Thomas Angell was born on November 10, 1837 in Greensville, Rhode Island. In 1862 he graduated from Brown University. For a short time he was a minister, but he soon turned his attention to teaching. He served as principal of the Lapham Institute in North Scituate, Rhode Island for four years. In 1869, he came to Bates College as Professor of French and German.
While at Bates, Angell was granted a leave of absence for one year which he spent in France and Germany, devoting himself to the study of language and literature. When he returned, he succeeded professor B. F. Hayes as Professor of Modern Languages. Angell was one of the first group of faculty and administrators who guided Bates College through its formative years. He taught at the College for 33 years, retiring in 1902. Professor Angell married Emily Brown and they had one child, Mary Frances, an 1890 graduate of Bates College. Mrs. Angell died in 1902 and Thomas Angell died in 1923 in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The collection contains a two volume diary Angell kept from January 1, 1859-July 24, 1870. In the first volume, Angell writes about life as a student at Brown University and records such events as attending a Republican meeting and seeing Abraham Lincoln speak in Providence. Angell frequently records his reaction to national events, such as the hanging of John Brown and the outbreak of the Civil War. Angell writes about life after graduation from Brown in 1862, and enlisting in the Rhode Island militia as aide de camp for General Tourtellotte. He records detailed information about his home town of Greenville, Rhode Island, an area with a very large Free Will Baptist population, and writes about nearby North Scituate, Rhode Island where he served as principal of the Lapham Institute, a now defunct Baptist school with close ties to Bates College.
In the second volume of his diary, Angell writes more about his time at Lapham Institute, and records his transition to becoming a professor at Bates College, and purchasing a house in Lewiston from Oren B. Cheney, Bates College's founder. Angell records his reactions to early Bates students and faculty, and the graduation of Mary Mitchell, Class of 1869, as the first female graduate of a New England college. Angell ends the diary recording his travels in Europe.
The collection also includes a scrapbook containing a wide array of Civil War era articles, as well as Angell's receipts for voting for Abraham Lincoln in the Presidential election. The various articles pasted in the scrapbook include poetry, political satire, and notable news articles about topics such as Lincoln's inauguration, the Dred Scott case, and the fall of Fort Sumter.
The collection also includes a photograph album containing tintypes and photographs of various members of the Angell and Brown families and Thomas Angell's handwritten index of the photographs. The cover is embossed with the name Frances Brown.
Also included is Angell's journal from 1856 while attending the Thetford Academy in Vermont; translations of The English Echo (1869); Angell's letters as published in the Woonsocket Patriot during his European trip (1869-1870); and a few miscellaneous papers, including some genealogical information.
The collection is in chronological order.
The collection is open for research.
The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.
These records are indexed under the following headings in the Bates College Library catalog. Researchers wishing to find related materials should search the catalog under these index terms.
Angell, Thomas L., 1837-1923
Angell, Thomas L., 1837-1923--Diaries
Bates College (Lewiston, Me.)--Faculty
Bates College (Lewiston, Me.)--History
Free Will Baptists (1780?-1911)
Lapham Institute (North Scituate, R.I.)
France--Description and travel
Germany--Description and travel
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Donated by the Worcester County Law Library, 1940. Accession No.: xx-057.
Thomas Angell papers, Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College.
Initially processed by Mary Riley, Special Collections Librarian.
Description by Caron Pelletier, 1999.
Additional arrangement by Kurt Kuss, 1999.
Additional description by Timothy Larson (Class of 2005), 2005.
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