Charles Follen, by Wikipedia

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Re: Charles Follen, by Wikipedia

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Karl Vogt
by Wikipedia

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Carl Vogt (1817-1895)

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Karl Vogt during his career.

Carl Christoph Vogt (5 July 1817 in Gießen, Grand Duchy of Hesse – 5 May 1895 in Geneva, Switzerland) was a German scientist who emigrated to Switzerland. Vogt published a number of notable works on zoology, geology and physiology. All his life he was engaged in politics, in the German Frankfurt Parliament of 1848-9 and later in Switzerland.

Biography

Academics


In 1847 he became professor of zoology at the University of Giessen, and in 1852 professor of geology and afterwards also of zoology at the University of Geneva. His earlier publications were on zoology. He dealt with the Amphibia (1839), Reptiles (1840), with Mollusca and Crustacea (1845) and more generally with the invertebrate fauna of the Mediterranean (1854). In 1842, during his time with Louis Agassiz in Neuchâtel, he discovered the mechanism of apoptosis, the programmed cell death, while studying the development of the tadpole of the midwife toad (Alytes obstetricians). Charles Darwin mentions Vogt's support for the theory of evolution in the introduction to his The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871).

Politics

Vogt was active in German politics and was a left-wing representative in the Frankfurt Parliament. Karl Marx scathingly replied to slanderous attacks by Karl Vogt in his book Herr Vogt (1860). Marx's defenders pointed to the fact that, years later (1871), records published after the fall of the Second Empire of Napoleon Bonaparte III indicated that Vogt had been secretly in the pay of the French Emperor.

Polygenism

Karl Vogt was a proponent of polygenist evolution, he rejected the monogenist beliefs of most Darwinists and instead he believed that each race had evolved off different types of ape.[1] Vogt believed that the Negro was related to the ape. He believed the White race was a separate species to Negroes. In Chapter VII of his lectures of man (1864) he compared the Negro to the White race whom he described as “two extreme human types”. The difference between them, he claimed are greater than those between two species of ape; and this proves that Negroes are a separate species from the Whites.[2]

Polygenism is a theory of human origins positing that the human races are of different lineages (polygenesis). This is opposite to the idea of monogenism, which posits a single origin of humanity.
-- Polygenism, by Wikipedi


Works

Works

• Im Gebirg und auf den Gletschern (In the mountains and on the glaciers; 1843)
• Physiologische Briefe (Letters on physiology; 1845-46)
• Grundriss der Geologie (Outline of geology; 1860)
• Lehrbuch der Geologie und Petrefactenkunde (Textbook on geology and petrification; 2 vols., 1846-47; ed. 4, 1879)
• An English version of his Lectures on Man: his Place in Creation and in the History of the Earth was published by the Anthropological Society of London in 1864.

References

• Untersuchungen über die Entwicklungsgeschichte der Geburtshelferkröte. (Alytes obstetricians), Solothurn: Jent und Gassman, (1842), pp 130
• Fredrick Gregory: Scientific Materialism in Nineteenth Century Germany, Springer, Berlin u.a. 1977, ISBN 902770760X
• Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Vogt, Karl Christoph". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

External links

Short biography and bibliography in the Virtual Laboratory of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
1. Colin Kidd, The forging of races: race and scripture in the Protestant Atlantic world, 1600 - 2000, 2006, p.58
2. Gustav Jahoda, Images of savages: ancients [sic] roots of modern prejudice in Western culture, 1999, p. 83
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Re: Charles Follen, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:57 pm

Karl Ludwig Sand
by Wikipedia

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Karl Ludwig Sand

Karl Ludwig Sand (Wunsiedel, then in Prussia, 5 October 1795 - Mannheim, 20 May 1820) was a German university student and member of a liberal Burschenschaft (student association). He was executed in 1820 for the murder of the conservative dramatist August von Kotzebue the previous year in Mannheim. As a result of his execution, Sand became a martyr in the eyes of many German nationalists seeking the creation of a united German national state.

Biography

Karl Ludwig Sand was born to Godfrey Christopher Sand and Dorthea Jane Wilheltmina Schapf on October 5, 1795. His siblings were George, Fritz, Caroline and Julia.

Education

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Students marching towards the Wartburg, of which Sand was one.

