David Henry Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817 and lived nearly all of his life in Concord, Massachusetts, a small town about twenty miles west of Boston. He was the third child with his older siblings John and Helen and younger sister Sophia. His father John was a shopkeeper. John moved his family to Chelmsford and Boston, following business opportunities. In 1823 the family moved back to Concord where John established a pencil-making concern that eventually brought financial stability to the family. Thoreau’s mother, Cynthia Dunbar, took in boarders from rented out sections of the house to help keep ends meet. Thoreau’s older siblings, Helen and John, Jr were both schoolteachers; when it was decided that their brother should further his education Harvard College came to mind. (R.Schneider) He shall attend, as had his grandfather before him, they contributed from their teaching salaries to help pay his expenses, at that time about $179 a year.
Taking school more serious. In 1828, he and his brother enrolled at Concord Academy, a progressive prep school. 1833, with various relatives to help pay tuition and fees he went to Harvard College. Harvard put heavy emphases on the classes. He did very good there he studied Greek and Latin as well as German. Thoreau was a voracious student at Harvard, signing up for more than the required classes. He did well there and, despite having to drop out for several months for financial and health reasons, was graduated in the top half of his class in 1837.
Around the same time as his graduation in 1837, Thoreau was present in a crowded Harvard auditorium to hear a lecture given by Ralph Waldo Emerson, a Concord resident and the author of a recent book entitled Nature laid the foundation for...
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...finally had enough and went into a peaceful state on his death of May 6, 1862.
Thoreau was an original thinker. While other writers from his time have faded into obscurity, Thoreau has endured because so much of what he wrote is still relevant today. His writings on government were revolutionary. Thoreau studies of nature were equally radical in their own way. His major work, “Walden”, has offered up a alternative to the normal blue collar life with hopes of a white collar retirement.
"Life and Legacy." Life and Legacy. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 July 2015.
"Henry David Thoreau - Biography." Henry David Thoreau. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 July 2015.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "Henry David Thoreau Timeline of Important Dates." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 04 July 2015.
Krutch, Joseph W. Henry David Thoreau. New York: W. Sloane Associates, 1948. Print.
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