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George Trumbull Ladd
George Trumbull Ladd in 1898
Born(1842-01-19)January 19, 1842
DiedAugust 8, 1921(1921-08-08) (aged 79)
Alma materWestern Reserve College
Andover Theological Seminary
Occupationpsychologist, educator and philosopher
Spouse(s)Cornelia Ann Tallman
Frances Virginia Stevens

George Trumbull Ladd (/ˈtrʌmbəl/; January 19, 1842 – August 8, 1921) was an American philosopher, educator and psychologist.


Early life and ancestors

Ladd was born in Painesville, Ohio, on January 19, 1842, the son of Silas Trumbull Ladd and Elizabeth Williams.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

He was a grandson of Jesse Ladd and Ruby Brewster,[7] who were among the original pioneers in Madison, Lake County, Ohio. Ruby was a granddaughter of Oliver Brewster[8] and Martha Wadsworth Brewster, a poet and writer, and one of the earliest American female literary figures.

He was a descendant of Elder William Brewster (c. 1567 – April 10, 1644), the Pilgrim leader and spiritual elder of the Plymouth Colony and a passenger on the Mayflower, and Governor William Bradford (1590–1657) of the Plymouth Colony and a passenger on the Mayflower. He was also a 7th generation direct lineal descendant of Daniel Ladd, Sr. (1613–1693).[9]


He early gave indications of the studious habits that characterized him through life. When he was eight years old his first savings, two dollars, were spent for a copy of Josephus and Plutarch, while when eighteen years of age he read Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.

Most of his work in preparing for college was done by himself, only a portion of the time being given to the curriculum in the Painesville High School and at the college preparatory school of the Rev. Mr. Brayton in Painesville, Ohio.

He graduated from Western Reserve College in 1864 and from Andover Theological Seminary in 1869. He was ordained to the Congregational ministry on May 26, 1870. The degree of Doctor of Divinity (D.D. or DD, Divinitatis Doctor in Latin) was conferred on him by Western Reserve College in 1879; Yale University that of M.A. in 1881, Western Reserve College that of LL.D. in 1895, and Princeton University that of LL.D. in 1896.


After graduation, he went into business with his father. His constant studies, however, seemed to turn his steps naturally toward a higher institution of learning, with the result that in 1866 he went to the Andover Theological Seminary.

In 1869, he was installed as the pastor of the Congregational Church in Edinburg, Portage County, Ohio, remaining here until 1871. In 1871 he began to preach at the Spring Street Congregational Church of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin leaving in 1879.[10] He was professor of intellectual and moral philosophy at Bowdoin College from 1879 to 1881, and 'Clark Professor of Metaphysics and Moral Philosophy' at Yale University (a professorship that still exists) from 1881 until 1901, when he took charge of the Graduate Department of Philosophy and Psychology. Ladd became Professor Emeritus in 1905, and retired in 1906.

During 1879 to 1882 he lectured on theology at Andover Theological Seminary, and in 1883 at Harvard University, where during the time period of 1895 to 1896 he conducted a graduate seminar in ethics.

Between 1892 and 1899, at the invitation of the Government of Japan, he served as a diplomatic adviser and helped the Cabinet under Prime Minister Hirobumi Ito (1841–1909) to promote mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.

He lectured at Imperial University in Japan in 1892 and 1899 (when he also visited the universities of India in Calcutta, Bombay and Benares) and again from 1906 to 1907.[11]

The series of lectures he delivered in Japan revolutionized its educational methods;[12] In 1899, Emperor Meiji conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, which represents the third highest of eight classes associated with the award. Trumbull was again honored in 1907, this time with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, which represents the second highest of eight classes. He was the first foreigner to receive the honor in this class.[13][14] He was a member of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He was much influenced by the German philosopher Hermann Lotze, whose Outlines of Philosophy he translated (6 vols., 1877) and was one of the first to introduce (1879) the study of experimental psychology into America; the Yale psychological laboratory being founded by him. In 1887, he published Elements of Physiological Psychology, the first American textbook to include a substantial amount of information on the new experimental form of the discipline.

Marriage and family

He married on December 8, 1869 at Bridgeport, Belmont County, Ohio, Cornelia Ann Tallman, born August 26, 1842 at St. Clairsville, Belmont County, Ohio and died on October 19, 1893 at North Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut.[15] She was the daughter of Ellen Ryne and John C. Tallman, a well-known banker and business man of Bridgeport, Ohio.

