American Philosophy

New England Transcendentalists

Who was Amos Bronson Alcott?

Amos Bronson Alcott (1799–1888) was the father of writer Louisa May Alcott. He founded a school and a utopian community called “Fruitlands.” As a transcendentalist, he combined Platonism, German mysticism, and American Romanticism. He largely followed the teachings of the leading Unitarian minister, William Ellery Channing, who preached a gentle form of religious belief and practice, against Calvinism. Alcott’s publications include New Connecticut, Tablets (1868), Concord Days (1872), and Sonnets and Canzonets (1882). Most of his other work is still unpublished, except for his vague “Orphic Sayings” that appeared in The Dial, and which is representative of transcendental thought.


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