Edward Payson Evans

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Edward Payson Evans
Edward Payson Evans.jpg
From Hinsdale, History of the University of Michigan
Born(1831-12-08)December 8, 1831
DiedMarch 6, 1917(1917-03-06) (aged 85)
Elizabeth Edson Gibson
(m. 1868; died 1911)

Edward Payson Evans (December 8, 1831 – March 6, 1917) was an American scholar, linguist and early advocate for animal rights.


His father was a Welsh Presbyterian clergyman, who came to the United States with his wife around 1830. Edward P. Evans graduated from the University of Michigan in 1854, and then taught at an academy in Hernando, Mississippi, for one year. He then became a professor at Carroll University (then Carroll College) in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

From 1858 to 1862, he traveled abroad, and studied at the universities of Göttingen, Berlin and Munich.

On his return to the United States, he became professor of modern languages in the University of Michigan. In 1868, he married Elizabeth Edson Gibson. In 1870, Evans resigned his position at Michigan and went abroad again, where he gathered materials for a history of German literature, and also made a specialty of oriental languages. He became a fixture at the Royal Library in Munich, and joined the staff of the Allgemeine Zeitung in Munich in 1884.

When World War I broke out in 1914, he returned to the United States, where he lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts and New York City.

He died at his home in New York on March 6, 1917.[1]

Elizabeth Evans[edit]

Elizabeth Edson Gibson Evans (1832–1911), the daughter of Dr. Willard Putnam Gibson and Lucia Field Williams, married Edward Payson Evans in 1868. She was a contributor to Atlantic Monthly, North American Review, Nation, etc. Author of 9 books,[2] including: A History of Religions, 1892; The Christ Myth (her last book), 1900.[3]


Roderick Nash argues that both Evans and J. Howard Moore, "deserve more recognition than they have received as the first professional philosophers in the United States to look beyond anthropocentrism."[4]

Selected works[edit]




  • Adolf Stahr, The life and works of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (with an introduction; 2 vols., Boston, 1866)
  • Athanase Josué Coquerel, First Historical Transformations of Christianity (1867)


  1. ^ "Edward Payson Evans Dies". The New York Times. March 8, 1917. p. 11. Retrieved January 21, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ Ockerbloom, John Mark. "Online Books by Elizabeth Edson Gibson Evans". The Online Books Page. Online Books Page.
  3. ^ Evans, Elizabeth E. (1900). The Christ Myth: A Study. Truth Seeker Company. p. 17. There is evidence that all the Gospels were borrowed from an earlier source, but whether that source was history or romance, and whether the author or the later compilers dressed up foreign and ancient materials in local and contemporary attire, cannot be known. The earliest "Fathers" of the Christian church do not mention nor allude to any one of the Gospels, but they do quote from some other work or works in language similar to and in substance sometimes agreeing with sometimes differing from, the canonical Gospels. (Image of p. 17 at Google Books)
  4. ^ Nash, Roderick Frazier (1989). The Rights of Nature: A History of Environmental Ethics. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-299-11843-3.


External links[edit]