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Walden Pond ©Author Adventures

The Henry David Thoreau Farm

The Thoreau Farm is the birthplace of Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) and is open for guided tours on weekends beginning in May and through the summer. We also recommend the Concord Museum, which is open year-round, seven days a week (except some major holidays), and has items that belonged to Thoreau, like the bed, desk and chair from his cabin.

About the Writer

Thoreau, a Harvard graduate who studied under and worked for Ralph Waldo Emerson, was an author and an abolitionist. His best-known book is Walden (archive.org) and many of his works are compiled in Walden, and On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, which influenced environmentalists and civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.

According to biography.com/writer/henry-david-thoreau, “Thoreau also remained a devoted abolitionist until the end of his life. To support his cause, he wrote several works, including the 1854 essay Slavery in Massachusetts. Thoreau also took a brave stand for Captain John Brown, a radical abolitionist who led an uprising against slavery in Virginia. He and his supporters raided a federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry to arm themselves in October 1859, but their plan was thwarted. An injured Brown was later convicted of treason and put to death for his crime. Thoreau rose to defend him with the speech ‘A Plea for Capt. John Brown,’ calling him ‘an angel of light’ and ‘the bravest and humanest man in all the country.'”

Quotations of Thoreau like the one pictured can be found in hundreds of natural settings throughout the United States. The one pictured on this page is located at the John Muir House in California. Read about it here: John Muir in California.

A follower of Transcendentalism, through the influence of Emerson, one of Hawthorne’s best-known quotes is: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

Walden Pond

You can walk along the rim of Walden Pond and support its preservation through the Walden Woods Project, founded by veteran rock musician Don Henley of The Eagles. The title of the book about the preservation effort is a portion of the quote pictured above. Read about it here: walden.org.

The Thoreau Farm is the second stop on Massachusetts Author Adventures Trail Part 3.

Patricia Smart