As much in historiography as in music, Dvo ák’s visit to America in 1892 echoed a broadening contact between Europe and the New World. Weber and Schmoller could hardly have missed it when at least one of their pupils in Berlin in the early 1890s had been both American and black. It is not one’s first thought about W.E.B.Du Bois: he fits into memory more naturally as part of a fabric of American Negro Marxism woven around Fisk and Harvard, the universities of Pennsylvania and Atlanta (where he developed into the confrontational author of The Souls of Black Folk (1903)) and the New York ambience that would later give rise to Black Reconstruction (1935).118 Yet Du Bois’s two years in Europe remain important in retrospect for the illumination of a common strand in American graduate experience. One could exemplify it under a less glaring light. Consider John William Burgess, the political scientist who did so much to remodel Columbia University’s faculty system in the 1880s but who clung to his Hegelian ideas and became the first Roosevelt Professor in the University of Berlin in 1906. Or, among historians, recall the two Adamses: Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918) and Herbert Baxter Adams (1850-1901). The first, as scion of a great Boston family, enjoyed the cosmopolitanism inevitable in one whose grandfather and great-grandfather had held the greatest office in the land; and doubtless felt driven by a similar imperative to write the histories of formative administrations in the American pastvolumes of careful scholarship that American historians still see as the pillar of his historical writing (Henry Brooks Adams 1889-90). For others the masterpiece of Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres, which did
not appear until 1904, his Grand Tour, after Harvard, at the end of the 1850s and his commuting between Washington and Paris from the 1880s enabled him to stamp a particular European influence on those around him, even if his tenure of a university chair had been a short one and his subsequent life broken by events that he excised from his famous autobiography.119 The second Adams, also a New Englander, brought to his post-doctoral appointment at Johns Hopkins in 1876 the fruits of two years in Heidelberg and Berlin, a questionable regard for his Doktorvater, an energizing earnestness about the German seminar system and a dangerous historical theory about Teutonic dissemination. 120
American students went to Germany in order to pursue doctoral work because before 1880 they had very little choice. When Baxter Adams went to Johns Hopkins on his return from Germany, he joined the first graduate school in history in the United States. Columbia’s in New York had stuck at the planning stage for a number of years; it opened only in 1880-1. Gradually the pull of German academia lost its strength in the last two decades of the century. There were those, certainly, who continued the tradition after the need for it had disappeared: witness the man most credited with the origins of a ‘new history’ in America, James Harvey Robinson (1863-1936). He could have remained in the United States after graduating from Harvard but a combination of private means and Wanderlust took him to Freiburg where he worked with the constitutional historian Hermann E. von Holst who later himself moved to America. Robinson returned to appointments at the University of Pennsylvania and later Columbia with an admiration for Lamprecht and a devotion to German techniques of source-criticism that he imposed on his students. He therefore fits an older model, but variants in the yearabroad syndrome become apparent as one examines others. The rampant radical Charles Beard went to (of all places) Oxford and was supervised by (of all people) York Powell. Charles Haskins, the prodigy who entered college at 13, graduated at 17 and took his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins at 19, went to both Berlin and Paris but gained more from Langlois and Lot, as his future research interest in Normandy would
imply. Carl Becker, Beard’s moderate twin, embraced the new model by going nowhere at all: Wisconsin, cum Turner and Haskins, Columbia, cum Robinson, and then into his first post at Pennsylvania State University on a career that would wind through Kansas and Minnesota to Cornell.