Photo of Henry David Thoreau.
A leading transcendentalist , Thoreau is best known for his book Waldena reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay " Civil Disobedience " originally published as "Resistance to Civil Government"an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.
Thoreau's books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry amount to more than 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions are his writings on natural history and philosophy, in which he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental historytwo sources of modern-day environmentalism.
His literary style interweaves close observation of nature, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore, while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerityand Yankee attention to practical detail.
Thoreau's philosophy of civil disobedience later influenced the political thoughts and actions of such notable figures as Leo TolstoyMahatma Gandhiand Martin Luther King Jr.
The features were quite marked: His paternal grandfather had been born on the UK crown dependency island of Jersey. He began to call himself Henry David after he finished college; he never petitioned to make a legal name change. The house has been restored by the Thoreau Farm Trust, a nonprofit organization, and is now open to the public.
He studied at Harvard College between and He lived in Hollis Hall and took courses in rhetoricclassics, philosophy, mathematics, and science. He was a member of the Institute of  now the Hasty Pudding Club.
In fact, the master's degree he declined to purchase had no academic merit: Harvard College offered it to graduates "who proved their physical worth by being alive three years after graduating, and their saving, earning, or inheriting quality or condition by having Five Dollars to give the college.
Return to Concord, — The traditional professions open to college graduates—law, the church, business, medicine—did not interest Thoreau,: After he graduated inhe joined the faculty of the Concord public school, but he resigned after a few weeks rather than administer corporal punishment.
The school closed when John became fatally ill from tetanus in after cutting himself while shaving.
Emerson urged Thoreau to contribute essays and poems to a quarterly periodical, The Dialand lobbied the editor, Margaret Fuller, to publish those writings.
The first journal entry, on October 22,reads, "'What are you doing now? In his early years he followed Transcendentalisma loose and eclectic idealist philosophy advocated by Emerson, Fuller, and Alcott. They held that an ideal spiritual state transcends, or goes beyond, the physical and empirical, and that one achieves that insight via personal intuition rather than religious doctrine.
In their view, Nature is the outward sign of inward spirit, expressing the "radical correspondence of visible things and human thoughts", as Emerson wrote in Nature For a few months inhe moved to the home of William Emerson on Staten Island , and tutored the family's sons while seeking contacts among literary men and journalists in the city who might help publish his writings, including his future literary representative Horace Greeley.
He rediscovered the process of making good pencils with inferior graphite by using clay as the binder. The company's other source of graphite had been Tantiusquesa mine operated by Native Americans in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.
Later, Thoreau converted the pencil factory to produce plumbago, a name for graphite at the time, which was used in the electrotyping process.Henry David Thoreau: A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers / Walden / The Maine Woods / Cape Cod, by Henry David Thoreau, Library of America, ISBN He was also deeply interested in the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay; at the same time he advocated abandoning waste and illusion in order to discover life's true essential .
Henry David Thoreau was born David Henry Thoreau in Concord, Massachusetts, into the "modest New England family" of John Thoreau, a pencil maker, and Cynthia Dunbar. His paternal grandfather had been born on the UK crown dependency island of Jersey.
Henry David Thoreau (12 July – 6 May ) was an American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor and historian. Walden is an American book written by noted Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau.
The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self reliance/5(3).
-- Henry David Thoreau Henry David Thoreau (born David Henry Thoreau ; July 12, — May 6, ) was an American author, poet, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher, and leading transcendentalist. Henry David Thoreau, David Gross ().
“The Price of Freedom: Political Philosophy from Thoreau's Journals”, p, David M Gross I would remind my countrymen, that they are to be men first, and Americans only at a late and convenient hour.