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Chamberlain Family Papers

Identifier: SpC MS 0093

Scope and Contents

The collection contains papers of various members of the Chamberlain family of Brewer, Maine. It also includes some papers of the Farrington family, also of Brewer. The papers are arranged in the following order: Papers of Joshua Chamberlain, Jr.; Papers of Sarah Brastow Chamberlain; Papers of Joshua L. Chamberlain; Papers of Horace B. Chamberlain; Papers of John Calhoun Chamberlain; Papers of Thomas Davee Chamberlain; Miscellaneous Chamberlain Family Papers; Farrington Family Papers; and Miscellaneous Material.


  • Creation: 1821-1958


Access Restrictions

This collection is kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice is required for retrieval.

Use Restrictions

Information on literary rights available in the repository.

Biographical Note

Joshua Chamberlain, Jr., son of Joshua and Ann Gould Chamberlain, was born in Orrington, Maine, in 1800. He married Sarah Brastow of Holden in 1827, and they had five children: Joshua Lawrence, Horace B., Sarah B., John Calhoun, and Thomas Davee Chamberlain. A resident of Brewer, Maine, Chamberlain was a county commissioner and a lieutenant colonel in the militia as well as holding other offices. He died in 1880.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, born in 1828, graduated from Bowdoin College in 1852, studied at the Bangor Theological Seminary for three years, and then returned to Bowdoin as a professor. Chamberlain joined the 20th Maine Regiment in 1862, achieved fame at the Battle of Gettysburg, and was wounded at Petersburg. During his military career he served in 20 battles and many skirmishes. After returning from the war, he was elected governor of Maine, 1866-1869, and served as president of Bowdoin from 1871-1883. Chamberlain died in 1914.

Horace B. Chamberlain was born in 1834 and graduated from Bowdoin College in 1857. He practiced law in Bangor and died in 1861.

Sarah B. Chamberlain was born in 1836. In 1867 she married Charles O. Farrington, a merchant in Brewer.

John Calhoun Chamberlain was born in 1838, graduated from Bowdoin in 1859 and from the Bangor Theological Seminary in 1864. He saw service in the U.S. Christian Commission and was chaplain of the Eleventh Volunteers in the Civil War. He died in Castine in 1867.

Thomas Davee Chamberlain, born in 1841, was also a soldier in the Civil War. Enlisting as a private in the 20th Maine Volunteers he rose through the ranks to lieutenant colonel, serving at the front in 25 battles and skirmishes. He died in 1896.


1 linear foot (1 box)

1 folio folders

Language of Materials



Contains papers of various members of the Chamberlain family of Brewer, Maine, including those of Joshua Chamberlain, Jr., his wife Sarah Brastow Chamberlain, and their children Joshua L., Horace B., Sarah B., John Calhoun, and Thomas Davee Chamberlain. Papers of members of the Farrington family are also included.


The papers of Joshua Chamberlain, Jr. include a memorandum book, 1821, of his notes on subjects such as geometry, surveying, etc.; incoming correspondence including a few letters from his son, Joshua L. Chamberlain; and legal documents and maps of Maine townships reflecting his land ownership and involvement in logging and selling logs.

Sarah Brastow Chamberlain’s papers include a letter written by her in 1825, a valuation and tax statement, 1881; and a few letters, 1852, 1877, to her from her son Joshua.

The papers of Joshua L. Chamberlain contain his diplomas from Bowdoin College; six letters written by him between 1868 and 1914; and author’s proofs of his book, The Passing of the Armies, as well as copies of some of his published works. The papers also include newspaper and magazine articles about Chamberlain and illustrations of him taken from various sources.

The papers of Horace B. Chamberlain and John Calhoun Chamberlain each contain a small amount of material reflecting their studies at Bowdoin and at the Bangor Theological Seminary as well as copies of John Chamberlain’s essays, poems, etc.

Thomas Chamberlain’s papers include materials on his enlistment and service in the 20th Maine Regiment Company G as well as a letter, 1863, written to one of his brothers, and his photograph and signature card.

The miscellaneous Chamberlain family papers contain genealogical information about the Chamberlain and Farrington families.

The Farrington family papers include letters to Sarah Chamberlain Farrington from Joshua L. Chamberlain, as well as various legal and business papers of the family, 1816-1955, and papers relating to Mill Dam School and School District No. 2 in Brewer, Maine.

The collection ends with a group of miscellaneous documents that cannot be attributed to any particular person represented in the collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from/gift of Arthur F. Winslow, Windsor, Conn. in 1969.

Guide to the Chamberlain Family Papers
Box And Folder List Available
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States