Biography of Evarts Boutell Greene

Evarts Boutell Greene has been Professor of History in the University of Illinois since 1897, and from 1906 to 1913 was dean of the College of Literature and Arts. He has been connected with the State University twenty-three years, is well known as an historical author and editor, and is a member of an old American family that has furnished many useful men and women to the arts and professions.

He was born in Kobe, Japan, July 8, 1870, a son of Daniel Crosby and Mary Jane (Forbes) Greene. The late Daniel Crosby Greene, who died September 15, 1913, was one of the pioneer American missionaries in Japan and was long considered an authority on Japanese life and affairs. He was born at Roxbury, Boston, February 11, 1843, and was a member of a Massachusetts Colonial family. His parents were Rev. David and Mary (Evarts) Greene. A brother of D. Crosby Greene is Roger Sherman Greene, who made a brilliant record as a soldier in the Civil War and in 1870 was appointed a justice of the Supreme Court of Washington Territory and has practiced law and taken a prominent part in public affairs in Seattle for the past forty years. D. Crosby Greene was graduated from Dartmouth College in 1864. In 1862 he served as a private in the Seventh Squadron of Rhode Island Cavalry. In 1869 he entered upon his work as a missionary in Japan and his home and activities were in that country the rest of his active life. He was president of the Asiatic Society of Japan in 1896 and 1901-02, and was lecturer on Japan in Harvard University in 1908-09. He was author of the Chinese New Testament, prepared for Japanese readers, 1878; Course of Study for Students of the Japanese Language, 1903; was joint translator of the Japanese New Testament; revised and brought up to date Ritter’s History of Protestant Missions in Japan, 1898; and was editor of the Christian Movement in its Relation to the New Life in Japan. He was married to Mary Jane Forbes in 1869. Besides Evarts Boutell Greene two other sons have gained distinction, Jerome Davis and Roger Sherman Greene. Jerome Davis Greene was secretary of the Rockefeller Foundation 1913-16, and is also a member of the International Health Commission of the General Education Board, the Board of Overseers of Harvard University. Roger Sherman Greene was in the consular service in South America, Japan and Russia, subsequently consul general at Hankow, China, and since 1914 has been resident director in China of the China Medical Board for the Rockefeller Foundation.

Evarts Boutell Greene was a student in Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois, from 1885 to 1888, and graduated from Harvard University in 1890, A. M. in 1891, and with the Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1893.

From 1890 to 1893 he was assistant in history at Harvard and during 1893-94 was Harris Traveling Fellow of Harvard University and a student in the University of Berlin. In 1894 he became assistant professor of history in the University of Illinois, was associate professor during 1895-97, and since 1894 has been head of the history department. Mr. Greene has been president of the Board of Trustees of the Illinois State Historical Library since 1910. In 1913 he was appointed a member of the Illinois State Centennial Commission, was a member of the Centennial Building Commission which in 1916 purchased the site of the Centennial Building, and as chairman of the publication committee of the Illinois Centennial Commission has had general supervision of its historical publications. Since 1913 he has been secretary of the Council of the American Historical Association, and was a member of the Council from 1908 to 1911. He is corresponding member of the Chicago and Minnesota Historical Societies and of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts and member (1917) of the National Board for Historical Service, Washington.

Mr. Greene as an author has the following works to his credit: The Provincial Governor in the English Colonies of North America, 1898; 1 The Government of Illinois, 1904; Provincial America, 1905; was joint author with C. W. Alvord of The Governors’ Letter Book, 1818-1834, and with C. M. Thompson of the Governors’ Letter Book, 1840-53; American Interest in Popular Government Abroad, 1917. His contributions have also frequently appeared in historical and educational periodicals.



Stewart, J. R. A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1918.

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