the Thoreau Log.
1838
Æt. 21.
6 January. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:25).
15 January. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:25).
16 January. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:25).
21 January. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “Every leaf and twig was this morning covered with a sparkling ice armor, even the grasses in exposed fields were hung with innumerable diamond pendants, which jingled merrily when brushed by the foot of the traveller” (Journal, 1:25-6).
6 February. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes to a Mr. Hawkins (The Correspondence (2013, Princeton), 1:34).
7 February. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:26-7).
9 February. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:27-8).

Thoreau also writes to David Greene Haskins (The Correspondence (2013, Princeton), 1:34-5; MS, Robert H. Taylor collection of English and American Literature. Firestone Library, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.).

10 February. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes to his brother John:
Dear John,-
  Dost expect to elicit a spark from so dull a steel as myself, by that flinty subject of thine? Truly, one of your copper percussion caps would have fitted this nail-head better.
  Unfortunately, the “Americana” has hardly two words on the subject. The process is very simple. The stone is struck with a mallet so as to produce pieces sharp at one end, and blunt at the other. These are laid upon a steel line (probably a chisel’s edge), and again struck with the mallet, and flints of the required size are broken off. A skilled workman may make a thousand a day.
  So much for the “Americana.” Dr. Jacob Bigelow in his “Technology” says, “Gun-flints are formed by a skillful workman, who breaks them out with a hammer, a roller, and small chisel, with small repeated strokes.”
  Your ornithological commission shall be executed. When are you coming home?

Your affectionate brother,
Henry D. Thoreau

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 23; Familiar letters of Henry David Thoreau (1894), 20–1)
Ralph Waldo Emerson writes in his journal on 11 February:
At the “teachers’ meeting” last night, my good Edmund [Hosmer], after disclaiming any wish to difference Jesus from a human mind suddenly seemed to alter his tone & said that Jesus made the world & was the Eternal God. Henry Thoreau merely remarked that “Mr Hosmer has kicked the pail over.” I delight much in my young friend, who seems to have as free & erect a mind as any I have ever met.
(The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 5:452)
11 February. Concord, Mass.
Ralph Waldo Emerson writes in his journal: “[Thoreau] told as we walked this afternoon a good story about a boy who went to school with him, Wentworth, who resisted the school mistress’ command that the children should bow to Dr Heywood & other gentlemen as they went by, and when Dr Heywood stood waiting & cleared his throat with a Hem! Wentworth said, ‘You needn’t hem, Doctor; I shan’t bow’” (The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 5:452).
13 February. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:28).
15 February. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:28-9).
16 February. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:29).
17 February. Concord, Mass.
Ralph Waldo Emerson writes in his journal:
My good Henry Thoreau made this else solitary afternoon sunny with his simplicity and clear perception. How comic is simplicity in this double-dealing, quacking world. Everything that boy says makes merry with society, though nothing can be graver than his meaning. I told him he should write out the history of his college life as Carlyle has his tutoring. We agreed that seeing the stars through a telescope would be worth all the astronomical lectures. Then he described Mr. Quimby’s electrical lecture here, and the experiment of the shock, and added that “College Corporations are very blind to the fact that that twinge in the elbow is worth all the lecturing.”
(The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 5:453-4)
18 February. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “I had not been out long this morning when it seemed that a new Spring was already born, - not quite weaned, it is true, but verily entered upon existence” (Journal, 1:29).
19 February. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:30).
27 February. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:30).
1 March. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:30-1).
3 March. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:31).
4 March. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “Here at my elbow sit five notable, or at least noteworthy, representatives of this nineteenth century - of the gender feminine” (Journal, 1:31-3).
5 March. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:33-5).
6 March. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:35).
7 March. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:35).
14 March. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal to prepare a lecture at the Concord Lyceum on 11 April (Journal, 1:36-40).
17 March. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes to his brother John:
Dear John,
  Your box of relics came safe to hand, but was speedily deposited on the carpet I assure you. What could it be? Some declared it must be Taunton herrings Just nose it sir. So down we went onto our knees and commenced smelling in good earnest, now horizontally from this corner to that, now perpendicularly from the carpet up, now diagonally, and finally with a sweeping movement describing the entire circumference. But it availed not. Taunton herring would not be smelled. So we e'en proce[e]ded to open it vi et chisel. What an array of nails! Four nails make a quarter four quarters a yard, - i faith this isn't cloth measure. Blaze away old boy, clap in another wedge, then! - There! softly she begins to gape - Just give that old stickler with a black hat on a hoist. Aye! W'ell [sic] pare his nails for him. Well done old fellow there's a breathing hole for you. “Drive it in,” cries one, “rip it off,” cries another. Be easy I say. What's done, may be undone Your richest veins don't lie nearest the surface. Suppose we sit down and enjoy the prospect, for who knows but we may be disappointed? When they opened Pandora's box, all the contents escaped except hope, but in this case hope is uppermost and will be the first to escape when the box is opened. However the general voice was for kicking the coverlid off.
  The relics have been arranged numerically on a table. When shall we set up housekeeping? Miss Ward thanks you for her share of the spoils, also accept many thanks from your humble servant “for yourself.”
  I have a proposal to make. Suppose by the time you are released, we should start in company for the West and there either establish a school jointly, or procure ourselves separate situations. Suppose moreover you should get ready to start previous to leaving Taunton, to save time. Go I must at all events. Dr. Jarvis enumerated nearly a dozen schools which I could have - all such as would suit you equally well. I wish you would write soon about this. It is high season to start. The canals are now open, and travelling comparatively cheap. I think I can borrow the cash in this town. There’s nothing like trying
  Brigham wrote you a few words on the eig[h]th which father took the liberty to read, with the advice and consent of the family. He wishes you to send him those [numbers] of the library of health received since - 38, if you are in Concord, othe[rw]ise, he says, you need not trouble you[rse]lf about it at present. [H]e is in C and enjoying better health than usual. But one number, and that you have, has been received.
  The bluebirds made their appearance the 14th day of March - robins and pigeons have also been seen. Mr. E[merson] has put up the bluebird box in due form.
  All send their love. From

