The Biographical Dictionary of America/Adams, Charles Kendall

ADAMS, Charles Kendall, educator, was born at Derby, Vt., Jan. 24, 1835. He attended the common schools in that place till 1855. when, with his parents, he emigrated to Denmark, Iowa, where he entered an academy and commenced the study of Latin and Greek with the purpose of entering college. In the summer of 1857 he began the classical course at the University of Michigan, and was graduated in 1861. Taking a post-graduate course of study, he was employed to teach one of the classes in history, and at the end of the year was appointed instructor of history and Latin. In 1863 he became assistant professor of history and Latin, a position which he held till 1867, when, on the resignation of Andrew D. White, he was appointed to the chair of history. This appointment he accepted on the condition of a year's leave of absence for study in Europe. The year was spent in Germany at the universities of Bonn, Heidelberg, Leipsic, Berlin, and Munich, where his object was to observe the methods of advanced instruction. About four months were passed in Italy and France, chiefly in Rome and Paris. In 1881 he was simultaneously invited to the presidency of the University of Kansas and the University of Nebraska, both of which positions were declined. He accepted the non-resident professorship of history in Cornell university in 1881, where annually he gave a course of fifteen lectures till 1885, when he succeeded Andrew D. White in the presidency. In 1869 he founded the historical seminary of the university of Michigan, and introduced the seminary method of instruction in that institution. When the school of political science was established in the university he was made dean. He resigned his professorship in May, 1892, and in July of the same year was elected president of the university of Wisconsin. In 1871 he published "Democracy and Monarchy in France," which at once passed to a second edition, and was published in a German translation in Stuttgart. In 1882 appeared his "Manual of Historical Literature," of which the third edition, much enlarged, was published in 1889. In 1884 he edited "Representative British Orations," and in 1892 "Christopher Columbus." He was editor-in-chief of the revised edition of "Johnson's Cyclopædia," which was completed in 1895. He contributed to the Forum, the North American Review and other reviews in the United States, and to the Contemporary Review in England. He received the honorary degree of LL.D. from the University of Chicago in 1874, and from Harvard in 1886. He resigned the presidency of the University of Wisconsin, Oct. 11, 1901, and spent the winter in Redlands, Cal., where he died July 26, 1902.