8.75 linear feet.
- Correspondence, 1817-1926, n.d., 2.0 linear feet
- Biographical and autobiographical essays and records, 1853-2006, 16 folders
- Personal material, 1838-1920, .5 linear feet
- Articles and addresses, .25 linear feet
- Lecture notes, .25 linear feet
- Civil War, .25 linear feet
- Family material, 1838-1920, .5 linear feet
- Family material : Thomas D. Chamberlain, 1838-1920, .5 linear feet
- Associations and Societies, .25 linear feet
- Manuscripts, printed and typescript materials, 1840-1995, .25 linear feet
- Commemorative materials, 1963-2006, .75 linear feet
- Clippings, 1866-, .25 linear feet
- Images, 2.25 linear feet
- Realia, .25 linear feet
- Research materials, .25 linear feet
- In the Hands of Providence manuscript, .25 linear feet
Agency History / Biographical Note:
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Bowdoin Class of 1852) was born in Brewer, Maine in 1828. In 1861, Chamberlain left a Bowdoin professorship to become lt. colonel of the 20th Maine, serving to the rank of bvt. maj. general of volunteers in command of the 5th Corps of the Union Army. He fought at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg (receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor for the defense of Little Round Top), Petersburg and Appomattox (where he accepted the surrender of the Confederate troops).
After the war, Chamberlain served as the Republican governor of Maine, 1867-1871; commander of the state militia during the Legislature's 1880 "count-out" rebellion; and president of Bowdoin, 1871-1883.
In 1884-1892 he was involved in railroad and real estate ventures in Florida and from 1900 was surveyor of the Port of Portland. Chamberlain, Bowdoin's sixth president, also served the College as professor, trustee and overseer. For related materials, see the Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Administrative Records.
Chamberlain married Frances Caroline Adams in Brunswick. The couple had four children; two survived. Chamberlain died in 1914.
Scope and Content:
The collection contains letters, articles, addresses, documents, Civil War related manuscripts, family manuscripts, biographical essays, etc. Much of the correspondence is from Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain to family members including his parents, Sarah and Joshua, his sister Sarah (Chamberlain) Farrington, brothers John C. and Thomas D. Chamberlain, and wife Francis (Adams) Chamberlain. Other major correspondents, each with five or more letters, include George Thomas Little, Librarian of Bowdoin College; Ira Hobart Evans, banker and attorney; Georgie O. Hutchins, teacher in Madison, Wisconsin; and William E. Webster, a resident of Newton Center, Massachusetts. Published works by Chamberlain are also available in Special Collections.
For a selection of items drawn principally from this collection, see the Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Bowdoin College Digital Archive.
Cite as: Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Collection, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library.
Access Restrictions: None.