In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Maine Memory Network

Drawing Together: Siblings and Offspring

This Exhibit Contains 25 Items
1
Sacred dirge in memory of Washington, 1800

Sacred dirge in memory of Washington, 1800

Item 22493 info
Maine Historical Society

The Art of Music

During its years as a family residence, the Wadsworth-Longfellow House was filled with music and song.

The parlor included a pianoforte as early as 1799 and innumerable manuscript and published sheets of music survive for voice, piano, flute, and guitar.

Many include the initials of the original owner.

Of particular note is the French flute associated with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, an accomplished musician.

When Henry left in 1826 for his Grand Tour of Europe to study language and prepare for his teaching post at Bowdoin College, his mother wrote, “I will not say how much we miss your elastic step, your cheerful voice, your melodious flute.”


2
Eliza Wadsworth sheet music, 1798

Eliza Wadsworth sheet music, 1798

Item 22494 info
Maine Historical Society

At the Wadsworth-Longfellow House are three examples of early music used by the family: the dirge published in memory of George Washington in 1799, an early Philadelphia work played by Eliza Wadsworth, and manuscript music written by Henry Longfellow, initialed “H W L.”


3
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ca. 1829

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ca. 1829

Item 4119 info
Maine Historical Society

This portrait of Henry depicts him wearing his scholar’s gown, while teaching at Bowdoin College.

When his wife Frances Appleton saw it in the family parlor, she remarked on how realistic it was.

Thomas Badger (1792-1868) painted the portrait.


4
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and family, Italy, 1869

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and family, Italy, 1869

Item 22418 info
Maine Historical Society

The Art of Henry W. Longfellow

Hundreds of drawings in the family archives at the Longfellow National Historic Site document Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s love of drawing.

Throughout his tour of Europe from 1826 to 1829, he recorded landscapes, landmarks, and people.

From skillfully rendered Italian hilltop towns to small architectural details, his journals are enlivened by his beautiful works.

Henry took proper training seriously. In 1837 he began drawing lessons with the Boston-based German artist Francis Graeter, who worked with noted geologist Charles Jackson to record Maine’s vast uncharted lands.

In this photo are, seated, from left, Mary Longfellow Greenleaf, Samuel Longfellow, Alice Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Thomas Gold Appleton, Ernest Longfellow, his wife Hattie Spelman Longfellow, Anne Pierce, Annie Longfellow and Edith Longfellow.


5
Ernest Longfellow, Cambridge, 1853

Ernest Longfellow, Cambridge, 1853

Item 28944 info
Longfellow National Historic Site

To record the activities of his oldest son, Henry began Charley’s Journal in which he noted daily events on Charley’s behalf.

Charley recorded his own observations for one day, then his father continued the journal with charming accounts of childhood life.

For example, to celebrate Washington’s Birthday on February 22, they “popped corn on a shovel in the study.”

In this portrait of his second son, Henry records seven-year-old Erny in a colorful tunic.


6
Longfellow Christmas Scene, 1862

Longfellow Christmas Scene, 1862

Item 28945 info
Longfellow National Historic Site

As a father, Henry spent considerable time drawing as a way to amuse and educate his children.

His drawings and cartoons reveal a lesser-known whimsical side to his personality. He encouraged drawing as a worthy accomplishment for his own five children.

A gifted artist herself, Fanny Appleton Longfellow often noted her children’s artist endeavors.

For example, one evening Edith rushed into the study like “a sunbeam for pencil + paper to draw wonderful faces.”

Family Christmas activities inspired this drawing by Edith, age nine.


7
Longfellow's Three Daughters

Longfellow's Three Daughters

Item 15475 info
Longfellow National Historic Site

Henry’s daughters, “grave Alice, laughing Allegra, and Edith with golden hair,” were immortalized in Henry’s poem, The Children’s Hour.

At age 12, daughter Edith became the editor of a delightful family magazine called The Secret. Modeled on published magazines, it appeared in serial form. Stories were told in installments along with anagrams, riddles and other items of interest.


8
Alexander Longfellow, Portland, 1880

Alexander Longfellow, Portland, 1880

Item 28951 info
Maine Historical Society

Henry's Brothers in Portland

In Portland, Alexander Longfellow, Henry’s younger brother, turned his love of drawing and sketching into a full-time profession surveying the Atlantic and Gulf coasts for the United States Coast Survey.

An extraordinarily talented cartographer, Alexander worked to advance precise nautical charting of coasts and ports, and thus improved navigation for America’s expanding maritime commerce.

Ernest Longfellow’s character study depicts his uncle later in life.


9
Northern Maine boundary map, 1843

Northern Maine boundary map, 1843

Item 22489 info
Maine Historical Society

This map was central to the resolution of the boundary dispute between the United States and Canada. Major James D. Graham, the U.S. topographic engineer who hired him in 1841, presented it to Alexander W. Longfellow, a member of the North East Boundary Survey.

Longfellow’s many letters, invoices, and memoranda detail his frontier existence while mapping disputed territory along the St. John River from 1842 to 1845.


