Joshua larwence chamberlin
My name is Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain; I am going to tell you a brief history on what the United States was like before I was born. In 1788 the United States became an independent nation. It was made up of thirteen states and owned several territories on the western side of the Mississippi River. The countries population was about four million people that lived mainly in the eastern states. In 1787 the country expanded its boundaries and accepted a new territory to the original 13 colonies. The new territory was called the “Northwest Territory.” The Northwest Territory was in equal basis to the laws and rights of the eastern states. The government formed states out of the territories west of the original 13. Ten new states formed between 1791 and 1820. Through the years the government also purchased many states form other countries, such as Florida (from Spain), and the Louisiana Purchase (from France), which almost doubled the United States in size.
The United States was forming different sections during the early 1800s. In the Northeast big cities and industry thrived, and the South consisted of large farms. These different sections had different views. Slavery was the biggest issue that the north and south disagreed on. People in the south said that they needed slaves for help with harvesting crops. But people in the north wanted slavery to be abolished.
I was born September 8, 1828, in Brewer, Maine. Maine is the northern most state on the Atlantic coast of the continental United States. I grew up on a 100-acre farm, the oldest of five children. I had three brothers: Horace, John, and Thomas and one sister Sarah. My mother, Sarah Dupee Brastow Chamberlain, was a woman of great wit, a gentle but firm hand, and strong Christian faith. My father, Joshua Jr., was a strict but generous man, who taught his children to think for themselves, but who never let his children forget who was boss. As a boy I briefly attended Whiting's Military and Classical School, my father intended to fit me for West Point. But my mother wanted me to study for the ministry. I didn't care to do either, but I especially didn't care to go into the army in peacetime. I eventually conceded to my mother's wishes, but only if I could serve as a missionary overseas. In 1846, I decided to attend Bowdoin College in Brunswick. My years as a Bowdoin student were filled with studies and other activities.
At First Parish Church, I first set eyes on the pretty, dark-haired Frances Caroline Adams known to friends and family as Fannie. She was the adopted daughter of First Parish Church's pastor, the Rev. George Adams; Fannie had been born and raised in Boston, but was sent at a very young age to live with her father's nephew and his wife. I fell head-over-heels in love with Fannie, a very well educated young woman herself, skilled in both music and art. She was also very strong-willed and rather fond of "fancy things", like elaborate clothes and furs. It was not an easy courtship. It seemed at times that Dr. Adams didn't think that I was "good enough" for his daughter, although that would change with time. There also seems some indication that Fannie did not have the same strong feelings towards me as I did towards her. But we finally became engaged in the fall of 1852. We agreed to marry after my graduation from Bowdoin, and after I completed three years of study at Bangor Theological Seminary. Fannie returned from Georgia in August 1855, in time to see me graduate from Bangor Theological Seminary, and take my Masters' Degree from Bowdoin (I received my Bachelor's Degree in 1852). I was also invited to give the Masters' Oration at Bowdoin's commencement in 1855. The speech, entitled "Law and Liberty" was a resounding success. My first public speech ever was at the1852 graduation!
In the wake of the success of the speech, I was offered part of the work in the Department of Revealed and Natural Religion at Bowdoin (Professor Stowe was leaving to take another post at Yale). When the next term opened