I met him for the first time in the autumn of 1822, when I entered as sophomore the class of which he was a member. As we both had our rooms out of college and in the same vicinity, we were often together in passing to and from the recitation room, and became well acquainted. He was genial, sociable, and agreeable, and always a gentleman in his deportment. Not meditative and shy, like his subsequently distinguished classmate Hawthorne, he was uniformly cheerful. He had a happy temperament, free from all envy and every corroding passion or vice.
In personal appearance, according to my present recollection of him as I recall the scenes of those early days, his figure was slight and erect; his complexion light and delicate as a maiden's, with a slight bloom upon the cheek; his nose rather prominent; his eyes clear and blue, his well formed head covered with a profusion of light brown hair, waving loosely in the same manner as the gray locks of age. I have seen a portrait in his parlor in Cambridge that gives a good idea of him in his early life as I recollect him.
While he was understood in college to be a general reader, and more especially devoted to the Muses, he never allowed himself to come to the recitation room without thorough preparation. I have some knowledge that he found more difficulty in mastering the hard problems in the higher branches of mathematics than he did in any of his other studies, but his purpose was never to fail. His class was one in which there was a large amount of ambition and an intense struggle for rank in scholarship. In this class Longfellow stood justly among the first. At commencement he was assigned one of the three English orations; the valedictory, being the highest in rank, was received by his older and able scholarly classmate, Little. Gorham Deane, a young man of the most remarkable metaphysical powers I have ever known, for one of his age, died before the commencement. I have recently seen a letter from President Allen to his father, written after his death, saying that he ranked second in his class. In that small recitation room we had Longfellow and Hawthorne, and Cilley and Little, and Abbott and Cheever, sitting side by side. - [James W. Bradbury before the Maine Historical Society.