Y’r aff. brother
H. D. Thoreau

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 24-5)
26 March. Cambridge, Mass.
Josiah Quincy writes a letter of recommendation for Thoreau:
To Whom It May Concern, -
  I certify that Henry D. Thoreau, of Concord in this State of Massachusetts, graduated at this seminary in August, 1837; that his rank was high as a scholar in all branches, and his morals and general conduct unexceptionable and exemplary. He is recommended as well qualified as an instructor, for employment in any public or private school or private family.

Josiah Quincy, President of Harvard University

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 26; MS, The Raymond Adams collection in the Thoreau Society Collections at the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods, Lincoln, Mass.)
April. Concord, Mass.?
Lidian Jackson Emerson writes to her sister Lucy Jackson Brown: “Mr [Cornelius Conway] Felton was here too, yesterday - and we invited to meet them H. Thoreau - Rockwood H. [Hoar] & Mr [Barzillai?] Frost. So you see in the midst of hurried preparation for my journey I had to dine five gentlemen - give tea to two and also a room each at night” (The Selected Letters of Lidian Jackson Emerson, 73).
1 April. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:40).
2 April. Concord, Mass.
Ralph Waldo Emerson loans Thoreau $100 (Ralph Waldo Emerson journals and notebooks (MS Am 1280H, Series I, 112). Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.).
8 April. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes his poem “Friendship” in his journal (Journal, 1:40-3).
11 April. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau delivers his first lecture for the Concord Lyceum at the Mason’s Hall. The subject was “Society” (Concord Lyceum records. Special Collections, Concord (Mass.) Free Public Library).
12 April. Cambridge, Mass.
Josiah Quincy writes to Thoreau about a possible teaching position:
Sir,-
  The School is at Alexandria; the students are said to be young men well advanced in ye knowledge of ye Latin and Greek classics; the requisitions are, qualification and a person who has had experience in school keeping. Salary $600. a year, besides washing and Board; duties to be entered on ye 5th or 6th of May. If you choose to apply, I will write as soon as I am informed of it. State to me your experience in school keeping.

