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Cameos of Whittier's Women - 2014        
elly_brooch1_transparent.png Author Eleanor A. Becotte, with contributions from participants
elly_0624-denoise-clear_cp1_fx1_med.jpg John Greenleaf Whittier lived in the nineteenth century. He was born in 1807 and died in 1892. He was interested in justice and fair treatment of all people, the history of the ancestors of Native Americans, tales and legends of ancient cultures, as well as contemporary people of every status - from laborers to kings to saints.

He looked for beauty in and wrote about all aspects of nature - the flowers, the mountains, and the ocean.

A lifelong bachelor, Whittier was an admirer of women, starting with the lifelong deep affection for his mother, Abigail. He seemed to be always surrounded by female family and friends, some of whom were prominent poets and writers.

Cameos is a portrait of the lives of sixteen women with whom Whittier associated, starting with Whittier's aunt, Mercy Hussey. The period costumes worn by the HHS women were made possible by Ann Carnaby of Tracy Theatre Originals in Hampton.

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generic_silhouette1.png MERCY HUSSEY was the sister of Abigail Hussey Whittier, John Greenleaf's mother. She never married and lived with the family at the farm in Haverhill and the home in Amesbury. Played by Ann Carnaby.
generic_silhouette1.png LYDIA AYER attended school with Whittier just up from the Homestead farm. In later years Whittier would remember her in a poem called In School Days. Played.by Jody McFarlin.
generic_silhouette1.png EVELINA BRAY DOWNEY attended Haverhill Academy with Whittier. There were rumors of romance, but they were not meant to be lovers. Instead, their strong bond of friendship lasted a lifetime. Played by Pat Thoen.
lucy_larcom_02.png LUCY LARCOM, originally from Beverly, MA, grew up in her mother's boarding house in Lowell and worked in the textile mills there. Whittier liked her early poems and introduced her to people who would publish her work. Played by Cheryl Lassiter.
lydia_maria_child_engraving.png LYDIA MARIA CHILD had a strong connection with the anti-slavery struggle. With Whittier, she was an advocate of non-violent changes through legislation. Lydia is best known for her Thanksgiving poem Over the River and Through the Woods. Played by Kathy McLaughlin.
generic_silhouette1.png ELIZABETH LLOYD HOWELL first met Whittier in Philadelphia. There was speculation that they would marry, but he was a Quaker and she an Episcopalian. Divisions in belief put a strain on their relationship. Played by Sammie Moe.
mary-abigail-hamilton.png MARY ABIGAIL DODGE, a writer and essayist, wrote about the promotion of equality of education and occupations for women and the anti-slavery movement. She wrote under the pseudonym Gail Hamilton. Played by Patty O'Keefe.
annie_adams_fields.png ANNIE ADAMS FIELDS married James Thomas Fields, the publisher of the Atlantic Monthly. She edited and helped select writers for the magazine. She was a perfect hostess and a friend to writers, and her home was a Mecca for the best of the artists and writers of the day. Played by Betty Moore.
sarah_orne_jewett_7.png SARAH ORNE JEWETT grew up in Berwick, Maine, the daughter of a doctor. She became a novelist, poet, and friend of Whittier. After James Fields died, Sarah lived half of the year at Annie's home in Boston. Played by Karen Raynes.
elizabeth_stuart_phelps_ward.png ELIZABETH STUART PHELPS WARD was an early feminist author and intellectual who challenged traditional Christian beliefs in the afterlife and women's roles in marriage and family, and advocated clothing reform for women. Played by Marcia Hannon-Buber.
harriet_livermore.png HARRIET LIVERMORE became a preacher and dedicated her life to religion. She was known as the wandering pilgrim, traveling widely throughout America and the Holy Land. Played by Dyana Martin.
celia_thaxter.png CELIA LEIGHTON THAXTER was the poet of the Isles of Shoals, where she entertained other famous poets and artists in her parlor on Appledore Island. Her garden was also the focal point for painters and poets to express their artistic talents. Played by Candy Stellmach.
generic_silhouette1.png PHEBE WOODMAN was not related to Whittier, but he acted as a kind and understanding uncle to this lonely child. She was the inspiration for "Red Riding Hood" in one of his poems. Played by Carolyn Moe.
elizabeth_hussey_whitter2.png ELIZABETH HUSSEY WHITTIER was Whittier's beloved sister. She was housemate, hostess, and soul mate. They balanced each other in all ways. Played by Carol Keating.
generic_silhouette1.png ELIZABETH WHITTIER PICKARD was Whittier's niece. She would come to live and care for him in his Amesbury home, and later founded the Whittier Home Association to keep her uncle's papers and memorabilia alive. Played by Mary Ertl.
generic_silhouette1.png SARAH ABBY GOVE was Whittier's friend and a fellow Quaker. She owned "Enfield," her home in Hampton Falls, NH, where Whittier died of a massive stroke on September 7, 1892. Played by Reverend Deborah Knowlton.
generic_silhouette1.png Group photo and posters announcing the event in 2014.