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Henry at 200

Henry David Thoreau’s is the small stone, next to the family monument, on famed Author’s Ridge in the cemetery in Concord, Mass. Emersons, Hawthornes and Alcotts are nearby. Photo by Bernard A. Drew

I now and then revisit the writings of Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) especially to soak in his descriptions of traipsing the Maine woods and meandering around Concord, Mass. I admire his nature advocacy, his individuality and his remarkably compact yet detailed descriptions and anecdotes.

Were he still alive physically — literarily, he is more alive than ever — he would have been 200 on July 12.

His 1857 journal entry for today, July 13, 160 years ago, is about a trek to Rattlesnake Fern Swamp:

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