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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, John Greenleaf Whittier, Chapter 1: childhood (search)
, apart from poetic quality, they were alike; both being modest, serene, unselfish, brave, industrious, and generous. They either shared, or made up between them, the highest and most estimable qualities that mark poet or man. Whittier, like Garrison,--who first appreciated his poems,--was brought up apart from what Dr. Holmes loved to call the Brahmin class in America; those, namely, who were bred to cultivation by cultivated parents. Emerson, Longfellow, Holmes, Lowell, were essentially oto him by one of his teachers, Joshua Coffin, afterward a familiar figure for many years to the people of the neighbouring town of Newbury, whose town clerk and historian he wasa man of substantial figure, large head, cordial manners, and one of Garrison's twelve first abolitionists; a man whom I well remember in later years as being all that Whittier describes in him. The place where he is celebrated is in that delightful poem, To my old schoolmaster beginning Old friend, kind friend! lig
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, John Greenleaf Whittier, Chapter 2: school days and early ventures (search)
ed differences of opinion and action. William Lloyd Garrison, a young printer's apprentice, just emther history of its reception is thus told by Garrison in a lecture on Whittier, never printed by himself, but of which this extract is given by Garrison's biographers:-- Going upstairs to my off, rushed upon our memory, and we were silent. Garrison's life, I. 67, 68. The family tradition in to bring him to the house. Thus did he and Garrison first meet, and the latter expressed frankly mply from his own poverty. Whittier wrote to Garrison thirty years later (1859), recognising only t will come, ere long, with both hands full. Garrison's Journal of the Times, Dec. 5, 1828; Life, I the American Manufacturer in Boston. When Garrison was in England at a great Antislavery Convent because he could not support a slaveholder. Garrison's life,I. 190. The relation between Garrialled themselves Inquirers after truth. W. L. Garrison to Inquirers after truth. Boston, March [8 more...]
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, John Greenleaf Whittier, Chapter 4: Enlistment for life (search)
n literature became his leader in reforms. William Lloyd Garrison, who had sought him at the plough as a boy,rhill Gazette in November, 1831, a poem, To William Lloyd Garrison, and from that time forward his career was ier took the editorship of the New England Review, Garrison had been imprisoned in Baltimore as an abolitionisell. Whittier had been at first friendly, like Garrison, to the Colonisation Society, and had believed heaagainst that whole enterprise. He received from Garrison, in 1833, an invitation to attend as a delegate th in December. In answer to this call, he wrote to Garrison from Haverhill, Nov. 11, 1831:-- Thy letter otell me when thee shall start for the Quaker City. Garrison's life, I. 393-94. The obstacle being removed n was due largely to the leader of the convention, Garrison. In a paper published in the Atlantic Monthly, foeen deputed by the abolitionists of the city, William L. Garrison, Samuel E. Sewall, and others, to inform me o
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, John Greenleaf Whittier, Chapter 6: a division in the ranks (search)
the matter in his introduction to Oliver Johnson's William Lloyd Garrison and his Times. I do not know that any word oe can give additional interest to this memorial of William Lloyd Garrison from the pen of one of his earliest and most devotizenship at the ballot-box in the cause of liberty, while Garrison, with equal sincerity, judged and counselled otherwise. eat happiness of labouring with the noble company of whom Garrison was the central figure. I love to think of him as he seeonce, in the antislavery movement, to dissent widely from Garrison and his more immediate circle in regard to those reformer able woman, Mrs. Lydia Maria Child, always differed from Garrison and his more intimate followers in the view they took of himself, in spite of his vast influence with a class whom Garrison had as yet scarcely touched, was always regarded with dis and yet have been a Quaker still; just as his old friend Garrison, through all the fugitive slave cases in Boston, kept ste
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, John Greenleaf Whittier, Chapter 7: Whittier as a social reformer (search)
from the Calvinist of the straitest sect to the infidel and scoffer. Half of the forenoon of the first day was spent in debating whether the convention should be organised by the choice of president and secretary, or whether these old-fashioned restraints should be set aside as unworthy of advocates of the largest liberty, leaving each member to do and say what seemed right in his own eyes! It was finally decided to have a president. Then came on a discussion about the Sabbath, in which Garrison and two transcendental Unitarians, and a woman by the name of Folsom, argued that every day should be held sacred; that it was not a rest from labour but from sin that was wanted; that keeping First day as holy was not required, etc. On the other hand, Amos A. Phelps, Dr. Osgood, and some others contended for the Calvinistic and generally received views of the subject. Dr. Channing, John Pierpont, and many other distinguished men were present, but took no part in the discussions. No Frien
