Henry David Thoreau, In the early 1850s, Thoreau's facility as a land surveyor became widely known and he supported himself by surveying through the 50s. Thoreau published two books in his lifetime and often gave lectures, but these were never profitable enough for him to give up his surveying. He saw surveying as an opportunity to pursue his real interest: observing the natural world around him. "Surveying," he writes in the Journal, "seems a noble employment which brings you within hearing of [the birds]" (29 April 1856). In 1847, Thoreau described his life for the members of his Harvard class this way: "I am a School master--a Private Tutor, a Surveyor--a Gardener, a Farmer--a Painter, I mean a House Painter, a Carpenter, a Mason, a Day-Laborer, a Pencil-Maker, a Glass-paper Maker, a Writer, and sometimes a Poetaster."
Other Famous Surveyors
George Washington Abraham Lincoln
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