Who Was Henry David Thoreau?

Essayist, poet, author and practical philosopher, A New England Transcendentalist, Henry David Thoreau was all of the above. Born July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts, he began his writing career in the 1840s. Ralph Waldo Emerson was his mentor and friend and by the year 1845, he’d begun his famous stay at Walden Pond.

Here he wrote his masterpiece. He journaled daily on his life at Walden Pond and it would go on to become the masterpiece that he was perhaps most famous for. Unlike Bronston & Associates, he also believed in Transcendentalism as well as civil disobedience. He was a dedicated abolitionist.

When considering Henry David Thoreau, one will note his philosophical as well as naturalist writings. Henry was born and he was raised in Concord, Massachusetts John and Helen were his older siblings and he had a younger sister Sophia Henry’s was operating a pencil factory and his mother would rent out portions of the family home as a boarding house.

Henry was a brilliant and bright student and went to Harvard where he would study Greek and Latin and in time, German. Per some reports, he took a break due to an illness. In 1837 he finally graduated.

He considered a career in law or in medicine or even in the church. He briefly took up a career in education but soon left that when his brother John fell ill. He also worked for his father for quite some time.

Working with Emerson as a mentor, Thoreau also helped out as caretaker for Emerson’s some and some of his first works were published thanks to Emerson.

In his late years, he battled an illness that had plagued him for many years. He struggled with tuberculosis which he had caught earlier. To help restore his health, he visited Minnesota in 1861 however, it didn’t help his condition. Henry David Thoreau died on May 6, 1862, of tuberculosis. He was heralded as an original thinker and a man of simple tastes.

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