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, John Greenleaf Whittier, Chapter 8: personal qualities (search)
boyish interview. In comparing his whole life with that of his early friend Garrison, one must observe the fact that, while there was but a slight difference in their ages, Garrison was at first the leader, Whittier the follower. On the other hand, we notice that differences of temperament soon showed themselves and told both vantage with a later generation. Whittier, for instance, was childless; while Garrison left behind him a family of children to carry on his unfinished work, to writeies. It is difficult, however, to read those very memoirs without seeing that Garrison encountered in life some drawbacks which grew out of his own temperament, that chance not to agree with him. Wendell's Literary history of America, p. 359. Garrison, again, had the experience, almost unique among reformers, of triumphing, as iion. Step by step, Whittier saw his own political opinions established; while Garrison lived to be content in seeing his specific counsels set aside and his aims acc
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, John Greenleaf Whittier, Chapter 10: the religious side (search)
t of ten of really thoughtful people, were they to express their real feeling, would speak much as thee do, of the mingled dread and longing with which they look forward to the inevitable surrender of life. Of course, temperament and present surroundings have much influence with us. There are some self-satisfied souls who, as Charles Lamb says, can stalk into futurity on stilts; but there are more Fearings and Despondencys than Greathearts in view of the loss of all we know. I have heard Garrison talk much of his faith in spiritualism. He had no doubts whatever, and he was very happy. Death was to him but the passing from one room to another and higher one. But his facts did not convince me. I am slow to believe new things, and in a matter of such tremendous interest, I want assurance doubly sure. I wonder whether, if I could see a real ghost, I should believe my own senses. I do sometimes feel very near to dear ones who have left me — perhaps they are with me then. I am sure
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, John Greenleaf Whittier, Chapter 11: early loves and love poetry (search)
ifferent figures that go flitting by me, like aerial creatures just stooping down to our dull earth, to take a view of the beautiful creations of the painter's genius. I love to watch their airy motions, notice the dark brilliancy of their fine eyes, and observe the delicate flush stealing over their cheeks, but, trust me, my heart is untouched,--cold and motionless as a Jutland lake lighted up by the moonshine. I always did love a pretty girl. Heaven grant there is no harm in it! . .. Mr. Garrison will deliver an address on the Fourth of July. He goes to see his Dulcinea every other night almost, but is fearful of being shipped off, after all, by her. Lord help the poor fellow, if it happens so. I like my business very well; but hang me if I like the people here. I am acquainted with a few girls, and have no wish to be so with many. Pickard's Whittier, I. 93-4. Mr. Pickard however assures us that there are many similar passages in Whittier's early letters; and this boyish sem
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, John Greenleaf Whittier, Chapter 12: Whittier the poet (search)
the higher law that takes note of exceptions. Some of his verse, as a pattern for verse hereafter, is not what it might have been if he had consecrated himself to poetry as an art; but it is memorably connected with historic times, and his rudest shafts of song were shot true and far and tipped with flame. . . . His songs touched the hearts of his people. It was the generation which listened in childhood to the Voices of Freedom, that fulfilled their prophecies .... After the war, Garrison, at last crowned with honour, and rejoicing in the consummation of his work, was seldom heard. Whittier, in his hermitage, the resort of many pilgrims, as steadily renewed his song. The poem in which Stedman finds the highest claim to have been made by Whittier as a natural balladist is the following:-- Cassandra Southwick It is a story of 1658, of a young Quaker girl sentenced in Boston, for her religion, to be transported to Virginia, and there sold as a slave. She is brought
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, John Greenleaf Whittier, Index. (search)
G. Garibaldi, Giuseppe, 112. Garrison, William Lloyd, 2, 18, 32, 34, 49-52, 57, 78, 81, 12tier's verses to, 54, 55; on Concord mob, 61; Garrison mob, 62; his party, 68; his tribute to Whittison, Thomas, 69. Johnson, Oliver, his William Lloyd Garrison and his Times, mentioned, 72; introduc, 22, 24, 25, 28, 29; early acquaintance with Garrison, 22-24; edits American Manufacturer, 25,34; relation to Garrison, 26, 27, 66, 67, 69, 71, 72, 87; his Justice and expediency, mentioned, 27, 40; M. McKim's description of, 54; his verses to Garrison, 54, 55; encounters first violence in antislaperiod, 65; a leader of the Disunionists, 68; Garrison's tribute to, 72; his tribute to Garrison, 72Garrison, 72-75; differs from Garrison, 75; writes to Channing, 75; first edition of poems, 76; moves to AmesburGarrison, 75; writes to Channing, 75; first edition of poems, 76; moves to Amesbury, 77; service to freedom, 77; Quaker principle, 78; interest in reform, 80; his Tent on the beach, tts to Virginia, mentioned, 95; compared with Garrison, 95, 96; his generosity 96-98; his kindness,