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Listen to the sound of education in early New England. Listen to the sound of religion in early New England. The New England run of song. The National Association of Broadcasters resigned rhino song. Donald born professor of humanities at Boston University. Please listen closely to the statement.
May seem a little odd to you that we should open the starkest with an echo secrets which says only that day dawns to which we are awake that we're doing a pro purpose. That sentence written by Henry David Thoreau the same Henry David thorough spent those many months in the lonely cabin on the shores of Walden Pond that son who was one of the key to the New England Renaissance to the transcendentalists the most important group in the period. Our purpose on this first broadcast is to tell you something about life in the thirties and forties to give you a raise in May of the period as it were to describe the conflicts of the time and to introduce something of the lives of the thoughts and the results of the movement. Only that they don't.
To which we are awake. There's the opening curtain to a documentary treatment of a movement in the period which were a base of your specific individual yet collective disappointing but encouraging optimistic doom to many failures. And this is Rod Wright Meyer. I've been studying the New England Renaissance period and helping with the research for this program. I'd like to suggest another key to the meaning of the transcendental there's a key which they themselves left for us. It's only four words I thought. Simple living higher thoughts simple living. Only that day Doan's to which we are awake. We have sounds today which we can tie into these statements and into the period in which the transcendental is lived. Those are simple farm zones the animals the hay being pitched
in our recreation of the early 1830s. These sounds signify to you the economy of New England about time and I go cultural economy approaches to a peaceful economy. These are the sounds also of a framed social experiments. Brook Farm programs Hopedale about which you will hear more later in the series. The connection between these sounds and only that day dawns to which we are awake. Is this the transcendentalists conducted a study a re-evaluation of the times in which they live. They felt there should be a greater awareness of the real meaning of religion education culture politics nature and they were looking for that real meaning each in his own way. Emerson borrow Hadj Ripley Brownson Parker and the others they held long discussions wrote prolifically met together lived together in small communities of their own building so that they might further meditate. They believed
very simply in high thoughts and simple living. Theirs was a time of great changes with storm clouds of conflict gathering on the horizon. I had a tree put me down now and I'm telling you you're going to be trouble from Mike and I think the next time you stay out later than seven o'clock at night no matter what me. I'm guessing of God the God I want to know I've been in adoration of goodness in people live under the open sky I think and you'll know God now that I didn't approve of what the teachers I doing you understand but this because of formal education can be carried too far. Why must we always be the knowing the end of the 1830s and 40s was full of the joy of living. Be aware of the influence which created it knowing that it was the first section to be settled. American liberty was born here political and religious freedom were purchased with blood on its rugged landscape and the people of New England.
They were hardy and resourceful responsive to the rules of simple living laid down by their Puritan ancestors a stern and moral code prevailed from the Horde did speaks of course to the dozens of supplements in the several states. But the prime a new pup the changing times around. Industry in New England was being conceived. Dusty in cities like Rome lower Manchester and others. We're experiencing the birth of a new factory generation. Being invented every day. Remember strides being made in the text of the art of. The social life of the farmer was restricted. Most of it was built around the church politics neighborhood activities all around there was a feeling of exhilaration and growth. Life was being lived to the full
and the neighbor was a neighbor and a friend as well. But things were good times. These were also stolen Times standards of human behavior were well established and one was expected to live by them. The proprietor of an apothecary shop opened Dedham Massachusetts noted this when he issued store rules to his staff. Store will be open promptly at 6 a.m. and remain open until 9:00 p.m. the year round still must not be open on the Sabbath day unless absolutely necessary and then only for a few minutes. Any employee who is in the habit of smoking Spanish getting a shave at the barber shop going to denser than other places of amusement will most surely give his employee a reason to suspect his integrity and all around honesty. Each employee must attend Sunday school every Sunday. Many employees are given one evening a week for courting purposes and two if they go to prayer meeting
regularly. After 14 hours of work in the store the remaining leisure time must be spent in reading good literature. Education in these days was rigid and stilted form was important. The classroom procedure was precise. It was education for the sake of education not education for the sake of living. And there were those who believe that education should be based on observations of things around us including nature education regarding the world and the people in it. Here in New England in the mid 19th century there was for the first time a tendency toward making education more meaningful more practical more fun. Men like Horace Mann and Amos Bronson all got protested the wisdom of having children memorize with no thought of meaning memorize all they learned what good was it for a child to know the addition table by heart. If we couldn't add up the grocery bill. They'll be more about this conflict in education. It was a sign of the times. It was a
part of an attitude toward living which began to show itself in the New England culture. Writers began registering protest about the old methods of teaching. Among them round Randall Emerson you know alluding just no to i system of education. I spoke of the deadness of its details. It's a system of despair. Many people disagreed with Emerson on man and the others who wanted to change the system. But differences of opinion although widely discussed rarely made bitter enemies for there was run binding tie a binding tie recognized throughout New England. It made itself heard every Sunday morning and it could be heard clearly rezoning across the New England landscape. This time a binding tide would kept the family unit. The community and. The region together. Was a convention or one.
