Книга: John Greenleaf Whittier «Tales And Sketches»

Tales And Sketches

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""I am not desirous, even were it practicable,""he said,""to defend the use of opium, or rather the abuse of it. I can only say, that the substitutes you propose are not suited to my condition. The world has now no enticements for me; society no charms. Love, fame, wealth, honor, may engross the attention of the multitude; to me they are all shadows; and why should I grasp at them? In the solitude of my own thoughts, looking on but not mingling in them, I have taken the full gauge of their hollow vanities. No, leave me to myself, or rather to that new existence which I have entered upon, to the strange world to which my daily opiate invites me. Книга представляет собой репринтное издание 1922 года (издательство" Boston, Gould and Lincoln; New York, Sheldon and company; [etc., etc.]"). Несмотря на то, что была проведена серьезная работа по восстановлению первоначального качества издания, на некоторых страницах могут обнаружиться небольшие" огрехи" :помарки, кляксы и т. п.

Издательство: "Книга по Требованию" (1922)

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John Greenleaf Whittier

Infobox Writer
name = John Greenleaf Whittier

birthdate = birth date|1807|12|17|mf=y
birthplace = Haverhill, Massachusetts, United States
deathdate = death date and age|1892|9|7|1807|12|17|mf=y
deathplace = Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, United States
occupation = Editor and Poet

John Greenleaf Whittier (December 17, 1807 – September 7, 1892) was an influential American Quaker poet and ardent advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. He is usually listed as one of the Fireside Poets.


Early life and work

John Greenleaf Whittier was born to John and Abigail (Hassey) at their rural homestead near Haverhill, Massachusetts on December 17, 1807. [Wagenknecht, 3] He grew up on the farm in a household with his parents, a brother and two sisters, a maternal aunt and paternal uncle, and a constant flow of visitors and hired hands for the farm. Their farm was not very profitable. There was only enough money to get by. John himself was not cut out for hard farm labor and suffered from bad health and physical frailty his whole life. Although he received little formal education, he was an avid reader who studied his father’s six books on Quakerism until their teachings became the foundation of his ideology. Whittier was heavily influenced by the doctrines of his religion, particularly its stress on humanitarianism, compassion, and social responsibility.

Whittier was first introduced to poetry by a teacher. His sister sent his first poem, "The Exile's Departure", to the Newburyport "Free Press" without his permission and its editor, William Lloyd Garrison, published it on June 8, 1826. [Wagenknecht, 5] As a boy, it was discovered that Whittier was color-blind when he was unable to see a difference between ripe and unripe strawberries. [Wagenknecht, 18] Garrison as well as another local editor encouraged Whittier to attend the recently-opened Haverhill Academy. To raise money to attend the school, Whittier became a shoemaker for a time, and a deal was made to pay part of his tuition with food from the family farm. [Woodwell, 12] Before his second term, he earned money to cover tuition by serving as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in what is now Merrimac, Massachusetts. [Woodwell, 17] He attended Haverhill Academy from 1827 to 1828 and completed a high school education in only two terms.

Garrison gave Whittier the job of editor of the "National Philanthropist", a Boston-based temperance weekly. Shortly after a change in management, Garrison reassigned him as editor of the weekly "American Manufacturer" in Boston. [Woodwell, 25] Whittier became an out-spoken critic of President Andrew Jackson, and by 1830 was editor of the prominent "New England Weekly Review" in Hartford, Connecticut, the most influential Whig journal in New England. In 1833 he published "The Song of the Vermonters, 1779," which he had anonymously inserted in "The New England Magazine". The poem was erroneously attributed to Ethan Allen for nearly sixty years.

Abolitionist activity

During the 1830s, Whittier became interested in politics, but after losing a Congressional election in 1832, he suffered a nervous breakdown and returned home at age twenty-five. The year 1833 was a turning point for Whittier; he resurrected his correspondence with Garrison, and the passionate abolitionist began to encourage the young Quaker to join his cause.

