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Founded in 1941, The Thoreau Society, Inc. is the largest and oldest organization devoted to an American author. The Society has members from more than twenty countries around the world, the Penobscot Nation, and all fifty U.S. states. The Thoreau Society is committed to diversity and inclusion, and welcomes people of all ages, ethnicities, gender expressions and identities, origins, physical abilities, races, religions, and sexual orientations.

In Walden, Thoreau wrote, “I desire that there may be as many different persons in the world as possible.” The Thoreau Society likewise recognizes that the contributions of all will continue to result in a more vital organization and a more vital world.


The Thoreau Society exists to stimulate interest in and foster education about Thoreau’s life, works, legacy and his place in his world and in ours, challenging all to live a deliberate, considered life.


The Thoreau Society keeps Thoreau’s writings and ideas alive around the globe and across generations.

Organizational Goals

  • To encourage research on Thoreau’s life and works and to act as a repository for Thoreau-related materials
  • To educate the public about Thoreau’s ideas and their application to contemporary life
  • To preserve Thoreau’s legacy and advocate for the preservation of Thoreau country
  • Read the Thoreau Society By-Laws


The Thoreau Society Bulletin is a 20-page newsletter with bibliographic information and writings on the life, works, and legacy of Henry Thoreau.

The Concord Saunterer: A Journal of Thoreau Studies is an annual peer-reviewed journal of Thoreau scholarship that features in-depth essays about Thoreau, his times and his contemporaries, and his influence today.

Thoreau Society

Honorary Advisors

Terry Tempest Williams
Nature Writer and

James E. Francis, Sr.
Penobscot Nation
Tribal Historian


Rochelle Johnson, PhD – 2020-2022
Boise, ID

Michael Schleifer, CPA – 2021-2023
Brooklyn, New York

James Finley – 2020-2023

Michael Frederick – 2006-Present
Concord, MA
Executive Director

Board of Directors

Phyllis Cole, PhD – 2021-2024
Barrington, RI

Theodore David, JD – 2021-2024
Ramsey, NJ

James Finley, PhD – 2020-2023
San Antonio, TX

Jayne Gordon – 2021-2024
Damariscotta, ME

Robert A. Gross, PhD – 2021-2024
Concord, MA

Rebecca Kneale Gould, PhD – 2021-2024
North Ferrisburgh, VT

Richard Higgins – 2019-2022
Concord, MA

Christina Katopodis, PhD – 2021-2024
Brooklyn, NY

John J. Kucich, PhD – 2021-2024
Maynard, MA

Dennis Noson, PhD – 2019-2022
Seattle, WA

Henrik Otterberg, PhD – 2021-2024
Gothenburg, Sweden

Geoff Wisner – 2020-2023
New York, NY

I had more cheering visitors … Children come a-berrying, railroad men taking a Sunday morning walk in clean shirts, fishermen and hunters, poets and philosophers; in short, all honest pilgrims, who came out to the woods for freedom’s sake, and really left the village behind …”


Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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