Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

One of America’s favorite poets almost became a lawyer.

As posted by the Library of Congress,

“Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born on February 27, 1807, in Portland, Maine. During his lifetime, Longfellow’s poetry enjoyed extraordinary popularity at home and abroad. “

According to the Poetry Foundation, Longfellow’s father, Stephen Longfellow, was a Harvard educated lawyer who wanted his son to also practice law. Longfellow wrote the following letter imploring his parents to let him try his hand at literature instead….

From A Treasury of Great American Letters: Our Country’s Life & History in the Letters of Its Men and Women, by Charles and Eleanor Hurd, available on HeinOnline.*

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