Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Longfellow, Fanny Appleton, 1817-1861

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role Collector
dates 1817-1861
city Cambridge
other citiesBoston, MA;
sex F
historical notes Art collector, artist, wife of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and daughter of any early Boston collector, Nathan Appleton, 1779-1861 (Boston Athenaeum Index).

Artists represented in the Longfellow collection include: John Kensett, Eastman Johnson, William Morris Hunt, George Healy, Thomas Crawford, John Gadsby Chapman, Benjamin Champney, and Winkworth Allen Gay. Also included are works by earlier American masters, such as Washington Allston, Gilbert Stuart, and Mather Brown. Of particular note for their fine quality are thirteen crayon portraits by Eastman Johnson, commissioned by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of his family and friends in 1846.

In addition to the American artists, well-known nineteenth-century English, German, and Italian born artists are represented in the collection, including Albert Bierstadt, Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, Myles Birket Foster, Eugene and Jean Baptiste Isabey, Samuel Prout, Friedrick Overbeck, Pierre Jules Mene, Lorenzo Bartolini, and Jacques Louis David (att. to). A 1664 church interior by Dutch painter Daniel de Blieck is included in the collection, as well. Most of the collection is personal in nature, gifts from artists the family met or knew, or purchases made during their travels.

Frances Elizabeth Appleton ("Fanny") Longfellow was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 6 October 1817, the daughter of Nathan Appleton (1779-1861) and Maria Theresa Gold Appleton (1786-1833). Her father was a prosperous banker, manufacturer, and congressman who was among the founders of the city of Lowell, Massachusetts, and was a leader in the Industrial Revolution. Her mother died when Miss Appleton was fifteen.

As a wedding present for his daughter and new son-in-law, Nathan Appleton purchased the Craigie House at 105 Brattle Street in Cambridge (1843). Henry Longfellow had rented rooms there from Elizabeth Craigie while a professor of modern languages at Harvard. The home, well-known even then as George Washington's headquarters during the early days of the American Revolution, would be their residence for the rest of their lives.

Fanny Appleton Longfellow was also known as Frances Elizabeth Appleton Longfellow.
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Archives/Repository Collection Title Collection Details
Longfellow National Historic Site
Frances Elizabeth Appleton Longfellow (1817-1861) Papers, 1825-1961 (Bulk dates 1832-1861) see details...
Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street

Harriot Appleton Curtis papers, 1790-1874
see details...
University of Virginia Library
Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
Papers of John Williamson Palmer, 1856-1903.
see details...

see also:
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882
Longfellow, Charles Appleton