John Greenleaf Whittier, an American poet, born in Haverhill, Mass., Dec. 17, 1807. His parents belonged to the society of Friends, of which he is also a member. He worked on the farm till his 20th year, attended Haverhill academy two years, and in 1829 became editor of the " American Manufacturer" in Boston, and in 1830 of the "New England Weekly Review" at Hartford. But he soon returned to the farm, and in 1835-6 was a member of the Massachusetts legislature. In 1836 he was appointed secretary of the American anti-slavery society, and removed to Philadelphia, where in 1838-'9 he edited the "Pennsylvania Freeman," the office of which was sacked and burned by a mob. From this time he was one of the most prominent anti-slavery men in the country, and his writings, both prose and poetry, were largely in support of that cause. In 1840 he removed to Amesbury, Mass., where he still resides (1876), and in 1847 became corresponding editor of the "National Era," an anti-slavery newspaper published in Washington. He has never married.

His prose publications are: "Legends of New England," partly in verse (Hartford, 1831); "Justice and Expediency, or Slavery Considered with a View to its Abolition" (1833); " The Stranger in Lowell" (1845); "Supernaturalism in New England" (1847); "Leaves from Margaret Smith's Journal" (1849); " Old Portraits and Modern Sketches " (1850); and "Literary Recreations" (1854). His poetical works include "Mogg Megone" (Boston, 1836); "Ballads" (1838); "Lays of my Home, and other Poems" (1843); "The Bridal of Pennacook" (1848); "The Voices of Freedom" (Philadelphia, 1849); "Songs of Labor, and other Poems" (Boston, 1850); " The Chapel of the Hermits, and other Poems " (1853); " The Panorama, and other Poems" (1856); "Home Ballads and Poems" (1860); " In War Time, and other Poems" (1863); "Snow-Bound" (1866); "The Tent on the Beach, and other Poems" (1867); "Among the Hills, and other Poems " (1868); " Miriam, and other Poems" (1870); "The Pennsylvania. Pilgrim, and other Poems" (1872); "Mabel Martin " (1874); and " Hazel Blossoms " (1875). Several collective editions have been published. As a poet Whittier is more peculiarly American than any other of equal fame.

His poems have been largely inspired by current events, and their patriotic, democratic, and humane spirit gives a strong hold upon the public. He wrote a hymn for the opening of the centennial exhibition at Philadelphia in 1876.