Emerson, who was fourteen years older than Thoreau, was Henry's mentor after he graduated from Harvard in the spring of 1837. Contemporaries of Thoreau claimed that he went through a phase where he admired Emerson greatly and the two formed a mutual bond.
After five or six years Emerson, who was initially supportive of Thoreau's work, became increasingly critical of Henry. Somewhere around 1850 something happened that caused a deep rift between the two men (what was said to have happened was a mistruth).
Some speculate that Thoreau may have lost respect for Emerson over time and distanced himself. Thoreau did not see Emerson as offering a positive contribution to his life any longer and decided it was best to end the relationship. Emerson clearly took issue with this.
No matter, in celebrating the 200 year anniversary of Thoreau, we cannot overlook the influence of Emerson.
So today we feature some of our favorite quotes: