Summary Information

Repository
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Creator
McKeen, Joseph, 1757-1807
Title
Joseph McKeen collection
ID
M117
Date [inclusive]
1781-1966, undated
Extent
0.75 linear feet
Language
Abstract
The collection consists of correspondence between Joseph McKeen (1757-1807), his family members, and others, as well as sermons, lectures, speeches, and biographical notes and clippings concerning individual family members.

Preferred Citation

Joseph McKeen Collection, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.


Biographical/Historical Note

Joseph McKeen, the first president of Bowdoin College, served from 1802 until his death in 1807. He was born in 1757 in Londonderry, New Hampshire, the town his father and grandfather had helped to settle. McKeen, who received his A.B., A.M. and D.D. from Dartmouth in 1774, 1777, and 1804 respectively, taught school in Londonderry for eight years, had a short period of voluntary service in the Revolutionary War, and studied mathematics and astronomy in Cambridge, Massachusetts. McKeen spent a few terms assisting Dr. Pearson at Phillips (Andover) Academy before he moved to Beverly, Massachusetts, to preach from 1785 to 1802.

McKeen viewed Bowdoin College as a classical seminary that produced virtuous and pious Republicans. He presented the first six graduates of Bowdoin College with their Bachelor's degrees before dying in office.

McKeen married Alice Anderson in 1785; they had three sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Joseph (1787-1865), was an Overseer at Bowdoin(1813-29) and Secretary of the Board (1816-23). He was also Treasurer of the College and a Trustee (both 1829-65).

McKeen's second son, John (1789-1861), received his A.B. and A.M. from Bowdoin in 1811 and 1814 respectively. He served as an Overseer of the College (1839-61) and Secretary of the Board (1841-61). He married Frances, daughter of Richard Toppan of Brunswick, in 1821. The couple had one daughter.

McKeen's youngest son, James (1797-1873), received an A.B. and a A.M. from the College in 1817 and 1820 respectively. He succeeded one of his teachers as pracitioner in Topsham. James was Professor of Obstetrics in the Medical School from 1829 to 1839 and served as a lecturer on the Theory and Practice of Physics from 1837-39. He was also an Overseer from 1841-73. James had one child with his first wife, Sarah Farley of Waldoboro, and had no children with his second wife, Octavia Frost of Topsham.

Nancy, the eldest daughter of Joseph McKeen, married David Dunlap, a wealthy and well-known merchant in Brunswick.

The younger daughter, Alice married William J. Farley (Bowdoin 1820), but died in 1827.


Scope and Content

The collection consists of correspondence between Joseph McKeen (1757-1807), his family members, and others, as well as sermons, lectures, speeches, and biographical notes and clippings concerning individual family members. Also included in the collection are various photographs, lithographs, engravings, and silhouettes of Joseph McKeen.


Administrative Information

Publication Information

 George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011

3000 College Station
Brunswick, Maine, 04011
(207) 725-3288
scaref@bowdoin.edu

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.


Related Materials

Related Materials:

Sermons in this collection are supplemented by the Samuel Eaton and Joseph McKeen Sermons (M53). For related Joseph McKeen material, see the Joseph McKeen Administrative Records.


Collection Inventory

 M117.1 Joseph McKeen (1757-1807) Correspondence, Sermons, and Biographical Materials, 1781-1857, undated 1781-1857, undated   0.25 linear feet

Series Description:

Contains letters, sermons, clippings, and other biographical information relating to Joseph McKeen (1757-1807). The bulk of the correspondence is to or from McKeen, with the notable correspondents including Benjamin Vaughan and Elijah Kellogg. Also within the series are biographical notes and clippings concerning McKeen, several volumes of his sermons, and an account of the induction of President Willard at Harvard in 1781.

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically by material type.

Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Letters 

Box Folder
1 1

Rufus Anderson to Joseph McKeen, Hanover (NH). 6 August, 1791 [3p.] 

1 2

Levi McKeen to Joseph McKeen, Peterborough (NH). 6 August, 1791 [1p.] 

1 3

Rufus Anderson to Joseph McKeen, Bradford (NH). 8 November, 1791 [1p.] 

1 4

Rufus Anderson to Joseph McKeen, Exeter (NH). 15 May, 1792 [2p.] 

1 5

Simon Williams to Joseph McKeen, Windham (NH). 30 September, 1793 [2p.] 

1 6

Alex Macwhorter to Joseph McKeen, [n.p.]. 8 November, 1799 [1p.] 

1 7

Joseph McKeen to Jedidiah Morse, Beverly (MA). 23 December, 1800 [2p.] 

1 8

Elijah Kellogg to Joseph McKeen, Portland (ME). 18 June, 1801 [3p.] 

1 9

Elijah Kellogg to Joseph McKeen, Portland (ME). 18 July, 1801 [1p.] 

1 10

Elijah Kellogg to Joseph McKeen, Portland (ME). 24 July, 1801 [3p.] 

1 11

M. Newman to Joseph McKeen, [Andover, MA?]. 18 August, 1801 [1p.] 

1 12

Joseph McKeen to Joseph McKeen Jr., Beverly (MA). 24 August, 1801 [2p.] 

1 13

Joseph McKeen to Alice McKeen, Portland (ME). September, 1801 [2p.] 

1 14

Alfred Johnson to Joseph McKeen, Freeport (ME). 5 November, 1801 [2p.] 

