Samuels father was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
His mother was a descendant of the John Alden and Priscilla of
his brother Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Courtship of Miles
Standish. In college began his lifelong friendship with Edward
Everett Hale, and in Divinity School began his long collaboration
with his fellow hymn writer Samuel Johnson. Their Book of Hymns
Theodore Parker called the Sam Book, which joyfully
celebrated Gods being really present with us.
After preaching his first two sermonsfor which he received
two dollarshe was ordained and served in Fall River, Massachusetts
and then in Brooklyn, New York, where his innovation of vesper
services was the occasion for his writing the long beloved hymns,
Now on Land and Sea Descending and Again as
Evening Shadows Fall.
In addition to his composing various poems, hymns, and essays,
Samuel wrote the Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.