Longfellow National Historic Site

Cambridge
MA

The Vassal-Craigie-Longfellow House

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Built in 1759 by British Major John Vassal, the house on the grounds is formally called the Vassal-Craigie-Longfellow House. It served as the headquarters for Washington for nine months during the 1775-76 siege of Boston.
Associated People

[Of those opposed to slavery,] George Washington belonged, with Mason and Jefferson, in the hardest category — disapproving owners. Theirs was the most difficult position to maintain, psychologically and rhetorically. It would not be maintained over the next sixty years, as southern antislavery rhetoric withered. Practically and politically, disapproving owners were in the hardest position from which to achieve their goals. How do you weaken an institution in which you and all your neighbors are enmeshed? Washington did enough, finally, to free his own slaves, which was more than many owners in his position did. Jefferson never freed all his, nor did any of the other slave-owning presidents.

Richard Brookhiser
Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington (1996)