the Thoreau Log.
1854
Æt. 37.
1 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  The drifts mark the standstill or equilibrium between the currents of air or particular winds. In our greatest snow-storms, the wind being northerly, the greatest drifts are on the south sides of the houses and fences and accordingly on the left-hand side of the street going down it. The north tract: of the railroad was not open till a day or more later than the south. I notice that in the angle made by our house and shed, a southwest exposure, the snow-drift does not lie close about the pump, but is a foot off, forming a circular bowl, showing that there was an eddy about it. It, shows where the wind has been, the form of the wind. The snow is like a mould . . .
(Journal, 6:42-6)

Concord, Mass. Ralph Waldo Emerson writes to Thoreau:

Dear Henry,

  I meant to have seen you, but for delays that grew out of the snowbanks, to ask your aid in these following particulars. On the 8 February, Harvard Professor [Eben Norton] Horsford is to lecture at the Lyceum; on the 15th Feb.y, Theodore Parker. They are both to come to my house for the night. Now I wish to entreat your courtesy & counsel to receive these lonely pilgrims, when they arrive, to guide them to our house, & help the alarmed wife to entertain them, & see that they do not lose the way to the Lyceum, nor the hour. For, it seems pretty certain that I shall not be at home until perhaps the next week following these two. If you shall be in town, & can help these gentlemen so far, You will serve the whole community as well as

Yours faithfully,

R. W. Emerson

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 317)
2 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Up Union Turnpike . . . I paced partly through the pitch pine wood and partly the open field form the Turnpike by the Lee place to the railroad, from north to south, more than a quarter of a mile, measuring at every tenth pace . . . (Journal, 6:46-9).
3 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  They are fishing on Walden this P. M . . . From the Peak, I looked over the wintry landscape . . . (Journal, 6:48-9).
4 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  It thaws all day; the eaves drip as in a rain; the road begins to be soft and a little sloshy (Journal, 6:49).

5 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  This afternoon (as probably yesterday), it being warm and thawing, though fair, the snow is covered with snow-fleas . . . There is also some blueness now in the snow, the heavens being now (toward night) overcast. The blueness is more distinct after sunset . . . (Journal, 6:49).
6 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Walked [William] Tappan in P. M. down railroad to Heywood Brook, Fair Haven and Cliffs . . .

  At every post along the brook-side, and under almost every white pine, the snow strewn with the scales and seeds of white pine cones left by the squirrels. They have sat on every post and dropped them for a great distance, also acorn-shells. The surface of the snow was sometimes strewn with the small alder scales, i.e. of catkins . . . There was a low, narrow, clear segment of sky in the west at sunset, or just after (all the rest overcast), of the coppery yellow, perhaps, of some of Gilpin’s pictures, all spotted coarsely with clouds like a leopard’s skin. I took up snow in the tracks at dark . . .

(Journal, 6:49-51).
7 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Thaw ended. Cold last night; rough walking; snow crusted.

  P. M.—To Ministerial Swamp.

  The bare larch trees there, so slender and tall, where they grow close together, all beaded or studded with buds, or rather stubs, which look like the dry sterile blossoms. How much fuller, or denser and more flourishing, in winter is the white spruce than the white pine! It has two hues, I believe, the glaucous or bluish and the green, melting into each other. It has not shed all its seeds yet. Now that the snow has lain more than a week, it begins to be spotted and darkened in the woods . . .

(Journal, 6:51-3).

8 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Gilpin, in his essay on the “Art of Sketching Landscape,” says: “When you have finished your sketch therefore with Indian ink, as far as you propose, tinge the whole over with some light horizon hue. It may be the rosy tint of morning; or the more ruddy one of evening; or it may incline more to a yellowish, or a greyish cast. . . . By washing this tint over your whole drawing, you lay a foundation for harmony.”

  I have often been attracted by this harmonious tint in his and other drawings, and sometimes, especially, have observed it in nature when at sunset I inverted my head. We love not so well the landscape represented as in broad noon, but in a morning or evening twilight, those seasons when the imagination is most active . . .

  P. M.—To the Spruce Swamp in front of J. Farmer’s. Can go across both rivers now . . . (Journal, 6:53-9).

9 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Heywood’s Pond with [William] Tappan.

  We were looking for rainbow-tinted clouds, small whiffs of vapor which form and disperse, this clear, cold afternoon, when we saw to our surprise a star, about half past three or earlier, a mere round white clot. Is the winter then such a twilight? . . . (Journal, 6:60).

Lidian Jackson Emerson writes to her husband Ralph Waldo:

  Henry Thoreau has once taken tea with us, & seemed highly to enjoy looking at the children’s Christmas gifts and hearing their whole story. He seemed much pleased that they enjoyed his lecture – and also surprised to find that they were present He did not see them. Mr. C [William Ellery Channing] has not been here again – When I think, not only of his evil conduct in his family but of his unheard of unmatched insolence towards me in his letters to you when in England – to say nothing of their insolence to you – (but that is your affair) I doubt if it is not duplicity in me to give him hospitable welcome. You should be his reprover as well as his excuser – if you will excuse the suggestion.
(The Selected Letters of Lidian Jackson Emerson, 194)
10 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  I cannot thaw out to life the snow-fleas which yesterday covered the snow like pepper, in a frozen state. How much food they must afford to small birds . . .

  When we were walking last evening, Tappan admired the soft rippling of the Assabet under Tarbell’s bank. One could have lain all night under the oaks there listening to it. Westward forty rods, the surface of the stream reflected a silvery whiteness, but gradually darkened thence eastward, till beneath us it was almost quite black.

  What you can recall of a walk on the second day will differ from what you remember on the first day, as the mountain chain differs in appearance, looking back the next day, from the aspect it wore when you were at its base . . .

(Journal, 6:60-2)
11 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Thick fog in the night. The trees, accordingly, now white with hoary frost, just as the frost
forms on a man’s beard or about a horse’s mouth.

  P. M.—To Cliffs and Walden.

  The north side of all stubble, weeds, and trees, and the whole forest is covered with a hoar frost a quarter to a half inch deep. It is easily shaken off. The air is still full of mist. No snow has fallen, but, as it were, the vapor has been caught by the trees like a cobweb. The trees are bright hoary forms, the ghosts of trees. In fact, the warm breath of the earth is frozen on its beard. Closely examined or at a distance, it is just like the sheaf-like forms of vegetation . . .

(Journal, 6:62-5).
12 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A. M.—It still rains very finely. The ground, etc., is covered with a black glaze, wet and shiny like water, like an invisible armor . . .

  Every winter the surface of the pond to the depth of a foot becomes solid so as to support the heaviest teams, and anon the snow covers it to an equal depth, so that it is not to be distinguished from a level field . . .

(Journal, 6:65).
13 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Walden, Goose Pond, and Britton’s Camp.

  The landscape is now patches of bare ground and snow; much running water with the sun reflected from it. Lately all was clean, dry, and tight. Now, though clear and bright, all is moist and dissolving. The cocks crow . . .

(Journal, 6:65-8).
14 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  If the writers of the brazen age are most suggestive to tliee, confine thyself to them, and leave
those of the Augustan age to dust and the bookworms. Was surprised this morning to see how much the river was swollen by the rain of day before yesterday. The channel, or river itself, is still covered with ice, but the meadows are broad sheets of dark-blue water, contrasting with the white patches of snow still left. The ice on the river rises with the water in this case . . .
(Journal, 6:68-71).
17 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Surveying for William O. Benjamin in east part of Lincoln. Saw a red squirrel on the wall, it being thawing weather. Human beings with whom I have no sympathy are far stranger to me than inanimate matter . . . (Journal, 6:71-3).
18 January 1854. Cambridge, Mass.

Thoreau receives a summons:

Middlesex. S[ummon]s to Henry D. Thoreau of Concord in said County of Middlesex.

Greeting.

  You are hereby required, in the name of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, to make your appearance before Justices of the court of Common Pleas now holden at Cambridge within and for the County of Middlesex on Thursday the Twentieth day of January instant at 9 o’clock A.M. and from day to day until the Action herein named is heard by the court, to give evidence of what you know relating to an Action of Plea of Tort then and there to be heard and tried betwixt Leonard Spaulding Lots [?] Plaintiff and William O. Benjamin Defendant

  Hereof fail not, as you will answer your default under the pain and penalty in the law in that behalf made and provided. Dated at Cambridge the Eighteenth day of january in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty four

L. Marett Justice of the Peace

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 318)

19 January 1854.

Concord, Mass. Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Went to Cambridge to court . . . Dr. Harris [Thaddeus William Harris] says that my cocoons found in Lincoln in December are of the Attacus cecropia, the largest of our emperor moths . . . (Journal, 6:73-4).

Cambridge, Mass. Thoreau checks out Essays on the picturesque, as compared with the sublime and beautiful, volume 1, by Sir Uvedale Price, Researches on America; being an attempt to settle some points relative to the aborigines of America, &c by James Haines McCulloh, and An account of two voyages to New England by John Josselyn from Harvard College Library (Companion to Thoreau’s Correspondence, 290).

Thoreau writes in his journal on 22 January:

  Harris told me on the 19th that he had never found the snow-flea (Journal, 6:75).
21 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes to H. G. O. Blake:

Mr Blake,

  My coat is at last done, and my mother & sister allow that I am so far in a condition to go abroad. I feel as if I had gone abroad the moment I put it on. It is, as usual a production strange to me, the wearer, invented by some Count D’Orsay, and the maker of it was not acquainted with any of my real depressions or elevations. He only measured a peg to hang it on, and might have made the loop big enough to go over my head. It requires a not quite innocent indifference not to say insolence to wear it. Ah, the process by which we get overcoats is not what it should be. Though the church declare it righteous & its priest pardons me, my own Good Genius tells me that it is hasty & coarse & false. I expect a time when, or rather an integrity by which a man will get his coat as honestly, and as perfectly fitting as a tree its bark. Now our garments are typical of our conformity to the ways of the world, i.e. of the Devil, & to some extent react on us and poison us like that shirt which Hercules put on . . .

(Letters to Harrison Gray Otis Blake, 79-81)
22 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  R. Rice says he saw a white owl two or three weeks since. Harris told me on the 19th that he had never found the snow-flea.

  No second snow-storm in the winter can be so fair and interesting as the first. Last night was very windy . . . (Journal, 6:74-6).

23 January 1854. Worcester, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Love tends to purify and sublime itself. It mortifies and triumphs over the flesh, and the bond
of its union is holiness.

  The increased length of the days is very observable of late. What is a winter unless you have risen and gone abroad frequently before sunrise and by starlight? . . .

  At noon, go to Worcester.

(Journal, 6:75-6)
24 January 1854. Worcester, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  In Worcester. From 9 A. M. to 4 P. M., walked about six miles northwest into Holden with Blake, returning by Stonehouse Hill . . . (Journal, 6:76).
25 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  At noon return to Concord.

  A very cold day.

  Saw a man in Worcester this morning who took a pride in never wearing gloves or mittens. Drives in the morning. Said he succeeded by keeping his arm and wrist well covered. He had a large hand, one of his fingers as big as three of mine. But this morning he had to give up . . .

(Journal, 6:76-7)
26 January 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  All day at court at Cambridge (Journal, 6:77).
27 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  I have an old account-book, found in Deacon R. Brown’s garret since his death . . . Attended the auction of Deacon Brown’s effects a little while to-day . . . Cut this afternoon a cake of ice out of Walden and brought it home in a pail, another from the river, and got a third, a piece of last year’s ice form Sam Barrett’s Pond, at Brown’s ice-house, and placed them side by side . . .
(Journal, 6:77-82)
29 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A very cold morning. Thermometer, or mercury, 18° below zero . . . (Journal, 6:82-3).
30 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Another cold morning. Mercury down to 13° below zero . . .

  P. M.—Up river on ice and snow to Fair Haven Pond . . . Sometimes one of those great cakes of green ice from Walden or Sam Barrett’s Pond slips from the ice-man’s sled in the street and lies there like a great emerald, an object of interest to all travellers . . . (Journal, 6:83-7).

31 January 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M. – To Great Meadows and Beck Stow’s . . . Went to the Great Meadows by the Oak Island . . . (Journal, 6:87-89).
1 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau surveys Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and a new road (A Catalog of Thoreau’s Surveys in the Concord Free Public Library, 5; Henry David Thoreau papers. Special Collections, Concord (Mass.) Free Public Library). 

Thoreau surveys Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and a new road (A Catalog of Thoreau’s Surveys in the Concord Free Public Library, 5; Henry David Thoreau papers. Special Collections, Concord (Mass.) Free Public Library).

Jackson, Mich. Ralph Waldo Emerson writes to his wife Lidian:

  I send today to Edward Bangs word that you are expecting him, & the Lyceum is, on 22 February. I hope to be at home, at that time; probably not a day earlier. If I should not, you must ask Henry Thoreau to come & receive him at our house (The Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 4:426).

2 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Up river on ice to Clematis Brook . . .

  We go up the Corner road and take the ice at Potter’s Meadow. The Cliff Hill is nearly bare on the west side, and you hear the rush of melted snow down its side in one place . . .

  We stopped awhile under Bittern Cliff, the south side, where it is very warm. There are a few greenish radical leaves to be seen, -primrose and johnswort, strawberry, etc., and spleenwort still green in the clefts. These sunny old gray rocks, completely covered with white and gray lichens and overrun with ivy, are a very cosy place. You hardly detect the incited snow swiftly trickling . . .

(Journal, 6:90-1)
3 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A driving snow-storm again . . . (Journal, 6:91-2).

4 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  F. Brown showed me this afternoon his game killed day before yesterday, – a gray hare, a gray squirrel, and a red squirrel. The red squirrel was peeping out of his nest in a tree. The gray was a fine large fellow in good condition; weighed one pound and a quarter, more than half as heavy as the hare, and his tail still perfectly and beautifully curved over his back. It recovered its place when you stroked it . . .

  John Moore and Company got about fifty weight of fish at Flint’s Pond the same day. Two pickerel weighed nine pounds.

  I went over to the Hemlocks on the Assabet this morning. Saw the tracks, I think of a mink, in the shallow snow along the edge of the river, looking for a hole in the ice. A clear, cold morning. The smokes from the village chimneys are quickly purified and dissipated . . .

(Journal, 6:93-4)
5 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M. – To walk. Begins to snow. At Hubbard’s blueberry swamp woods, near the bathing-place, came across a fox’s track, which I think was made last night or since . . . (Journal, 6:94-101).

6 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Cliffs and Walden . . . Hear the old owl at 4.30 P. M. Crossing Walden where the snow has fallen quite level, I perceive that my shadow [is of] a delicate or transparent blue rather than black . . . (Journal, 6:101-3).

7 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Down river with C. [William Ellery Channing] . . . Made a fire on the snow-covered ice half a mile below Ball’s Hill . . . These afternoons the shadows of the woods have already a twilight length by 3 or 4 P. M. . . . (Journal, 6:104-6).

8 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Ann, the Irishwoman who has lived with Deacon Brown so long, says that when he had taken to his bed with his last illness, she was startled by his calling, ‘Ann, Ann,’ ‘the bitterest Ann that you ever heard, and that was the beginning of his last illness . . .

  P. M.—Rain, rain, rain, carrying off the snow and leaving a foundation of ice . . .

(Journal, 6:106-9).

9 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  9 A. M.—To Pine Hill . . . The hollows about Walden, still bottomed with snow, are filled with greenish water like its own . . . (Journal, 6:109-13).

10 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Up railroad to Assabet and return via Hollowell place . . . The sturdy white oak near the Derby railroad bridge has been cut down . . . (Journal, 6:113).
11 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  7.30 A. M.—Snow-fleas lie in dark patches like some of those rough lichens on rocks, or like ink-spots three or four inches in diameter, about the grass-stems or willows, on the ice which froze last night . . . (Journal, 6:113-4).

12 February. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Skate to Pantry Brook.

  Put on skates at mouth of Swamp Bridge Brook . . .

  Just beyond the bathing-place, I see the wreck of an ice-fleet, which yesterday morning must have been very handsome . . .

  Landed at Fair Haven Hill . . .

  Returning, I overhauled a muskrat-house by Bidens Brooks . . .

(Journal, 6:114-21)
13 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  7 A. M.—To Walden . . . P. M.—It snows again, spoiling the skating, which has lasted only one day . . . (Journal, 6:121).
14 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Down railroad . . .

  The telegraph resounds at every post . . . In Stow’s wood, by the Deep Cut, hear the gnah gnah of the white-breasted, black-capped nuthatch . . .

  F. Brown, who has been chasing a white rabbit this afternoon with a dog, says that they do not run off far,—often play round within the same swamp only, if it is large, and return to where they were started. Spoke of it as something unusual that one ran off so far that he could not hear the dogs, but he returned and was shot near where he started. He does not see their forms, nor marks where they have been feeding.

(Journal, 6:121-3)
16 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Walden and Flint’s; return by Turnpike . . . (Journal, 6:123-5).
17 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Gowing’s Swamp. On the hill at the Deep Cut on the new road, the ground is frozen about a foot deep, and they carry off lumps equal nearly to a cartload at a time. Moore’s man is digging a ditch by the roadside in his swamp…” (Journal, 6:125-7).
18 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Yellow Birch Swamp . . . I see on ice by the riverside, front of N. Barrett’s, very slender insects a third of an inch long, with grayish folded wings reaching far behind and two antennæ . . . Channing has some microscopic reading these days . . . (Journal, 6:127-30).
19 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Fair Haven by river, back by railroad . . . There are so many rocks under Grape-vine Cliff that apparently for this reason the chopper saws instead of cuts his trees into lengths . . . (Journal, 6:130-3).
20 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Skating to Fair Haven Pond. Made a fire on the south side of the pond, using canoe birch bark and oak leaves for kindling… We skated home in the dusk, with an odor of smoke in our clothes . . . (Journal, 6:133-4).

21 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A. M.—A fine, driving snow-storm . . . P. M.—To Goose Pond by Tuttle Path . . . (Journal, 6:134-6).
22 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  I measured the thickness of the frozen ground at the deep cut on the New Bedford road, about half-way up the hill . . . Saw in Sleepy Hollow a small hickory stump, about six inches in diameter and six inches high, so completely, regularly, and beautifully covered by that winkle-like fungus in concentric circles and successive layers that the core was concealed and you would have taken it for some cabbage-like plant . . . (Journal, 6:136-7).
23 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A. M.—The snow drives horizontally from the north or northwesterly, in long waving lines like the outline of a swell or billow . . . P. M.—Saw some of those architectural drifts forming . . . (Journal, 6:137-8).

New York, N.Y. Thomas B. Smith writes to Thoreau:

Dear Sir

  Enclosed I send Ten Dollars for which send me 5 pounds best Plumbago for Electrotype purposes. The pound you sent before I found very good. Please send me a small quantity of the $1.50 per pound Black Lead that I may try it.

Yours Truly

Thomas B Smith per R.H.S.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau,321)
24 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Walden and Fair Haven. In Wheeler’s Wood by railroad . . . In Moore’s Swamp it is frozen about 4 inches deep in open land . . . (Journal, 6:138-9).
25 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes to his cousin George Thatcher:

Dear Cousin,—

  I should have answered you earlier if a wood merchant whom I engaged had kept his appointment. Measuring on Mr. Hubbard’s plans of ’36 and ’52, which I enlarged, [word] the whole area wanted for a cemetery 16 acres & 114 rods. This includes a path one rod wide on the north side of the wood next to the meadow, and is all of the Brown Farm north of the New Road, except the meadow of about 7 acres and a small triangle of about a dozen rods next to the Agricultural Land. The above result is probably accurate within half an acre; nearer I cannot come with certainty without a resurvey.

  9 acres & 9 rods are woodland, whose value I have got Anthony Wright, an old Farmer & now measurer of wood at the Depot, to assist me in determining. This is the result

  Oak chiefly 4A 53rd 156 Cords at $2.75 cord standing
                                      large & small 429

  White & Pitch Pine 3A 30rd 143½ Cords 2 287

  Pitch Pine 146rd 16½ Cords 2 41 25

  Young P Pine 100rd 5 cord 2 10

                          $767 25

  Merchantable green oak wood, piled on the cars, brings

  here 4.75 pr cord.

  Pitch pine 4.25

  White 2.50

  An acquaintance in Boston applied to me last October for a small farm in Concord, and the small amount of land 7 the want of a good house may prevent his thinking of the Dutch House place, & besides circumstances have transpired which I fear will prevent his coming here; however I will inform him at once that it is on the market. I do not know about the state of his funds, only that he was in no hurry, though in earnest, & limited me to $2000.

  All well

  Yours

  Henry D. Thoreau

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau,321-2)
26 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Martial Miles’s in rain . . . (Journal, 6:139-41).
27 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Morning.—Rain over; water in great part of run off; wind rising; river risen and meadows flooded… P. M.—To Flint’s Pond . . . (Journal, 6:141-3).
28 February 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A pleasant morning . . . F. Brown tells me that he found a quantity of wintergreen in the crop of a partridge. I suggested that it might be lambkill (Journal, 6:143-4).

