Herbert Baxter Adams Biography
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Herbert Baxter Adams (April 16, 1850 - 1901) was an American
educator and historian.
His early training was at Amherst, Massachusetts public schools
(in his hometown) and Phillips Exeter Academy. He graduated from
Amherst College in 1872, and received the degree of Ph.D. at Heidelberg,
Germany, in 1876.
He was a fellow in history at Johns Hopkins University from 1876
to 1878, associate from 1878 to 1883, and was appointed associate
professor in 1883. He is credited with coining the phrase "political
science," and bringing the study of politics into the realm of
the social sciences.
At Johns Hopkins, in 1880, he began his famous seminar in history,
where a large proportion of the next generation of American historians
trained. Adams founded the "Johns Hopkins Studies in Historical
and Political Science," the first of such series, and brought
about the organization in 1884 of the American Historical Association.
His historical writings introduced scientific methods of investigation
that influenced many historians, including Frederick Jackson Turner.
He authored Life and Writings of Jared Sparks (1893) and many
articles and influential reports on the study of the social sciences.
He was the secretary of the American Historical Association at
its foundation in 1884. In 1873 he went to Europe and devoted
three years to travel and study. His principal writings are The
Germanic Origin of the New England Towns; Saxon Tithing-Men in
America; Norman Constables in America; Village Communities; Methods
of Historical Study, and Maryland's Influence upon Land Cessions
to the United States. All these papers are published in the Johns
Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science,
edited by Prof. Adams, 4 vols. (Baltimore, 1883-'86).
Herbert B. Adams died in 1901. Adams House, one of the undergraduate
dormitories at Johns Hopkins University, is named in his honor.
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