Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862

Thoreau enjoyed a lifelong friendship and association with Emerson, who introduced him to other Transcendentalists. Between 1841 and 1843, he resided in his mentor's home. With Emerson's encouragement he published essays, poems, and reviews in various magazines, including the Dial, whose editorship he assumed briefly in 1843 when Emerson was away. In 1845, Thoreau conducted his famous Walden experiment. He lectured throughout New England and spoke out, even when Emerson would not, on burning social issues such as slavery. In 1846, Thoreau, following Alcott's example, refused to pay the poll tax in support of the Mexican War (1846-1848) and was jailed. He transformed this experience into a manifesto of passive resistance in his essay "Civil Disobedience" (1849). In 1862, Thoreau died of tuberculosis the age of 44, with major writing unpublished.



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