Faith by Their Works: Our Progressive Tradition

Was Bates truly an oasis of radical egalitarianism right from its 1855 founding? Or was Bates’ early history more complex, particularly given the paternalistic and racist educational norms of the times?

In his honors thesis, history major Tim Larson ’05 takes on the College’s historic view of itself, exploring 19th-century Bates faculty attitudes toward abolitionism and race, race relations on campus, women at Bates, and issues of class.

The honors thesis became an academic centerpiece of the college’s 150th anniversary observance in 2005.


Chapter 1: Faculty Attitudes Toward Abolitionism and Race

Chapter 2: Race Relations on the Bates Campus

Chapter 3: Women at Bates College

Chapter 4: Class at Bates