of the North American Review on education and eventually Esperanto, its relationship to the Emerson family and the more recent and conscious resurgence of Esperantism-Unitarianism (article # 17/"older article" below), I consider this one more historical link between the two movements.

The very well-known French Esperantist, Henri Mason, has linked friendship between Urban Planner-Esperantist, Howard Ebenezer and Unitarian Ralph Waldo Emerson.

National Geographic once acknowledged Howard Ebenezer:


Russ Williams said...

I know a Brazilian Esperantist named Emerson also! He knew the name was from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Anonymous said...

Saluton! Gratulon pro la blogo. Mi kaptas la okazon por inviti vin ekkoni la mian:

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I have lived 16 years in other countries, notably, Israel and Brazil, among another 30 countries.