“I BELIEVE YOU MAY HOLD ME ENGAGED.”
EMERSON, RALPH WALDO. (1803 -1882) Author, poet, and philosopher; leader of the Transcendentalist movement. Autograph Letter Signed “R.W. Emerson”. Two pages, small octavo. Cincinnati, Ohio. December 7, 1852. Very minor age toning, with folds archivally strengthened on verso, else very fine condition. To “N. Sizer, Committee.” Emerson writes:
“I am very sorry, but I have found it difficult to send you any reply to your note duly received, before today. Last night on arriving in this city I found your kind note. If Tuesday 2 January will suit your purpose I believe you may hold me engaged. Respectfully, R.W. Emerson. Any letter will find me here till 21 Dec. care of A.R. Spofford.”
Nelson Sizer, who always went by the title ‘N. Sizer’, was a noted Phrenologist. In The Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Volume 4 it is noted that in January 1853, Emerson had a MS memorandum noting a January date with “N. Sizer, 131 Nassau St., New York.” The footnote accompanying further states “This and passages of earlier letters seems to imply a lecture, but I have found no proof. The editorial statement in Journals, VIII, 359, that Emerson gave his course on the “Conduct of Life ” in New York during the first week of Jan., 1853, is clearly an error.” While it is possible that RWE could travel the distance, and make the lecture/meeting, this letter seems to indicate that he did not. Worthy of further research.