1 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  In correcting my manuscripts, which I do with sufficient phlegm, I find that I invariably turn out much that is good along with the bad, which is then impossible for me to distinguish—so much for keeping bad company; but after the lapse of time, having purified the main body and thus created a distinct standard for comparison, I can review the rejected sentences and easily detect those which deserve to be readmitted. P.M.—To Walden via R. W. E.’s. I am surprised to see how bare Minott’s hillside is already . . .
(Journal, 6:145-7).
2 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A Corner man tells me that Witherell has seen a bluebird, and Martial Miles thought that he heard one. I doubt it . . . The various shades of this sand foliage are very agreeable to the eye, including all the different colors which iron assumes,—brown, gray, yellowish, reddish, and clay-color . . .
(Journal, 6:147-9).
3 March 1854. New York, N.Y.

A letter from Horace Greeley and McEliath signed by Sinclair acknowledges Thoreau’s letter to Greeley for a subscription to the Tribune Semi-Weekly, stating that they would send the paper although no money had yet been received (MS letter, NNPM).

4 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A dull, cloudy day.

  P. M.—To Walden via Hubbard’s Wood and foot of Cliff Hill.

  The snow has melted very rapidly the past week. There is much bare ground. The checkerberries are revealed,—somewhat shrivelled many of them. I look. along the ditches and brooks for tortoises and frogs, but the ditches are still full of dirty ice . . .

(Journal, 6:149-52).
5 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Channing, [William Ellery Channing] talking with Minott the other day about his health, said, “I suppose you’d like to die now.” “No,” said Minott, “I’ve toughed it through the winter, and I want to stay and hear the bluebirds once more” . . . P. M.—To Upper Nut Meadow . . . As I go along the snow under Clamshell Hill hear it [the river] sing around me, being melted next the ground . . .
(Journal, 6:152-4).

Concord, Mass. Ralph Waldo Emerson writes to Thoreau:

Sunday Eve

  Dear Henry,

  I am off again to New York in the morning, & go leaving my Professor Horsford [Eben M. Horsford] once more to your tender mercies. He is to come surely Wednesday Evening, & I ventured to promise him your kind conduct to the Hall. So you must come to tea, & hear the Chemistry.

  Ever your bounden [burden?]

  R. W. E.

(The Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 8:395; MS, Clifton Waller Barrett collection. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.)
6 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Goose Pond. According to G. Emerson, maple sap sometimes begins to flow in the middle of February, but usually in the second week of March, especially in a clear, bright day with a westerly wind, after a frosty night . . . I saw trout glance in the Mill Brook this afternoon, though near its sources, in Hubbard’s close, it is still covered with dark, icy snow, and the river into which it empties has not broken up . . .
(Journal, 6:154-5).

New York, N.Y. Horace Greeley writes to Thoreau:

Dear Sir,—

  I presume your first letter containing the $2 was robbed by our general mail robber of New Haven, who has just been sent to the State’s Prison. Your second letter has probably failed to receive attention owing to a press of business. But I will make all right. You ought to have the Semi-weekly, and I shall order it sent to you one year on trail; if you choose to write me a letter or so some time, very well; if not, we will be even without that.

  Thoreau, I want you to do something on my urgency. I want you to collect and arrange your “Miscellanies” and send them to me. Put in “Ktaadn,” “Carlyle,” “A Winter Walk,” “Canada,” etc., and I will try to find a publisher who will bring them out at his own risk, and (I hope) to your ultimate profit. If you have anything new to put with them, very well; but let me have about a 12mo volume whenever you can get it ready, and see if there is not something to your credit in the bank of Fortune.

  Yours,

  Horace Greeley.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 323-4)

7 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Annursnack.

  I did not mention the drifts yesterday. Most of the snow left on bare, dry level ground consists of the remains of drifts, particularly along fences,—most on the south side. Also much that looks like snow is softened ice in the lower parts of fields. Looking from Annursnack, there is no perceptible difference as to snow between the north and south prospects, though the north one is not extensive; but the snowiest view is westward. Has this anything to do with there being most snow inland? All the sides of steep hills are likely to be bare . . .

(Journal, 6:155-7).
8 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Steady rain on the roof in the night, suggesting April-like warmth . . .

  I wrote a letter for an Irishman night before last, sending for his wife in Ireland to come to this country. One sentence which he dictated was, “Don’t mind the rocking of the vessel, but take care of the children that they be not lost overboard.”

  Lightning this evening, after a day of successive rains.

(Journal, 6:157-8).
9 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A. M.—Clearing up.

  Water is fast taking place of ice on the river and meadows, and morning and evening we begin to have some smooth water prospects . . .

  P. M.—To Great Meadows . . .

  Peter H. says that he saw gulls (?) and sheldrakes about a month ago, when the meadow was flooded . . .

(Journal, 6:158-9)
10 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—C. Miles road via Clamshell Hill . . . Saw a skunk in the Corner road, which I followed sixty rods or more. Out now about 4 P. M.—partly because it is a dark, foul day . . . (Journal, 6:159-62).
11 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Cliffs . . . Muskrats are driven out of their holes. Heard one’s loud plash behind Hubbard’s . . . (Journal, 6:162-3).
12 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A. M.—Up railroad to woods . . .

  C. [William Ellery Channing] says he saw a gull to-day.

  P.M.—To Ball’s Hill along river. My companion tempts me to certain licenses of speech, i.e. to reckless and sweeping expressions which I am wont to regret that I have used . . .

  The ice is all out of the river proper, and all spoiled even on Walden.

(Journal, 6:164-6)
13 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  To Boston.

  C. [William Ellery Channing] says he saw skater insects to-day. Harris [Thaddeus William Harris] tells me that those gray insects within the little log forts under the bark of the dead white pine, which I found about a week ago, are Rhagium lineatum. Bought a telescope to-day for eight dollars. Best military spyglass with six slides, which shuts up to about the same size, fifteen dollars, and very powerful . . . C. was making a glass for Amherst College.

(Journal, 6:166-7)

Cambridge, Mass. Thoreau checks out Etudes sur les glaciers by Louis Agassiz, A history of New-England by Edward Johnson, and The clear sun-shine of the gospel breaking forth upon the Indians in New England by Thomas Shepard from Harvard College Library (Companion to Thoreau’s Correspondence, 290).

Boston, Mass. Thoreau checks out Travels through the Alps of Savoy and other parts of the Pennine chain, with observations on the phenomena of glaciers by James David Forbes from the Boston Society of Natural History (Emerson Society Quarterly, no. 24 (March 1952):25).

14 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A. M.—Threatening rain after clear morning.

  Great concert of song sparrows in willows and alders along Swamp Bridge Brook by river . . .

  R. W. E. [Ralph Waldo Emerson] saw a small bird in the woods yesterday which reminded him of the parti-colored warbler.

  P. M.—To Great Meadows . . .

  Counted over forty robins with my glass in the meadow north of Sleepy Hollow, in the grass and on the snow. A large company of fox-colored sparrows in Heywood’s maple swamp close by . . . No ice visible as I look over the meadows from Peter’s, though it lies at the bottom . . .

(Journal, 6:167-9)
15 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  The sound of Barrett’s sawmill in the still morning comes over the water very loud . . . J. Farmer tells me his dog started up a lark last winter completely buried in the snow. Painted my boat (Journal, 6:169).
16 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A. M.—Another fine morning . . . Saw and hear honey-bees about my boat in the yard, attracted probably by the beeswax in the grafting-wax which was put on it a year ago. It is warm weather. A thunder-storm in the evening (Journal, 6:169-70).

Thoreau signs a publishing contract with Ticknor and Co.:

This Indenture, of two parts, made this Sixteenth day of March in the year of our Lord, Eighteen hundred and Fifty Four, by and between Henry D. Thoreau of Concord, in the County of Middlesex, and State of Massachusetts, of the first part, and William D. Ticknor, John Reed Jr, and James T. Fields of Boston, Booksellers and Copartners under the firm of William D. Ticknor and Co. of the second part, Witnesseth, That the said Thoreau agrees to give, and does by these presents give to the said Ticknor & Co. the right to publish, for the term of five years, a certain book, entitled “Walden, a Life in the Woods,” of which, said Thoreau is the Author and Proprietor. And in consideration of the premises, the said Ticknor & Co. on their part agree to cause said work to be printed, and to publish at once, an Edition of Two Thousand copies, and to pay to the said Thoreau, his heirs and assigns, Fifteen per cent on the retail price of said work on all copies which shall be sold, payable semi-annually, commencing at the expiration of six months from the day of publication, at which time, an account of sales shall be rendered to the said Thoreau.

  It is understood and agreed that he said Thoreau shall receive Twenty Five copies of the first Edition, without charge, and that any additional copies that the said Thoreau may desire, he shall have the right to purchase at a discount of Twenty five per cent from the retail price. –

Witness

G. J. [Hoid?]

(The Building of the House, 150-1; MS, Huntington Library?)
17 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A remarkably warm day for the season; too warm while surveying without my great-coat, almost like May heats.

  4 P. M.—To Cliffs.

  The grass is slightly greened on south bank-sides . . .

(Journal, 6:170).

Thoreau also surveys a house lot of Lowell Road for Joseph Reynolds (A Catalog of Thoreau’s Surveys in the Concord Free Public Library, 10; Henry David Thoreau papers. Special Collections, Concord (Mass.) Free Public Library).

18 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Very high wind this forenoon . . . Blew down Mr. Frost’s chimney again. Took up my boat, a very heavy one, which was lying on its bottom in the yard, and carried it two rods. The white caps of the waves on the flooded meadow, seen from the window, are a rare and exciting spectacle, – such an angry face as our Concord meadows rarely exhibit. Walked down the street to post-office . . .

  P. M.—Walked round by the west side of the river to Conantum.

(Journal, 6:170-2)
19 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  The meadow ice bears where shallow. William Rice 2d (?) saw a woodchuck last Sunday. Met his father in Walden Woods, who described a flock of crows he had just seen which followed him “eying down, eying down.”

  Saw in Mill Brook behind Shannon’s three or four shiners (the first), poised over the sand with a distinct longitudinal light-colored line midway along their sides and a darker line below it . . .

  Goodwin killed a pigeon yesterday.

  Flint’s Pond almost entirely open,—much more than Fair Haven.

(Journal, 6:172-3)
21 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  At sunrise to Clamshell Hill. River skimmed over at Willow Bay last night . . . (Journal, 6:173-4).
22 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Launch boat and paddle to Fair Haven . . . The now silvery willow catkins (notwithstanding the severe cold) shine along the shore, over the cold water, and C. [William Ellery Channing] thinks some willow osiers decidedly more yellow (Journal, 6:174).
23 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Minott confesses to me to-day that he has not been to Boston since the last war, or 1815. Aunt said that he had not been ten miles from home since; that he has not been to Acton since Miss Powers [?] lived there; but he declared that he had been there to cornwallis and musters. When I asked if he would like to go to Boston, he answered he was going to another Boston (Journal, 6:175).

New York, N.Y. Horace Greeley writes to Thoreau:

Dear Thoreau,

  I am glad your “Walden” is coming out. I shall announce it at once, whether Ticknor does or not.

  I am in no hurry now about your Miscellanies; take your time, select a good title, and prepare your articles deliberately and finally. Then if Ticknor will give you something worth having, let him have this too; if proffering it to him is to glut your market, let it come to me. But take your time. I was only thinking you were hybernating when you ought to be doing something. I referred (without naming you) to your ‘Walden’ experience in my lecture on “Self-Culture,” with which I have bored every so many audiences. This episode excited much interest and I have repeatedly been asked who it is that I refer to.

Yours,

Horace Greeley.

P.S. You must know Miss Elizabeth Hoar, whereas I hardly do. Now I have agreed to edit Margaret’s works, and I want of Elizabeth a letter or memorandum of personal recollections of Margaret and her ideas. Can’t you ask her to write it for me?

Yours,

H. G.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 324)
24 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  The same ducks under Clamshell Hill . . . Goose Pond half open. Flint’s has perhaps fifteen or twenty acres of ice yet about shores . . . (Journal, 6:175).
25 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Cold and windy. Down river in boat to Great Meadows . . . Willow osiers near Mill Brook mouth I am almost certain have acquired a fresher color . . . (Journal, 6:176).
26 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  River froze over at Lily Bay (Journal, 6:176).
27 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Saw a hawk—probably a marsh hawk—by meadow (Journal, 6:176).
28 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To White Pond.

  Coldest clay for a month or more,-severe as almost any in the winter. Saw this afternoon either a snipe or a woodcock; it appeared rather small for the last. Pond opening on the northeast . . .

  Got first proof of “Walden.”

(Journal, 6:176)
29 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Fair Haven.

  Coldest night. Pump froze so as to require thawing. Saw two marsh hawks (?), white on rump . . .

  Fair Haven half open; channel wholly open. See thin cakes of ice at a distance now and then blown up on their edges and glistening in the sun . . .

(Journal, 6:176-7).
30 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  6 A. M. – To Island . . . Read an interesting article on Étienne Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire, the friend and contemporary of Cuvier, though opposed to him in his philosophy . . . (Journal, 6:177-9).

A petition is sent to Ralph Waldo Emerson, signed by many Concordians including Thoreau, his sister, Sophia, and his parents, requesting him to deliver as many of the lectures that he has given abroad the past winter, and promising to repay him with “an eager attention” (MS, Houghton Library, Harvard University).

31 March 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Weather changes at last to drizzling.

  In criticising your writing, trust your fine instinct. There are many things which we come very near questioning, but do not question . . .

(Journal, 6:179).
1 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  The tree sparrows, hyemalis, and song sparrows are particularly lively and musical in the yard this rainy and truly April day. The air rings with them. The robin now begins to sing sweet powerfully.

  P. M.—Up Assabet to Dodge’s Brook; thence to Farmer’s . . .

(Journal, 6:180-2)
2 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Conantum via Nut Meadow Brook . . . At Lee’s Cliff the red-stemmed moss . . . (Journal, 6:182-3).

New York, N.Y. Horace Greeley writes to Thoreau:

Dear Thoreau,—

  Thank you for your kindness in the matter of Margaret. Pray take no further trouble; but if anything should come in your way, calculated to help me, do not forget.

Yours,

Horace Greeley.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 325)
3 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Saw from window with glass seven ducks on meadow-water, —only one or two conspicuously white,—these, black heads, white throats and breasts and along sides,—the rest of the ducks, brownish, probably young males and females . Probably the golden-eye. Jardine says it is rare to see more than one full-plumaged male in a flock.

  P.M.—To Cliffs by boat.

  Did I see crow blackbirds with the red-wings and hear their harsher chattering?

  The water has gone down so much . . .

(Journal, 6:183)

4 April 1854. Acton, Mass.

Thoreau surveys a woodlot for Abel Hosmer (A Catalog of Thoreau’s Surveys in the Concord Free Public Library, 8; Henry David Thoreau papers. Special Collections, Concord (Mass.) Free Public Library).

Concord, Mass. Thoreau writes in his journal:

  All day surveying a wood-lot in Acton for Abel Hosmer. He says that he has seen the small slate-colored hawk pursue and catch doves, i.e. the sharp-shinned . . . (Journal, 6:184).
5 April 1854. Concord, Mass and Carlisle, Mass.

Thoreau surveys woodlots for Samuel Hoar (A Catalog of Thoreau’s Surveys in the Concord Free Public Library, 8; Henry David Thoreau papers. Special Collections, Concord (Mass.) Free Public Library).

Concord, Mass. Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Surveying all day for Mr. [Samuel] Hoar in Carlisle, near Hitchinson’s and near I. [?] Green’s . . . I rode with my employer a dozen miles to-day, keeping a profound silence almost all the way as the most simple and natural course . . . (Journal, 6:184).
6 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  6 P. M.—Up Assabet.

  A still warmer day than yesterday—a warm, moist rain-smelling west wind. I am surprised [to] find so much of the white maples already out. The light-colored stamens show to some rods. Probably they began as early as day before yesterday. They resound
with the hum of honey-bees . . .

(Journal, 6:185-6)
7 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  6 A. M.—Down railroad to Cliffs . . . Fair Haven is completely open. It must have been so first either on the 5th or 6th (Journal, 6:186-7).
8 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  6 A. M.—To Clamshell Hill . . .

  P. M.—To Lee’s Cliff via Clamshell . . .

  At Nut Meadow Brook saw, or rather heard, a muskrat plunge into the brook before me, and saw him endeavoring in vain to bury himself in the sandy bottom, looking like an amphibious animal . . . At Heart-leaf Pond the croaking frogs are in full blast . . .

  Saw a large bird sail along over the edge of Wheeler’s cranberry meadow just below Fair Haven . . .

  Saw several yellow redpolls (Sylvia petechia) on the willows by the Hubbard Bridge . . .

(Journal, 6:187-91)
9 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A large-catkined sallow (?) by the railroad . . . Cowslip in Hubbard’s Close will open the first warm and sunny hour . . .

  I am surprised to find Walden completely open. When did it open? According to all accounts, it must have been between the 6th and 9th . . .

(Journal, 6:191-2)

10 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Great Meadows by boat, and sail back . . . (Journal, 6:192).

11 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A. M.—Heard the clear, rather loud and rich warble of a purple finch and saw him on an elm . . . P. M.—Surveying in Lincoln . . . Evening on river . . . (Journal, 6:193).
12 April 1854. Lincoln, Mass.

Thoreau surveys a woodlot for Schuyler Parks (A Catalog of Thoreau’s Surveys in the Concord Free Public Library, 10; Henry David Thoreau papers. Special Collections, Concord (Mass.) Free Public Library).

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Surveying for [Schuyler] Parks in Lincoln . . . When I went to Mr. P’s house at noon, he addressed me, “Now, what will you have to drink?” and soon appeared stirring a glass of gin for himself. Waited at Lincoln Depot an hour and a half (Journal, 6:193-4).
13 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Walked down as far a Moore’s at 8 A. M. and returned along the hill . . . P. M.—Sail to Bittern Cliff . . . (Journal, 6:194-7).
14 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  6 A. M.—To Nawshawtuct . . . Saw yellow redpolls, on Cheney’s elm,—a clear metallic ship and jerks of the tail (Journal, 6:197).
15 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Morning.—Snow and snowing; four inches deep . . . When Father came down this morning he found a sparrow squatting in a chair in the kitchen. Doesn’t know it came there. I examined it a long time, but could not make it out . . .

  P. M.—This cold, moist, snowy day it is easier to see the birds and get near them . . .

(Journal, 6:197-8)
16 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To epigaea . . . (Journal, 6:199).
17 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  John Brown, merchant, tells me this morning that the martins first came to his box on the 13th, he “made a minute of it.” Besides so many entries in their day-books and ledgers, they record these things . . . (Journal, 6:200-1).
18 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To stone-heaps by boat . . . (Journal, 6:201-2).

Thoreau also writes to Thaddeus W. Harris:

Dear Sir,

  I return by Mr . Gerrish three vols. viz Agassiz sur les Glaciers Shepard’s Clear Sunshine and New England in 1652

  Yrs

  Henry D. Thoreau

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 326)

19 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Cliffs . . . There is considerable growth in the water at the Boiling Spring . . . Saw a bullfrog in Hayden’s pond-hole and a small green grasshopper . . . (Journal, 6:202-6).
20 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A. M.—To Nawshawtuct . . . P. M.—To Island and Hill . . . 4 P. M.—To Moore’s Swamp . . . (Journal, 6:207-8).
21 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  6 A. M. – Heard the bay-wing sparrow in the redeemed meadows . . . P. M. – To Saw Mill Brook . . . (Journal, 6:208-10).
23 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  George Minott says that he used to shoot the red-headed woodpecker, and found their nests on the trees on his hillside . . . P. M. – To Lee’s Cliff on foot . . . (Journal, 6:210-16).
24 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A. M. – Up railroad . . . P. M. – Up Assabet, and thence to Cedar Swamp . . . (Journal, 6:216-8).
25 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A. M.—I think I hear near George Heywood’s the tull-lull (?). Heard and saw my warbler ( ?) b’ of the 23d and 24th on Mr . Emerson’s pines. It is the smallest bird I have seen this year.
Sits still amid the pines not far below the top and sings very sweetly, loud and clear, and seems further off than it is, beginning first with very fine wiry notes and then increasing in volume and melody till it ends with tweeter tweeter tweeter her twe . . .

  P. M.—To Indian Cedar Hill.

  Quite warm and the frogs are snoring . . . The summer approaches by almost insensibly increasing lieferungs of heat, each awakening some new bird or quadruped or reptile . . . Each creature awaits with confidence its proper degree of heat . . .

(Journal, 6:218-21).
26 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Heard at 8 A. M. the peculiar loud and distinct ring of the first toad, at a distance . . .

  2.30 P. M.—To Lee’s Cliff on foot . . .

  9 P. M.—Quite a heavy thunder-shower,—the second lightning, I think.

  The vivid lightning, as I walk the street, reveals the contrast between day and night.

(Journal, 6:222-4)
27 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  7 A. M.—To Cliffs . . . (Journal, 6:225-7).
28 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  6 A. M.—Dug up two of half a dozen, the only black spruce suitable to transplant that I know hereabouts . . . Nawshawtuct now in the rain looks about as green as a Roxbury russet; i.e. the russet is yielding to the green (Journal, 6:227-8).
29 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Cliffs by boat in the misty rain . . . I am surprised to find a few andromedas out, just behind the alders at the oak on Cardinal Shore . . . J. Farmer says that this rain will kill many caterpillars just hatched . . . (Journal, 6:228-30).
May 1854. New York, N.Y.