Yours,
Josiah Quincy

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 25-6; MS, The Raymond Adams collection in the Thoreau Society Collections at the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods, Lincoln, Mass.; III.98.n.)
13 April. Concord, Mass.
Prudence Ward writes to her sister Caroline Ward Sewall:
Mrs. John Thoreau’s children are soon to leave her; Helen and Sophia to keep school in Roxbury. John and Henry to go West. They purpose instructing there, but have no fixed plan. They will go as far as Louisville in Kentucky, unless employment can be found nearer… To-day, April 13, Henry has had a letter from President Quincy, of Harvard, speaking of a school in Alexandria, Virginia, to be opened the 5th of May. He is willing to take it, and if accepted, this may alter or delay their journey.
(The Life of Henry David Thoreau (1917), 200-1)
15 April. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:43).
24 April. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:43).
25 April. Concord, Mass.
Ralph Waldo Emerson writes in his journal on 26 April: “Yesterday P.M. I went to the Cliff with Henry Thoreau. Warm, pleasant, misty weather which the great mountain amphitheatre seemed to drink in with gladness” (The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 4:432).
26 April. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes his poem “The Bluebirds” in his journal (Journal, 1:43-6).
1 May. Concord, Mass.
Ezra Ripley writes a letter of recommendation for Thoreau for possible teaching positions in Maine:
TO THE FRIENDS OF EDUCATION, - The undersigned very cheerfully hereby introduces to public notice the bearer, Mr David Henry Thoreau, as a teacher in the higher branches of useful literature. He is a native of this town and a graduate of Harvard University. He is well disposed and well qualified to instruct the rising generation. His scholarship and moral character will bear the strictest scrutiny. He is modest and mild in his disposition and government, but not wanting in energy of character and fidelity in the duties of his profession. It is presumed his character and usefulness will be appreciated more highly as an acquaintance with him shall be cultivated. Cordial wishes for his success, reputation, and usefulness attend him, as an instructor and gentleman.

Ezra Ripley,
Senior Pastor of the First Church in Concord, Mass.

(Henry D. Thoreau (1882), 57-8)
2 May. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau borrows $10 from Ralph Waldo Emerson to travel to Maine in search of a teaching position (Ralph Waldo Emerson journals and notebooks (MS Am 1280H, Series I, 112). Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.).

Emerson also writes a letter of recommendation for Thoreau to take on his Maine job search:

