Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 819 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOSHUA LAWRENCE CHAMBERLAIN (1828– ), American soldier and educationalist, was born at Brewer, Maine, on the 8th of September 1828. He graduated at Bowdoin College in 1852, and at the Bangor Theological Seminary in 1855, and was successively tutor in logic and natural theology (1855–1856), professor of rhetoric and oratory (1856-1861), and professor of modern languages (1861–1865), at Bowdoin. In 1862 he entered the Federal army as lieutenant-colonel of the loth Maine Infantry. His military career was marked by great personal bravery and energy and intrepidity as a leader. He was six times wounded, and participated in all the important battles in the East from Antietam onwards, including Fredericks-burg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Five Forks. For his conduct at Petersburg, where he was severely wounded, he was promoted to be brigadier-general of volunteers. He was breveted major-general of volunteers on the 29th of March 1865, and led the Federal advance in the final operations against General R. E. Lee. In 1893 he received a Congressional medal of honour " for daring heroism and great tenacity in holding his position on the Little Round Top and carrying the advance position on the Great Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg." After the war he was again professor of rhetoric and oratory at Bowdoin in 1865–1866, and in 1867–187o was governor of Maine, having been elected as a Republican. From 1871 to 1883 he was president of Bowdoin College, and during 1874–1879 was professor of mental and moral philosophy also. Appointed in 188o by Alonzo Garcelon, the retiring governor, to protect the property and institutions of the state until a new governor should be duly qualified, and acting as major-general of the state militia, Chamberlain did much to avert possible civil war, at a time of great political excitement and bitter partisan feeling. (See MAINE: History.) In 1883–1885 he was a lecturer on political science and public law at Bowdoin, and in 1900 became surveyor of customs for the district of Portland, Maine. He published Maine, Her Place in History (1877), and edited Universities and Their Sons (6 vols., 1898).

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