Framed decades ago by someone sensitive to it’s history yet hung where it was exposed to sunlight such that it’s components
are severely faded, this little frame contains the remains of a cigar over an inscribed envelope. Faded nearly beyond legibility
yet distinctively in the hand of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is the telltale penned inscription.
Little has been set down to offer the modern historian an inclination of how close a friendship the two Bowdoin men had, one a
world renowned poet the other a prominent hero of the late American Civil War. We do know that Chamberlain had enough
influence that upon his request and despite Longfellow’s aversion to public speaking, the old poet would travel from his home
in Cambridge, Mass. to the Bowdoin campus in Brunswick, Maine to speak there on the occasion of the General’s fifteenth
reunion in 1867. One contemporary account tells us his reading was barely audible.