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Arnold, Richard Dennis (1808-1876), physician  

John H. Ellis

Arnold, Richard Dennis (19 August 1808–10 July 1876), physician, was born in Savannah, Georgia, the son of Joseph Arnold and Eliza Dennis, occupations unknown. Despite hardships accompanying the deaths of both parents during childhood, Arnold, who had been an only child, received an excellent preliminary education and graduated with distinction from Princeton in 1826. He immediately began a medical apprenticeship under William R. Waring, a distinguished preceptor and member of an illustrious Charleston and Savannah family of physicians. After receiving his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1830, Arnold served for two years as a resident house officer in Philadelphia’s old Blockley Hospital before returning to Savannah where in 1833 he married Margaret Baugh Stirk. Their only child, Eleanor, born the next year, became the lifelong object of her father’s loving solicitude following her mother’s untimely death from pulmonary tuberculosis in 1850....


Bancroft, Frederic A. (1860-1945), historian, librarian, and philanthropist  

John David Smith

Bancroft, Frederic A. (30 October 1860–22 February 1945), historian, librarian, and philanthropist, was born Frederic Austin Bancroft in Galesburg, Illinois, the son of Addison Newton Bancroft, a businessman, and Catherine Blair. Bancroft, raised in abolitionist surroundings, attended school at Knox Academy, Knox College (1878–1881), transferred to Amherst College in 1881, and graduated a year later. He entered Columbia University’s School of Political Science in 1882 to study southern history with ...


Bowditch, Charles Pickering (1842-1921), benefactor and archaeologist  

Julia A. Hendon

Bowditch, Charles Pickering (30 September 1842–01 June 1921), benefactor and archaeologist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Jonathan Ingersoll Bowditch, a merchant and trustee, and Lucy Orne Nichols. Bowditch was the grandson of mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch. Bowditch was graduated from Harvard College in 1863. In 1863–1864 he held commissions in the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and the Fifth Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry, attaining the rank of captain. Bowditch received an A.M. from Harvard in 1866. That same year he married Cornelia Livingstone Rockwell, the daughter of a judge and former U.S. senator. The Bowditches had five children, one of whom died in infancy....


Brown, John Carter (1797-1874), book collector and philanthropist  

Robert S. Freeman

Brown, John Carter (28 August 1797–10 June 1874), book collector and philanthropist, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Nicholas Brown, a merchant and philanthropist, and Ann Carter, daughter of John Carter, the second printer of Providence. In 1816 he received an A.B. from Brown University, named for his father, and immediately joined the family mercantile firm, Brown & Ives. Although he was involved in several aspects of the shipping business and became a partner in 1832, he found time to travel extensively in Europe and the United States and to pursue his interests in historical subjects and books. Accustomed from childhood to a growing family library, he and his elder brother, Nicholas, “were predisposed to infection with the epidemic Bibliomania” and belonged to “a small group of American gentlemen of means who found in the London and Continental bookshops a reason for a European holiday” (Winship, pp. 9, 12). He resided in Europe from 1823 to 1826 and bought many books, most of which he shipped back to Brown University as gifts. The university made him a trustee in 1828 and a fellow in 1842. He continued to make donations to the university and to be involved in its affairs throughout his life....


Douglass, William (1681-1752), doctor, historian, and pioneer in colonial philanthropy  

Peter R. Virgadamo

Douglass, William ( October 1681–21 October 1752), doctor, historian, and pioneer in colonial philanthropy, was born in Gifford, Scotland, the son of George Douglass, chamberlain to the marquis of Tweeddale, and Katherine Inglis. His father, a man of distinction in local affairs, was able to afford a fine education for his son. William earned his master’s degree in 1705 from Edinburgh University where, influenced by Dr. Archibald Pitcairne, he decided on a medical career. At the University of Leyden he studied under Dr. Herman Boerhaave and then earned his medical degree from the University of Utrecht in 1712. His medical dissertation, ...


