Born February 27, 1807, in Portland, Maine, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick (the alma mater of Union General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain) and began his teaching career there at the age of 22 as a professor of modern languages. After five years at Bowdoin, he accepted an appoinment at Harvard and moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he spent much of the remainder of his life. Among his more noteworthy works were Hiawatha, Evangeline, The Children's Hour, and The Courtship of Miles Standish. He died on March 24, 1882, much loved by his countrymen and much admired and decorated by the rest of the world.
Although the War years do not seem to have touched Longfellow personally (the tragedies in his life revolved around the loss of both of his wives), he was an ardent opponent of slavery and wrote several poems about the conflict. His status as the most famous and well-loved poet in mid-19th Century America nonetheless guaranteed his continued appreciation in the South during the War.
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Last modified 16-April-2001