Longfellow, a hands-on father, was deeply involved in the lives of his children-Charles Appleton Longfellow (1844-1893), Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow (1845-1921), Alice Mary Longfellow (1850-1928), Edith Longfellow (1852-1915), and Anne Allegra Longfellow (1855-1934)-in practical ways but also emotionally. The death of his third child Fanny in 1848 left him "inappeasable."
Even for a time when fathers were becoming more actively involved in family matters, the extent of Longfellow's investment in his children's lives is striking. So is the sheer amount of time he spent with them. Many entries in his journals report on activities he pursued with them, from pushing them around in a wheelbarrow and rowing with them on Fresh Pond to taking them to Boston for dinners and theater performances. "It was always to my father that we went in our childish troubles," wrote Ernest Longfellow in his memoirs.