Longfellow and The Jewish Cemetery at Newport

In the summer of 1852 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, vacationing with his family in Newport, Rhode Island, happened one day upon the old Jewish cemetery, established in 1677. Impressed by the quiet of the ancient burial ground amid the bustle of the busy seaport, he persuaded “Mr. Gould the Tailor, a polite old gentleman who keeps the key,” to admit him into its silent serenity. The now-famous poem at right resulted from his walk among the crumbling tombstones. Read more »