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George Bancroft note

Biographical note

A noted American historian, diplomat, and public official, George Bancroft (1800-1891) was born on October 3, 1800, in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was the eighth of thirteen children born to Aaron and Lucretia (Chandler) Bancroft. After primary schooling in Worcester, Bancroft attended the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and later graduated from Harvard in 1817. During his long career, Bancroft taught at the Round Hill School in Northampton, Massachusetts, served as the collector of the port of Boston, and held various public offices. In 1845, he was appointed Secretary of the Navy in President James K. Polk’s (1795-1849) cabinet and served in this position until 1846, during which he established the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Bancroft was then named as a United States minister to Great Britain from 1846-1849, and later to Germany from 1867 until his retirement in 1874. Bancroft settled in Washington, D.C., where he finished writing his ten volume set, History of the United States. He also kept a summer home in Newport, Rhode Island, at the Rosecliff mansion. George Bancroft died on January 1, 1891, in Washington, D.C.