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Why Thoreau spent his night in jail
Dean Conway’s letter (News-Times, Aug. 14) referred to Henry David Thoreau’s refusal in 1845 to pay a tax, and compared it to Island County’s Proposition 1 proposal to increase property taxes. Just for the record, Thoreau did not own any property. He built a cabin at Walden Pond on land owned by Emerson.
While he was staying at Walden, he spent a night in jail because he refused to pay his poll tax. It was an act of disobedience to demonstrate his disapproval of the Mexican War. Details can be found in his essay, “Civil Disobedience.”
Trudy J. Sundberg