Fanny Sets Sail

Fanny Appleton Longfellow grew up on Beacon Street in Boston Massachusetts (1817-1861), the daughter of the textile industrialist, Nathan Appleton. As an adult, she married the famous poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and they live with their family at 105 Brattle Street in Cambridge. That site is now part of the National Park Service and in 2017, we will be celebrating the 200th birthday of Fanny Longfellow – Fanny 200!

This blog series details Fanny’s journey at the age of 18, on her family’s two year Grand Tour of Europe. The main sources of information are the six daily journals that she kept, as well as her sketchbooks, which are now part of the collections at the Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historical Site.

Fanny Sets Sail!

November 16th – November 20th, 1835

Those trackless deeps where many a weary sail
Has seen above the illimitable plain
Morning on night & night on morning rise
Whilst still no land to greet the wand’rer spread
Its shadowy mountains on the sunbright sea.


So begins the first of six journals dedicated to the travel records of Fanny Appleton.  On November 16th, 1835, we find young Fanny standing on the deck of the Francis de Pau, anxiously waiting to set sail for Europe from the New York Harbor.

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