Bolton, Herbert Eugene, 1870-1953

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1870-07-20
Death 1953-01-30
Americans
Spanish; Castilian, English

Biographical notes:

Herbert Eugene Bolton was born on July 20, 1870 in Wilton, Wisconsin. He became Director of the Bancroft Library in 1916, and head of the History Department at Berkeley in 1919. His career in the classroom and in the field lasted until his death in January 1953.

From the description of Pictorial material from the Herbert Eugene Bolton papers [graphic]. ca. 1910-ca. 1950. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 656612971

From the description of Herbert Eugene Bolton papers, 1890-1953 (bulk 1909-1951). (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 227455730

Biographical Information

Herbert Eugene Bolton was born on July 20, 1870 in Wilton, Wisconsin. At the University of Wisconsin (class of 1895) he studied under Frederick Jackson Turner; after two years of graduate work there he left to pursue a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, which he earned in 1899. In 1901 he joined the history department at the University of Texas, Austin, where he developed his lasting interest in the history of Spanish-American exploration. His next stop was California, first at Stanford from 1909-1911, and then Berkeley for the remainder of his career. In 1916 he became the Curator of the Bancroft Library (a title that was soon switched to Director), and he took over the helm of the History Department after the death of Henry Morse Stephens in 1919.

During the 1920s and 1930s Bolton was especially active as a professor, guest lecturer, and scholar. The bulk of his writings were published during these two decades, including The Spanish Borderlands . In 1931-1932 he was the president of the American Historical Association, which is only one example of his public service. Though the University required that he retire in 1940 (or at the age of 70), a war-time shortage of faculty caused him to return to teaching from 1942-1944.

Bolton's zest for history is perhaps best represented in the journeys he made by mule or horseback in an effort to retrace the footsteps of famous explorers. This activity continued into his 80th year, by which time he had traced the complete routes of Coronado, Kino, De Mézières, Portolá, Anza, Garcés, and Escalante.

In June 1952 Bolton suffered a stroke that ultimately led to his death in January 1953.

From the guide to the Herbert Eugene Bolton papers, 1890-1953, bulk 1909-1951, (The Bancroft Library)

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Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w63n22wj
Ark ID:
w63n22wj
SNAC ID:
22545711

Subjects:

  • History--Study and teaching
  • Indians of North America
  • Spanish mission buildings--Pictorial works

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

  • Nacogdoches County (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • California (as recorded)
  • Pacific Coast (North America) (as recorded)
  • Southwest, New (as recorded)
  • Texas (as recorded)
  • Kern County (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • South America (as recorded)
  • Mexico (as recorded)
  • Mexico (as recorded)
  • San Joaquin Valley (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Southwest, New (as recorded)
  • Mexico (as recorded)
  • Mexican-American Border Region (as recorded)
  • Southwest, New (as recorded)
  • Texas (as recorded)
  • Central America (as recorded)
  • Bexar County (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • Spain (as recorded)
  • Mexican-American Border Region (as recorded)
  • Pimería Alta (as recorded)
  • America (as recorded)