In 1804 he attended the Lateinschule (Latin school) in Wunsiedel and in 1810 he moved on to the grammar school (Gymnasium) in Hof, living with the school's rector, Georg Heinrich Saalfrank, a friend of Sand's Enlightened Protestant family. Following the closure of the Hof Gymnasium on the institution of Montgelas's Reforms, Sand followed his teacher to the Neues Gymnasium (New Grammar School) in Regensburg, completing his studies in September 1814. In November 1814 Sand matriculated at the University of Tũbingen.

In 1815, Sand volunteered under Major von Falkenhausen, participating in the Battle of Waterloo in June and in Paris by July. He returned from the war disillusioned with its results and fell into a deep depression. In 1816, while at the University of Erlangen, Sand formed Burschenschaft Teutonia with his friend Dittmar, meeting at castle ruins near Erlangen which they had named Ruttli. They built a meeting house for their group of 80 students. Sand's depression was further intensified by the destruction of Ruttli by the competing political group the Landmannschaft and the drowning death of Dittmar in 1817. Starting in 1817 he studied at the University of Jena, attending the lectures of Jakob Friedrich Fries, Heinrich Luden and Lorenz Oken and joining further Burschenschaften. Sand was among the nationalist students who gathered at the 1817 Wartburg festival, in which Kotzebue's History of the German Empires was one of the books ceremoniously burned.

Murder of August von Kotzebue

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Illustration of Sand's attack on Kotzebue.

Sand already contemplated the murder of August von Kotzebue in a diary entry of 5 May 1818. He called him a "traitor to the nation" and a "deceiver of the people" and characterized him as an enemy of the Burschenschaft.

On the morning of 23 March 1819 Sand, using the pseudonym Henry, visited Kotzebue in his Mannheim house. Refused entry to the house and told to return in the afternoon, Sand returned just before five o'clock. Having exchanged just a few words with Kotzebue, Sand produced a dagger and with the words "Here, you traitor to the fatherland!" and stabbed him repeatedly in the chest. Surprised by Kotzebue's four-year-old son witnessing the event from the nursery, Sand lost his wits and stabbed himself. Leaving the house, he handed a servant a piece of writing he had prepared ("Death to August von Kotzebue"), and stabbed himself again in the street. His suicide attempt failed, and he was taken to hospital.

Aftermath

The Mannheim Hofgericht (court of law) sentenced Sand to death on 5 May 1820. He was executed by beheading. Sand was beheaded by Franz Wilhelm Widmann, who was the executing official at the time.

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The execution of Karl Ludwig Sand.

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His grave in Mannheim

Sand's murder of Kotzebue was a catalyst for government restrictions on liberal and German nationalist thought. On September 20, 1819, Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich called a meeting of representatives from across the German Confederation to create the Carlsbad Decrees which outlawed the Burschenshaften and put limits on freedom of the press and the rights of members of such organizations, banning them from public office, teaching or studying at universities.[1]

Alexandre Dumas, père wrote about Sand's life and published excerpts from his journals and letters in Karl Ludwig Sand,[2] part of Celebrated Crimes.[3] Prior to writing his story, Dumas visited Widmann's son in Mannheim in 1838 to gather information about Sand's character. Alexander Pushkin also memorialized Sand in his poem about assassins entitled "Kinzhal" (The Dagger).[4] In Germany three films have been made concerning the events of Karl Sand's life: Karl Sand in 1964, Sand in 1971, and Die Unbedingten in 2009.

Writings

• Gründung einer allgemeinen freien Burschenschaft, 1817
• Teutsche Jugend an die teutsche Menge, zum 18. October 1818
• Todesstoß dem August von Kotzebue, 1818/19, published posthumously.

