Edwin Emerson (1823–1908)

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For his son, see Edwin Emerson, Jr.

Edwin Emerson (1823 - November 4, 1908) was an American professor, clergyman, editor, author, poet, lawyer and secret envoy.[1]

As a boy he worked for Harper's and paid his way thru Princeton graduating head of his class in 1846. He studied law and became a partner with the offices of Noah Webster in New Haven, Connecticut. During the American Civil War he was on a secret diplomatic mission in London and Paris to keep the Confederacy from being recognized by the major European Powers.

He was in Europe during the period of the Franco-Prussian War living in Paris and Berlin. He returned to America in 1889. He remained in America until 1897 when he went to Japan. He was close to world leaders such as Gladstone, Herbert Spencer, and Bismarck.

He married Mary Louise Ingham the daughter of Samuel Ingham who was Secretary of the Treasury during the Andrew Jackson administration. His wife died in 1886. They had one daughter and five sons.


  1. Boston Evening Transcript, "Professor Edwin Emerson, Widely Known as an Educator, Dies in Japan", November 6, 1908 p. 8

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