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Glimpses of the harvard past


Bernard Bailyn, one of the top living historians; and Oscar Handlin, one of the premiere sociologists of all time; and Donald Fleming, remembered from his 41 years at Harvard for combining a rather …

Bernard Bailyn, one of the top living historians; and Oscar Handlin, one of the premiere sociologists of all time; and Donald Fleming, remembered from his 41 years at Harvard for combining a rather traditional etiquette with a very sharp wit; and Stephen Thernstrom,one of the preeminent scholars of the history of race relations in America, combined to write/edit a thoroughly interesting (to a Harvard man at least) book. Harvard University Press, 1986.

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  • p. 22, 19
  • p. 23
  • p. 60, 62
  • p. 63
  • p. 63, 64
  • p. 94
  • p. 107
  • p. 107, 108
  • p. 109
  • p. 111
  • p. 112, 99, 121
  • p. 131


  • 1. Glimpses of the Harvard Past Bernard Bailyn, Donald Fleming, Oscar Handlin, Stephan Thernstrom Harvard University Press, 1986 jgillis767@aol.com
  • 2. Harvard Presidents • Four truly notable presidents before the 20th century: – Henry Dunster (1640 – 1654) – John Leverett (1708 – 1724) – John Thornton Kirkland (1810 – 1828) – Charles William Eliot (1869 – 1909) • And three consolidators: – Charles Chauncy (1654 – 1672) – Edward Holyoke (1737 – 1769) – A. Lawrence Lowell (1909 – 1933) 8/30/2013 2jgillis767@aol.com
  • 3. Curriculum (Through Kirkland’s Time) • 12 terms, (3 each year), 33 subjects in prescribed sequence. • Ancient languages, analytic geometry, trigonometry, differential calculus, history, English grammar, philosophy, physics, chemistry, astronomy, political economy, and Bible. • A few substitutes were allowed (3rd year on): math or another language for Hebrew, a modern language for calculus, natural history for “intellectual philosophy,” a language for the chemistry, mineralogy, and geology requirements. • All instruction was conducted in recitation form, with students translating, disgorging, or otherwise discoursing on set passages of assigned text when called upon by the teacher. 8/30/2013 3jgillis767@aol.com
  • 4. • New academies: St. Paul’s (1856), Groton (1885), Middlesex (1901) and others prepared the offspring of select families specifically for Harvard. • In 1870, the college enrolled 7 Catholics, 3 Jews, 0 women, 0 blacks. • The “annex” (1879), later Radcliffe College (1894) was an accommodation to give women an education equivalent to Harvard’s, without disturbing the way of life that still aimed to make men of boys by involvement in a male network of the culture of learning. 8/30/2013 4jgillis767@aol.com
  • 5. Charles W. Eliot • "…the young man of 19 or 20 ought to know what he likes best and is most fit for. The community does not owe superior education to all children, but only to the élite….The process of preparing to enter college under the difficulties which poverty entails is just such a test of worthiness as is needed.” • “The poverty of scholars is of inestimable worth in this money-getting nation.” • “The world knows next to nothing about the natural mental capacities of the female sex.” • “Two kinds of men make good teachers – young men and men who never grow old.” 8/30/2013 5jgillis767@aol.com
  • 6. Charles W. Eliot (continued) • “There are always old radicals and young conservatives.” • “It is hard to find competent professors. Very few Americans of eminent abilities are attracted to this profession.” • “The inertia of a massive University is formidable. A good past is positively dangerous, if it makes us content with the present and so unprepared for the future.” • “The University must accommodate itself promptly to changes in the character of the people for whom it exists.” • “The president cannot force his opinions on any body. A University is the last place in the world for a dictator.” • “The future of the University will not be unworthy of its past.” 8/30/2013 6jgillis767@aol.com
  • 7. Irving Babbitt on “the Ph.D. Octopus”* • Babbitt protested bitterly against the dogma that nobody should be allowed to teach in a college without a Ph.D. – But one may shine as a productive scholar, and yet have little or nothing of that humane insight and reflection that can alone give meaning to all subjects, and is especially appropriate in a college teacher. The work that leads to a doctor’s degree is a constant temptation to sacrifice one’s growth as a man to one’s growth as a specialist. We must be men before being entomologists. – Note: James, Wendell, Kittredge, Copeland, Babbitt were not Ph.D.’s *coined by William James 8/30/2013 7jgillis767@aol.com