I cordially recommend Mr. Henry D. Thoreau, a graduate of Harvard University in August, 1837, to the confidence of such parents or guardians as may propose to employ him as an instructor. I have the highest confidence in Mr. Thoreau’s moral character, and in his intellectual ability. He is an excellent scholar, a man of energy and kindness, and I shall esteem the town fortunate that secures his services.
(Henry D. Thoreau (1882), 59; MS, Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, N.Y.)
Prudence Ward writes to her sister, Caroline Ward Sewall:
Mr. Thoreau has begun to prepare his garden, and I have been digging the flower-beds. Henry has left this morning, to try and obtain a school at the eastward (in Maine). John has taken one in West Roxbury. Helen is in another part of Roxbury, establishing herself in a boarding and day-school. Sophia will probably be wanted there as an assistant; so the family are disposed of. I shall miss the juvenile members very much; for they are the most important part of the establishment.
(The Life of Henry David Thoreau (1917), 201)
3 May.
Thoreau writes in his journal:
Boston to Portland… Midnight - head over the boat’s side - between sleeping and waking - with glimpses of one or more lights in the vicinity of Cape Ann. Bright moonlight - the effect heightened by seasickness.
(Journal, 1:46-7)
4 May. Portland, Maine.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “Portland” (Journal, 1:47).
5 May.
Thoreau writes in his journal, “Portland to Bath-via Brunswick-Bath to Brunswick-May 5th” (Journal, 1:47-8).
6 to 7 May.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “Brunswick to Augusta via Gardiner & Hallowell” (Journal, 1:48).
7 May.
Thoreau writes in his journal:
We occasionally meet an individual of a character and disposition so entirely the reverse of our own, that we wonder if he can indeed be another man like ourselves. We doubt if we ever could draw any nearer to him, and understand him. Such was the old English gentleman whom I met with to-day in H[allowell]. Though I peered in at his eyes I could not discern myself reflected therein. The chief wonder was how we could ever arrive at so fair-seeming an intercourse upon so small ground of sympathy. He walked and fluttered like a strange bird at my side, prying into and making a handle of the least circumstance. The bustle and rapidity of our communication were astonishing; we skated in our conversation. All at once he would stop short in the path, and, in an abstracted air, query whether the steamboat had reached Bath or Portland, addressing me from time to time as his familiar genius, who could understand what was passing in his mind without the necessity of uninterrupted oral communication.
(Journal, 1:48)
8 May.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “Augusta to Bangor via China” (Journal, 1:48).
10 May.
Thoreau writes in his journal:
Bangor to Oldtown. The rail-road from Bangor to Oldtown is civilization shooting off in a tangent into the forest. I had much conversation with an old Indian at the latter place, who sat dreaming upon a scow at the water side and striking his deer-skin moccasins against the planks, while his arms hung listlessly by his side. He was the most communicative man I had met. Talked of hunting and fishing, old times and new times. Pointing up the Penobscot, he observed, “Two or three mile up the river one beautiful country!” and then, as if he would come as far to meet me as I had gone to meet him, he exclaimed “Ugh, one very hard time!” But he had mistaken his man.
(Journal, 1:48-9)
11 May.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “Bangor to Belfast via Saturday Cove” (Journal, 1:49).
12 May. Belfast, Maine.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “Belfast” (Journal, 1:49).
13 May.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “To Castine by sailboat ‘Cinderilla’” (Journal, 1:49).
14 May.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “Castine to Belfast by packet, Captain Skinner. Found the the Poems of Burns and an odd volume of the ‘Spectator’ in the cabin” (Journal, 1:49).
15 May.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “Belfast to Bath via Thomaston” (Journal, 1:49).
16 May.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “To Portland” (Journal, 1:49).
17 May.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “To Boston and Concord” (Journal, 1:49).
21 May. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes his poem “May Morning” in his journal (Journal, 1:49-50).
28 May. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes to Henry Vose (The Correspondence (2013, Princeton), 1:43; MS, Clifton Waller Barrett collection (6345). Alderman Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.).
3 June. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes his poem “Walden” in his journal (Journal, 1:50).
14 June. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes his poem “Truth, Goodness, Beauty, - those celestial thrins” in his journal (Journal, 1:51).
mid-June. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau, with his brother John, starts a private school at the Thoreau house (The Life of Henry David Thoreau (1917), 201).
16 June. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes his poem “In the busy streets, domains of trade” in his journal (Journal, 1:51).
29 June. Concord, Mass.
Prudence Ward writes to her brother Dennis:
Mr T’s potatoes & squashes look [finely?] - & Henry’s melons are flourishing - He has over sixty hills, & we are like to have an abundance - He was much troubled with the cut-worm… J’s school is flourishing - There are four boys from Boston boarding with us. I don't doubt it would have been very pleasant to Ellen on several accounts to have passed the summer with you - but I am not surprised she couldn't be spared. I want she should make us a visit of [a] week or two… Tell little Mary that we have a black kitten, & that the martins have driven away the bluebrids & taken possession of their box
(MS, Special Collections, Middlebury College Library, Middlebury, Vt.)
8 July. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes his poem “Cliffs” in his journal (Journal, 1:51-2).
Thoreau also writes to his brother John:
Dear John,
  We heard from Helen today and she informs us that you are coming home by the first of August, now I wish you to write, and let me know exactly when your vacation takes place, that I may take mine at the same time. I am in school from 8 to 12 in the morning, and from 2 to 4 in the afternoon; after that I read a little Greek or English, or for a variety, take a stroll in the fields. We have not had such a year for berries this long time - the earth is actually blue with them. High blue[e]berries, three kinds of low - thimble and rasp-berries, constitute my diet at present. (Take notice - I only diet between meals.) Among my deeds of charity I may reckon the picking of a cherry tree for two helpless single ladies who live under the hill - but i’ faith it was robbing Peter to pay Paul - for while I was exalted in charity towards them, I had no mercy on my own stomach. Be advised, my love for currants continues. The only addition that I have made of late to my stock of ornithological information - is in the shape, not of a Fring. Melod. but surely a melodious Fringilla - the F. Iuncorum, or rush sparrow. I had long known him by his note but never by name. Report says that Elijah Stearns is going to take the town school.
  I have four scholars, and one more engaged. Mr. Fenner left town yesterday. Among occurrences of ill omen, may be mentioned the falling out and cracking of the inscription stone of Concord monument. Mrs. Lowell and children are at Aunt’s. Peabody walked up last Wednesday - spent the night, and took a stroll in the woods. Sophia says I mu[st] leave off and pen a few lines for her to Helen. S[o] Good bye. Love from all and among them yr

