World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard

Frederick A. P. Barnard
President of Columbia University
In office
Preceded by Charles King
Succeeded by Seth Low
Personal details
Born (1809-05-05)May 5, 1809
Sheffield, Massachusetts
Died April 27, 1889(1889-04-27) (aged 79)
New York City, New York

Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard (May 5, 1809 – April 27, 1889) was a deaf American scientist and educationalist.


  • Biography 1
  • Family 2
  • Legacy 3
    • Barnard College for Women 3.1
    • Barnard Medal for Meritorious Service to Science 3.2
    • Legacy and honors 3.3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Australia map compiled by Arnold Henry Guyot and Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard

Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard was born in Sheffield, Massachusetts, on May 5, 1809. In 1828 he graduated, second on the honour list, at Yale University, where he was a member of the Linonian Society. He was then in turn a tutor at Yale, and as he began to lose his hearing due to a hereditary condition he became a teacher (1831—1832) in the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb at Hartford, Connecticut, and a teacher (1832—1838) in the New York Institute for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb.[1]

From 1838 to 1848 he was professor of mathematics and natural philosophy, and from 1848 to 1854 was professor of chemistry and natural history in the University of Alabama,[2] also, filling the chair of English literature. In 1854 he was ordained as deacon in the Protestant Episcopal Church. In the same year he became professor of mathematics and natural philosophy in the University of Mississippi, of which institution he was chancellor from 1856 until the outbreak of the Civil War, when, his sympathies being with the North, he resigned and went to Washington.

In 1860, he was one of the party sent to Labrador to observe an eclipse of the sun; in 1862 he was at work on the reduction of Gilliss's observations of the stars of the southern hemisphere, and in 1863 he superintended the publication of maps and charts of the United States Coast Survey. He was elected an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1860.[3] He was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1866; a member of the board of experts of the American Bureau of Mines in 1865, and a member of the American Institute in 1872.[4]

In 1864 he became the tenth president of Columbia College (now Columbia University) in New York City, which position he held until the year before his death, his service thus being longer than that of any of his predecessors. During this period the growth of the college was rapid; new departments were established; the elective system was greatly extended; more adequate provision was made for graduate study and original research, and the enrollment was increased from about 150 to more than 1000 students.

Barnard was a classical and English scholar, a mathematician, a physicist, a chemist, and a good public speaker. His annual reports to the Board of Trustees of Columbia included valuable discussions of educational problems.

Barnard and Arnold Henry Guyot were Editors-in-Chief of the 1876 Johnson’s New Universal Cyclopaedia.[5]

Barnard wrote Treatise on Arithmetic (1830); an Analytical Grammar with Symbolic Illustration (1836); Letters on Collegiate Government (1855); History of the United States Coast Survey (1857); Recent Progress in Science (1869); and The Metric System (1871).

He died in New York City on 27 April 1889.


His brother, John G. Barnard was a career engineering officer in the U.S. Army, serving as the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy and then as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.


Barnard College for Women

Barnard strove to have educational privileges extended by the university to women as well as to men, and Barnard College, for women, established immediately after his death, was named in his honor.

He left the bulk of his property to Columbia College.

Barnard Medal for Meritorious Service to Science

“The Trustees of Columbia College shall cause to be struck, with suitable devices, a medal of gold, nine-tenths fine, of the bullion value of not less two hundred dollars, to be styled “THE BARNARD MEDAL FOR MERITORIOUS SERVICE TO SCIENCE,” and shall publicly announce that a copy of the same will be awarded, at the close of every quinquennial period, dating from the probate of this my last Will and Testament, to such person, whether a citizen of the United States of or any other country, as shall, within the five years next preceding, have made such discovery in physical or astronomical science, or such novel application of science to purposes beneficial to the human race, as, in the judgment of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, shall be esteemed most worthy of such an honor. And I make it my request that the said National Academy of Sciences shall charge itself with the duty of declaring to the Trustees of Columbia College, aforesaid, at the close of every term of five years, as above defined, the name of the person whom they judge worthy to receive such medal, with a statement of the reasons on which their judgment is founded; and that upon such declaration and nomination, the Trustees shall proceed to award the said medal, and shall transmit the same to the person entitled to receive it, accompanied by a diploma or certificate attesting the fact and the occasion of the award. But, if the National Academy of Sciences shall judge that, during the five years preceding the date at which, as above provided, this award shall become due, no discovery in physical or astronomical science, or no new application of scientific principles to useful purposes, has been made worthy of the distinction proposed, then it is my wish and request the award shall be for that time omitted. And I would further desire, that the medal above described should bear, if it can be accomplished without interfering with the appropriate artistic devices upon its obverse side, the motto, Magna est Veritas, and upon its reverse the motto, Deo optimo Maximo, Gloria in Excelsis.” (Extract from the Last Will and Testament of Frederick A.P. Barnard, Tenth President of Columbia University in the City of New York. Born May 25, 1809. Died April 27, 1889.)

Legacy and honors

Barnard Observatory, one of the few buildings at the University of Mississippi on the Ole Miss campus to survive the Civil War, is named in his honor.

See also


  1. ^ Annual Report of the Directors of the New-York Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb. New York: Mahlon Day, Printer. 1837. 
  2. ^ Alfred L. Brophy, The University and the Slaves: Apology and Its Meaning
  3. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ D. Appleton (1890). The American Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events 29. p. 74. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  5. ^ Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard (1885). Johnson's new general cyclopaedia and copperplate hand-atlas of the world: combined and illustrated: being specially adapted for daily use in the family, school, and office, Volume 2. Johnson's New General Cyclopaedia and Copperplate Hand-atlas of the World: Combined and Illustrated: Being Specially Adapted for Daily Use in the Family, School, and Office. A. J. Johnson. p. 1411. Retrieved May 17, 2014. 
  •  "Barnard, Frederick Augustus Porter".  
  • “The American Bureau of Mines—The Organization Complete,” The New York Times, January 31, 1866, p. 4.

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • F. A. P. Barnard Collection (MUM00519), at The University of Mississippi, Archive and Special Collections
  • National Academy of Sciences Biographical Memoir
Academic offices
Preceded by
Augustus Baldwin Longstreet
Chancellors of the University of Mississippi
Succeeded by
John Newton Waddel
Preceded by
Charles King
President of Columbia College
Succeeded by
Seth Low
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.