He was an American essayist, a poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian. He was born July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts, and given the name David Henry, but would later change it to Henry David as he felt it sounded more like a writer. He died May 6, 1862, also in Concord, Massachusetts. He was 45 years old at the time of his death.

His well-known essays were Civil Disobedience and Life Without Principle. He was educated at the Concord Academy and Harvard University.

Quotes associated with Thoreau:

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”

“Our life is frittered away by detail…simplify, simplify.”