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Guide to the Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Administrative Records, 1871-1883

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Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: administrative records
Bowdoin College. Office of the President
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George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
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Preferred Citation:

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: Administrative Records, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (1828-1914), a graduate of the class of 1852, professor at the College, Civil War hero and four term governor of Maine, became the sixth president of Bowdoin College in 1871, following the resignation of Samuel Harris. He was responsible for reforming the curriculum to include instruction in engineering and the modern sciences.

Most notable during Chamberlain's tenure was the "Drill Rebellion" of 1874. Chamberlain established a mandatory military drill in 1872. It was met with resistance by the students who, in November 1873, unsuccessfully petitioned the Governing Boards to abolish the drill. In May of 1874, three-quarters of the student body refused to participate in the drill. All those who would not comply were sent home and given a week to return to campus and comply or face permanent expulsion. All but three returned to campus, and in the fall of 1874 the drill was made elective. The faculty recommended in 1879 that the elective drill should be dropped, and in 1882 the Governing Boards agreed. Chamberlain resigned in 1883.

This collection contains general correspondence concerning College affairs. Most notable are items concerning the "Drill Rebellion" of 1874. Most primary source material concerning the early administration of the College is found in the records of the Board of Trustees and the Records of the Faculty which includes the records of the Executive Government. For related Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain materials, see the Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Collection.

1871 Aug 16, letter from Thomas Upham to President Chamberlain

box 1 folder 1

1871 Nov 9, note conveying the President's regrets that his house is not available for seeing College visitors that evening

box 1 folder 2

1872, President Chamberlain's inaugural address

box 1 folder 3

1872, Letters from J.O. Fiske

box 1 folder 4

1872-1873, Expenditures of Appropriations and Salaries

box 1 folder 5

1872/1873 - 1880/1881, Military Department Order Book

volume-folio 2

1873 Dec 20, Letter - Wm. Elden to Chamberlain expressing thanks and requesting catalogue

box 1 folder 6

1873, letters to Chamberlain/Bowdoin College requesting catalogues

box 1 folder 7

1873, postcards to Chamberlain/Bowdoin College requesting catalogues

box 1 folder 8

1873 Jun 25, letter from Portland High School recommending students for admission to Bowdoin

box 1 folder 9

1873 Oct 13, letter from Chamberlain to W.G. Waitt (Bowdoin 1876) regarding mandatory drill dress

box 1 folder 10

1873 Nov, drill rebellion - student petition against the drill

box 1 folder 11

1874 (?), Scientific Department costs

box 1 folder 12

1874 (?), drill rebellion - student petition against the rebellion

box 1 folder 13

1874, drill rebellion - statements and correspondence

box 1 folder 14

1874, drill rebellion - statement

box 1 folder 15

1874 May 28, drill rebellion - sanctions against students

box 1 folder 16

1874 May - June, correspondence to uphold military action on campus

box 1 folder 17

1875 Jan 6, recitation schedule of the Scientific Division for the junior class

box 1 folder 18

1875 Jul 4, Announcement of senior class meeting

box 1 folder 19

1875-1877, President's Record

volume 1

1876, petition from the Arlo Bates papers re: the slanders of Rev. Ezra Byington

box 1 folder 20

1876 Jun 13, letter from N.A. Prince to Dr. Packard - with religious overtones

box 1 folder 21

1878 Jan 17, Legislative bill from state of Maine wishing to establish a Dept. of Agriculture at Bowdoin, Bates and Colby rather than the University of Maine - with note from Pres. Roger Howell, 1970

box 1 folder 22

1878 Apr 8, senior class request to have Professor Packard deliver the Baccalaureate

box 1 folder 23

1878 Jul 4, letter from J.O. Fiske on the report of the Committee of Examinations

box 1 folder 24

1879, abstract from report of H. Carmichael to the Boards

box 1 folder 25

1882 Jun 14, Chamberlain - Memorial Hall correspondence

box 1 folder 26

1882 Sep 18, letter from James D. Fessenden to Chamberlain recommending student for admission to Bowdoin

box 1 folder 27

1883 Mar, drill rebellion - letter from D. Hodgkins requesting reentry and Bowdoin's response

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1883 Mar 20, letter from Bowdoin to Lauriston Reynolds re: removal of his nephew from the College

box 1 folder 29

1883 Mar 20-27, Washington Academy request for admittance exams and Bowdoin's response

box 1 folder 30

1883 Mar - Apr, petitions and responses from C.W. Goddard to Bowdoin re: readmittance for his son

box 1 folder 31

1883 Mar - Apr, drill rebellion - Bowdoin's statement re: student removal on account of hazing

box 1 folder 32