George Bancroft (October 3, 1800 – January 17, 1891) was an American historian and statesman.
His first wife was Sarah Dwight, of a rich family in Springfield, Massachusetts; they married in 1827 but she died in 1837. His second wife was Mrs Elizabeth Davis Bliss, a widow with two children to add to his two sons; she bore him a daughter.
He taught Greek at Harvard. Then President Polk appointed him Secretary of the Navy, and during his tenure, Bancroft established the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1845. Bancroft Hall, the single largest dormitory, at the Naval Academy, is named in his honor.
He was later appointed the U.S. diplomat to Britain. While he was there, he wrote his 10-volume History of the United States.
He said, "The exact measure of the progress of civilization is the degree in which the intelligence of the common mind has prevailed over wealth and brute force."
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