10
Southwest Branch of the St. John River, 1845

Southwest Branch of the St. John River, 1845

Item 22488 info
Maine Historical Society

This unusual map of a portion of the St. John River shows the cartographer’s work in process.

Several of Longfellow’s working maps survive and are of varying size and shape, depending on the river’s course. Some are more than five feet long.


11
Richmond Island Harbor, 1851

Richmond Island Harbor, 1851

Item 22490 info
Maine Historical Society

A small harbor formed by a sandbar connecting Richmond Island to Cape Elizabeth often provided safe haven for vessels in bad weather.

Appeals to the U. S. Government were made for many years for the construction of a granite breakwater to improve the anchorage.

Alexander Longfellow’s 1850 survey provided the necessary data for this large engineering project. Despite many efforts, however, the breakwater was not constructed until 1873.


12
On Richmond Island, Cape Elizabeth, 1850

On Richmond Island, Cape Elizabeth, 1850

Item 28953 info
Longfellow National Historic Site

Alexander Longfellow, took an opportunity to record a humorous approach to his job, depicted himself in close proximity to alcohol with a large red nose.

An experienced adventurer who was at home in the wilderness or at sea, Alexander enjoyed his cigars and liquor.

Anne Longfellow Pierce affectionately referred to him as the “cigar-smoking, booted presence” at the Wadsworth-Longfellow House.


13
Militia Soldiers at Prouts Neck, ca. 1850

Militia Soldiers at Prouts Neck, ca. 1850

Item 22466 info
Maine Historical Society

The Longfellows used Prouts Neck, with its great sand beach and rugged coast, as a retreat from city heat and noise as early as the 1840s.

Alexander’s survey on nearby Richmond’s Island put him in close proximity and memorabilia in the family papers document the family’s outings there.

Here the hard sand beach at low tide supported coaches and wagons.


14
Samuel Longfellow, Boston, ca. 1885

Samuel Longfellow, Boston, ca. 1885

Item 28961 info
Maine Historical Society

Samuel Longfellow, Henry’s youngest brother, trained to become a Congregational minister at Harvard Divinity School but ill health plagued him from early in his life.

He traveled to the Portuguese Azores in 1843-1844 as a tutor. His sketchbooks from this time reveal not only the great joy he took in observing the world around him but also his considerable artistic abilities.


15
Title page of Life of H.W. Longfellow, 1886

Title page of Life of H.W. Longfellow, 1886

Item 28962 info
Maine Historical Society

One of Samuel’s great accomplishments was his biography of his brother, Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow with Extracts from His Journals and Correspondence (1886).

Filled with personal insights and extracts of Henry’s correspondence, it remains a valuable source on the life of the poet.


16
Alexander W. Longfellow and family, 1882

Alexander W. Longfellow and family, 1882

Item 28957 info
Longfellow National Historic Site

Alexander and His Children

This photograph, taken during a summer outing, depicts Alexander seated in the center flanked by Elizabeth Porter to the right and Blanche Gilman to the left.

Clockwise from center left are Samuel Longfellow, three unidentified persons, James Croswell (with parasol), William Pitt Preble Longfellow, and Mary King Longfellow (with fan), Blanche Gilman [?], Waddy Longfellow (in beret), Sarah Weiss, Lucia Longfellow, and Richard Longfellow.


17
Landscape by Alexander W. Longfellow Sr. and Jr., Portland, 1860

Landscape by Alexander W. Longfellow Sr. and Jr., Portland, 1860

Item 28947 info
Longfellow National Historic Site

Mary King Longfellow (Maime) and Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow Jr. (Waddy), the eldest children of Alexander and Elizabeth Porter Longfellow, were encouraged to draw from a very early age.

As children they frequently accompanied their father on board sailing vessels. Their sketchbooks, which also served as logbooks, recorded cruises along the Maine coast.


18
Farm Scene, Portland, 1867

Farm Scene, Portland, 1867

Item 28946 info
Longfellow National Historic Site

The Longfellow's love of Maine’s scenic beauty and sailing coincided with the rise of tourism and recreational yachting.

Their considerable powers of observation document many features of Maine — sailing schooners, wharves, mariners, and townscapes — that have long since vanished.

Named for Alexander Longfellow’s aunt, Lucia Wadsworth, Lucia Longfellow drew alongside her brothers and sisters.

With his inscription, “Very rainy aftn. Dick sick,” Alexander recorded the circumstances when this sketch was done.


19
Mary King Longfellow portrait, ca. 1870

Mary King Longfellow portrait, ca. 1870

Item 26136 info
Maine Historical Society

The Arts of the Longfellow Cousins

The lives Longfellow cousins – Mary King, Alexander Wadsworth Jr., Ernest, and William Pitt Preble - illuminate the endeavors of the younger generation.

Excelling as visual artists and architects, as well as writers and editors, they contributed to the rise of professionalism in these fields on a national level.