Bibliography

• Friedrich Wilhelm Carové: Ueber die Ermordung Kotzebue’s. Eisenach 1819
• Authentischer Bericht über die Ermordung des Kaiserlich-Russischen Staatsraths Herrn August von Kotzebue; nebst vielen interessanten Notizen über ihn und über Carl Sand, den Meuchelmörder. Mannheim 1819 (Nachdruck Berlin 1999, hg. v. Antonia Meiners)
• Die wichtigsten Lebensmomente Karl Ludwig Sand’s aus Wunsiedel. Nürnberg 1819
• Nachtrag zu den wichtigsten Lebensmomenten Karl Ludwig Sand’s aus Wunsiedel mit der vollständigen Erzählung seiner Hinrichtung am 20. Mai 1820. Nürnberg 1820
• Ausführliche Darstellung von Karl Ludwig Sand’s letzten Tagen und Augenblicken. Stuttgart 1820
• Charles-Louis Sand. Mémoires avec le récit des circonstances qui ont accompagné l’assassinat d’Auguste de Kotzebue, et une justification des universités d’Allemagne. Trad. de l’anglais, Paris 1819
• [Karl Levin] von Hohnhorst (Hrsg.): Vollständige Uebersicht der gegen Carl Ludwig Sand wegen Meuchelmordes verübt an dem K[aiserlich]. Russischen Staatsrath v. Kotzebue geführten Untersuchung. Aus den Originalakten ausgezogen, geordnet und hrsg., 2 Abthn., Stuttgart, Tübingen 1820
• Carl Courtin: Carl Ludwig Sand’s letzte Lebenstage und Hinrichtung. Geschichtlich dargestellt. Franckenthal 1821
• [Robert Wesselhöft]: Carl Ludwig Sand. Dargestellt durch seine Tagebücher und Briefe von einigen seiner Freunde. Altenburg 1821
• Noch acht Beitraege zur Geschichte August von Kotzebues und C. L. Sands. Aus öffentlichen Nachrichten zusammengestellt. Mühlhausen 1821
• Friedrich Cramer (Hrsg.): Acten-Auszüge aus dem Untersuchungs-Process über Carl Ludwig Sand; nebst anderen Materialien zur Beurtheilung desselben und August von Kotzebue. Altenburg, Leipzig 1821
• Sand [Zu Kotzebues und Sands Tat], o. J., [um 1820], Sammelband (ohne Titelblatt, vielleicht „Actenmäßige Untersuchung ... des Falles Sand“ 1820/21, Flugschriften), darin: 1. Die Bildung des Zeitgeistes, 2. August von Kotzebue nach der Geschichte seiner Schrift „Bahrst mit der eisernen Stirne“, 3. August von Kotzebues Autorenverhältnisse, 4. Kotzebues politisch-literarische Bulletins 1818, 5. Sand’s That nach dem Acten-Inhalt, 6. Sand’s Zustand nach der That, 7. Actenmäßige Notizen über Sand’s Person und frühere Lebensgeschichte, 8. Sand’s Gesinnungen über und gegen August von Kotzebue, 9. Sandische Aufsätze: Todesstoß und das Todesurteil über Kotzebue, 10. Sands Verhältnisse zu Andern, zur Burschenschaft, zu einem lit. Verein, zum Turnwesen u. dgl., 11. Sand über sich selbst, seine Grundansichten, seine That, nebst Urtheilen Anderer über ihn, 12. Gerichtliche Vertheidigung für Sand. Urtheilsgründe als Bericht
• C. T. Riedel: Galerie der Verbrecher, Bd. 3: Sand, Louvel, Grandission, Ponterie, Damiens, Low, Angiolino, Sondershausen. Nordhausen 1822
• C[arl]. E[rnst]. Jarcke: Carl Ludwig Sand und sein an dem kaiserlich-russischen Staatsrath v. Kotzebue verübter Mord. Eine psychologisch-criminalistische Erörterung aus der Geschichte unserer Zeit. Neue, aus ungedruckten Quellen vermehrte Bearbeitung. Berlin 1831
• Friedrich Münch: Follen, Sand und Löning. Neues Licht in altes Dunkel. Aus den Erinnerungen von Friedrich Münch. In: Die Gartenlaube. 20/44/1872, S. 722–725
