Henry David Thoreau was an American essayist, poet, philosopher, naturalist, tax resister, abolitionist, surveyor, and historian.
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.
Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts.
He was a lifelong abolitionist, delivering lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law while praising the writings of Wendell Phillips and defending the abolitionist John Brown.
Thoreau was influenced by Indian spiritual thought. In Walden, there are many overt references to the sacred texts of India.
Thoreau was fervently against slavery and actively supported the abolitionist movement.
He participated in the Underground Railroad, delivered lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law, and in opposition to the popular opinion of the time, supported radical abolitionist militia leader John Brown and his party.
Thoreau’s political writings had little impact during his lifetime, as “his contemporaries did not see him as a theorist or as a radical,” viewing him instead as a naturalist.
Henry David Thoreau Quotes:
1. “Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.”
2. “Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.”
3. “The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”
4. “Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.”
5. “Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.”
6. “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
7. “There is no remedy for love but to love more.”
8. “Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”
9. “When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.”
10. “Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.”
11. “I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit. When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all incumbrances and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run. ”
12. “Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.”
13. “To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.”
14. “The heart is forever inexperienced.”