Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum
   You are in: Museum of History >> Hall of North and South Americans >> George Bancroft





American’s Four United Republics: Discovery-Based Curriculum

For more information go to Historic.us

 

Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





Virtual American Biographies

Over 30,000 personalities with thousands of 19th Century illustrations, signatures, and exceptional life stories. Virtualology.com welcomes editing and additions to the biographies. To become this site's editor or a contributor Click Here or e-mail Virtualology here.



A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 





Click on an image to view full-sized

George Bancroft

BANCROFT, George, historian, born in Worcester, Massachusetts, 3 October 1800. He is a son of the Rev. Aaron Bancroft. He was prepared for College at Exeter, New Hampshire, was graduated at Harvard in 1817, and went to Germany. At Gottingen, where he resided for two years, he studied German literature under Benecke; French and Italian literature under Artaud and Bunsen ; Arabic. Hebrew, and Scripture interpretation under Eichhorn ; history under Planck and Heeren; natural history under Blumenbaeh; and the antiquities and literature of Greece and Rome under Dissen, with whom he took a course of Greek philosophy. In writing from Leipsic, 28 August 1819, to Mrs. Prescott, of Boston, Dr. Joseph G. Cogswell remarks: "It was sad parting, too, from little Bancroft. He is a most interesting youth, and is to make one of our great men."

In 1820 Bancroft was given the degree of Ph. died by the University of Gottingen. At this time he selected history as his special branch, having as one of his reasons the desire to see if the observation of Massachusettses of men in action would not lead by the inductive method to the establishment of the laws of morality as a science. Removing to Berlin, he became intimate with Schleiermacher, William yon Humboldt, Savigny, Lappenberg, and Varnhagen yon Ense, and at Jena he made the acquaintance of Goethe. He studied at Heidelberg with the historian Schlosser. In 1822 he returned to the United States and accepted for one year the office of tutor of Greek in Harvard. He delivered several sermons, which produced a favorable impression; but the love of literature proved the stronger attachment. His first publication was a volume of poems (Cambridge, 1823). In the same year, in conjunction with Dr. Joseph G. Cogswell, he opened the Round Hill school at Northampton, Massachusetts. ; in 1824 published a translation of Heeren's "Politics of Ancient Greece" (Boston), and in 1826 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 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 he published the first volume of his "History of the United States" (Boston). In 1835 he drafted an address to the people of Massachusetts at the request of the young men's democratic convention, and in the same year he removed to Springfield, Massachusetts, where he resided for three years, and completed the second volume of his history. In 1838 he was appointed by President Van Buren collector of the port of Boston. In 1844 he was nominated by the Democratic Party for governor of Massachusetts, and received a very large vote, though not sufficient for election. After the accession of President Polk, Mr. Bancroft became secretary of the navy, and signalized his administration by the establishment of the naval academy at Annapolis, and other reforms and improvements. This institution was devised and completely set at work by Mr. Bancroft alone, who received for the purpose all the appropriations for which he asked. Congress had never been willing to establish a naval academy. He studied the law to ascertain the powers of the secretary, 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 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 would meet the expense, and the secretary of war could cede 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, they accepted the school, which was in full operation, and granted money for the repairs of the buildings. Mr. Bancroft was also influential in obtaining additional appropriations for the Washington observatory and in introducing 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. While secretary of the navy Mr. Bancroft gave the order, in the event of war with Mexico, to take immediate possession of California, and constantly renewed the order, sending it by every possible channel to the commander of the American squadron in the Pacific; and it was fully carried into effect before he left the navy department. No order, so far as is known, was issued from any other department to take possession of California. See "Life of James Buchanan," by G. T. Curtis, vol. i. During his term of office he also acted as secretary of war pro tern. for a month, and gave the order to march into Texas, which caused the first occupation of Texas by the United States. From 1846 to 1849 Mr. Bancroft was minister to Great Britain, where he successfully urged upon the British ministry the adoption of more liberal laws of navigation and allegiance. In May 1867, he was appointed minister to Prussia; in 1868 he was accredited to the North German confederation, and in 1871 to the German empire, from which he was recalled at his own request in 1874. While still minister at Berlin he rendered important services in the settlement with Great Britain of the northwestern boundary of the United States. In the reference to the king of Prussia, which was proposed by Mr. Bancroft, the argument of the United States, and the reply to the argument of Great Britain, were written, every word of them, by Mr. Bancroft. Great Britain had long refused to concede that her emigrants to the United States, whether from Great Britain or Ireland, might throw off allegiance to their mother country and become citizens of the United States. The principle involved in this question 3Ir. Bancroft discussed with the government of Prussia, and in a treaty obtained the formal recognition of the right of expatriation at the will of the individual emigrant, and negotiated with the several German states a corresponding treaty. England watched the course of negotiation, resolving to conform herself to the principles that Bismarck might adopt for Prussia, and followed him in abandoning the claims to perpetual allegiance. After the expiration of the English mission in 1849, Mr. Bancroft took up his residence in the city of New York and continued work on his history. The third volume had appeared in 1840, and volumes 4 to 10 at intervals from 1852 to 1874. In 1876 the work was revised and issued in a centenary edition (6 vols., 12mo, Boston). Volumes 11 and 12 were published first under the title "History of the Formation of the Constitution of the United States" (New York, 1882). The last revised edition of the whole work appeared in six volumes (New York, 1884-'85).

