Thursday, July 15, 2010

Henry David Thoreau: Founding Father of American Libertarian Thought

by Jeff Riggenbach

Mises Daily
July 15, 2010

Henry David Thoreau was born David Henry Thoreau on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts, a small country town about 20 miles northwest of Boston. Nancy Rosenblum of the Harvard University Department of Government writes in the "Introduction" to her very useful collection of Thoreau's political writings that Concord at this time was

newly opened to the railroad, to the poor Irish immigrants who built it, to southern slaves escaping by it, and to the growing national economy. John Thoreau's pencil-making business supported the family's modest middle-class household. Cynthia Thoreau was a founder of the Concord Female Anti-Slavery Society and a reformer. For many years she ran their home as a boarding house for reform-minded tenants and a haven for fugitive slaves and abolitionists escaping to Canada.