• Julius Busch: Karl Ludwig Sand. Nach einem am 7. April 1902 im Altertumsverein gehaltenen Vortrag. In: Mannheimer Geschichtsblätter. 20/1–3/1919, S. 3–11
• Karl Alexander von Müller: Karl Ludwig Sand. München 1923, 2. Aufl. 1925
• Max Doblinger: Tagebucheintragungen des Erzherzogs Johann, des späteren Reichsverwesers, über Karl Ludwig Sand und die Karlsbader Beschlüsse. In: Herman Haupt (Hrsg.): Quellen und Darstellungen zur Geschichte der Burschenschaft und der deutschen Einheitsbewegung. Bd. 8, Heidelberg 1925, 2. Aufl. 1966, S. 151–153
• Heinrich von Stein, Reinhard Buchwald: Karl Ludwig Sand Scherer 1947
• Ernst Cyriaci: Die Coburger Familie von Sand 1275–1940. Coburg 1941 [überarbeitet und verbessert 1970 ff., Manuskript im Stadtarchiv Coburg]
• Peter Brückner: „Bewahre uns Gott in Deutschland vor irgendeiner Revolution!“ Die Ermordung des Staatsrats von Kotzebue durch den Studenten Sand. Berlin 1975, 2. Aufl. 1978 (Wagenbachs Taschenbücherei, Bd. 6). ISBN 3803120063
• Ernst Wilhelm Wreden: Karl Ludwig Sand – „Mörder aus Vaterlandsliebe“. Eine biographische Skizze. In: Horst Bernhardi, Ernst Wilhelm Wreden (Hrsg.): Jahresgabe der Gesellschaft für burschenschaftliche Geschichtsforschung 1975. o. O. 1975, S. 5–7
• Ernst Abbühl: Karl Ludwig Sand. Sein Bild in der historischen Forschung und in der Literatur. Eine vergleichende Analyse. Diss. phil. masch., Bern 1978
• Günther Heydemann: Carl Ludwig Sand. Die Tat als Attentat. Hof 1985 (Oberfränkische Köpfe, [Bd. 3]). ISBN 3921615666
• Günther Heydemann: Der Attentäter Carl Ludwig Sand. 20 Briefe und Dokumente aus den Erlanger und Jenaer Studienjahren. In: Christian Hünemörder (Hrsg.): Darstellungen und Quellen zur Geschichte der deutschen Einheitsbewegung im neunzehnten und zwanzigsten Jahrhundert. Bd. 12, Heidelberg 1986, S. 7–77
• Renate Lotz: Bildnis und Erinnerung – Carl Sand. Ausstellung 3. April–31. Oktober 1985. Fichtelgebirgsmuseum Wunsiedel, Wunsiedel 1985 (Begleitheft zu Ausstellungen des Fichtelgebirgsmuseums, Heft 2)
• Hagen Schulze: Sand, Kotzebue und das Blut des Verräters. In: Alexander Demandt (Hrsg.): Das Attentat in der Geschichte. Köln 1996, S. 215–233
• Harald Neumann: Carl Ludwig Sand. Theologiestudent und Attentäter. Wissenschaft & Praxis, Berlin 1997. ISBN 3896730258
• Klaus Beyersdorf: Der Burschenschafter und Kotzebue-Attentäter Karl Ludwig Sand 1795–1820. Ein Mitglied der alten Coburger Familie von Sand. In: Coburger Geschichtsblätter. 6/3/1998, S. 87–90
• Antonia Meiners (Hrsg.): Authentischer Bericht über die Ermordung des Kaiserlich-Russischen Staatsraths Herrn August von Kotzebue. Berliner Handpresse, Berlin 1999. Nachdr. der Ausg. Mannheim 1819
• George S. Williamson. What Killed August von Kotzebue? The Temptations of Virtue and the Political Theology of German Nationalism, 1789-1819, in The Journal of Modern History (2000).
• Sabine Bayerl (Hrsg.): Authentischer Bericht über die Ermordung des Kaiserlich-Russischen Staatsraths Herrn August von Kotzebue. Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg 2005. Beigefügt: Acten-Auszüge aus dem Untersuchungs-Process über Carl Ludwig Sand. Nachdr. der 2. Aufl. Mannheim 1819 sowie Altenburg 1821. ISBN 3-8253-2005-7