These Longfellows embraced the developing field of photography; tens of thousands of images survive in the family archives. Living and traveling together, the Longfellows’ mutual affection and encouragement must account to some degree for their many successes and accomplishments.

This portrait by Ernest W. Longfellow (1845-1921) of his cousin Mary King Longfellow, represents the collaborative nature of many relationships within the family.

In 1865, at age 19, Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow sailed for Europe in the company of his uncles, Thomas Gold Appleton and Samuel Longfellow.

For two years he trained with artists in Paris, traveling throughout Europe to “study the Old Masters.” He achieved his goal to become a professional artist.

Following his marriage to Harriet Spelman in 1868, they traveled extensively, sketching and painting continuously.


20
Bathing Cove, Castine, 1878

Bathing Cove, Castine, 1878

Item 22417 info
Maine Historical Society

Mary King Longfellow (1852-1945), the eldest child of Alexander and Elizabeth Porter Longfellow, grew up on South Street in Portland.

Known affectionately as Maime, she began her artistic studies in 1866 at Craigie House with her cousins Edith, Anne, and Alice Longfellow.

Later, as a student of Ross Turner at the Museum School in Boston, she became a skilled and widely recognized watercolor artist whose work was part of national museum exhibitions.

She drew this scene of a bathing cove in Castine on August 24, 1878.


21
Lucia Longfellow in grandmother's dress, 1883

Lucia Longfellow in grandmother's dress, 1883

Item 28948 info
Longfellow National Historic Site

Mary King sketched her younger sister, Lucia Longfellow, wearing their grandmother Zilpah's silk dress, seated in an eighteenth-century chair in the Wadsworth Longfellow House.

Mary King exhibited her watercolors regularly throughout her life and by the 1870s was winning national awards. Her work is recorded in the catalogues of the Portland Society of Art beginning in 1882, Society of Art was first established until at least 1911.

An active member of Maine’s art community, she was a member of the Portland Sketch Club and accompanied others, including watercolorist Catherine Porter Talbot, on outings to paint the local landscape.


22
Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, Jr.

Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, Jr.

Item 9594 info
Maine Historical Society

Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow Jr., known as Waddy, graduated from Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture and studied in Paris.

He served as a senior draftsman in Henry Hobson Richardson’s architectural office in Boston. In 1896 he established his own practice, Longfellow, Alden, and Harlow with Frank Alden and Alfred Harlow.

Working in New England and Western Pennsylvania, the firm helped shape Colonial Revival design in America. For inspiration, Alexander looked to the architectural heritage of Portland.

He also worked extensively in the Shingle Style. Summer resorts were being established along Maine’s coast and his Shingle cottages can be found in many communities from Prouts Neck to Mount Desert.


23
The Barnacle, Prouts Neck, 1885

The Barnacle, Prouts Neck, 1885

Item 28959 info
Maine Historic Preservation Commission

Alexander W. Longfellow Jr. (1854-1934), "Waddy," worked as an architect.

Perched on the high rocks of Prouts Neck, the Cheney-Hyde house that Waddy designed was one of the first private cottages built in this summer community of hotels and boarding houses.

Longfellow’s picturesque design included steep sloping roofs, open porches, and a turret that served as a water tower. The building was also known for its Arts & Crafts elements.


Ernest Longfellow, Henry's son, and William Pitt Preble Longfellow, son of Henry's older brother Stephen and Marianne Preble, both were artists.

William also was one of America's earliest scholars of architectural history and worked for an architect.


24
Garden gate sketch, Portland, 1924

Garden gate sketch, Portland, 1924

Item 28952 info
Longfellow Garden Club

Waddy also designed the Maine Historical Society Library building after his aunt, Anne Longfellow Pierce, donated the family's home and grounds to the Society in 1901.

In 1924, he drew plans for the Longfellow Garden Club for the Children's Gate to the Longfellow Garden.


25
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's chair, Cambridge, Massachusetts, ca. 1880

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's chair, Cambridge, Massachusetts, ca. 1880

Item 22475 info
Maine Historical Society

Born in Portland, William Pitt Preble Longfellow was the son of Marianne Preble and Stephen Longfellow, Henry’s older brother.

A graduate of Harvard College in 1855, Pitt Preble worked in Boston for Henry Hobson Richardson, one of Victorian America’s most dynamic architects.

Later, as assistant architect for the United States Treasury Department, he oversaw the design and construction of the Boston Post Office. His other buildings included many fine residences in the Boston area.

William Pitt Preble, widely regarded as a leading architectural scholar, edited American Architect and Building News, an important trade journal. Expanding his horizons, he briefly directed the Museum School at the Museum of Fine Arts, where Mary King Longfellow studied.

For many years, he and his wife, Susan Daniell, lived in Cambridge, adjacent to Craigie House.

When Cambridge schoolchildren commissioned a chair made from the wood of the spreading chestnut tree, mentioned in Longfellow's poem "The Village Blacksmith" to give Longfellow on his birthday, they hired William to design it.


This Exhibit Contains 25 Items