A farmer before he entered politics, Gov. Joseph Ritner was a self-made and self-educated man in many respects. He was the butt of a joke told in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect of how his wife and daughters all thought they had been elected governors along with him in 1835.
An unlikely individual to have a poem named after him by a major American poet.
But “Ritner” by John Greenleaf Whittier pays homage to a Pennsylvania politician who spoke out against slavery at a time when it was unpopular to do so even in the North. READ MORE »