GEORGE BANCROFT, one of the most eminent American historians, was a native of Massachusetts, born at Worcester,
October 3, 1800, and a son of Aaron Bancroft, D. D. The father, Aaron Bancroft, was born at Reading, Massachusetts,
November 10, 1755. He graduated at Harvard in 1778, became a minister, and for half a century was rated as one
of the ablest preachers in New England. He was also a prolific writer and published a number of works among which
was "Life of George Washington." Aaron Bancroft died August 19, 1839.
The subject of our present biography, George Bancroft, graduated at Harvard in 1817, and the following year entered
the University of Gottingen, where he studied history and philology under the most eminent teachers, and in 1820
received the degree of doctor of philosophy at Gottingen. Upon his return home he published a volume of poems,
and later a translation of Heeren's "Reflections on the Politics of Ancient Greece." In 1834 he produced
the first volume of his "History of the United States," this being followed by other volumes at different
intervals later. This was his greatest work and ranks as the highest authority, taking its place among the greatest
of American productions.
George Bancroft was appointed secretary of the navy by President Polk in 1845, but resigned in 1846 and became
minister plenipoteutiary to England. In 1849 he retired from public life and took up his residence at Washington,
D. C. In 1867 he was appointed United States minister to the court of Berlin and negotiated the treaty bywbich
Germans coming to the United States were released from their allegiance to the government of their native land.
In 1871 he was minister plenipotentiary to the German empire and served until 1874. The death of George Bancroft
occurred January 17, 1891.
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.
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