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James Hulme Canfield

Librarian, Columbia University

Centurion, 1900–1909

Born 18 March 1847 in Delaware, Ohio

Died 29 March 1909 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York

Proposed by Seth Low and Francis Lynde Stetson

Elected 7 April 1900 at age fifty-three

Proposer of:

Century Memorial

James Hulme Canfield had been nine years an associate when he died at sixty-two. He was an Ohioan who came in childhood to Brooklyn. There he was fitted for Williams, from which college he graduated. Finding employment in Iowa, he chose the West as his field, was admitted to the bar and settled in Michigan. By instinct a scholar and an administrator, he was soon called as professor to the University of Kansas, where public life, education, and political economy were his first concerns. A free trader by conversion and conviction his professional life in a state university was difficult. Successively he was chancellor of the University of Nebraska, president of the Ohio State University and since 1899 Librarian at Columbia and lecturer on history at West Point. Men of his type are soldiers of civic righteousness; he was found struggling constantly somewhere and somehow over every question which affects civil and political life. Education was of course his forte and his foible; essentially an orator, the spoken word concerned him above all else, so that his writings were largely occasional and fugitive. But he wrote two fine volumes in his field. He was a familiar figure in the groups of Century men, respected and beloved.

William Milligan Sloane
1910 Century Association Yearbook