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As Colby College approaches 1963, the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the granting of its charter by the General Court of Massachusetts, a new history of the college seems appropriate. Many changes have occurred during the third of a century since Dr. Edwin C. Whittemore published his history of the college in 1927. A great deal of material not available to Dr. Whittemore has also come to light concerning Colby's first century. Decision has therefore been made to publish an entirely new account.

The present [1963] history seeks to portray the development of the college against the background of the changing times. For instance, early events are shown in the light of the Baptist movement of the early nineteenth century, of the controversy between Federalist Boston and Jeffersonian Maine, and of the importance of the Dartmouth College decision by the United States Supreme Court. In the later periods consideration has necessarily been given to the effect of the Civil War on Maine business and finance, the splurge of investment in western lands, the theological conservatism of Maine Baptists, and the shifting tides in New England regarding coeducation.

Persistently this history seeks to answer the recurring question, "Why?" Why was the theological course so soon abandoned? Why did General Richardson wreck the chances to secure an additional land grant? Why did Gardner Colby's restrictions on his gift in 1865 cease to be effective? Why was the Centennial celebrated in 1920 instead of 1913? Why did enrollment of men decline alarmingly in the first decade of this century? These and many other questions confront any serious inquirer into Colby history.

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In Copyright


Colby College Press


Waterville, Maine


Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research

The History of Colby College