This made me laugh but sadly, Thoreau didn’t record the response of Dr. Bartlett when his kind invitation was declined.  I wonder if there are any statues of Thoreau anywhere, because he would not have approved if so.

So, make the most of your time here, and then make way for others.


‘Dr. Bartlett handed me a paper to-day, desiring me to subscribe for a statue to Horace Mann.  I declined, and said that I thought a man ought not any more to take up room in the world after he was dead.  We shall lose one advantage of a man’s dying if we are to have a statue of him forthwith.’  18 September 1859

Source: Henry David Thoreau, The Journal 1837-1861, Damion Searls (ed.), preface by John R. Stilgoe (New York: New York Review Books, 2009), p. 579

Photo credit: Fré Sonneveld at


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