Parlor

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This room has been a parlor or drawing room throughout the history of the Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House. When Martha Washington joined her husband here in the winter of 1775-1776, it is said that she held sewing circles in the parlor where she and other women mended clothing for soldiers and made bandages for the temporary hospital across the street. Documents suggest that she and the General held a grand Twelfth Night anniversary in this room in January 1776.

In the 1790s the Craigies spared little expense in decorating this space as a show case room to entertain guests such as the French statesmanTalleyrand.

As the most formal room in the House, the Longfellow family continued to use this room for special occasions and as a reception room for Fanny Longfellow. After her death in 1861, the room has been maintained as a memorial to her.

The architecture, wallpaper and furnishings have changed little since Fanny's death. Her family added the marble bust of her.

Passing through the hall we enter into “Lady Washington’s Drawing Room”. The furniture is white satin covered with gay flowers in vines and clusters; arm-chairs and sofas are heaped with soft cushions covered with the same material. The carpet is a bed of flowers. The effect is greatly heightened by a large mirror opening another gay vista, a picture in gorgeous colors extending from wall to ceiling. It is one of Copley's*, ‘The Grandchildren of Sir William Pepperell’.
—W. Sloane Kennedy, Henry W. Longfellow, 1882

* It was later determined that the painting was by Mather Brown .


Parlor

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