Henry David Thoreau Transcendentalism

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Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts on July 12, 1817. His home was about twenty miles outside of Boston. Born to John and Cynthia Dunbar Thoreau, he was the third of four children in his family. Helen and John were his older sister and brother; Sophia was his younger sister. Helen was five years older, and John Jr. was two years older; Sophia was two years younger than he was. He received a primary and secondary education at a public school in Concord and the private Concord academy, a prestigious prep school. He was accepted into Harvard and chose to continue his education there. Henry dropped out for several months for financial and health reasons, but still managed to graduate in the top fifty percent of his class. Since …show more content…
Henry had first met Emerson when he attended Harvard University. Emerson was giving a lecture, as he had a book that had recently been published, Nature. He introduced Transcendentalism to Thoreau, which utterly intrigued him. Transcendentalism was a philosophical movement focused on the significance of intuition, the elevation of the spirit, and the purity of nature. Henry introduced himself after the lecture, and the two became close companions.
Henry paid his rent by performing odd jobs, like gardening. Emerson was a mentor to him and helped him get poems and essays published in the Transcendentalist journal, The Dial. He decided to refuse all other careers and devote himself to this Transcendentalist mindset and way of life. He wanted to explore and write of the “spiritual relationship between humanity and nature”, as well as supporting his political and social views. In 1845, Emerson granted him permission to use his piece of land for a place to
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He also made his living giving the occasional lecture and publishing essays in newspapers and journals. He was known as an “ardent and outspoken abolitionist” and served as a conductor of the Underground Railroad. He helped slaves make their way to Canada and wrote attacks on the Fugitive Slave Law.
He went quite unnoticed fame-wise while he was alive. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers and Walden were the only books published by him, despite his other works written. Henry David Thoreau died from tuberculosis at the age of forty-four years, on May 6, 1862. He had been struggling with the disease all through his life. He left behind many unfinished projects, such as extensive notes on American Indians and a comprehensive record on nature around Concord.
The Maine Woods, Cape Cod, and A Yankee in Canada were published after his death. He is known to blend social criticism and philosophical insight with natural observation. His reputation has grown since his death; his works have influenced the masses. Many famous authors cared deeply for him and were inspired by his

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