The title comes from Henry David Thoreau’s celebrated refusal to pay his poll tax to the United States Government because of his opposition to the Mexican War. Thoreau spent a night in a Concord, Massachusetts jail to protest what he thought was a blatant land-grab to further the institution of slavery.

John Brown didn't like slavery either. But unlike Thoreau who advocated civil disobedience, Brown believed that the only way to free the slaves was through armed insurrection.

"Thoreau's Taxes" follows the path that two modern-day veterans take in their activism: one following Henry David Thoreau at Concord and the other, John Brown at Harpers Ferry.

  • Charlie Canning
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  • Genres:
    Historical drama, bio-pic, war
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  • Country of Origin:
    United States
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Writer Biography - Charlie Canning

Charlie Canning received a PhD in creative writing from the University of Adelaide in 2012. His first novel "The 89TH Temple", set on a Buddhist pilgrimage in Japan, was shortlisted for the 2014 International Rubery Book Award.

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Writer Statement

THOREAU'S TAXES is partly based on Vietnam Veteran S. Brian Willson's memoir "Blood on the Tracks". Used by permission. Harpers Ferry sequence from W.E.B. DuBois' "John Brown". Court transcripts in public domain.