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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the James Hayden Tufts Papers 1908-1942

© 2006 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Tufts, James Hayden. Papers

Dates:

1908-1942

Size:

2 linear feet (4 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

James Hayden Tufts (1862-1942) was on the faculty of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago from 1892-1930. He was Dean of the Senior Colleges (1898-1904), Dean of Faculties and Vice-President of the University (1924-26), Acting President of the University (1925-26), and editor of the International Journal of Ethics (1914-1930). The Tufts Papers include professional correspondence (1909-1942); philosophy outlines, notes and lectures; drafts of Tufts' memoirs; papers concerning the City Club of Chicago Committee on Housing Conditions (1908-13); and documents related to the Illinois Committee on Social Legislation (1912-17).

Information on Use

Access

The collection is open for research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Tufts, James Hayden. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

James Hayden Tufts (1862-1942) was on the faculty of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago from 1892-1930. In 1905 he was appointed Chairman of the Philosophy Department, a position he held until his retirement from the University in 1930. In addition to departmental duties, he was Dean of the Senior Colleges (1898-1904), Dean of Faculties and Vice-President of the University (1924-26), Acting President of the University (1925-26), and editor of the International Journal of Ethics (1914-1930).

Born in Monson, Massachusetts, James Tufts was educated at his father's grammar school and subsequently at Amherst College (B.A., 1883), Yale Divinity School (B.D., 1889), and the University of Freiburg (Ph.D., 1892). After graduating from Yale, he accepted a teaching position in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Michigan. During a holiday visit to his home in Massachusetts, he received an invitation to call on his former professor, William Rainey Harper, at Yale. Sharing with Tufts his plans for a new university in Chicago, Harper invited him to join the faculty. Tufts resigned from the University of Michigan, married Cynthia Whitaker, and set sail for Germany to begin one year of study at the University of Freiburg, with the agreement that he would be in Chicago, prepared to teach, by August, 1892. While in Germany, Tufts and Harper corresponded frequently [Tufts' letters to Harper, dating from 1890-92, are in Box XV, Folder 12 of the William Rainey Harper Personal Papers]. At Harper's request, Tufts provided information about various candidates for positions at the University, and he advised Harper on acquisitions for the Philosophy Library.

Scope Note

The Tufts Papers include professional correspondence (1909-1942); philosophy outlines, notes and lectures; drafts of Tufts' memoirs; papers concerning the City Club of Chicago Committee on Housing Conditions (1908-13); and documents related to the Illinois Committee on Social Legislation (1912-17).

Series I: General Correspondence, ranges from 1909-1917, with the exception of five business letters dating from 1937-1942. A considerable portion consists of recommendations and advice to students on various aspects of their academic or professional careers. Among the letters from students, those of Matilda Castro are especially interesting; their correspondence was richer, livelier, and more extensive than that between Tufts and any other student. Her letters of 1912-1914, while an instructor of Philosophy at Bryn Mawr College, characterize that institution during the administration of President Thomas. Cynthia Whitaker Tufts died in 1920. James Tufts and Matilda Castro were married in 1923.

Many letters recommending women students, or those requesting prominent applicants for positions, illustrate prevailing attitudes toward women in academia. The difficulties women faced in securing teaching positions are shown in Tufts' correspondence with Dagney Sunne (Box I, Folder 1-2).

There is virtually no correspondence with colleagues of a purely academic nature, and correspondence between Tufts and members of the University community is sparse. He wrote to Marion Talbot of his anger at the Trustees' denial in 1916 of an honorary degree to Jane Addams. Tufts had a long and close association with John Dewey and George Herbert Mead-both were with him in the Department of Philosophy at Ann Arbor, and both were recommended by him to Harper. There are four letters in the collection from John Dewey. Two of these concern rewriting Ethics, jointly authored with Tufts in 1908 (the letters, dated 1909 and 1916, are in Box I, Folders 1 and 8 respectively); another expresses Dewey's attitudes about teaching, and his wish to retire after twenty-five years of it. The fourth letter, dated December 8, 1909, is an invitation to Mrs. Tufts. The only letter from George Herbert Mead (November 28, 1911) deals at length with departmental news; Mead mentions in it a discussion with Josiah Royce of philosophical idealism.

