Henry David Thoreau was an American writer, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, essayist, and poet. Thoreau researched, supported, and wrote about many social and political causes for reform in his lifetime including civil rights and nature conservancy. In one of his essay Thoreau states: "That government is best which governs least and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically." He spoke publicly on many political issues at the Concord Lyceum, many of his speeches later published including "Slavery in Massachusetts", and his controversial "A Plea For Captain John Brown". While other writers from his time have faded into obscurity, Thoreau has endured because so much of what he wrote about is still relevant today. Enjoy the reading.