Sixth Annual Whittier Celebration Marks 150th Civil War Anniversary

Susan Lenoe as Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Storyteller Susan Lenoe portrays Harriet Beecher Stowe during the Sixth Annual John Greenleaf Whittier Celebration Saturday, Sept. 19, from 7 to 8 p.m., at the historic Friends Meetinghouse, 120 Friend Street, Amesbury.

Presented by Amesbury’s Whittier Home Association, Lenoe’s performance marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Whittier moved from Haverhill to Amesbury in 1836.

“This year’s celebration will be devoted to Whittier’s significant involvement and dedication to the abolitionist and anti-slavery cause. As a founding member and early agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society, Whittier wrote poetic tributes, labored as an editor, ran for public office, and later was influential in the establishment of the Liberty, Free Soil, and Republican parties,” a statement said.

Similar to Whittier, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote accessible, emotionally charged verses to promulgate her shared religious and political convictions. “Such as in Stowe’s Uncle Tom's Cabin,” says Whittier’s president Chris Bryant, “the story urges readers to trust their feelings—not pronouncements from received authorities such as the church and the state—to lead them to correct moral actions.” Stowe will reminisce about her role in the abolitionist movement, her family joys and trials, and her life in Andover, where she lived for 12 years.

The evening is dedicated to Jon “Ben” Pickard, Whittier scholar, great-grand-nephew of John Greenleaf Whittier, and longtime friend and supporter of the Whittier Home. Pickard passed away Aug. 19.

Tickets are $20 or $10 for students and may be purchased online in advance, via PayPal at www.whittierhome.org, or purchased at the door on the night of the event. For more information call (978) 388-1337.