Louis Agassiz. Letter to HWL, 18 August 1871.


Letters to Longfellow MS Am 1340.2 (45). Houghton Library.

A characteristic Agassiz letter, hastily scribbled but effusive in its profession of love for the man who had become one of his closest friends:

"My dear Longfellow, You are so loveable that I should like to have you all to myself; and yet my necessities are such, on the eve of a long journey, that I hardly know how to enjoy what is actualy [sic] offered to me. Mrs. Agassiz too would gladly join me on a day's visit to you at Nahant. I had hoped to accompany her this morning when she went to see her mother and intended to call upon you to agree for a day. But the Museum has kept me prisoner & I must postpone my visit to next week. Meanwhile believe me, Ever truly your friend, Ls. Agassiz."

The "Museum" was Agassiz's pet project, the Museum of Comparative Zoology in Cambridge, and the "long journey" probably refers to Agassiz's last spectacular trip, for which he departed on 4 December that year, a deep-sea dredging expedition around Cape Horn.