Laughlin, J. Laurence (James Laurence), 1850-1933

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Economist; professor and head of the Dept. of Political Economy at the University of Chicago and editor of the Journal of Political Economy.

From the description of Papers of J. Laurence Laughlin, 1902-1931. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71131188

Political economist. Professor, Department of Political Economy, University of Chicago, 1892-1916. Founder, Journal of Political Economy.

From the description of Papers, 1885-1914 (inclusive). (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 52247425

Biographical Note

  • 1850, Apr. 2: Born, Deerfield, Ohio
  • 1873: A.B., Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
  • 1873 - 1878 : Taught in Hopkinson's Classical School, Boston, Mass.
  • 1875, Sept.: Married Alice McGuffey
  • 1876: A.M. and Ph.D., Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
  • 1878 - 1883 : Instructor in political economy, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
  • 1883 - 1888 : Assistant professor of political economy, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
  • 1888 - 1890 : President, Manufacturers Mutual Fire Insurance Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
  • 1890 - 1892 : Professor of political economy, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • 1890 - 1916 : Professor and head of Department of Political Economy, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
  • 1892: Became editor of Journal of Political Economy
  • 1894 - 1895 : Prepared monetary reform for government of Santa Domingo that was later adopted
  • 1897: Member, monetary commission created by Indianapolis Monetary Conference
  • 1906: Lecturer, Berlin, Germany, on invitation of Prussian Cultus Ministerium; Doctor, honoris causa, University of Giessen, Giessen, Germany
  • 1909: Delegate, Pan-American Scientific Congress, Santiago, Chile
  • 1911: Chairman, Executive Committee National Citizens' League for Promotion of Sound Banking System
  • 1919: Member, European Commission of National Industrial Conference Board
  • 1933, Nov. 28: Died, East Jaffery, N.H.

From the guide to the J. Laurence Laughlin Papers, 1902-1931, (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

James Laurence Laughlin was born on April 2, 1850 in Deerfield, Ohio. In the fall of 1869 he entered Harvard College and was graduated summa cum laude in history in 1873. He continued the study of history under Henry Adams at Harvard. He also taught at Hopkinson's Classical School in Boston. In 1876 he received his Ph. D. degree for his thesis on "The Anglo-Saxon Legal Procedure."

In the fall of 1878 Laughlin was appointed instructor of political economy at Harvard. After receiving graduate training in economics, he was appointed an assistant professor at Harvard (1883-1888); during this period, Laughlin organized and sponsored the Political Economy Club. He also completed his History of Bimetallism in the United States in 1885. In 1888 Laughlin left Harvard and became president of the Manufacturer's Mutual Life Insurance Company of Philadelphia. He accepted a professorship in Political Economy at Cornell University in 1890.

Two years later President Harper appointed Laughlin Head Professor of Political Economy at the new University of Chicago. At Chicago, Laughlin introduced the seminar as a method of instruction and founded the Journal of Political Economy. In 1894, Laughlin proposed that the University establish a School of Commerce and Industry. The new professional school, which began undergraduate instruction in 1898, evolved into the Graduate School of Business.

In 1916 Laughlin became Professor Emeritus. He moved to East Jaffery, New Hampshire, where he completed his Credit of Nations, published in 1918. He also wrote numerous magazine articles, largely on labor questions, including "Monopoly of Labor." He died on November 28, 1933.

From the guide to the Laughlin, James Laurence. Papers, 1885-1914, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Class album, 1873. Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Papers, 1832-1892. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Century Company records, 1870-1924 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Laughlin, J. Laurence (James Laurence), 1850-1933. Papers of J. Laurence Laughlin, 1902-1931. Library of Congress
referencedIn Harvard College (1780- ). Class of 1873. Class Album, 1873. Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn Henry Villard papers, 1604-1948 (inclusive), 1863-1900 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn William Roscoe Thayer papers, 1762-1927 (inclusive), 1872-1921 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Letters from various correspondents, American period, 1876-1937. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Letters to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1761-1904 (inclusive) 1820-1888 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Joseph Halle Schaffner autograph collection, 1683-1948. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Letters from various correspondents, American period, 1876-1937. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Marvin, Samuel W. Autograph collection, 1815-1917. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Von Holst, H. (Hermann), 1841-1904. Papers, 1855-1903. University of Chicago Library
creatorOf Laughlin, J. Laurence (James Laurence), 1850-1933. Papers, 1885-1914 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Henry Carter Adams Papers, 1964-1924 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Pamphlets relating to banks and banking in Minnesota, 1892- Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Thomas Bailey Aldrich additional papers, 1850-1904. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Von Holst, Hermann Eduard. Collection, 1869-1902 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence and records, 1832-1944. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Thomas Bailey Aldrich papers, 1837-1926. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Laughlin, James Laurence. Papers, 1885-1914 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Elizabeth Gaskell Norton and Sara Norton papers, 1867-1948 (inclusive), 1880-1946 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf J. Laurence Laughlin Papers, 1902-1931 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn John Jay Knox Letters, 1870-1894 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Henry Carter, 1851-1921 person
correspondedWith Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, 1836-1907 person
correspondedWith Brooks, Phillips, 1835-1893 person
correspondedWith Century Company corporateBody
correspondedWith Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel, 1853-1935 person
associatedWith Harvard College (1780- ). Class of 1873. corporateBody
correspondedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Knox, John Jay, 1828-1892 person
correspondedWith Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882 person
associatedWith Marshall, Leon C. (Leon Carroll), 1879-1966. person
associatedWith Marvin, Samuel W. person
associatedWith Norton, Elizabeth Gaskell, 1866- person
associatedWith Page, Walter Hines, 1855-1918 person
associatedWith Schaffner, Joseph Halle, 1897-1972 person
correspondedWith Thayer, William Roscoe, 1859-1923 person
associatedWith University of Chicago. Department of Political Economy. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago. Dept. of Political Economy. corporateBody
correspondedWith Villard, Henry, 1835-1900 person
associatedWith Von Holst, H. (Hermann), 1841-1904. person
associatedWith Warburg, Paul M. (Paul Moritz), 1868-1932. person
associatedWith Willis, Henry Parker, 1874-1937. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Economics--Study and teaching
Monetary policy
Silver question
Labor unions
Banks and banking


Birth 1850-04-02

Death 1933-11-28



Ark ID: w6n01mk5

SNAC ID: 17855516