Blog & News

Independent Gold-Hunter on his Way to California

On December 27, 1854, Henry Thoreau traveled to Nantucket Island to give a lecture titled “What Shall it Profit?” According to the advertisement in the December 8, 1854, edition of The Inquirer, one of the two island newspapers at the time, he was to speak as part of a “course of Lectures before the Proprietors of the Nantucket Atheneum.” The advertisement went on to say, “The Committee have limited the number of tickets, that the Hall may not be crowded.”  A good turnout was...

Detail, John James Audubon, “Spruce Grouse (Canachites canadensis),” original watercolor for plate no. 176, from Birds of America

Fourteen years before Henry David Thoreau climbed Mount Katahdin, and twenty-five years before his travels on the Allegash and Penobscot Rivers, John James Audubon and his family, who were traveling in search of northern birds and subscribers to The Birds of America (1827-1838), spent several weeks in rural Maine. As we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Maine Woods, we may want to consider the art and writings that Audubon produced...

Thoreau-Roosevelt

In a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, "10 Things You Might Not Know about Fear," Mark Jacob and Stephan Benzkofer mentioned the relatively obscure origins of FDR's famous declaration in the face of the Great Depression, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!" As Jacob and Benzkofer report, Eleanor Roosevelt was once asked about the origins of this frequently quoted sentence in her husband's first...

Scot Miller's photography has been featured in many books and publications. He is the author of Walden: 150th Anniversary Illustrated Edition of the American Classic, Cape Cod: Illustrated Edition of the American Classic, and, most recently, Thoreau’s Maine Woods: A Photographic Journey Through an American Wilderness. Scot’s lifelong commitment to conservation is reflected in his photographic illustrations of Thoreau’s writings, his work for The Yosemite Fund, and his support for the Walden Woods Project, to which he offers his...

New Visitor Center at Walden Pond

On September 30, 2014, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) held a community meeting to gather additional input from stakeholders, including the Thoreau Society, on the design of the new Visitor Center at Walden Pond.  Construction of the new building, which will include exhibit space and a bookstore, will begin in the spring of 2015 and finish in 2016.  Through the Friends of Walden Pond, our long-term partnership with the DCR...

Scot Miller, Thoreau, The Maine Woods: A Photographic Journey Through an American Wilderness, Levenger Press, 2013.

Henry David Thoreau’s “Chesuncook,” the second essay of The Maine Woods, is well known for the controversy resulting from Atlantic Monthly editor James Russell Lowell’s decision to remove a now famous sentence referring to a pine tree.1 One hundred and fifty years later, Thoreau’s essay continues to resonate for another reason: its extended meditation on hunting, a pastime that attracts Americans to the woods throughout the...

Scot Miller, Thoreau, The Maine Woods: A Photographic Journey Through an American Wilderness

The question is not what you look at—but how you look & whether you see.

—Thoreau, Journal, 5 August 1851

Scot Miller, Thoreau, The Maine Woods: A...

Thoreau rocks

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.  —Henry David Thoreau, Walden

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The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot-high (192 m) monument in St. Louis

 In “Walking,” Thoreau not only defines sauntering as one of his cherished pursuits; he also self-consciously chooses a “perfectly symbolical” shape or contour for his sauntering journeys: "The outline which would bound my walks would be, not a circle, but a parabola . . .like one of those cometary orbits, which have been thought to be non-...

John Hessler

     I first started seriously reading the works of Henry David Thoreau almost twenty years ago when I was researching the biogeography of a particularly rare group of alpine butterflies. Back then I used to spend my time during the early summer...

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