Herbert Baxter Adams
|Herbert Baxter Adams|
Herbert Baxter Adams, prominent American historian
|Born||April 16, 1850|
|Died||July 30, 1901 (aged 51)|
|Alma mater||Phillips Exeter Academy, |
|Fields||Educator and historian|
|Institutions||Johns Hopkins University|
|Thesis||(Ph.D summa cum laude, without written dissertation) (1876)|
|Academic advisors||Johann Gustav Droysen|
Johann Kaspar Bluntschli
|Doctoral students||Charles Homer Haskins|
Frederick Jackson Turner
Herbert Baxter Adams (April 16, 1850 – July 30, 1901) was an American educator and historian.
Adams was born to Nathaniel Dickinson Adams and Harriet (Hastings) Adams in Shutesbury, Massachusetts. On his mother's side, he was a descendant of Thomas Hastings who came from the East Anglia region of England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634.
In 1873 Adams traveled to Europe to study and write. In 1874 he then moved to Heidelberg, Germany to pursue the Ph.D. degree. There he was influenced by Johann Gustav Droysen and Johann Kaspar Bluntschli, the latter also becoming his mentor. Heidelberg did not then require a thesis from its doctoral candidates, instead it required an oral examination, for which he chose political science for his major field (Hauptfach), with two minors (Nebenfächer) in public and international law and in political and cultural history. Adams took the oral examination on July 13, 1876, which he passed summa cum laude.
Adams was a fellow in history at Johns Hopkins University from 1876 to 1878, associate from 1878 to 1883, and was appointed associate professor in 1883. He is credited with bringing the study of history into the realm of the social sciences: “Adams, with his German training, was determined to inaugurate through the seminar system the scientific study of history based on careful, critical examination of the sources. He hoped to make the study of history an independent professional pursuit rather than a mere branch of literature.”
At Johns Hopkins, in 1880, Adams began his famous seminar in history, where a large proportion of the next generation of American historians trained. Adams founded the "Johns Hopkins Studies in Historical and Political Science," the first of such series. He was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1881. He brought about the organization in 1884 of the American Historical Association, for which he was secretary until 1900, when he resigned and was made first vice president. His historical writings introduced scientific methods of investigation that influenced many historians, including Frederick Jackson Turner and John Spencer Bassett. He authored Life and Writings of Jared Sparks (1893) and many articles and influential reports on the study of the social sciences.
His principal writings are The Germanic Origin of the New England Towns; Saxon Tithing-Men in America; Norman Constables in America; Village Communities; Methods of Historical Study, and Maryland's Influence upon Land Cessions to the United States. All these papers are published in the Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, edited by Prof. Adams, 4 vols. (Baltimore, 1883-'86). Although less known for his contributions to the history of education, Adams was essential to its early development. He edited the circular series titled, "Contributions to American Educational History," which was printed and distributed by the U.S. Bureau of Education.
Herbert B. Adams died in 1901.
- Adams House, an undergraduate dormitory at Johns Hopkins University, is named for him.
- The American Historical Association's Herbert Baxter Adams prize was named for him.
- Buckminster, Lydia N.H., The Hastings Memorial, A Genealogical Account of the Descendants of Thomas Hastings of Watertown, Mass. from 1634 to 1864. Boston: Samuel G. Drake Publisher (an undated NEHGS photoduplicate of the 1866 edition), 19.
- Cunningham, Raymond J. (1981). "The German Historical World of Herbert Baxter Adams: 1874-1876". The Journal of American History. Organization of American Historians. 68 (2 (Sep., 1981)): 261–275. doi:10.2307/1889972. JSTOR 1889972.
- "Herbert Baxter Adams." Encyclopedia of World Biography.|Retrieved October 30, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/herbert-baxter-adams
- “Professor Herbert Baxter Adams” by B. J. Ramage in The American Historical Magazine Vol. 6, No. 4 (OCTOBER, 1901), pp. 363-366
- American Antiquarian Society Members Directory Archived 2017-04-27 at the Wayback Machine.
- Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Adams, Herbert Baxter". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
- "Herbert Baxter Adams Prize". American Historical Association. 2008-01-11. Archived from the original on 2008-07-04. Retrieved 2008-04-28.
- "Herbert Baxter Adams", Encyclopædia Britannica, 2013, retrieved 14 October 2016
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Adams, Herbert Baxter". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- "Adams, Herbert Baxter". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Adams, Herbert Baxter". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
- Herbert Baxter Adams papers, 1850-1901, at Johns Hopkins University.
- Works by or about Herbert Baxter Adams at Internet Archive
- "Herbert B. Adams," by John Martin Vincent, in Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1901, Vol. 1, pp. 197–210.
- Works by or about Herbert Baxter Adams in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Descendants of Thomas Hastings website
- Descendants of Thomas Hastings on Facebook
- Descendants of Henry Adams of Braintree