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Josiah Spooner Swift papers

Identifier: MC010

Scope and Content Note

The collection is comprised of two of Spooner's journals and six sketchbooks, as well as a variety of other papers and documents including three issues from 1832 of the 'Banner' published in Harpswell, Maine. The sketchbooks contain watercolors, including a number of identified and unidentified Maine towns and scenes along the Androscoggin River. An account of climbing Saddleback Mountain, contained in Spooner's diary, was published in 1945. The collection includes documents regarding this publication, as well as a brief family history written by Swift's great-great grandson.


  • 1830 - 1989


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.

Historical Note

Josiah Spooner Swift was born in 1813 in Wareham, Massachusetts. His family purchased a farm in Harpswell (Maine) in 1823. In 1838, Spooner moved to Madrid and in 1840 he settled in Farmington, Maine. He married Martha Coney Flint in 1834 at Bath, and together they had five children.

Spooner was an active Freewill Baptist minister, an amateur artist, and publisher. He established and published The Franklin Register (later the Chronicle). He was a successful orchardist and nurseryman, contributing articles on fruit culture to a variety of periodicals. In 'The History of Farmington' he is characterized as "the father of journalism in Franklin County."

He retired from publishing in 1867, but returned to this endeavor shortly before his death in 1883.


1.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Josiah Spooner Swift (1813-1883) was a Freewill Baptist minister, farmer, amateur artist, and publisher. The collection contains his journals, sketchbooks, and other documents, including a family biography.

Acquisition and Custody Information

No provenance information available. Accession No.: xx-033.

Processing Information

Processed by Caron Pelletier, 1999.

Further arrangement and description by Kurt Kuss, Special Collections Librarian, 1999.

Finding aid revised by Pat Webber, 2023.

Guide to the Josiah Spooner Swift papers, 1813-1834
Edited Full Draft
Kurt Kuss
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in: English
Edition statement

Repository Details

Part of the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library Repository

70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston Maine 04240 United States of America