Hedge’s Club

The Transcendentalist Club was described by Ralph Waldo Emerson as “the occasional meetings of a changing body of liberal thinkers, agreeing in nothing but their liberality”. The members of the group referred to themselves as Hedge’s Club because they met when Frederic Henry Hedge was visiting Boston. The public referred to them as The Transcendentalist Club named in reference to Emerson’s essay Nature. The central focus of the group was to critique both the Unitarian Church and Harvard for intellectualism and dogma. Besides, they were closely connected and Harvard refused to publish anything that was associated with transcendentalism. Hedge wrote: “There was no club in the strict sense… only occasional meetings of like-minded men and women”. It was sometimes referred to by the nickname “the brotherhood of the ‘Like-Minded'”. What are the lessons we can learn from these abolitionist and feminist thinkers?