That was a religion of Calvinism. Calvinism which accepted the old ways and the belief in the absolute divine sovereignty of God and his predestination of some men to salvation. How many people were here. Dr Scott when they accepted what they were told was who. We were no question in their minds as to that too. But even the unity of the church there were conflicts dogging religious dogma
was being questioned especially in the cities of New England were gradually shifting their base to the so-called Western religion Unitarianism try to jump fences on ethics rather than pure faith by degrees many curators embraced the beliefs of Unitarians and God exists and one person only original sin and everlasting punishment was strongly rejected the movement was slow and spreading into the country communities to any degree. But it did move it did move throughout New England. There was increasingly much discussion about religion. The people
listened to the discussion. Those who didn't conform to the teachings of Calvinism. One of the first condemned as her attacks. One should accept what one is told by authority. The investigation continued God manifests himself in the people around me. God expresses a delight and omnipotence in nature. Well I believe in what Victor Hugo wrote. A church is God between four walls. The Church's way of finding God. Perhaps that is right but you know what Robert Browning wrote to. But where is the native temple when the laws of the world are that. Yet even though many voices were raised about them in protest to the educational system in protest to the dogma of the church life continued in a very simple relaxed way both outside and inside New England of course. Other forces were gathering which were going to affect the lives of everyone and 230 the population of the United States is growing rapidly 1832 nullification in South Carolina. Lincoln is a captain in the Black Hawk War 1837 financial
panic tragedy and distress caused many to question the country's economic system. 1842 Lincoln marries Mary Todd 1844 person electric telegraph 1845 an extension of Texas 1846 war with Mexico 1848 gold discovered in California go west young man becomes a stirring slogan 1848 first women's rights convention. Great advances were being made in the literary world also beyond in our confines of New England. The Great West the South Sea is the land of the supernatural stimulated men's imaginations and the novels of the romances of Mobile. The stories of Po the horizons of the mind were being steadily expanded and or directions in the 1830s and 40s. On the industrial sing there were many new products and services coming into the market. Many of them developed right in the wing from 1837 Taunton Massachusetts William Crompton patented a power alone 1838 Brandon Vermont Dimas
Davenport invented a printing press operated by electricity. There were many new additions to New England life fountain pens new locomotives railroad cause was sent on the fat bank scale helped expedite business and friction matches spinning shovels new type sewing machines made their appearance. The Industrial Revolution ready for going off was bound to affect the leisurely pace of the region. Other first were recorded also there was the first showing of a flea circus. So the water was being commercially bottled lager beer was being manufactured with blinds typewriters and heat of blasters chewing gum. All were accepted to meet their respective needs. The first exhibition of a genuine tattooed man was held. The ways of the past were giving way to the weight of the present. They grew a greater interest in the affairs of the world around them knowing that.
Out of communication there was an ever growing source of information made available upon which to make judgement. But life on the wing and life with the mores and prejudices which had been built up life showed that even those who were deeply religious could be sometimes guilty of unfair persecution and condemnation. Fitchburg Massachusetts August 1832 my idea that I take up my pen to write you after too long a delay. My son find it now 16. Either a could be thought he is playing outside with the dogs that giving me the time. You have perhaps read in your journal the story of our unfortunate Neva Mr. Joseph Palmer who insists upon wearing his helmet will be a need to Parma came to Pittsburgh about two two years ago and he had been a subject of much promise he has often been told that wearing a beard is no
longer socially acceptable. Or perhaps the style of wearing beards will be popular again one day but it is unpopular now. My husband said Mr Palmer is an honest kindly man with many intellectual interests. It may be so but it has kept him out of prison. He thought that other abuses also small boys had thrown rocks at his windows had been broken and our local pastor strongly suggested that he be smooth shaven like the rest of the men in the community. He refused. Shortly after this poor man attempted to shake him on the street. He struggled with the Hebrew one night and flashed them and we thereupon played in with the jail for unprovoked assault. I had been told that he's gay and even the other inmates find his beard somewhat positive that they have attempted to fade him off only to be driven away with beastly attack. No telling how long he will remain in jail. There is
much not being discussed about his privilege to wear a beard if you are wishes under the Bill of Rights to be sure there are no laws against it of course but non-conforming such as he must be taught a lesson I fear I might temporarily interrupt this letter at random is returning. I can hear them outside with his dog and it is almost time for my husband to return for thought I shall resume with correspondent at the earliest opportunity. Yes the persecution of Mr. Joseph Palmer because he insisted upon wearing a beard was one blot on the record in the New England of the 1830s and 40s but within the background of the examination of religious values the educational system. Yet even the our people brought by industry moving forward rapidly. The effect of a Great Depression. There was much good accomplished by the Transcendentalists. They entered the stage now each conducting his own individual investigation of those
areas of like nearest and dearest to him. Indeed if there was a unifying factor in the transcendentalists if there was one thing they had in common it was their individuality. We introduced them to you now each with a specific sound identified with his life. That's the sound of one of the most doctor friends in New England history. It was the plan of world Owen Wilson Routh Wendell Emerson tall slender aloof serene a man who spoke almost half of the nightly carefully chose his words almost as though he were talking to himself. Things are in the title and ride mankind. And that sound of happy children. I don't advise a man who was full of
life. The man was simple but graceful and majestic man as. A man whose personal dignity and power. Were quietly controlled. Amos Bronson welcome. While the Ruiz M-A aka. He was playing for his temple school. And whose conversations with children and for his prodding of fruit limes and social experiments. The true teacher deepens as beautiful as against his own personal influence. He inspires self-distrust. He guides their eyes from himself to this parrot that quickens him. Organ music implies religion and this organ music provides the background for a brief description of a great preacher and thinker.
