The New International Encyclopædia/Wilson, Woodrow

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WILSON, Woodrow (1856—). An American educator and historian, born at Staunton, Va. He graduated at Princeton in 1879, then studied law at the University of Virginia, and for two years, in 1882-83, practiced in Atlanta, Ga. In 1883-85 he studied jurisprudence, history, and political science at the newly opened Johns Hopkins University, from which in 1885 he received the degree of Ph.D., presenting as his thesis a study of Congressional Government (1885), which won for him a reputation as a scholar and a clear and original thinker — a reputation that was enhanced by his subsequent works. He was an associate professor of history at Bryn Mawr in 1885-86, and associate professor of history and political science there in 1886-88; filled a similar chair at Wesleyan University in 1888-90, and in 1890 became professor of jurisprudence and politics at Princeton, where he became exceedingly popular among the students and was remarkably successful as a teacher. Upon the resignation of President Patton in June, 1902, Wilson was elected president of Princeton University by the unanimous vote of the trustees, and on October 25th he was formally inaugurated. His election was regarded as particularly significant from the fact of his being the first layman to be chosen president of the university. In addition to Congressional Government and magazine articles and published addresses, his writings include: The State: Elements of Historical and Practical Politics (1889), a standard work on the subject; An Old Master, and Other Political Essays (1893); Division and Reunion, 1829-1889 (1893), in the “Epochs of American History Series;” Mere Literature, and Other Essays (1893); George Washington (1896); and A History of the American People (5 vols., 1902), his most important work, and in some respects the best compendious account yet published of American political history.