Joshua Chamberlain served as
President of Bowdoin College from 1871 to 1883. As President, Chamberlain
sought to install several progressive reforms. In his inaugural address in
1871, He advocated for women to be admitted to the College, a full one-hundred
years before co-education became a reality. This is just one of many issues
that Chamberlain clashed with the Board of Trustees over, as each group saw a very
different vision for the future of the College. The following letter is from
Chamberlain to a female student applying to enter the Medical School in 1872.
Oct 9 1872
Dr. Brackett has handed me your letter suggesting your entering our Medical School.
perceive the reasonableness of your proposition, and regret that not having
contemplated such applications we
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as would be fit + proper in the case.
I am sure that with the high character + famed purpose you evince, however, will soon find these "equal times" which they so justly desire, either by building up new Colleges or by raising up the old ones.
Very Truly yrs
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Citation: George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College, Joshua L. Chamberlain Collection, M27.
Index Terms: Co-education; Brackett, Cyrus; Low, C.F.; Female; Admission; Medical School; Presidency; Bowdoin College
 Dr. Cyrus Brackett, Professor of Chemistry and Zoology.