References

1. Full text of Carlsbad Decrees
2. Karl Ludwig Sand by Alexandre Dumas, père
3. Celebrated Crimes, Alexandre Dumas, père
4.Terras, Victor, Handbook of Russian literature By Victor Terras page 96
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Re: Charles Follen, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:58 pm

Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry
by Wikipedia

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Charles Ferdinand d'Artois, miniature of Jean-Baptiste Jacques Augustin

Charles Ferdinand of Artois, Duke of Berry (Charles Ferdinand d'Artois, fils de France, duc de Berry; 24 January 1778 – 14 February 1820) was the younger son of the future king, Charles X of France, and his wife, Princess Maria Theresa of Savoy. His maternal grandparents were Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia and Maria Antonietta of Spain. She was the youngest daughter of Philip V of Spain and Elisabeth Farnese.

Biography

He was born at Versailles. As a son of a fils de France not being heir apparent, he was only himself a petit-fils de France, and that is how he was known in emigration. However, during the Restoration, he was given the higher rank of a fils de France (used in his marriage contract, his death certificate, etc.).

Since he was already dead when his father became king, he always had "d'Artois" as his surname.

At the French Revolution he left France with his father, then comte d'Artois, and served in the émigré army of his cousin, Louis Joseph, Prince of Condé, from 1792 to 1797. He afterwards joined the Russian army, and in 1801 took up his residence in England, where he remained for thirteen years. During that time he had a relationship with an Englishwoman,[1] Amy Brown Freeman, by whom he had two daughters whom he only recognized on his deathbed: Charlotte Marie Augustine de Bourbon comtesse d'Issoudun (13 July 1808- 13 July 1886), by marriage in 1823 to Ferdinand de Faucigny-Lucinge, princesse de Lucinge, and Louise Marie Charlotte de Bourbon comtesse de Vierzon (29 December 1809- 26 December 1891), by marriage in 1827 to Charles de Charette, baronne de la Contrie.

In 1814, the duke set out for France. His frank, open manners gained him some favor with his countrymen, and Louis XVIII named him commander-in-chief of the army at Paris on the return of Napoleon from Elba. He was, however, unable to retain the loyalty of his troops, and retired to Ghent during the Hundred Days war. In 1816 he married Princess Maria Carolina Ferdinanda Luisa of Naples and Sicily (1798–1870), oldest daughter of the Duke of Calabria (heir to the Neapolitan throne), following negotiations with the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily by the French ambassador, the Count (later Duke of Blacas) of Blacas.

Three children were born before the duke's death: the last and only surviving one, Louise d'Artois, born in 1819, later married Charles III of Parma.

On 13 February 1820 the Duke of Berry was stabbed and mortally wounded, when leaving the opera house in Paris with his wife, by a saddler named Louis Pierre Louvel. He died on 14 February. Seven months after his death, the duchess gave birth to a son, Henri, who received the title of duc de Bordeaux, but who is better known in history as the comte de Chambord.

The Duchess of Berry was compelled to follow Charles X to Holyrood after July 1830, but it was with the resolution of returning speedily and making an attempt to secure the throne for her son. From Britain she went to Italy, and in April 1832 she landed near Marseille, but, receiving no support, was compelled to make her way towards the loyal districts of Vendée and Brittany. Her followers, however, were defeated, and, after remaining concealed for five months in a house in Nantes, she was betrayed to the government and imprisoned in the castle of Blaye.

Here she gave birth to a daughter, the fruit of a secret marriage contracted with an Italian nobleman, Count Ettore Lucchesi-Palli (1805–1834). The announcement of this marriage at once deprived the duchess of the sympathies of her supporters. She was no longer an object of fear to the French government, who released her in June 1833. She set sail for Sicily, and, joining her husband, lived in retirement from that time until her death, at Brunnsee in Austria, in April 1870.

Issue

• Princess Louise Élisabeth of France (13 July 1817 – 14 July 1817)
• Prince Louis of France (born and died 13 September 1818)
Louise Marie Thérèse d'Artois (21 September 1819 – 1 February 1864)
• Henri Charles Ferdinand Marie Dieudonné de France, Duke of Bordeaux and Count of Chambord (29 September 1820 – 24 August 1883)

Notes

1. It has been claimed that he married her, but that is highly unlikely and in any case was never proven: see Christophe Brun, Descendance inédite du duc de Berry: documents et commentaires, Paris 1998.

References

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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Re: Charles Follen, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:01 pm

George Bancroft
by Wikipedia

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17th United States Secretary of the Navy

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Bancroft's bookplate and signature. "Eis phaos" is Greek for "Towards the Light"

George Bancroft (October 3, 1800 – January 17, 1891) was an American historian and statesman who was prominent in promoting secondary education both in his home state and at the national level. During his tenure as U.S. Secretary of the Navy, he established the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1845. Among his best-known writings is the magisterial series, History of the United States, from the Discovery of the American Continent.

Early life and education

His family had been in Massachusetts Bay since 1632, and his father, Aaron Bancroft, was distinguished as a revolutionary soldier, a leading Unitarian clergyman[1] and author of a popular life of George Washington. Bancroft was born in Worcester, and began his education at Phillips Exeter Academy and entered Harvard College at thirteen years of age. At age 17, he graduated from Harvard and went to study in Germany. Abroad, he studied at Heidelberg, Göttingen and Berlin. At Göttingen he studied Plato with Arnold Heeren; history with Heeren and Gottlieb Jakob Planck; Arabic, Hebrew, New Testament Greek and scripture interpretation with Albert Eichhorn; natural science with Johann Friedrich Blumenbach; German literature with Georg Friedrich Benecke; French and Italian literature with Artaud and Bunsen; and classics with Georg Ludolf Dissen. In 1820, he received his doctorate from the University of Göttingen.

