John Greenleaf Whittier Essay

634 words - 3 pages

John Greenleaf Whittier was born on December 17, 1807 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Being the son to John Whittier and Abigail Hussey Whittier, two devoted Quakers1, he grew up at their countryside homestead given little formal schooling due to the lack of economic stability as their farm was not very profitable. Whittier was however an eager reader, studying his fathers books on Quakerism until he later on got introduced to poetry by his teacher. On June 8, 1826, Whittier's sister sent his very first poem “The Exile's Departure” to William Lloyd Garrison, an editor to the Newburyport Free Press, who published it even though neither he or Whittier's sister had the permission granted by Whittier himself to do so. The year after, Whittier attended Haverhill Academy, studying there for two years while supporting his economy working as a shoemaker and schoolteacher.
By the time Whittier turned twenty years old, he had published enough verse and poems to give himself the attention of several editors and readers in the antislavery movement – being a Quaker, Whittier devoted himself to social causes, working passionately as an editor for several abolitionist newspapers and magazines such as the American Manufacturer and Essex Gazette in Boston, later becoming the editor of the New England Weekly Review. Whittier was an outspoken critic of President Andrew Jackson, however Whittier was very active in his support of the National Republican candidates – being a delegate to the National Republican Convention in support of Henry Clay in the year of 1831, by which he the following year ran unsuccessfully for Congress.
In 1831, Whittier's first book was published – “Legends of New England in Prose and Verse”, and from that year on until the Civil war, Whittier spent all of his time writing articles, poems and essays which were all concerned with abolition, urging the people to immediate abolition of...

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