Travels with Thoreau: Timeline

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1817-1848

1849-1851

1852-1853

1854-1857

1858-1862

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Timeline of Thoreau's Travels

 (Away from Concord, Acton, Carlisle, Bedford, Lincoln, Sudbury, and Assabet Village [now present-day Maynard])

1817-1848

  • October 1818-September 1821: The Thoreau family lives in Chelmsford.

  • September 1821-March 1823: The Thoreau family lives in Boston.

  • August 1833-August 1837: Cambridge: Attends & graduates from Harvard College.

  • 1835-1836: Canton: Spends six weeks teaching with Orestes A. Brownson.

  • 1839: May 3-17: Maine, in search of a teaching job. (Portland, Brunswick, Bath, Gardiner, Hallowell, Augusta, China, Bangor, Oldtown, Saturday Cove, Castine, Belfast, Thomaston.)

  • 1839-August-31 to September 13: To White Mountains of NH and back, on boating trip with brother John Thoreau. The basis for Thoreau’s first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.

  • 1839: December: Scituate, with brother John and Prudence Ward, to visit Ellen Sewall.

  • 1841: September 20: Bolton, to visit Sampson Wilder about his peach trees.

  • 1841: November 29-December 10: Cambridge and Harvard College, setting up temporary residence in order to check out books from the college library; rooms with Charles Stearns Wheeler.

  • 1842- July 19-22: To Mount Wachusett and back, walking, mostly with Richard Fuller.

  • 1843: May- December: Lives on Staten Island, teaching Emerson children. (Includes trip back to Concord at Thanksgiving and then back again after quitting.)

  • 1844: March 10: Boston: Delivers two lectures at Amory Hall.

  • 1844: July and August: Embarks on a walkabout from Concord to Mount Monadnock, then down into the Connecticut River valley and up the Deerfield River valley into the Berkshires, climbing Mount Greylock. Then walks to Pittsfield to catch train and meet Ellery Channing, and together they travel to the Catskills. Return via the Western Railroad across Massachusetts.

  • 1846: August 31-September 11: Maine, first excursion.

  • 1847: October 5: Boston, to see Emerson off to Europe on the Washington Irving packet ship.

  • 1848: Boston, takes part in several “Conversations.”

  • 1848: Summer: Walks with Ellery Channing for four days throughout southeastern New Hampshire, seemingly along the Merrimack River valley as far north as Goffstown, before turning toward home.

  • 1848: November 22: Salem, to lecture.

  • 1848: December 20: Gloucester, to lecture.

1849-1851

  • 1849: February 28: Salem, to lecture.

  • 1849: March 21: Portland, Maine, to lecture.

  • 1849: April 20: Worcester. Gives “Economy” lecture in City Hall.

  • 1849: April 27: Worcester. Gives the “Life in the Woods” lecture at Brinley Hall.

  • 1849: May 3: Worcester. Gives the “White Beans and Walden Pond” lecture at Brinley Hall.

  • 1849: May 26: Boston, to pick up freshly-printed copies of A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.

  • 1849: September 11: Cambridge, to use the Harvard library.

  • 1849: October 9-11: Cape Cod, first trip, with Ellery Channing.

  • 1849: November 5: Cambridge, to use the Harvard library. [Thoreau brings with him a note from Harvard president Jared Sparks that gives him permission to take books out of the library as an alumnus and a writer. Sparks is said to have written “one year” in a margin. But Thoreau uses the library often, for the rest of his life.]

  • 1850: January 28: Cambridge, to use Harvard library.

  • 1850: February 18: South Danvers, to lecture on Cape Cod.

  • 1850: April 26: Cambridge, to use Harvard library.

  • 1850: May 12: Haverhill, to do surveying.

  • 1850: June: Cape Cod, second trip.

  • 1850: July 20?-30?: Fire Island, New York. To search wreckage of Margaret Fuller’s ship.

  • 1850: September 25-October 3: Quebec, with Ellery Channing, via Vermont. Results in the book A Yankee in Canada, published posthumously.

  • 1850: October 28: Cambridge, to use Harvard library.

  • 1850: November 18: Cambridge, to use Harvard library.

  • 1850: December 6-7: Newburyport, to lecture. Stays at home of Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

  • 1850: December 27: Boston and Cambridge.

  • 1851: January 1-2: Clinton, to lecture on “Excursion to Cape Cod” at Clinton Hall.

