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Harding and the Thoreau Society

Harding, a dedicated Thoreauvian, was a founding member of the Thoreau Society and served as its secretary for fifty years. The following documents provide insight into not only the history of the formation of the Thoreau Society, but also Harding's personal interest and connection to Thoreau. In each document written by Harding, one can't help but be inspired by his enthusiasm and dedication to this field of study.

Beginning with a brief overview of the foundations of his interest in Thoreau, this heartfelt address made before the Thoreau Society was Harding's way of announcing his plans to bequeath to them his collection of "Thoreauviana", as he was inclined to call it. At the end of a long career, Harding decided to donate his life's work and passion to his beloved Thoreau Society, to be maintained and appreciated for generations to come. A handwritten note at the bottom of the last page is one of Harding's last actions in passing the torch of his longtime position of secretary to his successor.