them without the ability to read, until his uncle had finally to recall him to his senses and his work.
Again and again, however, he would steal a glance at the paper to assure himself that he had not been mistaken.
Subsequently, when Mr. Garrison
(accompanied by a friend) sought out his new contributor, the boy was again at work in the field, barefooted, and clad only in shirt, pantaloons, and straw hat; and on being summoned to the house by his sister, he slipped in at the back door in order to put on his shoes and coat before presenting himself shyly and awkwardly to the visitors, whose errand was as yet unknown to him. Before Mr. Garrison
had spoken more than a few encouraging words to him, the father appeared on the scene, anxious to learn the motive of this unusual call.
‘Is this Friend Whittier
was the inquiry.
‘Yes,’ he responded.
‘We want to see you about your son.’
‘Why, what has the boy been doing?’
he asked anxiously, and was visibly relieved to learn that the visit was one of friendly interest, merely.
To the young Quaker
lad, then in his nineteenth year, it was a most important event, determining his career, for the encouragement he now received from Mr. Garrison
, aided by the latter's impressive appeal to his parents, gave him his first resolution to get a good education.
By sewing slippers at the shoemaker's bench, he earned enough to pay for his tuition at the Haverhill Academy
the following spring.
The next winter he taught school, and was thus enabled to pay for another six months instruction at the Academy.
His subsequent introducttion to an editorial career continuing several years, and giving him valuable experience if not much pecuniary profit, was also brought about by Mr. Garrison
, as will be hereafter related, and thus began a life-long and unbroken friendship.
The Free Press
of September 14, 1826, completed the sixth month of the paper's existence, and the editor, in mentioning the fact, stated that the encouragement received had equalled his expectations.
‘He was well ’