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.
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As in the case of his career as commander-in-chief, Washington’s most important act as president was his giving up the office. The significance of his retirement from the presidency is easily overlooked today, but his contemporaries knew what it meant. Most people assumed that Washington might be president as long as he lived, that he would be a kind of elected monarch like the king of Poland. Hence his retirement from the presidency enhanced his moral authority and set a precedent for future presidents.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)