THE PHILOSOPHY OF BRONSON ALCOTT AND THE
TRANSCENDENTALISTS. BY WILLIAM T. HARRIS.
I FIRST saw Mr. Alcott in New Haven, Conn., in the winter of 1856-1857, when I had completed the first term of my junior year at Yale College. An acquaintance of mine who was interested in a series of conversations that had been arranged for Mr. Alcott invited me to attend, and I did so. I found something quite congenial to me. I had begun to inquire after the foundations of customary belief, and, as a natural consequence, was in a state of protest against many of the habits and practices that existed around me. I had been attracted to phrenology ; had adopted the diet of the vegetarians; was an ardent advocate of the spelling reform; looked at gymnastics, water-cure, dress reform, mesmerism, and spiritualism as promising a new and better order of things. I was, in short, in that stage of "clearing-up" which the Germans call Die Aufklärung. It is an epoch of negation, necessary al