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

Thoreau writes in his journal (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “Walked [William] Tappan in P. M. down railroad to Heywood Brook, Fair Haven and Cliffs…” (Journal, 6:49-51).

7 January. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Ministerial Swamp…” (Journal, 6:51-3).

8 January. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “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.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Heywood’s Pond with [William] Tappan…” (Journal, 6:60).

Concord, Mass. 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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 6:60-2).

11 January. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Cliffs and Walden… At night a fine freezing rain begins, which turns the frost to a glaze” (Journal, 6:62-5).

12 January. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “A. M. - It still rains very finely…” (Journal, 6:65).

13 January. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Walden, Goose Pond, and Britton’s Camp…” (Journal, 6:65-8).

14 January. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “Was surprised this morning to see how much the river was swollen by the rain of day before yesterday… I just had a coat come home from the tailor’s…” (Journal, 6:68-71).

17 January. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “Surveying for William O. Benjamin in east part of Lincoln…” (Journal, 6:71-3).

18 January. Cambridge, Mass. 1854.

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.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. [...]

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 218-20)

22 January. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “R. Rice says he saw a white owl two or three weeks since…” (Journal, 6:74-6).

23 January. Worcester, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “… At noon, go to Worcester” (Journal, 6:75-6).

24 January. Worcester, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “A very cold morning. Thermometer, or mercury, 18º below zero…” (Journal, 6:82-3).

30 January. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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

(Journal, 6:90-1)

3 February. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “A driving snow-storm again…” (Journal, 6:91-2).

4 February. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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… John Moore and Company got about fifty weight of fish at Flint’s Pond the same day… I went over to the Hemlocks on the Assabet this morning” (Journal, 6:93-4).

5 February. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Walden and Flint’s; return by Turnpike…” (Journal, 6:123-5).

17 February. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Martial Miles’s in rain…” (Journal, 6:139-41).

27 February. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. New York, N.Y. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Walden via Hubbard’s Wood and foot of Cliff Hill…” (Journal, 6:149-52).

5 March. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Annursnack…” (Journal, 6:155-7).

8 March. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “…Lightning this evening, after a day of successive rains” (Journal, 6:157-8).

9 March. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “4 P. M. - To Cliffs…” (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “At sunrise to Clamshell Hill. River skimmed over at Willow Bay last night…” (Journal, 6:173-4).

22 March. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “River froze over at Lily Bay” (Journal, 6:176).

27 March. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “Saw a hawk - probably a marsh hawk - by meadow” (Journal, 6:176).

28 March. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To White Pond… Got first proof of ‘Walden’” (Journal, 6:176).

29 March. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Fair Haven…” (Journal, 6:176-7).

30 March. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Up Assabet to Dodge’s Brook; thence to Farmer’s…” (Journal, 6:180-2).

2 April. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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)

3 April. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “Saw from window with glass seven ducks on meadow-water… P. M. - To Cliffs by Boat…” (Journal, 6:183).

4 April. Acton, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass and Carlisle, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “6 P. M. - Up Assabet…” (Journal, 6:185-6).

7 April. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Great Meadows by boat, and sail back…” (Journal, 6:192).

11 April. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Lincoln, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To epigaea…” (Journal, 6:199).

17 April. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “A. M. - T0 Nawshawtuct… P. M. - To Island and Hill… 4 P. M. - To Moore’s Swamp…” (Journal, 6:207-8).

21 April. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “A. M. - Up railroad… P. M. - Up Assabet, and thence to Cedar Swamp…” (Journal, 6:216-8).

25 April. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “A. M. - I think I hear near George Heywood’s the tull-lull (?)… P. M. - To Indian Cedar Hill…” (Journal, 6:218-21).

26 April. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “7 A. M. - To Cliffs…” (Journal, 6:225-7).

28 April. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. New York, N.Y. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “6 A. M. - Up railroad… 9 A.M. - To Cliffs and thence by boat to Fair Haven… P. M. - Up Assabet by boat to Cedar Swamp…” (Journal, 6:231-4).

2 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 6:234).

3 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - In rain to Nawshawtuct…” (Journal, 6:234-5).

Thoreau also drafts a letter to Edmund Hosmer (Studies in the American Renaissance 1982, 358; Pierpont Morgan Library?).

5 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Cliffs… At sunset across the flooded meadow to Nawshawtuct…” (Journal, 6:240-5).

8 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “5.30 A. M. - To Nawshawtuct… P. M. - To climbing fern…” (Journal, 6:260-2).

13 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “4 P. M. - To V. Muhlenbergii Brook…” (Journal, 6:262-3).

