John Burroughs

Burroughs, John (1837-1921), a United States author and naturalist. Most of his writings are essays on wildlife and the outdoors, although he also wrote poetry. He admired Emerson and Thoreau, both of whom influenced his thought and style.

Burroughs was born on a farm near Roxbury, New York. After only periodic attendance at local schools, he became a teacher in 1854. For the next nine years he alternately taught school and advanced his own education. He studied first at Ashland Collegiate Institute and later at Cooperstown Seminary. From 1865 to 1873 he worked in the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C. There he met Walt Whitman, with whom he became friends. Burroughs' first book was Notes on Walt Whitman as Poet and Person (1867).

In 1873 Burroughs bought a farm near Esopus, on the Hudson River. There he built Riverby, his home. In the nearby woods he built with his own hands Slabsides, a rustic cabin that he used as a study.

His books include: Wake Robin (1871); Locusts and Wild Honey (1879); Riverby (1894); Leaf and Tendril (1908); The Last Harvest (1922).