Field Notes

11. October 31st, 1855, Entry in Henry David Thoreau's Surveying Field Notes

Henry David Thoreau actively took up land and property surveying in the 1840s, working for private property owners and the Town of Concord. The Concord Free Public Library holds some two hundred of his surveys (primarily drafts), as well as his survey-related field notes and working papers. This entry from his field notes was made on October 31st, 1855. It records his work for Concord attorney George Brooks (son of lawyer Nathan Brooks), who represented A.C. Collier in a suit against Cyrus Pierce. Together, Thoreau's field notes, the text on the surveys, and documentation of the court case provide key pieces of information suggesting that Thoreau's surveys and elevations on these properties were commissioned for the case, which went to court in October 1856.