A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 02, 2010
“Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”

"Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” is often incorrectly credited to Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), but Emerson never wrote it.

Muriel Strode (1875-1964) wrote in 1903: “I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.”

Another early version (see 1903 and 1905 citations below) is:

“I need not follow the beaten path;
I do not hunt for any path;
I will go where there is no path,
And leave a trail.”

The modern wording—“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”—appears to date from the 1970s. The saying remains a popular statement of leadership.


Yahoo! Answers
Who is (or was) Muriel Strode?
Best Answer - Chosen by Voters
Muriel Lieberman Strode
(Some of this information is incorrect. Muriel Strode Lieberman died at age 88. See the 1964 obituary, below—ed.),
b. 1875, was the 2nd of four children of William Smith Strode & Amelia Steele. She was an American poet and writer. She died in 1930 and left behind a myriad of inspiring quotes and brief zingers.
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” (This is one of Strode’s more frequently quoted statements. It is so well known that people often forget the source.)
Here is a portrait of her: http://www.davidrumsey.com/amico/amico37…
Her poem, “The Cry”:
http://www.motherbird.com/muriel_strode.…
Her book, “My Little Book of Life” was published in 1912. http://item.express.ebay.com/Antiques_An…
These sites explain her geneology and background of family relations:
http://www.holcombegenealogy.com/tholcom…
http://www.illian.org/places/FamilySheet…
http://www.illian.org/places/FamilySheet…

Wikiquote: Leadership
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Google Books
The Quote Verifier:
Who Said What, Where, and When

By Ralph Keyes
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press
2006
Pg. 56:
“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” is commonly attributed to Emerson. No source of this quotation has ever been found in his works or those of anyone else.

Google Books
August 1903, The Open Court, vol. 17, no. 8, pg. 505:
MISCELLANEOUS.
WIND-WAFTED WILD FLOWERS.
BY MURIEL STRODE.
I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.

Google Books
Official Report of the Proceedings of the Twentieth Meeting of the National Conference of Unitarian and Other Christian Churches
Held at Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 21-24, 1903

Boston, MA: George H. Ellis, Printers
1903
Pg. 182:
Address of Rev. Fred V. Hawley
(...)
In the minute that is left let me say that what we need most on those grat Western prairies is not primarily more money or more meeting-houses, but a love and a fidelity enthusiastic enough to find a way or make one,—men who are not hunting for a place or a pulpit, but who, in a splendid enthusiasm, can sing:—

“I need not follow the beaten path;
I do not hunt for any path;
I will go where there is no path,
And leave a trail.”

Google Books
My Little Book of Prayer
By Muriel Strode
Chicago, IL: The Open Court Publishing Company
1905
Pg. ? (unpaginated):
I WILL not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.

Google Books
October 1905, Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, vol. 5, no. 2, pg. 47:
“When our revered founder, Dr. Still, first gave birth to the thought—

I need not follow the beaten path,
I do not hunt for any path,
I will go where there is no path
And leave a trail.


the firm belief that he was right must have sustained him the period of martyrdom and oppression.

7 April 1914, Greensboro (NC) Daily News, pg. 4, col. 1: 
I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.—Muriel Strode.

Google Books
Through Five Republics on Horseback:
Being an account of many wanderings in South America

By George Whitfield Ray
Cleveland, OH: Evangelical Pub. House, C. Hauser, Agent
1915 (13th ed. rev.; original printing 1903)
Pg. 131:
“I need not follow the beaten path;
I do not hunt for any path;
I will go where there is no path,
And leave a trail.”

27 January 1964, Tucson (A) Daily Citizen, pg. 43, col. 4:
Woman Poet
Dies; Here
Since 1929

Mrs. Muriel Strode Lieberman, 88, a homesteader and poet, died Saturday at a nursing home.

Mrs. Lieberman came to Tucson from Long Beach, Calif., in 1929 and with her late husband Samuel, homesteaded 640 acres of land near the Saguaro National Monument on Houghton Road. She lived on the property at the time of he deathy.

The first of Mrs. Lieberman’s many works was published in 1904 and was called “My Little Book of prayer.” it went into five editions.

She is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Eleanor Austin, of 5745 E. Burns St., and two grandchildren.

Google Books
One Strong Voice:
The story of the American Nurses’ Association

By Lyndia Flanagan
Kansas City, MO: American Nurses’ Association
1976
Pg. 608:
If nursing is to remain a viable health profession, nurses must be willing to blaze new trails. I am reminded of the words of an unknown poet who wrote: “Do not follow where the path leads. Rather go where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Google Books
Having It All:
Love, success, sex, money, even if you’re starting with nothing

By Helen Gurley Brown
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster: Linden Press
1982
Pg. 462:
I’m wishing you all the happiness I can possibly wish you — and this is something to think about — though I don’t know who said it: “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Google Books
Worth Repeating:
More than 5000 classic and contemporary quotes

By Bob Kelly
Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel
2003
Pg. 108:
I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.
-- Muriel Strode

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (1) Comments • Tuesday, November 02, 2010 • Permalink


Thanks. I have been trying to get an attribution on this one. Appreciate the research.

Posted by Anant  on  03/05  at  08:08 PM

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