John Greenleaf Whittier was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts on December 17, 1807. His parents were both devout Quakers and he had very little formal schooling. He had his first poem published in 1826, “The Exile’s Departure." He supported himself thoughout school as a shoemaker and schoolteacher. He gained the attention of editors and abolitionists by the age of 20 and began working passionately for a series of abolitionist newspapers and magazines. He was involved in politics but has an unsuccessful run at a congressional seat in 1832. His first book was published the year prior but after Whittier focused mainly on essays, articles and poems. In 1834 he was elected as a Whig for one term to the Massachusetts legislature before founding the antislavery Liberty party in 1840. His most popular work, Snow-Bound was published in 1866 and sold more than 20,000 copies. He died in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, in September, 1892.
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