Elwyn, Alfred Langdon (1804-1884), philanthropist and author  

Harold Farwell

Elwyn, Alfred Langdon (09 July 1804–15 March 1884), philanthropist and author, was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the son of Thomas Elwyn and Elizabeth Langdon, occupations unknown. His maternal grandfather, John Langdon, was the first continental governor of New Hampshire and presiding officer of the first U.S. Senate. Reared amid affluence and the socially prominent, Alfred graduated from Harvard as Langdon Elwyn in 1823. He then attended lectures by Dr. Gorham in Boston and other noted physicians in Europe (1826–1829), returning for formal medical study at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received his degree in medicine in 1831. In 1832 he married Mary Middleton Mease. They had two children....


Folger, Henry Clay (1857-1930), industrialist, book collector, and philanthropist  

Kathleen Lynch

Folger, Henry Clay (18 June 1857–11 June 1930), industrialist, book collector, and philanthropist, was born in New York City, the son of Henry Clay Folger, a dealer in wholesale millinery, and Eliza Jane Clark. After attending Brooklyn’s Adelphi Academy on a scholarship, Folger entered Amherst College. When his father’s business failed during his junior year, Folger briefly attended the City University of New York. He returned to Amherst after being guaranteed the necessary funds by patrons who included Charles M. Pratt, an oil merchant and the father of Folger’s roommate. In March of his senior year Folger attended a lecture delivered by the aged poet and essayist ...


Goucher, John Franklin (1845-1922), philanthropist and educator  

Nancy L. Magnuson

Goucher, John Franklin (07 June 1845–19 July 1922), philanthropist and educator, was born in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, the son of John Goucher, a doctor, and Eleanor Townsend. Goucher was raised in a devout Methodist household, the youngest of four children. Religion was a sustaining and motivating force throughout his life. Another important influence was a meeting with President-elect ...


Hogg, Ima (1882-1975), civic leader, collector, and philanthropist  

Walter A. Sutton

Hogg, Ima (10 July 1882–19 August 1975), civic leader, collector, and philanthropist, was born in Mineola, Texas, the daughter of James Stephen Hogg and Sarah Ann “Sallie” Stinson. Her father was governor of Texas in the 1890s and later a wealthy oilman. He named Ima after a character in a poem by his late brother Thomas....


Howland, Emily (1827-1929), educator, suffragist, and philanthropist  

Mamie E. Locke

Howland, Emily (20 November 1827–29 June 1929), educator, suffragist, and philanthropist, was born in Sherwood, New York, the daughter of Slocum Howland, a wealthy merchant and landowner, and Hannah Tallcot. Her ancestors were members of the Society of Friends (Quakers), and it was in that strict tradition of speech, dress, and conduct that Emily was raised....


Jackson, Samuel Macauley (1851-1912), church historian and philanthropist  

Henry Warner Bowden

Jackson, Samuel Macauley (19 June 1851–02 August 1912), church historian and philanthropist, was born in New York City, the son of George T. Jackson, a businessman, and Letitia Jane Aiken Macauley. Born into a socially prominent and financially comfortable family, Jackson embodied the intellectual tastes and public mindedness often found among members of that class. In 1870 he graduated from the College of the City of New York and for the next year studied divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary. In 1871 he transferred to Union Theological Seminary in New York City, graduating with a B.D. degree in 1873. For two years thereafter he toured Europe and took advanced courses at the universities in Leipzig and Berlin. Upon his return to the United States, he earned an A.M. degree from the College of the City of New York in 1876 and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. For four years he served as pastor of a church in Norwood, New Jersey....


Loeb, James (1867-1933), philanthropist and classicist  

William M. Calder

Loeb, James (06 August 1867–27 May 1933), philanthropist and classicist, was born in New York City, the son of Solomon Loeb, a banker, and Betty Gallenberg. He was the brother-in-law of Jacob H. Schiff and Paul M. Warburg, whose brother was the art historian Aby Warburg. Loeb learned Greek and Latin at ...


Perkins, Charles Callahan (1823-1886), art critic, philanthropist, and administrator  

Robert L. Gale

Perkins, Charles Callahan (01 March 1823–25 August 1886), art critic, philanthropist, and administrator, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of James Perkins, a wealthy and generous merchant, and Eliza Greene Callahan. After early schooling in Boston and attendance at boarding schools in nearby Cambridge and in Burlington, New Jersey, Perkins entered Harvard. He disliked the curriculum there but graduated in 1843....


