Whitman on Thoreau

Thoreau was a surprising fellow—he is not easily grasped—is elusive: yet he is one of the native forces—stands for a fact, a movement, an upheaval: Thoreau belongs to America, to the transcendental, to the protesters: then he is an outdoor man: all outdoor men everything else being equal appeal to me. — Walt Whitman as told to Horace Traubel