Henry David Thoreau

June 12, 1817 — May 6, 1862

Revolt Library People Henry David Thoreau

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June 12, 1817 — May 6, 1862

Biography


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About Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau (see name pronunciation; July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading transcendentalist, he is best known for his book Walden, a 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 history, two 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 austerity, and Yankee attention to practical detail. 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 needs.

From : Wikipedia.org

Works

This person has authored 31 documents, with 193,195 words or 1,090,650 characters.

I heartily accept the motto, “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. Th... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
We have occasionally, for several years, met with a number of this spirited journal, edited, as abolitionists need not to be informed, by Nathaniel P. Rogers, once a counselor at law in Plymouth, still further up the Merrimack, but now, in his riper years, come down the hills thus far, to be the Herald of Freedom to those parts. We have been refreshed not a little by the cheap cordial of his editorials, flowing like his own mountain-torrents, now clear and sparkling, now foaming and gritty, and always spiced with the essence of the fir and the Norway pine; but never dark nor muddy, nor threatening with smothered murmurs, like the rivers of the plain. The effect of one of his effusions reminds us of what the hydropathists say about the elect... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
A review of The Paradise within the Reach of all Men, without Labor, by Powers of Nature and Machinery: An Address to all intelligent men, in two parts by J.A. Etzler (1842). * * * We learn that Mr. Etzler is a native of Germany, and originally published his book in Pennsylvania, ten or twelve years ago; and now a second English edition, from the original American one, is demanded by his readers across the water, owing, we suppose, to the recent spread of Fourier’s doctrines. It is one of the signs of the times. We confess that we have risen from reading this book with enlarged ideas, and grander conceptions of our duties in this world. It did expand us a little. It is worth attending to, if only that it entertai... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The Reformers are no doubt the true ancestors of the next generation; the Conservative belongs to a decaying family, and has not learned that he who seeks to save his “life” shall lose it. Both are sick, but the one is already convalescent. His disease is not organic but acute, and he looks forward to coming springs with hope. He is not sick of any incurable disorder, of plague or consumption; but of tradition and conformity and infidelity; but the other is still taking his bitters and quack medicines patiently, and will grow worse yet. The heads of conservatives have a puny and deficient look, a certain callowness and concavity, as if they were prematurely exposed on one or both sides, or were made to lie or pack together, as w... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
I. Qualities of the Recruit Spes sibi quisque. Virgil Each one his own hope. The brave man is the elder son of creation, who has stept buoyantly into his inheritance, while the coward, who is the younger, waiteth patiently till he decease. He rides as wide of this earth’s gravity as a star, and by yielding incessantly to all the impulses of the soul, is constantly drawn upward and becomes a fixed star. His bravery deals not so much in resolute action, as healthy and assured rest; its palmy state is a staying at home and compelling alliance in all directions. So stands his life to heaven, as some fair sunlit tree against the western horizon, and by sunrise is planted on some eastern hill, to glisten in the firs... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Perhaps no one in English history better represents the heroic character than Sir Walter Raleigh, for Sidney has got to be almost as shadowy as Arthur himself. Raleigh’s somewhat antique and Roman virtues appear in his numerous military and naval adventures, in his knightly conduct toward the Queen, in his poems and his employments in the Tower, and not least in his death, but more than all in his constant soldier-like bearing and promise. He was the Bayard of peaceful as well as war like enterprise, and few lives which are the subject of recent and trustworthy history are so agreeable to the imagination. Not withstanding his temporary unpopularity, he especially possessed the prevalent and popular qualities which command the admirati... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
I LATELY ATTENDED a meeting of the citizens of Concord, expecting, as one among many, to speak on the subject of slavery in Massachusetts; but I was surprised and disappointed to find that what had called my townsmen together was the destiny of Nebraska, and not of Massachusetts, and that what I had to say would be entirely out of order. I had thought that the house was on fire, and not the prairie; but though several of the citizens of Massachusetts are now in prison for attempting to rescue a slave from her own clutches, not one of the speakers at that meeting expressed regret for it, not one even referred to it. It was only the disposition of some wild lands a thousand miles off which appeared to concern them. The inhabitants of Concord ... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Thomas Carlyle is a Scotchman, born about fifty years ago, “at Ecclefechan, Annandale,” according to one authority. “His parents ‘good farmer people,’ his father an elder in the Secession church there, and a man of strong native sense, whose words were said to ‘nail a subject to the wall.’ ” We also hear of his “excellent mother,” still alive, and of “her fine old covenanting accents, converting with his transcendental tones.” He seems to have gone to school at Annan, on the shore of the Solway Firth, and there, as he himself writes, “heard of famed professors, of high matters classical, mathematical, a whole Wonderland of Knowledge,” from Edward Irving, the... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
A Plea for Captain John Brown 30 October 1859 I trust that you will pardon me for being here. I do not wish to force my thoughts upon you, but I feel forced myself. Little as I know of Captain Brown, I would fain do my part to correct the tone and the statements of the newspapers, and of my countrymen generally, respecting his character and actions. It costs us nothing to be just. We can at least express our sympathy with, and admiration of, him and his companions, and that is what I now propose to do. First, as to his history. I will endeavor to omit, as much as possible, what you have already read. I need not describe his person to you, for probably most of you have seen and will not soon forget him. I am told that hi... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
CONCORD, July 19, 1842. The needles of the pine All to the west incline. Summer and winter our eyes had rested on the dim outline of the mountains in our horizon, to which distance and indistinctness lent a grandeur not their own, so that they served equally to interpret all the allusions of poets and travelers; whether with Homer, on a spring morning, we sat down on the many-peaked Olympus, or, with Virgil, and his compeers, roamed the Etrurian and Thessalian hills, or with Humboldt measured the more modern Andes and Teneriffe. Thus we spoke our mind to them, standing on the Concord cliffs:— With frontier strength ye stand your ground, With grand content ye circle round, Tumultuous silence for all sound, Ye dista... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Mr. Editor: — We have now, for the third winter, had our spirits refreshed, and our faith in the destiny of the commonwealth strengthened, by the presence and the eloquence of Wendell Phillips; and we wish to tender to him our thanks and our sympathy. The admission of this gentleman into the Lyceum has been strenuously opposed by a respectable portion of our fellow citizens, who themselves, we trust, whose descendants, at least, we know, will be as faithful conservers of the true order, whenever that shall be the order of the day — and in each instance, the people have voted that they would hear him, by coming themselves and bringing their friends to the lecture room, and being very silent that they might hear. We saw som... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

Chronology

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June 12, 1817
Birth Day.

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May 6, 1862
Death Day.

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April 21, 2020; 1:24:58 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
Added to https://www.RevoltLib.com.

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