From Portland to Cambridge

Stephen Longfellow. Letter to HWL, 23 January 1814.


Longfellow Papers MS Am 1340 (166). Houghton Library.

Stephen Longfellow (1775-1849) was a Portland lawyer who, unlike his father, never became a judge; instead, he involved himself in national politics. In this letter written from Boston, where he served as a representative to the General Court of Massachusetts, Stephen's desire to please as well as instruct his six-year-old son is evident:

"Henry was a very good little boy to write a letter to his pa, and I was very much pleased to receive it. I have found a very pretty drum with an eagle painted on it but the man asks two Dollars for it and they do not let any vessels go from Portland to Boston nor from Boston to Portland now. But if I can find any opportunity to send it down I shall buy the drum because I will please Henry very much.…"