Bancroft capped off his education with a European tour, in the course of which he sought out almost every distinguished man in the world of letters, science and art, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Lord Byron, Barthold Georg Niebuhr, Christian Charles Josias Bunsen, Friedrich Karl von Savigny, Varnhagen von Ense, Victor Cousin, Benjamin Constant and Alessandro Manzoni.

Career in education and literature

Bancroft's father had devoted his son to the work of the ministry. While the young man delivered several sermons shortly after his return from Europe in 1822 which produced a favorable impression, the love of literature proved the stronger attachment.

His first position was that of tutor of Greek at Harvard. Instinctively a humanist, Bancroft had little patience with the narrow curriculum of Harvard in his day and the rather pedantic spirit with which classical studies were pursued there. Moreover, he had brought from Europe a new manner, imbued with ardent Romanticism and this he wore without ease in the formal, self-satisfied and prim provincial society of New England; the young man's European air was subjected to ridicule, but his politics were sympathetic to Jacksonian democracy.

A little volume of poetry, translations and original pieces, published in 1823 gave its author no fame. As time passed, and custom created familiarity, his style, personal and literary, was seen to be the outward symbol of a firm resolve to preserve a philosophic calm, and of an enormous underlying energy which spent itself in labor. He found the conversational atmosphere of Cambridge uncongenial, and with Joseph Cogswell he established the Round Hill School at Northampton, Massachusetts. This was the first serious effort made in the United States to elevate secondary education to the plane on which it belonged.

In spite of the exacting and severe routine of the Round Hill School, Bancroft contributed frequently to the North American Review and to Walsh's American Quarterly; he also made a translation of Heeren's work on The Politics of Ancient Greece. In 1826 he published an oration in which he advocated universal suffrage and the foundation of the state on the power of the whole people. In 1830, without his knowledge, he was elected to the Massachusetts legislature, but refused to take his seat, and the next year he declined a nomination, though certain to have been elected, for the state senate.

In 1834 appeared the first volume of the History of the United States, which would appear over the next four decades (1834–74) and established his reputation. In 1835, he moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, where he completed the second volume of his history. The year of his move, he also drafted an address to the people of Massachusetts at the request of the Young Men's Democratic Convention.

Family

His first wife was Sarah Dwight, of a rich family in Springfield, Massachusetts; they married in 1827 but she died in 1837. His second wife was Mrs. Elizabeth Davis Bliss, a widow with two children to add to his two sons; she bore him a daughter.

Historian

Bancroft, having trained in the leading German universities, was an accomplished scholar, whose magisterial History of the United States, from the Discovery of the American Continent covered the new nation in depth down to 1789.[2] Bancroft was imbued with the spirit of Romanticism, emphasizing the emergence of nationalism and republican values, and rooting on every page for the Patriots. His masterwork started appearing in 1834, and he constantly revised it in numerous editions.[3] Along with John Gorham Palfrey (1796-1881), he wrote the most comprehensive history of colonial America. Billias argues Bancroft played on four recurring themes to explain how America developed its unique values: providence, progress, patria, and pan-democracy. "Providence" meant that destiny depended more on God than on human will. The idea of "progress" indicated that through continuous reform a better society was possible. "Patria" (love of country) was deserved because America's spreading influence would bring liberty and freedom to more and more of the world. "Pan-democracy" meant the nation-state was central to the drama, not specific heroes or villains.[4]

Vitzthum argues that Bancroft was the historian as artist and philosopher. He used past events to exemplify his moral vision, based on his Unitarian faith in progress. The history of America exemplified the gradual unfolding of God's purpose for mankind -- the development of religious and political liberty. The tone of moral certainty made his volumes popular, in combination with their grand artistic sweep, intensity, and coherence.[5]

Bancroft was an indefatigable researcher who had a thorough command of the sources, but his rotund romantic style and enthusiastic patriotism annoyed later generations of scientific historians, who did not assign his books to students.[6] Furthermore, scholars of the "Imperial School" after 1890 took a much more favorable view of the benign intentions of the British Empire than he did.[7][8]

Career in politics

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Bancroft in 1846

His entry into politics came in 1837 with his appointment by Martin Van Buren as Collector of Customs of the Port of Boston. In this position, two of Bancroft's appointees were Orestes Brownson and Nathaniel Hawthorne. In 1844, he was the Democratic candidate for the governorship of Massachusetts, but he was defeated. In 1845, in recognition for his support at the previous Democratic convention, he entered Polk's cabinet as Secretary of the Navy, serving until 1846, when for a month he was acting Secretary of War.

