Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/McMaster, John Bach

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McMASTER, John Bach, historian, b. in Brooklyn, N. Y., 29 June, 1852. His father, a native of New York, was a banker and planter at New Orleans at the beginning of the civil war. The son was educated in the public schools, and graduated at the College of the city of New York in 1872. He taught grammar in that institution for a year, spent several months in the study of civil engineering, and in the autumn of 1873 devoted himself to the work of writing his “History of the People of the United States,” for which he had been gathering material since 1870. He was appointed instructor in civil engineering at Princeton in 1877, and in 1883 became professor of American history in the University of Pennsylvania. The first volume of his “History of the People of the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War” (New York, 1883) achieved an immediate success. His other writings include numerous magazine articles; four volumes of his history (1885-1900); and “Life of Benjamin Franklin” in the “Men of Letters” series (Boston, 1887).