Edward Little biography to be presented at library

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AUBURN — Douglas I. Hodgkin, historian and professor emeritus of political science at Bates College in Lewiston, will talk about his recently released biography of Edward Little at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 13, in the Androscoggin Community Room at the Auburn Public Library, 49 Spring St.

“Dear Parent: A Biography and Letters of Edward Little” details Little’s early career as a businessman, lawyer and politician in Newburyport, Massachusetts, until two disasters resulted in massive debt. He went to Portland to manage the business affairs of his father and of the Pejepscot Proprietors land company.

At the age of 53, he settled in Danville — now Auburn — where he founded what became Edward Little High School. Less well-known is the role of the Little family in founding a church, bridges, railroads and the mills at the falls, until the latter were taken over by Boston-based investors.

The book also contains the letters that Edward Little addressed to “Dear Parent,” his father, Josiah, that are owned by the Androscoggin Historical Society. They depict the early conditions in the development of the Androscoggin Valley, relations between the Littles and the settlers, and the relations among the Little family themselves, and provide a fascinating look at life in a rural Maine settlement.

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Hodgkin is a native of Lewiston and the author of several books about local history.

The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase.

FMI: 207-333-6640, auburnpubliclibrary.org

Douglas Hodgkin

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