Albert Bushnell Hart

Albert Bushnell Hart

Albert Bushnell Hart, Ph.D. (July 1, 1854–July 16,1943), American historian, was born at Clarkesville, Mercer Co., Pa. He graduated at Harvard College in 1880, studied at Paris, Berlin and Freiburg, and received the degree of Ph.D. at Freiburg in 1883. He was instructor in history at Harvard in 1883-1887, assistant professor in 1887-1897, and became professor in 1897. He was an editor of the "Harvard Graduates' Magazine" (1894-1902). Professor Hart was president of the American Historical Association in 1909 and of the American Political Science Association in 1912. In 1914 he was appointed exchange professor at the University of Berlin.

Harvard and European education

Albert Bushnell Hart was a classmate and friend of US 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt's at Harvard University, Class of 1880. He was a Phi Beta Kappa. Hart received a Ph.D. degree at the University of Freiburg in Germany in 1883, and that same year, joined the faculty of Harvard. He taught at Harvard 1883-1926. One of the first generation of professionally trained historians in the United States, a prolific author and editor of historical works, Albert Bushnell Hart became, as Samuel Eliot Morison described him, "The Grand Old Man" of American history, looking the part with his "patriarchal full beard and flowing moustaches."

Early Writings

Hart authored the book "Formation of the Union" (1892), "Samuel Portland Chase" (1899), "Essentials of American History" (1905), "Slavery and Abolition" (1906), and many other books. He was editor of the distinguished "American Nation" series (28 volumes, 1903-1918) and other series on American history, of many source books and guides for the study of American history, and, with Andrew C. McLaughlin, of the Cyclopedia of American Government (3 volumes, 1914). He was an editor of the "American Historical Review" for fourteen years, and president of both the American Historical Association (AHA) and the American Political Science Association. Hart was editor of the American Year Book, 1926-1932. He edited a five-volume history of Massachusetts in 1927-1930, and worked as the official historian of the George Washington bicentennial commission in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1909 he played an important role in enabling his former student, W.E.B. Du Bois, to deliver his paper "Reconstruction and Its Benefits" to the AHA in New York. This essay was elaborated as the book "Black Reconstruction in America" in 1935 and proved to be seminal in moving historical discussion of the Reconstruction away from the views of the Dunning School.

Hart's efforts to collect the writings of Theodore Roosevelt

Hart was a devoted friend and follower of Theodore Roosevelt, and was elected as a Roosevelt delegate to the Republican convention of 1912. He became an enthusiastic trustee and supporter of the Roosevelt Memorial Association, now called the Theodore Roosevelt Association and said that from the time of TR's death he had the idea to "present in alphabetical arrangement extracts sufficiently numerous and comprehensive to display all the phases of Roosevelt's activities and opinions as expressed by him." This work would eventually be called the Roosevelt Cyclopedia. Professor Hart wrote Herman Hagedorn of the Association, "...What we are after is the crisp, sharp, biting sparks that flew from the Roosevelt brain." Hart told the survivors of the Harvard Class of 1880 that editing the cyclopedia "will be a very interesting and agreeable service to the memory of our great classmate." From the beginning, however, the project was plagued with problems simply because Hart was very busy with many other commitments. Hart had to postpone the cyclopedia, and asked the Association for research and clerical staff. But the Executive Committee of the Roosevelt Memorial Association delayed appropriations for the cyclopedia, because the expense was "so great," and it was not until May of 1928 that a budget was approved for the cyclopedia, although the project had been publicly announced years before. Finally, in 1931 Hart presented a rough draft of the cyclopedia to Hagedorn. But the book needed much more work and by now, the elderly Hart "began to decline," according to Samuel Eliot Morison and Hagedorn reported to the RMA Executive Committee that Hart could not finish the project "because of his advanced years."

Passing in 1943

Professor Hart, pioneer in American History and Historiography, died on July 16,1943.

Publications of Albert Bushnell Hart

*"Introduction to the Study of Federal Government" (1890)
*"Epoch Maps, Illustrating American History" (1891)
*"Formation of the Union" (1892, in the "Epochs of American History" series)
*"Practical Essays on American Government" (1893)
*"Studies in American Education" (1895)
*"The Romance of the Civil War" (1896) [ [ A Civil War Private in Battle by Carlton McCarthy ] at]
*"Guide to the Study of American History" (with Edward Channing, 1897; with Channing and F. J. Turner, 1912)
* Formation of the Union, 1750-1829 (1897) [cite book
title=Formation of the Union
author=Albert Bushnell Hart
publisher=Kessinger Publishing
*"Salmon Portland Chase" (1899, in the "American Statesman" series)
*"Foundations of American Foreign Policy" (1901)
* "Camps and Firesides of the Revolution" (1902) [ [ The Romance of the Civil War ] at]
*"Actual Government" (1903)
*"Slavery and Abolition" (1906, the volume in the "American Nation" series dealing with the period 1831-1842)
*"National Ideals Historically Traced" (1907)
*"Manual of American History, Diplomacy, and Government" (1908)
*"Formation of the Union" (1910)
*"The Obvious Orient" (1911)
*"The Southern South" (1911)
*"The War in Europe" (1914); the 26th volume of the American Nation series; "Cyclopedia of American Government" (1910-14); and many historical pamphlets and articles.
* Colonial Children, also ed. by Blanche E. Hazard (1914) [ [ Colonial Children ] at]
*"Monroe Doctrine" (1915)
*"New American History" (1917)
*"School History of the United States" (1917)
*"America at War" (1917)
*"Causes of the War" (1920)

In addition he edited "American History told by Contemporaries" (4 vols, 1898-1901), and "Source Readers in American History" (4 vols, 1901-1903), and two co-operative histories of the United States, the "Epochs of American History" series (3 small text-books), and, on a much larger scale, the "American Nation" series (27 vols, 1903-1907); he also edited the "American Citizen" series.

A discussion arose in 1923 as to the "Americanism" of his history textbooks, "The Epoch of American History and National Ideals of History Traced". The removal of his "School History of the United States" from New York City schools was recommended by an investigating committee.New International Encyclopedia


ee also

* Theodore Roosevelt Cylopedia
* Theodore Roosevelt Association

External links


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