The Quakers

By Hugh Barbour; J. William Frost | Go to book overview

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WHITTIER, JOHN GREENLEAF ( 17 December 1807, Haverhill, MA--7 September 1892, Hampton Falls, NH). Education: Haverhill Academy, 1827- 28; LL.D., Harvard, 1881. Career: Journalist; poet; editor : American Manu- facturer, Haverhill Gazette, New England Review, 1829-32; Pennsylvania Freeman, 1838-40; Middlesex Standard, 1844-45; National Era, 1847-60; member, MA legislature, 1835.

John Greenleaf Whittier became the most famous nineteenth-century American Quaker, respected by Orthodox and Hicksites who rejoiced in his celebrity as an advocate of morality and inward spirituality. Whittier was the child of a poor family of Quaker farmers of Haverhill, Massachusetts. At home he immersed himself in the Bible, living the stories of the Old and New Testament in his imagination and absorbing the Bible's language and cadences. He also learned of New England's history and legends and the stories of the early Quaker martyrs. At age fourteen Whittier began writing verses. William Lloyd Garrison published Whittier's first poem in 1826 and persuaded the parents to allow their son to gain a quick classical education by spending two terms at Haverhill Academy.

Strongly influenced by Byron, Burns, and Wordsworth, Whittier began producing a large number of poems--more than eighty were published in local newspapers. During the next few years Whittier entered society and edited several new England newspapers. Fascinated with politics, Whittier became a politician and attempted in 1832 to become a candidate for Congress. Although he later served one term in the Massachusetts legislature, Whittier's great political skill came in the back-room negotiations necessary for success.

In 1833 Whittier set aside his chances for a career in politics by publishing his tract directed at obtaining the immediate and unconditional emancipation of slaves. For the next twelve years Whittier became an effective propagandist for antislavery--writing poems and essays, speaking, and editing leading abolitionist

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The Quakers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Denominations in America ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Series Foreword xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Part One the Quakers: A History of Friends in America 1
  • 1: Introduction 3
  • 2: The Religious Setting of the Early Friends 11
  • 3 - The Lamb's War and the Awakening of the North of England 35
  • 4: Quaker Worship and Ethics and Their Transformation, 1652-1662 39
  • 5 - The Mission to America 58
  • 6: England, 1660-1689 61
  • 7: The Quaker Colonies 73
  • 8: A Tolerated Society of Friends 83
  • 9: A Spiritual Existence 95
  • 10: A Disciplined Christian Life 107
  • 11: Crisis and Reformation 119
  • 12: The American Revolutions 137
  • 13: Quaker Migrants to Carolina and the Midwest; Eastern Philanthropists 153
  • 14: Separations 169
  • 15: The Midcontinent in the Midcentury, 1828-1867 185
  • 16: West and Midwest, 1867- 1902 203
  • 17: The Liberal Transformation 219
  • 18: Suburban and College Friends 231
  • 19: Creativity in Peacemaking 247
  • 20: Social Service and Social Change, 1902-1970 261
  • 21: New Forms of Quaker Interaction, 1960-1987 271
  • Part Two a Biographical Dictionary of Former Quaker Leaders in America 281
  • A 285
  • B 287
  • C 301
  • D 311
  • E 313
  • F 315
  • G 321
  • H 327
  • J 337
  • K 343
  • L 347
  • M 351
  • P 357
  • R 363
  • S 365
  • T 369
  • U 371
  • V 373
  • W 375
  • Appendix: Chronology 381
  • Bibliographic Essay 385
  • Index 393
  • About the Authors 409
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