Whittier Cameo        
Elizabeth Hussey Whittier        
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brooch14.png Played by Carol Keating

Elizabeth Hussey Whittier

I am Greenleaf's sister. I too attended Haverhill Academy for a while, until ill health sent me home. For a short time I taught in a one-room schoolhouse on Friend Street in Amesbury (and did not enjoy it any more than Greenleaf did when he taught). But I spent most of my time, except for household chores, writing poetry, keeping a diary, and acting as a hostess for Greenleaf.

carol_0694-denoise-clear_cp1_fx1_med.jpg As a young woman I was part of the Female Anti-Slavery Society movement and also spent a few months in Philadelphia when Greenleaf was the editor of the Pennsylvania Freeman. I was in Philadelphia in 1838 when violence broke out at an anti-slavery rally. John's office was destroyed during the violence and he went in as one of the protesters to get his valuable papers. With that we decided to return home to Amesbury. That episode took a great toll on his health.

I loved John dearly and he felt the same about me. I read and critiqued his works. And, in contrast to his shy ways, I was thought to be witty and funny; to his handsomeness, I think that I was rather plain. So we balanced each other out.

I never married, but I did once have a romance with Phillips Jones. However, due to differences in temperament, we decided to just remain good friends.

Greenleaf wrote a poem about me called To My Sister. I am referred to again in Snowbound as "our youngest and our dearest," as he recalls our family memories.

We had the same literary tastes, interests, and friends. Some of my poetry was published. I had one book of poetry published called Hazel Blossoms. I wrote hymns and started a local reading club. John and I even wrote presidential campaign songs for John Fremont. Col. Fremont was known best for three successful expeditions he headed exploring the west. He was also a senator from California before running for president in 1860.

John was very generous to me. Once when he received a $1000 royalty check, he used it to add a second floor bedroom for me at our Amesbury house so that I could see our garden. John and I took care of each other. I would read to Greenleaf when he would complain that his eyes were troubling him.

In the spring of 1864, I became ill and that summer I fell on the rocks at the Isles of Shoals, and after that I never quite recovered. I would have a few good days and then the pain would return. It became so bad that I had to stay in a darkened room. Greenleaf would keep vigil. I died at age 49. My early death devastated him and now he needed to rely on his other women friends even more.

Note. The object of his generosity who returned his kind deeds with her own good will was his niece Elizabeth Whittier Pickard.