Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard, Biography
parts from Columbia Encyclopaedia, sixth edition, and from Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography
(you can click on the images to enlarge them)
See also this other biography


 Fredrick Augustus Porter Barnard (Sheffield 1809 - New-York 1889)
President of Oxford University Mississippi, from 1856 to 1858, and Chancellor from 1858 to 1861
President of Columbia College, New-York (now Columbia Univ.) from 1864 to 1889
... and author of the first perfect magic cubes of order 11 published in 1888

American educator and mathematician, born in Sheffield, Massachusetts, 5 May 1809. His grandfather was General B. P. Porter, afterwards Secretary of War under John Quincy Adams. He was graduated at Yale in 1828, became tutor there in 1829, in 1831 teacher in the asylum for the deaf and dumb at Hartford, and in 1832 in that of New York. From 1837 to 1848 he was professor of mathematics and natural philosophy in the University of Alabama, and afterward of chemistry till 1854. The same year he took orders in the Episcopal Church. He then became professor of mathematics and astronomy in the University of Mississippi, of which institution he was elected president in 1856. He served there as president (185658) and chancellor (185861), but resigned at the outbreak of the Civil War to return to the North. After a period of research in astronomy and after work as head of the map and chart department of the U.S. Coast Survey, he was selected to succeed Charles King as president of Columbia College, New York (now Columbia University).

During his long administration (186489), Columbia grew from a small undergraduate college of 150 students into one of the nation's great universities, with an enrollment of 1,500. He was instrumental in expanding the curriculum, adding departments and fostering the development of the School of Mines (founded 1864; now included in the School of Engineering). He extended the elective system and advocated equal educational privileges for men and women. Barnard College, the woman's undergraduate unit of Columbia, was named for him, even though he himself favored coeducation.


Partial view of the old and new buildings of Columbia College

He edited Johnson's New Universal Cyclopaedia (187678) and wrote many addresses, articles, books, and pamphlets in the fields of mathematics, physics, economics, and education. His annual reports on Columbia, outstanding discussions of the significance of current educational progress, were edited by W. F. Russell in The Rise of a University, Vol. I (1937). He was United States commissioner to the universal exposition at Paris in 1867, and published an elaborate "Report on Machinery and Industrial Arts" (New York, 1869) ; and he was also United States assistant commissioner-general to the Paris exposition of 1878. His other principal works are:

In 1860 he was a member of the expedition to observe the eclipse of the sun in Labrador ; in 1862 was engaged in reducing observations of stars in the southern hemisphere ; and in 1863 had charge of the publication of charts and maps of the United States coast survey. In 1860 he was elected president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in 1865 of the board of experts of the American Bureau of Mines, and in 1872 of the American Institute, he was one of the original incorporators named in the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, and from 1874 to 1880 was foreign secretary of that body. In 1855 he received the degree of LL.D. from Jefferson College, Mississippi, and in 1859 from Yale; in 1861 that of died D. from the University of Mississippi ; and in 1872 that of doctor of literature from the regents of the University of the state of New York. He has contributed to the American Journal of Education from its beginning, and to Silliman's Journal since 1837.


Return to the home page http://www.multimagie.com