John Burroughs (April 3, 1837 – March 29, 1921) was an American naturalist and essayist important in the evolution of the U.S. conservation movement. Many of Burroughs' essays first appeared in popular magazines. He is best known for his observations on birds, flowers and rural scenes, but his essay topics also range to religion, philosophy, and literature. His achievements as a writer were confirmed by his election as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Burroughs got his first break as a writer in the summer of 1860 when the Atlantic Monthly, then a fairly new publication, accepted his essay. In 1867, Burroughs published Notes on Walt Whitman as Poet and Person, the first biography and critical work on the poet, which was extensively (and anonymously) revised and edited by Whitman himself before publication. Four years later, the Boston house of Hurd & Houghton published Burroughs's first collection of nature essays, Wake-Robin.
The Complete Writings of John Burroughs totals 23 volumes. The first volume, Wake-Robin, was published in 1871 and subsequent volumes were published regularly until the final volume, The Last Harvest, was published in 1922. The final two volumes, Under the Maples and The Last Harvest, were published posthumously by Clara Barrus. Burroughs also published a biography of John James Audubon, a memoir of his camping trip to Yellowstone with President Theodore Roosevelt, and one volume of poetry titled Bird and Bough.