I would like to thank my predecessors at Bates College for both making and writing about Bates history.
This work has truly been a labor of love and has allowed me to gain much deeper understanding of the both the continuity and the changes at Bates. Without these individuals, this community and this thesis would not exist.
The overwhelming majority of my research was done at Bates College’s Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, and first of all, I need to thank Elaine Ardia of Special Collections for her many hours of advice and assistance with sources. Without her breadth of knowledge of Bates College history and seemingly photographic memory of the archival sources, this thesis would have been much more difficult to complete. Also at the Archives, director Katherine Stefko and archivist Christopher Beam deserve sincere thanks for their work in making these archival materials accessible to researchers.
I need to extend the warmest thanks to Professor Margaret Creighton for the untold hours of reading and advice that she invested in this project. Professor Creighton truly knows how to ask challenging questions, and her knowledge of nineteenth century history, especially through the perspective of race, gender, and class has been invaluable. She is a unique asset to the Bates community and without her dedication, this work would have been impossible.
I would also like to express my appreciation to the reference librarians at Ladd Library at Bates College and the Special Collections staff at Bowdoin College for their cordial assistance. Other members of the Bates College community who deserve thanks include all of my professors over the past four years. Furthermore, I would like to acknowledge all of my friends and colleagues at the Bates Historical Society who have put up with my stories about Bates history over the past year!
I am also very thankful to Charles Clark, Marcus Bruce and Christopher Beam for taking the time to read my thesis and to form my defense panel. Their comments and questions were very useful and provocative.
My family also deserves a fair share of credit for this endeavor. My mother’s stories about her own Free Will Baptist, “Swamp Yankee” family from Rhode Island have undoubtedly influenced both my interest in history and my interest in the founders of Bates in particular. (Interestingly, while writing this thesis, I discovered that nineteenth century Bates professors, Alfred Anthony and Thomas Angell, were also from Rhode Island and both are distant cousins of my mother). The trips to historical sites that I went on with my father over the years also deserve credit for my passion for history. I need to especially thank my older sister, Ingrid Larson-Alexander, class of 1997, for proofreading the final draft of my thesis and introducing me to Bates College over ten years ago!