This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 two remarkable personalities. During the next two years Whittier published in the Haverhill Gazette nearly one hundred poems, besides prose articles on Burns, War, and Temperance. In 1828, a volume to be entitled The poems of Adrian was projected, but this venture was abandoned. In the summer of that year his schooldays came to an end, and he began to look about for a means of earning his living. An offer was made him of the editorship of The philanthropist, a paper devoted to the cause of what is called ‘temperance’ in the current perverted sense of that term, but this offer he declined in a letter containing this significant confession: ‘I would rather have the memory of a Howard, a Wilberforce, and a Clarkson than the undying fame of Byron.’ By this time, he had acquired a considerable local reputation as a young writer of promise, and various modest openings already lay in his path. During the next four years of his life (1828-32), Whittier was the editor of papers in Boston and Haverhill, and of The New England review, in Hartford, Connecticut, besides contributing to many others. He became a partisan of Clay and the protective system, and looked askance at Jackson, ‘the blood-thirsty old man at the head of our government.’ The death of the elder Whittier in 1830 kept him for some time in Haverhill for the settlement of the family affairs. His interest in politics became more and more pronounced, and he thought seriously of standing for an election to Congress in 1832 but gave up the idea because he would, at the time of the election, be a few weeks short of the legal age requirement. When he identified himself, the next year, with the unpopular cause of the abolitionists, he gave up all hopes of political advancement. Whittier's first published book was entitled Legends of New England, in prose and verse. It appeared in 1831, and was followed in 1832 by a pamphlet containing Moll Pitcher. Both these publications he afterwards did his best to suppress. Reform still appealed to him even more than poetry, and he wrote upon one occasion: ‘I set a higher value on my name as appended to the Antislavery Declaration of 1833 than on the title-page of any book.’ This Declaration was issued by the Convention held in Philadelphia, in 1833, to which Whittier
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.