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Henry David Thoreau Carving Collection

Variously called poet, philosopher, naturalist, critic, essayist, surveyor, anarchist, abolitionist, transcendentalist, author, and historian, Thoreau was a 19th century master of the “sound bite.” So laden with wonderful nuggets, pearls and one-liners are his writings that anyone searching for an appropriate quote, on most any topic, need not look beyond him – ever.

His writings, especially his 1854 book “Walden” and his “Civil Disobedience” essay of 1849, are known to have influenced Mahatma Gandhi, Leo Tolstoy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Edward Abbey, Sinclair Lewis, William Butler Yeates, Upton Sinclair, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gustav Stickley, John Muir, George Bernard Shaw, William Morris, B. F. Skinner, Ernest Hemingway, President John F. Kennedy and many others.

Today, the effects of his thinking have been credited with starting, guiding, or significantly influencing the British labor movement, the environmental movement, the civil rights movement, our system of national parks, the practice of nonviolent resistance, the creation of India, and the wilderness movement.

As we celebrate Thoreau’s 200th birthday in 2017, it seems ever more important to celebrate his works and to help future generations get to know him and his thoughts. To this end, we are proud to have already carved some of his most famous quotes and hope to carve more in the near future. (If there are others you’d like to see, please drop us a note about them at

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