Biography of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Celebrated Americans





HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW, said to have been America's greatest "poet of the people, was born at Portland, Maine, February 27, 1807. He entered Bowdoin College at the age of fourteen, and graduated in 1825. During his college days he distinguished himself in modern languages, and wrote several short poems, one of the best known of which was the "Hymn of the Moravian Nuns." After his graduation he entered the law office of his father, but the following year was offered the professorship of modern languages at Bowdoin, with the çrivilege of three years study in Europe to perfect himself in French, Spanish, Italian and German. After the three years were passed he returned to the United States and entered upon his professorship in 1829. His first volume was a small essay on the "Moral and Devotional Poetry of Spain" in 1833. In 1835 he published some prose sketches of travel under the title of "Outre Mer, a Pilgrimage beyond the Sea." In 1835 he was elected to the chair of modern languages and literature at Harvard University and spent a year in Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland, cultivating a knowledge of early Scandinavian literature and entered upon his professorship in 1836. Mr. Longfellow published in 1839 ''Hyperion, a Romance," and "Voices of the Night," and his first volume of original verse comprising the selected poems of twenty years work, procured him immediate recognition as a poet. ''Ballads and other poems" appeared in 1842, the "Spanish Student" a drama in three acts, in l843, "The Belfry of Bruges" in 1846, "Evangeline, a Tale of Acadia," in 1847, which was considered his master piece. In 1845 he published a large volume of the ''Poets and Poetry of Europe," 1849 "Kavanagh, a Tale," "The Seaside and Fireside" in 1850, "The Golden Legend" in 1851. "The Song of Hiawatha" in "The Courtship of Miles Standish!" in 1858, "Tales of a Wayside Inn" in 1863; "Flower de Luce" in 1866, "New England Tragedies" in 1869; "Tha Divine Tragedy" in 1871; "Three Books of Song" in 1872, "The Hanging of the Crane" in 1874. He also published a masterly translation of Dante in 1867-70 and the "Morituri Salutamus," a poem read at the fiftieth anniversary of his class at Bowdoin College. Prof. Longfellow resigned his chair at Harvard University in 1854, but continned to reside atCambridge. Some of his poetical works have! been translated into many languages, and their popularity rivals that of the best modern English poetry. He died March 24, 1882, but has left an imperishable fame as one of the foremost of American poets.


FROM:
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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