Chapter 2: birth, childhood, and youth
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
was born in Portland, Maine
, February 27, 1807, being the son of Stephen and Zilpah (Wadsworth
, both his parents having been descended from Yorkshire
families which had migrated in the seventeenth century.
The name of Longfellow
first appears in English records as Langfellay, while the name of Wadsworth
sometimes appears as Wordsworth
, suggesting a possible connection with another poet.
His father, Stephen Longfellow
, was a graduate of Harvard College in 1794, being a classmate of the Rev. Dr. W. E. Channing
and the Hon. Joseph Story
He became afterward a prominent lawyer in Portland
He was also at different times a member of the Massachusetts Legislature, Maine
being then a part of that State; a member of the celebrated Hartford Convention of Federalists; a presidential elector, and a member of Congress.
In earlier generations the poet's grandfather was a judge of the Court of Common Pleas; his great-grandfather was a graduate of