AHA President, 1904


Cornell University

From the American Historical Review 16:1 (October 1910)

Goldwin Smith (August 13, 1823–June 7, 1910) died at Toronto on June 7, at the age of eighty-six, having retained to the last, almost unimpaired, the extraordinary vigor of mind and the literary gifts which had so long made him a figure of commanding influence in both Canada and the United States. Born in 1823, and educated at Oxford, he was regius professor of modern history at that University from 1858 to 1866. Resigning on account of his father’s condition of health, he came to the United States in 1868 and taught for two or three years at Cornell. University, with which he long maintained a connection. Living in Toronto from 1871 to the end of his life, he wrote extensively on historical and political themes, always expressing himself with perfect independence, with great incisiveness, and in a style seldom surpassed in clearness and force. His chief historical works were, Three English Statesmen (1867), A Brief History of the United States (1893), The United Kingdom (1899), and Irish History and the Irish Question (1905). But so wide was his range, so varied and keen his intellectual interests, so clear and forcible the workings of his mind, that he will have a high place in the records of this generation not solely as an historian but as an essayist, a publicist, and a university reformer. He was president of the American Historical Association in 1904–1905.



Irish history and Irish character. By Goldwin Smith. 2d ed. Oxford, London, J. H. and J. Parker, 1862

The empire: a series of letters, published in “The Daily news,” 1862, 1863. By Goldwin Smith. Oxford: J. Henry & J. Parker, 1863.

Does the Bible sanction American slavery? By Goldwin Smith. Cambridge: Sever and Francis, 1863.

A plea for the abolition of tests in the University of Oxford. By Goldwin Smith. Oxford: Wheeler and Day, 1864.

Lectures on the study of history, delivered in Oxford, 1859-61. By Goldwin Smith To which is added a lecture delivered before the N.Y. historical society, in December, 1864, on the University of Oxford. New York, Harper & brothers, 1866; Reprint, Freeport, N.Y., Books for Libraries Press, 1972.

Three English statesmen: a course of lectures on the political history of England. By Goldwin Smith. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1867

The political destiny of Canada. By Goldwin Smith, with a reply, by Sir Francis Hincks. Toronto, Belford Bros., 1877.

Canada and the Canadian question. With an introd. by Carl Berger. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1971.

The moral crusader, William Lloyd Garrison. New York and London, Funk & Wagnalls company, 1892.

The United States: an outline of political history, 1492-1871. By Goldwin Smith. New York; London: Macmillan and Co., 1893.

The United Kingdom; a political history, by Goldwin Smith. 2 vols. New York, The Macmillan Company; London, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1899.

The founder of Christendom. By Goldwin Smith. Boston, American Unitarian association, 1903

In quest of light. By Goldwin Smith. New York, The Macmillan Company; London, Macmillan & Co., ltd., 1906.

Life of Jane Austen. Port Washington, N.Y., Kennikat Press, 1972.

The foundation of the American colonies. Oxford [etc.] J. H. and J. Parker, 1981.

Essays on questions of the day, political and social. By Goldwin Smith. 2d ed. rev. New York, London, Macmillan and co., 1894; Reprint, Freeport, N.Y., Books for Libraries Press, 1972.