  • 1851: January 14-15: Cambridge, on way to Portland, Maine, to deliver “Cape Cod” lecture.

  • 1851: January 22: Medford, to lecture.

  • 1851: January 27: Cambridge.

  • 1851: April 30: Cambridge.

  • 1851: May 25: Wayland hills, walks there and back from Concord.

  • 1851: May 31: Worcester. Gives the “Walking, or the Wild” lecture at friend H.G.O. Blake’s School Parlors on Pearl Street. Walks to Asnebumskit hill in Paxton.

  • 1851: June 2: Boston and Cambridge.

  • 1851: June 26: Boston, sees menagerie.

  • 1851: July 9: Cambridge and Boston. [On December 18, 1850, Thoreau is made a “corresponding member” of the Boston Society of Natural History. He is permitted to check books out of its library without paying annual dues. This is the first day he begins to do so.]

  • 1851: July 25-August 1: To Hingham, Hull, Plymouth, South Shore, Cohasset, and Clark’s Island. Stops in Boston on way back.

  • 1851: August 11: Cambridge and Boston.

  • 1851: November 5: Cambridge and Boston.

1852-1853

  • 1852: February 2: Cambridge and Boston.

  • 1852: February21-22: Plymouth, to lecture. Stops in Boston on the way.

  • 1852: March 16: Cambridge, to use Harvard library. Also checks out books from it on March 22 and 24.

  • 1852: April 7-8: Boston, to lecture.

  • 1852: May 22-24: Plymouth, to lecture, and explores nearby ponds. Stops in Boston and Cambridge along the way.

  • 1852: June 13: Boston; June 14th entry talks of roses seen in Weston from the train.

  • 1852: June 19: Flagg Hill, at corner of Boxborough, Acton, and Stow, with Channing.

  • 1852: July 26: Cambridge and Boston.

  • 1852: September 6 and 7: Mount Monadnock, Jaffrey, New Hampshire, with Ellery Channing.

  • 1852: September 13: Part of Weston and Wayland, while riding around Lincoln.

  • 1852: October 3: Boston.

  • 1852: October 5: Cambridge and Boston.

  • 1852: October 21: Stow, via powder-mills with Channing.

  • 1852: November 11: Cambridge and Boston.

  • 1852: December 29: Cambridge and Boston.

  • 1853: January 18: Stow, to do surveying.

  • 1853: February 9: Cambridge and Boston.

  • 1853: March 8: Saxonville in Framingham, with Brown, via Wayland, return via Sudbury.

  • 1853: March 17: Lexington, with Brown.

  • 1853: March 25: Framingham, to do surveying.

  • 1853: April 11-29: Haverill, to do surveying. With stops in Boston and Cambridge.

  • 1853: May 14: Wayland, via river.

  • 1853: May 22: Nobscot, in northern Framingham, with Channing, by carriage.

  • 1853: August 3: Framingham, to do surveying.

  • 1853: September 5: Framingham, via Wayland.

  • 1853: September 13-27: Maine woods, second trip.

  • 1853: November: Littleton, to pick up Bulkeley Emerson, Waldo’s brother, in order to attend his mother’s funeral.

  • 1853: November 28: Boston and Cambridge.

1854-1857

  • 1854: January 19: Cambridge, for court and to use Harvard library.

  • 1854: January 23-25: Worcester and Holden, to visit and walk with Blake.

  • 1854: January 26: Cambridge, in court.

  • 1854: March 13: Boston and Cambridge, buys spyglass, etc.

  • 1854: May 9: Boston and Cambridge.

  • 1854: June 11: Framingham and Ashland, with Mrs. Brown.

  • 1854: July 4: Framingham, to lecture at anti-slavery rally.

  • 1854: August 9: Boston, to pick up freshly published copies of Walden.

  • 1854: October 7-15: Plymouth, to lecture and survey and visit with then-resident Bronson Alcott.

  • 1854: October 19-21. Mount Wachusett, Princeton, via rail to Westminster, then walks from there. With H. G. O. Blake and Thomas Cholmondeley.

  • 1854: November 20-25?:Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to lecture. Spends time in NYC on way back.

  • 1854: December 6-7: Providence, Rhode Island, to lecture. Stops in Cambridge on way home to use Harvard library.

  • 1854: December 25-26: New Bedford, to give lecture.

