The Longfellow House

105 Brattle St Cambridgeundefined

Boston Literary Landmarks/The Longfellow House
City of Boston Arts
Written By City of Boston Arts

The Mayor's Office of Arts + Culture for Boston. We foster the growth of the cultural community in Boston and promote participation in the arts.

Just outside of Boston is the Longfellow house. More than just a literary landmark of Boston, this was the place where George Washington commanded the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. It was constructed in 1759 for John Vassal, who fled Cambridge after the start of the war because of his loyalty to the king. Afterwards, it served as a base of operations for Washington. General Andrew Craigie was the next person to own the house outright, but after his death, Craigie's widow was forced to take in boarders because of her financial situation. It was around this time that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow come into the home. In 1843 the poet became the owner when his father-in-law bought it as a wedding gift. He lived there until his death in 1882.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a famous American poet born in 1807. His poems are a staple in American culture with everything from the poem studied in elementary schools everywhere- Paul Revere's Ride to The Song of Hiawatha and Evangeline. He was the first American to translate "Dante's Divine Comedy" and worked as a professor at Harvard College. Some of his poetry collections include "Voices of the Night" and "Ballads and Other Poems." Although not a member of the progressive transcendentalists of his time, Longfellow is a classic American poet known across the country.  

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To this day, few American's are not reminded of early elementary school classes when they hear the words:

"Listen, my children, and you shall hear / Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, / On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five; / Hardly a man is now alive / Who remembers that famous day and year."  -- "Paul Revere's Ride," Henry Longfellow.

Cover Photo Credit: jasonwoodhead23 via Flickr.

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