Henry David Thoreau Transcendentalism
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 the United States was experiencing an economic depression at the time of his graduation, jobs were not too plentiful. However, Thoreau managed.
Harvard University has four professions that the majority of its graduates usually enter into: the ministry, the law, medicine, and teaching. Henry found himself to be unsuited to all but teaching, and so he chose to become an educator. Both of his older siblings, Helen and John Jr., were already in the profession. His first job out of college was as a teacher at the Concord public school. He quit this job after only two weeks, though, over an argument with his superintendent on how to discipline the children. He objected corporal punishment, like spanking the students in front of the class.…