Biography of John Greenleaf Whittier
Celebrated American Biographies





JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER. - Near to the heart of the people of the Anglo Saxon race will ever lie the verses of this, the "Quaker Poet," The author of ''Barclay of Ury," "Maud Muller" and "Barbara Frietchie," always pure, fervid and direct, will be remembered when many a more ambitious writer has been forgotten.

John G. Whittier was born at Haverhill, Massachusetts, December 7, 1807, of Quaker parentage. He had but a common school education and passed his boyhood days upon a farm. In early life he learned the trade of shoemaker. At the age of eighteen he began to write verses for the Haverhill "Gazette." He spent two years after that at the Haverhill academy, after which, in 1829, he became editor of the "American Manufacturer," at Boston. In 1830 he succeeded George D Prentice as editor of the "New England Weekly Review," but the following year returned to Haverhill and engaged in farming. In 1832 and in 1836 he edited the ''Gazette." In 1835 he was elected a member of the legislature, serving two years. In 1836 he became secretary of the Anti slavery Society of Philadelphia. In 1838 and 1839 he edited the "Pennsylvania Freeman," but in the latter year the office was sacked and burned by a mob. In 1840 Whittier settled at Amesbury, Massachusetts. In 1847 he became corresponding editor of the "National Era," an anti slavery paper published at Washington, and contributed to its columns many of his anti slavery and other favorite lyrics. Mr. Whittier lived for many years in retirement of Quaker simplicity, publishing several volumes of poetry which have raised him to a high place among American authors and brought to him the love and admiration of his countrymen. In the electoral colleges of 1860 and 1864 Whittier was a member. Much of his time after 1876 was spent at Oak Knoll, Danvers, Massachusetts, but still retained his resideuce at Amesbury. He never married. His death occurred September 7, 1892.

The more prominent, prose writings of John G. Whittier are as follows: "Legends of New England," "Justice and Expediency, or Slavery Considered with a View to Its Abolition," "The Stranger in Lowell," "Supernaturalism in New England," "Leaves from Margaret Smith's Journal," "Old Portraits and Modern Sketches" and "Literary Sketches."


FROM:
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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