• Staunch Abolitionist Quaker Whittier Speaks Of His Writings, Health

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    JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER (December 17, 1807-September 7, 1892) was an American Quaker poet and staunch abolitionist.  Whittier became interested in politics in the 1830s and ran for Congress at twenty-five. He lost the race and had a nervous breakdown. In 1833, he began corresponding again with abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, who encouraged Whittier to join the cause. Whittier then published the antislavery pamphlet Justice and Expediency and for the next twenty years was an avid supporter of the abolitionist cause. Nearly all his poems dealt with the problem of slavery. Whittier and Garrison split over Whittier’s belief that success required legislative action, not merely moral persuasion. He went on to become a founding member of the Liberal Party in 1839. Whittier also began editing several Massachusetts’ newspapers.


    2 pp, 4 x 6, Amesbury [MA] 28th 12 mo [December] 1870, to friend Osgood. Osgood may be the publisher Fields, Osgood & Co.  Whittier speaks of his limitations due to health issues.


    “I hardly know what to say to you. Everything with me is so uncertain that I hardly can promise anything positively [for] the ‘Poetry for Children.’  I believe I did half promise Wm F. I have had…[a] volume of Ballad, consider the title of ‘Indian Summer’ strung together by a thread of narratives…All depends on my health and that is a very light dependence anyhow. I am afraid to have you receive my…project as a positive matter…I shall be in Boston if I am able…Yours truly, John G. Whittier”


    Toning. The writing is a little light, but readable. Slight grazing to the final letters of his name. Nice to find Whittier speaking of his works.


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