Weiss, Remigens. Essays, ca. 1840s | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection contains three essays, including “A Critique,” “On Human Greatness,” and “On Emerson,” written by Remigens Weiss in the early 1800s.
Remigens Weiss, the author of the essays within the collection, wrote at least one of these essays for the Lyceum in Mount Carmel (Wabash County), Illinois. A form of organized adult education that gained traction in the early 1800s, the American Lyceum Movement predominantly utilized lectures and debates to emphasize self-education. Popular in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States, it was led by voluntary community associations that sought to give people an opportunity to debate and discuss current topics. By the 1840s, lyceums had become professionalized institutions with hired outside lecturers.
The collection consists of three essays written by Remigens Weiss, including: “A Critique,” “On Human Greatness,” and “On Emerson.” “A Critique” was written for the Lyceum in Mount Carmel, Illinois, and argues that self-criticism is difficult due to humans’ general lack of self-knowledge. “An Essay on Human Greatness” argues that aspiration to something better is man’s most powerful and persistent impulse. In “On Emerson,” Weiss discussed the life and work of Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American transcendental writer, poet, and essayist. The collection also contains transcripts of “A Critique” and “An Essay on Human Greatness.”
The collection was acquired by the Illinois Historical Survey, predecessor of the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections, in 1917.