Edward Channing (1856 - 1931) was a conservative American historian and an author of a monumental History of the United States in six volumes, for which he won the Pulitzer prize in 1926. His thorough research in printed sources and judicious judgments made the book a standard reference for scholars. Channing taught at Harvard 1883-1929.
Life and works
Edward Channing was the fifth child of Ellen Kilshaw Fuller (1820-56), a sister of Margaret Fuller, and William Ellery Channing (1818-1901), the friend of Henry David Thoreau. They were the leading liberal intellectuals of the day. Some months after his birth, his mother died, and his father gave the young boy to the care of working class family who loved children. In 1860, his paternal grandfather William Channing, dean of the Harvard Medical School, took him in. he attended private schools and entered Harvard College in 1874, graduating in history with a magna cum laude. Channing took his PhD at Harvard; using a small inheritance he toured Europe and the Middle East, In 1883, he became an instructor of history at Harvard. His first book, the very short Town and County Government in the English Colonies of North America (1883) won a prize and established his scholarly reputation. In 1886, he married Alice Thacher; they had two daughters.
In 1887 Harvard promoted Channing to assistant professor, in 1897 to full professor, and in 1912 to the McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern History. He retired in 1929.
In 1919, Channing was elected for president of the American Historical Association, and in 1926 he became a member of the American Academy. He was awarded honorary degrees by Michigan and Columbia in recognition of his monumental national history, widely praised for its solid research and sound judgments, as well as its range across topics in political, diplomatic, social, economic and military history.
- Town and County Government in the English Colonies of North America. JHUSHPS, 2nd ser., no. 10. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University, 1884. full text online
- The Narragansett Planters: A Study of Causes. JHUSHPS, 4th ser., no. 3. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University, 1886.
- "A Few Remarks on the Origin of New England Towns." in Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 3 (1891-92):242-63].
- With Charles Francis Adams, Mellen Chamberlain, Abner C. Goodell, Jr. The Genesis of the Massachusetts Town and the Development of Town-Meeting Government. 1892. Full text online
- Topics and References in American History, 1492-1783: Printed for the Use of Students in History. Cambridge, Mass.: Edward W. Wheeler, Printer, 1893.
- The United States of America, 1765-1865. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1896. 2nd ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1930; textbook
- With Albert Bushnell Hart. Guide to the Study of American History. Boston: Ginn, 1896. Revised and augmented ed. with Frederick Jackson Turner. Guide to the Study and Reading of American History. Boston: Ginn, 1912. Full text online
- A Student's History of the United States. New York: Macmillan, 1898. 5th, revised ed. New York: Macmillan, 1924. Full text 1913 edition online
- A Short History of the United States for School Use. New York: Macmillan, 1900. Revised in consultation with Susan J. Ginn. New and enlarged ed. New York: Macmillan, 1909.
- First Lessons in United States History. New York: Macmillan, 1903.
- A History of the United States. Vol. 1: The Planting of a Nation in the New World, 1000-1660. New York: Macmillan, 1905.
- The Jeffersonian System, 1801-1811. The American Nation: A History. Ed. by Albert Bushnell Hart. Vol. 12. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1906. Full text online
- A History of the United States. Vol. 2: A Century of Colonial History, 1660-1760. New York: Macmillan, 1908.
- With Marion Florence Lansing. The Story of the Great Lakes. New York: Macmillan, 1909.
- In consultation with Susan Ginn. Elements of United States History. New York: Macmillan, 1910.
- A History of the United States. Vol. 3: The American Revolution, 1761-1789. New York: Macmillan, 1912. Online edition
- A History of the United States. Vol. 4: Federalists and Republicans, 1789-1815. New York: Macmillan, 1917. Online edition
- A History of the United States. Vol. 5: The Period of Transition, 1815-1848. New York: Macmillan, 1921. Online edition
- A History of the United States. Vol. 6: The War for Southern Independence. New York: Macmillan, 1925.
- A History of the United States: Supplementary volume. General index, compiled by Eva G. Moore. New York: Macmillan, 1932.
- Cappon, Lester J. "Channing and Hart: Partners in Bibliography." New England Quarterly 29, no. 3 (Sept. 1956):318-40. in jSTOR
- DeNovo, John A. "Edward Channing's 'Great Work' Twenty Years After." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 39, no. 2 (Sept. 1952):257-74. in JSTOR
- Fahrney, Ralph Ray. "Edward Channing." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 18, no. 1 (June 1931):53-59, obituary in JSTOR
- Fahrney, Ralph Ray. "Edward Channing." In The Marcus W. Jernegan Essays in American Historiography, 294-312. Ed. by William T. Hutchinson. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937.
- Fish, Carl Rusell. "Edward Channing: America's Historian." Current History 33 (March 1931):862-67, obituary
- Joyce, Davis Darrell. Edward Channing and the Great Work. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1974. (The most comprehensive and, so far, best work on Channing.)
- Lowell, A. Lawrence. "Edward Channing." Academy Publication of the American Academy of Arts and Letters 77 (1932):73-83.
- Morison, Samuel Eliot. "Edward Channing: A Memoir." Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 64 (Oct. 1930-June 1932):250-84. (A slightly shortened version in Samuel Eliot Morison, By Land and By Sea: Essays and Addresses [New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1953], 299-327.]
- Terry, George D. "Edward Channing." In Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 17: Twentieth-Century American Historians, 103-09. Ed. by Clyde N. Wilson. Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research Company, 1983.
- Weaver, Glenn. "Edward Channing: A Literary Biography." Social Studies 54 (March, 1963):83-95.