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Charles Montague Bakewell papers

Call Number: MS 765

Scope and Contents

Series I and II of the Charles M. Bakewell Papers came to Manuscripts and Archives in 1976, when Yale students Carleton Ealy, Joseph Johnson, and Larry Kaufman found them in the basement of Lawrance Hall.* Most of what they discovered were philosophical publications, which have been transferred to other parts of the library. The remaining papers (correspondence, manuscript notes and writings, and printed matter spanning the years 1897-1947) were arranged in two series: I. Correspondence and II. Writings and Miscellany. In 1979, Mrs. Richard Hooker, daughter of Charles Bakewell, withdrew the correspondence, which had been located in the first six boxes. Series II is composed of lecture notes on philosophical topics and other teaching materials, typescript and manuscript drafts of writings on philosophy and politics, reprints of published writings, writings by other persons on philosophy and politics, and bibliographic notecards.

In 1982, a small collection of Bakewell's papers was transferred from the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection to the Bakewell Papers, where it constitutes Series III, Transferred Materials. They include seven letters of May 1926 from members of the Yale community and others to Bakewell about his review of The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzche, which were donated to Yale by Charles Bakewell in 1945, and a notebook about Greek literature and four letters from Hugo Munsterberg and G. H. Palmer, all donated in 1958 by Henry P. Bakewell and Mrs. Hooker.

In 1990, sixteen volumes of photographs were transferred to Manuscripts and Archives from the Yale University Library stacks. According to gift labels on the albums, they were originally donated to the library by Bakewell in 1932. The albums contain photographs taken in Italy during the American Red Cross Commission of World War I, from 1917 to 1919. Bakewell probably used these photographs during the writing of his 1920 book, The Story of the American Red Cross in Italy, and a few of the photographs are reproduced in the book. The albums supplement Bakewell's book and poignantly demonstrate the condition of Italy and her refugees during the war. Additional research materials which also carry the 1932 gift labels and document American Red Cross efforts in Italy during World War I were transferred in 2004.

* Yale Alumni Magazine 39 (1976), 38-39.


  • 1897-1928
  • Majority of material found within 1916 - 1920


Language of Materials

Some materials in the collection are in Italian.

Conditions Governing Access

Material in Series II may be used only with the permission of Mildred Bakewell Hooker, daughter of Charles Bakewell.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Charles Bakewell to the Yale University Library in 1932 and transferred from stacks in 1990 and 2004. Gift of Charles Bakewell in 1945. Gift of Henry P. Bakewell and Mildred Bakewell Hooker in 1958. Transferred from Lawrance Hall in 1976.


Arranged in three series and two additions: I. Correspondence, 1901-1947 [returned at donor's request in 1979]. II. Writings and Miscellany, 1897-1928. III. Transferred Materials, 1905-1926.


7.25 Linear Feet

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist of philosophical writings, lecture notes, and teaching materials documenting Charles Bakewell's career as professor of philosophy at Yale University. His role as a political and civic leader in Connecticut, and his continuing relationship with New Haven's Italian community, can also be traced in political addresses, and in miscellaneous notes. Also included are documents, research materials, and sixteen volumes of photographs depicting the work of the American Red Cross in Italy during World War I, supporting his 1920 publication The Story of the American Red Cross in Italy.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Montague Bakewell, professor of philosophy in Yale University and political and civic leader in Connecticut, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on April 24, 1867, the son of Thomas and Josephine Alden (Maitland) Bakewell. He was a descendant of Benjamin Bakewell, who migrated from England to New Haven, Connecticut, in 1794, and of Timothy Alden, who founded Allegheny College. Thomas Bakewell moved with his family from Pennsylvania to California in 1886, at which time Charles transferred from the Western University of Pennsylvania to the University of California. He received his M.A. in 1891 and then continued his graduate studies at Harvard University. Having received his Ph.D in 1894, he completed his training at the Universities of Berlin, Strasbourg, and Paris between 1894 and 1896.

After teaching for one year at Harvard, Bakewell was appointed instructor in philosophy at the University of California in 1897. He came back east to teach at Bryn Mawr between 1898 and 1900, but then returned to Berkeley and remained there until 1905. In that year he was appointed professor of philosophy at Yale. He assumed the Sheldon Clark Chair three years later and held that position until his retirement in 1933. His philosophical publications were Source Book in Ancient Philosophy; editions of Plato, Emerson, William James, and Thomas Davidson; and many articles for professional philosphers and educated popular audiences. He was elected president of the American Philosophical Association in 1910.

Bakewell's interest in public service was a natural extension of his outlook as a teacher and philosopher, but he became prominent outside the academy only in the second half of his career. His 1913 lecture at the Naval War College, "Moral Training in Preparation for War," was published the following year. His article, "The Philosophy of War and Peace," appeared in The Bookman in May 1917. The following year he went to Italy as inspector and historian for the Italian Commission of the American Red Cross and he completed this assignment by publishing The Story of the American Red Cross in Italy.

Bakewell first ran for public office in 1920, when he was elected as a Republican to the Connecticut State Senate. He became chairman of the General Assembly's Committee on Education and served on the Committee on Public Health and Safety. Re-elected in 1922, he retained his chairmanship of the Committee on Education and was also appointed to the newly established Commission on Revision and Codification of the School Laws. After he left the senate, successive governors appointed him to the State Board of Healing Arts and the Commission to Investigate Pension Systems for Municipalities.

In the 1920s, Bakewell was also a civic leader. As he explained to Morris R. Cohen, "ever since my year in Italy during the War, the Italians of New Haven adopted me," (October 1923), and he frequently addressed meetings of their fraternal organizations. He was active in the Lions, helping to found the New Haven chapter and serving on the international board of directors. He also helped organize the Connecticut division of the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment, serving on the New Haven voluntary committee and the state executive committee.

Bakewell climaxed his political career by serving one term as Connecticut representative-at-large in the United States Congress. A vigorous opponent of the New Deal, he was defeated for re-election in 1934.

In 1899 Bakewell married Madeline Palmer, daughter of Henry W. Palmer, Pennsylvania attorney general and United States congressman. They had three children – Henry Palmer, Mildred Palmer (now Mrs. Richard Hooker), and Bradley Palmer. Charles Bakewell died in New Haven on September 19, 1957. He was survived by his children Henry and Mildred.

Guide to the Charles Montague Bakewell Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Susan Grigg, Janet Elaine Gertz, Carol King, and Dana Miller
January 1979
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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