The Documents

The Development of the American Character

A Yankee in Canada/Anti-slavery and Reform Papers

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

Short Description

A Yankee in Canada explores Thoreau’s travels in eastern Canada and his marvel with nature. His Civil Disobedience argues that people should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that people have a duty to avoid allowing governments to make them agents of injustice.

Remnant Trust Description

Classic Confrontation. Contains “Essay on Civil Disobedience.” First Book Appearance of Thoreau’s work on civil disobedience. First edition. This essay is “the classic of individualism in its inevitable conflict with government, but again, implies a state based upon laws in conformity with Thoreau’s conception of what is noblest and most worthily human.” Also contains Emerson’s essay, “Prayers.” Binding A, with blindstamped wreaths on boards. BAL 5248. With bookplate of Elihu Vedder, the American figure and mural painter whose most notable works include his mosaic and murals in the Library of Congress. DAB X: 245. Under Vedder’s name on his bookplate is a quotation from Scott: “And please return it. You may think it a strange request, but I find that although many of my friends are poor arithmeticians, they are nearly all of them good book-keepers.”