Location: Bowdoin / Library / Special Collections & Archives / Manuscript Collections / Whittlesey Family Papers

LibraryGeorge J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives


Whittlesey Family Papers, 1896-1941, n.d.


0.2 linear feet

Catalog Number:M245

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Agency History / Biographical Note:
Eliphalet Whittlesey (1821-1909) was born May 14, 1821, at New Britain, Connecticut, to Deacon David and Rebecca (Smalley) Whittlesey. Graduating in 1842 from Yale, he taught school in Alabama, studied theology at Yale and Andover Seminary, and was made pastor of the Central Congregational Church at Bath, Maine, in 1851. On October 31, 1854, Eliphalet married Ann Augusta Patten, daughter of George F. and Hannah (Thomas) Patten of Bath. An Overseer from 1859-63, he became professor of rhetoric and oratory at Bowdoin College in 1861, but took a leave of absence in 1862 and served on the staff of General O.O. Howard, rising to the rank of major for gallant conduct. Back with his students at Bowdoin College for one year, Whittlesey returned to military service in 1864, mustering out in 1868 with the rank of brevet brigadier-general. He then served as adjutant-general of the Freedman's Bureau, helped establish Howard University, and served as a professor there. In 1874 he was appointed secretary of the Board of Indian Commissioners by General Grant, and served until 1900. He died September 30, 1909, at his home in Washington, D.C. General Whittlesey was survived by his wife, Ann Augusta, sons George Patten and James Thomas, and daughter Pauline, wife of Reverend Cornelius Patton.

Scope and Content:
The collection consists of photocopies of documents and photographs concerning Eliphalet Whittlesey and his family, including photographic portraits of his wife's parents, George F. and Hannah T. Patten of Bath, Maine. Documents include a genealogy of the Whittlesey - Whittelsey family, a story of his life by Eliphalet Whittlesey (written at the request of his children and with emphasis on his Civil War service), and a Yale University obituary of Eliphalet Whittlesey.

Cite as: Whittlesey Family Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library.

Access Restrictions: None.

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