Mr. Bancroft has been correspondent of the royal academy of Berlin, and also of the French institute; was made District of Columbia L. at Oxford in 1849, and Doctor Juris by the University of Bonn in 1868, and in September 1870, celebrated at Berlin the fiftieth anniversary of receiving his first degree at Gottingen. His minor publications include "An Oration delivered on the 4th of July 1826, at Northampton, Massachusetts." (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, m 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) ; and "A Plea for the Constitution of the United States of America, Wounded in the House of its Guardians," by George Bancroft, 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; one on "The Office, Appropriate Culture, and Duty of the Mechanic"; and to the "American Cyclopaedia" Mr. Bancroft contributed a biography of Jonathan Edwards. Among those the least satisfied with the historian have been some of the descendants of eminent patriots (Greene, Reed, Rush, and others), whose merits have not, in the opinions of his censors, been duly recognized by Mr. Bancroft. That there should be entire agreement as regards the accuracy and candor of the narrator of the events of so many years, and those years full of the excitement of party faction, is not to be expected. The merits of the work are considered at length in a biography of Mr. Bancroft by the present writer (see Allibone's "Dictionary of Authors "), where the following opinions of eminent critics are quoted: Edward Everett says: "A history, of the United States by an American writer possesses a claim upon our attention of the strongest character. It would do so under any circumstances; but when we add that the work of Mr. Bancroft is one of the ablest of that class which has for years appeared in the English language; that it compares advantageously with the standard British historians; that as far as it goes it does such justice to its noble subject as to supersede the necessity of any future work of the same kind, and, if completed as commenced, will unquestionably forever be regarded both as an American and as an English classic, our readers would justly think us unpardonable if we failed to offer our humble tribute to its merit." Professor Heeren writes : "We know few modern historic works in which the author has reached so high an elevation at once as an historical inquirer and an historical writer. The great conscientiousness with which he refers to his authorities, and his careful criticism, give the most decisive proofs of his comprehensive studies, lie has founded his narrative on contemporary documents, yet without neglecting works of later times and of other countries. His narrative is everywhere worthy of the subject. The reader is always instructed, often more deeply interested than by novels or romances. The love of country is the muse which inspires the author, but this inspiration is that of the severe historian, which springs from the heart." William It. Prescott says : "We must confess our satisfaction that the favorable notice we took of Mr. Bancroft's labors on his first appearance has been fully ratified by his countrymen, and that his colonial history establishes his title to a place among the great historical writers of the age. The reader will find the pages of the present volume filled with matter not less interesting and important than the preceding.

He will meet with the same brilliant and daring style, the same picturesque sketches of character and incident, the same acute reasoning and compass of erudition." George Ripley writes: " Mr. Bancroft is eminently a philosophical historian. He brings the wealth of a most varied learning in systems of thought and in the political and moral history of mankind to illustrate the early experiences of his country. He catalogues events in a manner which shows the possession of ideas, and not only describes popular movements picturesquely, but also analyzes them and reveals their spiritual signification." Baron Bunsen says: "I read last night Bancroft with increasing admiration. What a glorious and interesting history has he given to his nation of the centuries before the independence !" Von Raumer remarks : "Bancroft, Prescott, and Sparks have effected so much in historical composition that no living European historian can take precedence of them, but rather might be proud and grateful to be admitted as a companion." Mr. Bancroft's last address was given at the opening of the third meeting of the American historical association, of which he was president, at Washington, 27 April 1886. It was printed in the "Magazine of American History" for June. In a letter to the author of this article, dated Washington, District of Columbia, 30 May 1882, he wrote : "I was trained to look upon life here as a season for labor. Being more than fourscore years old, I know the time for my release will soon come. Conscious of being near the shore of eternity, I await without impatience and without dread the beckoning of the hand which will summon me to rest."

