Author: Samuel T. Pickard
Publisher: Forgotten Books
Release Date: 2017-12-16
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Excerpt from Life and Letters of John Greenleaf Whittier, Vol. 1 of 2 Mr. Whittier's editorial work upon partisan papers developed a taste for politics and ambition for political preferment, as shown by letters now for the first time published. These letters do not fairly represent him when judged by the tenor of his later life, but without them we could have no true idea of his early manhood, and of the great change which marked his religious, literary, and political life when about twenty-seven years of age. Previous to this time, while irreproachable in morals, no deep conviction of duty seems to have nerved him to self-denying, heroic action. He was evidently looking forward to a political rather than a literary career. Comparatively little has hitherto been known of the first thirty years of his life, beyond the fact that he edited political papers in Boston, Haverhill, and Hartford, and it may surprise his friends of the present generation to find that he was an aspirant for congressional honors, which, but for the constitutional limit as to age, he had a fair prospect of obtaining, in a district where he enjoyed exceptional popularity. As a power in politics, even when working in a small minority, Whittier has never been rightly estimated. In several of his poems he speaks of his consecration to the cause of freedom as involv ing a change in all the motives of his life; butthis has not hitherto been taken so literally as it will now be seen was intended. While his serious work at this period was in politics, he was at the same time winning reputation as a poet, by verses which, though highly complimented by poets and critics of national repute, were suppressed by the more cultivated taste and judgment of his later years. At the age of twenty-five we find him entering upon a contest in which every talent was to be used as a weapon of assault against a system which he had no reason to suppose would be overthrown in his day. In this field, the skill he had acquired in politics was not thrown away, and we can read ily understand why he favored the political wing of the anti-slavery forces. With his genius for statecraft, nothing else could have been expected, and the reader can but admire the skill he exer cised in keeping his despised cause before the peo ple, and compelling the unwilling help of able men, who at heart were opposed to his aims and measures. As the trusted adviser of statesmen, the extent of his inﬂuence has never been fully appreciated beyond the circle of his intimate friends. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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Author: Samuel Thomas Pickard
Publisher: Palala Press
Release Date: 2015-09-16
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