John Greenleaf Whittier Home Museum

John Greenleaf Whittier Home Museum The John Greenleaf Whittier home is a National Historic Landmark. It showcases how the Quaker poet and abolitionist lived and where he wrote.

From 1836 until his death in 1892, John Greenleaf Whittier lived and wrote most of his poetry and prose here in this Amesbury, MA home. Built circa 1829, this classic New England farmhouse retains the decor and structure of the home as Whittier and his family knew it during the mid- and late 1800s. Members of the Whittier Home Association, founded in 1898, are stewards of Whittier's Amesbury home and museum. While it serves as a National Historic Landmark and tribute to the Quaker poet and the anti-slavery champion who made outstanding contributions to the life and literature of this country, it also plays an important role in the region’s contemporary literary scene, attracting writers from Greater Boston and beyond. We invite you to learn more about the Whittier Home and Museum, and to share in the legacy of one of the most important poets of the 19th century.

Temporarily closed

08/14/2020
Tapestry of Voices 2020

Tapestry of Voices 2020

The 22nd Annual Tapestry of Voices Poetry Reading, in
collaboration with the Whittier Home Association, was held on
August 9th, 2020 3:00 to 5:00 pm. as a virtual event.

It was dedicated to the memory of Congressman John Lewis, recently deceased, and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

You can see a recording of the event at:
https://youtu.be/esYq5zJjq0I

For the last 21 years the Tapestry of Voices has held a poetry reading in honor of John Greenleaf Whittier in the wonderful gardens in the "Whittier Home" in...

08/14/2020
A virtual tour of the Whittier Home

The home museum is closed for in-person visits, but you can now take a tour virtually! We hope you'll enjoy visiting our Quaker poet and abolitionist's Amesbury home on a tour led by Whittier Home Association president Chris Bryant, with filming by her able husband, Peter Bryant.

This is a tour around the Whittier Home where John Greanleaf Whittier spent most of his adult life and wrote the poem Snowbound in 1866. He was one of the co...

Flatbread Fundraiser for Poetry is tomorrow, Tuesday August 11th.  Please come for great pizza and support Poetry in Ame...
08/10/2020

Flatbread Fundraiser for Poetry is tomorrow, Tuesday August 11th. Please come for great pizza and support Poetry in Amesbury.

JOIN YOUR FRIENDS AND SUPPORT OUR POET LAUREATE PROGRAM. Whether you do a take-out or enjoy a 'safe distancing' meal, join us at the Amesbury Flatbreat in the Upper Millyard.

Even in the midst of a pandemic life goes on! And, you gotta eat! Order a pizza on August 11th in support of our Poet Laureate program!

Whittier Home's annual Tapestry of Voices poetry reading this afternoon was held by Zoom instead of the garden. Debbie S...
08/09/2020

Whittier Home's annual Tapestry of Voices poetry reading this afternoon was held by Zoom instead of the garden. Debbie Szabo, English teacher atNewburyport High School, was one of the readers today.

JOIN YOUR FRIENDS AND SUPPORT OUR POET LAUREATE PROGRAM. Whether you do a take-out or enjoy a 'safe distancing' meal, jo...
08/04/2020

JOIN YOUR FRIENDS AND SUPPORT OUR POET LAUREATE PROGRAM. Whether you do a take-out or enjoy a 'safe distancing' meal, join us at the Amesbury Flatbreat in the Upper Millyard.

Even in the midst of a pandemic life goes on! And, you gotta eat! Order a pizza on August 11th in support of our Poet Laureate program!

Frederick Douglass' complicated relationship with Lincoln revealed in this Washington Post article. He was troubled with...
06/28/2020
Frederick Douglass delivered a Lincoln reality check at Emancipation Memorial unveiling

Frederick Douglass' complicated relationship with Lincoln revealed in this Washington Post article. He was troubled with the Emancipation Monument in Lincoln Park DC, but —

"In the speech, Douglass concluded that despite Lincoln’s failings, he should be remembered for the great accomplishment of freeing thousands of enslaved people.
“Though he loved Caesar less than Rome, though the union was more to him than our freedom or our future,” Douglass said, “under his wise and beneficent rule we saw ourselves gradually lifted from the depths of slavery to the heights of liberty and manhood.”

During the speech, Douglass said Lincoln was "the white man's president, devoted to the welfare of white men."

Local story about the vandalism of the Whittier statue in Whittier, CA.
06/22/2020
Damage to Whittier statue causes ripples on both coasts

Local story about the vandalism of the Whittier statue in Whittier, CA.

