Henry David Thoreau (1817-62), besides being a leading light of the Transcendentalist movement, was an author, philosopher, abolitionist, freemason, historian and advocate of civil disobedience. Born in Concord, he spent almost all of his life in that woodsy town. The theme of humanity’s relationship with nature was central to his writing, and Hawthorne’s journals describe a man attuned to the vibrations of every plant and animal. “Nature,” he wrote, “seems to adopt him as her especial child, and shows him secrets which few others are allowed to witness.” Native American culture was another of Thoreau’s enduring fascinations, one to which he introduced Hawthorne during their regular hunts for arrowheads and other relics in the nearby woodlands. In fact, the last word he uttered on his death-bed is reputed to be “Indian.”
Visit an excellent online resource, including Thoreau's essays and letters, here.