Figure 1.--Longfellow had five children, three girls and two boys. Here I think are the three girls. I think the image dates to the 1850s.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was one of the most noted American poet of the 19th century. Some consider him to be the greatest American poet. He was born at Portland, Maine, February 27, 1807. His parents were Stephen Longfellow and Zilpah Wadsworth Longfellow. His father was of Puritan stock, and a lawyer by profession. Thus his father possessed the necessary wealth to give his children school opportunities. Henry became a professor of modern language at Harvard University. Many of his poems such as "The Village Blacksmith" and "The Song of Hiawatha" (1855) are classics of American litrature. There were other important works. "Evangline" (1847) deat with the expulsaion of the Arcadians. "Paul Revere's Ride" (1863) was a classic of the Revolution. He became a noted abolitionist in the 1840s. Longfellow had five children. His wife was tragically killed while playing with the locks of the children's hair which caught fire. Few men had known deeper sorrow--his first wife having died in Holland (1835). Longfellow married Frances Appleton. The newlweds received Craigie House as a wedding gift (1843). It was a happy marriage and their home became an important social center in the university community.
The young people came to play with the Longfellow children. Longfellow depicts them in the 'The Children's Hour'--"grave Alice and laughing Allegra and Edith with golden hair." Their mother burned to death (1861). Her clothes taking fire, accidentally, while she was preserving locks of hair of her children and playing with them. Mother at the time kept locks of the children's hair and hair bow. Often when a boy's long hair was cut, mothers would preserve them as family heirlooms.