AMESBURY — Recent civil unrest appears to have led to the vandalism of a statue of the 19th century abolitionist poet John Greenleaf Whittier in Whittier, California.

Here are photos taken of the Whittier statue in Central Park in Whittier, CA. You can see how enormous it is and it loca...
06/16/2020

Here are photos taken of the Whittier statue in Central Park in Whittier, CA. You can see how enormous it is and it located near the children's playground. It was specially commissioned to honor him. I visited the city in 2007, saw the JGW archives at Whittier College, and was shown about town by a woman from a Quaker parish (not a meeting, but a church.)

WHITTIER STATUE VANDALIZED IN CA. JGW never wanted a statue of himself erected, but in Whittier, CA (the town named afte...
06/16/2020
Statue of abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier vandalized in his namesake city

WHITTIER STATUE VANDALIZED IN CA. JGW never wanted a statue of himself erected, but in Whittier, CA (the town named after him), there is a charming one of him sitting in a comfortable armchair. It is enormous and I think Whittier might be amused that children scramble up and sit on his lap. But during the protests last weekend it was vandalized with spray paint. Whoever was responsible probably did not know that JGW was an abolitionist and worked to end slavery.
https://www.whittierdailynews.com/2020/06/15/statue-of-abolitionist-john-greenleaf-whittier-vandalized-in-his-namesake-city/

The city is named after the poet, editor and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier.

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress" is still true today.Frederick Douglass, a friend of Whittier, gave one o...
06/05/2020
(1857) Frederick Douglass, "If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Progress" •

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress" is still true today.
Frederick Douglass, a friend of Whittier, gave one of his most important speeches about freedom in 1857.

On August 3, 1857, Frederick Douglass delivered a “West India Emancipation” speech at Canandaigua, New York, on the twenty-third anniversary of the event. Most of the address was a history of British efforts toward emancipation as well as a reminder of the crucial role of … Read More(1857) Fre...

An early walk took us by people hard at work keeping the Home in good repair, with foundation repairs and fence upkeep. ...
05/27/2020

An early walk took us by people hard at work keeping the Home in good repair, with foundation repairs and fence upkeep. Thankful for small local historical museums - especially this one!

04/14/2020
Dan Rather

Dan Rather recites a Whittier poem from his youth - timeless.

A poem for this day, and likely many days ahead. “Don't Quit” by John Greenleaf Whittier.

During the epidemic of 1918 flu cases locally, Emily Binney Smith, first President of the Whittier Home Association appe...
04/05/2020

During the epidemic of 1918 flu cases locally, Emily Binney Smith, first President of the Whittier Home Association appealed: "If there are any who have taken first aid instruction who would be willing to aid in the local work they would confer a great favor by notifying Mrs. E. B. Smith. (Amesbury Daily News, September 28, 1918, page 3.)

Since its founding in 1898, the WHA was as much a community social service organization as an historical one. They prepared bandages during WW1, created Thanksgiving and Christmas packages for persons in need in Amesbury and endeavors that now would be handled by town or county government services
The Amesbury Carriage Museum shares other facts from historical records. https://mailchi.mp/b5e3ce3aa9b2/newsletters-1430172?fbclid=IwAR07PujMRKTyU4RlAUUrrgZi4oCSfjiQscb32eAH9S8TIXuu3ngJ2hnN-JA

1918 Flu Epidemic in Amesbury - A Desperate Call for Medical Workers - https://mailchi.mp/b5e3ce3aa9b2/newsletters-1430172

A cool find from Amesbury resident Susan Hopkinson Dodge: "I found this interesting piece in a recent Country Living mag...
03/09/2020

A cool find from Amesbury resident Susan Hopkinson Dodge: "I found this interesting piece in a recent Country Living magazine."

03/09/2020

News Flash: the 10th annual Celebrating Whittier event to be held on March 22nd has been POSTPONED in light of the covid-19 virus. We hope to reschedule this fabulous tea honoring the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage later in the year. All ticket purchases will be honored.

What a remarkable man and one that might well have inspired the abolition efforts in America especially of Whittier and ...
02/13/2020
William Wilberforce

What a remarkable man and one that might well have inspired the abolition efforts in America especially of Whittier and Garrison. Interesting dates: Whittier was born in 1807 and in 1833 published his first anti-slavery essay thus beginning his abolition work for the next 30+ years.

Antislavery politician

01/23/2020

Save the date! the Whittier Home presents the 10th Annual Celebrating Whittier to be held on March 22nd, 2:00 p.m., at the Friends Meetinghouse in Amesbury, MA. The cost is $30 per person, children under 14 are free.

