Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Washburn, Israel, Jr. 1813-83


Israel Washburn Jr. (1813-1883), H1872, governor of Maine, was a member of the original Board of Trustees of Tufts College and later President of the Board. Washburn was honored with the degree of LL.D., in 1872.Three years later Washburn was offered the third Presidency of Tufts College.

Washburn turned down the offer. In fact, he wrote to the Board of Trustees before they voted. He had seen his name offered as a candidate and attempted to forestall the vote. Despite his protests, the Board persisted and elected him president. Citing lack of time and qualifications, he formally refused the honor. His attendance record at Board meetings supports his argument - he was almost never there. His refusal may have stemmed from the strenuous and taxing period more than a decade before when Washburn served as a war-time Governor.

It was a long road to the governorship. Born in Livermore, Maine, on June 6, 1813, Israel Washburn was the eldest of eleven children. He attended the common school before receiving several years of private instruction. A student of law, Washburn was admitted to the Penobscot bar in 1834, and opened his practice in Orono, Maine. In 1842 he was elected to the Maine House of Representatives, and performed ably for some years in that position. He failed to secure a post in Congress in 1848, but prevailed in the 1850 election as a Whig. He served in Congress from 1851 until 1861.At that time he was elected Governor on the Republican ticket, a party he had joined immediately upon its creation.

Worn out by his activities as Governor, in which capacity he had "outfitted regiment after regiment" of soldiers, he declined to run again. In gratitude, President Linclon appointed Washburn to the lucrative post of collector of the port of Portland, a position he held until 1877.In the years up until his death, Washburn was a popular lecturer, devoting proceeds to charitable organizations. Always active in literary pursuits, he was a member of the Maine Historical Society and published a memoir on Chief Justice Shepley, a volume of notes on Livermore, and a paper on the northeastern boundary question.

As all of the founding members of Tufts were, Washburn was an active and well-known Universalist. He was a stern supporter of the policy that the president of Tufts College live on campus, and he urged the construction of a church on school grounds. The fulfillment of the latter consideration, the dedication of Goddard Chapel in 1883, nearly coincided with the date of his death.

Israel Washburn Jr. died of an affliction of the heart on Saturday May 12, 1883, at the Lafayette Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Sources: TN; VF; LOH1

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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