  • 1854: December 27-29: Nantucket, to give lecture.

  • 1855: January 4-5: Worcester. Gives the “What Shall It Profit?” lecture in City Hall.

  • 1855: January 16: Cambridge and Boston.

  • 1855: July 4-19: Cape Cod, with Ellery Channing.

  • 1855: September 29-October 6: New Bedford, to visit Ricketson. Explores Middleborough and Fairhaven. Returns by train from Plymouth.

  • 1855: December 10: Cambridge.

  • 1856: March 3: Cambridge.

  • 1856: March 26: Cambridge.

  • 1856: June 13-19. Worcester. Visits Blake and Brown, gets daguerreotypes taken.

  • 1856: June 23-July 2: New Bedford and Middleborough area.

  • 1856: September 5-12: Brattleboro, Vermont and Walpole, New Hampshire.

  • 1856: October 24-November 25: Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Surveying, lecturing. Stops in NYC on way back.

  • 1856: December 18-19: Amherst, New Hampshire, to give lecture.

  • 1856: December 22: Boston and Cambridge.

  • 1857: January 26: Cambridge and Boston.

  • 1857: February 3-4: Fitchburg, to give lecture.

  • 1857: February 12-14: Worcester, to give lecture.

  • 1857: March 2: Cambridge.

  • 1857: March 6: Cambridge and Boston.

  • 1857: April 2-15: New Bedford, also Middleborough area.

  • 1857: June 12-22: Cape Cod.

  • 1857: July 20-August 8: Third big trip to Maine.

  • 1857: August 24: Natick, walks with amateur naturalist Austin Bacon.

1858-1862

  • 1858: January 13-15: Lynn, to give lecture. Stays another day to explore. Returns via Boston and Cambridge and Harvard library.

  • 1858: February 15: Cambridge.

  • 1858: May 22-24: Worcester, on his way to New York City.

  • 1858: May 25-26: New York

  • 1858: May 27: Cambridge, Boston, home to Concord.

  • 1858: June 2-4: Mount Monadnock, Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Takes the Fitchburg Railroad and meets H.G.O. Blake in Fitchburg. Go from there.

  • 1858: June 21: Cambridge.

  • 1858: July 2-19: White Mountains, New Hampshire, with Edward Hoar, by carriage.

  • 1858: September 21-24: Cape Ann area of Massachusetts.

  • 1858: December 7-10: Boston, then New Bedford.

  • 1858: December 15: Boston Society of Natural History.

  • 1859: January 11: Cambridge and Harvard College.

  • 1859: February 22-24: Worcester. Gives lectures at Blake’s house.

  • 1859: February 28: Cambridge and Boston.

  • 1859: April 26-27: Lynn, to give lecture. Spends next day walking in area before going home.

  • 1859: June 13: Boston.

  • 1859: June 22-23-24: Billerica, to do surveying of bridges and river.

  • 1859: June 23: Wayland, bridges.

  • 1859: August 15: Cambridge and Harvard library.

  • 1859: October 6: Boston

  • 1859: October 9: Boston, to give lecture.

  • 1859: November 1: Boston, to give a John Brown lecture.

  • 1859: November 3: Worcester, to give a John Brown lecture.

  • 1859: November 5: Boston.

  • 1859: December 16: Cambridge and Harvard library.

  • 1859-1860: Surveys the Concord River from Billerica to East Sudbury for the River Meadow Association.

  • 1860: February 6: Cambridge and Harvard College library.

  • 1860: April: Lexington, to do surveying.

  • 1860: April 9: Cambridge and Harvard College library.

  • 1860: May 3: Cambridge and Boston.

  • 1860: May 21: Cambridge.

  • 1860: July 25: Wayland, to see stuffed bird collection with Edward Hoar.

  • 1860: August 4-9: Mount Monadnock, Jaffrey, New Hampshire, with companion.

  • 1860: September 8-10: Lowell, to give lecture.

  • 1860: November 7: Cambridge and Harvard College and Boston.

  • 1860: November 9 and 16: Boxborough, to document Inches Woods.

  • 1860: December 10-12: Waterbury, Connecticut, to lecture. Stays first night with friends in Worcester.

  • 1861: May 11-July 11: The Journey West to Minnesota and back.

  • 1861: August 19-24: New Bedford, to visit Ricketson. Gets picture taken.

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