|Calvin H. Greene|
And so began Greene's four-year correspondence with Thoreau. After Thoreau's death in 1862 -- at the young age of 44 -- Greene wrote to the writer's sister and mother, both of whom received him warmly. Thoreau's sister, Sophia, invited him to visit the family in Concord, Mass. Greene took her up on the offer and visited in 1863 and again in 1874.
At the request of Calvin H. Greene of Rochester, MI, Thoreau had this daguerreotype of his picture taken while in Worcester, Mass. It's considered the first photo ever taken of the famed writer and Transcendentalist.
|Henry David Thoreau and the famous |
daguerreotype taken at the request of
Calvin H. Greene from Rochester, MI.
Courtesy of Wikimedia.org.
Greene also struck up friendships with Thoreau's inner circle of literary contemporaries and friends like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Bronson Alcott, father of famed author Louisa May.
The story of Calvin H. Greene and his association with some of the greatest literary figures in America was first told by Dr. Sanford Jones of Ann Arbor who published several of Thoreau's letters to Greene in Some Unpublished Letters of Henry D. and Sophia E. Thoreau in 1899.
Within the last ten years, Greene’s story has been researched and recorded by former Rochester, MI resident John C. Rosemergy, who grew up with a love for Thoreau's books. Rosemergy researched the story and wrote an unpublished paper titled, "Great God What a Man!" Notes Concerning Calvin Harlow Greene (1817-1898).
For more on this story, check out part 1 of my article on Rochester Patch and check back on Wednesday for part 2.