Skip to main content

Brewster Family collection

Identifier: M201

  • Staff Only
  • Please use the Collection Organization section below to place requests.

Scope and Contents

The collection (1900-1983, bulk 1923-1962) contains scrapbooks, letters, clippings, assorted ephemera and images compiled and saved by Ralph Owen Brewster's mother, Carrie Bridges Brewster, and his wife, Dorothy Foss Brewster. The materials primarily reflect the political career of Ralph Owen Brewster but also provide information through family letters and memorabilia about other Brewster family members. The photographs include Brewster family portraits and images of Ralph Owen Brewster's political activities. Also included are home movies featuring Brewster family and friends. A later addition comprises the correspondence (ca. 1934-1975) of Ralph Owen and Dorothy Brewster's son, Charles F. Brewster (Bowdoin 1937).

More extensive documentation of Brewster's political career is available in the Ralph Owen Brewster Papers.


  • Creation: 1900-1983, undated
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1923 - 1962


Biographical / Historical

Ralph Owen Brewster (1888-1961) was born in Dexter, Maine, to William E. and Carrie Bridges Brewster on February 22, 1888. He was graduated from Bowdoin College in 1909 (summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa Society). He worked as the principal of Castine High School before attending Harvard University. There he earned an L.L.B. in 1913. From 1914-1925 Brewster was a partner in the Portland, Maine, law firm of Chapman and Brewster. His political career began in 1916 when he was elected to the lower house of the Maine legislature. After resigning this position in order to enlist in the U.S. Army, Brewster was re-elected after his return at the end of World War I. In 1922 he was elected to the Maine State Senate, where he served until being elected governor of Maine in 1924. He served as governor from 1924-1928, was elected as the 3rd District U.S. congressman from 1934-1940, then won a seat in the U.S. Senate, serving from 1941-1952. Brewster lost the election for a third term in the U.S. Senate in 1952 and retired in 1953. Brewster married Dorothy Foss in 1913. They had two sons: Charles Brewster, born in 1916, and Owen Brewster, who was born in 1917 but died young in 1932. Brewster died in Brookline, Massachusetts, on December 25, 1961.


6.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains political scrapbooks, letters, clippings, assorted ephemera and images compiled and saved by Ralph Owen Brewster's mother and wife.

Guide to the Brewster Family Collection
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