In 1833, Whittier published the antislavery pamphlet "Justice and Expediency", [Wagenknecht, 13] and from there dedicated the next twenty years of his life to the abolitionist cause. The controversial pamphlet destroyed all of his political hopes—as his demand for immediate emancipation alienated both northern businessmen and southern slaveholders—but it also sealed his commitment to a cause that he deemed morally correct and socially necessary. He was a founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society and signed the Anti-Slavery Declaration of 1833, which he often considered the most significant action of his life.

Whittier's political skill made him useful as a lobbyist, and his willingness to badger anti-slavery congressional leaders into joining the abolitionist cause was invaluable. From 1835 to 1838, he traveled widely in the North, attending conventions, securing votes, speaking to the public, and lobbying politicians. As he did so, Whittier received his fair share of violent responses, being several times mobbed, stoned, and run out of town. From 1838 to 1840, he was editor of "The Pennsylvania Freeman" in Philadelphia,Wagenknecht, 6] one of the leading antislavery papers in the North, formerly known as the "National Enquirer". In May 1838, the publication moved its offices to the newly-opened Pennsylvania Hall on North Sixth Street, which was shortly after burned by a pro-slavery mob. [Ehrlich, Eugene and Gorton Carruth. "The Oxford Illustrated Literary Guide to the United States". New York: Oxford University Press, 1982: 206. ISBN 0195031865] Whittier also continued to write poetry and nearly all of his poems in this period dealt with the problem of slavery.

By the end of the 1830s, the unity of the abolitionist movement had begun to fracture. Whittier stuck to his belief that moral action apart from political effort was futile. He knew that success required legislative change, not merely moral suasion. This opinion alone engendered a bitter split from Garrison,Fact|date=May 2008 and Whittier went on to become a founding member of the Liberty Party in 1839. By 1843, he was announcing the triumph of the fledgling party: "Liberty party is no longer an experiment. It is vigorous reality, exerting... a powerful influence". [Laurie, Bruce. "Beyond Garrison: Antislavery and Social Reform". New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005: 59. ISBN 0521605172] Whittier also unsuccessfully encouraged Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to join the party. [Laurie, Bruce. "Beyond Garrison: Antislavery and Social Reform". New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005: 60. ISBN 0521605172] He took editing jobs with the "Middlesex Standard" in Lowell, Massachusetts and the "Essex Transcript" in Amesbury until 1844. While in Lowell, he met Lucy Larcom, who became a lifelong friend. [Ehrlich, Eugene and Gorton Carruth. "The Oxford Illustrated Literary Guide to the United States". New York: Oxford University Press, 1982: 51. ISBN 0195031865]

In 1845, he began writing his essay "The Black Man" which included an anecdote about John Fountain, a free black who was jailed in Virginia for helping slaves escape. After his release, Fountain went on a speaking tour and thanked Whittier for writing his story. [Laurie, Bruce. "Beyond Garrison: Antislavery and Social Reform". New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005: 77. ISBN 0521605172]

Around this time, the stresses of editorial duties, worsening health, and dangerous mob violence caused him to have a physical breakdown. Whittier went home to Amesbury, and remained there for the rest of his life, ending his "active" participation in abolition. Even so, he continued to believe that the best way to gain abolitionist support was to broaden the Liberty Party’s political appeal, and Whittier persisted in advocating the addition of other issues to their platform. He eventually participated in the evolution of the Liberty Party into the Free Soil Party, and some say his greatest political feat was convincing Charles Sumner to run on the Free-Soil ticket for the U.S. Senate in 1850.

Beginning in 1847, Whittier was editor of Gamaliel Bailey's "The National Era", one of the most influential abolitionist newspapers in the North. For the next ten years it featured the best of his writing, both as prose and poetry. Being confined to his home and away from the action offered Whittier a chance to write better abolitionist poetry; he was even poet laureate for his party. Whittier's poems often used slavery to symbolize all kinds of oppression (physical, spiritual, economic), and his poems stirred up popular response because they appealed to feelings rather than logic.

Whittier produced two collections of antislavery poetry: "Poems Written during the Progress of the Abolition Question in the United States, between 1830 and 1838" and "Voices of Freedom" (1846). He was an elector in the presidential election of 1860 and of 1864, voting for Abraham Lincoln both times.Wagenknecht, 8]

The passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 ended both slavery and his public cause, so Whittier turned to other forms of poetry for the remainder of his life.

