Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Charles William Eliot

TL;DR -- CW Eliot's name came up earlier when we were looking at the effects of the gift to Harvard by Count Rumford. At that time, we merely noted that CW wished to obtain appointment to the Rumford Chair put into place by Benjamin Peirce (cuz). CW did not get that and went to spend time in Europe. That little sojourn was instrumental in later changes to Harvard that CW accomplished. Also, it was in the reign of CW Eliot that Leland Stanford came to talk using money to endow education. 


Today's browse brought up a familiar name which got us looking closer at the subject of Harvard in Massachusetts, in New England, in the U.S. and in the world. Earlier, we had posts that looked at James Bryant Conant (1893-1978, #23 1933-1953) and, then, John Thornton Kirkland (1770-1840, #14 1810-1828) due to topical reasons. Notice the numbers on the 2nd timeframe for each. It is their order in serving as Head of Harvard (see History of Harvard). Too, though, notice the time span with respect to their deaths which was over a century. We just looked at that. 

As the name that came up was Charles William Eliot (1834-1926. #21 1869-1909). Given the gaps that are still there, we have several more names to look at. The next one will be considered for his role in the split whose 250th is coming up (SAR/DAR). 

All three of these gentlemen are of early New England heritage, have family ties with Ann, and played a role in the History of Harvard. For instance, one ancestor is Thomas' 2nd wife, Demaris Shattuck. His WikiTree Profile is sparse to say the least. 

Charles was initially of interest for two reasons. There are more that will be looked at. But, he was a candidate for the Rumford Chair. The money for this came in during the time of John T. Kirkland. We will look at that from several angles dealing with the Count's work and writings plus topics still pending some type of discussion. When Charles did not get the chair, he went to Europe for a couple of years. One thing he looked at was the roles of the university in the culture. His study experience prepared him for his long tenure and resulted in his leading Harvard to the future. So, lots to look at there as we are on the verge of changes that are even more drastic. 


His biography at Harvard Square Library provides a wonderful take on Eliot's motivations for change. 

Remarks: Modified: 09/01/2022

10/30/2021 --  Added the TL;DR. 

12/11/2021 -- Added link to History of Harvard.

 01/06/2022 -- Leland and Jane Stanford visited Harvard in Eliot's time. Oh well, kind of liked the 'hick' story. Stanford, yeah. 

01/07/2022 -- Eliot started the Gold Coast scheme for housing which was halted by Lowell. ... Tributes to Charles William Elliott (The Massachusetts Magazine, Vol. II, No 2) by Edward J. James, Booker T. Washington, David Starr Jordan, Cyrus Northrup. 

09/01/2022 -- While doing post for Jared Sparks and James Walker, we ran into the Harvard Square Library which keeps us aware of Unitarian ways and their benefits. Harvard plays, specifically, in this arena. The HSL is now a regular resource. 

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