A rare and unique individual, Thoreau was, among other
things, a thinker, a writer, a poet, and a philosopher. Hardly
apolitical, Thoreau was a fierce abolitionist, a tax resister, and
a war protester (he spent a night in jail for refusing to pay the
poll tax because of his opposition to the Mexican-American
war and slavery). He was a naturalist, a transcendentalist,
and was not so fond of development and progress. He was
an experimenter with life and a veritable quote machine.
When asked shortly before his death if he had made his
peace with God, the 44 year old Thoreau responded, "I did
not know that we had ever quarrelled."