  • 8. Babbitt (continued) • If, said Babbitt, instead of demanding original scholarship from a college teacher in, for example, literature, he was chosen for wide reading in the great books and the power to relate these to life, two advantages would follow – the undergraduate would get the instruction he needed to become fully human; and the modern heresy would be exploded that originality in research was the culminating ideal of life, with the corollary that mere assimilation of what was already known was contemptible . • It was of a piece, Babbitt said, with “our small esteem for the ‘ancient and permanent sense of mankind’ as embodied in tradition, our prejudice in favor of young men and new ideas.” 8/30/2013 8jgillis767@aol.com
  • 9. Oscar Handlin on Harvard • Scholarship had a realm unto itself, residing in the Public Record Office and other archives, in libraries, in clinics, and in laboratories. Scholars did what they did there, out of concern with the 16th century or with medieval common law or with the use of bismuth as a contrast medium in x-rays. • They required no justification for what they did. But by doing what they did for its own sake they also developed cultural attributes and knowledge widely applicable in the society in which they lived. • And involvement in the same community with them enriched the students – even those without direct contact with them. 8/30/2013 9jgillis767@aol.com
  • 10. Oscar Handlin (continued) • Hence the university devoted its resources to libraries and laboratories which the undergraduates might or might not use but which their scholar-teachers required. • It was immensely significant for the freedom of learning in the United States that Harvard absorbed those costs as part of the price the community paid for educating its youth. • The pursuit of knowledge also guaranteed the University’s excellence. The young men and their teachers quietly assumed that their Harvard was best – not only by virtue of its age, certainly not only for its wealth, but for its scholarship, however remote the share of any individual in it. 8/30/2013 10jgillis767@aol.com
  • 11. Handlin on Eliot • The great achievement of Eliot’s Harvard was to implicate a significant sector of American society in support of its high culture. • By the end of Eliot’s administration Harvard had fused two elements in the culture it defined and transmitted: the inherited conception of a liberal gentlemanly education, now however available to students of every degree, had merged with that of scholarship, ever evolving as knowledge accumulated. • The professors became clergymen without churches. 8/30/2013 11jgillis767@aol.com
  • 12. Handlin on Sedgwick on Values • The editor, Ellery Sedgwick (class of 1894) asked: “What does a boy carry away from college?” and answered: a set of values. The boy had lived in a community free from the grosser inequities of the world, a society of scholars to whom learning was its own ample return, a republic where the crown of olives was the unmaterial reward. • And if the young graduate was wise as well as knowledgeable, his diploma would tell him that in all this world there was no such reward as learning to understand. 8/30/2013 12jgillis767@aol.com
  • 13. Chronology • When Eliot took office in 1869 the faculty numbered 21. When he left office in 1909 it had expanded to 123. In 1963, it consisted of 452 permanent and associate professors, and the count had risen to almost 700 in 1983. Cambridge (a manufacturing city) grew from about 2,000 in 1800 to 52,000 in 1880 and 92,000 in 1900. • Before the Civil War, Harvard was largely “a seminary and academy for the inner circle of Bostonians.”* In the 20th century, John Reed (class of 1910) noted that “all sorts of strange characters of every race and mind, poets, philosophers, cranks of every twist were in our class….No matter what you were or what you did, at Harvard you could find your kind. * George Santayana 8/30/2013 13jgillis767@aol.com
  • 14. Epilogue • Often the University has been on the defensive, as if it could no longer take its existence for granted, as if its activities were not valuable in themselves but required justification by social utility. There is a genuine concern that scholarship has to prove its worth not on its own terms but by service to the nation and the world. • But the worldwide recognition of Harvard’s greatness already marked in Conant’s years (1933-1953), indeed even in Eliot’s years, has survived; and that recognition rests on the fruits of scholarship. Concern with learning did not wither, and the pilgrim people who erected the college would not have felt themselves total strangers in the University 350 years later. 8/30/2013 14jgillis767@aol.com
  • 15. 1656 – 1755 1656 Increase Mather 1678 Cotton Mather 1680 John Leverett 1728 Josiah Quincy I 1732 John Winthrop 1740 Samuel Adams 1748 Artemas Ward 1749 Robert Treat Paine 1754 John Hancock 1755 John Adams 8/30/2013 15jgillis767@aol.com