14 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Hill by boat…” (Journal, 6:263-4).

15 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Up Assabet…” (Journal, 6:264-5).

16 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “5.30 A. M. - To Island… P. M. - To Cedar Swamp via Assabet…” (Journal, 6:271-8).

18 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “To Pedrick’s meadow…” (Journal, 6:278-9).

19 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “5.30 A. M. - To Nawshawtuct and Island…” (Journal, 6:279-83).

20 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Deep Cut… Twilight on river…” (Journal, 6:283-5).

22 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

5.30 A. M. - Up Assabet…

10 A. M. - To Fair Haven by boat…

At Clamshell, the small oblong yellow heads of yellow clover, some days…

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “4.30 A. M. - To Cliffs… P. M. - To Pedrick’s meadow…” (Journal, 6:295-302).

25 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “5.30 A. M. - To Hill…” (Journal, 6:302).

26 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “5.30 A. M. - to climbing ivy… P. M. - To Walden…” (Journal, 6:303-5).

27 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Saw Mill Brook…” (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “12 M. - By boat to Lee’s Cliff… 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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Cedar Swamp by Assabet…” (Journal, 6:312-5).

30 May. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Clintonia Swamp and Pond… 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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “4.30 A. M. - To Hill… P. M. - To Bare Hill via Walden road and Goose Pond…” (Journal, 6:320-3). 

2 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “8 A. M. - Up Assabet to Barbarea Shore with [H. G. O.] Blake and [Theophilus] Brown… P. M. - To Walden…” (Journal, 6:326-8).

5 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “6 P. M. - To Cliffs…” (Journal, 6:328-30).

6 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Assabet Bathing-Place and return by stone bridge… 6.30 A. M. [sic]. - Up Assabet…” (Journal, 6:330-2).

7 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “6 P. M. - Up railroad… P. M. - To Dugan Desert via Linnæa Hills…” (Journal, 6:332-5).

8 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “A. M. - Gentle, steady rainstorm… P. M. - On river…” (Journal, 6:335-6).

9 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Well Meadow… 7 P. M. Up Assabet…” (Journal, 6:336-40).

10 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Conantum on foot…” (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Walden… Sundown. - To Clamshell Hill…” (Journal, 6:343-4).

13 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “2 P. M. - By boat to Bittern Cliff and so to Lee’s Cliff… ” (Journal, 6:344-8).

14 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To lime-kiln with Mr. Bacon of Natick…” (Journal, 6:348-9).

15 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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…1

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “5 A. M. - Up railroad… P. M. - To Baker’s Ditch via almshouse…” (Journal, 6:351-60).

17 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “5 A. M. - To Hill… 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…” (Journal, 6:361-6).

18 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Up Assabet…” (Journal, 6:371).

20 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Shad-bush Meadow…” (Journal, 6:372).

21 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Walden, etc… Rambled up the grassy hollows in the sprout-lands north (?) of Goose Pond…” (Journal, 6:372-5).

23 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Walden and Cliffs. I see by the railroad caseway young barn swallows on the fences learning to fly…” (Journal, 6:375-6).

25 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Assabet Bathing-Place and Derby Bridge…” (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Up river to Purple Utricularia Shore…” (Journal, 6:377).

27 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “A. M. - To Island…” (Journal, 6:378).

29 June. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To lime-kiln… 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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Walden and Hubbard’s Close…” (Journal, 6:379).

Summer. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Hubbard Bridge by boat…” (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “8 A. M. - To Framingham…” (Journal, 6:384).

Framingham, Mass. Thoreau lectures on “Slavery in Massachusetts” at Harmony Grove for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society (Studies in the American Renaissance 1995, 214-22).

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Beck Stow’s…” (Journal, 6:385-6).

7 July. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To lygodium…” (Journal, 6:386).

8 July. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Fair Haven via Hubbard’s Bathing-Place…” (Journal, 6:387-8).

10 July. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - By boat to Fair Haven… Sun set when I was off Nut Meadow…” (Journal, 6:390-1).

12 July. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Dodge’s Brook. The early cotton-grass is now about gone from Hubbard’s Close…” (Journal, 6:391-2).

13 July. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “2 P. M. - To Bare Hill, Lincoln, by railroad… Polygonum Hydropiper at Baker Swamp… Boys go after the cows now about 5.30 o’clock…” (Journal, 6:392-3).

14 July. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - over the Hill to Brown’s watering-place…” (Journal, 6:394).

15 July. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Via railroad and pond to Saw Mill Brook… Woodcock by side of Walden in woods…” (Journal, 6:396-7).

