Summary Information

Repository
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Creator
Willis, William, 1794-1870
Title
William Willis papers
ID
M189
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1862-1869
Date [inclusive]
1837-1958, (bulk 1862-1869)
Extent
0.25 linear feet
Language
Abstract
Correspondence (1837-69) concerning the history of Maine, approximately a dozen more letters concerning Willis's interests in Maine railroads; together with drafts of his writings, and information on the estates of Willis and his wife.

Preferred Citation

William Willis Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library.


Biographical/Historical Note

William Willis, a Portland lawyer, historian and politician, was the partner of William Pitt Fessenden. He was state senator in 1855 and mayor of Portland in 1857, president of the Maine Historical Society (1856-65), and president of the Maine Central Railroad. Always interested in public service, Willis accepted many positions with charitable organizations, or special public appointments. In 1867 Bowdoin awarded him an honorary degree.

The author of several short articles, many published in the Collections of the Maine Historical Society which he edited, Willis is best remembered for  A History of the Law, the Courts and the Lawyers of Maine (1863), and  The History of Portland, from its First Settlement ... (1831-33).


Scope and Content

The collection consists mostly of correspondence (1837-69) dealing with the history of Maine, approximately a dozen more letters concerning Willis's interests in Maine railroads; together with drafts of his writings, and information on the estates of Willis and his wife.

His correspondents included William Allen, Thomas Bulfinch, Henry B. Dawson, Charles Deane, George E. Ellis, William Pitt Fessenden, Reuben A. Guild, John A. Poor, George H. Preble, Elizabeth Oakes Prince Smith and Joseph Williamson. More extensive correspondence (eight or more letters) was with Edward Ballard, Brunswick clergyman; Edward E. Bourne, Kennebunk lawyer; Alpheus Spring Packard, Bowdoin professor; John H. Sheppard, Boston lawyer and librarian of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society; Harrison Whitman, Massachusetts clergyman; and Leonard Woods, Bowdoin president.


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

Collection Inventory

 M189.1 Correspondence, 1837-1869, undated 

Series Description:

This series consists of correpondence from 1837-1969, undated primarily concerning the history of Maine and approximately a dozen more letters concerning Willis's interests in Maine railroads.

His correspondents included William Allen, Thomas Bulfinch, Henry B. Dawson, Charles Deane, George E. Ellis, William Pitt Fessenden, Reuben A. Guild, John A. Poor, George H. Preble, Elizabeth Oakes Prince Smith and Joseph Williamson. More extensive correspondence (eight or more letters) was with Edward Ballard, Brunswick clergyman; Edward E. Bourne, Kennebunk lawyer; Alpheus Spring Packard, Bowdoin professor; John H. Sheppard, Boston lawyer and librarian of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society; Harrison Whitman, Massachusetts clergyman; and Leonard Woods, Bowdoin president. A full list of correspondents is included in this series.

Box Folder
1 1

List of Correspondents 

    1 2

    1837-1849 

      1 3

      1854-1861 

        1 4

        1862 (Jan-Mar) 

          1 5

          1862 (Apr- Jul) 

            2 6

            1862 (Aug- Oct) 

              1 7

              1862 (Nov- Dec) 

                1 8

                1863 (Jan- Mar) 

                  1 9

                  1863 (Apr- Jul) 

                    Box Box
                    1 10

                    1863 (Aug- Dec) 

                      Box Folder
                      1 11

                      1864 (Jan- Feb) 

                        1 12

                        1864 (Mar- Apr) 

                          1 13

                          1864 (May-Jun) 

                            1 14

                            1864 (Jul-Sep) 

                              1 15

                              1864 (Oct- Dec) 

                                1 16

                                1865 (Jan-Mar) 

                                  1 17

                                  1865 (Apr-Jun) 

                                    1 18

                                    1865 (Jul- Dec) 

                                      1 19

                                      1867 (Jan- Feb) 

                                        1 20

                                        1867 (Mar) 

                                          1 21

                                          1867 (Apr- May) 

                                            1 22

                                            1867 (Jun- Oct) 

                                              1 23

                                              1867 (Nov- Dec) 

                                                1 24

                                                1868 (Jan- Feb) 

                                                  1 25

                                                  1868 (Mar) 

                                                    1 26

                                                    1868 (Apr- May) 

                                                      1 27

                                                      1868 (Jun- Aug) 

                                                        1 28

                                                        1868 (Sep- Oct) 

                                                          1 29

                                                          1868 (Nov- Dec) 

                                                            1 30

                                                            1869 (Jan- Apr) 

                                                              1 31

                                                              1869 (May- Jun) 

                                                                1 32

                                                                1869 (Sep- Dec) 

                                                                  1 33

                                                                  Undated or Unidentified 


                                                                     M189.2 Notes, Documents, Clippings, etc., 1852-1958, undated 

                                                                    Series Description:

                                                                    This series includes drafts of William Willis's writings, information on his and his wife's estates, and biographical newspaper clippings.

                                                                    Box Folder
                                                                    1 34

                                                                    MS of "History of the Convention which adopted the Constitution of Maine" 

                                                                      1 35

                                                                      MS notes, including draft of "Editor's Preface" of vol 1 of the Documentary Hitory of the State of Maine (Coll of Maine Historical Society, Series 2) 

                                                                        1 36

                                                                        Estate, 1870-1878 

                                                                          1 37

                                                                          Julia Willis-Will & Estate 

                                                                            1 38

                                                                            Clippings, 191[?], 1958