represents a stock different from that of the Longfellows, but equally American, equally thoroughbred: the Essex County Quaker
farmer of Massachusetts
The homestead in which he was born in 1807, at East Haverhill, had been built by his great-great-grandfather in 1688. Mount Vernon
and the Craigie House
are newer than this by two generations.
The house has been restored to the precise aspect it had in Whittier
's boyhood: and the garden, lawn, and brook, even the door-stone and bridlepost and the barn across the road are witnesses to the fidelity of the descriptions in Snow-bound
The neighborhood is still a lonely one.
The youth grew up in seclusion, yet in contact with a few great ideas, chief among them Liberty.
“My father,” he said, “was an old-fashioned Democrat, and really believed in the Preamble of the Bill of Rights
which reaffirmed the Declaration of Independence
The taciturn father transmitted to his sons a hatred of kingcraft and priestcraft, the inward moral freedom of the Quaker
touched with humanitarian passion.
The spirit of a boyhood in this homestead is veraciously told in The Barefoot boy, School-days, snow-bound, Ramoth Hill
, and Telling the Bees
It was a chance