Henry David Thoreau
July 12, 1817 - May 6, 1862
Thoreau was an American author, naturalist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, tax resister, critic, surveyor and historian. Thoreau is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. Among his lasting contributions are his writings on natural history and philosophy, where he anticipated the methods and findings of ecological and environment history, two sources of modern-day environmentalism. It has been said that Walden is America's first primer of the environmental movement.
"What good is a house if you don't have a tolerable planet to put it on?" - Thoreau
Richard Smith is about as close as you can get to a modern day disciple of the man himself. For almost 20 years he has been portraying Thoreau at Walden Pond, dressing up in the meticulous 19th-century regalia, fielding questions (in the first person) from the public, about the man's personal life and politics in the 19th Century Concord.