Series II: Academic Papers contains outlines and lecture notes for his philosophy classes; drafts of sermons and public addresses; a bibliography of Tufts' works; and a bound volume of salutary letters presented to Tufts by the Philosophy Club at his retirement dinner in 1930. There is also correspondence with Dagobert Runes and Ralph Winn from 1941-42, regarding Tufts' minor collaboration in The Dictionary of Philosophy, a work never published. A paper-"Ethics,” develops Tufts' interest in social ethics; there are also drafts on the philosophy of law and unionization.

Series III: Personal Memoirs, contains texts written after Tufts' retirement in 1930. They were never completed. Beginning with a genealogy of the Tufts family, the memoirs describe Tufts' student years, his experiences at the University of Chicago, and involvements in social reform organizations. Two chapters were edited by Matilda Castro Tufts for inclusion in a commemorative volume published after Tufts' death.

The style of the memoirs is simple and engaging. He vividly recounts his experiences in Grand Forks County, North Dakota as a minister for the Baptist Home Missions Board. These autobiographical excepts provide a glimpse of the University's early years: Tufts describes Harper's plans for the University; contrasts Harper's presidency with that of his successor, Harry Pratt Judson; and offers biographical sketches of many contemporaries on the University Faculty. He outlines the concerns of the Board of Trustees under President Ernest Dewitt Burton. Tufts was disturbed by the lack of fraternity between students and professors that he found at the University of Chicago; early in his Chicago career, he became Dean of the Senior Colleges (1898-1904) because he felt that an administrative position might provide opportunity for interaction with students "along somewhat different lines from those in the classroom." He was a member of the faculty committee to elect a new president after Harry Pratt Judson's retirement in 1922, served as Vice-President and Dean of the Faculties of the University from 1924-26, and toured cities across the country with A. A. Stagg to stimulate alumni contributions during the University's development campaign of 1924-26.

Series IV documents Tufts’ social and political activities. He served the City Club of Chicago Committee on Housing Conditions as Chairman in 1910, and as keynote speaker ("Housing in Illinois Cities," Box IV, Folder 2) at the 14th annual meeting of the Illinois State Conference of Charities and Correction in 1909. Among his collaborators on a study of housing congestion in Chicago's suburbs were Sophonisba Breckenridge and Edith Abbott of the University of Chicago. The Committee's research culminated in an exhibit in 1913 detailing housing conditions in Chicago.

In 1915 Tufts was president of the Illinois State Committee on Social Legislation; composed of 28 independent agencies, this committee served primarily to lobby for the passage of social reform legislation and for the enforcement of laws and ordinances. Drafts of many of the laws which the Committee supported are contained in Box IV.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Series I: General Correspondence

Box 1   Folder 1

1909-1911

Box 1   Folder 2

1912 (January-June)

Box 1   Folder 3

1912 (July-December)

Box 1   Folder 4

1913

Box 1   Folder 5

1914

Box 1   Folder 6

1915

Box 1   Folder 7

1916 (January-June)

Box 1   Folder 8

1916 (July-December)

Box 1   Folder 9

1917-1942

Box 1   Folder 10

Condolences received by Matilda Castro Tufts at the death of JHT

Series II: Academic Papers

Box 2   Folder 1

Course outlines for philosophy

Box 2   Folder 2

Notes on philosophers; Abelard-Fichte

Box 2   Folder 3

Notes on philosophers; Grotius-Hutcheson

Box 2   Folder 4

Notes on philosophers; Kant-Mandeville

Box 2   Folder 5

Notes on philosophers; Plato-Shaftsbury

Box 2   Folder 6

Notes on philosophers; Utilitarianism-Miscellaneous

Box 2   Folder 7

Notes on ethics and anthropology

Box 2   Folder 8

"The Philosopher in the Den," 1920

Box 2   Folder 9

"Albion Woodbury Small," 1926; "The Path of Life," c. 1928

Box 2   Folder 10

"Claims as the Field of Law" "The Facts"

Box 2   Folder 11

Correspondence with Dogobert Runes and Ralph Winn, 1941-42; editing for a philosophy dictionary, never published

