Charles Kendall Adams

Charles Kendall Adams (January 24, 1835 – July 26, 1902) was an American educator and historian. He served as the second president of Cornell University from 1885 until 1892, and as president of the University of Wisconsin from 1892 until 1901. At Cornell he established a new law school, built a library, and appointed eminent research professors for the Ivy League school. At Wisconsin, he negotiated ever-increasing appropriations from the state legislature, especially for new buildings such as the library. He was the editor-in-chief of Johnson's Universal Cyclopaedia (1892–1895),[1] and of the successor Universal Cyclopaedia (1900), sometimes referred to as Appleton's Universal Cyclopaedia.

Charles Kendall Adams
8th President of University of Wisconsin–Madison
In office
January 17, 1893 (1893-01-17)  October 11, 1901 (1901-10-11)
Preceded byThomas Chrowder Chamberlin
Succeeded byEdward Birge
2nd President of Cornell University
In office
November 19, 1885 (1885-11-19)  November 11, 1892 (1892-11-11)
Preceded byAndrew Dickson White
Succeeded byJacob Gould Schurman
Personal details
Born(1835-01-24)January 24, 1835
Derby, Vermont, U.S.
DiedJuly 26, 1902(1902-07-26) (aged 67)
Redlands, California, U.S.
Mary Mathews (m. 1890)
Alma materUniversity of Michigan (BA, MA)


He was born on January 24, 1835 in Derby, Vermont, and he studied with Andrew Dickson White, Cornell's first president, at the University of Michigan, from where he graduated in 1861.[1] Adams was then assistant professor of Latin and history at Michigan from 1863 to 1867, and full professor of history from 1867 to 1885. Having studied in Germany, France, and Italy in 1867 and 1868, he followed the German method of instruction, and in 1869 and 1870 established an historical seminary which proved of great value in promoting the study of history and political science. In 1881 he was made non-resident professor of history at Cornell, and in 1885 succeeded White as president of Cornell.[1][2] He was forced to resign at Cornell due to conflicts with the faculty over honorary degrees and control of faculty appointments.[3]

In 1887 Adams was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society.[4] In 1890 he was president of the American Historical Association.[1] In 1892 he was elected president of the University of Wisconsin, where he remained until 1901. He died on July 26, 1902, in Redlands, California, where he had moved in hopes of improving his health.[5][6]



  1. Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Adams, Charles Kendall" . New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
  2. "Cornell's New President". The New York Times. November 20, 1885. Retrieved July 17, 2009. The inauguration of Charles Kendall Adams as President of Cornell University was successfully carried out to-day. The day was not a pleasant one for the march from the university buildings to the armory, but all passed off well despite the clouds ...
  3. "Charles Kendall Adams Resigns" (PDF). New York Times. October 11, 1901. Retrieved July 17, 2009. The resignation of President Charles Kendall Adams is in the hands of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin, ...
  4. American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
  5. "Charles Kendall Adams's Will" (PDF). New York Times. August 10, 1902. Retrieved July 17, 2009. The will of the late Charles Kenaall Adams, formerly President of the University of Wisconsin, who died recently at Redlands, Cal. has been filed for ...
  6. "Charles Kendall Adams (President: 1892–1901)". UW Archives and Records Management. 2015-06-04. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  7. "Review of Manual of Historical Literature by C. K. Adams". The Academy. 23 (564): 130. 24 February 1883.

Further reading

  • Ely, Richard T. "Charles Kendall Adams." Wisconsin Alumnus (1941): 303–312.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.