Charles Scribner sends a form letter to Thoreau:

  As it is my intention to publish the coming season a work, entitled Art Encyclopaedia of American Literature, embracing Personal and Critical Notices of Authors, with passages from their Writings, from the earliest period to the present day, with Portraits, Autographs, and other illustrations, I have adopted the method of addressing to you a Circular letter, as the best means of rendering the book as complete in regard to points on which you may be interested, as possible, and as faithful as may be to the memories and claims of the families and personages whose literary interests will be represented in it. The plan of the work is to furnish to the public, at one view, notices of the Lives and Writings of all American authors of importance. As it is quite probable you may have in your possession material or information which you would like the opportunity of seeing noticed in such a publication, you will serve the objects of the work by a reply to this circular, in such answers to the following suggestions as may appear desirable or convenient to you.

  1.   Dates of birth, parentage, education, residence, with such biographical information and anecdote; as you may think proper to be employed in such a publication.
  2.   Names and dates of Books published, references to Articles in Reviews, Magazines, &c., of which you may be the author.
  3.   Family notices and sources of information touching American authors no longer living, of whom you may be the representative.

  Dates, facts, and precise information, in reference to points which have not been noticed in collections of this kind, or which may have been misstated, are desirable. Your own judgment will be the best guide as to the material of this nature which should be employed in a work which it is intended shall be of general interest and of a National character. It will represent the whole country, its only aim being to exhibit to the readers a full, fair, and entertaining account of the literary products thus far of America. It is trusted that the plan of the work will engage your sympathy and concurrence, and that you will find in it a sufficient motive for a reply to this Circular. The materials which you may communicate will be employed, so far as is consistent with the limits and necessary unity of the work, for the preparation of which I have engaged Evert A. and George L. Duyckinck, who have been prominently before the public for several years in a similar connection, as Editors of the “Literary World.”

  Yours, respectfully,

  Charles Scribner

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 326-7)
1 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A fine, clear morning after three days of rain,—our principal rain-storm this year,—raising the river higher than it has been yet.

  6 A. M.—Up railroad.

  Everything looks bright and as if it were washed clean. The red maples, now fully in bloom, show red tops . . .

  9 A.M.—To Cliffs and thence by boat to Fair Haven.

  I see the scrolls of the ferns just pushed up, but yet wholly invested with wool. The sweet-fern has not yet blossomed; its anthers are green and close, but its leaves, just beginning to expand . . .

  Early starlight by riverside.

  The water smooth and broad. I hear the loud and incessant cackling of probably a pigeon woodpecker,—what some time since I thought to be a different kind. Thousands of robins are filling the air with their trills . . .

(Journal, 6:231-4)
2 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  The cracks in the ground made by the frost last winter are still quite distinct . . . (Journal, 6:234)

3 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—In rain to Nawshawtuct.

  The river rising still. What I have called the small peewee on the willow by my boat,—quite small, uttering a short tchevet from time to time. Some common cherries are quite forward in leafing . . . (Journal, 6:234-5).

5 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Boiling Spring, Laurel Glen, and Hubbard’s Close . . . The Emerson children found blue and white violets May 1st at Hubbard’s Close . . . (Journal, 6:235-6).
6 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To epigæa via Clamshell Hill… Returned over the hill back of J. P. Brown’s . . . (Journal, 236-40).
7 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Cliffs . . . At sunset across the flooded meadow to Nawshawtuct . . . (Journal, 6:240-5).
8 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A. M.—To Nawshawtuct . . .

  P.M.—By boat to Fair Haven.

  The water has fallen a foot or more but I cannot get under the stone bridge, so haul over the road. There is a fair and strong wind with which to sail upstream, and then I can leave my boat, depending on the wind changing to southwest soon . . .

  As I returned I saw, in the Miles meadow, on the bottom, two painted tortoises fighting . . .

(Journal, 6:245-9)
9 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  To Boston and Cambridge . . .

  Looking at the birds at the Natural History Rooms, I find that I have not seen the crow blackbird at all yet this season . . .

  Sat on end of Long Wharf . . .

  Harris [Thaddeus William Harris] showed me a list of plants in Hovey’s Magazine (I think for ’42 or ’43) not in Bigelow’s Botany,—seventeen or eighteen of them, among the rest a pine I have not seen, etc., etc,. q.v . . .

  Planted melons.

(Journal, 6:249-50)

Cambridge, Mass. Thoreau checks out A narrative of the mission of the United Brethren among the Delaware and Mohegan Indians by John Heckewelder, Ancient sea-margins, as memorials of changes in the relative level of sea and land by Robert Chambers, and A narrative of the captivity and adventures of John Tanner by John Tanner from Harvard College Library (Companion to Thoreau’s Correspondence, 290).

Boston, Mass. Thoreau checks out The North American Sylva by François André Michaux and Thomas Nuttall, volumes 1 & 2, and A natural system of botany by John Lindley from the Boston Society of Natural History Library (Emerson Society Quarterly, no. 24 (March 1952):26).

10 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  8 A. M.—To Tall’s Island, taking boat at Cliffs . . .

  Dined at Tall’s Island . . .

  Returning stopped at Rice’s. He was feeding his chickens with Indian meal and water . . . Deacon Farrar’s meadow in time of flood (I had come through this) was a good place [to hunt turtles] . . .

  It began to sprinkle, and Rice said he had got “to bush that field” of grain before it rained, and I made haste back with a fair wind and umbrella for sail . . .

(Journal, 6:250-4)
11 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  6 A. M.—To Laurel Hillside by Walden . . .

  Heard a Maryland yellow-throat about alders at Trillium Woods . . . Many small swallows hovering over Deep Cut . . .

  P. M.—To Saw Mill Brook . . .

  The willows on the Turnpike now resound with the hum of bees, and I hear the yellowbird and Maryland yellow-throat amid them . . .

  While at the Falls, I feel the air cooled and hear the muttering of distant thunder in the northwest and see a dark cloud in that direction indistinctly through the wood. That distant thunder-shower very much cools our atmosphere. And I make haste through the woods homeward via Hubbard’s Close . . .

  Over meadows in boat at sunset to Island, etc . . .

(Journal, 6:255-60)
12 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  5.30 A. M.—To Nawshawtuct.

  Quite a fog risen up from the river. I cannot see over it from the hill a 6 A.M. The first I have seen. The grass is now high enough to be wet. I see many perfectly geometrical cobwebs on the trees . . .

  P. M.—To climbing fern.

  I have seen a little blue moth a long time. My thick sack is too much yesterday and to-day. The golden robin makes me think of a thinner coat. I sec that the great thrush,—brown thrasher,—from its markings, is still of the same family . . .

(Journal, 6:260-2).
13 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  The portion of the peach trees in bloom in our garden shows the height of the snow-drifts in the winter.

  4 P. M.—To V. Muhlenbergii Brook.

  The bass suddenly expanding its little round leaves; probably began about the l1th. Uvularias, amid the dry tree-tops near the azaleas, apparently yesterday. Saw the crow blackbird fly over, turning his tail in tile wind into a vertical position to serve for a rudder . . . (Journal, 6:262-3).

14 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Hill by boat.

  A St. Domingo cuckoo, black-billed with red round eye, a silent, long, slender, graceful bird, dark cinnamon ( ?) above, pure white beneath. It is in a leisurely manner picking the young caterpillars out of a nest (now about a third of an inch long) with its long, curved bill. Not timid. Black willows have begun to leaf . . .

(Journal, 6:263-4).
15 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Judging from those in garden, the Witchhazel, began to leaf yesterday, black alder to-day.

  P. M.—Up Assabet.

  The golden willow catkins are suddenly falling and covering my boat. High blueberry has flowered, say yesterday. Swamp-pink leafing, say yesterday. The Amelanchier Botryapium—some of them—have lost blossoms and show minute fruit. This I suspect the first sign of all wild edible fruit . . .

(Journal, 6:264-5).

16 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Conantum by boat with S. [Sophia Thoreau]

V. peregrina in Channing’s garden . . .

  Also drank at what I will call Alder Spring at Clamshell Hill . . .

  Landed at Conantum by the red cherry grove above Arrowhead Field . . .

(Journal, 6:265-71)
17 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  5.30 A. M.—To Island . . . P. M.—To Cedar Swamp via Assabet . . . (Journal, 6:271-8).
18 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  To Pedrick’s meadow . . .

  Huckleberry. Now for the tassels of the shrub oak; I can find no pollen yet about them, but, as [lie oak catkins in nay pitcher, plucked yesterday, shed pollen to-day, I think I may say that the bear shrub oak, red and black oaks open to-morrow . . .

  High winds all day racking the young trees and blowing off blossoms.

(Journal, 6:278-9).
19 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  5.30 A. M.—To Nawshawtuct and Island . . .

  The mountain laurel is one of the latest plants. The resinous dotted leaves of the huckleberrv are interesting. The high blueberries are early (to bloom) and resound with the hum of bees. All the cornels begin to leaf apparently about the same time, though I do not know but the roundleaved is the earliest . . .

(Journal, 6:279-83).
20 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Woodbine shoots (brick house) already two or three inches long . . .

  Very low thunder-clouds and showers far in the north at sunset, the wind of which, though not very strong, has cooled the air. Saw the lightning, but could not hear the thunder. I saw in the northwest first rise, in the rose-tinted horizon sky, a dark, narrow, craggy cloud, narrow and projecting as no cloud on earth, seen against the rose-tinged sky,—the crest of a thunder-storm, beautiful and grand. The steadily increasing sound of toads and frogs along the river with each successive wanner night is one of the most important peculiarities of the season. Their prevalence and loudness is in proportion to the increased temperature of the day. It is the first earth-song . . .

(Journal, 6:283)

Thoreau also surveys land near the Depot for David Loring (A Catalog of Thoreau’s Surveys in the Concord Free Public Library, 9; Henry David Thoreau papers. Special Collections, Concord (Mass.) Free Public Library).

Concord, Mass.? Franklin B. Sanborn writes in his journal:

  In this May afternoon, between 2 and 3 o’clock, we gathered in the Emerson library, and Emerson himself opened the conversation by raising the question (full of interest to [Edwin] Morton and to me), whether literature alone could be, in America, a young man’s occupation and bread-winner? . . . From this topic we turned to consider our own college professors and those who had preceded them in Emerson’s memory,—Longfellow, George Ticknor, Edward Everett, Jones Very, who had been Thoreau’s Greek tutor, Dr. Walker, and others.
(Transcendental Climate, 206)
21 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Quince. A slight fog in morning. Some bullfrogs in morning, and I see a yellow swelling throat. They—these throats—come with the yellow lily. Cobwebs on grass, the first I have noticed. This is one of the late phenomena of spring. These little dewy nets or gauze, a faery’s washing spread out in the night, are associated with the finest days of the year . . .

 P. M.—To Deep Cut.

  A shower, heralded only by thunder and lightning, has kept me in till late in the afternoon . . .

  Twilight on river.

  The reddish white lily pads here and there and the heart-leaves begin to be seen. A few pontederias, like long-handled spoons. The water going rapidly down, that often purplish bent grass is seen lying flat . . .

(Journal, 6:283-5)
22 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  5.30 A. M.—Up Assabet.

  Now begins the slightly sultryish morning air into which you awake early to hear the faint buzz of a fly or hum of other insect. The teeming air, deep and hollow, filled with some spiritus, pregnant as not in winter or spring, with room for imps . . .

  10 A. M.—To Fair Haven by boat.

  I see many young and tender dragon-flies, both large and small, hanging to the grass-tops and weeds and twigs which rise above the -water still going down. They are -weak and sluggish and tender-looking . . . I see their large gauze-like wings vibrating in the breeze . . .

  At Clamshell, the small oblong yellow heads of yellow clover, some days. ‘fall buttercup, a day or two. Dandelions, for some time, gone to seed. Water saxifrage, now well out. As I started away from Clamshell, it was quite warm—the seats—and the water
glassy smooth, but a little wind rose . . . I rest in the orchard, doubtful whether to sit in shade or sun . . .

  Landed next at the Miles Swamp . . .

(Journal, 6:285-91)
23 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Cedar Swamp by Assabet . . . As I paddle up the Assabet, off the Hill, I hear a loud rustling of the leaves and see a large scared tortoise sliding and tumbling down the high steep bank a rod or more into the water . . . (Journal, 6:291-5).
24 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  4.30 A. M.—To Cliffs.

  A considerable fog, but already rising and retreating to the river. There are dewy cobwebs on the grass. The morning came in and awakened me early, – for I slept with a window open, -and the chip-bird was heard also. As I go along the causeway the [sun] rises red, with a great red halo, through the fog. When I reach the hill, the fog over the river already has its erectile feathers up. I am a little too late. But the level expanse of it far in the east, now lit by the sun, with countless tree-tops like oases seen through it, reminds of vast tracts of sand and of the seashore . . .

  P. M.—To Pedrick’s meadow

  The side-flowering sandwort well out in Moore’s Swamp. The pyrus has now for some days taken the place of the amelanchier, though it makes less show. How sweet and peculiar the fragrance of the different kinds of cedar! It is imparted to your hands. Lady’s slipper since the 18th; say 22d. Waded into Beck Stow’s. The water was so cold at first that I thought it would not be prudent to stand long in it . . .

(Journal, 6:295-302).
25 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  5.30 A. M.—To Hill.

  Smilax. Heard and saw by the sassafras shore the rose-breasted grosbeak, a handsome bird with a loud and very rich song, in character between that of a robin and a red-eye. It sang steadily like a robin. Rose breast, white beneath, black head and above, white on shoulder and wings. The flowering ferns just begin, to light up the meadow with their yellowish green . . .

(Journal, 6:302).
26 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  5.30 A. M.—to climbing ivy.

  Pipe-grass equisetum . Buttercups now densely spot the churchyard. Now for the fragrance of firs and spruce.

  P. M.—To Walden.

  Horse-radish, several days; rye four feet high. The luxuriant and rapid growth of this hardy and valuable grass is always surprising. How genial must nature be to it! It makes the revolution of the seasons seem a rapid whirl. How quickly and densely it clothes the earth! Thus early it suggests the harvest and fall. At sight of this deep and dense field all vibrating with motion and light . . .

(Journal, 6:303-5)
27 May 1854.

Concord, Mass. Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Saw Mill Brook.

  Geum rivale, a day or two at Hubbard’s Close; also the Rubus trifloras abundant there along the brook next the maple swamp, and still in bloom. Wild pinks (Silene), apparently a day or two. The red-eye is an indefatigable singer,—a succession of short bars with hardly an interval long continued . . .

(Journal, 6:305-6)

London, England. Athenaeum writes that Thoreau is a graduate of Harvard and qualified as a minister, but is presently a pencil manufacturer. Notes that he moved to a hut on the shore of Walden Pond where he lived in a primitive manner and wrote A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers: “a curious mixture of dull and prolix dissertation, with some of the most faithful and animated descriptions of external nature which has ever appeared.”

28 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  12 M.—By boat to Lee’s Cliff.

  Larch cones are now conspicuous and handsome,—dark-crimson, about half an inch long. Pitch pine cones, too, are now handsome. The larch has a little of the sweetness of the fir, etc . . . As I sail down toward the Clamshell Hill about an hour before sunset, the water is smoothed like glass, though the breeze is as strong as before . . .

(Journal, 6:306-11)
29 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Cedar Swamp by Assabet.

  The white maple keys have begun to fall and float down the stream like the wings of great insects. Dandelions and mouse-ear down have been blowing for some time and are seen on water. These are interesting as methinks the first of the class of downy seeds . . . Viburnum Lentago in a warm place. The choke-cherry is leaving off to bloom, now that the black cherry is beginning. The clustered androaneda is not yet fully, i. e . abundantly, out . . .

(Journal, 6:312-5).
30 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

   Whitcwccd. Spergularia rubra, apparently a day or two, side of railroad above red
house. Yarrow.

  P. M.—To Clintonia Swamp and Pond.

  Saw a black snake, dead, tour feet three inches long, slate-colored beneath. Saw what was called a California cat which a colored man brought home from California,—an animal at least a third smaller than a cat and shaped more like a polecat or weasel, brown-gray, with a cat-like tail of alternate black and white rings, very large cars, and eyes which were prominent, long body like a weasel, and sleeps with its head between its fore paws, curling itself about . . . I am surprised to find arethusas abundantly out in Hubbard’s Close, maybe two or three days, though not yet at Arethusa Meadow, probably on account of the recent freshet . . . I find the linnæa, and budded, in Stow’s Wood by Deep Cut . . .

(Journal, 6:316-8)
31 May 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Many go a-fishing to-day in earnest, and one gets forty pouts in river . . . P. M.—To Miles Meadow by boat . . . The mountain sumach at the Cliffs is much more forward than at Hubbard’s . . . (Journal, 6:318-9).
1 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  4.30 A. M.—To Hill.

  Fever-root. The umbrella toadstool yesterday, and now decaying. A smaller one. It was so cold last night and still that I surely expected a frost and covered all our melons But either the wind changed or clouds came over in the night . . .

  P. M.—To Bare Hill via Walden road and Goose Pond.

  Below the almshouse I see a small sparrow, not larger than the field sparrow, with a white line down the middle of the head, i tawny throat and breast, a yellow spot over the eye and another on the forward part of the wings . . .

(Journal, 6:320-3).
2 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Up Assabet to Castilleja and Annursnack.

  While waiting for Mother and Sophia I look now from the yad to the waving and slightly glaucous-tinged June meadows . . .

  I find sanicle just out on the Island . . . We went near to the stone bridge and crossed direct via the house-leek, of which I brought home a bunch . . . Took tea at Mrs. Barrett’s.

  When we returned to our boat at 7 P. M., I notice first, to my surprise, that the river was all alive with leaping fish . . .

  Caraway naturalized, and out apparently two or three days, in C. Barrett’s front yard.

(Journal, 6:323-5)
3 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  9 A. M.—To Fair Haven with [H. G. O.] Blake and [Theophilus] Brown . . . At Lee’s Cliff, where we dined, the oxalis pretty early . . . Crossed to Baker Farm and Mt. Misery . . . (Journal, 6:325-6).
4 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  8 A. M.—Up Assabet to Barbarea Shore with [H. G. O.] Blake and [Theophilus] Brown.

  Brown speaks of a great brown moth,—probably emperor moth,—which came out in Worcester a few days ago. I see under the window, half dead, a large sphinx-like moth which apparently flew last night. The surface of the still water nowadays with a kind of lint, looking like dust at a little distance. Is it the down of the leaves blown off? In many places it reaches quite across the river. It is interesting to distinguish the different surfaces,—here broken into waves and sparkling with light, there, where covered with this linty dust or film, merely undulating without breaking, and there quite smooth and stagnant . . .

  P. M.—To Walden.

  Now is the time [to] observe the leaves, so fair in color and so perfect in form. I stood over a sprig of choke-cherry, with fair and perfect glossy green obovate and serrate leaves, in the woods this P.M., as if it were a rare flower . . .

(Journal, 6:326-8).
5 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  6 P. M.—To Cliffs.

  Large yellow butterflies with black spots since the 3d. Carrion-flower, maybe a day. Dangle-berry, probably June 3d at Trillium Woods. Now, just before sundown, a nighthawk is circling . . . I have come to this hill to see the sun go down, to recover sanity and put myself again in relation with Nature. I would fain drink a draft of Nature’s serenity. Let deep answer to deep. Already I see reddening clouds reflected in the smooth mirror of the river, a delicate tint, far off and elysian, unlike anything in the sky . . .

(Journal, 6:328-30)
6 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  I perceive the sweetness of the locust blossoms fifteen or twenty rods off as I go down the street.

  P. M.—To Assabet Bathing-Place and return by stone bridge.

  I see now great baggy light-green puffs on the panicled andromeda, some with a reddish side . . . The painted tortoises are nowadays laying their eggs. I see where they have just been digging in the sand or gravel in a hundred places on the southerly sides of hills and banks near the river . . .

   . . . 6.30 A. M. [sic].—Up Assabet.

  Rhus Toxicodendron, yesterday, on Rock. Smilacina racemosa, probably June 4th. Beautiful the hemlock-fans, now broad at the ends of the lower branches, which slant clown, seen in the shade against the dark hillside. Such is the contrast of the very light green just put forth on their edges with the old very dark, I feast my eyes on it . . .

(Journal, 6:330-2).
7 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  6 A. M.—Up railroad.

  Vibernum dentatum. Grape yesterday. Vibernum nadum, June 5. A thick fog this morning, through which at last rain falls,—the first after a considerable and first drv shell . As yet nothing has suffered from dryness . . .

. . . P. M.—To Dugan Desert via Linnæa Hills.

  Curled dock. Linnæa abundantly out some days: say 3d or 4th. It has not rained since morning, but continues cloudy and is warm and muggy, the sun almost coming out. The birds sing now more than ever . . .

(Journal, 6:332-5)
8 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A. M.—Gentle, steady rainstorm . . .

