About this Famous Person
American college professor from the State of Maine, who volunteered during the American Civil War to join the Union Army
Source : Stéphane HOUZE
Chamberlain was born Lawrence Joshua Chamberlain in Brewer, Maine, the son of Sarah Dupree (née Brastow) and Joshua Chamberlain. He was the oldest of five children. He entered Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1848, after teaching himself to read Ancient Greek in order to pass the entrance exam. While at Bowdoin he met many people who would influence his life, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, the wife of a Bowdoin professor. Chamberlain would often go to listen to her read passages from what would later become her celebrated novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin. He also joined the Peucinian Society, a group of students with Federalist leanings. A member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society and a brother of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, Chamberlain graduated in 1852.
He married Fanny Adams, adopted daughter of a local clergyman, in 1855, and they had five children, one of whom was born too prematurely to survive and two of whom died in infancy. Adams's father did not at first approve of the marriage, but later approved and shared a mutual respect with his son-in-law. Chamberlain studied for three additional years at Bangor Theological Seminary in Bangor, Maine, returned to Bowdoin, and began a career in education as a professor of rhetoric. He eventually went on to teach every subject in the curriculum with the exception of science and mathematics. In 1861 he was appointed Professor of Modern Languages. He was fluent in nine languages other than English: Greek, Latin, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Arabic, Hebrew, and Syriac.