The event features a presentation by Ron and Donna Lasko entitled “HATS OFF TO WOMEN!” The program commemorates the 100th anniversary of American women achieving their right to vote and celebrates the spirit that has paved the way for future women’s rights progress.

This church may have started out in a Quaker tradition, but changed over time. Not what one might see in the Amesbury me...
01/01/2020
Your Turn: Quakertown Church and memories of a simpler time

This church may have started out in a Quaker tradition, but changed over time. Not what one might see in the Amesbury meeting. Memories of the Quakertown Church (Connecticut) and a simpler time—

When I grew up in Old Mystic in the 1950s, my family attended a former meetinghouse in Ledyard founded by the Rogerene Quakers in the 18th century.

Happy birthday, John Greenleaf Whittier (Dec. 17, 1807 - Sept. 7, 1892)! #Quaker. #Pacifist. #Abolitionist. Poet. Hymn w...
12/17/2019

Happy birthday, John Greenleaf Whittier (Dec. 17, 1807 - Sept. 7, 1892)! #Quaker. #Pacifist. #Abolitionist. Poet. Hymn writer. "In 1847, he became editor of "The National Era," one of the most influential abolitionist newspapers of the time. Born in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Died in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. Buried in Union Cemetery, Amesbury, Massachusetts."
~The Marginal Mennonite Society Heroes Series.

Happy birthday, John Greenleaf Whittier (Dec. 17, 1807 - Sept. 7, 1892)! #Quaker. #Pacifist. #Abolitionist. Poet. Hymn writer. In 1847, he became editor of "The National Era," one of the most influential abolitionist newspapers of the time. Born in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Died in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. Buried in Union Cemetery, Amesbury, Massachusetts.
~The Marginal Mennonite Society Heroes Series.

Join us for the annual Holiday Open House this Sunday.
12/11/2019

Join us for the annual Holiday Open House this Sunday.

The first woman to earn a PhD in the US —White was raised by Quaker parents who believed, contrary to the practice of th...
12/04/2019

The first woman to earn a PhD in the US —White was raised by Quaker parents who believed, contrary to the practice of the time, in giving girls the same quality of education as boys

Helen Magill White -- the first woman to earn a PhD in the United States -- was born on this day in 1853. White was raised by Quaker parents who believed, contrary to the practice of the time, in giving girls the same quality of education as boys. As a teenager, she enrolled as the only female student in the Boston Public Latin School and later at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the college's first graduating class in 1873. She went on to attend graduate school at Boston University, earning a PhD in Greek in 1877. White later taught for a time at Evelyn College, the women's college of Princeton University and, in 1883, she was hired to organize Howard Collegiate Institute, a new women's college in Massachusetts.

For several books to introduce children to trailblazing American women, we highly recommend "Baby Feminists" for ages 0 to 3 (https://www.amightygirl.com/baby-feminists), "She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World" for ages 5 to 9 (https://www.amightygirl.com/she-persisted) and "Rad American Women A-Z" for ages 10 and up (https://www.amightygirl.com/rad-american-women-a-z)

For more books for children and teens about pioneering female role models from around the world, visit our "Role Model Biography" section at http://amgrl.co/2wRJudE

And, for stories of both real-life and fictional girls and women who overcame prejudice to pursue their dreams, visit our "Gender Discrimination" book section at http://amgrl.co/2Au4ogX

11/30/2019

PBS featured Haverhill's own Brenda Wineapple along with two other historians the other night discussing the impeachment process. Her recent book, 'The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation,' is the timely telling of the first-ever impeachment of an American president that Ron Chernow called "superbly lyrical" and the 'Washington Post' hailed as "riveting."

Wineapple has been a featured speaker at The Whittier Home Museum in Amesbury.

PBS featured Haverhill's own Brenda Wineapple along with two other historians discussing the impeachment process. Her re...
11/30/2019

PBS featured Haverhill's own Brenda Wineapple along with two other historians discussing the impeachment process. Her recent book, 'The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation,' is the timely telling of the first-ever impeachment of an American president that Ron Chernow called "superbly lyrical" and the 'Washington Post' hailed as "riveting."
Wineapple has been a featured speaker at The Whittier Home.

Please join us for our annual Holiday Open House December 15 from 1-5. Music, refreshments, and holiday cheer!
11/21/2019

Please join us for our annual Holiday Open House December 15 from 1-5. Music, refreshments, and holiday cheer!