17 July. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “11 A. M. - By river to Fair Haven…” (Journal, 6:387-401).

18 July. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “ P. M. - To Hubbard’s Bath…” (Journal, 6:406-7).

21 July. Boston, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Assabet Bath…” (Journal, 6:407-8).

23 July. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Walden via Hubbard’s Grove and Fair Haven Hill…” (Journal, 6:408-9).

24 July. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Bare Hill, Lincoln, via railroad…” (Journal, 6:410).

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

26 July. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To lime-kiln via rudbeckia…” (Journal, 6:411).

27 July. Boston, Mass. 1854.

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

28 July. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 6:414).

August. 1854.

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 Thoreaus, thereby initiating Cholmondeley’s warm friendship with Thoreau (Atlantic no. 72 (1893):741).

1 August. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “6 A. M. - On river… P. M. - To Peter’s…” (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

Surveying in Lincoln…

Surveyed east part of Lincoln.

5 P. M. - To Conantum on foot.

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…

I sit on rock on the hilltop, warm with the heat of the departed sun, in my thin summer clothes…

[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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Via Turnpike to Smith’s Hill… 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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Tarbell Hills by boat…” (Journal, 6:424-6).

7 August. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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 beacue they have so much to do with themselves. However, I trust [...]

(The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 330-1)

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

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

9 August. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Boston, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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).

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.” Gives a copy of Walden to Mrs. Ralph Waldo Emerson, inscribing it “Lidian Emerson from her friend Henry 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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Worcester, Mass. 1854.

Walden is reviewed in the Daily Transcript.

18 August. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: 

"Wednesday.  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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Lincoln, Mass. 1854.

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 (Studies in the American Renaissance 1982, 359; 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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Along river to E. Hosmer’s [Edmund Hosmer]…” (Journal, 7:3-4).

2 September. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 7:29-31).

11 September. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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 (Studies in the American Renaissance 1982, 359; MS, privately owned).

12 September. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Great Meadows…” (Journal, 7:37).

14 September. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Plymouth, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Conantum…” (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Flint’s Pond…” (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Over Nawshawtuct… Crossing the hill behind Minott’s just as the sun is preparing to dip below the horizon…” (Journal, 7:49-51).

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

23 September. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Great Meadows via Gowing’s Swamp…” (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, Cal. Walden is reviewed in the Daily Alta California.

24 September. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “6 A. M. - To Hill… P. M. - By boat to Grape Cliff…” (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To boat opposite Bittern Cliff via Cliffs… Bats come out fifteen minutes after sunset, and then I hear some clear song sparrow strains, as from a fence-post amid snows in early spring” (Journal, 7:56).

26 September. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “It is a warm and very pleasant afternoon, and I walk along the riverside in Merrick’s pasture…” (Journal, 7:58).

28 September. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 7:58-9).

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

29 September. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Lee’s Bridge via Mt. Misery and return by Conantum…” (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Via Assabet to the monarda road…” (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 notes: “‘A Yankee Diogenes’ - a review of Thoreau’s ‘Walden’ - comes up to our idea of that eccentric work” (Studies in the American Renaissance 1990, 318).

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Plymouth, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes to Marston Watson in reply to his letter of 30 September:

Dear Sir,

I meant to read to you but once; - in the evening, if it is convenient for all parties. That is as large a taste of my present self as I dare offer you in one visit.

Yrs

Henry D. Thoreau.

(Studies in the American Renaissance 1996, 252; MS, unknown owner [Spooner House, Plymouth, 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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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.

6 October. Philadelphia, Penn. 1854.

William Thomas writes to Thoreau:

Dear Sir

You will please accept our thanks for your prompt response to your invitation. We have entered you for the 21st Nov.

Please inform us as early as possible upon what subject you will speak

Yours Truly

Wm B Thomas

Chairman

(Studies in the American Renaissance 1996, 255-6)

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).

http://archive.org/details/bhagavatgeetaor00humbgoog [probably wrong edition]

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. Plymouth, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau lectures on “Moonlight” at Leyden Hall (Studies in the American Renaissance 1996, 249-55).

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, Cal. Walden is reviewed in the Daily Alta California.

9 to 13 October. Plymouth, Mass. 1854.

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

9 October. Plymouth, Mass. 1854.

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; Studies in the American Renaissance 1996, 253)

10 October. Plymouth, Mass. 1854.

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. Plymouth, Mass. 1854.

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. New Bedford, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “Went to Plymouth to lecture and survey Watson’s grounds. Returned the 15th” (Journal, 7:63).