Box 2   Folder 12

"Ethics," 1941

Box 2   Folder 13

Bibliography of James Hayden Tufts

Box 2   Folder 14

Presentation book given to Tufts by his students at retirement dinner, 1930

Series III: Personal Memoirs

Box 3   Folder 1

JHT Autobiography; outline and notes

Box 3   Folder 2

"Some Reflections"

Box 3   Folder 3

"Childhood and Family"-edited drafts

Box 3   Folder 4

"Childhood and Family"-final draft

Box 3   Folder 5

"Four Horses that I know"-holograph

Box 3   Folder 6

"Monson Town," part 1

Box 3   Folder 7

"Monson Town," part 2

Box 3   Folder 8

"Monson Town," part 3

Box 3   Folder 9

"Amherst College," edited draft

Box 3   Folder 10

"Amherst College," final draft

Box 3   Folder 11

Graduate study; 1887-88

Box 3   Folder 12

"Some Impressions of the University of Michigan, 1889-91"

Box 3   Folder 13

Germany, 1891-92

Box 3   Folder 14

"Harper's Plan"

Box 3   Folder 15

Biographies of early faculty members of the University

Box 3   Folder 16

John Dewey

Box 3   Folder 17

W. R. Harper; Harry Pratt Judson

Box 3   Folder 18

E. D. Burton, election and administration

Box 3   Folder 19

General Topics

  • "University Publicity in the Early Years"
  • "I Study Administration and Administrators, 1904-07"
  • "Wartime"
Box 3   Folder 20

The American College; general considerations

Box 3   Folder 21

"Chicago; I Study the City"

Box 3   Folder 22

Personal experiences and anecdotes, early years

Box 3   Folder 23

"Clothing Arbitration," 1919-20

Box 3   Folder 24

Cynthia Whitaker Tufts; In Memoriam, 1920

Box 3   Folder 25

James Hayden Tufts; In Memoriam, 1942

Box 3   Folder 26

Photos, correspondence, and texts from Tufts' memorial service for inclusion in the memorial volume

Series IV: Social and Political Activities

Box 4   Folder 1

City Club of Chicago; Pamphlets, 1908-14

Box 4   Folder 2

Articles and notes by Tufts on Illinois housing; articles by E. Abbott and S. Breckenridge on "The Housing Problem in Chicago"; Joliet in Photographs

Box 4   Folder 3

Pamphlets on the Housing Movement in other states

Box 4   Folder 4

City Club Committee on Housing Conditions; Correspondence, 1908-09

Box 4   Folder 5

City Club Committee on Housing Conditions; Correspondence, 1910-13

Box 4   Folder 6

City Club Committee on Housing Conditions; Correspondence, Minutes, 1908-1912, including "Housing in Illinois Cities" and other reports

Box 4   Folder 7

City Club Committee on Housing Conditions; notes and outlines for Housing Exhibition

Box 4   Folder 8

City Club Committee on Housing Conditions; Miscellaneous

Box 4   Folder 9

Illinois Committee on Social Legislation; Miscellaneous pamphlets

Box 4   Folder 10

Illinois Committee on Social Legislation; Miscellaneous pamphlets, By-laws, minutes and agenda of meetings, 1912-16

Box 4   Folder 11

Illinois Committee on Social Legislation; Miscellaneous pamphlets, Reports of the Committee

Box 4   Folder 12

Illinois Committee on Social Legislation; Miscellaneous pamphlets, Correspondence, 1912-13

Box 4   Folder 13

Illinois Committee on Social Legislation; Miscellaneous pamphlets, 1914-17

Box 4   Folder 14

Illinois Committee on Social Legislation; Miscellaneous pamphlets, drafts of legislation on minimum wage

Box 4   Folder 15

Illinois Committee on Social Legislation; Miscellaneous pamphlets, drafts of legislation on regulation of messenger services; compensation of prisoners' families; state colony for care of epileptics and the feeble-minded; wage loans, etc

Box 4   Folder 16

Illinois Committee on Social Legislation; Miscellaneous pamphlets, The Women's Legislative Congress of Illinois, December 10-12, 1914