aff’ brother
H D T

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 27; MS, Albert Edgar Lownes collection on Henry David Thoreau (Ms.80.1, Series 1, Box 1, Folder 1). John Hay Library, Brown University, Providence, R.I.)
11 July.
James Russell Lowell writes to George Bailey Loring: “I saw Thoreau last night, and it is exquisitely amusing to see how he imitates [Ralph Waldo] Emerson’s tone and manner. With my eyes shut I shouldn’t know them apart” (Victorian Knight Errant, 18-19).
David Greene Haskins writes of Thoreau:
I happened to meet Thoreau in Emerson’s study at Concord. I think it was the first time we had come together after leaving college. I was quite startled by the transformation that had taken place in him. His short figure and general caste of countenance were, of course, unchanged; but, in his manners, in the tones and inflections of his voice, in his modes of expression, even in the hesitations and pauses of his speech, he had become the counterpart of Mr. Emerson. Mr. Thoreau’s college voice bore no resemblance to Mr. Emerson’s, and was so familiar to my ear that I could readily have identified him by it in the dark. I was so much struck with the change, and with the resemblance in the respects referred to between Mr. Emerson and Mr. Thoreau, that I remember to have taken the opportunity as we sat near together, talking, of listening to their conversation with closed eyes, and to have been unable to determine with certainty which was speaking. It was a notable instance of unconscious imitation.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson: His Maternal Ancestors, 121-2)
Ralph Waldo Emerson writes in his journal in 1864: “Mrs Brown [Lucy Jackson Brown] who boarded with the Thoreaus, was one day talking with Mrs T. of the remarks made by many persons on the resemblances between Mr Emerson & Henry in manners, looks, voice, & thought. Henry spoke like Mr E. & walked like him &c. ‘O yes,’ said his mother, ‘Mr Emerson had been a good deal with David Henry, and it was very natural should catch his ways’” (The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 15:490).
13 July. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:52).
15 July. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:52).
4 August. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:52).
5 August. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal: "Divine Service in the Academy-Hall" (Journal, 1:53).
10 August. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:53).
13 August. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:53-4).
19 August. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:54-5).
21 August. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:55).
after 21 August. Concord, Mass.
Ralph Waldo Emerson includes Thoreau in a list of people to whom he sends his Divinity College Address (The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 12:180).
22 August. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:55).
26 August. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:55-6).
27 August. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal:
Verily I am a creature of circumstances. Here I have swallowed an indispensable tooth, and so am no whole man, but a lame and halting piece of manhood. I am conscious of no gap in my soul, but it would seem that, now the entrance to the oracle has been enlarged, the more rare and commonplace the responses that issue from it. I have felt cheap, and hardly dared hold up my head among men, ever since this accident happened. Nothing can I do as well and freely as before; nothing do I undertake but I am hindered and balked by this circumstance. What a great matter a little spark kindleth! I believe if I were called at this moment to rush into the thickest of the fight, I should halt for lack of so insignificant a piece of armor as a tooth. Virtue and Truth go undefended, and Falsehood and Affectation are thrown in my teeth, - though I am toothless. One does not need that the earth quake for the sake of excitement, when so slight a crack proves such an impassable moat. But let the lame man shake his leg, and match himself with the fleetest in the race. So shall he do what is in him to do. But let him who has lost a tooth open his mouth wide and gabble, lisp, and sputter never so resolutely.
(Journal, 1:56)
29 August. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “Here on top of Nawshawtuct, this mild August afternoon, I can discern no deformed thing. The profane hay-makers in yonder meadow are yet the hay-makers of poetry, - forsooth Faustus and Amyntas” (Journal, 1:57).
1 September. Concord, Mass.
Ralph Waldo Emerson writes to his aunt Mary Moody Emerson: “Henry Thoreau has just come, with whom I have promised to make a visit, a brave fine youth he is” (Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 2:154).
2 September. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:58).
3 September. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:58).
