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Buck, Paul Herman (25 August 1899–23 December 1978), historian and university administrator, was born in Columbus, Ohio, the son of Henry John Buck and Adele Kreppelt. Buck took his A.B. in 1921 and his A.M. in 1922 at Ohio State University in Columbus. His master’s thesis, “The Evolution of the National Park System,” was published by the Government Printing Office in 1946, after he had achieved some scholarly distinction....

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Burdick, Usher Lloyd (21 February 1879–19 August 1960), author, educator, and legislator, was born in Owatonna, Minnesota, the son of Ozias Burdick and Lucy Farnum, farmers. In 1882 the family settled in Graham’s Island in the Dakota Territory, where Burdick attended local public schools and learned the Sioux Indian language and customs. Following his graduation from the State Normal School at Mayville, North Dakota, in 1900, he worked for two years as deputy superintendent of schools in Benson County, North Dakota. In 1901 he married Emma Rassmussen, and they had two sons and a daughter. Frustrated by local politics, Burdick changed career objectives and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he taught in a business college while attending the University of Minnesota’s law program, from which he graduated in 1904. He also played football at the university, which won the Big Ten championships in 1903 and 1904. After graduating he returned to Munich, North Dakota, where he was admitted to the bar and began practicing law....

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Burgess, John William (26 August 1844–13 January 1931), political theorist, historian, and university dean, was born in Cornersville, Giles County, Tennessee, the son of Thomas T. Burgess, a planter, and Mary Judith Edwards. He was a descendant of Thomas Burgess, who landed in Massachusetts in 1630. Raised in Tennessee in a slaveholding, pro-Union southern Whig family, Burgess became interested in politics early in life upon hearing the orations and debates of ...

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Chandler, Julian Alvin Carroll (29 October 1872–31 May 1934), historian and president of the College of William and Mary (1919-1934), historian and president of the College of William and Mary (1919–1934), was born near Guinea in Caroline County, Virginia, the son of physician Joseph Alsop Chandler and Emuella Josephine White. Raised on a farm, Chandler entered the College of William and Mary intent upon a medical career, but by the time he graduated, in 1891, had decided to teach. He taught English and history at William and Mary while working on his M.A. (1892). He earned his doctorate in history at Johns Hopkins University in 1896....

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de Schweinitz, Edmund Alexander (20 March 1825–18 December 1887), leader of the Moravian church in America and first president of Moravian College and Theological Seminary, was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the son of Lewis de Schweinitz, a pastor and amateur botanist, and Louise Amalie Le Doux. De Schweinitz grew up in the Moravian village of Bethlehem during the period when its character as a closed religious community was crumbling. He studied classics and theology at Moravian schools in Nazareth and Bethlehem until 1844, when he spent several months at the University of Berlin. There he attended lectures in church history, a subject that would be the core of his academic writing. He taught briefly in Zeyst, Holland, before returning to the United States in 1847. From 1847 to 1850 he taught classics at his old school, Nazareth Hall. In 1850 he married Lydia de Tschirschky in Herrnhut, Germany; they had two sons and two daughters. Also in 1850 he was ordained and served in a number of short pastorates, including Dover, Ohio, and Lebanon, Philadelphia, and Lititz, Pennsylvania, before settling in Bethlehem. He was regarded as a good preacher with a scholarly and “ornate” style. He was also known to be formal and at times imperious as a pastor. These traits are evident in his published works....

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Dennett, Tyler Wilbur (13 June 1883–29 December 1949), historian, government official, and college president, was born in Spencer, Wisconsin, the son of William Eugene Dennett, a Baptist preacher, and Roxena Tyler. He attended a small school in Pascaog, Rhode Island, where his parents moved shortly after he was born, and then the Friends School in Providence. His higher education included one year at Bates College in Maine and three years at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he was a scholarship student, edited the school paper, and played football....

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Ford, Guy Stanton (09 May 1873–29 December 1962), historian, editor, and academic administrator, was born in Liberty Corners, Salem Township, Wisconsin, the son of Thomas D. Ford, a medical doctor, and Helen E. Shumway, a teacher. During Guy’s early childhood, his father’s drinking and business failures forced his mother, with her two sons, to move in with a series of relatives, eventually leading them to Sutherland, Iowa, in 1883. Shortly thereafter his father moved to Plainfield, Iowa, a town of about 300 people. In 1884 the family reunited in Plainfield. Thomas Ford was an extremely impractical man and the family lived in relative poverty throughout Guy’s years in Plainfield....

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Griswold, Alfred Whitney (27 October 1906–19 April 1963), scholar, educator, and university president, was born in Morristown, New Jersey, the son of Harold Ely Griswold, an insurance broker, and Elsie Montgomery Whitney. He was a student at Peck School, Morristown, and at Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Connecticut. He attended Yale beginning in 1925 and with the intention of becoming a journalist or a writer. He published columns and light poetry in the ...

