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Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862) was an American writer, philosopher and naturalist. He is most famous for writing about his experiences at Walden Pond, near Concord, Mass.
A fierce opponent of slavery, he withheld his poll tax in 1845 and was jailed for doing so.
A friend came to bail him out and remarked with a sigh, "Henry, why are you in here?"
And Thoreau replied, "Why are you not?"
His 1949 essay "Civil Disobedience" influenced Ghandi, Tolstoy and modern civil rights leaders. Thoreau believed that civil disobedience was justified when the state was unjust.
Thoreau was extremely distrustful of organized religion, though he was a great believer in a higher being.
When Thoreau was on his deathbed --- despite his wishes --- a priest was sent for, to administer the last rites.
The priest leaned over Thoreau and quietly asked, "Henry, have you made your peace with God?"
And Thoreau replied, "I wasn't aware we had ever quarreled."
One of the finest --- and truest --- retorts I've ever had the pleasure to learn.
 

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"Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour." - Henry David Thoreau

"God himself culminates in the present moment." - Henry David Thoreau

"My own mind is my own church." Thomas Paine

"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor." -Henry David Thoreau
 
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