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New Hampshire

JP Hale, First Abolitionist SenatorSEACOAST POETRY

It is not a long poem. It is not an accurate poem. But in New Hampshire, where our history of civil rights is far from stellar, we’ll take all the praise we can get. In 1846 New Hampshire elected the first openly Abolitionist senator John P, Hale of Dover, and sent him to Washington. John Greenleaf Whittier saw NH as leading the way to the abolition of slavery. NH didn’t. Here is the poem.



Why did he write this poem? What does it really mean?
READ: Whittier’s Adti-Slavery Ode to NH

By John Greenleaf Whittier
Published 1846

God bless New Hampshire! for her granite peaks
Once more the voice of Stark and Langdon speaks.
The long-bound vassal of the exulting South
For very shame her self-forged chain has broken;
Torn the black seal of slavery from her mouth
And in the clear tones of her old time spoken!
Oh, all undreamed of, all unhoped for changes!
The tyrant's ally proves his sternest foe;
To all his biddings, from her mountain ranges,
New Hampshire thunders an indignant No!
Who is it now despairs? Oh, faint of heart,
Look upward to those Northern mountains cold,
Flouted by freedom's victor-flag unrolled,
And gather strength to bear a manlier part!
All is not lost. The angel of God's blessing
Encamps with Freedom on the field of fight;
Still to her banner, day by day, are pressing
Unlooked for allies, striking for the right!
Courage, then, Northern hearts! Be firm, be true;
What one brave State hath done, can ye not also do?

READ: Whittier in New Hampshire
READ: More of Whittier’s NH Poems (scroll way down)

MORE: NH Black HIstory

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