J. Franklin Jameson

J. Franklin Jameson

J. Franklin Jameson

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John Franklin Jameson (September 19, 1859 – September 28, 1937) was an American historian, author, and journal editor who played a major role in the professional activities of American historians in the early 20th century.

Early life

A Yankee, Jameson was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, the son of John Jameson, a schoolteacher, lawyer, and postmaster, and Mariette Thompson. He graduated from Amherst College in 1879 as class valedictorian, studying with John W. Burgess and Anson D. Morse. More influential was Herbert Baxter Adams, head of the department of history and political science at the Johns Hopkins University, where Jameson received the first doctorate in history in 1882. He became an instructor; his dissertation The Origin and Development of the Municipal Government of New York City was published in article form in 1882. He moved to Brown University as professor in 1888.


Jameson was a social historian, an expert in historiography, and above all an intellectual entrepreneur and gatekeeper who helped determine the priorities of the history profession in America. His base was the American Historical Association, which he helped found in 1884. He chaired its Historical Manuscripts Commission in 1895 and became the first managing editor of the American Historical Review (AHR), 1895-1901, 1905-1928, serving as information central for academic historiography. After an interlude at the University of Chicago he went to Washington in 1905 as director of...
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