Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 306


James “Jim” Carignan was born in Conway, New Hampshire on August 31, 1939. His father, Hervy, worked in a wood turning factory and his mother, Florence, was a retail salesperson. Of Roman Catholic, French-Canadian and Irish background, they were Democrats. Carignan was president of his class, involved with New England regional debate and forensics, president of New England Senate, and a Regional Key Club Officer. He attended Bates College (class of 1961), majoring in History and was president of his senior class, and worked in the office of the Dean of Men. Jim taught Colonial American history at the University of Rochester until 1964, Kent State University until 1968 and Kenyon College until 1970. He took the position of Dean of Men at Bates College in January 1970 and later served as Dean of College until his retirement in 2003.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: Bates College; 1954 Maine gubernatorial campaign; 1968 vice presidential campaign during which Carignan brought his kids to Laconia airport to see Muskie; 1969-1972 presidential campaign; Model Cities (Lewiston); Social Clubs in Lewiston; community history of Lewiston and Auburn; Washington, D.C. law practice; creation of the Muskie Archives: Washington, D.C. meeting between Muskie and Carignan to discuss Muskie’s vision and fundraising strategies; 1989 Secretaries of State at Bates College; William “Bill” Cohen; Catholic orphanages; intermarriages (Irish and French, etc.); Laconia, New Hampshire French community; Lewiston/Laconia comparisons; late 1950s Bates College students’ interaction with Lewiston limited to Blue Goose, Empire Theater, and American Legion; Walt Boyce; John F. Kennedy at Kennedy Park the night before the election, 1960; Kenyon College; Hedley Reynolds as president of Bates College; Mario’s restaurant, Lewiston; and Louis Jalbert.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.