Biography of John Whittier


JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER, American author and poet, was born at Haverhill, Massachusetts, December, 1807, in the Society of Friends. He worked on a farm and at shoe-making in his boyhood, but at the age of 18, having a strong desire for learning, he studied for two years at a local academy. In 1829, he became editor of the "American Manufacturer," a paper established, at Boston to advocate a protective tariff. In 1830, he was editor of the "New England Review," at Hartford, Connecticut, where he wrote a "Life of Brainard," and "Legends of New England." The subjects of these legends he afterwards worked out in his poems, as "Mogg Megone," "Bride of Pennacook," "Cassandra Southwick," and "Mary Garvin." Returning from his literary labors to his farm, he was in 1835, elected to the Massachusetts legislature; and in 1839, appointed Secretary of the American Anti-slavery Society, and became editor of the "Pennsylvania Freeman," in Philadelphia, In 1840, he removed to Amesbury, Massachusetts, as correspondent of the "National Era." and devoted himself to literature and philanthrophy. His principal writings are - "Voices of Freedom," poems collected in 1836; "Leaves from Margaret Smith's Journal," poems collected in 1836; "Old Portraits and Modern Sketches," biographical, 1850; "Collected Poems," 1856; "Songs af Labor," 1851; "The Chapel of the Hermits," 1853; "Literary Recreations," 1854; "The Panorama," 1856; "Home Ballads," 1859; "In War Time," 1864; "Snow Bound," 1866; "The Tent on the Beach," 1867; "Among the Hills," 1869; "Miriam and Other Poems," 1870; "Pennsylvania Pilgrim, and Other Poems," 1872.