James Woodrow,
the University of Georgia Professor of Geology who never was

        James Woodrow (1827-1907) was appointed Professor of Chemistry, Geology, and Natural Philosophy at the University of Georgia in 1856 or 1857, after the departure of Joseph Leconte (Reed, Chapter V, p. 555/618).  However, he never took the position (Reed, Chapter VI, p. 17/682), perhaps because of the stormy relations between the University's faculty and President Alonzo Church then.  In 1861 the position was given to William Louis Jones.

        Woodrow instead in 1861 became a Professor at the Columbia Theological Seminary in South Carolina.  At the Columbia Theological Seminary, his views on evolution and the relationship of science and religion caused him in the 1880s to be condemned four times by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church.  He eventually became President of the University of South Carolina.

        Woodrow would have been a suitable person to follow LeConte.  He had studied with Louis Agassiz, and his Ph.D. was summa cum laude from Heidelberg University in Germany.  Among his nephews was Thomas Woodrow Wilson, President of Princeton University and later President of the United States.

 

 

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Sources:
Gustafson, R.K., 1995, James Woodrow, (1827-1907) - Scientist, Theologian, Intellectual Leader: Edwin Mellen Press, 328 p.
Reed, T.W., 1949, The History of the University of Georgia.


 

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