Familiar Letters edited by Franklin B. Sanborn (Enlarged edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1906)
Letters to Harrison Gray Otis Blake edited by Wendell Glick (from Great Short Works of Henry David Thoreau edited, with an introduction, by Wendell Glick (New York: Harper & Row, 1982). Reprinted courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers
Newly discovered letter:
Thoreau and James Richardson to Oliver Sparhawk, 1834
This newly-discovered letter dates from Thoreau’s sophomore year at Harvard, 1834, when he was seventeen years old. It was written with James Richardson with whom Thoreau shared room 32 in Hollis. Richardson described himself to the Class Secretary as a “public teacher, or preacher of theology and religion or righteousness, and also in connection with it, [a] minister or servant in the great cause of human salvation from ignorance, malice, sin, disease, and suffering.” Oliver Sparhawk, to whom Thoreau addressed the letter, was a steward of Harvard, appointed to that position in 1831 and remaining in it until his death in 1835.
1854 Daniel Ricketson sketch of Thoreau (From Daniel Ricketson and His Friends, 1902)
It takes a man of genius to travel in his own country, in his native village; to make any progress between his door and his gate. — Journal, 6 August 1851