  P. M.—On river.

  Sidesaddle, apparently to-morrow (?) . Earliest and common potamogeton. Erigeron strigosus slowly opening, perhaps to-morrow . . .

(Journal, 6:335-6)
9 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Well Meadow.

  The summer aspect of the river begins perhaps when the Utricularia vulgaris is first seen on the surface, as yesterday. As I go along the railroad causeway, I see, in the cultivated grounds, a lark flashing his white tail, and showing his handsome yellow breast . . .

  7 P. M. Up Assabet.

  The tupelo’s stamens are loose and will perhaps shed pollen to-morrow or next day. It is twilight, and the river is covered with that dusty lint, as was the water next the shore at Walden this afternoon . . .

(Journal, 6:336-40)
10 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Conantum on foot.

  The bay-wing sparrow apparently is not my seringo, after all . What is the seringo? I see some with clear, dirty-yellow breasts, but others, as to-day, with white breasts, dark-streaked. Both have the yellow over eye and the white line on crown . . .

(Journal, 6:340-1).

Boston, Mass. Ticknor & Co. writes to Thoreau:

Dear Sir

  Our Mr. Fields who left by the steamer of the 7th for England took the proof sheets of Walden—In order to secure a copt in England the book must be published there as soon as here and at least 12 copies published and offered for sale. If Mr. F. succeeds in making a sale of the early sheets, it will doubtless be printed in London so as to cause very little delay here but if it be necessary to print and send out the copies it will delay us 3 or 4 weeks. Probably not more than three weeks. You will probably prefer to delay the publication that you may be sure of your cop’t in England.

  Truly yours

  W. D. Ticknor & Co.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 328)

[Fields never made the trip. He became so seasick on the way that he turned around in Halifax and came home (The Cost Books of Ticknor & Fields and their predecessors, 1832-1858, 289-90). See entry 2 July.]

11 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  8.30 A.M.—To Framingham with Mrs. Brown. All day cloudy and cool without rain.

  At twelve walked up Sudbury River above Frank’s to Ashland, at first through the meadows, then over the high hills in the vicinity. The stream narrows suddenly in the middle of Framingham, probably about the outlet from Farm Pond and also Stony Brook… A young man picking strawberries pointed toward Hopkinton southwesterly and said that it was four miles thither straight and six to Whitehall Pond (the source of the river), but a great deal farther by the river, that boats were used here at Ashland, and pouts and pickerel caught . . .

(Journal, 6:341-3)
12 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Walden.

  Clover now reddens the fields. Grass in its prime. Comfrey in front of Stow’s well out some days apparently. With the roses now fairly begun I associate summer heats . . .

  Sundown.—To Clamshell Hill.

  Nightshade a day or two. The cracks made by cold in pastures in the winter are still quite distinct. Phleum or herd’s-grass (?). I sit on the Clamshell Hill at sunset . . .

(Journal, 6:343-4)
13 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  I hear a quail this morning.

  2 P. M.—By boat to Bittern Cliff and so to Lee’s Cliff.

  I hear muttering of thunder and see a dark cloud in the west-southwest horizon; am uncertain how far up-stream I shall get . . .

(Journal, 6:344-8)
14 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To lime-kiln with Mr. Bacon of Natick.

  Sisymbrium amphibium (?) of Bigelow, some days, at foot of Loring’s land. Common mallows well out; how long? . . . I see a black caterpillar on the black willows nowadays with red spots . . .

(Journal, 6:348-9).
15 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  5.30 A. M.—To Island and Hill . . .

  Found a nest of tortoise eggs, apparently buried last night, which I brought home, ten in all,—one lying wholly on the surface,—and buried in the garden . . .

  P. M.—Up Assabet to Garlic Wall . . .

  7 P. M.—To Cliff by railroad . . .

(Journal, 6:349-51)
1 See also entries 18 June, 10 and 30 July, 26 August, and 2-4, 9, 11, and 16 September.
16 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  5 A. M.—Up railroad.

  As the sun went down last night, round and red in a damp misty atmosphere, so now it rises in the same manner, though there is no dense fog . . .

  Three days in succession,—the 13th, 14th, and 15th,—thunder-clouds, with thunder and lightning, have risen high in the cast, threatening instant rain, and yet each time it has failed to reach us . . .

  There is a cool east wind,—and has been afternoons for several days,—which has produced a very thick haze or a fog- . . . There is a fine ripple and sparkle on the pond, seen through the mist. But what signifies the beauty of nature when men are base? We walk to lakes to see our serenity reflected in them. When we are not serene, we go not to them. Who can be serene in a country where both rulers and ruled are without principle? The remembrance of the baseness of politicians spoils my walks. My thoughts are murder to the State; I endeavor in vain to observe nature; my thoughts involuntarily go plotting against the State. I trust that all just men will conspire . . .

(Journal, 6:351-60)
17 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  5 A. M.—To Hill.

  A cold fog. These mornings those who walk in grass are thoroughly wetted above mid-leg. All the earth is dripping wet. I am surprised to feel how warm the water is, by contrast with the cold, foggy air. The frogs seem glad to bury themselves in it. The dewy cobwebs are very thick this morning, little napkins of the fairies spread on the grass . . .

  P. M.—To Walden and Cliffs via almshouse . . . The evergreen-forest bird at old place in white pine and oak tops, top of Brister’s Hill on right. I think it has black wings with white bars. Is it not the black-throated green warbler? The unmistakable tanager sits on the oaks at midday and sings with a hoarse red-eye note, pruit, prewee, prewa, prear, preā (often more notes), some of the latter notes clearer, without the r. It does not sing so continuously as the red-eye . . .

(Journal, 6:361-6).
18 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To climbing fern . . .

  I discover that J. Dugan found the eggs of my snapping turtle on June 7th, apparently the same day. It did not go to a new place then, after all. I opened the nest to-day. It is, perhaps, five or six rods from the brook, in the sand near its edge . . .

(Journal, 6:366-70)
19 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Up Assabet.

  A thunder-shower in the north. Will it strike us? How impressive this artillery of the heavens! It rises higher and higher. At length the thunder seems to roll quite across the sky and all round the horizon, even where there are no clouds, and I row homeward in haste. How by magic the skirts of the cloud are gathered about us, and it shoots forward over our head, and the rain comes at a time and place -,which baffles all our calculations! Just before it the swamp white oak in Merrick’s pasture was a very beautiful sight, with its rich shade of green, its top as it were incrusted with light. Suddenly comes the gust, and the big drops slanting from the north, and the birds fly as if rudderless, and the trees bow and are wrenched. It comes against the windows like hail and is blown over the roofs like steam or smoke. It runs down the large elm at Holbrook’s and shatters the house near by. It soon shines in silver puddles in the streets . . .

(Journal, 6:371)
20 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Motherwort to-morrow. Elder. A cloud of minute black pollywogs in a muddy pool. I see where the crickets are eating the wild strawberries.

  P. M.—To Shad-bush Meadow.

  Heard a new bird—chut-cheeter-varrer-chutter-wit—on the low bushes, about the size of Wilson’s thrush apparently. Apparently olivaceous (?) above, most so on head, yellow front, dark bill, dark wings with two white bars . . .

(Journal, 6:372).
21 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  We have had thick fog, and rain fell through it this morning.

  P. M.—To Walden, etc.

  Mitchella in Deep Cut woods, probably a day or two. Its scent is agreeable and refreshing, between the mayflower and rum cherry barb, or like peachstone meats . . . The effect of the pond on its shore while standing at a great height is remarkable. Though considerably lower than it was, it appears much higher in some places, where it has worn away a barrier between itself and a meadow and so made the water deeper there.

  Rambled up the grassy hollows in the sprout-lands north (?) of Goose Pond . . .

(Journal, 6:372-5)
23 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  There has been a foggy haze, dog-day-like, for perhaps ten days, more or less . Today it is so cold that we sit by a fire . A little skunk, a quarter or a third grown, at the edge of the North River, under hill. Birds do not sing this afternoon, though cloudy, as they did a month ago. I think they are most lively about the end of May.

  P. M.—Walden and Cliffs.

  I see by the railroad causeway young barn swallows on the fences learning to fly . . .

  Lysimachia stricta, perhaps yesterday, at Lincoln bound, Walden. After one or two cold and rainy days the air is now clearer at last. From the Cliffs the air is beautifully clear, showing the glossy and light-reflecting greenness of the woods. It is a great relief to look into the horizon . There is more room under the heavens . . .

(Journal, 6:375-6)
25 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Assabet Bathing-Place and Derby Bridge.

  Maywecd, say 27th. At Ludwigia Pokc-logan, a cinder-like spawn in a white, frothy jelly . A green bittern, apparently, awkwardly alighting on the trees and uttering its hoarse, zarry note, zskeow-xskeow-xskeow . . .

(Journal, 6:376-7)

Thoreau also sends a letter, books, and a cicada specimen he found 13 June to Thaddeus William Harris, librarian at Harvard College Library and entomological expert. Harris replies 27 June (The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 329).

26 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Up river to Purple Utricularia Shore.

  Cornus sericea, yesterday at least. Small front-rank polygonum, a smut-like blast in the flower. Small form of arrowhead in Hubbard’s aster meadow, apparently several days. I am struck, as I look toward the Dennis shore from the bathing-place, with the peculiar agreeable dark shade of June, a clear air, and bluish light on the grass and bright silvery light reflected from fresh green leaves . . .

(Journal, 6:377)
27 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Cliffs via Hubbard meadow.

  Smooth sumach at Texas house, two days . . . P. Hutchinson says that he can remember when haymakers form Sudbury, thirty or forty years ago, used to come down the river in numbers and unite with concord to clear the weeds out of the river in shallow places and the larger streams emptying in . . .

(Journal, 6:378).

Cambridge, Mass. Thaddeus W. Harris writes to Thoreau:

Dear Sir.

  Your letter of the 25th, the books, and the Cicada came to hand this evening,—and I am much obliged to you for all of them;—for the books,—because I am very busy with putting the Library in order for examination, & want every book to be in its place; – for the letter, because it gives me interesting facts concerning Cicadas; and for the specimen because it is new to me, as a species or as a variety .

  The Cicada seems to be a female, and of course when living could not make the noise peculiar to the other sex. It differs from my specimens of Cicada septemdecim (& indeed still more from all the other species in my collection). It is not so large as the C.17; it has more orange about its thorax; the wing-veins are not so vividly stained with orange, and the dusky zigzag W on the anterior or upper wings, which is very distinct in the C.17, is hardly visible in this specimen. It has much the same form as the female C.17; but I must see the male in order to determine positively whether it be merely a variety or a different species. I should be very glad to get more specimens and of both sexes. Will you try for them?

  Your much obliged

  Thaddeus William Harris.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 329)
28 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A. M.—To Island.

  Tall anemone. Pontederia to-morrow.

  A thunder-shower in the afternoon (Journal, 6:378).

29 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Another clear morning after last evening’s rain.

  P. M. – To lime-kiln.

  Spurry, a good while. Cicltorirun at Simon Brown’s, three or four days (early); also catnep, about two davs . . . All the large black birches on Hubbard’s Hill have just been cut down,—half a dozen or more . . .

(Journal, 6:378-9).
30 June 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Walden and Hubbard’s Close.

  Jersey tea. Young oak shoots have grown from one and a half to three or four feet, but now in some cases appear to be checked . . . (Journal, 6:379).

Summer 1854. Concord, Mass.

Samuel Worcester Rowse draws a portrait of Thoreau. Eben Loomis recalls the event in a letter to Alfred W. Hosmer on 13 June 1896:

  Mrs. Thoreau invited Mrs. Loomis and myself to spend the summer of 1854 with her at Concord, and when Rowse came, Mrs. Thoreau invited him to stay at her house while he was studying Henry’s face.

  I was very much interested in watching him while he was watching the Expression of Henry’s face. For two or three weeks he did not put a pencil to paper; but one morning at breakfast, he suddenly jumped up from the table, asked to be excused and disappeared for the rest of the day. The next morning he brought down the crayon, almost exactly in its present form, scarcely another touch was put upon it.

(Thoreau Society Bulletin, no. 30 (Jan 1950):3-4)
1 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Cliffs . . . The wood thrush and tanager sing at 4 P. M. at Cliffs . . . Some boys brought me to-night a singular kind of spawn found attached to a pole floating in Fair haven Pond . . . (Journal, 6:380-1).

2 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  4 A. M.—To Hill . . . P.M.—To Flint’s Pond and Smith’s Hill with C. [William Ellery Channing] . . . (Journal, 6:381-2).

Boston, Mass. James T. Fields writes to Richard Bentley, in London, England:

  Mr. [Ralph Waldo] Emerson has already written you concerning Mr. Thoreau’s book and as you said in yr letter you wished to see some of the sheets we send them with this. Please let us hear from you at once if you accept the book that we may forward a complete copy. Mr. Thoreau will expect $100 for the copyright . . . We shall publish on the 1st of Sept. or the 15th of August.
(The Cost Books of Ticknor and Fields and their predecessors, 1832-1858, 289-90)
3 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  I hear the purple finch these days about the houses,—a twitter witter weeter wee, a witter witter wee.

  P. M.—To Hubbard Bridge by boat.

  On the great hummock dropped on Dennis’s meadow last winter, I see now flourishing, of small plants, water milkweed . . . (Journal, 6:382-4).

Boston, Mass. Ticknor & Co. print 2,000 copies of Walden (The Cost Books of Ticknor and Fields and their predecessors, 1832-1858, 289).

4 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A sultry night the last; bear no covering; all windows open.

  8 A.M.—To Framingham.

  Great orange-yellow lily, some clays, wild yellow, lily, drooping, well out . . . (Journal, 6:384).

Framingham, Mass. Thoreau lectures on “Slavery in Massachusetts” at Harmony Grove for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society (“Slavery in Massachusetts”).

The Liberator mentions in its 7 July issue, with a summary of the events of the meeting: “Henry Thoreau, of Concord, read portions of a racy and ably written address, the whole of which will be published in the Liberator.”

Moncure Daniel Conway later recalls the events of the meeting:

  Thoreau had come all the way from Concord for this meeting. It was a rare thing for him to attend any meeting outside of Concord, and though he sometimes lectured in the Lyceum there, he had probably never spoken on a platform. He was now clamoured for and made a brief and quaint speech. He began with the simple words, “You have my sympathy; it is all I have to give you, but you may find it important to you.” It was impossible to associate egotism with Thoreau; we all felt that the time and trouble he had taken at that crisis to proclaim his sympathy with the “Disunionists” was indeed important. He was there a representative of Concord, of science and letters, which could not quietly pursue their tasks while slavery was trampling down the rights of mankind. Alluding to the Boston commissioner who had surrendered Anthony Burns, Edward G. Loring, Thoreau said, “The fugitive’s case was already decided by God,—not Edward G. God, but simple God.” This was said with such serene unconsciousness of anything shocking in it that we were but mildly started.
(Autobiography, Memories, and Experiences of Moncure Daniel Conway, 1:184-5)
5 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To White Pond. One hundred and nine swallows on telegraph-wire at bridge within eight rods, and others flying about . . . (Journal, 6:384-5).

6 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Beck Stow’s.

  Euphorbia maculata, good while. Polygonum aviculare, a day or two. Now a great show of elder blossoms. Polygala sangvinea, apparently a day or more. Galium asprellum in shade; probably earlier in sun. Partridges a third grown.

  Veery still sings and toad rings.

  On the hot sand of the new road at Beck Stove’s, headed toward the water a rod or more off . . .

(Journal, 6:385-6)
7 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To lygodium.

  Verbena urticifolia. Ilysanthes, three or four days back, flat east of Clamshell Shore. Large form of arrowhead, two or more days. Woodcock at the spring under Clamshell. Campanula aparinoides, apparently three or four clays. The clover heads are turned brown and dry, and whiteweed is also drying up . . .

(Journal, 6:386)
8 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Assabet Bathing-Place . . . 8 P. M.—Full moon; by boat to Hubbard’s Bend . . . (Journal, 6:386-7).

9 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Fair Haven via Hubbard’s Bathing-Place . . . (Journal, 6:387-8).
10 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Took up one of the small tortoise eggs which I buried June 15th. The eye was remarkable, developed in the colorless and almost formless head, one or two large dark circles of the full diameter; a very distinct pulsation where the heart should be and along the neck was perceptible; but there seemed to be no body but a mass of yellow yolk.

  P. M.—To Hubbard’s Close, spotted pyrola, and Walden . . .

(Journal, 6:388-90)
11 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—By boat to Fair Haven . . . Sun set when I was off Nut Meadow. A straight edge of massy cloud had advanced from the south-southeast and now stretched overhead from west-southwest to east-northeast, and after sunset reflected a soft fawn-colored (?) light on the landscape, lighting up with harmonious light the dry parched and shorn hillsides . . .
(Journal, 6:390-1)
12 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Dodge’s Brook. The early cotton-grass is now about gone from Hubbard’s Close. With this month began the reign of riverweeds obstructing the stream. Potamogetons and heartleaves, etc., now for a long time covered with countless mosquito cases (?). They catch my oars and retard the boat. A rail will be detained a month by them in mid-stream . . .
(Journal, 6:391-2).
13 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  2 P. M.—To Bare Hill, Lincoln, by railroad.

  Have heard a faint locust-like sound from crickets a week or two. In the midst of July heat and drought. The season is trivial as noon. I hear the hot-weather and noonday birds,—red-eye, tanager, wood pewee, etc. Plants are curled and withered. The leaves dry, ripe like the berries . . . Polygonum Hydropiper at Baker Swamp . . . Boys go after the cows now about 5.30 o’clock . . .

(Journal, 6:392-3)
14 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Awake to day of gentle rain,—very much needed; none to speak of for nearly a month, methinks. The cooler and stiller day has a valuable effect on my spirits.

  P. M.—Over the Hill to Brown’s watering-place.

  It holds up from time [to time], and then a fine, misty rain falls. It lies on the fine reddish tops of some grasses, thick and whitish like morning cobwebs . . . (Journal, 6:394).

15 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Hubbard’s Bridge causeway via river . . . On the shady side of the hill I go along Hubbard’s walls toward the bathing-place, stepping high to keep my feet as dry as may be . . . Again I am attracted by the Clamshell reach of the river, running east and west, as seen from Hubbard’s fields, now beginning to be smoothed as in the fall . . .
(Journal, 6: 394-6)
16 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A thief fog began last night and lasts till late this morning; first of the kind, methinks.

  P. M.—Via railroad and pond to Saw Mill Brook. Many yellow butterflies and red on clover and yarrow. Is it the yellow-winged or Savannah sparrow with yellow alternating with dark streaks on throat, as well as yellow over eye, reddish flesh-colored legs, and two light bars on wings? . . . Woodcock by side of Walden in woods . . .

(Journal, 6:396-7)
17 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  11 A. M.—By river to Fair Haven . . . (Journal, 6:387-401).

18 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  5 A. M.—Up Turnpike . . . P. M. – To Sam Barrett’s by boat, and old Wheeler house . . . (Journal, 6:401-5).

Boston, Mass. James T. Fields writes to Nicholas Trübner, in London, England:

By mail pr steamer of the 19th from this port we send a copy of a new and very original book called “Walden”, or Life in the Woods by Thoreau, It is sent to you to dispose of to some London publisher for the most you can obtain . . . You can show it to . . . [Richard Bentley] first if you please. It belongs to the same class of works with Mr. [Ralph Waldo] Emerson’s writings & will be likely to attract attention. We shall publish it here about one month from date. You will please be particular about this matter as Walden is no common book & is sure to succeed . . . P.S. July 21, 1854. Send 2d copy pr Mail from N.Y. of 22d.
(The Cost Books of Ticknor & Fields and their predecessors, 1832-1858, 290)
19 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Beck Stow’s and Walden . . . In Moore’s Swamp I pluck cool, though not very sweet, large red raspberries in the shade, making themselves dense thickets . . . (Journal, 6:405-6).
20 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A very hot day, a bathing day. Warm days about this.

  P.M.—To Hubbard Bath.

  That long, narrow sparganium, which is perhaps the smaller one, growing long in our river, stands thick, with the heart-leaf and potarnogeton, in the middle in shallow places. Methinks there begins to be a bluish scum on the water at this season, somewhat stagnant looking . . .

(Journal, 6:406-7)
21 July 1854. Boston, Mass.

Thoreau’s address to the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society on 4 July, titled “Slavery in Massachusetts,” appears in the Liberator.

Boston, Mass. The Boston Transcript prints a notice of Walden.

22 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  The hottest night,—the last.

  It was almost impossible to pursue any work out-of doors yesterday. There were but few men to be seen out. You were prompted often, if working in the sun, to step into the shade to avoid a sunstroke . . .

(Journal, 6:407-8).

23 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Walden via Hubbard’s Grove and Fair Haven Hill . . . (Journal, 6:408-9).

24 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Now, at 2 P. M., I hear again the loud thunder and see the dark cloud in the west (Journal, 6:409-10).

New York, N.Y. The New-York Evening Post prints a review of Walden.

25 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A decided rain-storm to-day and yesterday, such as we have not had certainly since May. Are we likely ever to have two days’ rain in June and the first half of July? There is considerable wind
too. P. M.—To Bare Hill, Lincoln, via railroad.

