Arthur Sherburne Hardy

Arthur Sherburne Hardy
Portrait from article "Arthur Sherburne Hardy, Poet, Soldier, Novelist, Mathematician, Editor" in The New York Times, November 19, 1893.
Born (1847-08-13)August 13, 1847
Andover, Massachusetts
Died March 14, 1930(1930-03-14) (aged 82)
Woodstock, Connecticut
Occupation engineer, educator, editor, diplomat, novelist, poet
Nationality United States
For the premier of Ontario 1896–1899, see Arthur Sturgis Hardy.

Arthur Sherburne Hardy or Arthur S. Hardy (August 13, 1847 – March 14, 1930) was an American engineer, educator, editor, diplomat, novelist, and poet.

Early life and education

Hardy was born in 1847 in Andover, Massachusetts, the son of Alpheus and Susan W. (Holmes) Hardy. He received his elementary school education abroad and thus gained an exposure to languages. He attended Phillips Academy and completed one year at Amherst College before becoming a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1865, where he excelled in languages. He graduated tenth in the class of 1869 and was commissioned a second lieutenant of artillery. His first duty was as assistant instructor of artillery tactics at West Point from July 6 to August 28 in the summer of 1869. He was then stationed in Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas in Florida. In this period after the Civil War, there was little chance of advancement in the Army so, after consulting with General William T. Sherman, he resigned in 1870.[1]


Hardy served as a short period as an engineer locating routes for railroads. Then he became a professor of mathematics at Grinnell College where he stayed until 1873. Then he became professor of civil engineering in the Chandler Scientific School at Dartmouth College, accepting the position on the condition that he be allowed to serve abroad for a year. He went to Paris where he followed the course of the Ecole des Ponts et Chausees as an eleve externe and simultaneously attended as many of the lectures as he could at the École des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts), Sorbonne, and Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (National Conservatory of Crafts and Industries). In 1878 he obtained the chair of mathematics at Dartmouth and served until 1893.[1]

According to "The Early History of the [Dartmouth] Mathematics Department 1769–1961":

The one example of mathematical competency was furnished by Arthur Sherburne Hardy who wrote a book on quaternions, an adequate, if not inspiring text. It was something for Dartmouth to offer a course in such an abstruse field, and the course was actually given a few times when a student and an instructor could be found simultaneously. In 1893 Professor Hardy failed in his ambition to be elected President of Dartmouth College. He resigned, entered the diplomatic service, and was successively Ambassador to Turkey, Greece, Switzerland, and Spain. He was also a novelist with a national reputation, and if a modern generation fails to find in his books the values which their great-grandfathers found, the fact remains that his books were best-sellers in their day.[2]

While teaching at Dartmouth, Hardy helped redesign the College Park behind his house. On his departure, he sold his house to the incoming President William Jewett Tucker (the house later became the official presidential residence, a medical laboratory, and the home of a chapter of the Delta Gamma sorority before being demolished.)

In 1893 Hardy became the editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, in which capacity he worked until 1895.[3]

Subsequent to his academic career and publishing career, Hardy was appointed as the United States ambassador to several countries:[3]

Hardy died in 1930 in Woodstock, Connecticut. His burial location is unknown.

Partial bibliography


  • But Yet a Woman (1883): "By a hitherto unknown writer" was "regarded as the hit of season of 1883"[4]
  • The Wind of Destiny (1886)
  • Passe Rose (1889)
  • His Daughter First (1903)
  • Helen (1916)
  • No. 13 Rue du Bon Diable (1917)

Short stories

  • Diane and Her Friends (collection, 1914)

Children's fiction

  • Aurélie (1912)


  • Francesca of Rimini (1878)
  • Dualty (1893)
  • Songs of Two (1900)



  • Elements of Quaternions (1881)
  • Imaginary Quantities (1881), a translation of a French treatise by Jean-Robert Argand
  • New Methods in Topographical Surveying (1883)
  • Elements of Analytic Geometry (1889)
  • Elements of Calculus (1890)



  1. 1 2 United States Military Academy: Biography Archived September 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. Dartmouth College: The Early History of the Mathematics Department 1769–1961
  3. 1 2 The Political Graveyard: Arthur Sherburne Hardy
  4. "Book Notices". The Week : a Canadian journal of politics, literature, science and arts. 1 (12): 190. 21 Feb 1884. Retrieved 26 April 2013.


Further reading

  • "Arthur Sherburne Hardy: Poet, Soldier, Novelist, Mathematician, Editor. Unity of His Life — The Poetry of Mathematics — Military Servitude and Grandeur — The Futility of Method and the Necessity for Experience and Suffering in Art and Literary Work — Ideas on Various Interesting Subjects"; The New York Times, November 19, 1893; p. 23.
  • "A. S. Hardy Dies: Former Diplomat, Ex-Minister to Persia Succumbs at 82 at His Home in Woodstock, Conn. West Point Graduate He Taught Mathematics at Dartmouth in 1878-93—Was Also Noted Author"; The New York Times, March 14, 1930; p. 16.
  • "Arthur Hardy, Former Envoy, Is Dead at 82: Had Been Minister to Several Countries, Professor, Army Officer and Author Famous as a Rifle Shot Helped to Establish First Golf Course at Athens"; New York Herald Tribune, March 14, 1930; p. 23.
  • "A. S. Hardy, Diplomat, Dies In Woodstock: Author and Professor Was Minister to Spain and Balkans — Wrote Several Novels Noted Author and Diplomat Is Dead"; The Hartford Courant, March 15, 1930; p. 4.
  • "Deaths. HARDY"; The New York Times, March 14, 1930; p. 16.
  • "Deaths. HARDY"; The New York Times, March 15, 1930; p. 14.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Alexander McDonald
United States Minister to Persia
Succeeded by
William P. Lord
Preceded by
William W. Rockhill
United States Minister to Greece
also accredited to Romania and Serbia

Succeeded by
Charles Spencer Francis
Preceded by
John G.A. Leishman
United States Minister to Switzerland
April 3, 1901–January 29, 1903
Succeeded by
Charles Paige Bryan
Preceded by
Bellamy Storer
United States Minister to Spain
Succeeded by
William Miller Collier
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.