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Elihu Root (1845-1880) Ph.D. diploma, Berlin, 1876

Identifier: yhm-arc-2016-050

Content Description

Diploma for doctor of philosophy degree, 1876, from the University of Berlin, given to Elihu Root (a distant cousin of Elihu Root, class of 1864); text in Latin; with attached seal. Signed by Karl Wilhelm Nitzsch ( The Elihu Root in question is Elihu Root, 1845–1880, of Belchertown, Hampshire County, Massachusetts ["Elihu Root, who succeeded Professor Snell in the professorship of mathematics and natural philosophy, was born in Belchertown, September 14, 1845, and died in his native place, December 3, 1880. He was only thirty-five at the time of his death, and had been only four years professor of mathematics and natural philosophy; and one of these years he was only assistant professor. But he had distinguished himself before his appointment by his high rank as a scholar in Williston Seminary, by winning several prizes in college and delivering the valedictory oration at his graduation, by his success as a teacher at Williston, and as an instructor at Amherst, by five years of successful study of philosophy and physics at Göttingen, Leipsic, and Berlin in Germany, and not least perhaps by his able thesis on dielectric polarization when he received the degree of Ph D at Berlin. And it is not easy to say whether he was more admired in college for his profound knowledge of physics and mathematics, or more beloved for his pure beautiful and noble character and life. But, alas, his bodily health and strength were not equal to his aspirations, and exertions, and like a flower nipped in the bud, he was cut down in the very beginning of his life-work. 'Oh, what a noble heart was here undone,/ When Science's self destroyed her favorite son!/ Yes, she too much indulged thy fond pursuit;/ She sowed the seeds, but Death has reaped the fruit.'” (p. 218, History of the Class of 1856 of Amherst College, 1852-1896)]

Acquisition Type



Donated by Richard Lyman Simpson, descendant of Elihu Root

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