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1 April 1838. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  The Indians must have possessed no small share of vital energy to have rubbed industriously stone upon stone for long months till at length he had rubbed out an axe or pestle,—as though be had said in the face of the constant flux of things, I at least will live an enduring life.
(Journal, 1:40)
1 April 1840. Concord, Mass.

Edmund Quincy Sewall Jr. writes in his journal:

  I received a “Hingham Patriot” from home today. I bought two oranges and gave Joseph Keyes one and Jesse [Harding] half of another. Jesse gave me some raisons. In the evening we had a nice time.

  Before supper Mr John had made a fire in our room and we boiled a “monkey” full of clams leaving them to cool while we eat supper.

  After supper we went and eat them and they were delicious. Then we put some more clams into the broth to boil and Mr John went down and got the boys and they all came up into the room.

  When they were done and cool we eat them broth and all and then put on another lot which we eat also. We had been rendered cautious by our last nights misfortune and had a box for a table when eating and a seat when waiting for them to be done. We also set the monkey into a tin pan so that if it did upset it might be saved if possible from going on the carpet. We met with no accident however saving that a single clam dropped out of the window where they were put to cool which was afterwards brought in and eaten by Charles [Henry Cummings].

  We then went to the Lyceum expecting that a Phrenologist would lecture. His apparatus was there but the lecturer had not arrived. A man there set out his casts and several real skulls on the desk but immediately put them back again. One of the skulls was that of a British soldier who fell in the Battle of Concord. It was dug up in Lincoln. It was only the upper half of the head. There was the bullet hole through which the ball which killed him had passed. A Mr. [David Greene] Haskins lectured on Roger Williams the founder of Rhode Island—a description of his life. Bought 2 cents worth of burnt almonds going home. I forgot to say while speaking of the lecture that he said that the Pilgrims were so poor that when a man had invited his neighbor to a dish of clams (very apropos to our clam feast) he returned thanks that they were permitted “such of the abundance of the seas and of treasures hid in the sand.”

(MS, “E. Q. Sewall Diary,” Sewall Family papers. American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.)
1 April 1841. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  In reading a work on agriculture, I skip the author’s moral reflections, and the words “Providence” and “He” scattered along the page, to come at the profitable level of what he has to say . . . My author shows he has dealt in corn and turnips and can worship God with the hoe and spade, but spare me his morality.
(Journal, 1:243)

Concord Academy closes due to the failing health of Thoreau and, in particular, his brother John, who is suffering from tuberculosis (The Days of Henry Thoreau (1965), 87).

1 April 1842. Concord, Mass.

On 2 April, Thoreau writes in the margin of his journal:

  Set the gray hen (Journal, 1:358 note).
1 April 1845. Walden Pond.

Thoreau writes in Walden:

  In 1845 Walden was first completely open on the 1st of April . . . (Walden, 334).

1 April 1850. Concord, Mass.

Ralph Waldo Emerson pays Thoreau $6 for working on a vine arbor (Ralph Waldo Emerson’s account books. Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.).

1 April 1852. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  2 P. M.—To Flint’s Pond cedar woods via railroad, returning by C. Smith’s orchard . . .

  Walden is all white ice, but little melted about the shores . . .

  There is an early willow on sand-bank of the railroad, against the pond, by the fence, grayish below and yellowish above. The railroad men have dug around the sleepers that the sun my thaw the ground and let them down. It is not yet out. Cut across near Baker’s barn . . .

  Is that the red osier (cornel or viburnum) near the grape-vine on the Bare Hill road? . . .

  Sat awhile before sunset on the rocks in Saw Mill Brook . . .

  Saw the freshly (?) broken shells of a tortoise’s eggs—or were they a snake’s?—in Hosmer’s field. I hear a robin singing in the woods south of Hosmer’s, just before sunset . . .

  As I come over the Turnpike, the song sparrow’s jingle comes up from every part of the meadow, as native as the tinkling rills or the blossoms of the spirca, the meadow-sweet, soon to spring . . .

(Journal, 3:369-377)
1 April 1853. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  P. M.—To Dugan’s . . .

  Saw ten black ducks at Clamshell . . . The gooseberry in Brown’s pasture shows no green yet, though ours in the garden does . . . Starlight by river up Assabet . . . Ascend Nawshawtuct. See a fire in horizon toward Boston.

(Journal, 5:79-83)
1 April 1854. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

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

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

(Journal, 6:180-182)
1 April 1855. Concord, Mass.

Thoreau writes in his journal:

  The month comes in true to its reputation. We wake, though late, to hear the sound of a strong, steady, and rather warm rain on the roof, and see the puddles shining in the road. It lasts till the middle of the day, and then is succeeded by a cold northwest wind. This pattering rain and Sabbath morning combined make us all sluggards.

  When I look out the window I see that the grass on the bank on the south side of the house is already much greener than it was yesterday. As it cannot have grown so suddenly, how shall I account for it? I suspect that the reason is that the few green blades are not merely washed bright by the rain, but erect themselves to imbibe its influence, and so are more prominent, while the withered blades are beaten down and flattened by it. It is remarkable how much more fatal to all superficial vegetation or greenness is a morning frost in March than a covering of snow or ice. In hollows where the ice is still melting I see the grass considerably green about its edges . . .

(Journal, 7:279-280)

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