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"All houses wherein men have lived and died Are haunted houses."

WHEN Henry

Wadsworth Longfellow wrote these lines he perhaps had little thought of how fittingly they would one day be applied to the house which was the home of his own childhood and young manhood, yet to-day one who visits the old Wadsworth-Longfellow mansion in Portland, Maine, finds it indeed haunted by memories of those whose lives once centred there.

A little back from the main street it stands, with its three stories of red

brick dwarfed by newer and more pretentious buildings on either side; tall trees shadow it, but no grass now grows upon the plat of ground once the front yard, yet as the door, with its ancient knocker, swings open, we catch a glimpse of green from the old garden at the farther end of the hall, and of tall elms, and a tangle of shrubbery and trailing vines. But though the chief interest in it lies in the fact that it was once the home of a poet who has perhaps come nearer the hearts of English-speaking people the world over than has any other American writer, still the old mansion has a history of its own, and one not without interest, connected as it is with the name of a brave soldier of the Revolution, General Peleg Wadsworth. This

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GEN. PELEG WADSWORTH AND ELIZABETH BARTLETT, HIS WIFE

man graduated from Harvard in 1769, was one of the first to organize a company to resist the tyranny of the mother country, and with the rank of captain was appointed an engineer on the staff of General John Thomas, and rendered important service in fortifying Roxbury and Dorchester Heights. After the departure thence of General Washington in 1776, he became aidede-camp to General Artemas Ward, serving with him until his retirement from service. In 1778 he was appointed Adjutant General of Massachusetts, and in 1779 was second in command of the land forces in the Bagaduce expedition. In 1780 he commanded the troops on the Maine coast, and in February, 1781, while at his lodgings at the headquarters in Thomaston, was surprised with the few men under him, wounded, and after a most resolute resistance, captured and carried to Fort George, Castine. The following June, after a series of romantic adventures, he made his escape. In 1784 he came from Plymouth, Massachusetts, to make his home in Portland, bringing his wife, formerly Miss Elizabeth

Bartlett of Plymouth, who has been described as "a lady of fine manners and all womanly virtues, who was alike his friend and comforter in hours of trial; the grace and ornament of his house in the days of prosperity."

Would we see the General as in the old days he might have stood to weicome us, we have to aid the fancy the following description given by his daughter, Zilpah: "Imagine to yourself a man of middle age, well proportioned, with a military air, and who carries himself so truly that many thought him tall. His dress, a bright scarlet coat, buff smallclothes and vest, full ruffled bosom, ruffles over the hands, white stockings, shoes with silver buckles, white cravat bow in front, hair well powdered and tied behind in a club, so called." If we add to this a cocked hat of black felt, we have the picturesque figure of the man who in the year 1785 began the erection of the first brick house to be built in Portland. The store and barn were built first, and it was not till the spring of 1786 that the residence was completed. This delay was caused by the difficulty in obtaining bricks. At

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"ONE STEPS IN FROM THE STREET AND FACES THE BROAD STAIRWAY"

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another lot could be brought from Philadelphia and the building completed.

In its original form the house was of two stories, with a pitch roof. Four ample chimneys gave draught to the fireplaces with which each room was provided. Though now in the heart of the city, the house when built was on the outskirts of the town, amid green fields, and commanding fine views of the ocean, which it faced, and of the mountains and forests away toward the western horizon. Built in the old colonial style, with the hall running through the centre, there is still an air of old-time hospitality

retain the old casements, with their many tiny panes of glass; the doors all have their curious old "box latches," and thanks to the generous thickness of the walls, there are wide windowseats in all of the lower rooms, cushioned and inviting. On the left, upon entering, is the parlor, which, at the time the house was built, was the largest private reception room in Portland, and in this room was placed the first piano to be brought to town. It was probably called a spinet, and the story is told that such was the curiosity of the country people regarding this wonder, that they would stand around the windows looking in and

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listening whenever the instrument was being played, and even offer money to have the music continued.

When the Wadsworth family moved in there were six children, one of whom, Zilpah, the future mother of the poet, was a little maid of seven or eight. Here in 1790 was born another son, Alexander Scammel, named for General Scammel, a friend and college classmate of Wadsworth, and the man for whom also one of the forts in Portland Harbor was named. Alexander entered the navy as a midshipman in 1804, and in 1815 distinguished himself as a lieutenant on the Constitution in her engagement with the Guerrière, and for his gallantry was presented with a sword by the citizens

of his native town. In this connection it is interesting to know that among the recent visitors to the old house was a young midshipman from the Chesapeake, Alexander Scammel Wadsworth, a great-grandson of the first Alexander, and the fourth in succession to bear the name.

Five months before the appointment of the first Alexander as a midshipman, his older brother, Henry, had voluntarily sacrificed his life, with his companions, in the fire-ship Intrepid, which was blown up before Tripoli during the night of September 4, 1804, to prevent her from falling into the hands of the enemy. In the old house to-day may be seen the bronze medal, as well as the original letter

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