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Hitchcock, Roswell Dwight (15 August 1817–16 June 1887), church historian and seminary president, was born at East Machias, Maine, the son of Roswell Hitchcock and Betsey Longfellow. He prepared for college there at Washington Academy and entered Amherst as a sophomore in 1833, graduating three years later. After two years as the principal of an academy, he attended Andover Theological Seminary but after a year was called back to Amherst as a tutor and only in 1842 returned to seminary, graduating in two years. In 1845 he married Elizabeth Anthony Brayton (three children were born of the union) and was ordained as pastor of the First Congregational Church of Exeter, New Hampshire. After a leave of absence to study at Halle and Berlin (1847–1848), he returned to his parish but was appointed professor of religion at Bowdoin College in 1852. Three years later he was elected to the newly endowed Washburn Chair of Church History at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, a post he held for the rest of his life. Once at Union he transferred his ministerial credentials to the New School Presbyterian church and showed loyal devotion to the Westminster Confession, interpreting it in the light of the demanding intellectual trends of his times....

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Little, Charles Joseph (21 September 1840–11 March 1911), Methodist minister and seminary president, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas Rowell and Ann Zimmermann. Raised in a bilingual family (German and English), Little developed an excellent facility for languages and eventually became proficient in Greek, Latin, Italian, and French. Following his graduation with a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1861, he joined the Philadelphia Conference of the Methodist church the next year. Prevented from serving in the Union army during the Civil War because of poor health, he served as pastor of Methodist congregations in Newark, Delaware (1862–1863), and Philadelphia (1863–1865); he also visited thousands of wounded and dying soldiers on battlefields and comforted many who lost loved ones in the war. In 1864 he completed an M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania. After serving Methodist parishes in Springfield, Pennsylvania (1865–1866), and Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia (1866–1867), he accepted a position as a professor of mathematics at Dickinson Seminary (later Lycoming College) in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, a decision prompted in part by his fear that he did not have the physical stamina the ministry required. While doing graduate study in Europe from 1869 to 1872 he met Anna Marina Schultze, whom he married in Berlin, Germany, in 1872; they had four children....

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Seymour, Charles (01 January 1885–11 August 1963), historian and Yale University president, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Thomas Day Seymour, a Yale professor of Greek, and Sarah Melissa Hitchcock. Seymour was linked with Yale University from his birth to his death. He graduated from high school at sixteen years of age and first took a bachelor’s degree in 1904 at King’s College, Cambridge, before matriculating at Yale for a second B.A., which he earned in 1908. Repeating this pattern on the graduate level, he studied at several European universities before earning a Ph.D. in history at Yale in 1911. He immediately joined the Yale History Department, where he quickly distinguished himself as a scholar. His second monograph, ...

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Wesley, Charles Harris (02 December 1891–16 August 1987), historian and educator, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of Charles Snowden Wesley, an undertaker, and Matilda Harris, a seamstress and later a secretary. His father, who died in 1902, had worked in an “undertaking establishment under his stepfather who had a large funeral plant with a showroom, a chapel, embalming room and a stable for horses and carriages.” Wesley’s mother referred to his father as a “brilliant conversationalist.” When he was a child his mother sang in the choir of Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. After his father’s death Wesley’s maternal grandfather became his “father figure.” Wesley received his early education in Louisville. Around 1906, at age fourteen, he entered the Fisk Preparatory School, where he was active with the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Wesley appeared with this group at the 1911 World’s Fair in Boston. In 1912 a recording of the group was made with Columbia Broadcasting Company, under the name of Aeolian Quartette, which included ...

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Whitsitt, William Heth (25 November 1841–20 January 1911), Baptist historian, educator, and seminary president, was born near Nashville, Tennessee, the son of Rubin Ewing Whitsitt and Dicey McFarland, farmers in the Cumberland Valley. In 1861 he graduated with distinction (M.A.) from Union University in Murfreesboro. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Whitsitt enlisted in the Confederate army as a private and served first as a scout, then as a chaplain. He was captured and spent a year in federal prisons....

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Wilbur, Earl Morse (26 April 1866–08 January 1956), church historian and seminary founder and president, was born in Jericho, Vermont, the son of LaFayette Wilbur, a lawyer and judge, and Mercy Jane Morse. After attending school in Jericho and Essex Classical Institute, he entered the University of Vermont in Burlington, graduating with an A.B. in 1886, the youngest member of his class. After a year of teaching in a private school in Fishkill on the Hudson, New York, he studied as a Congregationalist at the Harvard Divinity School, where he played the organ at regular services, receiving the A.M. and the S.T.B. in 1890. Wilbur became a Unitarian after Dean ...

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Emma Hart Willard. Brown-toned platinum print, c. 1900. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Dr. and Mrs. R. Ted Steinbock.

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Willard, Emma Hart (23 February 1787–15 April 1870), educator and historian, was born in Berlin, Connecticut, the daughter of Samuel Hart and Lydia Hinsdale, farmers. She attended a district school and a new academy in Berlin, then two schools in Hartford to study art and fine needlework. Her father, a Jeffersonian and a Universalist, introduced her to dissent and began her education in philosophy. She also found mentors outside the family....