A reminder (because she passed away two months ago) that Longtime Whittier Home member Annie Tunstall's memorial service...
11/12/2019

A reminder (because she passed away two months ago) that Longtime Whittier Home member Annie Tunstall's memorial service is this Saturday, November 16, at the Amesbury Friends Meetinghouse (corner of Friend and Greenleaf) at 10:30 AM. You are most welcome to join us to celebrate the life of this remarkable woman. You can park at Jutras Funeral Home if needed. https://obituaries.newburyportnews.com/obituary/anne-w-tunstall-1077231825

Whittier may well have written his poetry in the last century much as Wendell Berry expresses in this poem, which ends w...
10/22/2019

Whittier may well have written his poetry in the last century much as Wendell Berry expresses in this poem, which ends with:

". . .Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came."

How to be a Poet
(to remind myself)
by Wendell Berry

i
Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity…

ii
Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensional life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

iii
Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.

The memorial service for Whittier Home member Dawn Bennett is today, Saturday, September 21, at the First Religious Soci...
09/21/2019
Remembering the life of Dawn C. Bennett 1931 - 2019

The memorial service for Whittier Home member Dawn Bennett is today, Saturday, September 21, at the First Religious Society Unitarian/Universalist Church in Newburyport at 10:30 am.
Dawn was Chair of the Docent Committee for many years bringing enthusiasm for Whittier and his legacy with her tours for visitors. Her obituary is attached.
http://obituaries.newburyportnews.com/obituary/dawn-c-bennett-1077138214D

Dawn C. Bennett passed away 2019-08-28 in Newburyport, MA. This is the full obituary story where you can express condolences and share memories.

Garrison wasn't the only person or newspaper editor who admired the young Whittier's poetry. This is one printed in the ...
09/12/2019

Garrison wasn't the only person or newspaper editor who admired the young Whittier's poetry. This is one printed in the Salem Essex Register, 1827.

In 1827, the editors of Salem's Essex Register, were very impressed with the genius of a young Haverhill poet, and printed "Ocean" on the front page, right below the masthead on April 2nd, 1827.

This "young man of genius" was none other than a young John Greenleaf Whittier, who thankfully did not "forsake the lyre"

"Ocean" appeared in "John Greenleaf Whittier, The Poetical Works in four volumes" 1892. Under "Early and Uncollected Verses"

So many leaders have spoken about the inequalities between the races: from Whittier and his friend, Frederick Douglass, ...
08/29/2019
On this day in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech

So many leaders have spoken about the inequalities between the races: from Whittier and his friend, Frederick Douglass, to Booker T Washington and Martin Luther King. It's been almost 60 years since King's most famous speech.

His pivotal speech not only helped bring the Civil Rights Movement even more to the forefront, it also pressured Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act, which they did the following year.

Docents are always ready to learn from our visitors as well as share Whittier's legacy and his home. Last Saturday we ha...
08/28/2019

Docents are always ready to learn from our visitors as well as share Whittier's legacy and his home. Last Saturday we had a special visitor—a researcher and collector of all things Whittier (and more)—who delighted us for 2 hours with story after story during her tour. She left with a map to the Whittier family gravesite off Rte 110 and to the Amesbury trailhead of the W. L Garrison shared use path off Old Merrill Street.

My sincerest thanks to Anne Verret Speck and Pam Fenner for a wonderful morning/ afternoon spent at the Whittier Home in Amesbury Mass. It was such a moving experience to visit this amazing museum, and be so close to some of my favorite literary legends.

This museum is so special because it doesn't just have items "similar to what the person might have owned" as is often the case, but here, every item in the home belonged to Whittier or his family.

My favorite experience was being able to read from Whittier's personal copys of "Women's Worth and Worthlessness" and Wool Gathering" which were presented to him by Gail Hamilton, likely in this very room when she visited.

If you haven't had a chance to visit this New England treasure, I couldn't possibly recommend a better way to spend an afternoon, it's a true treasure, and so very worthy of our support and patronage.

More than 100+ years after Whittier and other abolitionists of the 19th century, there is still much to learn. An import...
08/17/2019
A Letter to White Teachers of My Black Children

More than 100+ years after Whittier and other abolitionists of the 19th century, there is still much to learn. An important article not just for teachers.

