Other notable transcendentalist writers included; Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emersion, and Convers Francis, all were very influential writers at the time.
If Henry David Thoreau were alive today, he would probably live in Montana, or Tucson, or a small rural town in New England with beautiful hiking trails. He'd be the scruffy guy in sandals who pads down to the public library once or twice or day to check his email, read the online, maybe surf a blog or two. You can see him scavenging a sandwich - he would say, "Can you believe it, a perfectly good sandwich that someone just threw away!" - from the trashcan as he walks home to write in his journal, admiring the blue sky, the birdsong, and a dozen other things that every one else takes for granted.
The Concord, Massachusetts native Henry David Thoreau was a writer, poet, naturalist, handyman and prophet of simple, sustainable living. Before you could purchase magazines with titles like , Thoreau was exhorting his fellow man to live with less stuff and more time for things that really matter. In 1845, he built a cabin on the shores of Concord's Walden Pond (on land owned by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson) and proceeded to live a Spartan life for two years. His memoir of the experience, , has since become a bible for simplicity-seekers everywhere. As Emerson wrote after Thoreau's death in Concord in 1862, "He chose to be rich by making his wants few, and supplying them himself."
Thoreau's message has as much relevance today as it did in the 1860s. Thoreau was writing during tough economic times, when formerly self-reliant farmers were being displaced by an increasingly industrialized economy. Thoreau exhorted his readers to be thrifty, to do without unnecessary things, and to live with an appreciation for the simple things in life. We need his message now more than ever.
Gandhi wrote "To American friends, you have given me a teacher in Thoreau, who furnished me through his essay on the 'Duty of Civil Disobedience' scientific confirmation of what I was doing in South Africa."
Thoreau died in 1862 from tuberculosis, leaving an impact on the world. Thoreau's words and acts have inspired civil rights leaders around the globe and have proofed that violence is not the only way to accomplish a goal.
Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, or Henry David Thoreau, they all just wanted to make a change for justice.
Henry David Thoreau was a well respected writer in his time.
L. Tom Perry Special Collections contains many early publications by the Transcendentalists, from works by major figures of the movement like Ralph Waldo Emerson (including his seminal essay, Nature), Henry David Thoreau (a first edition of Walden is pictured here), and Theodore Parker; to lectures given at the Concord School of Philosophy.
If anythink that their influence would be lost there, and theirvoices no longer afflict the ear of the State, that theywould not be as an enemy within its walls, they do not knowby how much truth is stronger than error, nor how much moreeloquently and effectively he can combat injustice who hasexperienced a little in his own person.
These works are complemented by the collection, which encompasses the work of her father, Transcendentalist philosopher Amos Bronson Alcott. Special Collections’ newest acquisitions of works by Transcendentalist writers include a 1903 anthology, The Poets of Transcendentalism, which collects many of the poems printed in the short-lived periodical The Dial, and the first edition of Bronson Alcott’s memorial collection Ralph Waldo Emerson: An Estimate of his Character and Genius (1882).
I was put intoa jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stoodconsidering the walls of solid stone, two or three feetthick, the door of wood and iron, a foot thick, and the irongrating which strained the light, I could not help beingstruck with the foolishness of that institution whichtreated my as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, tobe locked up.
I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between meand my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one toclimb or break through before they could get to be as freeas I was.
This was a form of peaceful protest, he accepted the fact that he would get in trouble for this, but knew that it was necessary to draw attention to the issue.
After spending a night in jail, for failing to pay his taxes, Thoreau wrote his famous essay “Resistance to Civil Government” which he later named “Civil Disobedience,” coining the term that is used today. In his essay Thoreau argued that not all laws are just, but as human beings it is more important to obey natural law over civil law.
I had soon read all the tracts thatwere left there, and examined where former prisoners hadbroken out, and where a grate had been sawed off, and heardthe history of the various occupants of that room; for Ifound that even there there was a history and a gossip whichnever circulated beyond the walls of the jail.
I sawto what extent the people among whom I lived could betrusted as good neighbors and friends; that their friendshipwas for summer weather only; that they did not greatlypropose to do right; that they were a distinct race from meby their prejudices and superstitions, as the Chinamen andMalays are that in their sacrifices to humanity they ran norisks, not even to their property; that after all they werenot so noble but they treated the thief as he had treatedthem, and hoped, by a certain outward observance and a fewprayers, and by walking in a particular straight throughuseless path from time to time, to save their souls.