Whittier was born in the home in 1807 and lived there until 1836. The young Whittier was the son of devout Quakers and was reared in the faith and steeped in Quaker beliefs. While still a young man, Whittier became a published poet whose work drew the attention of well-known editors and writers in the abolitionist cause.
Whittier's first poem appeared in print in 1826 and within a few years, an association with famed abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison led to Whittier's involvement with the anti-slavery movement and his growing work as a writer and editor. In 1831, his book, Legends of New England, was published. After his father's death, he returned to Haverhill to run the farm, where he remained until 1836.