Skip to main content
Bowdoin College homepage

Politics and Government: Resources

General Records

The listing below describes collections containing miscellaneous political resources relating to specific political or governmental issues, events, or processes.  Collections relating to specific elected offices are described under the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branch section of this guide. [Click here for a list of Bowdoin alumni who have served in the federal government.]

Links on the list take two forms: highlighted entries not accompanied by descriptive text lead to an entry elsewhere within the Politics and Government Guide; highlighted collection titles accompanied by descriptive text lead to a guide that details the contents of those collections.

Politics in General

1.3.3 - Alumni scrapbooks, 1825-1930. 12 linear feet.

Scrapbooks compiled by the college or by individual college alumni. Scrapbooks may contain photographs, memorabilia, and news clippings. Scrapbooks span primarily the late 1800s and early 1900s. Most scrapbooks cover undergraduate years; some include post-Bowdoin activities.

Included are individual scrapbooks on Speaker of the House Thomas Brackett Reed (Bowdoin 1860), Maine Governor Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Bowdoin 1852), Congressman Jonathan Cilley of Maine (Bowdoin 1825), and Senator William Pierce Frye of Maine (Bowdoin 1850).

M91 - Oliver Otis Howard Papers, 1833-1912 (bulk 1846-1908). 60.0 linear feet.

Howard (1830-1909, Bowdoin 1850), a career officer in the United States Army, rose to the rank of bvt. maj. general in the Volunteers during the Civil War and, later, in the Regular Army. He became commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands (1865-1873); commanded the Departments of the Columbia (1874-1880) and of the Platte (1882-1886), the former during the Nez Perce War; served as Superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point (1880-1882); and the Divisions of the Pacific (1886-8) and the East (1888-1894). Howard was instrumental in founding Howard and Lincoln Memorial Universities. In 1872, he led a peace mission to the Chiricahua Apache Chief Cochise. Howard was also involved in Republican Party politics, the Congregational Home Missionary Society, the Young Men's Christian Association, the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, and the Congregational Church.

Included are correspondence, articles, addresses, lectures, publications, diaries, clippings, indexes and other material from the personal and unofficial professional records of Oliver Otis Howard. He corresponded with more than 14,000 people, including notables in the military, and in the areas of social reformation, politics and law, religion, education, literature and journalism, and the arts. Although not a political figure himself, Howard corresponded with many early Republicans and members of Congress.

Republican Party Scrapbooks, 1884-1902. 1 linear foot.

These seven volumes were compiled by Joseph H. Manley (1842-1905), of Augusta, Maine, a lawyer and politician who filled several city and state positions. Manley published the Maine Farmer (1878-1905) and was chairman of the Maine (1881-1901) and National Republican Committees (1896-1904). He was a close friend and political ally of James G. Blaine of Maine.

The scrapbooks contain clippings, mainly from newspapers, relating to the Republican Party, 1884-1902. They are particularly strong in material about Blaine.

M213 - James E. Basset, Jr., Papers, 1929-78. 3.5 linear feet.

James E. Bassett, Jr. (1912-1978, Bowdoin 1934) served as a reporter and in several editorial positions on the Los Angeles Times, rising to associate editor (1934-1941, 1945-1948, 1961-1977) and in several editorial offices at the Los Angeles Mirror (1948-1960?), becoming assistant managing editor in 1957. A Navy lieutenant during World War II, Bassett was Admiral William Halsey's public relations officer. He was interested in Republican politics and served as press secretary for Richard Nixon's 1952 vice-presidential campaign, as public relations director for the Republican National Committee in 1954, as campaign director for Nixon's 1956 vice-presidential campaign, and as planning director of Nixon's 1960 presidential bid. Bassett was the author of Harm's Way, The Sky Suspended and Commander Prince, USN.

The collection contains a diary and memoribilia from Bassett's Bowdoin days; letters and photographs from the Nixon campaigns; wartime letters to his wife and memoribilia; and drafts of his published and unpublished works.

