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Judson in China, 1914

Harry Pratt Judson in China. 1914.




Judson's The Young American: A Civil Reader

Harry Pratt Judson, The Young American: A Civil Reader (New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1897). Judson wrote a number of textbooks for school use on the subjects of American government and history.

Harry Pratt Judson


Professor of Political Science and Head Dean of the Colleges 1892-1894
Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science 1894-1923
Dean of the Faculties of Arts,
Literature, and Science
Acting President 1906-1907
President 1907-1923

Harry Pratt Judson was one of many educators tapped by William Rainey Harper to begin the work of the University of Chicago. A school principal in Troy, New York for fifteen years, and professor of history and pedagogy at the University of Minnesota for seven, Judson had the breadth of experience Harper wanted. Judson was attracted by Harper's academic plans, but after visiting the "wilderness" in Hyde Park which was to be the University campus, he wasn't quite sure he shared the vision. "There was much in the air, but not much in the ground," he recalled later.

Judson's reticence was expressed too late, for Harper announced his appointment to the press before Judson had actually agreed to move to Chicago. Sharing his apprehensions, the University of Minnesota regents granted Judson a one-year leave of absence and invited him to return in case the experiment in Chicago came to naught.

The University for sixteen years has had a balanced budget and the policy is so firmly established that it is extremely unlikely that the reverse will occur again.

Harry Pratt Judson

After Harper himself, Judson was in fact the second faculty member to begin work in Chicago, arriving in June 1892 to help organize the myriad details of the educational program before classes began in October. Judson's own field of study was constitutional law and the history of diplomacy, and he became the first head of the political science department. In 1894 he was appointed dean of the faculties and continued to work closely with Harper on many aspects of University administration for more than ten years. As a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, he was also instrumental in pressing for the acceptance of fraternities at the University.

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