  • 16. 1763 Josiah Quincy II (“The Patriot”) 1767 Increase Sumner 1768 George Cabot 1787 John Quincy Adams 1789 John Thornton Kirkland 1790 Josiah Quincy III 1793 Francis Cabot Lowell 1814 Thomas Bulfinch 1817 John Lowell 1821 Ralph Waldo Emerson 8/30/2013 16jgillis767@aol.com 1763 – 1821
  • 17. 1821 Josiah Quincy IV 1825 Charles Francis Adams Sr. 1829 Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. 1837 Richard Henry Dana 1837 Henry David Thoreau 1838 James Russell Lowell 1839 Edward Everett Hale 1844 Francis Parkman 1845 Rutherford B. Hayes 1845 William Morris Hunt 8/30/2013 17jgillis767@aol.com 1821 – 1845
  • 18. 1846 Charles Eliot Norton 1852 Horatio Alger 1853 Charles William Eliot 1854 Charles Russell Lowell 1855 Phillips Brooks 1855 Robert Treat Paine 1856 Charles Francis Adams Jr. 1857 William H. Fitzhugh “Rooney” Lee 1858 Henry Adams 1859 Charles Sanders Peirce 8/30/2013 18jgillis767@aol.com 1846 – 1859
  • 19. 1859 Henry Hobson Richardson 1861 Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. 1863 William James 1863 Henry James 1864 Robert Todd Lincoln 1869 Francis Greenwood Peabody 1871 Henry Cabot Lodge I 1877 Louis D. Brandeis 1877 A. Lawrence Lowell 1880 Theodore Roosevelt 8/30/2013 19jgillis767@aol.com 1859 – 1880
  • 20. 1885 William Randolph Hearst 1886 George Santayana 1888 George Herbert Mead 1889 J. Pierpont Morgan Jr. 1889 Henry L. Stimson 1890 W. E. B. DuBois 1893 Learned Hand 1894 Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. 1896 Sidney B. Fay 1897 Gertrude Stein 8/30/2013 20jgillis767@aol.com 1885 – 1897
  • 21. 1899 Robert Frost 1900 Paul Sachs 1900 Wallace Stevens 1904 Helen Keller 1904 Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1906 Felix Frankfurter 1907 Maxwell Evarts Perkins 1907 Harry Elkins Widener 1908 Samuel Eliot Morison 1909 T. S. Eliot 8/30/2013 21jgillis767@aol.com 1899 – 1909
  • 22. 1910 Walter Lippmann 1910 Alan Seeger 1912 Conrad Aiken 1912 Joseph Patrick Kennedy 1913 Robert A. Benchley 1913 James Bryant Conant 1913 Norbert Wiener 1914 John P. Marquand 1914 Leverett Saltonstall 1914 Sumner Welles 8/30/2013 22jgillis767@aol.com 1910 – 1914
  • 23. 1915 E. E. Cummings 1915 R. Buckminster Fuller 1915 Christian Herter 1915 George Wilhelm Merck 1915 Henry A. Murray 1916 John Dos Passos 1918 Dean Acheson 1919 Gordon Allport 1919 Archibald MacLeish 1920 Malcolm Cowley 8/30/2013 23jgillis767@aol.com 1915 – 1920
  • 24. 1920 Alfred C. Kinsey 1920 Susanne Langer (née Knauth) 1920 Isoroku Yamamoto 1921 Paul C. Cabot 1922 Thomas Wolfe 1923 Granville Hicks 1924 Adlai Stephenson 1924 Henry Cabot Lodge II 1924 James Gould Cozzens 1924 Walter Piston 8/30/2013 24jgillis767@aol.com 1920 – 1924
  • 25. 1925 Stanley Marcus 1925 J. Robert Oppenheimer 1927 F. O. Matthiessen 1928 Edwin Land 1928 Nathan Marsh Pusey 1929 Harry Andrew Blackmun 1929 John King Fairbank 1929 Alger Hiss 1930 Elliott Carter 1930 Philip Johnson 8/30/2013 25jgillis767@aol.com 1925 – 1930
  • 26. 1930 Lincoln Kirstein 1931 William Joseph Brennan 1931 Paul Freund 1931 David Riesman 1931 B. F. Skinner 1932 James Agee 1932 C. Douglas Dillon 1932 Willard Van Orman Quine 1933 Barbara Tuchman (née Wertheim) 1933 Wilbur Mills 8/30/2013 26jgillis767@aol.com 1930 – 1933
  • 27. 1934 Ralph H. Bunche 1934 Archibald Cox 1935 Daniel Boorstin 1936 William Burroughs 1936 Robert K. Merton 1936 David Rockefeller 1937 Robert Lowell 1938 Pete Seeger 1938 Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. 1938 Theodore White 8/30/2013 27jgillis767@aol.com 1934 – 1938
  • 28. 1938 Caspar Weinberger 1938 Robert Burns Woodward 1939 Howard Aiken 1939 Leonard Bernstein 1939 Robert S. McNamara 1939 Edwin Reischauer 1940 Oscar Handlin 1940 John Fitzgerald Kennedy 1940 Alan Jay Lerner 1940 William Proxmire 8/30/2013 28jgillis767@aol.com 1938 – 1940
  • 29. 1940 Donald Regan 1941 Jerome Bruner 1941 Elliot Richardson 1941 Paul Samuelson 1942 William French Smith 1943 Thomas S. Kuhn 1943 Norman Mailer 1945 Pierre Elliott Trudeau 1948 Kingman Brewster 8/30/2013 29jgillis767@aol.com 1940 – 1948
  • 30. 1948 – 1951 1948 Robert Francis Kennedy 1948 An Wang 1949 John Hawkes 1949 William H. Rehnquist 1950 Robert Bly 1950 Henry Kissinger 1950 Richard Pipes 1950 James R. Schlesinger 1951 Adrienne Rich 8/30/2013 30jgillis767@aol.com
  • 31. 1953 Bernard Bailyn 1953 Bernard F. Law 1954 Derek Curtis Bok 1954 John Updike 1955 Noam Chomsky 1955 E. O. Wilson 1956 J. Carter Brown 1956 Edward Moore Kennedy 1958 Aga Kahn 8/30/2013 31jgillis767@aol.com 1953 – 1958
  • 32. 1958 Ralph Nader 1960 Elizabeth Dole (née Hanford) 1961 John Davison Rockefeller IV 1971 John Paul Gillis 1971 Yonatan Netanyahu (1967-68) 1976 Yo Yo Ma 8/30/2013 32jgillis767@aol.com 1958 – 1976
  • 33. 8/30/2013 33jgillis767@aol.com Veritas