5 September. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “For the first time it occurred to me this afternoon what a piece of wonder a river is. A huge volume of matter ceaselessly rolling through the fields and meadows of this substantial earth, making haste from the high places, by stable dwellings of men and Egyptian pyramids, to its restless reservoir” (Journal, 1:58-9).
7 September. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:59).
8 September. Concord, Mass.
Ralph Waldo Emerson writes in his journal:
Henry Thoreau told a good story of Deacon Parkman, who lived in the house he now occupies, & kept a store close by. He hung out a salt fish for a sign, & it hung so long & grew so hard, black & deformed, that the deacon forgot what thing it was, & nobody in town knew, but being examined chemically it proved to be salt fish. But duly every morning the deacon hung it on its peg.
(Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 7:65)
14 September. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau places an advertisement in the Concord Freeman:
CONCORD ACADEMY. The subscriber opened his school for the reception of a limited number of pupils, of both sexes, on Monday, September the tenth. Instruction will be given in the usual English branches, and the studies preparatory to a collegiate course. Terms - Six dollars per quarter. Henry D. Thoreau, Instructor.
(Concord Freeman, 14 September 1838:3)
The advertisement also runs in the Yeoman's Gazette 22 and 29 September.
15 September. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:59).
20 September. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal: “It is a luxury to muse by a wall-side in the sunshine of a September afternoon, - to cuddle down under a gray stone, and harken to the siren song of the cricket” (Journal, 1:59).
23 September. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:60).
6 October. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes to his sister Helen:
Dear Helen,
  I dropped Sophia’s letter into the box immediately on taking yours out, else the tone of the former had been changed.
  I have no acquaintance with “Cleavelands First Lessons,” though I have peeped into his abridged grammar, which I should think very well calculated for beginners, at least, for such as would be likely to wear out one book, before they would be prepared for the abstruser parts of Grammar. Ahem! As no one can tell what was the Roman pronunciation, each nation makes the Latin conform, for the most part, to the rules of its own language; so that with us, of the vowels, only a has a peculiar sound.
  In the end of a word of more than one syllable, it is sounded like ah - as pennah, Lydiah Hannah, &c. without regard to case. - but da is never sounded dah because it is a monosyllable.
  All terminations in es and plural cases in os, as you know, are pronounced long - as homines (hominēse) dominos (dominōse) or in English Johnny Vose. For information see Adam’s Latin Grammar - before the Rudiments This is all law and gospel to the eyes of the world - but remember I am speaking as it were, in the third person, and should sing quite a different tune, if it were I that made the quire. However one must occasionally hang his harp on the willows, and play on the Jew’s harp, in such a strange country as this.
  One of your young ladies wishes to study Mental Philosophy - hey? well tell her that she has the very best text book that I know of already in her possession. If she do not believe it, then she should have bespoken a better in another world, and not have expected to find one at “Little and Wilkins’.” But if she wishes to know how poor an apology for a Mental Philosophy men have tacked together, synthetically or analytically, in these latter days - how they have squeezed the infinite mind into a compass that would not nonpluss a surveyor of Eastern Lands - making Imagination and Memory to lie still in their respective apartments, like ink stand and wafers in a la[dy’s] escritoire - why let her read Locke or Stewart, or Brown. The fact is, Mental Philosophy is very like poverty - which, you know, begins at home; and, indeed, when it goes abroad, it is poverty itself.
  Chorus. I should think an abridgment of one of the above authors, or of Abercrombie, would answer her purpose. It may set her a-thinking.
  Probably there are many systems in the market of which I am ignorant.
  As for themes - say first “Miscellaneous Thoughts” - set one up to a window to note what passes in the street, and make her comments thereon; or let her gaze in the fire, or into a corner where there is a spider’s web, and philosophize - moralize - theorize, or what not.
  What their hands find to putter about, or their minds to think about, - that let them write about. To say nothing of Advantages or disadvantages - of this, that, or the other. Let them set down their ideas at any given Season - preserving the chain of thought as complete as may be.
  This is the style pedagogical.
  I am much obliged to you for your piece of information. Knowing your dislike to a sentimental letter I remain