Dear White Teachers of My Black Children: I am a Black mom. I know it’s sometimes hard to decide whether to say Black or African-American. I used to identify as African-American because I loved hearing the reference to my ancestral homeland in my description of myself. But then to say Af

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86 Friend St
Amesbury, MA
01913

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As you can’t visit the home at present we invite you to take a 35 minute virtual tour. This is a shortened version of the tour which usually takes over an hour. Whittier lived here for most of his adult life. He wrote Snowbound here in 1866. He was the leading abolitionist poet in the USA. Whittier Home Tour
Whittier Home Tour https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbDzN7jmL8Q&feature=youtu.be As you can’t visit the home at present we invite you to take a 35 minute tour. Whittier lived here for most of his adult life. He wrote Snowbound here. He was also the countries leading abolitionist poet.
As we are not open to the public at present we invite you to take a virtual tour. This is where John Greenleaf Whittier spent most of his adult life and where wrote snowbound in 1866. He was also the leading abolitionist poet in the country. Whittier Home Tour https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbDzN7jmL8Q&feature=youtu.be Find out more at www.whittierhome.org
Unfortunately we are closed to visitors in 2020 but we wanted to still share the home, so we have created a Virtual Tour. The regular tours take over an hour and you have to be in Amesbury, MA.With this you can be anywhere. The tour takes 35 minutes and takes you round the 4 main rooms where John Greenleaf Whittier spent most of his adult life. It is full of fascinating facts and has some poetry readings. If you like it and are in the area after 2020 we would love you to see you, either on summer Saturdays or by special appointment. You can find the Tour Viideo at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbDzN7jmL8Q&feature=youtu.be More details on our website is: https://whittierhome.org/ Come and see where Snowbound was written and find out about Whittier's major contribution to abolitionist cause.
Is there anyone who does a John Greenleaf Whittier enactment in period costume?
I am not sure if this is the right venue to do this but going through some old boxes that I purchased I came across a small plate of The Whittier birthplace, Haverhill Massachusetts. On the back of the plate there is an older picture of John Greenleaf Whittier and the plate was made by Old English Staffordshire Ware and it was made in Staffordshire England and ported exclusively for John Greenleaf Whittier Homestead. I was hoping to find a collector or someone that may be interested in purchasing this plate, if anyone is interested please reach out and contact me, Jami Caesar .
I am writing to invite you to a wonderful event in support of the John Greenleaf Whittier Birthplace, one of Haverhill’s cultural treasures. On Saturday, October 13 many of the area’s most talented artists will descend upon the historic grounds of the Birthplace with their palettes and brushes ready to create spectacular artwork throughout the day in support of the 2018 Whittier Wet Paint Auction. By days end this wonderful event will bring together our stellar artists, volunteers, and guests, for a delightful evening under the tent at the historic Whittier Birthplace. Hors d’oeuvres and aperitifs will lead off the social hour before auctioneer Jay Cleary presides over a live auction of spectacular artwork painted in the autumnal splendor that surrounds the Merrimack Valley’s quintessential colonial farm and homestead. By attending this special event you are not only giving financial support to the Whittier Birthplace and Museum, you are helping us raise awareness of the birthplace and childhood home of abolitionist and poet, John Greenleaf Whittier. I hope you will join me for a memorable fall evening of artwork and friendly mixing. Admission is $40 and tickets can be purchased at: http://www.johngreenleafwhittier.com/tickets.htm Arthur Veasey, President Whittier Board of Trustees 978-852-0846
I was in charge of post-worship refreshments at Amesbury Friends Meeting this morning, so I thought I'd bring this special 350th celebration flavor from Hodgies Ice Cream named after our local Quaker poet! We thought the green mint was because of Greenleaf - not sure what inspired the chocolate-covered pretzels. ;^) #QuakerIceCream
Thanks again to Chris, Peter and all the nice people at the John Greenleaf Whittier Home Museum for letting me capture the scene today at the lovely tea party in the beautiful Victorian Garden. Here is the finished painting. Not too bad considering I did it in an hour and 45 minutes. Thanks again and already looking forward to next year
A HUGE "Thank You" to Chris Bryant and all the nice people at the John Greenleaf Whittier Home and Museum for letting my paint live during the "Summer Tea in the Victorian Garden" on July 21st at 2:00 pm. It is truly an honor to be applying my art on the same hallowed grounds once owned by one of the worlds greatest men and poets. My home town of Amesbury is blessed to have such a treasure!
Could you confirm or otherwise that this poem Recently found in a 1932 Autograph book. (Swindon, Wiltshire England) not far from our Amesbury! Adrift in times (tumultous?) (relentless? sea. As waves that follow waves, we glide. God grant we leave upon the shore. Some waif of good it lacked before. Some seed, or flower, or plant of worth. Some added beauty to the Earth. Some larger hope, some thought to make. The sad world happier for its sake.
Is there a newsletter or email with updates and event notices that goes out to the JGW Museum members?