  High blackberries, a day or two. The middle umbellet of the bristly aralia in some places, also a day
or more . . . (Journal, 6:410).

Boston, Mass. The Boston Commonwealth prints a notice of Walden.

26 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M. – To lime-kiln via rudbeckia . . . (Journal, 6:411).

27 July 1854. Boston, Mass.

The Boston Commonwealth prints an excerpt from “The Pond in Winter” chapter of Walden.

28 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Clethra. Methinks the season culminated about the middle of this month,—that the year was of indefinite promise before, but that, after the first intense heats, we postponed the fulfillment of many of our hopes for this year, and, having as it were attained the ridge of the summer, commenced to descend the long slope toward winter, the afternoon and down-hill of the year.
(Journal, 6:413)

Boston, Mass. The Boston Daily Evening Traveller prints an excerpt from the “Former Inhabitants; and Winter Visitors” chapter of Walden.

29 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M. – Berrying to Brook Clark’s . . . (Journal, 6:413).

New York, N.Y. The New-York Daily Tribune prints a notice of and six excerpts from Walden.

30 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Opened one of the snapping turtle’s eggs at Dugan Desert, laid June 7th. There is a little mud turtle squirming in it, apparently perfect in outline, shell and all, but all soft and of one consistency,—a bluish white, with a mass of yellowish yolk (?) attached. Perhaps it will be [a] month before it is hatched . . .
(Journal, 6:413-4)
31 July 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Blue-curls. Wood thrush still sings . . . (Journal, 6:414).

August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thomas Cholmondeley, a young Englishman, comes to visit Emerson and states that he would like to spend a few weeks in Concord. Emerson recommends that he stay at the Thoreau’s, thereby initiating Cholmondeley’s warm friendship with Thoreau (The Atlantic, no. 72 (1893):741).

1 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  6 A. M.—On river . . . P. M.—To Peter’s.  

  Sunflower. Meadow-haying begun for a week . . . (Journal, 6:415).

William Rounseville Alger buys the first copy of Walden sold (Thoreau Society Bulletin, no. 117 (Fall 1971):1).
Brooklyn, N.Y. Walden is reviewed in the Oneida Circular.
2 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Surveying in Lincoln . . .

  Surveyed east part of Lincoln.

  5 P. M. – To Conantum on foot.

  My attic chamber has compelled me to sit below with the family at evening for a month. I feel the necessity of deepening the stream of my life; I must cultivate privacy. It is very dissipating to be with people too much. As C. [William Ellery Channing] says, it takes the edge off a man’s thoughts to have been much in society. I cannot spare my moonlight and my mountains for the best of man I am likely to gent in exchange.

  I am inclined now to go for a pensive evening walk. Methinks we think of spring mornings and autumn evenings, I go via Hubbard’s Path . . .

  I sat on the Bittern Cliff as the still eve drew on. There was a man on Fair Haven furling his sail and bathing from his boat. A boat on a river whose waters are smoothed, and a man disporting in it! How it harmonizes with the stillness and placidity of the evening! Who knows but he is a poet in his yet obscure but golden youth ? Few else go alone into retired scenes without gun or fishing-rod . He bathes in the middle of the pond while his boat slowly drifts away. As I go up the hill, surrounded by its shadow, while the sun is setting, I am soothed by the delicious stillness of the evening, save that on the hills the wind blows. I was surprised by the sound of my own voice. It is an atmosphere burdensome with thought. For the first time for a month, at least, I am reminded that thought is possible. The din of trivialness is silenced. I float over or through the deeps of silence. It is the first silence I have heard
for a month. My life had been a River Platte, tinkling over its sands but useless for all great navigation, but now it suddenly became a fathomless ocean. It shelved off to unimagined depths . . .

  [James T.] Fields today sends me a specimen copy of my “Walden.” It is to be published on the 12th inst.

(Journal, 6:415-19)

New York, N.Y. Thoreau’s “Slavery in Massachusetts” is printed in the New-York Daily Tribune.

4 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Via Turnpike to Smith’s Hill.

  A still, cloudy day with from time to time a gentle August rain. Rain and mist contract our horizon and we notice near and small objects. The weeds—fleabane, etc.—begin to stand high in the potato-fields, overtopping the potatoes. This hardhack interests me with its bedewed pyramid . . .

  After sunset, a very low, thick, and flat white fog like a napkin, on the meadows, which ushers in a foggy night . . .

(Journal, 6:419-20)

Dedham, Mass. The Norfolk Democrat prints a notice of Walden.

5 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  8.30 A. M. – By boat to Coreopsis Bend . . . In crossing the meadow to the Jenkins Spring at noon, I was surprised to find that the dew was not off the deep meadow-grass, but I wet the legs of my pants through . . . As I return down-stream, I see the haymakers now raking with hand or horse rakes into long rows or loading, one on the load placing it and treading it down, while others fork it up to him; and other are gleaning with rakes after the forkers . . .
(Journal, 6:420-4)

Boston, Mass. The Bunker-Hill Aurora and Boston Mirror prints a notice of Walden.

6 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Tarbell Hills by boat . . . (Journal, 6:424-6).

7 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Peter’s, Beck Stow’s, and Walden . . . From Peter’s I look over the Great Meadows . . . A wasp stung me at one high blueberry bush on the forefinger of my left hand, just above the second joint . . . (Journal, 6:426-8).

New York, N.Y. The New-York Herald prints a notice of Walden.

8 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Annursnack via Assabet . . . (Journal, 6:428-9).

Thoreau also writes to H. G. O. Blake:

Mr. Blake,—

  Methinks I have spent a rather unprofitable summer thus far. I have been too much with the world, as the poet might say. The completest performance of the highest duties it imposes would yield me but little satisfaction. Better the neglect of all such, because your life passed on a level where it was impossible to recognize them. Latterly, I have heard the very flies buzz too distinctly, and have accused myself because I slid not still this superficial din. We must not be too easily distracted by the crying of children or of dynasties. The Irishman erects his sty, and gets drunk, and jabbers more and more under my eaves, and I am responsible for all that filth and folly. I find it, as ever, very unprofitable to have much to do with men. It is sowing the wind, but not reaping even the whirlwind; only reaping an unprofitable calm and stagnation. Our conversation is a smooth, and civil, and never-ending speculation merely. I take up the thread of it again in the morning, with very much such courage as the invalid takes his prescribed Seidlitz powders. Shall I help you to some of the mackerel? It would be more respectable if men, as has been said before, instead of being such pigmy desperates, were Giant Despairs. [Ralph Waldo] Emerson says that his life is so unprofitable and shabby for the most part, that he is driven to all sorts of resources [recources?], and, among the rest, to men. I tell him that we differ only in our resources Mine is to get away from men. They very rarely affect me as grand or beautiful; but I know that there is a sunrise and a sunset every day. In the summer, this world is a mere watering place,—a Saratoga,—drinking so many tumblers of Congress water; and in the winter, is it any better, with its oratorios? I have seen more men than usual lately; and, well as was acquainted with one, I am surprised to find what vulgar fellowes they are. They do a little business commonly each day, in order to pay their board, and then they congregate in sitting-rooms and feebly fabulate and paddle in the social slush; and when I drink that they have sufficiently relaxed, and am prepared to see them steal away to their shrines, they go unashamed to their beds, and take on a new layer of sloth. They may be single, or have families in their faineancy. I do not meet men who can have nothing to do with me because they have so much to do with themselves. However, I trust . . .

(Letters to Harrison Gray Otis Blake, 82-4)

New York, N.Y. The New-York Daily Tribune advertises Walden.

Boston, Mass. The Boston Daily Bee prints a notice of Walden.

9 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  To Boston. ‘Walden’ published . . . (Journal, 6:429).

Boston, Mass. A. Bronson Alcott writes in his journal:

  Thoreau dines with me and gives me his book, just published. We go to Southworth’s and see his picture of [Ralph Waldo] Emerson (The Journals of Bronson Alcott, 273).

Boston, Mass. Walden is reviewed in the Boston Daily Bee.

Boston, Mass. Walden is reviewed in the Boston Daily Evening Traveller.

10 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  4.30 A. M.—To Cliffs . . . P. M. – Clematis Brook via Conantum . . . Mr. [Eben] Loomis says that he saw a mockingbird at Fair Haven Pond to-day (Journal, 6:430-2).

Boston, Mass. A. Bronson Alcott writes in his journal:

  Read Walden (The Journals of Bronson Alcott, 273).

New Bedford, Mass. Daniel Ricketson writes in his journal:

  Bought a book this morning named Walden, or Life in the Woods, by Henry D. Thoreau, who spent several years upon the shore of Walden Pond near Concord, Mass., living in a rough board house of his own building. Much of his experience in his out-of-door and secluded life I fully understand and appreciate.
(Daniel Ricketson and his friends, 279).

Boston, Mass. Walden is reviewed by the Boston Atlas.

Boston, Mass. Walden is reviewed by the Boston Daily Journal.

Salem, Mass. Walden is reviewed by the Salem Register.

Lowell, Mass. Walden is reviewed by the Lowell Journal and Courier.

11 to 13 August 1854. Boston, Mass.

A. Bronson Alcott writes in his journal:

  Read and re-read Walden; also the Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers—books to find readers and fame as years pass by, and publish the author’s surpassing merits (The Journals of Bronson Alcott, 274).
11 August 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Assabet Bath . . . (Journal, 6:432).

Thoreau also writes to James T. Fields.

Providence, R.I. Walden is reviewed by the Providence Journal.

Salem, Mass. Walden is reviewed by the Salem Gazette.

12 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Watermelon. P. M.—To Conantum by boat . . . I bathe at Hubbard’s . . . (Journal, 6:432-6).

New Bedford, Mass. Daniel Ricketson writes in his journal:

  Finished this morning reading Walden, or Life in the Woods, by H. D. Thoreau. I have been highly interested in this book, the most truly original one I ever read, unless the life of John Buncle, an old book written by an eccentric English gentleman. The experience of Thoreau and his reflections are like those of every true lover of Nature. His views of the artificial customs of civilized life are very correct.
(Daniel Ricketson and his friends, 279).

Ricketson also writes to Thoreau:

Dear Sir,

  I have just finished reading “Walden” and hasten to thank you for the great degree of satisfaction it has afforded me. Having always been a lover of Nature, in man, as well as in the material universe, I hail with pleasure every original production in literature which bears the stamp of a genuine and earnest love for the true philosophy of human life. – Such I assure you I esteem your book to be. To many, and to most, it will appear to be the wild musings of an eccentric and strange mind, though all must recognize your affectionate regard for the gentle denizens of the woods and pond as well as the great love you have shown for what are familiarly called the beauties of Nature. But to me the book appears to evince a mind most thoroughly self possessed, highly cultivated with a strong vein of common sense. The whole book is a prose poem (pardon the solecism) and at the same time as simple as a running brook . . .

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 332-5)

Boston, Mass. Walden is reviewed in Dwight’s Journal of Music.

Boston, Mass. Walden is reviewed in the Boston Commonwealth.

Boston, Mass. Walden is reviewed in the Olive Branch.

New Bedford, Mass. Walden is reviewed in the New Bedford Mercury.

The National Anti-Slavery Standard prints an abbreviated version of “Slavery in Massachusetts” in an article entitled “Words That Burn.”

13 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Bare Hill, Lincoln, via railroad . . . (Journal, 6:436-7).

Newburyport, Mass. Thomas Wentworth Higginson writes to Thoreau:

Dear Sir:

  Let me thank you heartily for your paper on the present condition of Massachusetts, read at Framingham and printed in the Liberator. As a literary statement of the truth, which every day is making more manifest, it surpasses everything else (so I think), which the terrible week in Boston has called out. I need hardly add my thanks for “Walden,” which I have been awaiting for so many years. Through Mr. [James T.] Field’s kindness, I have read a great deal of it in sheets;—I have just secured two copies, one for myself, and one for a young girl here, who seems to me to have the most remarkable literary talent since Margaret Fuller,—and to whom your first book has been among the scriptures, ever since I gave her that. (No doubt your new book will have a larger circulation than the other, but not, I think, a more select or appreciate one.)

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 336)

New Bedford, Mass. Daniel Ricketson writes in his journal:

  Mailed a letter to Henry D. Thoreau expressive of my satisfaction in reading his book, ‘Walden, or Life in the Woods.’ His volume has been a source of great comfort to me in reading and will I think continue to be so, giving me cheerful views of life and feeling of confidence that misfortune cannot so far as property is concerned deprive me or mine of the necessaries of life, and even that we may be better in every respect for changes.
(Daniel Ricketson and his friends, 280)
14 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  3 P. M.—To climbing fern with E. Hoar [Edward Hoar]… 6 P.M. – To Hubbard Bath and Fair Haven Hill . . . (Journal, 6:437-40).

Thoreau gives a copy of Walden to Harvard Library, inscribing it “Library of Harvard University from the Author,”; the copy is stamped “Received 14 August 1854.” Thoreau also gives a copy of Walden to Mrs. Ralph Waldo Emerson, inscribing it “Lidian Emerson from her friend Henry Thoreau.” Thoreau gives a copy of Walden to his friend Richard F. Fuller, inscribing it “R. F. Fuller form H. D. T.” [All three copies are now at Houghton Library, Harvard University.]

15 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  5.15 A. M.—To Hill by boat . . .

  By 5.30 the fog has withdrawn from the channel here and stands southward over the Texas Plain, forty or fifty feet high . . .

  9 A. M.—Walk all day with W. E. C., [William Ellery Channing] northwest into Acton and Carlisle . . .

  At evening, Mr. [John] Russell showed me his microscope at Miss Mackay’s. Looked at a section of pontederia leaf . . .

(Journal, 6:440-6)

Albany, N.Y. Walden is reviewed in the Albany Argus.

16 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  8 A. M.—To climbing fern with John Russell . . . P. M.—With Russell to Fair Haven by boat . . . (Journal, 6:446-9).

Worcester, Mass. Worcester Palladium reviews and prints excerpts from Walden.

17 August 1854. Worcester, Mass.

Walden is reviewed in the Daily Transcript.

18 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Warbling vireo in the morning,—one. Russell thought it was the Salix discolor or else eriocephala which I saw, not sericea, which is not common . . . P. M. – Over Great Meadows . . . (Journal, 6:449-53).

19 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Flint’s Pond via railroad with Mr. [Eben J.] Loomis . . . Plucked, about 4.30, one bunch of Viburnum nudum berries, all green, with very little pink tinge even. When I got home at 6.30, nine were turned blue, the next morning thirty . . . (Journal, 6:453-7).

Portland, Maine. Walden is reviewed by the Portland Transcript.

Columbus, Ohio. Walden is reviewed in the Daily Ohio State Journal.

Cincinnati, Ohio. Walden is reviewed in the Cincinnati Daily Gazette.

Philadelphia, Penn. Walden is reviewed in Cummings’ Evening Bulletin.

Boston, Mass. Walden is reviewed in the Saturday Evening Gazette.

Portsmouth, N.H. Walden is reviewed in the Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics.

20 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  5.15 A. M.—To Hill . . . P. M.—Up Assabet by boat to Bath . . . A man tells me to-day that he once saw some black snake’s eggs on the surface of a tussock in a meadow just hatching, some hatched . . . (Journal, 6:457-62).

Philadelphia, Penn. Walden is reviewed in the Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch.

21 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Conantum via Hubbard Bath . . . (Journal, 6:462-3).

Newark, N.J. Walden is reviewed in the Newark Daily Advertiser.

22 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Great Meadows on foot along bank into Bedford meadows; thence to Beck Stow’s and Gowing’s Swamp . . . This was a prairial walk. I went along the river and meadows from the first, crossing the Red Bridge road to the Battle-Ground . . . (Journal, 6:463-6).
23 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal: 

  P. M.—To Gowing’s Swamp and Hadlock Meadows. 

  I improve the dry weather to examine the middle of Gowing’s Swamp . . .  Next comes, half a dozen rods wide, a dense bed of Andromeda calyculata,—the A. Polifolia mingled with it,—the rusty cotton-grass, cranberries,—the common and also V. Oxycoccus,—pitcher-plants, sedges, and a few young spruce and larch here and there,—all on sphagnum, which forms little hillocks about the stems of the andromeda . . .

(Journal, 6:467-9)

Philadelphia, Penn. Walden is reviewed in the Dollar Magazine.

Springfield, Mass. Walden is reviewed in the Springfield Daily Republican.

24 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Fair Haven Pond by boat . . . (Journal, 6:469-71).

Boston, Mass. Walden is reviewed in the Boston Puritan Recorder.

New York, N.Y. Walden is reviewed in the New York Morning Express.

New Orleans, La. Walden is reviewed in the New Orleans Daily Picayune.

26 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Dugan Desert. 

  I hear part of phoebe’s strain, as I go over the railroad bridge. It is the voice of dying summer. The pads now left on the river are chiefly those of the white lily . . . Nasturtium hispidum still in bloom, and will be for some time . . .

  The Poa hirsuta is left on the upper edge of the meadows (as at J. Hosmer’s), as too thin and poor a grass, beneath the attention of the farmers. How fortunate that it grows in such places and not in the midst of the rank grasses which are cut! With its beautiful fine purple color, its beautiful purple blush, it reminds me and supplies the place of the rhexia now about done. Close by, or held in your hand, its fine color is not obvious,—it is but dull,—but [at] a distance, with a suitable light, it is exceedingly beautiful. It is at the same time in bloom. This is one of the most interesting phenomena of August . . .

(Journal, 6:472-6)

Portland, Maine. The Portland Transcript prints an excerpt from the “Brute Neighbors” chapter of Walden.

Boston, Mass. Walden is reviewed in the Christian Register.

Philadelphia, Penn. Walden is reviewed in the Saturday Evening Post.

27 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Pine Hill via Turnpike and Walden . . .

  I am surprised to find the brook and ditches in Hubbard’s Close remarkably full after this long drought, when so many streams are dried up. Rice and others are getting out mud in the pond-hole opposite Breed’s. They have cut down straight through clear black muck, perfectly rotted, eight feet, and it is soft yet further. Button-bushes, andromeda, proserpinaca, hardhack, etc., etc., grow atop. It looks like a great sponge. Old trees buried in it. On the Walden road some maples are yellow and some chestnuts brownish-yellow and also sere . . .  As I go up Pine Hill, gather the shrivelled Vaccinium vacillans berries, many and good, and not wormy like huckleberries. Far and more abundant in this state than usual, owing to the drought . . .

(Journal, 6:476-80)

Boston, Mass. A. Bronson Alcott writes in his journal:

  Louisa leaves this morning for Syracuse to spend a month there with Anna, and I go to Concord at 4 P.M. to pass Sunday with [Ralph Waldo] Emerson and Thoreau (The Journals of Bronson Alcott, 274).
28 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—By Great Meadows and Bedford meadows to Carlisle Bridge; back by Carlisle and Concord side across lots to schoolhouse… We did not come to a fence or wall for about four miles this afternoon . . . (Journal, 6:480-4).

Concord, Mass. Ralph Waldo Emerson writes to George Partridge Bradford in London, England:

  The House of Lords have most unseasonably reversed Lord Campbell’s copyright interpretations; bad for Thoreau, bad for me, yet I wish it may drive us to granting foreign copyright which would no doubt restore this Eng. privilege. All American kind are delighted with “Walden” as far as they have dared to say, The little pond sinks in these very days as tremulous at its human fame. I do not know if the book has come to you yet;—but it is cheerful, sparkling, readable, with all kinds of merits, & rising sometimes to very great heights. We account Henry the undoubted King of all American lions. He is walking up & down Concord, firm-looking, but in a tremble of great expectation.
(The Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 4:459-60)
29 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.To Derby Bridge neighborhood and front of Tarbell’s . . . Up railroad . . . [William Ellery] Channing has come from Chelsea Beach this morning with Euphorbia polygonifolia in flower . . . (Journal, 6:484-7).

Boston, Mass. A. Bronson Alcott writes in his journal:

  I dine with Thoreau, and come home afterwards (The Journals of Bronson Alcott, 274).

Philadelphia, Penn. The Philadelphia Register prints a notice of Walden.

Boston, Mass. The Boston Advertiser prints a notice of Walden.

New York, N.Y. Walden is reviewed in the Commercial Advertiser with an excerpt from the “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” chapter.

Richmond, Va. Walden is reviewed in the Richmond Enquirer with excerpts from six chapters.

Boston, Mass. Walden is reviewed in the Boston Herald.

30 August 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Another great fog this morning, which lasts till 8.30 . . . P. M.—To Conantum via Clamshell Hill and meadows . . . Minot Pratt here this evening . . . (Journal, 6:487-90).
31 August 1854. Lincoln, Mass.

Thoreau surveys a house lot for Maria Green (A Catalog of Thoreau’s Surveys in the Concord Free Public Library, 7; Henry David Thoreau papers. Special Collections, Concord (Mass.) Free Public Library).

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Lincoln. Surveying for William Peirce . . . P. brought me home in his wagon . . . (Journal, 6:490).

Boston, Mass. Richard Fuller writes to Thoreau (MS, privately owned).

September 1854.

Philadelphia, Penn. Walden is reviewed in Graham’s Magazine.

New York, N.Y. Walden is reviewed in the National Magazine.