Ellery Channing Ellery Channing. Frail looking man of about 100 pounds. With great nervous energy as a preacher. He was intense. I do and I must reverence human nature. I bless a broad kind of affection. I honor in Perth achievement in science and art. And film examples of heroic and. These are marks of a divine origin and the pledges of a celestial inheritance. And I thank God that my own lot has bound up with that of the human race. Henry David Thoreau average height rather long legs amount of distinct to her
brows her mouth prominent lips were pressed up with meaning I'm going to sign this whole thing got her and was aware of a transitory heir or council maker. Here's your man on a plane. I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach and not when I came to die discover that I had not lived. You're going to meet other interesting men and women on the series also. George Ripley for example a slender handsome man with bright piercing eyes a forceful manner. Spectacles. A quiet voice. Elizabeth Peabody. A woman with immense vitality of strong will on limited energy. Masculine force and a winning personality. Elizabeth Peabody had a complete lack of feminine
wiles. Elizabeth's sister so fi a Peabody a very feminine woman full of life. There were others too. William Lloyd Garrison a bitter opponent of slavery. Andrews Norton arrestees Brunson and Theodore Parker. Margaret Fuller. Margaret full of brilliant tragic figure active in the movement to emancipate woman from the backstage status to the equal of man. Margaret Fuller physically unattractive woman who had the unusual gift of bringing others out of themselves but expressing the lofty deep thought in the simplest of tunes. Her book woman in the 19th century still stands as a classic. There were many more transcendentalists and their friends whom you'll meet as the series progresses. There was the man who lived for a year on Apple's jobs dabbles there were those who felt it was a sin to eat any vegetable which grew downward. These and many other ideas of the New England Renaissance were unorthodox to say the least. But these
people were all important because of their roles in a brisk period of re-evaluation in our history. You will meet Margaret Fuller and the others we've mentioned. I was on a story unfolds on future broadcasts. These people the period in which they lived constitute a study in contrasts of study and movement. Please remember those words contrasts movement. There was great contrast between the slums and the decay of the cities and ports and of the leisure living of the country towns. There was great contrast in the religious views of this time in the criticisms of the educational system. There was contrast and conflict in the industrial revolution. The wealth brought by economic power and great industrial advances the broken lives caused by a national economic crash. Listen. Knowing in the 1830s and 40s was primarily agricultural life and
at first it was reasonably simple and secure. Young men of the farm were not yet being lured to the city by the promise of wealth and excitement. But movement could not be denied to posterity. Movement not only in manufacturing but movement in related areas as well. Political matters. Slavery. General cultural activity. Basic moral values or felt the impact of reform on early on early and playing a prominent role as a movement. Contrast conflict with the transcendentalists idealistic hopeful individual thinkers. They want to reform first of the human spirit. Second of institutions of
many kinds. Transcendental is with a idealistic core of the whole outburst of literature. Activity took place in the New England renaissance. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. Hi I thought. Simple Living. It's all part of a complicated fabric of social economic and religious advances where in one area cannot be divorced from another. And the movement which characterizes the no England renaissance. This has been the New-England run of songs written and produced the Boston University or the National Association of educational broadcasters
in cooperation with the fund for adult education. The New England Renaissance was produced and directed by George W. Sloan Jr. assisted by William Bagot and Melvin great. Our script was written by Sidney diamond Dr. Richard C. carpenter was a research consultant and content consultant Professor Donald Bourne and Rod Wright Meyer were never writers our cast included John Codman Jr. Cudworth Larry Hanson Stan lip Audrey Chanel and Martin segment. Be sure to listen again next week to the New England Renaissance and program number to build there for your own world. It's
the story of the slavery question religious and educational conflicts in the 1830s and 40s the music for this program was taken from Charles Ives composition three places in New England. In subsequent weeks you will hear the whole story on this series of Renna songs. This is the network.
New England renaissance
High thoughts-simple living
Producing Organization
WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
The conditions under which the Renaissance took place; background material on the Transcendentalists.
Series Description
A dramatic re-creation of the New England Renaissance produced at Boston University.
Broadcast Date
New England--History--1775-1865
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Advisor: Carpenter, Richard, 1916-
Director: Sloan, George, W., Jr.
Producer: Boston University
Producing Organization: WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
Speaker: Bourne, Donald
Speaker: Rightmire, Rod
Writer: Diamond, Sidney, A.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-2-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:20
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Chicago: “New England renaissance; High thoughts-simple living,” 1954-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 27, 2024,
MLA: “New England renaissance; High thoughts-simple living.” 1954-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 27, 2024. <>.
APA: New England renaissance; High thoughts-simple living. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from