To help Thoreau establish contacts in the publishing world of New York City, Emerson arranged for him to tutor the children of Emerson's brother on Staten Island. There Thoreau became acquainted with Horace Greeley, editor of the influential New York Tribune
, who soon became his literary agent, helping him place his essays in various periodicals and touting him regularly in the Tribune
In the autumn of 1844 Emerson purchased a small tract of land on Walden Pond on the outskirts of Concord to protect its wooded beauty. The following spring, with Emerson's permission Thoreau built a ten-by-fifteen-foot cabin there at the cost of $28.121⁄2 and moved in on 4 July 1845 with the intent of devoting himself to the completion of his book for John. By simplifying his life, Thoreau found he was able to live comfortably on as little as twenty-seven cents a week, which he could earn by working only six weeks a year. Thus he was able to devote most of his mornings to writing at his desk, his afternoons to exploring the woods and fields of Concord, taking note of the circle of the seasons, and his evenings to socializing with friends such as Emerson and Bronson Alcott, who by now had settled in Concord, and his family.
Thoreau was scarcely a hermit at Walden. There was rarely a day when he did not either visit in town or receive his friends at Walden, only little more than a mile from Concord.