Philadelphia [Boston & New York]: Joseph Healy / Weeks, Jordan & Co. /, 1838. First Edition. Decorated & gilt-stamped cloth. 12mo (7 1/4" x 4 1/2"), original publisher's brown cloth with gold lettering on spine, "Whittier's Poems" framed in gold on front cover which also has tiny fleur-de-lis [stylized lilly] blind-stamped repeating pattern, vi, 7-180 pages. Good + / None. Item #4095
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) was an American Quaker poet and advocate for the abolition of slavery. He is usually consdered one of " The Fireside Poets": wth Longfellow, Holmes, and Lowell.
He is now largely remembered for his anti-slavery writings. Whittier's first poetry collection was Poems written during the Progress of the Abolition Question in the United States (1837). He also wrote memorable poems such as "Barbara Frietchie," "The Barefoot Boy," "Maud Muller," and the best-seller, Snow-Bound (1866).
From 1838 to 1840--when Poems was published in Philadelphia--he was editor of The Pennsylvania Freeman, a leading antislavery paper also in Philadelphia. In May 1838, the Freeman moved to Pennsylvania Hall, which was shortly after burned by a pro-slavery mob. How many copies of Poems were burned we do not know. Undeterred, Whittier continued to write poetry and nearly all of his poems in this period deal with the problem of slavery. In the following year of 1839, he became a founding member of the Liberty Party, which years later became the Free Soil Party.
SCARCE edition: clean copy and good text block though with worn and rubbed cloth. Endpapers heavily foxed; pages moderately.
POEMS is BAL 21710, binding A. Currier, Whittier Bibliography, pp.40ff. Joseph Healy, the publisher, was a prominent member of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society.