George and Cornelia were the parents of four children:

He married second, on December 9, 1895, Frances Virginia Stevens, born February 9, 1866, at New York City, the daughter of Dr. George T. Stevens and Harriet Weeks Wadhams.[18][19] There were no children from the second marriage.


Ladd died on August 8, 1921 at New Haven, Connecticut.[20] After cremation, half his ashes were buried in Sōji-ji, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Japan and a monument was erected to him. The remaining ashes were interred under a monument of the rising sun in Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven, Ct.[13][21][22]


See also


  1. ^ Leonard, John W. (1901).Ladd, "George Trumbull," Who's who in America, p.654.
  2. ^ Homans, James E. (August 30, 2017). "THE CYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY" – via Google Books.
  3. ^ His father, Silas, ran a general store in Hudson, Ohio and was a deacon in his church, filled various minor town offices, and was held in high esteem for his integrity, industry and kindliness. He served as treasurer of Western Reserve College, now Case Western Reserve University, when the institution was located at Hudson, Ohio. He was also a founder as well as a trustee of Lake Erie College.
  4. ^ His sister, Martha Brewster Ladd, was married to the Rev. Dr. Lewis Orsmond Brastow (1834–1912), who was the Dean of the Yale Divinity School.
  5. ^ Burton, Richard. (1898). "Brastow, Lewis Orsmond," Men of Progress: Biographical Sketches And Portraits of Leaders In Business And Professional Life in and of Connecticut, p. 233
  6. ^ "Prof. L. O. Brastow Dies," New York Times. August 11, 1912.
  7. ^ Design, Laurel O'Donnell, ZAPIX. "Washington, Massachusetts Marriage Records to 1850".
  8. ^ Jones, Emma. (1908). The Brewster genealogy, 1566-1907: a Record of the Descendants of William Brewster of the "Mayflower," p. 86.
  9. ^ Daniel Ladd, Sr. was born in 1613 in Deal, Kent County, England. He died on July 27, 1693 at the age of 80 in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts. On March 24, 1633, took the "Oath of Supremacy and Allegiance, thus enabling him to leave London, England and take the Vessel "Mary And John" (Robert Sayres, Master). First mentioned in Ipswich town records in February 1637; in Salibury, MA, October 29, 1639, and was one of the first settlers of Haverhill, MA. On February 5, 1637 he was granted six acres of land on which he built a house...On October 29, 1639 and September 7, 1640, he had land granted to him in Salisbury. From Salisbury he removed to Haverhill where he died. His house in Haverhill was in the village, his planting lots were in two different locations while his meadows were located in seven different locations. In 1659 Daniel erected a sawmill with Theophilus Shatwell on the Spiggot (Spicket) River. It was built within the present limits of Salem, New Hampshire and was the first mill erected on that stream. An extensive account of Daniel Ladd is provided on pages1 through 11 of "The Ladd Family" as well as on pages 12-21 of "Lest We Forget: AFamily Saga"From the NEHG Register, Vol 38, p. 345. According to the record of the Quarterly Court of Essex County:"Daniel Ladd was accounted a man of good social graces." He held at one time the rank of Lieutenant.
  10. ^ "Free Congregational Church (a//k/a Spring St. Congregation after 1847)," Milwaukee County Congregational Churches.
  11. ^ Ladd, George. Letter to the Editor: "America and Japan," New York Times. March 22, 1907.
  12. ^ Topics of the Week: "George Trumbull Ladd," New York Times. February 22, 1908.
  13. ^ a b c "Business: Japanese Strip," Time Magazine. May 8, 1939.
  14. ^ "American Honored by the Japanese," The New York Times. October 22, 1899.
  15. ^ Obituary: "Cornelia A. Ladd," New York Times. October 20, 1893.
  16. ^ Fleming, George Thornton (August 30, 2017). "History of Pittsburgh and Environs: From Prehistoric Days to the Beginning of the American Revolution". American Historical Society, Incorporated – via Google Books.
  17. ^ The Brewster genealogy, 1566-1907
  18. ^ Duane, Alexander (1921). "GEORGE THOMAS STEVENS, M.D., Ph.D". Transactions of the American Ophthalmological Society. 19: 14.2–19. PMC 1318261.
  19. ^ Families of Ancient Wethersfield, Connecticut
  20. ^ Obituary: "Prof. G. T. Ladd Dies," New York TImes. August 9, 1921.
  21. ^ "Great Head Temple Sôjiji". 2007. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
  22. ^ Yale Alumni Weekly