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Bowdoin Boys in Labrador An Account of the Bowdoin College Scientific Expedition to Labrador led by Prof. Leslie A. Lee of the Biological Department   By: (1835-1920)

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In "Bowdoin Boys in Labrador," author Jonathan Prince Cilley masterfully recounts one of the most remarkable scientific expeditions of the early 20th century. Led by the brilliant Professor Leslie A. Lee from Bowdoin College's Biological Department, this meticulously documented account takes readers on a captivating journey into the uncharted wilderness of Labrador.

Cilley's attention to detail is commendable, as he brings to life the challenges and triumphs faced by the members of this daring expedition. Through his engaging narrative, the reader is immersed in the harsh realities of Labrador's unforgiving terrain, as well as the excitement and curiosity that fueled these brave young men.

What sets this book apart is its unique blend of scientific exploration and human drama. Cilley artfully combines meticulous scientific observations with captivating personal anecdotes, creating a multi-dimensional narrative that offers both educational and emotional depth. He delves into the study of flora and fauna, geology, cartography, and meteorology, providing fascinating insights into the ways in which the Bowdoin Boys expanded our understanding of this remote region.

Furthermore, Cilley's vivid characterizations draw readers into the lives of the expedition's members. From their initial recruitment and training to their day-to-day experiences in the wilderness, we feel a deep connection with these young men and their commitment to scientific discovery. Amidst the frozen landscapes and harsh conditions, their camaraderie, bravery, and determination shine through.

One of the most engaging aspects of the book is Cilley's exploration of the relationships between the Bowdoin Boys and the indigenous Inuit communities they encountered. With sensitivity and respect, the author presents a nuanced perspective on the intersection of different cultures and the exchange of knowledge that occurred during the expedition. These interactions highlight the importance of cross-cultural understanding and cooperation, offering valuable lessons even in today's world.

If there is any criticism to be made, it would be that Cilley occasionally delves too deeply into scientific terminology, potentially alienating readers without a strong scientific background. However, this minor quibble does not detract from the overall enjoyment and educational value of the book.

"Bowdoin Boys in Labrador" is a testament to the unwavering human spirit, the thirst for knowledge, and the importance of scientific exploration. Cilley's meticulous research and engaging storytelling make this an enthralling read for anyone interested in history, adventure, or the wonders of the natural world. From the dramatic accounts of survival in the face of adversity to the beautiful descriptions of Labrador's breathtaking landscapes, this book is a captivating exploration of a forgotten chapter in scientific history.

First Page:


An Account of the Bowdoin College Scientific Expedition to Labrador Led by Prof. Leslie A. Lee of the Biological Department



Rockland, Maine: Rockland Publishing Company


This letter from the President of Bowdoin College is printed as an appropriate preface to the pages which follow.

I thank you for the advanced sheets of the "Bowdoin Boys in Labrador." As Sallust says, "In primis arduum videtur res gestas scribere; quod facta dictis sunt exaequanda."

In this case, the diction is equal to the deed: the clear and vivacious style of the writer is fully up to the level of the brilliant achievements he narrates.

The intrinsic interest of the story, and its connection with the State and the College ought to secure for it a wide reading.

Very truly yours, WILLIAM DEW. HYDE.


ON BOARD THE "JULIA A. DECKER," Port Hawkesbury, Gut of Canso, July 6th. 1891.

Here the staunch Julia lies at anchor waiting for a change in the wind and a break in the fog. To day will be memorable in the annals of the "Micmac" Indians, for Prof. Lee has spent his enforced leisure in putting in anthropometric work among them, inducing braves, squaws and papooses of both sexes to mount the trunk that served as a measuring block and go through the ordeal of having their height, standing and sitting, stretch of arms, various diameters of head and peculiarities of the physiognomy taken down... Continue reading book >>

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