Andrew Dickson White


Andrew Dickson White

__NOTOC__Andrew Dickson White (November 7, 1832 – November 4, 1918) was a U.S. diplomat, author, and educator, best known as the co-founder of Cornell University. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9B04EEDC113BEE3ABC4D53DFB7678383609EDE "Dr. A.D. White Dies; A Cornell Founder; President of University for 18 Years Dies in Ithaca Close to His 86th Birthday. Twice Envoy to Germany; Educator Who Sought to Broaden Scope of Colleges Had Also Served as Minister to Russia. Fought for Reform in Colleges. Spent Many Years in Education. His Gifts to Cornell,"] "New York Times." November 5, 1918.]

Biography

White was born in Homer, New York. After spending one year at Hobart College (then known as Geneva College), he transferred to Yale University. At Yale, he was a classmate of Daniel Coit Gilman, who would later serve as first president of Johns Hopkins University. The two were members of the Skull and Bones secret society, and would remain close friends. He was also a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity, serving as editor of the fraternity publication, "The Tomahawk". After graduating from Yale in 1853, White spent three years studying in Europe before returning to the United States as a professor of history and English literature at the University of Michigan.

In 1865, White and Western Union tycoon Ezra Cornell founded Cornell University on Cornell's estate in Ithaca, New York. White became the school's first president, and his farsighted leadership set the university on the path to becoming an elite educational institution, with particular excellence in agricultural research and engineering. He also served as a professor in the Department of History. He commissioned Cornell's first architecture student William Henry Miller to build his mansion on campus.

While at Cornell, White took leave to serve as Commissioner to Santo Domingo (1871), the first U.S. Minister to Germany (1879-1881), and first president of the American Historical Association (1884-1886). Following his resignation as Cornell's President in 1885, White served as Minister to Russia (1892-1894), President of the American delegation to The Hague Peace Conference (1899), and as the first U.S. Ambassador to Germany (1897-1902). [http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/presidents/view_item.php?sec=3&sub=8 Retrieved 2008-01-30.]

While serving in Russia, White—a noted bibliophile—made the acquaintance of author Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy's fascination with Mormonism sparked a similar interest in White, who had previously regarded the Latter-Day Saints (LDS) as a dangerous, deviant cult. Upon his return to the United States, White took advantage of Cornell's proximity to the original Mormon heartland near Rochester to amass a collection of LDS memorabilia (including many original copies of the Book of Mormon) unmatched by any other institution save the church itself and its university, Brigham Young University.

In 1891, Leland and Jane Stanford asked White to serve as the first president of the university they had founded in Palo Alto, CA, Stanford University. Although he refused their offer, he did recommend his former student David Starr Jordan.

White died in Ithaca and was interred in Sage Chapel at Cornell.

Contribution to the conflict thesis

At the time of Cornell's founding, White announced that it would be "an asylum for "Science"—where truth shall be sought for truth's sake, not stretched or cut exactly to fit Revealed Religion". [Lindberg and Numbers 1986, pp. 2–3] Up to that time, America's private universities were exclusively religious institutions, and generally focused on the liberal arts and religious training (though they were not explicitly antagonistic to science).

In 1869 White gave a lecture on "The Battle-Fields of Science", arguing that history showed the negative outcomes resulting from any attempt on the part of religion to interfere with the progress of science. Over the next 30 years he refined his analysis, expanding his case studies to include nearly every field of science over the entire history of Christianity, but also narrowing his target from "religion" through "ecclesiasticism" to "dogmatic theology."

The final result was the two-volume "History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom" (1896). Initially less popular than John William Draper's "History of the Conflict between Religion and Science" (1874), White's book became an extremely influential text on the relationship between religion and science.

The premise of the book—known as the conflict thesis—was once prevalent, even if already in 1908, it was strongly criticized as antihistorical in the book of historian of medicine James Joseph Walsh, [http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC22760194&id=B-cQAAAAIAAJ&printsec=titlepage&dq=%22popes+and+science%22 "The Popes and Science; the History of the Papal Relations to Science During the Middle Ages and Down to Our Own Time"] [Fordam University Press, 1908, Kessinger Publishing, reprinted 2003. ISBN 0-7661-3646-9 Reviews: [http://books.google.com/books?vid=02tZKPD5CJrIa31EgK&id=G57Y1rlQVP0C&pg=PT2&lpg=PT2&dq=%22the+popes+and+science%22] [http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1407075] ] .

