Whittier Cameo        
Harriet Livermore        
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brooch11.png Played by Dyana Martin

Harriet Livermore

I was born into a wealthy prominent family. When I was five my mother died, and from then on I was raised by nursemaids and sent to boarding schools, where I received an excellent education.

When the love of my life died in the War of 1812, I decided to become a preacher and dedicate my life to religion. My fame spread and I was invited to preach a sermon in the House of Representatives Chamber in 1827, where John Quincy Adams was in attendance. I was so well received that I spoke there three more times in my career.

dyana_0678-denoise-clear_cp1_fx1_med.jpg I tried to blend a message of conversion, repentance, and salvation in my sermons. I traveled to Jerusalem four times. And through other teachers, I believed the millennium was at hand and wrote:

"Millennium! the days are near,
When wicked ones shall quake with fear,
and in consuming fire wail.
That they did Joseph's peace assail."
I remember visiting John and his sister at their home in Haverhill, where I irritated John by correcting his pronunciation. He, in turn, wrote about me in his poem Snowbound as the "not unfeared, halfwelcomed guest."

I became one of the best known female preachers in America. My painting still hangs in the hallway of Whittier's home in Amesbury.

Note. Whittier had many out of the ordinary guests. One was religious leader Mary Baker Eddy. When she arrived he was flushed and coughing in a room with his wood stove going and the windows closed. Mary suggested that he open the window. He thanked her for the call and showed her out. She sent him a copy of her book Science and Health and later laid claimed that she had cured him by her Christian Science.

Another caller, Ullie Akerstrom, was an actress playing at the Amesbury Opera House. She gave him her portrait, some flowers, and a volume of her poetry entitled Toot Yer Horn and Other poems. Politely Whittier read some of it and sent her an autographed picture and note.

But his most important and long lasting relationship with a woman was the beautiful friendship he shared with Celia Thaxter.