Keywords: Wadsworth Family
Correspondence between Elizabeth Wadsworth, her father Peleg Wadsworth and Martha Washington's secretary about the gift of a lock of George Washington's hair to Eliza.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is best know as a poet, but he also was accomplished in drawing and music. He shared his love of drawing with most of his siblings. They all shared the frequent activity of drawing and painting with their children. The extended family included many professional as well as amateur artists, and several architects.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's popularity in the 19th century is reflected by the number of images of him -- in a variety of media -- that were produced and reproduced, some to go with published works of his, but many to be sold to the public on cards and postcards.
The Wadsworth-Longfellow House, 1786-1960 Wadsworth-Longfellow House drawing, 1821 Item 11329 infoMaine Historical Society 1821 -…
… – the family of Elizabeth Bartlett and Peleg Wadsworth who lived here between 1785 and 1807, and the family of Zilpah Wadsworth and Stephen…
Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Content Area: Social Studies, Visual & Performing Arts
"In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book?" Englishman Sydney Smith's 1820 sneer irked Americans, especially writers such as Irving, Cooper, Hawthorne, and Maine's John Neal, until Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's resounding popularity successfully rebuffed the question. The Bowdoin educated Portland native became the America's first superstar poet, paradoxically loved especially in Britain, even memorialized at Westminster Abbey. He achieved international celebrity with about forty books or translations to his credit between 1830 and 1884, and, like superstars today, his public craved pictures of him. His publishers consequently commissioned Longfellow's portrait more often than his family, and he sat for dozens of original paintings, drawings, and photos during his lifetime, as well as sculptures. Engravers and lithographers printed replicas of the originals as book frontispiece, as illustrations for magazine or newspaper articles, and as post cards or "cabinet" cards handed out to admirers, often autographed. After the poet's death, illustrators continued commercial production of his image for new editions of his writings and coloring books or games such as "Authors," and sculptors commemorated him with busts in Longfellow Schools or full-length figures in town squares. On the simple basis of quantity, the number of reproductions of the Maine native's image arguably marks him as the country's best-known nineteenth century writer. TEACHERS can use this presentation to discuss these themes in art, history, English, or humanities classes, or to lead into the following LESSON PLANS. The plans aim for any 9-12 high school studio art class, but they can also be used in any humanities course, such as literature or history. They can be adapted readily for grades 3-8 as well by modifying instructional language, evaluation rubrics, and targeted Maine Learning Results and by selecting materials for appropriate age level.
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow loved his boyhood home of Portland, Maine. Born on Fore Street, the family moved to his maternal grandparents' home on Congress Street when Henry was eight months old. While he would go on to Bowdoin College and travel extensively abroad, ultimately living most of his adult years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he never forgot his beloved Portland. Years after his childhood, in 1855, he wrote "My Lost Youth" about his undiminished love for and memories of growing up in Portland. This exhibit, using the poem as its focus, will present the Portland of Longfellow's boyhood. In many cases the old photos will be followed by contemporary images of what that site looked like 2004. Following the exhibit of 68 slides are five suggested lessons that can be adapted for any grade level, 3–12.
Grade Level: 3-5
Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies
These lessons will introduce the world-famous American writer and a selection of his work with a compelling historical fiction theme. Students take up the quest: Who was HWL and did his poetry leave footprints on the sands of time? They will "tour" his Cambridge home through young eyes, listen, and discuss poems from a writers viewpoint, and create their own poems inspired by Longfellow's works. The interdisciplinary approach utilizes critical thinking skills, living history, technology integration, maps, photos, books, and peer collaboration. The mission is to get students keenly interested in what makes a great writer by using Longfellow as a historic role model. The lessons are designed for students at varying reading levels. Slow learners engage in living history with Alices fascinating search through the historic Craigie house, while gifted and talented students may dramatize the virtual tour as a monologue. Constant discovery and exciting presentations keep the magic in lessons. Remember that, "the youthful mind must be interested in order to be instructed." Students will build strong writing skills encouraging them to leave their own "footprints on the sands of time."