Anyway, since the 1970s and 80s, many contemporary historians of science have reevaluated the history of science and religion, finding little evidence for White's claims of widespread conflict. Wilson, David B. "The Historiography of Science and Religion" in cite book
last =Ferngren
first =Gary B.
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =2002
title =Science & Religion: A Historical Introduction
publisher =Johns Hopkins University Press
location =Baltimore
id =ISBN 0-8018-7038-0

p. 21 "Despite the growing number of scholarly modifications and rejections of the conflict model from the 1950s...in the 1970s leading historians of the nineteenth century still felt required to attack it."
p. 23 "Whatever the reason for the continued survival of the conflict thesis, two other books on the nineteenth century that were published in the 1970s hastened its final demise among historians of science...1974...Frank Turner..."Between Science and Religion"...Even more decisive was the penetrating critique "Historians and Historiography"... [by] James Moore...at the beginning of his "Post-Darwinian Controversies" (1979). ] The Christian American Scientific Affiliation, in an address at Westmont College, blamed White for perpetuating a number of scientific myths, such as the idea that Christopher Columbus had to overcome widespread belief in a flat earth and that Charles Darwin's work was generally opposed by the religious authorities.cite journal
first =Jeffrey Burton
last =Russell
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =1997
month =August 4
title =The Myth of the Flat Earth
journal = American Scientific Affiliation Conference
volume =
issue =
pages =
id =
url =http://web.archive.org/web/20040717084200/http://www.id.ucsb.edu/fscf/library/RUSSELL/FlatEarth.html
]

ee also

*Conflict thesis
*Continuity thesis

References

Bibliography

Works by White

* "Outlines of a Course of Lectures on History" (1861).
* "Syllabus of Lectures on Modern History" (1876).
* "A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom", 2 vols. (1896), online at "Gutenberg" [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/505 text file] .
* "Seven Great Statesmen in the Warfare of Humanity with Unreason" (1910).
* "The Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White" (1911), online at "Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White": [http://www.gutenberg.net/etext/1340 Vol. 1] , [http://www.gutenberg.net/etext/1370 Vol. 2]
* "Fiat Money Inflation in France" (1912), Free E-Text available at LibertarianPress.com: [http://www.libertarianpress.com/fiatmoneyinflation/]

Works about White

* Altschuler, Glenn C. (1979), "Andrew D. White — Educator, Historian, Diplomat", Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press
*Drechsler, Wolfgang (1989), "Andrew D. White in Germany. The Representative of the United States in Berlin, 1879-1881 and 1897-1902", Stuttgart: Heinz
*Lindberg, David C., and Ronald L. Numbers (1986), "Introduction" to "God & Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter between Christianity and Science", ed. Lindberg and Numbers, Berkeley: University of California Press
* Lindberg and Numbers (1987), "Beyond War and Peace: A Reappraisal of the Encounter between Christianity and Science", "Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith" 39:140-149 (accessible through an external link [http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1987/PSCF9-87Lindberg.html] )
* Engst, Elaine D. and Dimunation, Mark. "A Legacy of Ideas: Andrew Dickson White and the Founding of the Cornell University Library" (Ithaca: Cornell University Library, 1996) (accessible through an external link [http://ecommons.library.cornell.edu/handle/1813/5416] )

External links

Cornell University links
*cite web
title =Office of the Presidency: Andrew Dickson White
work =Cornell University
url =http://www.cornell.edu/president/history_bio_white.cfm
accessdate=2007-10-05
Brief history of White
*cite web
title = Presidents Exhibition: Andrew Dickson White, Presidency
work = Cornell University Library
url = http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/presidents/view_item.php?sec=3&sub=8
accessdate=2007-10-05

*cite web
title =Presidents Exhibition: Andrew Dickson White, Inauguration
work =Cornell University Library
url =http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/presidents/view_item.php?sec=4&sub=19
accessdate=2007-10-05

*cite web
title =Andrew Dickson White Collection of Architectural Photographs
work = Cornell University Library
url = http://resolver.library.cornell.edu/misc/4077228
accessdate=2007-10-05

*cite web
title =Andrew Dickson White Library
work = Cornell University Library
url =http://libecast.library.cornell.edu/uris/white.html
accessdate=2007-10-05

*cite web
title =Andrew Dickson White's Book Collection
work = Cornell University Library
url = http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/footsteps/exhibition/foundingcollections/foundingcollections_1.html
accessdate=2007-10-05

*cite web
title = Andrew Dickson White and the History of Cornell's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
work = Cornell University Library
url =http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/Aap-exhibit/AAP1.html
accessdate=2007-10-05
Other links
*gutenberg author|id=Andrew+Dickson+White |name=Andrew Dickson White
*cite web
title = History of the Warfare of Science with Theology
work = englishatheist.org
url = http://englishatheist.org/white/contents.html
accessdate=2007-10-05
Book with footnotes, in an easy-to-read format
*cite web
title =Famous People of the Finger Lakes
work =ilovethefingerlakes.com
url =http://www.ilovethefingerlakes.com/history/famous-people-cornell.htm
accessdate=2007-10-05
History of White [Ezra Cornell, Andrew Dickson White and the Establishment of Cornell University]
*cite web
title =The Mythical Conflict between Science and Religion
work =www.bede.org.uk
url =http://www.bede.org.uk/conflict.htm
accessdate=2007-10-05
Addresses White's scholarship.


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