The Maine Theological and Literary Institution, renamed Waterville College and then Colby, was a different place from the College we know today. Or was it? The answer may lie in the Colbiana Collection in Special Collections, where the records of the people from the College’s earliest years are carefully preserved. Explore their stories and answer the question for yourself.

  • June 1818 To Do Good: The Journey of the sloop Hero
  • Finding a suitable location for the new college
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  • Dec. 8, 1821 I Would Feed Upon the Coarsest Fare
  • June 28, 1824 The Revival Has Been Powerful and Still Continues
  • Feb. 16, 1825 To Pass the Remainder of His Life in a Heathen Land
  • July 25, 1831 A High Tone of Morality
  • Sept. 4, 1831 A Bedspread, a Shovel, and a Pair of Tongs
  • July 31, 1833 Ringing Bells Blowing Horns
  • Nov. 6, 1837 Murder of the Reverend Elijah Parish Lovejoy
  • Aug. 11, 1840 Dept Crisis, An Appeal
  • April 12, 1847 I Wish You Would Write Soon
  • Class of 1853 Superior Advantages
  • 1855 He Was Last Seen
  • July 28, 1829

    A committee assigned to report ways and means to replenish the treasury, recommended that a letter be addressed to each Baptist Society in the state asking their assistance and another letter addressing the Publick generally and soliciting their favourable attention

  • July 27, 1830

    The Trustees voted to confer the degree of Doctor of Medicine on 14 young gentleman members of the Clinical School of Medicine at Woodstock, Vermont, connected with this College. The sum of six dollars be required of each student of

  • Sept. 25, 1833

    The Rev. Rufus Babcock of Salem, Mass. was chosen as President. Rev. Mr. Babcock conveyed that he would expect a salary of $1,000 so his salary was set at that amount. The Trustees voted “to cause window blinds to be

  • July 25, 1846

    The students have shown a good spirit of study, and for the most part a ready observance of the laws of the College. The order of the College has however met with a few interruptions.
    On the evening of the

  • Aug. 10, 1841

    The Trustees elected Eliphaz Fay of Poughkeepsie N.Y. president. The board also noted the death of the Rev. Chaplin, president of the College from 1822-1833, and resolved to “entertain a grateful remembrance of the able, untiring and successful labor of

  • Jan. 10, 1853

    The Board decided to raise $20,000, $12,000 for endowment of a new professorship, and eight thousand dollars of which shall be a fund, the income of which shall be appropriated towards paying the term bills of such indigent students as

  • Dec. 18, 1855

    The Trustees received a paper prepared by the faculty on the condition and wants of the College. It was voted “that the time has come for making a vigorous effort to increase the funds and efficiency of the College.”
    The

  • Aug. 10, 1856

    The Trustees noted the death of Hon. Timothy Boutelle, member of board when the College first incorporated in 1821, until his death. “While we leave it to the religious society with which he was connected to estimate his religious character,

  • Aug. 10, 1859

    The Trustees entered into an arrangement with Brown University to raise funds, $300,000 for the two, and “to procure students for said institutions without giving undo bias in favor of either.”
    “Not less than one third of the whole amount

  • April 1861

    News of the attack on Fort Sumter reached Waterville, and drill was started that day on campus. “Many students enlisted at the first opportunity,” said George Illsley, Class of 1863. “Forty of them went down on the stern-wheel steamboat to

  • Aug. 1, 1863

    The Trustees received the treasurer’s report. The total resources of the College, excluding real estate, are $34,141.25. Expenditures for the ensuing year include salary of faculty, $5,500; allowances to students in scholarships, $800. Resources to meet expenses in ensuing year