Location: Bowdoin / Library / Special Collections & Archives / Manuscript Collections / Leonard Woods Collection, 1818-1964, n.d. (bulk 1818-1879)

Leonard Woods Collection, 1818-1964, n.d. (bulk 1818-1879)

0.75 linear feet

Catalog Number: M190

Series List:


Agency History / Biographical Note:
Leonard Woods, the fourth president of Bowdoin College, was born in Newbury, Massachusetts, on November 24, 1807. Woods was the fourth of ten children of Abbie Wheeler Woods and the Rev. Leonard Woods, who was the first professor in the Theological Seminary at Andover, Massachusetts. After preparing for college at Phillips Andover Academy, Woods matriculated at Dartmouth in 1824. He later switched to Union College, where he earned a reputation as a Greek scholar, graduating in 1827. He received advanced degrees from Colby (D.D., 1839), Harvard (D.D., 1846), and Bowdoin (LL.D., 1866). Only 32 years old, Woods became one of the youngest college presidents in the United States when he accepted the presidency at Bowdoin in 1839, a position he held until 1866. During his tenure the College completed the construction of Adams and Appleton Halls as well as the Chapel. A bachelor all his life, Leonard Woods died in Boston, Massachusetts, December 24, 1878.

Scope and Content:
Letters, images, articles, clippings, and other materials (1832-1964) relating to Leonard Woods. The bulk of the correspondence is between Woods and members of the Trustees, Overseers, and faculty of Bowdoin College. Most of the material in the collection concerns Woods' activities as President of the College, particularly his acceptance and resignation of this position, and the College's declaration of denominational status in 1846. For related materials see the Leonard Woods Administrative Records.

Cite as: Leonard Woods Collection, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Access Restrictions: None.

George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
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