Henry David Thoreau

Composed by Ben Nightingale


Born: July 12, 1817

Died: May 6, 1862

Alma Mater: Harvard

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Basic Biographical information

-Author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, environmentalist, tax resistor, development critic, surveyor, and historian

-Man of many talents

-Born in Concord Massachusetts

-Two siblings

-Attended Harvard for four years

-Became a schoolteacher but quit because he refused to administer corporal punishment

-Created a grammar school with his brother

-Brother died four years later from Tetanus

-Came under Ralph Waldo Emerson's wing

-Went back to pencil making

-Went to live for 2 years in the wild to find himself in writing

-Arrested for refusing to pay taxes as a form of protest

-Published "Walden, or Life in the Woods"

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Subject Matter

-First published in a friends newspaper in July, 1840

-Vastly interested in nature

-Decided to live in a cabin in the woods to regain his faith in writing

-Would write his most famous book from this experience

-Practiced civil disobedience

-Arrested for not paying his taxes

-Refused to pay taxes because he disagreed with the Mexican war and slavery

-Wrote an essay titled "Resistance to Civil Government", also know as Civil disobedience

-Influenced Mahatma Gandi, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, and many others

-First major proponent of Civil Disobedience

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Aulus Persius Flaccus (1840)

The Service (1840)

A Walk to Wachusett (1842)

Paradise (to be) Regained (1843)

The Landlord (1843)

Sir Walter Raleigh (1844)

Herald of Freedom (1844)

Wendell Phillips Before the Concord Lyceum (1845)

Reform and the Reformers (1846–48)

Thomas Carlyle and His Works (1847)

A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849)

Resistance to Civil Government, or Civil Disobedience (1849)

An Excursion to Canada (1853)

Slavery in Massachusetts (1854)

Walden (1854)

A Plea for Captain John Brown (1859)

Remarks After the Hanging of John Brown (1859)

The Last Days of John Brown (1860)

The Fall of the Leaf[63]

Walking (1861)

Autumnal Tints (1862)

Wild Apples: The History of the Apple Tree (1862)