P12 - Miscellaneous political material, 1964 and 1970. 0.25 linear feet.

This material includes information on the presidential election of 1963 between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater, and on the 1970 Maine Democratic convention. The convention's speakers included Senator Edmund Muskie, Governor Kenneth Curtis, congressmen William Hathaway and Peter Kyros, and guest speaker Walter Mondale of Minnesota. Discussions centered on the state party platform and political issues of the day.

Both parts of the collection contain flyers, clippings, pamphlets, stickers and buttons (1964 and 1970); the latter also contains agendas, reports and other material discussing political issues of interest to the state of Maine.

M202 - George J. Mitchell Papers, 1950 - (bulk 1974-1994).

Political Issues or Events

M167 - Samuel E. Smith Papers, 1786-1880 (bulk 1822-1860).

P11 - Northeast Boundary Material, 1826-1840. 0.75 linear feet.

The northeast boundary controversy refers to the conflict between the state of Maine and the province of New Brunswick, as well as the United States and British Canada respectively, over the placement of the boundary defined in the 1783 Treaty of Paris. Repeated attempts at settlements during the 1820s and 1830s failed, resulting in the largely bloodless Aroostook War (1838-1839). The Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842 settled the long-standing dispute by defining the current demarcation line.

This collection of pamphlets (1826-1840) includes both state (Maine and Massachusetts) and federal publications concerning the boundary and the dispute, as well as a bibliography of "Works Relating to the North East Boundary" published in the December 1900 Bulletin of the New York Public Library.

M50 - Neal Dow Papers, 1852-1887 (bulk 1852-1859). 0.25 linear feet.

Neal Dow (1804-1897), Union brigadier general and mayor of Portland, Maine (1851-1858), is best remembered as a temperance reformer and "father of the 1851 Maine Law." He was, throughout his life, deeply involved in temperance organizations and became the Prohibition Party's presidential candidate in 1880.

The collection consists almost entirely of letters, 1852-1887, concerning temperance. Most are from Dow, while mayor of Portland, to E.W. Jackson, a minister, temperance activist and, later, agent of the Maine Temperance Society.

M115 - William E. Lunt Papers, 1918-1926 (bulk 1918-1919). 1.25 linear feet.

William E. Lunt (1882-1956, Bowdoin 1904) spent most of his academic career as Walter D. and Edith M.L. Scull Professor of English and Constitutional History at Haverford College (1917-1952). Woodrow Wilson appointed Lunt chief of the Italian Division of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace at the Paris talks that ended the First World War (1918-1919). His responsibilities included developing the American position on the Italian-Yugoslav border.

Letters (1918-1919 and undated), documents, reports, maps, original or copied statistical charts, clippings, etc. (1918-1926 and undated), all concerning the American Commission to Negotiate Peace, the Italian-Yugoslav border, or the general peace negotiations. The letters include several from Lunt and other negotiators, many addressed to President Wilson.

Bowdoin Peace Movement (1968) [4.8.1] and Strike (1970) Material, 1968-1988 (bulk 1968-1970). 0.5 linear feet.

Bowdoin, like other American colleges and universities, was caught up in the issues of the late 1960s, especially the social unrest triggered by the Vietnam War. The student body, with support from some faculty members, reacted with two major movements: a peace and anti-draft movement which started in 1968 and continued in a small way through 1970, and a student strike which shut down classes and other College activities in May of 1970.

Clippings, news releases, broadsides, and other material relating to the peace and strike movements on the Bowdoin campus. The collections were compiled by a member of the Bowdoin College Library staff.

Kent State Clippings, 1972. 0.25 linear feet.

John M. Bachulus (1899-1984, Bowdoin 1822) was a medical officer in the U.S. Navy, serving around the world, including in Algeria, Italy and England. In 1972 he was retired from the Navy, living in Brunswick, Maine.

Bachulus compiled this collection of clippings and copies of the daily Kent Stater relating to the 1972 shootings of student protesters by members of the Ohio National Guard.