Whispering Pines: The View from 300 Feet and 110 Years

Whispering Pines

A detail in a 1907 bird’s-eye view of the campus was the starting point for this essay. In the first decade of the twentieth century, W.T. Littig & Company in New York published hand-colored photogravure prints of college and university campuses as they might appear if viewed from a hot-air balloon. The Bowdoin College print was based on a watercolor painting by H.D. Nichols, copyrighted by Littig & Co., and printed by A.W. Elson & Co. in Boston.
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Whispering Pines: Written by Himself

Whispering Pines

The man called “America’s first political satirist” and Abraham Lincoln’s favorite humorist was born in a log cabin in Buckfield, Maine, in 1792. Seba Smith had a hardscrabble childhood. After the family relocated to Bridgton he worked in a brickyard and an iron foundry and also taught school. Thanks to support from a “generous and philanthropic relative” in Portland, he entered Bowdoin at the age of twenty and graduated at the top of his class in 1818.
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Whispering Pines: The Scholar and the World

Whispering Pines

“The scholar and the world! The endless strife,
The discord in the harmonies of life!
The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books;
The market-place, the eager love of gain,
Whose aim is vanity, and whose end is pain!”

– from “Morituri Salutamus” (1875) by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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