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Nehemiah Cleaveland papers

Identifier: M033

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Scope and Content

This collection contains Nehemiah Cleaveland's family correspondence as well as correspondence with friends, colleagues, and Bowdoin alumni. In addition to individual letters there are notebooks containing lists of Bowdoin graduates, copies of letters sent to alumni, and information compiled about graduates. There is also miscellaneous print material including manuscript poems, notes, and articles.


  • Creation: 1806-1877, undated


Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Biographical/Historical Note

Nehemiah Cleaveland was born on August 16, 1796 in Topsfield, Massachusetts. When he was eleven years old he was sent to Brunswick to live with his cousin, Bowdoin professor, Parker Cleaveland. Nehemiah Cleaveland entered Bowdoin at the age of thirteen, graduating with the class of 1813. From 1814-1848, he held a number of positions in education including Bowdoin tutor of Latin and Greek (1817-1820), and principal of Dummer Academy (1821-1839). Cleaveland was a writer and delivered numerous addresses, including an address on the history of Bowdoin College, given during the College's 1852 semi-centennial celebration. Cleaveland collected information and reminiscences of Bowdoin alumni, a "Bowdoin Memorial," which became the History of Bowdoin College with Biographical Sketches of its Graduates, from 1806 to 1879, inclusive. This history of the College written by Cleaveland was edited and completed by Alpheus S. Packard in 1882.

In 1823 Cleaveland married Abby Pickard, daughter of Dr. Joseph Manning of Charleston, South Carolina, and they had four children: Joseph M., George N., Henry W., and Abby E. Cleaveland. Abby Pickard Cleaveland died in 1836; Cleaveland married Katharine Atherton in 1842; she died in 1846. Nehemiah Cleaveland died on April 17, 1877.


0.75 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Nehemiah Cleaveland (1796-1877) graduated from Bowdoin in 1813 and held a number of educational positions, including tutor of Latin and Greek at Bowdoin from 1817 to 1820, and as principal of Dummer Academy from 1821 to 1839. Cleaveland spent several years collecting material and reminiscences of Bowdoin alumni to produce his "History of Bowdoin College with Biographical Sketches of its Graduates, from 1806 to 1879, Inclusive," which was published posthumously in 1882. The Nehemiah Cleaveland collection contains his correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, and Bowdoin alumni, as well as his notebooks.

Related Materials

Additional information on Nehemiah Cleaveland's cousin, Parker Cleaveland, is available in the Cleaveland-Chandler Family Papers and in the Parker Cleaveland Collection.

Guide to the Nehemiah Cleaveland Papers
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011 Repository

3000 College Station
Brunswick Maine 04011 USA
(207) 725-3288