The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau

Collected Correspondence:Introductory material_Page_01

The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau edited by Walter Harding and Carl Bode (Washington Square: New York University Press, 1958)

Selected Correspondence:

Recently discovered letter:

This newly-discovered letter dates from Thoreau’s sophomore year at Harvard, 1834, when he was seventeen years old. It was written with James Richardson with whom Thoreau shared room 32 in Hollis. Richardson described himself to the Class Secretary as a “public teacher, or preacher of theology and religion or righteousness, and also in connection with it, [a] minister or servant in the great cause of human salvation from ignorance, malice, sin, disease, and suffering.” Oliver Sparhawk, to whom Thoreau addressed the letter, was a steward of Harvard, appointed to that position in 1831 and remaining in it until his death in 1835.

Thoreau-Richardson note001
Thoreau and James Richardson to Oliver Sparhawk, 1834 (The Walden Woods Project Collection)