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Thoreau the Land Surveyor$
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Patrick Chura

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034935

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034935.001.0001

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Material to Mythology

Material to Mythology

(p.22) 2 Material to Mythology
Thoreau the Land Surveyor

Patrick Chura

University Press of Florida

This chapter discusses Henry David Thoreau's surveying career. To analyze nineteenth-century land surveying is to study Henry Thoreau's primary nonliterary pursuit, an activity that took up a large portion of his adult life. Thoreau actually made the Walden survey, a three-dimensional pond map that is now one of the most important images in American literary history. The pond survey was a rare type of work, an experiential episode in Thoreau's life the processes of which are now somewhat hard to imagine.

Keywords:   Henry Thoreau, land surveyor, Walden survey, pond map, surveying equipment, spatial relationship, coordinates

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