The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/White, Andrew Dickson

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WHITE, Andrew Dickson, American diplomat, educator and author: b. Homer, N. Y., 7 Nov. 1832; d. Ithaca, N. Y., 4 Nov. 1918. He was graduated from Yale in 1853 and studied at the College of France, Paris, and at the University uf Berlin. He was attaché of the American legation at Saint Petersburg in 1854-55 at the time of the Crimean War, and in 1857, shortly after his return to the United States, became professor of history and English literature at the University of Michigan. In 1863 he returned to Syracuse and was elected to the New York State senate, where he was especially interested in educational legislation, obtaining the passage of bills organizing the State normal system and providing for the codifying of the educational laws. He also had an important part in the founding and organization of Cornell University, contributing $300,000 for the purpose, and also procuring for that institution the national land grant for agricultural colleges; in 1867 he became president of the university and was also professor of history. He maintained his connection with Cornell until 1885, when he resigned both presidency and professorship. He gave to the university his excellent historical library of about 30,000 volumes, and on the acceptance of this gift the departments of history and economics were reorganized as the White School of History and Political Science. While president of Cornell, he was also active in public affairs; in 1871 was one of a commission to study and report on the desirability of annexing Santo Domingo; in 1878 was honorary commissioner to the Paris Exposition, and in 1879-81 Minister to Germany, during which time he had leave of absence from the university. In 1892-94 he was Minister to Russia; in 1896 was one of the commissioners to investigate the Venezuela boundary question, and in 1897-1902 was Ambassador to Germany, holding that position longer than any other American Minister. Before his retirement from the German Ambassadorship he was elected a member of the Berlin Academy of Sciences. In 1899 he was president of the United States delegation to The Hague Peace Conference. He retired from public life in 1902 and passed his remaining years at Ithaca. His published works include ‘History of the Warfare of Science against Theology’ (1898), an enlargement of his ‘Warfare of Science’ (1876); ‘Studies in General History’; ‘The New Germany’; ‘European Schools of History’; ‘Paper Money Inflation in France’ (1876); ‘Chapters from My Diplomatic Life’ (Century Magazine, 1903); ‘Autobiography’ (1905); ‘Seven Great Statesmen in the Warfare of Humanity with Unreason’ (1911).