John Greenleaf Whittier

1807-1892. American Quaker poet and abolitionist. Born near Haverhill, Massachusetts, he had little formal education, but read extensively. His first book of poems was published in 1831. In 1833 he entered politics as an abolitionist, served in the Massachusetts legislature (1835), and was an important writer in the antislavery movement. He broke with W.L. Garrison by 1843, but continued a political activist, influencing the formation of the Republican Party and supporting Lincoln for the U.S. presidency. After the Civil War, poetry was his main interest and he became popular, especially on the rural New England themes that appear in his best-known work, Snow-Bound (1866). In old age he turned to religious verse, and his “Dear Lord and Father of mankind” and “Immortal Love forever full” are still widely used.