All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Historic Leeds Home Burns

The boyhood home of Major General Oliver Otis Howard—founder of Howard University—was destroyed by a wind-whipped fire in Leeds on Friday.

Howard was born in Leeds on Nov. 8, 1830, and attended Monmouth Academy and Bowdoin College before heading to West Point and an illustrious career in the military. He was dedicated to the betterment of African Americans, and after the war was appointed chief commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau. Leon F. Litwack, in his 1980 book Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery, suggested that Howard "may have been second only to Abraham Lincoln in the esteem of the ex-slaves." Howard died in Burlington, Vermont, in 1909.
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