John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

Born on a Haverhill farm, occupied for five generations by his Quaker family, John Greenleaf Whittier was an early and ardent opponent of slavery, an editor and a poet. His poetry in the post-Civil War era, including the highly regarded “Snowbound,” eclipsed political activity that listed him among the founders of the Republican Party. A timeline…

Gert Swazey (1855-1934)

Her circus career made Gert Swazey one of Haverhill’s most colorful products. With Barnum and Bailey’s and other circuses, she perfected a four-horse bareback riding act that included a leap through a ring of fire. She was believed to be the first female circus performer to wear tights. From a  tempestuous childhood that included exclusion…

Gladys Emerson Cook (1895-1975)

One of the world’s foremost painters of animal portraits, Miss Cook was also an author of instructional drawing books. She was famed for her Christmas cards, fashion sketches, and circus posters as well as her prized drawings of cats and dogs. Her work is in the Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and…