Early life Thoreau was born in in ConcordMassachusetts, the third child of a feckless small businessman named John Thoreau and his bustling wife, Cynthia Dunbar Thoreau.
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.
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, —[ edit ] 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. In April he and his friend Edward Hoar accidentally set a fire that consumed acres 1. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary.
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.
I see no other alternative, no other hope for you. Thoreau refused because of his opposition to the Mexican—American War and slaveryand he spent a night in jail because of this refusal. The next day Thoreau was freed when someone, likely to have been his aunt, paid the tax, against his wishes.
"Laura Dassow Walls has written an engaging, sympathetic, and subtly learned biography that mounts a strong case for Thoreau's importance Thoreau's political engagement isn't exactly news, but Walls foregrounds it vividly. Henry David Thoreau () was born and lived nearly all his life in Concord, Massachusetts, a small town about twenty miles west of Boston. He received his education at the public school in Concord and at the private Concord Academy. If you are a teacher searching for educational material, please visit PBS LearningMedia for a wide range of free digital resources spanning preschool through 12th grade.
In January and Februaryhe delivered lectures on "The Rights and Duties of the Individual in relation to Government",  explaining his tax resistance at the Concord Lyceum. Bronson Alcott attended the lecture, writing in his journal on January Heard Thoreau's lecture before the Lyceum on the relation of the individual to the State—an admirable statement of the rights of the individual to self-government, and an attentive audience.
His allusions to the Mexican War, to Mr. Hoar 's expulsion from Carolina, his own imprisonment in Concord Jail for refusal to pay his tax, Mr.
If you are a teacher searching for educational material, please visit PBS LearningMedia for a wide range of free digital resources spanning preschool through 12th grade. 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. His maternal grandfather, Asa Dunbar, led Harvard's student "Butter Rebellion", the first recorded student protest in the American colonies. Hawthorne was friends with and neighbor for a time to some of New England’s finest intellectuals including Amos Bronson Alcott and his daughter Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson who was also prominent in the Transcendentalist movement. It was a tumultuous time to live in America: Hawthorne was troubled when the American Civil War broke out a few years before his.
Hoar's payment of mine when taken to prison for a similar refusal, were all pertinent, well considered, and reasoned.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. His maternal grandfather, Asa Dunbar, led Harvard's student "Butter Rebellion", the first recorded student protest in the American colonies.
Family Origins. Walt Whitman, arguably America's most influential and innovative poet, was born into a working class family in West Hills on Long Island, on May 31, , just thirty years after George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the newly formed United States.
"In this definitive biography, the many facets of Thoreau are captured with grace and scholarly rigor by English professor Walls. By convention, she observes, there were 'two Thoreaus, both of them hermits, yet radically at odds with each other.
Henry David Thoreau INTRODUCTION Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher andtranscendentalist. Henry David Thoreau was a complex man of many talents who worked hard to shape his craft and his life.
Henry David Thoreau wrote the essay Civil Disobedience to show his opposition to slavery and American imperialism. His essay has influenced many prominent civil rights activists, including Dr.
Henry David Thoreau, (born July 12, , Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.—died May 6, , Concord), American essayist, poet, and practical philosopher, renowned for having lived the doctrines of Transcendentalism as recorded in his masterwork, Walden (), and for having been a vigorous advocate of civil liberties, as evidenced in the essay.