1 15

Joseph McKeen to John Abbot, Beverly (MA). 30 December, 1801 [3p.] 

1 16

Levi McKeen to Joseph McKeen, Poughkeepsie (NY). 8 January, 1802 [3p.] 

1 17

John Abbot to Joseph McKeen, Portland (ME). 10 April, 1802 [3p.] 

1 18

Joseph McKeen to the Trustees & Overseers of Bowdoin College, Beverly (MA). 20 April, 1802 [4p.] 

1 19

Joseph McKeen to Elijah Kellogg, Beverly (MA). 10 May, 1802 [2p.] 

1 20

Joseph McKeen to Joseph McKeen Jr., Beverly (MA). 11 May, 1802 [2p.] 

1 21

John Prince to Joseph McKeen, Salem (MA). 12 June, 1803 [3p.] 

1 22

Joseph McKeen to Joseph McKeen Jr., Brunswick (ME). 28 September, 1804 [1p.] 

1 23

Joseph McKeen to Joseph McKeen Jr., Brunswick (ME). 7 October, 1804 [1p.] 

1 24

Joseph McKeen to Joseph McKeen Jr., Brunswick (ME). 13 October, 1804 [3p.] 

1 25

Joseph McKeen to Joseph McKeen, Jr,. Brunswick (ME). 20 October, 1804 [2p.] 

1 26

William Vaughan to Joseph McKeen, London (England). 30 July, 1805 [2p.] 

1 27

Joseph McKeen to Joseph McKeen Jr., Haverhill (NH). 31 May, 1806 [3p.] 

1 28

Benjamin Vaughan to Joseph McKeen, Hallowell (ME). 12 August, 1806 [2p.] 

1 29

Benjamin Vaughan to Joseph McKeen, Hallowell (ME). 19 August, 1806 [2p.] 

1 30

Joseph McKeen to Alice McKeen, Beverly (MA). 22 October, 1806 [3p.] 

1 31

Robert Rantoul to Nehemiah Cleavland, Beverly (MA). 26 March, 1856 [4p.] 

1 32

Fanny A. McKeen to Nehemiah Cleaveland, Brunswick (ME). 2 February, 1857 [2p.] 

1 33

Fanny A. McKeen to Nehemiah Cleaveland, Brunswick (ME). 9 April, 1857 [2p.] 

1 34

Joseph McKeen to Joseph McKeen Jr., Brunswick (ME). 20 September, [n.y.] [1p.] 

1 35

Joseph McKeen to the Trustees & Overseers of Bowdoin College, Brunswick (ME). [n.d.] [4p.] 

1 36

Joseph McKeen to E. Pearson, [n.p.], [n.d.] [2p.] 

Other Material 

Box Folder
1 37

Account of Induction of President Willard & Professor Tappan at Harvard 19 December, 1781 

1 38

Biographical Notes by A.S. Packard and N. Cleaveland 

1 39

Biographical Clippings, 1913-1966 

Sermons 

Box Folder
1 40

25 May, 1783 - 20 July, 1806.(2) 

1 41

13 December, 1783 - 6 July, 1806.(3) 

1 42

19 June, 1785 - 11 May, 1806.(1) 


 M117.2 McKeen Family Materials, 1811-1992 1811-1992   0.25 linear feet

Series Description:

Contains letters and other biographical information about Joseph McKeen's family. Consists mostly of the correspondence of John McKeen (1789-1861) and James McKeen (1844-1911). Also included are lectures by John McKeen, the College theme of 1853 by Joseph McKeen (1832-1881), and materials ofother family members.

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically by birthdate of family

Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Box Folder
1 43

Joseph McKeen (1787-1865): Biographical Clippings, 1865-1992 

1 44

John McKeen (1789-1861): Biographical Clippings, 1859-1914 

1 45

Lectures (Typescript), 1845-1846 

1 46

Correspondance, 1811-1861 

1 47

James McKeen (1797-1873): Biographical Clippings, 1873-1962 

1 48

John Orr McKeen (1823-?): Biographical Inquiry (1947) 

1 49

Joseph McKeen (1832-1881): Biographical Clippings, 1906 

1 50

Examination, 1853 

1 51

James McKeen (1844-1911): Biographical Clippings, 1891-1914 

1 52

Bowdoin Centennial Banquet 

1 53

Correspondance, 1881-1910 

1 54

Joseph McKeen: Biographical Clippings, 1909-1911 

Ovsz-Box
C

Alice McKeen sampler 


 M117.3 Images: Joseph McKeen (1757-1807), undated   0.25 linear feet

Series Description:

Images of Joseph McKeen (1757-1807), most of which are reproductions of the J.H. Bufford lithograph and the H.W. Smith engraving. Also includes serveral photographic reproductions and original silhouettes.

Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Box Folder
2 1

7 pieces: 7 reproductions of J.H. Bufford lithograph 

2 2

3 pieces: 3 cabinet cards of J.H. Bufford lithograph 

2 3

2 pieces: 2 photographs of J.H. Bufford lithograph 

2 4

5 pieces: 5 reproductions of H.W. Smith engraving 

2 5

4 pieces: 4 photographs of H.W. Smith engraving 

2 6

1 piece: 1 newsprint reproduction of H.W. Smith engraving 

2 7

3 pieces: 3 silhouettes 

2 8

3 pieces: 3 photographs of 3 silhouettes