Romance is Eternal, and Bowdoin’s Special Collections Can Prove It


On June 19, 1864, Col. Joshua Chamberlain lay on an operating table, wounded from a rifle bullet and thinking he had just moments to live. He scribbled a farewell note to his wife, Fanny. “You have been a precious gift to me,” he wrote. “To know and love you makes life and death beautiful.” (Chamberlain survived his injury, and the couple remained together until Fanny’s death in 1905, at age 80.)

Chamberlain’s note, along with other love letters and love-related mementos were set out for public view at Hawthorne-Longfellow Library on Wednesday, in anticipation of Valentine’s Day. Special Collections has begun marking special days and holidays with small exhibits. The last one was on Halloween, and the next will be April 25, on Earth Day, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Read more.

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