- McElroy, Robert McNutt, 1872-1959
- Call number
- MssCol 1940
- Physical description
- 2 linear feet (2 boxes)
- Materials in English
- Preferred Citation
Robert M. McElroy papers, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library
- Manuscripts and Archives Division
- Access to materials
- Advance notice required. Request access to this collection.
Robert McNutt McElroy (1872-1959), an historian, taught at Princeton University and various universities in Great Britain and China. After teaching history at Princeton from 1898 to 1916, he became the first American exchange professor to China, lecturing on government and education from 1916 to 1917. During the 1920s and 1930s he taught in Great Britain at Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester, and Leeds. His publications included works on Grover Cleveland and Jefferson Davis. Collection consists of McElroy's notes and manuscript of his biography of Jefferson Davis and galley proofs for critical bibliography on Davis.
Robert McNutt McElroy was born on December 28, 1872 to William Thomas Eliza Casseday McElroy in Perryville, Kentucky. He studied at the universities of Leipzig and Berlin, Oxford University and St. John's University, Shanghai, China. He served as an instructor of history, asst, professor of history and professor of history at Princeton from 1898 to 1916. He was the first American exchange professor to China, lecturing on government and education from 1916 to 1917. During the 1920s and 1930s McElroy taught at various universities in Great Britain, including Oxford (1925-1938 & ff.), Cambridge, Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester and Leeds. In 1932 he returned to the United States to give the Centennial Address at New York University. Publications in the field of history include Kentucky in the Nation's History (1909), The Representative Idea in History (1917), Grover Cleveland — the Man and the Statesman (1923), and Jefferson Davis — The Unreal and the Real (1937) in addition to other monographs and edited works. An adamant opponent of "provincial thinking", McElroy was well thought of by historians in the United States and Great Britain: he succeeded Woodrow Wilson as the chair of the Princeton department of history and politics in 1912 and succeeded Samuel Morison as the Harold V. Harmsworth professor of American History at Oxford. McElroy's works, however, are not considered classics in American Historiography and are infrequently cited for students of United States or Anglo-American relations history. McElroy, in addition to his teaching and writing, was seriously concerned about national security and defense of the Constitution. This manifested itself in political activity with the Republican party and the Nat'l. Security league. The Papers consist of notes, manuscript and galley-proofs for his book, Jefferson Davis — The Unreal And The Real, which galley-proofs was published by Harpers in 1937. McElroy died on January 16, 1959.
Source of acquisition
November, 1937 & February 1938, Received from Robert McNutt McElroy
Accessioned by Genna Rae McNeil, January, 1983
Using the collection
LocationManuscripts and Archives Division
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, NY 10018-2788
Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room, Third Floor, Room 328