Later life

One of his most enduring works, "Snow-Bound", was first published in 1866. Whittier was surprised by its financial success, earning some $10,000 from the first edition.Wagenknecht, 7] In 1867, Whittier asked James Thomas Fields to get him a ticket to a reading by Charles Dickens during the British author's visit to the United States. After the event, he wrote a letter describing his experience:

Whittier spent the last few winters of his life, from 1876 to 1892, at Oak Knoll, the home of his cousins in Danvers, Massachusetts. [Ehrlich, Eugene and Gorton Carruth. "The Oxford Illustrated Literary Guide to the United States". New York: Oxford University Press, 1982: 46. ISBN 0195031865] Whittier died on September 7, 1892, at a friend's home in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. [Wagenknecht, 9] He is buried in Amesbury, Massachusetts. [ [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=1101 Whittier's listing at Find-A-Grave] , accessed May 28, 2008]


His first two published books were "Legends of New England" (1831) and the poem "Moll Pitcher" (1832). In 1833 he published "The Song of the Vermonters, 1779," which he had anonymously inserted in "The New England Magazine." The poem was erroneously attributed to Ethan Allen for nearly sixty years. In 1838, a mob burned Whittier out of his offices in the antislavery center of Pennsylvania Hall in Philadelphia.cite book| last = Sieczkiewicz | first = Robert | authorlink = | coauthors = | year =2007 | title =A Green Country Town: Essays on Philadelphia History | publisher =American College of Physicians| location = Philadelphia | id = ]

Highly regarded in his lifetime and for a period thereafter, he is now largely remembered for his patriotic poem "" and for a number of poems turned into hymns. Although Victorian in style, his hymns exhibit sentimentality, imagination and universalism which differ from other 19th century hymnsFact|date=September 2007. Another widely known piece is "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind," taken from his poem The Brewing of Soma. He also wrote a book speaking out against slavery in "Poems Written during the Progress of the Abolition Question". Whittier's Quaker beliefs are illustrated by the hymn that begins:

:"O Brother Man, fold to thy heart thy brother:":"Where pity dwells, the peace of God is there;":"To worship rightly is to love each other,":"Each smile a hymn, each kindly word a prayer."

Also shown in his poem "To Rönge" in honour of Johannes Ronge, the German religious figure and rebel leader of the 1848 rebellion in Germany:

:"Thy work is to hew down. In God's name then:":"Put nerve into thy task. Let other men;":"Plant, as they may, that better tree whose fruit,":"The wounded bosom of the Church shall heal."

Whittier's poem "At Port Royal 1861" describes the experience of Northern abolitionists arriving at Port Royal, South Carolina, as teachers and missionaries for the slaves who had been left behind when their owners fled because the Union Navy would arrive to blockade the coast. The poem includes the "Song of the Negro Boatmen," written in dialect:

:"Oh, praise an' tanks! De Lord he come":"To set de people free;":"An' massa tink it day ob doom,":"An' we ob jubilee.":"De Lord dat heap de Red Sea waves":"He jus' as 'trong as den;"

:"He say de word: we las' night slaves;":"To-day, de Lord's freemen.":"De yam will grow, de cotton blow,":"We'll hab de rice an' corn:":"Oh, nebber you fear, if nebber you hear":"De driver blow his horn!"

Of all the poetry inspired by the Civil War, the "Song of the Negro Boatmen" was one of the most widely printed,cite book| last = Epstein | first = Dena | authorlink = | coauthors = | year =2003 | title =Sinful Tunes and Spirituals: Black Folk Music to the Civil War | publisher =University of Illinois Press| location = Chicago | id = ] and though Whittier never actually visited Port Royal, an abolitionist working there described his "Song of the Negro Boatmen" as "wonderfully applicable as we were being rowed across Hilton Head Harbor among United States gunboats."cite journal
last = McKim
first = Lucy
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Songs of the Port Royal 'Contrabands'
journal = Dwight's Journal of Music
volume = 21
issue =
pages = 254–55
publisher =
location =
date = November 8, 1862
url =
doi =
id =
accessdate =


