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"John Greenleaf Whittier: Some General Characteristics of his Poetry"


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Wilhelm Aarek (1907-1999) was born into a Quaker family and joined the Society of Friends in 1935. He studied at Woodbrooke College in 1926-1927 and 1934. He wrote his master's thesis on John Greenleaf Whittier at the University of Oslo in 1936. Aarek taught in the cities of Egersund, Stavanger, and Kristiansand, Norway. He remained in Kristiansand, where he was principal from 1948 until his retirement in 1977. During World War II, he studied and taught psychology in Stavanger, and served on several governmental committees on education. In 1977, Aarek was knighted for his work on teacher education in Norway.

Aarek was an active Quaker. He wrote for the Quaker periodical Kvekeren, and served as its editor from 1963 to 1988. He gave lectures on Quakerism, including the 1854 Swarthmore Lecture at London Yearly Meeting. He was a clerk on the committee of clerks of the Society of Friends from 1963 to 1969, and was involved in several Norwegian peace and temperance organizations. Aarek died in Norway in 1999.

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) was born on December 17, 1807, in Haverhill, Massachusetts, the son of Quakers John Whittier and Abigail Hussey Whittier. He was an American poet and editor, and his first published poem, "The Exile's Departure," was printed in William Lloyd Garrison's Newburyport Free Press in 1826. He attended Haverhill Academy from 1827 to 1828. In addition to being a poet, Whittier was an involved abolitionist. He was a delegate to the Anti-Slavery Society in 1833, and a member of the State Legislature in 1835. Whittier founded the antislavery Liberty Party in 1840, and ran for Congress in 1842. In the mid-1850s, he began to work for the formation of the Republican Party; he supported presidential candidacy of John C. Frémont in 1856.

Whittier published his first collection of poems in 1837, his first authorized collection in 1838, and the collection "Snow Bound" in 1866. In 1871, he edited an edition of John Woolman's Journal. John Greenleaf Whittier died on September 7, 1892, in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire

This collection is comprised of the single typed manuscript of Wilhelm Aarek's thesis, entitled "John Greenleaf Whittier: Some General Characteristics of his Poetry." The manuscript provides a brief history of early American literature and the influence of religion, chiefly providing a literary analysis of John Greenleaf Whittier's poetry, including various influences on his poetry, as well as its themes and subjects.


Processed by Kara Flynn; completed September, 2015.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Kara Flynn
Finding Aid Date
September, 2015
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Collection Inventory

Manuscript, Undated.
Volume 1

Print, Suggest