Richmond, Va. Walden is reviewed in the Southern Literary Messenger.

Buffalo, N.Y. Walden is reviewed in the Western Literary Magazine.

1 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A misty morning followed by a still, cloudy, misty day, through which has fallen a very little rain this forenoon already. Now I notice a few faint chipping sparrows, busily picking the seeds of weeds in the garden . . .

  P. M.—Along river to E. Hosmer’s [Edmund Hosmer].

  A very little mizzling. The Aster Tradescanti is perhaps beginning to whiten the shores on moist banks. I see a fine (reddish) topped grass in low lands, whitened like a thin veil with what it has caught of this dewy rain . . .

(Journal, 7:3-4)
2 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Opened one of my snapping turtle’s eggs. The young alive, but not very lively, with shell dark grayish black; yolk as big as a hazelnut; tail curled round and is considerably longer than the shell, and slender; three ridges on back, one at edges of plates on each side of dorsal, which is very prominent. There is only the trace of a dorsal ridge in the old. Eye open.

  P.M.—By boat to Purple Utricularia Shore . . .

  I see white lilies wide open at 2.30 P. M. They are half open even at 5 P. M. in many places this moist cloudy day and thus late in their season . . . Bathed at Hubbard’s . . .

(Journal, 7:4-7)

New York, N.Y. Walden is reviewed in the Home Journal.

New York, N.Y. Walden is reviewed in the Churchman.

3 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  To my great surprise I find this morning (September 3d) that the little unhatched turtle, which I thought was sickly and dying, and left out on the grass in the rain yesterday morn, thinking it would be quite dead in a few minutes—I find the shell alone and the turtle a foot or two off vigorously crawling, with neck outstretched (holding up its head and looking round like an old one) and feet surmounting every obstacle. It climbs up nearly perpendicular side of a basket with yolk attached. They thus not only continue to live after they are dead, but they begin to live before they are alive . . .

  P. M.—With Minot Pratt into Carlisle . . .

(Journal, 7:6-9)
4 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  I have provided my little snapping turtle with a tub of water and mud, and it is surprising how fast he learns to use his limbs and this world. He actually runs, with the yolk still trailing from him, as if he had got new vigor from contact with the mud. The insensibility and toughness of his infancy makes our life, with its disease and low spirits, ridiculous. He impresses me as the rudiment of a man worthy to inhabit the earth. He is born with a shell. That is symbolical of his toughness. His shell being so rounded and sharp on the back at this age he can turn over without trouble.

  P. M.—To climbing fern . . .

  7.30.—To Fair Haven Pond by boat . . .

(Journal, 7:9-12)

Concord, Mass. Ralph Waldo Emerson records in his account book:

  Recd. from Henry Thoreau on a/c of cash loaned to Mr. Flanery [Michael Flannery] last year 2.50 balance still due 2.50 (Thoreau Society Bulletin, 151 (Spring 1982):3; MS, Ralph Waldo Emerson journals and notebooks. Houghton Library, Harvard University).
5 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Up Assabet to Sam Barrett’s Pond . . . Bathed at the swamp white oak, the water again warmer than I expected . . . (Journal, 7:13-14).
6 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  6 A. M.—To Hill . . .

  9 P. M.—There is now approaching from the west one of the heaviest thunder-showers (apparently) and with the most incessant flashes that I remember to have seen . . . Before this, in the afternoon, to Hollowell place via Hubbard Bath, crossing the river . . .

(Journal, 7:15-18)

Portland, Maine. The Portland Transcript prints an excerpt from the “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” chapter of Walden.

7 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Moore’s Swamp and Walden . . . Paddled to Baker Farm just after sundown, by full moon . . . We walked up to the old Baker house . . . (Journal, 7:19-24).

8 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To boat under Fair Haven Hill via Hubbard Bath, etc., a-graping . . . Talked to Garfield, who was fishing off his shore . . . (Journal, 7:24-8).
9 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  This morning I find a little hole, three quarters of an inch or an inch over, above my small tortoise eggs, and find a young tortoise coming out (apparently in the rainy night) just beneath. It is the Sternothaerus odoratus—already has the strong scent—and now has drawn in its head and legs. I see no traces of the yoke, or what-not, attached. It may have been out of the egg some days. Only one as yet. I buried them in the garden June 15th . . .
(Journal, 7:28)

New York?, N.Y. Walden is reviewed in the Albion with an excerpt from the “Visitors” chapter.

New York, N.Y. Walden is reviewed in the Morning Courier and New-York Enquirer.

10 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Yesterday and to-day the first regular rain-storm, bringing down more leaves,—elms, button woods, and apple tree,—and decidedly raising the river and brooks. The still, cloudy, mizzling days, September 1st and 2d, the thunder-shower of evening of September 6th, and this regular storm are the first fall rains after the long drought. Already the grass both in meadows and on hills looks greener, and the whole landscape, this overcast rainy day, darker and more verdurous. Hills which have been russet and tawny begin to show some greenness . . .
(Journal, 7:29-31)
11 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau surveys a woodlot near Great Meadows for Daniel Shattuck (A Catalog of Thoreau’s Surveys in the Concord Free Public Library, 11; Henry David Thoreau papers. Special Collections, Concord (Mass.) Free Public Library).

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Measured to-day the little Sternothaerus odoratus which came September 9 out in the garden . . . Surveying this forenoon, I saw a small, round bright-yellow gall (some are red on one side), as big as a moderate cranberry, hard and smooth, saddled on a white oak twig . . .
(Journal, 7:32-4)

Millbury, Mass. Catherine V. Devens writes to Thoreau (MS, privately owned).

12 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Hubbard Bath . . . A sprinkling drove me back for an umbrella, and I started again for Smith’s Hill via Hubbard’s Close . . . (Journal, 7:34-6).

13 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Great Meadows . . . (Journal, 7:37).
14 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  6 A. M.—To Hill . . . 8 A. M.—To opposite Pelham’s Pond by boat . . . We went up thirteen or fourteen miles at least, and, as we stopped at Fair Haven Hill returning, rowed about twenty-five miles to-day (Journal, 7:37-42).
15 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To boat under Fair Haven Hill and down river . . . Goodwin, the one-eyed fisherman, is back again at his old business (and Haynes also) . . . (Journal, 7:42-3).

Thoreau also writes to Sarah E. Webb:

Sarah E. Webb,

  Your note, which was directed to Concord N.H., has just reached me. The address to which you refer has not been printed in a pamphlet form. It appeared in the Liberator, from which it was copied into the Tribune, &, with omissions, into the Anti-Slavery Standard. I am sorry that I have not a copy to send you. I have published “A Week on the Concord & Merrimack Rivers,” as well as “Walden, or Life in the Woods,” and some miscellaneous papers. The “Week” probably is not for sale at any bookstore. The greater part of the edition was returned to me.

Respectfully

Henry D. Thoreau.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 337)
16 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Sophia and mother returned from Wachusett . . . P. M.—To Fringed Gentian Meadow over Assabet and to Dugan Desert. I find the mud turtle’s eggs at the Desert all hatched . . . (Journal, 7:42-5).

Rochester, N.Y. Walden is reviewed in the Rochester Daily American.

Portland, Maine. The Portland Transcript prints a notice of Walden and an excerpt of the “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” chapter.

17 September 1854. Plymouth, Mass.

Marston Watson writes to Thoreau:

My dear Sir—

  Mr James Spooner and others here, your friends, have clubbed together and raised a small sum in hope of persuading you to come down and read them a paper or two some Sunday. They can offer you $10 at least. Mr [A. Bronson] Alcott is now here, and I thought it might be agreeable to you to come down next Saturday and read a paper on Sunday morning and perhaps on Sunday evening also, if agreeable to yourself. I can assure you of a very warm reception but from a small party only.

Very truly yours

B. M. Watson

I will meet you at the Depot on Saturday evening, if you so advise me. Last train leaves at 5—

This is not a “Leyden Hall Meeting” but a private party—social gathering—almost sewing circle. Tho’ perhaps we may meet you at Leyden Hall.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 337-8)

Thoreau replies on 19 September.

18 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Fringed gentian near Peter’s out a short time . . . I see the potatoes all black with frosts that have occurred within a night or two in Moore’s Swamp (Journal, 7:45).
19 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Conantum.

  Viburnum Lentago berries now perhaps in prime, though there are but few blue ones.

  Thinking this afternoon of the prospect of my writing lectures and going abroad to read them the next winter, I realized how incomparably great the advantages of obscurity and poverty which I have enjoyed so long (and may still perhaps enjoy). I thought with what more than princely, with what poetical, leisure I had spent my years hitherto, without care or engagement, fancy-free. I have given myself up to nature, I have lived so many springs and summers and autumns and Winters as if I had nothing else to do but live them, and imbibe whatever nutriment they had for me; I have spent a couple of years, for instance, with the flowers chiefly, having none other so binding engagement as to observe when they opened; I could have afforded to spend a whole fall observing the changing tints of the foliage. Ah, how I have thriven on solitude and poverty! . . .

(Journal, 7:45-7).

Thoreau also writes to Marston Watson in reply to his letter of 17 September:

Dear Sir

  I am glad to hear from you & the Plymouth men again. The world still holds together between Concord and Plymouth, it seems. I should like to be with you while Mr [A. Bronson] Alcott is there, but I cannot come next Sunday. I will come Sunday after next, that is Oct 1st, if that will do,—and look out for you at the depot.

  I do not like to promise now more than one discourse. Is there a good precedent for 2?

Yrs Concordially

Henry D. Thoreau.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 338)

Watson replies on 24 September.

Plymouth, Mass. A. Bronson Alcott writes in his journal:

  In the evening I read a MS. criticism on Thoreau’s ‘A Week’ from my journal of 1847, and other passages of the Concord Hillside diary (A. Bronson Alcott: His Life and Philosophy, 2:480).
20 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Windy rain-storm last night (Journal, 7:47).

New York, N.Y. The New-York Daily Tribune includes Thoreau in a list of lecturers available for the upcoming season.

21 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Flint’s Pond.

  The first frost in our yard last night, the grass white and stiff in the morning. The muskmelon vines are now blackened in the sun. There have been some frosts in low grounds about a week. The forenoon is cold, and I have a fire, but it is a fine clear day, as I find when I come forth to walk in the afternoon, a fine-grained air with a seething or shimmering in it . . . (Journal, 7:47-9).

Thoreau also writes to H. G. O. Blake:

Blake,—

  I have just read your letter, but do not mean now to answer it, solely for want of time to say what I wish. I directed a copy of “Walden” to you at Ticknor’s, on the day of its publication, and it should have reached you before. I am encouraged to know that it interests you as it now stands,—a printed book,—for you apply a very severe test to it,—you make the highest demand on me. As for the excursion you speak of, I should like it right well,—indeed I thought of proposing the same thing to you and [Theophilus] Brown, some months ago. Perhaps it would have been better if I had done so then; for in that case I should have been able to enter into it with that infinite margin to my views,—spotless of all engagements,—which I think so necessary. As it is, I have agreed to go a-lecturing to Plymouth, Sunday after next (October 1) and to Philadelphia in November, and thereafter to the West, if they shall want me; and, as I have prepared nothing in that shape, I feel as if my hours were spoken for. However, I think that, after having been to Plymouth, I may take a day or two—if that date will suit you and Brown. At any rate I will write you then.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 339)
22 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Another hard frost this notwithstanding some fog at same fine day after it.

  P. M.—Over Nawshawtuct.

  The river is peculiarly smooth and the water clear and sunny as I look from the stone bridge. A painted tortoise with his head out, outside of the weeds . . .

Crossing the hill behind Minott’s just as the sun is preparing to dip below the horizon, the thin haze in the atmosphere north and south along the west horizon reflects a purple tinge and bathes the mountains with the same . . .

  By moonlight all is simple. We are enabled to erect ourselves, our minds, on account of the fewness of objects. We are no longer distracted. It is simple as bread and water. It is simple as the rudiments of an art,—a lesson to be taken before sunlight, perchance, to prepare us for that . . .

(Journal, 7:49-51).

New York, N.Y. Walden is reviewed in the New York Times.

23 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Great Meadows via Gowing’s Swamp.

  I was struck with the peculiar and interesting colors of the naked arms of the buttonwood at the brick house, delicate tints seen from the ground,—whitish, greenish, and fawn-colored (?). They look as if recently bared by the scaling off of the old bark. The buttonwoods are in a flourishing condition thus year . . .

(Journal, 7:51-3).

Plymouth, Mass. A. Bronson Alcott writes in his journal:

  J. [James] Spooner, postmaster’s son, is at Hillside, and I read him the criticism on Thoreau from my MSS., and other things. Spooner is a hearty admirer of Thoreau and visits him soon (A. Bronson Alcott: His Life and Philosophy, 2:482).

San Francisco, Cali. Walden is reviewed in the Daily Alta California.

24 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  6 A. M.—To Hill.

  Low fog-like veil on meadows.

  On the large sassafras trees on the hill I see many of the handsome red club-shaped pedicels left, with their empty cups which have held fruit; and I see one or two elliptical but still green berries. Apparently the rest have ripened and fallen or been gathered by birds already . . .

  P. M.—By boat to Grape Cliff.

  These are the stages in the river fall: first, the two varieties of yellow lily pads begin to decay and blacken (long ago), second, the first fall rains come after dog-days and arise and cool the river, and winds wash the decaying sparganium, etc., etc., to the shores and clear the channel more or less; third, when the first harder frosts come (as this year the 21st and 22d inst.), the button-bushes, which before had attained only a dull mixed Yellow, are suddenly bitten, wither, and turn brown, all but the protected parts.

  The first fall is so gradual as not to make much impression, but the last suddenly and conspicuously gives a fall aspect to the scenery of the river . . .

(Journal, 7:53-6).

Plymouth, Mass. Marston Watson writes to Thoreau in reply to his letter of 19 September:

My Dear Sir:

  There is to be a meeting here on Oct 1st that we think will interfere with yours, and so if the Lord is willing and you have no objections we will expect you on the next Sunday 8th October.

  I think Mr A. [A. Bronson Alcott] will stay till that time.

  I have been lately adding to my garden, and now have all that joins me—so I am ready to have it surveyed by you; a pleasure I have long promised myself. So, if you are at leisure and inclined to the field I hope I may be so fortunate as to engage your services

Very truly yrs

B. M. Watson

They survey might be before Monday or after as you please, and I will meet you at the Depot any time you say.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 339-40)
25 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To boat opposite Bittern Cliff via Cliffs.

  I suspect that I know on what the brilliancy of the autumnal tints will depend On the greater or less drought of the summer. If the drought has been uncommonly severe, as this year, I should think it would so far destroy the vitality of the leaf that it would attain only to a dull, dead color in autumn, that to produce a brilliant autumn the plant should be full of sap vigor to the last . . .

  There was a splendid sunset while I was on the water, beginning at the Clamshell reach. All the lower edge of a very broad dark-slate cloud which reached up backward almost to the zenith was lit up through and through with a dun golden fire, the sun being below the horizon, like a furze plain densely on fire, a short distance above the horizon, for there was a clear, pale robin’s-egg sky beneath, and some little clouds on which the light fell high in the sky but nearer, seen against the upper part of the distant uniform dark-slate one, were of a fine grayish silver color, with fine mother-o’-pearl tints unusual at sunset (?). The furze gradually burnt out on the lower edge of the cloud, changed into a smooth, hard pale pink vermilion, which gradually faded into a gray satiny pearl, a fine Quaker-color . . .

(Journal, 7:56).
26 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  It is a warm and very pleasant afternoon, and I walk along the riverside in Merrick’s pasture . . . Some single red maples are very splendid now, the whole tree bright-scarlet against the cold green pines; now, when very few trees are changed, a most remarkable object in the landscape; seen a mile off . . .
(Journal, 7:58).
28 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  R. W. E.’s pines are parti-colored, preparing to fall, some of them. The sassafras trees on the hill are now wholly a bright orange scarlet as seen from my window . . . (Journal, 7:58-9).

Washington, D.C. Walden is reviewed in the National Era.

29 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Lee’s Bridge via Mt. Misery and return by Conantum.

  Yesterday was quite warm, requiring the thinnest coat. To-day is cooler. The elm leaves have in some places more than half fallen and strew the ground with thick rustling beds, . . . (Journal, 7:59-61).

Concord, Mass. James Walter Spooner writes to his parents:

Dear Father and Mother

  Since Esta will not take the trouble to write me, as she promised, I address myself to you. I received your letter this evening as I returned from an afternoon’s tramp with Mr. Thoreau. Mrs. T. kindly invited me to tea & said she should expect me, but I thought it better to decline & since, I have been glad I have done so, as I got your letter, & can sit & write here so comfortably – It only wants one or two people here to make it quite pleasant.

  I dined at Mr. Thoreau’s today. I went in and knocked gently, but as no one heard, for the family was in the next room, walked in & made myself at home reading Walden. There was an English Gentleman, with an unpronounceable name [Cholmondeley] which I wish I had written just for curiosity, there. He came there for Mr. Thoreau to teach him botany which Mr. T. says he never professed to know, though he acknowledged to me today that he never met with a new plant now & had given up the study. The English gentleman wears a long beard & mustache & is a graduate of Oxford.

  Mr. T’s mother is a rather tall & very pleasant lady. She made herself very agreeable and said she knew my father & mother which I found were Uncle Brown & Aunt Hannah. Mr. T’s father and sister are very pleasant. They had a mutton for dinner which would suit you. It was much better than we have at home. By going in so I had the opportunity of hearing Mr. Thoreau play upon his flute in the next room, which was very fine. He accompanied his sister upon the piano, Mrs. T. says.

  They must be pretty well off by the look of things. Mr. T. showed me another large white two story house [the Texas house] a short distance over the fields which he said his father owned. He said he dug the cellar while he lived at Walden & stoned it. They lived there when it was built but his mother & sister preferred living down nearer & so they moved down. He said he didn’t care where they lived, so long as it was in Concord, if he could only get off the back way into the woods, which you can do from almost every house by going across the fields or meadows.

  After dinner we set off for a walk. We went up on the hill from which you can see distant mountains & a wide prospect of river, dale & hamlet around. We soon came to the “Cliff,” – a perpendicular ledge of rocks some hundred (200 feet) above the wood & river below – all wild & rugged far from any house, a stupendous work of nature & worth as much to see as Niagara Falls or the Giants’ Causeway!!! I should like to see you look down there – you would have to hold on though it makes one so dizzy. We saw and passed through “Pleasant Meadow” & the “Baker Farm,” saw the house where John Field lived & “Fairhaven Bay” & “Conantum,” the desolate pasture & river reach & wild apple orchard & deserted house. The river pleases me most for it is a perfectly natural stream lying in the meadow at rest. Sell out and buy a farm in concord. You can have a little skiff on the river, and paddle freely right into another state if you choose. Mr. T. has paddled fifty miles in a day.

  It is a charming prospect to stand above Mr. Lee’s farm and look down. The house stands back from the river & facing it, with a smooth lawn running down to it, & a boat. The beauty of it is that the river does not flow but lies still & calm so that I could not tell which way it runs. Mr. T. says some Irish people live by it some years & don’t know. You do not see it in the village at all. There are no masts to offend the eye.

  We saw a beautiful trout brook on the Baker Farm. Nobody lives there & no doubt it could be bought! I went down & saw Mr. [A. Bronson] Alcott’s house, now Mr. [Nathaniel] Hawthorne’s this forenoon. I am going tomorrow to see Mr. Minott opposite Mr. [Ralph Waldo] Emerson’s, an old man who doesn’t go away from his farm & has never seen the depot. I told Mr. T. of a parallel case in Uncle Johnny Bradford.

  Mr. [William Ellery] Channing’s home is directly opposite Mr. T’s & the lot runs down to the river & is level. I went down & saw his boat. There are some very ancient houses one with the upper story larger than the lower. The most of the houses are large with an ample porch & painted white with green blinds. The church spires show beautifully from a distance. They are white and stand among the trees with the green meadows around. I could write a few more sheets but I think I had better retire.

Your affectionate Son

James Spooner

(Concord Saunterer 12, no. 2 (Summer 1977):9-10)
30 September 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M. – Via Assabet to the monarda road.

  I am surprised to see that some red maples, which were so brilliant a day or two ago, have already shed their leaves, and they cover the land and the water quite thickly. I see a countless fleet of them slowly carried round in the still bay by the Leaning Hemlocks. I find a fine tupelo near Sam Barrett’s now all turned scarlet . . .

(Journal, 7:61-2).

Plymouth, Mass. Marston Watson writes to Thoreau:

My dear Sir –

  I am glad to learn from Mr. [James Walter] Spooner that you are really coming down, with the tripod too, which is so good news that I hardly dared to expect it.

  It seems a little uncertain whether you intend to read in the morning as well as evening, and so I write to enquire, that there may be no mistake in the announcement. Please let me know by return mail which will be in time.

Very truly yours

B. M. Watson

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 340)

Boston, Mass. The Boston Society of Natural History reports that Thoreau had donated copies of A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers and Walden to the Boston Society of Natural History during the quarter ending 30 September (Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History, 5:86).