Rindge, Frederick Hastings (1857-1905), philanthropist and collector  

Anne S. Henshaw

Rindge, Frederick Hastings (21 December 1857–29 August 1905), philanthropist and collector, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Baker Rindge, a woolen importer and manufacturer, and Clarissa Harrington. He attended public schools in Cambridge and developed an interest in travel and foreign cultures at an early age. In 1870 he traveled to California, and between 1871 and 1872 he made his way through Europe. He entered Harvard College in 1875; there his interest in North American native peoples was stimulated through contact with ...


Rollins, Philip Ashton (1869-1950), author, bibliophile, and philanthropist  

James R. Nicholl

Rollins, Philip Ashton (20 January 1869–11 September 1950), author, bibliophile, and philanthropist, was born in Somersworth, New Hampshire, the son of Edward Ashton Rollins, a financier, and Ellen Chapman Hobbs, an author. His father, a Harvard-trained lawyer, was active in Republican politics and served as a high-level Treasury Department official in the ...


Rosenwald, Lessing Julius (1891-1978), art and book collector and philanthropist  

Leonard Dinnerstein

Rosenwald, Lessing Julius (10 February 1891–24 June 1978), art and book collector and philanthropist, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Julius Rosenwald, a businessman, and Augusta Nusbaum. In 1908 he went to Cornell University but left in 1911 to work as a shipping clerk for Sears, Roebuck, of which his father was president. In 1913 Rosenwald married Edith Goodkind; they had five children. He served as a seaman, second class, in the U.S. Navy during World War I; after the war he returned to Sears, Roebuck. In 1920 his father sent him to Philadelphia to start that city’s first Sears store....


Sage, Margaret Olivia Slocum (1828-1918), teacher and philanthropist  

James Allen Smith and Melissa A. Smith

Sage, Margaret Olivia Slocum (08 September 1828–04 November 1918), teacher and philanthropist, was born in Syracuse, New York, the daughter of Joseph Slocum, a successful merchant and state assemblyman, and Margaret Jermain. Olivia, as she was known to family and close friends, was reared in comfortable circumstances and received her early education in Syracuse....


Straight, Dorothy Payne Whitney (1887-1968), publisher, educator, and philanthropist  

Eric Rauchway

Straight, Dorothy Payne Whitney (23 January 1887–13 December 1968), publisher, educator, and philanthropist, was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Flora Payne and William C. Whitney, then secretary of the navy. Her father had added a fortune made in urban railways to his wife’s dowry and with other socially prominent New Yorkers founded the Metropolitan Opera. Dorothy therefore enjoyed a materially and culturally rich childhood, whose comfort was marred by the death of her mother when Dorothy was six and of her father when she was seventeen. She then came into her own fortune and the temporary custody of her brother ...


Talbot, Emily Fairbanks (1834-1900), philanthropist and promoter of higher education for women  

Elizabeth D. Schafer

Talbot, Emily Fairbanks (22 February 1834–29 October 1900), philanthropist and promoter of higher education for women, was born in Winthrop, Maine, the daughter of Columbus Fairbanks and Lydia Tinkham, farmers. Emily attended local schools, and her mother supplemented her lessons. At age sixteen Talbot began teaching school in Augusta, Maine; she wished for a college education, but few women of the time had access to that....


Vaughan, John (1756-1841), wine merchant, librarian, and philanthropist  

Whitfield J. Bell

Vaughan, John (15 January 1756–30 December 1841), wine merchant, librarian, and philanthropist, was born in London, England, the son of Samuel Vaughan, a merchant in the Jamaica trade, and Sarah Hallowell of Boston, Massachusetts. The family were Whigs in politics, dissenters in religion, and lovers of science, humanity, and America. Destined by his father for a mercantile career, young Vaughan spent the year 1776–1777 in Jamaica and in 1778 was sent to France to learn French and gain further business experience, with a view to settling eventually in America. In France, where he was attached to a merchant firm in Bordeaux, he became intimate with ...