Happy birthday Henry David Thoreau born on this day in 1817. Thoreau is best know for his essay Civil Disobedience, written after an overnight stay in a jail for refusal to pay taxes in protest against the Mexican War and the extension of slavery.
‘If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go; perchance it will wear smooth – certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.’
Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau, 1849