During his short period in the cabinet, he established the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, gave the orders which led to the occupation of California, and sent Zachary Taylor into the contested land between Texas and Mexico. He also continued his pleadings for the annexation of Texas as extending "the area of freedom," and, though a Democrat, opposed slavery.

The Naval Academy was devised and completely set at work by Bancroft alone, who received for the purpose all the appropriations for which he asked. Congress had never been willing to establish a naval academy. Bancroft studied the law to ascertain the powers of the Secretary of the Navy, and found that he could order the place where midshipmen should wait for orders. He could also direct the instructors to give lessons to them at sea, and by law they had power to follow them to the place of their common residence on shore. With a close economy, the appropriation of the year for the naval service met the expense, and the secretary of war ceded an abandoned military post to the navy.

So when Congress came together they found the midshipmen that were not at sea comfortably housed at Annapolis, protected from the dangers of idleness and city life, and busy at a regular course of study. Seeing what had been done, Congress accepted the school, which was in full operation, and granted money for the repairs of the buildings. Bancroft introduced some new professors of great merit into the corps of instructors, and he suggested a method by which promotion should depend, not on age alone, but also on experience and capacity; but this scheme was never fully developed or applied. Bancroft was also influential in obtaining additional appropriations for the United States Naval Observatory.

He likewise made himself the authority on the Oregon boundary dispute, with the result that in 1846 he was sent as minister plenipotentiary to London, where he lived in constant companionship with the historian Macaulay and the poet Hallam. With the election of Zachary Taylor his post was not renewed; on his return to the United states in 1849 he withdrew from public life, residing in New York and writing history. While in New York, Bancroft acted as a founding member of the American Geographical Society and served as the society's first president for nearly three years (Feb. 21, 1852—Dec. 7, 1854).[9]

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George Bancroft in his office (c. 1889)

In April 1864, at Bancroft's request, President Lincoln wrote out what would become the fourth of five known manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address. Mr. Bancroft planned to include this copy in "Autograph Leaves of Our Country's Authors," which he planned to sell at a Soldiers' and Sailors' Sanitary Fair in Baltimore.

Bancroft was elected an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1863.[10] In 1866, He was chosen by Congress to deliver the special eulogy on Lincoln; and in 1867 he was appointed minister to Berlin, where he remained until his resignation in 1874. Then he lived in Washington, D.C., summering at Rose Cliff, Newport, Rhode Island.

His latest official achievements are considered the greatest. In the San Juan arbitration he displayed great versatility and skill, winning his case before the emperor with brilliant ease. The naturalization treaties, named the "Bancroft treaties" in his honor, which he negotiated successively with Prussia and the other north German states were the first international recognition of the right of expatriation, a principle since incorporated in the law of nations.

Works

• Bancroft, George. History of the United States of America, from the discovery of the American continent. (Boston: Little, Brown, and company, numerous editions in 8 or 10 volumes 1854-78). online edition
• Bancroft, George; Dyer, Oliver, 1824-1907. (1891) History of the battle of Lake Erie: and miscellaneous papers (New York: R. Bonner's sons) 292 pp. at American Library Association.

His minor publications include:

• An Oration delivered on the 4th of July, 1826, at Northampton, Mass. (Northampton, 1826)
• History of the Political System of Europe, translated from Heeren (1829)
• An Oration delivered before the Democracy of Springfield and Neighboring Towns, July 4, 1836 (2d ed., with prefatory remarks, Springfield, 1836)
• History of the Colonization of the United States (Boston, 1841, 12mo, abridged)
• An Oration delivered at the Commemoration, in Washington, of the Death of Andrew Jackson, June 27, 1845
• The Necessity, the Reality, and the Promise of the Progress of the Human Race
• An Oration delivered before the New York Historical Society, November 20, 1854 (New York, 1854)
• Proceedings of the First Assembly of Virginia, 1619; Communicated, with an Introductory Note, by George Bancroft
• Collections of the New York Historical Society, second series, vol. iii., part i. (New York, 1857)
• Literary and Historical Miscellanies (New York, 1855)
• Memorial Address on the Life and Character of Abraham Lincoln, delivered at the request of both Houses of the Congress of America, before them, in the House of Representatives at Washington, on the 12th of February, 1866 (Washington, 1866)
• A Plea for the Constitution of the United States of America, Wounded in the House of its Guardians
• Veritati Unice Litarem (New York, 1886)

Among his other speeches and addresses may be mentioned a lecture on “The Culture, the Support, and the Object of Art in a Republic,” in the course of the New York Historical Society in 1852; and one on “The Office, Appropriate Culture, and Duty of the Mechanic.”

