“Look at Emerson: he was not only possibly the greatest of our land, our time, but great with the greatness of any land, any time, all worlds.”

Whitman had read Emerson’s Nature and the “Divinity School Address,” and he had attended lectures by the philosopher/poet in New  York.  Emerson visited Whitman in December 1855 and sent Alcott and Thoreau later, in 1856.
Transcendentalism belief in the essential unity of all creation, the innate goodness of man, and the supremacy of insight over logic and
 experience for the revelation of the deepest truths.. Eclectic and cosmopolitan in its sources and part of the Romantic movement, New England Transcendentalism originated in the area around Concord,Mass., and from 1830 to 1855 represented a battle between the younger and older generations and the emergence of a new national culture based on native materials.