By Edward G. Longacre
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Additional resources for Joshua Chamberlain: the soldier and the man
The downturn forced the elder Chamberlain to sell all of his holdings except the farm. It took years for the family to recover fully from his speculation. His family's suddenly reduced circumstances clouded Lawrence's future. To make ends meet, the boy toiled in a local brickyard, then traveled to Portland to find work as a lumberjack. Though he had grown tall and was capable of hard work, neither profession appealed to him; while he labored indoors and out, his initial interest in the ministry began to revive.
At the end of his speech, Page 32 red-faced with embarrassment, he exited the lectern to a smattering of applause. 1 He would forever recall his humiliation this day, although the occasion apparently marked the last time his speech impediment affected him in public. His mood improved, however, as soon as he left campus for home. Traveling by boat up the coast and into Penobscot Bay, he sailed in company with the future Mrs. Chamberlain. Fannie, on her way to visit friends in Bangor, tried mightily to convince her fiancé that his speech had not been the disaster he knew it to be.
Hyde knew well the Bowdoin curriculum and entrance requirements, and his assistance was invaluable in advancing his pupil's candidacy. Hyde's teaching did not come free; Lawrence paid him with funds he himself gained from tutoring. During the late fall of 1846 he traveled to the upriver village of North Milford to lodge at a boardinghouse and teach at a rural school. It was at once an exhilarating and a frightening experience. 13 Early attempts to rule with a gentle hand proved unavailing. To maintain order he apparently resorted to fisticuffs.