16 October. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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.

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.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “Saw the sun rise from mountain-top…” (Journal, 7:65-6).

21 October. Boston, Mass. 1854.

Walden is reviewed by the Boston Atlas.

22 October. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal (Journal, 7:66).

23 October. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “On Assabet…” (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Conantum…” (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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 under the bank. Birches, which began to change and fall so early, are still in many places yello” (Journal, 7:66-7).

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

29 October. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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, now that almost all leaves are quite dull or withered. The same in gardens. The gooseberry leaves in our garden and in fields are equally and peculiarly fresh scarlet” (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 makes a great ado about the cheapness of his house, and gives us a bit of his articles of diet as something to be looked at & admired; but why a house at all? Why this long list of luxuries? The Hermit Fathers did without all these. They dwelt in halls & caves & lived on roots & water.

Thoreau lives a couple of years in the midst of [the Walden forest] - with the help of his friends, and lo he sets to crowing to wake up his neighbours. The Hermit Fathers lived 60 [to] 100 years & upwards in perfect solitude & silence & when discovered plunge deeper into the desert, and die as they lived in solitude & silence. The poor man Thoreau does not know what cheap stuff his heroism is made of. He wants waking up.

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.

His recontre [sic] withe the Catholic Canadian shows according to his own account to every other mind except his own, that of the two, the Canadian was the truer, braver, & greater man. You can give him a good notice, for he was a young friend of yours. What has all his efforts & struggling done for him?

(The Brownson-Hecker Correspondence, 170)

30 October. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes to Charles Sumner

31 October. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal (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? Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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, 248). Fairbanks replies on 6 November.

5 November. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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 hima nd Anthony Wright, sitting there, to come and see where they had dug for money…” (Journal, 7:69-70)

6 November. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Lincoln, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Sailed to Hubbard’s Bridge…” (Journal, 7:71-2).

17 November. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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

20 November. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Philadelphia, Penn. 1854.

Thoreau lectures on “The Wild” at the Spring Garden Institute (Studies in the American Renaissance 1996, 255-60).

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.”

22 November. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes to Andrew Whitney (The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 352).

26 November. Concord, Mass. 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. Nantucket, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “Paddled to Clamshell…” (Journal, 7:77).

30 November. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Sail down river…” (Journal, 7:77).

December. Cambridge, Mass. 1854.

Walden is reviewed in Harvard Magazine.

1 December. Boston, Mass. 1854.

The Liberator advertises the Providence, R.I. lecture series, which includes Thoreau’s lecture on 6 December (Studies in the American Renaissance 1996, 263).

2 December. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “Got up my boat and housed it, ice having formed about it” (Journal, 7:78).

3 December. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “… Snowbirds in garden in the midst of the snow in the afternoon” (Journal, 7:78).

4 December. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Down railroad to Walden…” (Journal, 7:78).

5 December. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal (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.

6 December. Providence, R.I. 1854.

Thoreau lectures on “What Shall It Profit” at Railroad Hall (Studies in the American Renaissance 1996, 260).

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” (Studies in the American Renaissance 1996, 263).

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)

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.

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 States by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, volume 4, from Harvard College Library (Companion to Thoreau’s Correspondence, 290-1).

8 December. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - To Nut Meadow…” (Journal, 7:81).

11 December. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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” (Studies in the American Renaissance 1996, 258; MS, Amos Bronson Alcott papers. Houghton Library, Harvard University).

12 December. [Cambridge?], Mass. 1854.

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!

(Transcendental Climate, 213-4; MS, Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, N.Y.)

14 December. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - With C. [William Ellery Channing] up north bank of Assabet to bridge…” (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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “Up Riverside via Hubbard Bath P. M.…” (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. New York, N.Y. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - Down railroad via Andromeda Ponds to river…” (Journal, 7:84).

19 December. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. Concord, Mass. 1854.

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. New Bedford, Mass. 1854.

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…” (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” (Studies in the American Renaissance 1996, 266).

28 December. Nantucket, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau lectures on “What Shall It Profit” for the Nantucket Lyceum (Studies in the American Renaissance 1996, 266-9).

Thoreau writes in his journal: “Captain [Edward W.] Gardiner carried me to Siasconset in his carriage… Ascended the lighthouse at Sancoty Head… Visited the museum at the Athenaeum…” (Journal, 7:92-6).

29 December. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “Nantucket to Concord at 7.30 A. M…” (Journal, 7:96-8).

31 December. Concord, Mass. 1854.

Thoreau writes in his journal: “P. M. - On river to Fair Haven…” (Journal, 7:98).




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