The Melvin Pingree Album

The Melvin A. Pingree Album

An impressive majority of Northwestern's students—64 percent—answered President Abraham Lincoln's call to arms to fight in the Civil War in 1861 (only two students cancelled their studies to join the Confederacy). In total, 21 Northwestern students and faculty became commissioned officers during the war—not bad for a school that had 36 students in 1860.

The era of the mid-1860s is documented in a recently-catalogued photograph album from Melvin Pingree, a short-lived member of the class of 1865. The album's photographs illuminate the figures of Northwestern's early days and the school's history in the Civil War. For more information on the album, see its finding aid.

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Album cover
   
Henry Sanborn Noyes Prof. Henry Sanborn Noyes
One of Northwestern's original two faculty members, Henry Noyes served as professor of mathematics for the entirety of his stay at Northwestern. He served as the university president briefly in 1854 and again from 1860 to 1867.
(Photographer: H.T. Blanchard, Newport, VT)
   
Oliver Marcy Prof. Oliver Marcy
Marcy was professor of natural history and physics during Pingree's studies at Northwestern, and would later serve as university president twice, once in the years 1876-1881, and briefly again in 1890.
(Photographer: Crater's Union Photographic Gallery, Chicago)
   
Daniel Bonbright Prof. Daniel Bonbright
Bonbright served as professor of the Latin language and Literature, notable for holding this position for a full 58 years.
(Photographer: E.R. Gard, Chicago)
   
Louis Kistler Prof. Louis Kistler
Kistler was Northwestern's professor of the Greek language and literature during the time of Pingree's studies.
(Photographer: E.R. Gard, Chicago)
   
Alphonso Linn Captain Alphonso C. Linn
Himself a Northwestern graduate of 1860, Alphonso Linn acted as a tutor at Northwestern until May 1864, in which he volunteered to lead Northwestern students in Company F (the "University Guards") of the 134th Regiment of Illinois Infantry. He died of typhoid fever on July 10, 1864, barely two months after enlisting.
(Photographer: E.R. Gard, Chicago)
   
Unknown Unknown
   
Melvin Pingree Melvin A. Pingree
Pingree entered Northwestern University after preparing at Northwestern University Preparatory School. A member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, Pingree took his Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern in 1865. During the period following the Civil War he briefly worked as chief clerk and private secretary to James Harlan, then Andrew Johnson's Secretary of the Interior. Pingree died of yellow fever on August 23, 1866, about two weeks before his twenty-first birthday.
(Photographer: E.R. Gard, Chicago)
   
Unknown Unknown
(Photographer: Cargo Photographer, Pittsburgh)
   
Unknown Unknown
(Photographer: E.R. Gard, Chicago)
   
Charles Bragdon Charles Cushman Bragdon
Bragdon joined his classmates and Captain Alphonso Linn in the "University Guards," Company F, 134th Illinois Infantry Regiment. After completing his hundred days of service, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern. He then studied in Berlin, Prussia before receiving his Master of Arts degree from Northwestern in 1868. He then began a teaching career that took him through Illinois, Ohio, and Massachusetts.
(Photographer: E.R. Gard, Chicago)
   
Lister Pearce Lister Houstan Pearce
Pearce was studying at the Garrett Biblical Institute during the time of the Civil War. Whereas most of his colleagues joined the Union Army for only one hundred days, Pearce served as the chaplain of the 132nd Illinois Infantry Regiment throughout the full five-month span of the regiment's existence. In 1866 he received his Bachelor of Divinity degree. He travelled extensively throughout Europe, Palestine, and Asia, and became the Presiding Elder of the Geneva (N.Y.) District of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He died in 1924.
(Photographer: E.R. Gard, Chicago)
   
James Frake James Frake
Born in 1841 in England, Frake took both his Bachelor of Arts and his Master of Arts degrees from Northwestern in 1869. He served on the Chicago Board of Education, had four children, and became the first Northwestern alumnus elected to serve on the University's Board of Trustees.
(Photographer: J. Carbutt, Chicago)
   
Unknown Unknown
   
George Winslow George Waitstill Winslow
A student at the Garrett Biblical Institute, Winslow received both his Bachelor's and his Master's degrees at Northwestern, eventually moving to Morgan Park, Illinois, and working as a minister until his death in April, 1929.
(Photographer: E.L. Brand, Chicago)
   
Unknown Unknown
(Photographer: J. Gurney and Son, Broadway)
   
E.W. Rice Major General E.W. Rice
Elliot Warren Rice studied law in the state of Iowa with his brother Samuel until 1861, when both brothers responded to President Abraham Lincoln's call to arms. Rice's conduct in particular was highly praised, and he climbed the ranks of the Union Army, finishing the war as a brevetted major general. Among the battles in which he fought were Corinth, Belmont, and Shiloh.
(Photographer: Henry Ulke, Washington, D.C.)
   
Unknown Unknown
   
George Lewis George Lewis
The man in this particular photograph may not be fully identified, as no Northwestern alumnus or student from that period was named George Lewis. Given his proximity in the album to the Civil War officers, this may be an early photo of George Lewis Gillespie, a prominent Union combat engineer and (later) brigadier general notable for receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor. However, as no photographs of Gillespie are known to exist from the time period, such a possibility only be treated as speculation.
   
J.T. Macauley Colonel J.T. Macauley
In 1861, John T. Macauley and his brother Daniel enlisted to fight for the Union in the 11th Regiment Indiana Infantry. His brother would eventually be promoted to brigadier general, while John ended the war with the rank of colonel. While Daniel stayed in the army until his death in 1907, John joined his other brother, Bernard, in managing a theater in Louisville, Kentucky, eventually assuming full control of the enterprise. Until its dissolution in 1925, Macauley's Theatre was widely known throughout the region, featuring actors, actresses, and showmen such as Sarah Bernhardt, Edwin Booth, and "Buffalo Bill" Cody.
(Photographer: G.W. Apple, Indianapolis)
   
Miner Raymond Prof. Miner Raymond
Miner Raymond worked as the principal of Wesleyan Academy of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, from 1848-1864 before becoming professor of moral philosophy and systematic theology at the Garrett Biblical Institute.
(Photographer: C.L. Burpee, Chicago)
   
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archives@northwestern.edu | Last updated: 8/18/2009