Henry David Thoreau
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Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)

Henry David (Henry David) Thoreau
Born in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Died in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 27 Mar 2011 | Last significant change: 8 Jun 2020
12:16: Ellen Gustafson replied to a comment on the page for Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) [Thank Ellen for this]
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Notables Project
Henry David Thoreau is Notable.

Henry David Thoreau b. July 12, 1817, Concord, Middlesex Co., Mass.; writer, naturalist, philosopher, pencil maker, surveyor, Transcendentalist, inspector of snow storms. Most famous work "Walden". He was "clearly familiar with the wakeful state" and was included with other American literary figures in a chapter on 'Natural Wakefulness: Awakened Artists'[1]. However, Bucke[2]could not find conclusive evidence that Henry had attained Cosmic Consciousness, although there were many features that pointed to it. Neither author mentioned his deep interest in Indian (Hindu) spirituality and the practice of Yoga (ref.Wikipedia). In a letter written in 1849 to a friend about Yoga he stated "To some extent, and at rare intervals, even I am a yogi" (Miller, Barbara, 1986). This suggests he had not attained Cosmic Consciousness at that time.

He died May 6, 1862, Concord, Middlesex Co., Mass.; bu. New Burying Ground, Concord, in the Dunbar family plot; moved with other family members to Author’s Ridge in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord (essentially, up the street) in the 1870s.


  • Miller, Barbara S. "Why Did Henry David Thoreau Take the Bhagavad-Gita to Walden Pond?" Parabola 12.1 (Spring 1986): 58–63.
  • "Massachusetts State Census, 1855," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQWY-4BL : 2 April 2016), Henry D Thoreau in household of John Thoreau, Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; State Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 953,949.
  1. Steve Taylor, 2017, "The Leap: The Psychology of spiritual awakening", An Eckhart Tolle Edition, New World Library, Novato, California
  2. https://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/cc/cc41.htm

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Henry David Thoreau (/???ro?, ???ro?, ??o?ro?/; July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist.[2] He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay Resistance to Civil Government (also known as Civil Disobedience), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.

I think wikitree should show his dates

posted by K E
Agree, there’s so much left out. And the cosmic consciousness part should be a research note.
posted by Ellen Gustafson
Agree, there’s so much left out. And the cosmic consciousness part should be a research note.
posted by Ellen Gustafson
Yes, this bio needs more. And the cosmic consciousness comments perhaps moved to a note?
posted by Ellen Gustafson

Henry David is 21 degrees from Mary McCauley, 22 degrees from B. W. J. Molier and 15 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.