Liverpool, England. Nathaniel Hawthorne writes to William Davis Ticknor:

Mr. Monckton Milnes wants me to send him a half a dozen good American books, which he has never read or heard of before. For the honor of my country, I should like to do it, but can think of only three which would be likely to come under his description – viz., ‘Walden,’ ‘Passion Flowers,’ and ‘Up-Country Letters.’ Possibly Mrs. Mowatt’s ‘Autobiography’ might make a fourth; and Thoreau’s former volume a fifth. You understand that these books must not be merely good, but must be original, with American characteristics, and not generally known in England.
(Hawthorne and his Publisher, 135)

Harrisburg, Penn. The Morning Herald reviews Walden.

New York, N.Y.. Walden is reviewed in the Christian Enquirer.

October 1854.

Concord, Mass. Thoreau writes to Daniel Foster (MS, Houghton Library?).

New York, N.Y. Walden is reviewed in Putnam’s Monthly Magazine.

Boston, Mass. Walden is reviewed in the North American Review.

Philadelphia, Penn. Walden is reviewed in Godley’s Magazine and Lady’s Book.

Philadelphia, Penn. Walden is reviewed in Peterson’s Magazine.

1 October 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  The young black birches about Walden, next the south shore, are now commonly clear pale-yellow, very distinct at distance, like bright-yellow white birches, so slender amid the dense growth of oaks and evergreens on the steep shores . . . (Journal, 7:63)

Thoreau also writes to Daniel Ricketson in reply to his letter of 12 August:

Dear Sir,

  I had duly received your very kind and frank letter, but delayed to answer it thus long because I have little skill as a correspondent, and wished to send you something more than my thanks. I was gratified by your prompt and hearty acceptance of my book. Yours is the only word of greeting I am likely to receive from a dweller in the woods like myself, from where the whippoorwill and cuckoo are heard, and there are better than moral clouds drifting over, and real breezes blow.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 341-2)

See entry 4 October.

3 October 1854. Plymouth, Mass.

A. Bronson Alcott writes to his wife Abigail:

  I am not wholly out of place and away and in this mansion, and, as, third and last Henry Thoreau is to be here surveying and to read something to a circle of [Marston] Watson’s neighbors on Sunday next, and so into the week, they have persuaded me somewhat against my sense of duty to you and the Girls to remain and see him back to Boston sometime in the week, by Wednesday say, or Thursday at farthest, I should think; and you may then expect me.
(The Letters of A. Bronson Alcott, 185-6)
4 October 1854. Concord, Mass.

New Bedford, Mass. Daniel Ricketson writes in his journal:

  Received a letter from Henry D. Thoreau to-day in reply to mine to him. Letter hastily written and hardly satisfactory, evidently well meant though overcautious” (Daniel Ricketson and his Friends, 280).

Louisville, Ky. Walden is reviewed in the Louisville Daily Courier.

5 October 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes to H. G. O. Blake:

Mr. Blake,

  After I wrote to you Mr. [Marston] Watson postponed my going to Plymouth one week i.e. till next Sunday, and now he wishes me to carry my instruments & survey his grounds, to which he has been adding. Since I want a little money, though I contemplate but a short excursion, I do not feel at liberty to decline this work. I do not know exactly how long it will detain me – but there is plenty of time yet – & I will write to you again—perhaps from Plymouth—

  There is a Mr. Thomas Cholmondeley (pronounced Chumly) a young English author, staying at our house at present – who asks me to teach him botany—i.e. anything which I know—and also to make an excursion to some mountain with him. He is a well-behaved person, and possibly I may propose his taking that run to Wachusett with us—if it will be agreeable to you. Nay If I do not hear any objection from you I will consider myself at liberty to invite him.

In haste,

H. D. Thoreau

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 342-3)

Boston, Mass. Walden is reviewed in the Christian Watchman and Reflector.

7 October 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Went to Plymouth to lecture and survey [Marston] Watson’s grounds (Journal, 7:63).

Cambridge, Mass. Thoreau checks out Bhagvat-geeta, or, Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon from Harvard College Library (Companion to Thoreau’s Correspondence, 290).

Plymouth, Mass. A. Bronson Alcott writes in his journal:

  Thoreau arrives to supper, and we discuss the Genesis till bedtime, Thoreau sleeping with me in my bedchamber (A. Bronson Alcott: His Life and Philosophy, 2:483).

New York, N.Y. Walden is reviewed in the Home Journal.

8 October 1854. Plymouth, Mass.

Thoreau lectures on “Moonlight” at Leyden Hall (“Moonlight“).

Plymouth, Mass. A. Bronson Alcott writes in his journal:

  We walk about Hillside, and ride around Billington Sea after dinner.—Evening. Thoreau reads an admirable paper on ‘Moonlight’ to a small circle at Leyden Hall (A. Bronson Alcott: His Life and Philosophy, 2:483-4).

San Francisco, Cali. Walden is reviewed in the Daily Alta California.

9 to 13 October 1854. Plymouth, Mass.

Thoreau does survey work for Marston Watson (A Catalog of Thoreau’s Surveys in the Concord Free Public Library, 12).

9 October 1854. Plymouth, Mass.

A. Bronson Alcott writes in his journal:

  I help Thoreau survey Hillside, also discuss matters generally (A. Bronson Alcott: His Life and Philosophy, 2:484).
10 October 1854. Plymouth, Mass.

A. Bronson Alcott writes in his journal:

  Again survey with Thoreau and [Marston] Watson.—Evening. Company at Hillside, and a conversation of Health; Thoreau and some of the ladies—Mrs Watson, the Misses Kendall, etc.—taking part (A. Bronson Alcott: His Life and Philosophy, 2:484).
11 October 1854. Plymouth, Mass.

A. Bronson Alcott writes in his journal:

  Carry chain in surveying the Orchard with Thoreau, also about Hillside walks (A. Bronson Alcott: His Life and Philosophy, 2:484).
12 October 1854. New Bedford, Mass.

Daniel Ricketson writes to Thoreau:

Dear Mr. Walden,—

  Your long delayed, but very acceptable acknowledgment of the 1st inst. came duly to hand. It requires no answer, and I trust you will not esteem this as such. I simply wish to say, that it will afford me pleasure to show you the Middleborough ponds, as well as the other Indian water spoken of by you, which I conclude to be what is called “Wakeebe Pond,” at Mashpee near Sandwich . . .

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 343-4)
14 October 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes to H. G. O. Blake:

Blake,

  I have just returned from Plymouth, where I have been detained surveying much longer than I expected.

  What do you say to visiting Wachusett next Thursday? I will start at 7¼ a.m. unless there is a prospect of a stormy day, go by cars to Westminster, & thence on foot 5 or 6 miles to the mt tops, where I may engage to meet you at (or before) 12 m.

  If the weather is unfavorable, I will try again—on Friday,—& again on Monday.

  If a storm comes on after starting, I will seek you at the tavern in Princeton Center, as soon as circumstances will permit.

  I shall expect an answer to clinch the bargain.

Yrs

Henry D. Thoreau.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 344-5)

Providence, R.I. Asa Fairbanks writes to Thoreau:

Dear Sir

  Our Course of Independent, or reform Lectures (ten in number) we propose to commence Next Month. Will you give me liberty to put your name in the program, and say when it will suit your convenience to come every Lecturer will choose his own Subject, but we expect all, whether Antislavery or what else, will be of a reformatory Character. We have engaged Theodore Parker, who will give the Introductory Nov. 1st (Garrison, W. Phillips Thos W. Higginson Lucy Stone (Mrs Rose of New York Antoinett L Brown and hope to have Cassius N Clay, & Henry Ward Beecher, (we had a course of these lectures last year and the receipts from tickets at a low price paid expenses and fifteen to twenty dollars to the Lecturers. We think we shall do as well this year as last, and perhaps better. The Anthony Burns affair and the Nebraska bill, and other outrages of Slavery has done much to awaken the feeling of a class of Minds heretofore quiet, on all questions of reform In getting up these popular Lectures we thought at first, it would not do as well to have them too radical, or it would be best to have a part of the Speakers of the conservative class, but experience has shown us in Providence surely, that the Masses who attend such Lectures are better suited with reform lectures than with the old school conservatives. I will thank you for an early reply

Yours respectfully for true freedom

A. Fairbanks

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 345-6)

Thoreau replies on 4 November.

15 October 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Went to Plymouth to lecture and survey Watson’s grounds. Returned the 15th (Journal, 7:63).
16 October 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  In the streets the ash and most of the elm trees are bare of leaves . . . (Journal, 7:64).
19 October 1854.

Concord, Mass. Thoreau writes in his journal:

  7:15 A. M. – To Westminster by cars; thence on foot to Wachusett Mountain, four miles to Foster’s, and two miles thence to mountain-top by road . . . (Journal, 7:64-5).

Boston, Mass. Walden is reviewed in the Boston Evening Transcript.

20 October 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Saw the sun rise from mountain-top. This is the time to look westward. All the villages,
steeples, and houses on that side were revealed; but on the east all the landscape was a misty and gilded obscurity. It was worth the while to see westward the countless hills and fields all apparently flat, now white with frost. A little white fog marked the site of many a lake and the course of the Nashua, and in the east horizon the great pond had its own fog mark in a long, low bank of cloud.

  Soon after sunrise I saw the pyramidal shadow of the mountain reaching quite across the State . . .

(Journal, 7:65-6)
21 October 1854. Boston, Mass.

Walden is reviewed by the Boston Atlas.

22 October 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  This and the last two days Indian-summer weather, following hard on that sprinkling of west of Concord.

  Pretty hard frosts these nights. Many leaves fell last night, and the Assabet is covered . . .

(Journal, 7:66)
23 October 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes to Thaddeus W. Harris:

Sir,

  I return herewith the “Bhagvat Geeta.” Will you please send me the “Vishnoo Purana” a single volume—translated by Wilson.

Yrs respecty

Henry D. Thoreau

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 346)
25 October 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  On Assabet.

  The maples being bare, the great hornet nests are exposed . . . (Journal, 7:66).

Cambridge, Mass. Thoreau checks out The Vishnu puráńa, a system of Hindu mythology and tradition from Harvard College Library (Companion to Thoreau’s Correspondence, 290).

26 October 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Conantum.

  As warm as summer. Cannot wear a thick coat. Sit with windows open. I see considerable gossamer on the causeway . . . (Journal, 7:66).

Akron, Ohio. C. B. Bernard writes to Thoreau:

Dear Sir

  Seeing your name announced as a Lecturer, I write you a line to see if your services could be secured to give a Lecture before the Library Association of this place.

  We can give $50—

  Thinking you might have other calls this way, we thought we would add our solicitation with the rest –

Yours Respectfully
C B Bernard Cor Sec

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 347)
28 October 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  The woods begin to look bare, reflected in the water, and I look far in between the stems of the trees . . . (Journal, 7:66-7).

Boston, Mass. Walden is reviewed in the Yankee Blade.

29 October 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Detected a large English cherry in Smith’s woods beyond Saw Mill Brook by the peculiar fresh orange-scarlet color of its leaves . . . (Journal, 7:67).

Isaac Hecker writes to Orestes Brownson:

  Do give in yr next Review a notice of “Thoreaus Life in the Woods.” He places himself fairly before the public and is a fair object of criticism. I have not read all his book through, & I dont think anyone else will except as a feat. I read enough in it to see that under his seeming truthfulness & frankness he conceals an immense amount of pride, pretention & infidelity.

  This tendency to solitude & asceticism means something, and there is a certain degree of truthfulness & even bravery in his attempts to find out what this something is; but his results are increased pride, pretention & infidelity, instead of humility, simplicity & piety . . .

  He brags of not having committed himself in not having purchased a farm, he forgets that he takes a deed for his book in the shape of a copy right . . .

(The Brownson-Hecker Correspondence, University of Notre Dame Press (1979), 170)
30 October 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes to Charles Sumner:

  These faithful reports with their admirable maps and plates, are some atonement for the mistakes of our Government . . . (The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 347)
31 October 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Rain; still warm.

  Ever since October 27th we have had remarkably warm and pleasant Indian summer . . . (Journal, 7:67).

Boston, Mass. Charles Sumner writes to Thoreau:

My dear Sir,

  I am glad to send books where they are so well appreciated as in your chamber.

  Permit me to say that the courtesy of your letter admonishes me of my short-coming in not sooner acknowledging the gift of your book. Believe me I had not forgotten it, but I proposed to write you, when I had fully read & enjoyed it. At present I have been able to peruse only the early chapters, & have detected parts enough, however, to satisfy me that you have made a contribution to the permanent literature of our mother tongue, & to make me happy in your success.

  Believe me, dear Sir,

Sincerely Yours,

Charles Sumner

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 348)
October or November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau drafts a letter to H. G. O. Blake:

  the brute beasts do—or of steadiness & solidity that the rocks do. Just so hollow & ineffectual for the most part is our ordinary conversation—Surface meets surface.

  When our life ceases to be inward and private, conversation degenerates into mere gossip. We rarely meet a man who can tell us any news which he has not read in a newspaper, or been told by his neighbor and for the most part the only difference between us and our fellow is that he has seen the paper or been out to tea & we have not. But the London Times even is not one of the muses. It is no better when poet laureates writes to you there. When a man’s inward life fails, he begins to go more constantly & desperately to the post office, and despatches couriers to the other side of the globe; and so again he gains the whole world & loses his own soul.

  It appears that you think yourself reestablished by this time & that your leisure was again hindered.

  I like yr keeping at yr “noble task.”

Yours

Henry D Thoreau

(Companion to Thoreau’s Correspondence, 187-8)
November 1854. Concord, Mass.

William Ellery Channing writes to Thoreau:

Dear T.,

  how would you like to go up to Holt’s point to-day, or will you . . .

Yrs

W. E. C.

(Thoreau Society Bulletin, no. 167 (Spring 1984):3)
1 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  It is a little cooler (Journal, 7:68).

New Orleans, La. Abbé Adrien Rouquette writes to Thoreau (Studies in the American Renaissance 1982, 361; MS, private owner).

2 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M. – By boat to Clamshell . . . Sailing past the bank above the railroad, just before a clear sundown, close to the shore on the east side I see a second fainter shadow of the boat, sail, myself, and paddle, etc., directly above and upon the first on the bank . . .
(Journal, 7:68)

Franklin B. Sanborn writes in his journal:

  [Emerson gives him a copy of Walden] (The Transcendental Climate; MS, Pierpont Morgan Library).

4 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Saw a shrike in an apple tree, with apparently a worm in its mouth. The sahd-bush buds have expanded into small leafets already. This while surveying on the old Colburn farm (Journal, 7:69).

Thoreau also writes to A. Fairbanks (The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 348).

Fairbanks replies on 6 November.

5 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  To White Pond with Charles Wheeler passing the mouth of John Hosmer’s hollow near the river, was hailed by him and Anthony Wright, sitting there, to come and see where they had dug for money . . . (Journal, 7:69-70)

6 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau surveys farmland for James Colburn (A Catalog of Thoreau’s Surveys in the Concord Free Public Library, 6; Henry David Thoreau papers. Special Collections, Concord (Mass.) Free Public Library).

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Surveying on Colburn place . . . (Journal, 7:70).

Providence, R.I. Asa Fairbanks writes to Thoreau:

Dear Sir

  I am in receipt of yours of the 4th inst, You stating explicitly that the 6th December would suit you better than any other time. I altered other arrangements on purpose to accommodate you, and notified you as soon as I was able to accomplish them. Had you named the last Wednsday in Nov. or the second Wednsday in December, I could have replied to you at once or any time in Janury or Feb it would have been the same I shall regret the disappointment very much but must submit to it if you have such overtures as you cannot avoid. I hope however you will be able to come at the time appointed

Truly

A. Fairbanks

(The Correspondence of Henry D. Thoreau, 348-9)

East Princeton, Mass. Daniel Foster writes to Thoreau (Studies in the American Renaissance 1982, 361; MS, private owner).

7 November 1854. Lincoln, Mass.

Thoreau surveys the “Sawmill Woodlot” for Ralph Waldo Emerson (A Catalog of Thoreau’s Surveys in the Concord Free Public Library, 7; Henry David Thoreau papers. Special Collections, Concord (Mass.) Free Public Library).

8 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  I can still rake clams near the shore, but they are chiefly in the weeds, I think. I see a snipe-like bird by riverside this windy afternoon, which goes off with a sound like creaking tackle (Journal, 7:70).
10 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Sail to Ball’s Hill with W. E. C. [William Ellery Channing] . . . Got some donacia grubs for [Thaddeus William] Harris, but find no chrysalids . . . (Journal, 7:70).
11 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Minott heard geese go over night before last, about 8 P. M. Therien, too, heard them ‘yelling like anything’ over Walden, where he is cutting, the same evening . . . Receive this evening a letter in French and three ‘ouvrages’ from the Abbé Rouquette in Louisiana.
(Journal, 7:71)

See entry 1 November.

13 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  It has rained hard the 11th, 12th, and 13th, and the river is at last decidedly rising (Journal, 7:71).

Concord, Mass. Thoreau writes to Abbé Adrien Rouquette in reply to his letter of 1 November:

Dear Sir

  I have just received your letter and the 3 works which accompanied it—and I make haste to send you a copy of “A Week on the Concord & Merrimack Rivers”—in the same mail with this. I thank you heartily for the interest which you express in my Walden—and also for the gift of your works. I have not had time to peruse [?] the books attentively but I am

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 349)

Liverpool, England. Nathaniel Hawthorne writes to Monckton Milnes:

  Walden and Concord River are by a very remarkable man; but I hardly hope you will read his books, unless for the observation of nature contained in them which is wonderfully accurate. I sometimes fancy it a characteristic of American books, that it generally requires an effort to read them; there is hardly ever one that carries the reader away with it, and few that a man of weak resolution can get to the end of. Please do not quote this as my opinion.
(Thoreau Society Bulletin, no. 121 (Fall 1972):7; MS, Norman Holmes Pearson collection, Yale University)
14 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  The river is slightly over the meadows. The willow twigs on the right of the Red Bridge causeway are bright greenish-yellow and reddish as in the spring. Also on the right railroad sand-bank at Heywood’s meadow . . .
(Journal, 7:71).
15 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  The first snow, a mere sugaring . . . (Journal, 7:71).

Thoreau also writes to A. Bronson Alcott:

Mr. Alcott,

  I wish to introduce to you Thomas Cholmondeley, an English man, of whom and his work in New Zealand I have already told you. He proposes to spend a part of the winter in Boston, pursuing his literary studies, at the same time that he is observing our institutions.

  He is an English country gentleman of simple habits and truly liberal mind, who may one day take a part in the government of his country.

  I think that you will find you[r] account in comparing notes with him.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 350)

Thoreau also writes to Thaddeus W. Harris:

Dear Sir,

  Will you allow me to introduce to you the bearer – Thomas Cholmondeley, who has been spending some months with us in Concord He is an English country gentleman, and the author of a political work on New Zealand called “Ultimo Thule” He wishes to look round the Library.

  If you can give him a few moments of your time, you will confer a favor on both him & me.

  I have taken much pains, but in vain, to find another of those locusts for you – I have some of the grubs from the nuphar buds in spirits.

Yrs. truly

Henry D. Thoreau

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 350-1)
16 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M. – Sailed to Hubbard’s Bridge . . . (Journal, 7:71-2).

17 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Paddled up river to Clamshell and sailed back . . . (Journal, 7:72).

Thoreau also writes to William E. Sheldon:

Dear Sir,

  Thinking it possible that you might be expecting me [to] lecture before your Society on the 5th of December as I offered—I write to ask if it is so.

  I am still at liberty for that evening—and will read you a lecture either on the Wild or on Moosehunting as you may prefer.

Yrs respectfully

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 351-2)
18 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Saw sixty geese go over the Great Fields, in one waving line, broken from time to time by their crowding on each other and vainly endeavoring to form into a harrow, honking all the while (Journal, 7:72).

Liverpool, England. Nathaniel Hawthorne writes to Monckton Milnes:

  I wish anything could be done to make [Thoreau’s] books known to the English public; for certainly they deserve it, being the work of a true man and full of true thought. You must not think that he is a particular friend of mine. I do not speak with quite this freedom of my friends. We have never been intimate, though my house is near his residence.
(Thoreau Society Bulletin, no. 121 (Fall 1972):7; MS, Norman Holmes Pearson collection, Yale University)
19 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Ralph Waldo Emerson writes to William Henry Furness about Thoreau’s upcoming visit Philadelphia (Studies in the American Renaissance 1996, 256).

20 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  To Philadelphia. 7 A. M., to Boston; 9 A. M., Boston to New York, by express train, land route . . .

  Reached Canal Street at 5 P. M., or candle-light.

  Started for Philadelphia from foot of Liberty Street at 6 P. M. via Newark, etc., etc., Bordentown, etc., etc., Camden Ferry, to Philadelphia, all in the dark . . . Arrive at 10 P. M.; four hours from New York, thirteen from Boston, fifteen from Concord. Put up at Jones’s Exchange Hotel, 77 Dock Street; lodgings thirty-seven and a half cents, meals separate . . .