Nathaniel Hawthorne dismissed Whittier's "Literary Recreations and Miscellanies" (1854): "Whittier's book is poor stuff! I like the man, but have no high opinion either of his poetry or his prose". [Woodwell, 252]


Whittier's family farm, John Greenleaf Whittier Homestead also called "Whittier's Birthplace" is now a historic site open to the public. [Ehrlich, Eugene and Gorton Carruth. "The Oxford Illustrated Literary Guide to the United States". New York: Oxford University Press, 1982: 50. ISBN 0195031865] His later residence in Amesbury, where he lived for 56 years, is also open to the public, now known as the John Greenleaf Whittier Home. Whittier's hometown of Haverhill has named many buildings and landmarks in his honor including J.G. Whittier Middle School, Greenleaf Elementary, and Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School. There is also an elementary school in Philadelphia, John Greenleaf Whittier Elementary School at 27th and Clearfield Streets and Greenleaf Elementary in Oakland, CA named in his honor.

The alternate history story "P.'s Correspondence" (1846) by Nathaniel Hawthorne, considered the first such story ever published in English, includes the notice "Whittier, a fiery Quaker youth, to whom the muse had perversely assigned a battle-trumpet, got himself lynched, in South Carolina". The date of that event in Hawthorne's invented timeline was 1835.

A bridge named for Whittier, built in the style of the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges spanning Cape Cod Canal, carries Interstate 95 from Amesbury to Newburyport over the Merrimack River. The city of Whittier, California is named after the poet, as is the community of Whittier, Alaska, the Minneapolis neighborhood of Whittier and the town of Greenleaf, Idaho. Both Whittier College and Whittier Law School are also named after him. A covered bridge spanning the Bearcamp River in Ossipee, New Hampshire is also named for Whittier. [http://www.nh.gov/nhdhr/bridges/p87.html Whittier BridgeOssipee, New Hampshire]

List of works

Poetry collections
*"Lays of My Home" (1843)
*"Voices of Freedom" (1846)
*"Songs of Labor" (1850)
*"The Chapel of the Hermits" (1853)
*"Home Ballads" (1860)
*"The Furnace Blast" (1862)
*"In War Time" (1864)
*"Snow-Bound" (1866)
*"The Tent on the Beach" (1867)
*"Among the Hills" (1869)
*"The Pennsylvania Pilgrim" (1872)
*"The Vision of Echard" (1878)
*"The King's Missive" (1881)
*"Saint Gregory's Guest" (1886)
*"At Sundown" (1890)

*"The Stranger in Lowell" (1845)
*"The Supernaturalism of New England" (1847)
*"Leaves from Margaret Smith's Journal" (1849)
*"Old Portraits and Modern Sketches" (1850)
*"Literary Recreations and Miscellanies" (1854)

Further reading

* Pickard, John B. "John Greenleaf Whittier: An Introduction and Interpretation". New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1961.



*Wagenknecht, Edward. "John Greenleaf Whittier: A Portrait in Paradox". New York: Oxford University Press, 1967.
*Woodwell, Roland H. "John Greenleaf Whittier: A Biography". Haverhill, Massachusetts: Trustees of the John Greenleaf Whittier Homestead, 1985.

External links

* [http://www.anb.org/articles/16/16-01765.html American National Biography Online: John Greenleaf Whittier]
* [http://www.kimopress.com/whittier.htm Whittier autobiography & poems]
* [http://www.cyberhymnal.org/bio/w/h/i/whittier_jg.htm Whittier biography & hymns]
* [http://www.two17records.com Audio of Greenleaf's works by Michael Maglaras]
* [http://www.two17records.com The Whittier Bi-centennial Recording Project] , featuring the poem "Snow-Bound" read by Michael MaglarasSites
* [http://johngreenleafwhittier.com/ Whittier Family Homestead and Birthplace of John Greenleaf Whittier]
* [http://www.essexheritage.org/visiting/placestovisit/listofsitesbycommunity/amesbury_whittier-home.shtml John Greenleaf Whittier Home, Amesbury, Massachusetts]

Источник: John Greenleaf Whittier

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