This is a timeline of the life of henry david thoreau.
- Attended Concord Academy
- Attended Harvard College
- Taught school with Orestes Brownson
- Taught briefly at Concord Center School (public)
- Conducted a private school, Concord Academy, with his elder brother John
- Went on boating excursion on Concord and Merrimack rivers with his older brother John, which formed the basis of Thoreau’s first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
- Published his first poems and essays in The Dial
- Lived with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family
- John cuts himself with a razor and died of lockjaw.
- Waldo dies.
- Natural History of Massachusetts published
- Published “A Walk to Wachusett” and “A Winter Walk”.
- Moves to Staten Island, New York for seven months to tutor William Emerson’s nephew and try to make it as a writer in New York.
- Homesick, often ill, and unable to find regular literary employment, moves back to Concord
- Accidentally starts a fire that burned down much of the Concord woods
- Lived at Walden Pond
- Traveled to Maine woods
- Spent one night in jail for refusing to pay poll tax, which formed the basis for his essay, “Civil Disobedience“
- Lived in Emerson household while Ralph Waldo Emerson lectured in England
- Began lecturing professionally
- “Ktaadn and the Maine Woods” published
- Henry’ sister Helen dies of tuberculosis.
- A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers published and failed.
- Resistance to Civil Government published.
- Traveled to Cape Cod.
- Started work as a surveyor to pay off his debts.
- Traveled to Cape Cod and Quebec.
- Reconceives the project of his Journal.
- Enraged by passage of Fugitive Slave Act and becomes increasingly involved in the Underground Railroad.
- Traveled to Maine woods
- Portions of A Yankee in Canada published
- Walden published.
- Slavery in Massachusetts published.
- Surveyed Eagleswood Community near Perth Amboy, NJ
- Traveled to Cape Cod and Maine Woods
- Chesuncook published
- Traveled to White Mountains in New Hampshire
- Father died
- A Plea for Capt. John Brown published
- Read Darwin’s Origin of Species.
- The Succession of Forest Trees published.
- Traveled to Minnesota to regain health
- Back in Concord, spends his last months indoors, cross-referencing the Journal, compiling over 750 pages of enormous lists and charts of a wide range of seasonal phenomena.
- Pulls together his last essays, the books The Main Woods and Cape Cod and the work that would eventually be published as Faith in a Seed and Wild Fruits.
44 (almost 45), 1862
- Died 6 May of tuberculosis
Thoreau, H. D., & Stilgoe, J. R. (2009). The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837-1861 (D. Searls, Ed.; Illustrated edition). NYRB Classics.
Walls, L. D. (2017). Henry David Thoreau: A Life (First edition). University of Chicago Press.