"Falmouth burnt by the Kings troops" journal entry, Falmouth Neck, 1775

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Stephen Longfellow II (1728-1790) added diary entries throughout the year 1775 to his copy of Bickerstaff's "Boston Almanack."

In October, Longfellow added six entries. Most entries were rather mundane, listing corn quantities and the activities of a person named Nathan or Nathaniel. On October 10th however, the entry reads "Falmouth burnt by the Kings Troops." A very subtle entry for the burning of Falmouth by Capt. Henry Mowat for an act that devastated the town, including the destruction of Longfellow's own home. While Longfellow himself resided in Gorham at the time, family members lived in his house destroyed at Falmouth.

On the morning of October 10, 1775, the Royal Navy burnt Falmouth Neck, modern Portland, in retaliation for patriotic activity. The destruction of the town was used a propaganda tool throughout the Revolutionary War. Following the bombardment, Longfellow lived exclusively at his family farm in Gorham. Stephen Longfellow II and his wife Tabitha Bragdon were the great-grandparents of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


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