Henry David Thoreau (12 July, 1817 – 6 May, 1862) was an American writer and Transcendentalist born in Concord, MA. Thoreau was also known for civil disobedience as well as an avid abolitionist.
- Thoreau started writing poetry abut nature in the 1840s with his friend and mentor, poet Ralph Waldo Emerson.
- Thoreau’s father operated a local pencil factory.
- Thoreau’s advocacy of civil disobedience against an unjust government has reportedly influenced Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
- As a close observer of nature, Thoreau named himself “inspector of snow-storms and rainstorms.”
- Thoreau went to Harvard on a scholarship.
- After college, Thoreau couldn’t find his place in society and spent his days wondering around town observing nature. The town folks gossiped about the Harvard graduate who takes nature walks instead of working 12 hour days.
- Thoreau built a cabin on land owned by Emerson, near Walden Pond. He lived there 1845-1846 and wrote his masterpiece Walden.
- Thoreau befriended abolitionist John Brown, who he viewed as a hero, and became his close friend and defender calling him “an angel of light” and “the bravest and humanest man in all the country.”
- Thoreau spent a night in jail after refusing to pay poll tax.
- Thoreau’s works are relevant today and sell well. He thought of as an early anarchist as well as the “father of environmentalism.”
Zohar – Man of la Book
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