Skip Maine state header navigation

Agencies | Online Services | Help

Skip First Level Navigation | Skip All Navigation

Home >Exhibits > Archives Sampler #5

An Archives Sampler #5

To order reproductions of any of these materials from our holdings contact the Maine State Archives at 207-287-5795.

Longfellow's Last Letter, page 1. Click here for a transcript of the complete letter

Longfellow's Last Letter, page 2. Click here for a transcript of the complete letter

According to the Dictionary of American Biography, the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had "a Marked fondness for good dinners, choice wines and fine clothes." This assertion is partically borne out in this letter, purported to be the last letter he ever sent. Writing on March 13, 1882, he thanked a friend for sending him a case of aged Tokay wine. Longfellow died 11 days later on March 24, at the age of 75. He is remembered for such works as Hiawatha and Evangeline.

Image of Colonial Shape Music

These musical notations were written on the back of a court document. Frequently, psalm and hymn tunes were known by the name of the town or community in which they were composed or first sung. Tunes often were popularized by itenerant choirmasters who taught them to congregations in the various towns they visited. These bars of music, perhaps inscribed by two different individuals, show variants of tunes associated with Kittery, Berwick and Lebanon, Maine in 1751; and seem related to a style of singing known as 'shape music,' in which the vocal pitch of the singer is dictated by the shape - diamonds, squares, circles and the like - of the notes.

Maine State Capital Building

This photograph of the State House was taken around the turn of the last century, but before 1911, when renovations replaced the small cupola with the present dome and two wings were added to the building on the south and north sides. Signs of modern progress can be seen everywhere: a telephone or telegraph line runs into the upper floor of the building; telephone, electrical or trolley wires run parallel to the street. The round emblem over the front doors is undoubtedly the state seal; and the artillery pieces that flank the front walkway are relics of either the Mexican or Civil War.

Photo of a W.P.A. Work Project

Workers install a new sidewalk in Biddeford. A typical scene from the great depression. The federal government put thousands of jobless Americans to work in a variety of construction projects across the nation. Although the prices advertised in the store window (two cans of juice for 29 cents) may seem very low, it was more than many could afford in the 1930s.

Photo of a Revolutionary War Re-enactor Gun Battery

A group of Revolutionary War reenactors conduct a demonstration in a gravel pit in Windham in the 1970s. Today's reenactors and living historians are sticklers for historical accuracy and would not tolerate rubber tires, beach umbrellas or participants wearing t-shirts in their presentations.