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American literature during the first half of the nineteenth centurytook many forms and ideas that still effect our ever so changingsociety today Henry David Thoreau was among the notable writersduring this time and his impact of American literature will not soonbe forgotten His perseverance love for nature and humanitarianbeliefs helped to mold the ideas and values of early American history He was born in Concord Massachusetts on July 12 in 1817 Hisparents both abolitionists of slavery were John and CynthiaThoreau During his childhood years his parents along with Henrysolder siblings John Jr and Helen often took the family on long walksthough the valleys and hills of Concord The seeds of Henrys lovefor nature were planted during this timeAs a young school boy at the Concord public school and later at theConcord Academy many of his peers sought after him as loner who tookeverything too serious In 1833 Henrys parents had saved enough money tosend him off to college at Harvard University Even though he barely passedthe entrance exam he would later become one of the top students in hisgraduating class In 1836 financial and health problems forced Thoreau topostpone his studies at Harvard and seek a job He taught school for asemester in Canton Massachusetts and returned to Harvard in the Spring of1837 He took a full load of classes that Spring and Summer semesters andgraduated in August of 1837 After graduating Thoreau had no idea what hewanted to do with his education After debating over many different careershe finally concluded that teaching would be his calling He landed a positionat Center School in 1837 in Concord however he resigned two weeks laterafter many teachers and students complained of his teaching methods and strictness in the classroom Over thenext year he worked many small jobs around Concord and alsobecame friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson The elder Emersoninfluenced Thoreau in his belief in Transcendentalism Thoreau wasindelibly marked by his mentors philosophy Sanborn 122 In 1838 Henry
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