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

Start your search on George Bancroft.


 

 


 


Unauthorized Site: This site and its contents are not affiliated, connected, associated with or authorized by the individual, family, friends, or trademarked entities utilizing any part or the subject's entire name. Any official or affiliated sites that are related to this subject will be hyper linked below upon submission and Evisum, Inc. review.

Copyright© 2000 by Evisum Inc.TM. All rights reserved.
Evisum Inc.TM Privacy Policy

Search:

About Us

 

 

Image Use

Please join us in our mission to incorporate America's Four United Republics discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The People Click Here

 

Childhood & Family

Click Here

 

Historic Documents

Articles of Association

Articles of Confederation 1775

Articles of Confederation

Article the First

Coin Act

Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence

Emancipation Proclamation

Gettysburg Address

Monroe Doctrine

Northwest Ordinance

No Taxation Without Representation

Thanksgiving Proclamations

Mayflower Compact

Treaty of Paris 1763

Treaty of Paris 1783

Treaty of Versailles

United Nations Charter

United States In Congress Assembled

US Bill of Rights

United States Constitution

US Continental Congress

US Constitution of 1777

US Constitution of 1787

Virginia Declaration of Rights

 

Historic Events

Battle of New Orleans

Battle of Yorktown

Cabinet Room

Civil Rights Movement

Federalist Papers

Fort Duquesne

Fort Necessity

Fort Pitt

French and Indian War

Jumonville Glen

Manhattan Project

Stamp Act Congress

Underground Railroad

US Hospitality

US Presidency

Vietnam War

War of 1812

West Virginia Statehood

Woman Suffrage

World War I

World War II

 

Is it Real?



Declaration of
Independence

Digital Authentication
Click Here

 

America’s Four Republics
The More or Less United States

 
Continental Congress
U.C. Presidents

Peyton Randolph

Henry Middleton

Peyton Randolph

John Hancock

  

Continental Congress
U.S. Presidents

John Hancock

Henry Laurens

John Jay

Samuel Huntington

  

Constitution of 1777
U.S. Presidents

Samuel Huntington

Samuel Johnston
Elected but declined the office

Thomas McKean

John Hanson

Elias Boudinot

Thomas Mifflin

Richard Henry Lee

John Hancock
[
Chairman David Ramsay]

Nathaniel Gorham

Arthur St. Clair

Cyrus Griffin

  

Constitution of 1787
U.S. Presidents

George Washington 

John Adams
Federalist Party


Thomas Jefferson
Republican* Party

James Madison 
Republican* Party

James Monroe
Republican* Party

John Quincy Adams
Republican* Party
Whig Party

Andrew Jackson
Republican* Party
Democratic Party


Martin Van Buren
Democratic Party

William H. Harrison
Whig Party

John Tyler
Whig Party

James K. Polk
Democratic Party

David Atchison**
Democratic Party

Zachary Taylor
Whig Party

Millard Fillmore
Whig Party

Franklin Pierce
Democratic Party

James Buchanan
Democratic Party


Abraham Lincoln 
Republican Party

Jefferson Davis***
Democratic Party

Andrew Johnson
Republican Party

Ulysses S. Grant 
Republican Party

Rutherford B. Hayes
Republican Party

James A. Garfield
Republican Party

Chester Arthur 
Republican Party

Grover Cleveland
Democratic Party

Benjamin Harrison
Republican Party

Grover Cleveland 
Democratic Party

William McKinley
Republican Party

Theodore Roosevelt
Republican Party

William H. Taft 
Republican Party

Woodrow Wilson
Democratic Party

Warren G. Harding 
Republican Party

Calvin Coolidge
Republican Party

Herbert C. Hoover
Republican Party

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic Party

Harry S. Truman
Democratic Party

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Republican Party

John F. Kennedy
Democratic Party

Lyndon B. Johnson 
Democratic Party 

Richard M. Nixon 
Republican Party

Gerald R. Ford 
Republican Party

James Earl Carter, Jr. 
Democratic Party

Ronald Wilson Reagan 
Republican Party

George H. W. Bush
Republican Party 

William Jefferson Clinton
Democratic Party

George W. Bush 
Republican Party

Barack H. Obama
Democratic Party

Please Visit

Forgotten Founders
Norwich, CT

Annapolis Continental
Congress Society


U.S. Presidency
& Hospitality

© Stan Klos

 

 

 

 


Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum