John Greenleaf Whittier: A Life


John Greenleaf Whittier is born

December 17, 1807

In Haverhill, Massachusetts to John and Abigail Whittier

First poem published

June 8, 1826

Sister sent "The Exile's Departure" to the Newburyport 'Free Press' and was published by William Lloyd Garrison

Attended Haverhill Academy

1827 - 1828

Completed a high school education in two terms

Became editor of the New England Weekly Review


Centered in Hartford, Connecticut; one of the most popular newspapers from New England

Loses Congressional election

November 1832

Suffers nervous breakdown and returns home

Published The Song of the Vermonters, 1779


He anonymously published it in the New England Weekly Review

Travels to the North

1835 - 1838

Becomes editor of The Pennsylvania Freeman

1838 - 1840

The leading antislavery newspaper in the North

Liberty Party is founded


Whittier was one of the leading founders of the political party

Began to write "The Black Man"


An essay about the John Fountain, a black slave who was imprisoned for helping slaves escape.

Liberty Party evolves into Free Soil Party


Becomes an elector for Lincoln's campaign

1860 - 1864

Voted for Lincoln both times for his support of antislavery

Snowbound is published


One of his most poignant and famous of works

Thirteenth Amendment is passed


Whittier turns to other forms of poetry

Visits private reading by Charles dickens


" I like him better than any public reader I have ever before heard."

Lives in Danvers, Massachusetts

1876 - 1892

Spends the few remaining years of his life in his cousin's home of Oak Knoll

Dies in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire

September 7, 1892