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Download Chapter 1: Qualitative Research by a Non-Hierarchical Team (85 KB)

Download Chapter 2: Edward Bliss Emerson's Transnational Journal: Danish West Indies, Puerto Rico, New England, 1831-1834 (104 KB)

Download Chapter 3: Edward Bliss Emerson: The Blazing Star of a Complex Constellation (170 KB)

Download Chapter 4: Ideology and Etiology in the Treatment of Edward Bliss Emerson's Pulmonary Consumption (80 KB)

Download Chapter 5: Edward Bliss Emerson, the Medical Tourist (73 KB)

Download Chapter 6: Encountering the Viper: Edward Bliss Emerson and Slavery (100 KB)

Download Chapter 7: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Construction of Othering in Edward Bliss Emerson's Caribbean Journal of 1831-1832 (83 KB)

Download Chapter 8: Nature Writing, American Exceptionalism, and Philosophical Thoughts in Edward Bliss Emerson's Caribbean Journal (148 KB)


Edward Bliss Emerson (1805-1834), a younger brother of the renowned essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, lived in the Caribbean for the final three years of his life. His journal and letters are a rich manuscript source for the history of the Danish Virgin Islands (1831-1832) and Puerto Rico (1831-1834). The texts also reflect the contemporary political and cultural situation in the United States, and Edward's search for health, economic independence, intellectual stimulation and metaphysical fulfillment.

These writings ignited an intellectual passion in José G. Rigau-Pérez, a physician, medical epidemiologist, and historian in Puerto Rico. Furthering access to these unique resources he produced a digital version of the journal from the Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association deposit at the Houghton Library (Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts) and the letters kept at Houghton Library, the Emerson Family Papers at Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston), and other locations. (See for the full online text of the journal and letters).

Dr. José G. Rigau-Pérez also organized a community of scholars who share a sense a common purpose even in the absence of propinquity. The group includes Silvia E. Rabionet, an associate professor in health education at the University of Puerto Rico School of Public Health and Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy; Annette B. Ramírez de Arellano, a planner and policy analyst whose work focuses on public health; Wilfredo A. Géigel, a trial lawyer by profession, an independent scholar, member and past president of the Society of Virgin Islands Historians, and Adjunct Professor of History at the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix Campus; Raúl Mayo-Santana, an Ad-Honorem Professor at the School of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico; and Alma Simounet, a Professor of English and Linguistics at the University of Puerto Rico. They explore the Emerson journal and letters from multidisciplinary perspectives to bring forth historical, medical, legal, sociological, and geographical insights of the people, times, and places of the mid 1830s in the Caribbean and United States.

The work of this talented team resulted in a series of essays we at The Qualitative Report (TQR) are pleased to present as our first book -The Edward Bliss Emerson Journal Project: Qualitative Research by a Non-Hierarchical Team! Under the editorial guidance of TQR Editor Dan Wulff, Dr. Rigau-Pérez and the other members of the team have produced these unique accounts as a transdisciplinary examination of Emerson's world.

Publication Date



The Qualitative Report


Fort Lauderdale


Edward Bliss Emerson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Danish Virgin Islands


Community-Based Learning | Community-Based Research | Geography | History | Law | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nature and Society Relations | Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology

The Edward Bliss Emerson Journal Project: Qualitative Research by a Non-Hierarchical Team