News Archive 2009-2018

Thomson ’08 on Lehman Brothers in the Civil War Archives

David K. Thomson ’08 speaks about Bowdoin's renowned Howard collection

David K. Thomson ’08 spoke about another trio of Civil War-era brothers (O. O. Howard and family) as part of the Bowdoin Alumni College in August 2013 (Photo credit: Dennis Griggs/Tannery Hill Studios)

In a recent story for The New York TimesDavid Thomson ’08 traces the history of Lehman Brothers back to the company’s origins in the antebellum south.

Lehman Brothers evolved from an Alabama general store founded in 1850 by German immigrants Henry, Emmanuel and Mayer Lehman, and turned into a cotton brokerage on its way to becoming an investment banking firm. Along the way, the company survived the turmoil of the Civil War and the Reconstruction – an impressive accomplishment overshadowed by its 2008 bankruptcy.

Thomson, who is working on his doctorate in American History at the University of Georgia, spoke in August at the 2013 Bowdoin Alumni College “The Afterlife of the American Civil War.” Click here to watch a video of Thomson’s talk and other lectures from the Alumni College.