Barrett Wendell as Young Rising Star
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Written by SeacoastNH Archives Presents  
Historic Portsmouth #408

Even as a little boy – yes, I said “boy” – Barrett Wendell (1855-1921) knew he was going places. Just like baby Justin Bieber, he carried himself like a star. And it worked. Born in Boston, Barrett was descended from Jacob Wendell of Portsmouth who was the wealthy family patriarch. Jacob had earned his money the old fashioned way. (Continued below)


Barrett graduated from Harvard in 1877 and became a distinguished professor of English Literature there until 1917. Wendell and his wife Edith Greenough had a summer home in the seacoast and visited the ancestral Wendell Home that still stands on Pleasant Street. Wendell wrote a number of books including texts on Cotton Mather and William Shakespeare. He had a distinguished career as a trustee of the Boston Athenaeum, a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and was a fellow in the American Academy of the Arts to name a few titles. Mrs. Wendell was instrumental in saving the 1714 Warner House on Daniel Street when locals wanted to demolish it and put in a gas station in 1932. This photo is part of an extensive Wendell Collection that is housed at the Portsmouth Athenaeum. (Courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum)


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Photo copyright Portsmouth Athenaeum