Founded in 1941, The Thoreau SocietyTM is the oldest and largest organization devoted to an American author.


Thoreau Society Annual Gathering



Join us.

"I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil—to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society." "Walking," Thoreau

Read "The Thoreau Society Bulletin," Summer Issue


Henry D. Thoreau

The struggle for social and environmental justice

Henry David Thoreau saw the exploitation of people and of nature as two sides of the same coin of injustice and oppression. In his own day, he decried an economic and political system that countenanced human bondage even as it despoiled nature. As he asks in “Slavery in Massachusetts,” “[W]hat signifies the beauty of nature when men are base?”

The Thoreau Society continues our namesake’s struggle to open all eyes to social and environmental injustice, and to end blindness to the consequences of unchecked racism, climate change, and other threats to individual freedom, democratic equality, and social justice in the United States and around the world. As a community devoted to Thoreau’s legacy, we are a work-in-progress, committed to the perpetual challenge of improving the Thoreau Society as an embodiment—and a promoter—of these ideals.


Kurt Vonnegut

Join us for a live panel discussion on Transcendentalism and its connection to literature, art, and music. The program is in cooperation with Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library, the Thoreau Farm, the Thoreau Society, and the Walden Woods Project.

Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 7:00pm
Location: Zoom - 7 pm Eastern

Earth Day Event and Registration: "Resistance and Extinction: A Conversation about Thoreau, Loss and Hope"

The Thoreau Society is teaming up with the Center for Biological Diversity for a special Earth Day event to discuss resistance and extinction. We'll explore the works of the beloved 19th-century naturalist and philosopher Henry David Thoreau and how they relate to today's fight to end the extinction crisis.

Join us online April 22 at 4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET for this discussion with Thoreau Society President Rochelle Johnson and Executive Director Michael Frederick; Laura Walls, author of Henry David Thoreau: A Life; and Center for Biological Diversity Founder and Director of Programs Peter Galvin and Senior Scientist Tierra Curry.

The Thoreau Society's mission is to preserve Thoreau's legacy and advocate for the preservation of the natural world, including Walden Pond and surrounding areas. The Thoreau Society exists to stimulate interest in Thoreau's life and works, challenging all to live a deliberate, considered life.

The Center for Biological Diversity believes that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature—to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, the Center works to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. They do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

We want those who come after us to inherit a world where the wild is still alive.