(Journals, 7:72-3)

Thoreau also writes to C. B. Bernard:

Dear Sir,

I expect to lecture in Hamilton C. W. [Canada West], once or twice during the first week of January. In that case, how soon after (or before) that week will you hear me in Akron? My subject will
(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 352)

Boston, Mass. A. Bronson Alcott writes in his journal:

  E. [Ralph Waldo Emerson] tells me that Thoreau left today for Philadelphia to lecture there (Studies in the American Renaissance 1996, 256; Amos Bronson Alcott papers (MS Am 1130.9-1130.12). Houghton Library, Harvard University).

Boston [or Concord?], Mass. Franklin B. Sanborn writes in his journal:

  He [A. Bronson Alcott] spoke of Annie [Ariana (Walker) Sanborn]—of his interest in her, or her reading Thoreau’s book at his suggestion; saying that he had her criticism on it in a note (Transcendental Climate, 210).

Philadelphia, Penn. The Daily Pennsylvanian advertises Thoreau’s upcoming lecture.

21 November 1854. Philadelphia, Penn.

Thoreau lectures on “The Wild” at the Spring Garden Institute (“The Wild“).

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Looked from the cupola of the State-House, where the Declaration of Independence was declared . . . Was admitted into the building of the Academy of Natural Sciences by a Mr. Durand of the botanical department. Mr. [William Henry] Furness applying to him . . . In the narrow market-houses in the middle of the streets, was struck by the neat-looking women marketers with full cheeks . . .
(Journal, 7:73-5).

Philadelphia, Penn. The Philadelphia Public Ledger and Daily Transcript advertises:

Spring Garden Institute Lectures—The Second Lecture will be delivered on Tuesday Evening, 21st instant, at 7 1/2 o’clock, at the Institute Building, Broad and Spring Garden Sts., by Henry D. Thoreau, Esq. of Concord, Mass. Subject “The Wild.” (“The Wild”)

22 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Left at 7.30 A. M. for New York, by boat to Tacony and rail via Bristol, Trenton, Princeton (near by), New Brunswick. Rahway. Newark. etc. Uninteresting, except the boat . . .

  Went to Crystal Palace; admired the houses on Fifth Avenue . . . Saw [Horace] Greeley; Snow, the commercial editor of the Tribune; Solon Robertson; Fry, the musical critic, etc.; and others. Greeley carried me to the new opera-house, where I heard Grisi and her troupe . . . Greeley appeared to know and to be known by everybody; was admitted free to the opera, and we were led by a page to various parts of the house at different times. Saw at Museum some large flakes of cutting arrowhead stone made into a sort of wide cleavers, also a hollow stone tube, probably from mounds.

(Journal, 7:75-6)

25 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes to Andrew Whitney (The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 352).

26 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  What was that little long-sharp-nosed mouse I found in the Walden road to-day? . . . (Journal, 7:76-7).

Philadelphia, Penn. William Henry Furness writes to Ralph Waldo Emerson:

  I was glad to see Mr. Thoreau. He was full of interesting talk for the little while that we saw him, & it was amusing to hear his intonations. And then he looked so differently from my idea of him . . . He had a glimpse of the Academy [of Natural Sciences] as he will tell you—I could not hear him lecture for which I was sorry. Miss Caroline Haven heard him, & from her report I judge the audience was stupid & did not appreciate him.
(Records of a Lifelong Friendship, 1807-1882, 102-3)
27 November 1854. Nantucket, Mass.

Andrew Whitney writes to Thoreau in reply to his letter of 25 November:

Dear Sir

  Your favor of 25th is at hand this evening. We cannot have you between the 4 & 15th of Dec without bringing two lecturers in one week—which we wish to avoid if possible.

  If you cannot come the 28th of Dec. will the 2d week in January either the 9th 10th 11th or 12th of the month suit you?—if not, perhaps you can select a day in the 4th week in Jany., avoiding Monday and Saturday.

  Write us as soon as possible and make the day as early as you can.—

Yours truly,

Andrew Whitney.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 352-3)
28 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Paddled to Clamshell.

  Still very clear and bright as well as comfortable weather. River not so high . . . (Journal, 7:77).

30 November 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Sail down river.

  No ice, but strong cold wind; river slightly over meadows. Was that large diver which was on the edge of the shore and scooted away down-stream as usual, throwing the water about for a quarter of a mile, then diving, some time afterward flying up-stream over our head, the goosandcr or red-breasted merganser? . . .

(Journal, 7:77).
December 1854. Cambridge, Mass.

Walden is reviewed in Harvard Magazine.

1 December 1854. Boston, Mass.

The Liberator advertises the Providence, R.I. lecture series, which includes Thoreau’s lecture on 6 December (“What Shall It Profit”).

2 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Got up my boat and housed it, ice having formed about it (Journal, 7:78).

3 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  . . . Snowbirds in garden in the midst of the snow in the afternoon (Journal, 7:78).

4 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Down railroad to Walden.

Walden went down quite rapidly about the middle of November, leaving the isthmus to Emerson’s meadow bare. Flint’s has been very low all summer. The northeast sides of the trees are thickly incrusted with snowy shields . . . (Journal, 7:78).

5 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Very cold last night. Probably river skimmed over in some places. The damp snow with water beneath (in all five or six inches deep and not drifted, notwithstanding the wind) is frozen solid . . . (Journal, 7:78-9).

Thoreau also writes to Charles Sumner:

Dear Sir,

  Allow me to thank you once more for the Report of Sittgreaves, the Patent Office 2d part, and on Emigrants Ships.

  At this rate there will be one department in my library, and not the smallest one, which I may call the Sumnerian—

Yrs sincerely

Henry D. Thoreau.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 353)

Providence, R.I. The Providence Bulletin, Providence Daily Journal, Providence Daily Post, and Providence Daily Tribune advertise Thoreau’s lecture on 6 December:

Independent Lectures / The Fourth Lecture of the Course will be delivered in the Railroad Hall, on Wednesday Evening, by Henry D. Thoreau, (Author of Life in the Woods.) of Concord, Mass. Tickets for the course $1; Evening tickets 25 cents. For sale at the bookstores and at Leland’s Music Store, 165 Westminster Street. Doors open at 6 1/2. Lecture to commence at 7 1/2.

(“What Shall It Profit”)
6 December 1854. Providence, R.I.

Thoreau lectures on “What Shall It Profit” at Railroad Hall (“What Shall It Profit”).

The Providence Bulletin, Providence Daily Journal, Providence Daily Post, and Providence Daily Tribune advertise Thoreau’s lecture. The Post and Tribune also print brief articles on Thoreau: “a young man of high ability, who built his house in the woods, and there lived five years for about $30 a year, during which time he stored his mind with a vast amount of useful knowledge – setting an example for poor young men who thirst for learning, showing those who are determined to get a good education how they can have it by pursuing the right course”

(“What Shall It Profit”)

Providence, R.I. The Providence Daily Tribune notices:

   . . . man of decided ability, who built his house in the woods and lived five years on about thirty dollars a year, during which time he stored his mind with a vast amount of useful information, setting an example for poor young men who thirst for learning, showing those who are determined to get a good education that they can have it by pursuing the right course.
(“What Shall It Profit”)

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  To Providence to lecture.

  I see thick ice and boys skating all the way to Providence, but know not when it froze, I have been so busy writing my lecture; probably the night of the 4th. In order to go to Blue Hill by Providence Railroad, stop at Readville Station (Dedham Low Plain once), eight miles; the hill apparently two mile east. Was struck by the Providence depot, its towers and great length of brick. Lectured in it.

  Went to R. Williams’s Rock on the Blackstone with Newcomb and thence to hill with an old fort atop in Seekonk, Mass., on the east side of the bay, whence a fine view down it. At lecture spoke with a Mr. [Brook?] Clark and Vaughn and Eaton . . .

(Journal, 7:79-80)
7 December 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Walked through Olneyville in Johnston, two and a half or three miles west of Providence.

  [Thaddeus W.] Harris tells me that since he exchanged a duplicate Jesuit Relation for one he had not with the Montreal men, all theirs have been burnt. He has two early ones which I have not seen.

(Journal, 7:80).

Cambridge, Mass. Thoreau checks out Memoirs of a captivity among the Indians of North America, from childhood to the age of nineteen by John D. Hunter, History of the five Indian nations of Canada which are dependent on the province of New York, and are a barrier between the English and the French by Cadwallader Colden, Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Nouvelle France en l’année 1639, and Historical and statistical information respecting the history, condition, and prospects of the Indian tribes of the United Statesby Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, volume 4, from Harvard College Library.

(Companion to Thoreau’s Correspondence, 290-1)
8 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Up river and meadow on ice to Hubbard Bridge and thence to Walden . . . (Journal, 7:80-1).

9 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau surveys a woodlot for Tilly Holden (A Catalog of Thoreau’s Surveys in the Concord Free Public Library, 8; Henry David Thoreau papers. Special Collections, Concord (Mass.) Free Public Library).

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Surveying for T. Holden . . . White Pond mostly skimmed over . . . C. [William Ellery Channing] says he saw three larks on the 5th (Journal, 7:81)
10 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Nut Meadow.

  Weather warmer; snow softened. Saw a large flock of snow buntings (quite white against woods, at any rate) . . . (Journal, 7:81).

11 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Bare Hill. C. [William Ellery Channing] says he found Fair Haven frozen over last Friday, i.e. the 8th. I find Flint’s frozen to-day, and how long? . . . (Journal, 7:82).

Boston, Mass. A. Bronson Alcott writes in his journal:

  I pass the morning and dine with Thoreau, who read me parts of his new Lecture lately read at Philadelphia and Providence (MS, Amos Bronson Alcott papers. Houghton Library, Harvard University).
12 December 1854. [Cambridge?], Mass.

Franklin B. Sanborn writes in his journal:

  About 11 this morning came a knock at my door, and when I said “Come in,” in walked serene Mr [A. Bronson] Alcott with his placid smile . . . We went over to [Edwin] Morton’s room, (13 Mass) [Massachusetts Hall, Harvard University]—and found him writing on Thoreau. [this was probably “Thoreau and His Books,” Harvard Magazine, 1 (January 1855):87-99] This led me to talk about T—and Mr A spoke of him most happyly. “He is a fine beast—the brutes ought to choose him their king, so near does he live to nature and understand her so well. He is older than civilisation, and loves Homer because he is of Homer’s time. In the parlor he is out of place—as a lion would be,—he is outside of humanity—men he knows little about. Wat a naturalist he is—[Louis] Agassiz and the rest might learn of him. It is a pity that he and [Ralph Waldo] Emerson live in the same age—both are original—but they borrow from each other—living so near each other.” These and a thousand other things Mr A—said in the short hour we were together—for soon we had to go to recitation—and our conference was broken up . . . Said Mr A—“Thoreau has seen the day from all points—and the night—he knows all about them.”—“Whatever he does is from fate—he is as much under its control as the beasts are.”—Thoreau and Horace Greeley went to the opera together!
(MS, Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, N.Y.)
14 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—With C. [William Ellery Channing] up north bank of Assabet to bridge.

  Good sleighing still, with but little snow. A warm, thawing day . The river is open almost its whole length. It is a beautifully smooth mirror Nvithin an icy frame. It is well to improve such a time to walk by it. This strip of water of irregular width over the channel, between broad fields of ice, looks like a polished silver mirror, or like another surface of polished ice, and often is cfistinguislied from the starrounding ice only by its reflections . . .

(Journal, 7:82-3).

New Bedford, Mass. Daniel Ricketson writes in his journal:

  Wrote an invitation to H. D. Thoreau of Concord, author of Walden, and sent a letter which I had had on hand for some time (Daniel Ricketson and His Friends, 280).
15 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Up Riverside via Hubbard Bath, P. M.

  I see again a large flock of what I called buntings on the loth, also another flock surely not buntings, perhaps Fringilla linaria. May they not all be these ? . . . (Journal, 7:83).

Concord, Mass. Ralph Waldo Emerson writes to George Partridge Bradford:

  Tell Mr Chapman I was glad to see Mr Cholmondeley [Thomas Cholmondeley] & we are doing the best we can for him He has lived in Concord & now lives in Boston & threatens to carry Henry Thoreau to England” (The Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 4:479).

16 December 1854. New York, N.Y.

Walden is reviewed with A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers in the National Anti-Slavery Standard.

Cambridge?, Mass. Franklin B. Sanborn writes in his journal:

  After Lowell and Dwight went the talk fell into one channel again—first about Thoreau—whom Mr Alcott described much as he did on Tuesday. Dana had not read him—but had supposed him a man of abstractions altogether—Mr A—quoted what Dr [Thaddeus W.] Harris said of him—‘If Emerson had not spoilt him he would have made a good—naturalist’” (Transcendental Climate, 215).
18 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Down railroad via Andromeda Ponds to river . . . (Journal, 7:84).
19 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—Skated a half-mile up Assabet and then to foot of Fair Haven Hill . . . (Journal, 7:84-6).

Thoreau also writes to H. G. O. Blake:

Mr. Blake,—

  I suppose you have heard of my truly providential meeting with Mr T [Theophilus] Brown: providential because it saved me from the suspicion that my words had fallen altogether on stony ground, when it turned out that there was some Worcester soil there. You will allow me to consider that I correspond with him through you . . .

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 354-6)

Thoreau also writes to Daniel Ricketson:

Dear Sir,

  I wish to thank you again for your sympathy. I had counted on seeing you when I came to New Bedford, though I did not know exactly how near to it you permanently dwelt; therefore I gladly accept your invitation to stop at your house . . .

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 356)

Ricketson replies on 20 December.

20 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  7 A. M.—To Hill . . . P. M. – Skated to Fair Haven with C. [William Ellery Channing] C.’s skates are not the best, and besides he is far from an easy skater, so that, as he said, it was killing work for him . . . (Journal, 7:86-8).

New Bedford, Mass. Daniel Ricketson writes to Thoreau in reply to his letter of 20 December:

Dear Sir,—

  Yours of the 19th came to hand this evening. I shall therefore look for you on Monday next.

  My farm is three miles north of New Bedford. Say to the conductor to leave you at the Tarkiln Hill station, where I or some of my folks will be in readiness for you on the arrival of the evening train. Should you intend coming earlier in the day, please inform me in time.

  I will get word to the Committee of the N. B. Lyceum, as you desire.

  If I do not hear from you again, I shall prepare for your arrival as before. In the meantime, I remain,

Yours very truly,

Dan’l Ricketson.

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 357)
21 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Walden and Fair Haven Ponds and down river . . . It [Walden] is very thickly [covered with] what C. [William Ellery Channing] calls ice-rosettes . . . (Journal, 7:88-9).
22 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes to H. G. O. Blake:

Mr. Blake,

  [I w]ill lecture for your [Lyceum on the 4]th of January next; and I hope that I shall have time for that good day out of doors. Mr Cholmondeley is in Boston, yet perhaps I may write him to accompany me.

  I have engaged to lecture at New Bedford on the 26 inst, stopping with Daniel Ricketson 3 miles out of town; and at Nantucket on the 28th; so that I shall be gone all next week. They say there is some danger of being weather-bound at Nantucket, but I see that others run the same risk.

  You had better acknowledge the receit of this at any rate, though you should write nothing else, otherwise I shall not know whether you get it; but perhaps you will not wait till you have seen me to answer my letter. I will tell you what I think of lecturing when I see you.

  Did you see the notice of Walden in the last Anti-Slavery Standard? You will not be surprised if I tell you that it reminded me of you.

Yrs,

[Henry D. Thoreau.]

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 358)
24 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Some three inches of snow fell last night and this morning, concluding with a fine rain, which produced a slight glaze, the first of the winter. This gives the woods a hoary aspect and increases the stillness by making the leaves immovable even in considerable wind (Journal, 7:89).
25 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  To New Bedford via Cambridge. I think that I never saw a denser growth than the young white cedar in swamps on the Taunton & New Bedford Railroad . . . (Journal, 7:89-90).

Cambridge, Mass. Thoreau checks out New England’s prospect by William Wood and Le grand voyage du pays des Hurons by Gabriel Sagard from Harvard College Library (Companion to Thoreau’s Correspondence, 291).

New Bedford, Mass. Daniel Ricketson writes in his journal:

  H. D. Thoreau arrived this P.M., spent evening conversing upon various matters, the climate, &c., of England and America, &c. (Daniel Ricketson and His Friends, 281).

Ricketson later recalls meeting Thoreau:

  My first personal interview with him was in December of this year (1854) He was bound to Nantucket to deliver a lecture and I had invited him to be my guest on his way thither. I had expected him at noon, but as he did not arrive, I had given him up for the day. In the latter part of the afternoon, I was engaged in cleaning off the snow which had fallen during the day, from my front steps, when upon looking up I saw a man walking up the carriage road carrying a portmanteau in one hand and an umbrella in the other – He was dressed in a long overcoat of dark color, and wore a dark soft hat. I had no suspicion it was Thoreau, and rather supposed it was a pedlar of small wares. As he came near me he stopped and as I did not speak, he said, “You do not know me.” It at once flashed on my mind that the person before me was my correspondent whom I had expected in the morning, and who in my imagination I had figured as a stout and robust person, instead of the small and rather inferior looking man before me. However, I concealed my disappointment and at once replied, “I presume this is Mr Thoreau,” and taking his portmanteau conducted him to the house & to his room already awaiting him.
(MS, Abernethy manuscripts, Middlebury College; see also Daniel Ricketson and His Friends, 11-12)

Ricketson also sketches Thoreau in the flyleaf of his copy of A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (The Raymond Adams Collection in the Thoreau Society Collections at the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods).

26 December 1854. New Bedford, Mass.

Thoreau lectures on “What Shall It Profit” at the New Bedford Lyceum (Studies in the American Renaissance 1996, 264).

New Bedford, Mass. The New Bedford Daily Mercury and New Bedford Evening Standard advertise Thoreau’s lecture.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  At Ricketson’s.

  I do not remember to have ever seen such a day as this in Concord. There is no snow here (though there has been excellent sleighing it Concord since the 5th), but it is very muddy, the frost coming out of the ground as in spring with us. I went to walk in the woods with R. It was wonderfully warm and pleasant, and the cockerels crowed Just as in a spring day at home. I felt the winter breaking up in Me, and if I had been at home I should have tried to write poetry. They told me that this was not a rare day there . . .

(Journal, 7:90).

Daniel Ricketson writes in his journal:

  A fine mild spring-like day. Walked through the woods to Tarkiln Hill and through Acushnet to Friend’s Meeting House with Henry D. Thoreau, author of Walden. Rode this P.M. with H. D. T. round White’s factory. Louisa and the children, except Walton, attended the Lyceum this evening. Lecture by Mr. Thoreau. Subject, “Getting a Living.” I remained at home, not feeling well enough to attend.
(Daniel Ricketson and His Friends, 281)

Charles W. Morgan writes in his journal:

  A most perfect day, but quite too mild for the season . . . evening to the Lyceum where we had a lecture from the eccentric Henry J. Thoreau—The Hermit author very caustic against the usual avocations & employments of the world and a definition of what is true labour & true wages—audience very large & quiet – but I think he puzzled them a little.
(MS, Coll. 27, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.).
27 December 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  To Nantucket via Hyannis in misty rain . . .

  Captain Edward W. Gardiner (where I spent the night) thought there was a beach at Barnegat similar to that at Cape Cod . . .

  At Ocean house I copied from William Coffin’s Map of the town (1834) this: 30, 590 acres including 3 isles beside.

(Journal, 7:91-2)

New Bedford, Mass. The New Bedford Evening Standard reviews Thoreau lecture of 26 December:

  We are compelled to omit from want of room, our notice of the lyceum lecture last evening, by Mr. Thoreau of Concord. His subject was ‘Getting a Living.’ The lecture displayed much thought, but was in some respects decidedly peculiar (“What Shall It Profit”).
28 December 1854. Nantucket, Mass.

Thoreau lectures on “What Shall It Profit” for the Nantucket Lyceum (“What Shall It Profit”).

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  A misty rain as yesterday. Captain [Edward W.] Gardiner carried me to Siasconset in his carriage . . .

  The nearest approach to woods that I saw was the swamps, where the blueberries, maples, etc., are higher than one’s head. I saw, as I rode, high blueberry bushes and maple in the swamps, huckleberries, shrub oaks, uva-ursi (which he called mealy plum), gaultheria, beach plum, clethra, mayflower (well budded). Also withered poverty-grass, goldenrods, asters. In the swamps are cranberries, and I saw one carting the vines home to set out, which also many are doing. G. described what he made out to be “star-grass” as common

  Visited the museum at the Athenaeum. Various South Sea implements etc., etc., brought home by whalers.

  The last Indian, not of pure blood, died this very month, and I saw his picture with a basket of huckleberries in his hand.

(Journal, 7:92-6).
29 December 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  Nantucket to Concord at 7.30 A. M.

  Still in mist. The fog was so thick that we were lost on the water; stopped and sounded many times. The clerk said the depth varied from three to eight fathoms between the island and Cape. Whistled and listened for the locomotive’s answer, but probably heard only the echo of our own whistle at first, but at last the locomotive’s whistle . . .

(Journal, 7:96-8).
31 December 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—On river to Fair Haven.

  A beautiful, clear, not very cold day. The shadows on the snow are indigo-blue. The pines look very dark. The white oak leaves are a cinnamon-color, the black and red (?) oak leaves a reddish brown or leather-color . . . (Journal, 7:98).




Log Pages