Yr affectionate brother,
H D T

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 28-9; MS, Henry David Thoreau collection. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, New York Public Library)
Thoreau also writes to Andrew Bigelow:
Sir,
  I learn from my brother and sister, who were recently employed as teachers in your vicinity, that you are at present in quest of some one to fill the vacancy in your high school, occasioned by Mr. Bellows’ withdrawal. As my present school, which consists of a small number of well advanced pupils, is not sufficiently lucrative, I am advised to make application for the station now vacant. I was graduated at Cambridge in - 37, and have since had my share of experience in school-keeping.
  I can refer you to the President and Faculty of Harvard College-to Rev. Dr. Ripley, or Rev. R. W. Emerson-of this town, or to the parents of my present pupils, among whom I would mention-Hon. Samuel Hoar-Hon. John Keyes-& Hon. Nathan Brooks. Written recommendations by these gentlemen will be procured if desired.
  If you will trouble yourself to answer this letter immediately, you will much oblige your humble Servant,

Henry D. Thoreau

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 656; MS, private owner)
16 October. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes his poems “My Boots” and “Noon” in his journal (Journal, 1:60).
18 October. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau is elected secretary of the Concord Lyceum (Concord Lyceum records. Special Collections, Concord (Mass.) Free Public Library).
21 October. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:60-1).
23 October. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:61).
24 October. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:61).
8 November. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau is elected curator of the Concord Lyceum (Concord Lyceum records. Special Collections, Concord (Mass.) Free Public Library).
10 November. Concord, Mass.
Ralph Waldo Emerson writes in his journal:
My brave Henry Thoreau walked with me to Walden this P.M. and complained of the proprietors who compelled him to whom as much as to any, the whole world belonged, to walk a strip of road & crowded him out of all the rest of God’s earth. He must not get over the fence: but to the building of that fence he was no party. Suppose, he said, some great proprietor, before he was born, had bought up the whole globe. So had he been hustled out of nature. Not having been privy to any of these arrangements, he does not feel called on to consent to them, and so cuts fishpoles in the woods without asking who has a better title to the wood than he.
(Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 7:143-4)
28 November. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes to Charles Stearns Wheeler (The Correspondence (2013, Princeton), 1:51).
early December. Concord, Mass.
Ralph Waldo Emerson includes Thoreau in a list of people to whom he gives tickets to his “Human Life” lecture series, which was delivered at the Masonic Temple in Boston from 5 December 1838 to 20 February 1839 (The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 12:65-7).
7 December. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:61).
8 December. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 1:62).
15 December. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes his poem “Fair-Haven” in his journal (Journal, 1:62-4).
late December. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes his essay “Sound and Silence” in his journal (Journal, 1:64-9).
23 December. Concord, Mass.
Thoreau writes his poems “Return of Spring” and “Cupid Wounded” in his journal (Journal, 1:69-70).



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