Bancroft contributed a biography of Jonathan Edwards to the American Cyclopædia.

Namesakes and Monuments

Image
Bancroft Tower

The United States Navy has named several ships USS Bancroft, as well as the fleet ballistic missile submarine USS George Bancroft (SBN-643), after Bancroft, and the mid-19th century United States Coast Survey schooner USCS Bancroft also was named for him. The dormitory at the United States Naval Academy, Bancroft Hall, is named after him as well. Bancroft is one of 23 famous names on the $1 Educational currency note of 1896.[11]

The name of Bancroft is found atop one of several marble pillars in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the United States Library of Congress in Washington, DC. It is believed this is attributed to George Bancroft.[12]

In and around Worcester, Massachusetts, Bancroft's birthplace, many streets, businesses and monuments bear his name:

• Bancroft School, Worcester MA.
• Bancroft School of Massage Therapy, Worcester, MA.
• Bancroft Hall at Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH.
• Bancroft Tower, which was erected in honor of him on Bancroft Tower Road Worcester, MA.
• Bancroft Commons, an apartment building in downtown Worcester, MA.
• Bancroft Motors, now owned by HARR Motor Company.
• Bancroft Street, Gardner, MA.
• Bancroft Street, Worcester, MA.

Notes

1. He served as president of the American Unitarian Association from 1825 to 1836.
2. Harvey Wish, The American Historian: A Social-intellectual History of the Writing of the American Past (1960) ch 5 online
3. See for online editions
4. George Athan Billias, "George Bancroft: Master Historian," Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, Oct 2001, 111#2 pp 507-528
5. Richard C. Vitzthum, "Theme and Method in Bancroft's "History of the United States," New England Quarterly, Sept 1968, 41#3 pp 362-380 in JSTOR
6. Vitzthum, "Theme and Method in Bancroft's "History of the United States," p 362
7. N. H. Dawes, and F. T. Nichols, "Revaluing George Bancroft," New England Quarterly, 6#2 (1933), pp. 278-293 in JSTOR
8. Michael Kraus, "George Bancroft 1834-1934," New England Quarterly, 7#4 (1934), pp. 662-686 in JSTOR
9. Wright, John Kirtland 'The Years of Henry Grinnell', Geography in the Making: The American Geographical Society 1851-1951 (1952) p. 17-18. — George Grady Press
10. "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. http://www.amacad.org/publications/Book ... apterB.pdf. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
11. "United States Bank Notes". 2009-12-27. http://www.tomchao.com/na/na43.html.
12. "United States Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building". 2010-01-18. http://www.loc.gov/loc/walls/jeff1.html.

References

• Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bancroft, George". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
• Samuel Austin Allibone (1900). "Bancroft, George". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography.
• Dawes, N. H., and F. T. Nichols. "Revaluing George Bancroft," New England Quarterly, 6#2 (1933), pp. 278-293 in JSTOR
• Kraus, Michael. "George Bancroft 1834-1934," New England Quarterly, 7#4 (1934), pp. 662-686 in JSTOR
• Handlin, Lillian. George Bancroft: The Intellectual as Democrat. (New York, 1984).
• Nye, Russel B. George Bancroft, Brahmin Rebel (New York, 1944).
• Stewart, Watt. "George Bancroft Historian of the American Republic," Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 19#1 (1932), pp. 77-86 in JSTOR
• Wish, Harvey. The American Historian: A Social-intellectual History of the Writing of the American Past (1960)] ch 5 on Bancroft online

Primary sources

• Howe, M. A. Dewolfe The Life and Letters of George Bancroft - Vol. 1 (1971 reprint)
• Cornell University, Guide to the George Bancroft papers

External links

• George Bancroft Papers, 1823-1890 Manuscripts and Archives, New York Public Library.
• Obituary at New York Times site
• George Bancroft at Find a Grave
• Works by George Bancroft at Project Gutenberg
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