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Henry David Thoreau

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Henry David Thoreau was bon on July 12, 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts, on his grandmother's farm. Thoreau was of French-Huguenot and Scottish-Quaker decent. Thoreau was interested in writing at an early age. At the age of ten he wrote his first essay "The seasons". He attended Concord Academy until 1833 when he was accepted to Harvard University but with his pending financial situation he was forced to attend Cambridge in August of 1833. In September of 1833 with the help of his family he was able to attend Harvard University. He graduated college in August of 1837.

When Thoreau returned home his family noticed a change in his personality. He was no longer accepting people's opinions as facts but would shock people with his own independent and unconventional opinions. He desired to live his life with the freedom to think and act as he wished. He obtained a local teaching job and refused to Flog children as punishment. Instead he would give moral lectures. The community objected to this method of punishment and forced Thoreau to flog his incorrigible children. That day Thoreau flogged six students and then turned in his resignation. He did so believing that physical punishment should have no place in education.

In 1837 Thoreau's sister introduced hi to Lucy Jackson Brown. Lucy Jackson Brown was the sister-in-law of Ralph Waldo Emerson. She read some of Thoreau's work and noticed a similarity between his writing and Emerson's writing. When she informed Emerson of this news he demanded that the two meet. Upon meeting each other they quickly became friends. Emerson helped Thoreau deliver his first lecture "Society". Emerson introduced Thoreau to the rest of the Transcendental Club, which included Bronson Alcott, Margaret Fuller and many others.

On August 31, 1839 Thoreau and his older brother, John, left Concord on a boat trip down the Concord river, onto Middlesex Canal, into the Merrimack River and into the state of New Hampshire. This trip left Thoreau with the experiences to write his first Book, A week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. Early in 1841 Thoreau's brother John became seriously ill. Not able to deal with the current situation Thoreau moved into an upstairs bedroom in Emerson's home. On March 11th of the following year Thoreau lost his friend and life long companion, his brother.

On July 4, 1845 Thoreau decided to go on sabbatical at the nearby Walden Pond. His friend Ralph Waldo Emerson owned a plot of land on Walden Pond and allowed Thoreau to stay there. Thoreau built himself a small cabin overlooking the pond, and from July 4, 1845 to September 6, 1847 Thoreau lived at Walden Pond. He wrote about the occurrences that happened while he was at Walden Pond and collectively



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