Arthur Sherburne Hardy, USMA 1869



Arthur Sherburne Hardy, born in Andover, Massachusetts, was an engineer, educator, editor, diplomat, novelist, and poet. He received his elementary school education abroad and thus gained an exposure to languages. He completed one year at Amherst before becoming a USMA cadet in 1865, where he excelled in languages. He graduated tenth in the class of 1869 and was commissioned a 2nd 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, 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.

He 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, accepting the position on the condition that he be allowed to serve abroad for a year [manuscript source listed below]. 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 Beaux Arts, Sorbonne, and Conservatoire des Arts. In 1878 he obtained the chair of mathematics at Dartmouth and served until 1893.

"The one example of mathematical competency was furnished by Arthur Sherburn 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." [Quoted from "The Early History of the [Dartmouth] Mathematics Department 1769 - 1961, by Bancroft H. Brown.]

From 1893 to 1895 he served as a coeditor of Cosmopolitan magazine. Then in 1897 he began a period of eight years in the diplomatic service. He served as U.S. minister to Persia (1897), Greece (1899-1901), Rumania (1899), Serbia (1899), Switzerland (1901-1903), and Spain (1902-1905).

I need to track down the source of his comment about the Olivier models in the department. 


Author: Argand, Jean Robert, b. 1768
Title: Imaginary quantities; their geometrical interpretation, tr. from the French of M. Argand by Prof. A. S. Hardy
Collation: xvi, [17]-135 p. diagr. 15 cm
Imprint: New York, D. Van Nostrand, 1881    
           USAM SPECIAL COLL-FL 4  QA255 .A713 

Title: Elements of quaternions.
Collation: viii, 1 l., 230 p. diagrs. 21 cm.
Imprint: Boston, Ginn, Heath, & co., 1881.  Another edition 1887.

This can be found in digitalized form at the Cornell University Library Math Book Collection:

Title: Topographical surveying, including topographical surveying by Geo. J. Specht, C.E.; new methods in topographical surveying, by Prof. A.S. Hardy; geometry of position applied to surveying by John B. McMaster C.E., coordinate surveying by Henry F. Walling C.E
Collation: 210 p. illus. 15 cm.
Imprint: New York, D. Van Nostrand, 1898 (2d ed., rev.), 1910 (4th ed., rev.)

Title: Elements of the differential and integral calculus : method of rates
Collation: xi, 239 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Imprint: Boston [Mass.] : Ginn, 1898, c1890. I own a copy of this.

Title: Elements of analytic geometry
Collation: xii, 229 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
Imprint: Boston : Ginn, 1891. Another edition 1899.

USMA SPECIAL COLL-FL 4  QA551 .H26 1897 


Should try to buy some of these and give them to the library. 

Title: Francesca of Rimini. A poem. By A. S. H.
Collation: 46 p. 19 cm.
Imprint: Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott & co., 1878.

Title: But yet a woman; a novel
Collation: 2 p. l., 348 p. 19 cm.
Imprint: Boston, New York, Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1883.
 Still in print: ISBN: 083697039X $29.95:

Title: The wind of destiny
Collation: 1 p. l., 307 p. 19 cm.
Imprint: Boston, New York, Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1886. Another is 1887.
Review by Susan Dickenson (1830-1913):

Title: But yet a woman; a novel
Collation: 2 p. l., 348 p. 18 cm.
Imprint: Boston, New York, Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1888.

Title: Passe Rose
Collation: 1 p. l., 361 p. 19 cm.
Imprint: Boston, New York, Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1889.
    USMA Special Collections: PS1792 .P37 1889 

Title: Life and letters of Joseph Hardy Neesima
Collation: vi, 350 p. illus. 20 cm.
Imprint: Boston, Houghton, Mifflin, 1892.
Subjects: Nessima, Joseph Hardy, 1843-1890.
    USMA Archives: BV3457.N4 H3 1892d 

Title: Songs of two
Collation: 3 p. l., 36 p. 20 cm.
Imprint: New York, C. Scribner's Sons, 1900.
    USMA Special Collections: PS1792 .S7 

Title: His daughter first
Collation: 3 p. l., 349, [1] p. 20 cm.
Imprint: London, New York, Harper and Brothers, 1903.

Title: Aurelie; with illustrations by Elizabeth Shippen Green.
Collation: 3 p. l., 30, [1] p. col. front., illus., col. pl. 23 cm.
Imprint: New York, Harper & Brothers, 1912.

Title: Diane and her friends; with illustrations by Elizabeth Shippen Green.
Collation: 298 p. front., plates. 20 cm.
Imprint: Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin company, 1914.

Title: Helen
Collation: 3 p. l., 3-314, [2] p. front. 20 cm.
Imprint: Boston, New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916.

Title: No. 13, rue du Bon Diable.
Collation: 3 p. l., 212, [2] p. front., illus., plates. 19 cm.
Imprint: Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin company, 1917.

Title: Things remembered
Collation: 3 p. l., 311 p. front., plates., ports. 23 cm.
Imprint: Boston, New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1923.

Author: Richardson, Dorothy Hardy, 1887?-
Title: A May and November correspondence, [by] Dorothy Hardy Richardson [and] Arthur Sherburne Hardy; the cover drawing by Elizabeth Shippen Green Elliott.
Collation: 24p. front., col. plates, ports., facsims. 24cm.
Imprint: New York, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1928.


Oration delivered in the Chapel of the U.S. Military Academy, July 4th, 1868 / by Cadet Hardy, [West Point, N.Y.] : Printed for the Corps of Cadets, [1868], USMA Archives: U410.P3 .H37 1868 


Papers, 2 items, Typescript copies, USMA SPEC Mss. Summary: Army officer, Editor and Author. Two undated copies of his writings, "Einstein and the Unskilled Mathematician" and "The Divine Shorthand: Familiar Talks about Mathematics."  I don't have copies of these. They are long (> 100 pages) and would make an interesting student project to evaluate them.

Writings, 2 items, Typescript copies of fiction: "The Sergent's Story" and "Cynthia's White Lie." The archivists read these in March 2001 and encouraged me to read them. The fiction is quite interesting. 

Title: Letter, 1891 January 13, Hanover, N.H., to Isaac W. Smith, Manchester, N.H.
Collation: 2 p. on 1 fold. leaf. 16 cm.
Notes: Holograph signed. Is unable to accept invitation from the Manchester alumni.
Subjects: Dartmouth College -- Alumni.
Other Authors: Smith, Isaac W. (Isaac William), 1825-1898.
Dartmouth Location: Special Collections, Manuscript 891113

Title: Letter, 1891 June 20, Hanover, N.H., to Isaac Smith [n.p.]
Collation: 1 p. 20 cm.
Notes: Holograph signed.
CONTENTS--Wishes Board approval by formal vote for his leave of absence.
Subjects: Dartmouth College -- Faculty.  Dartmouth College Trustees.
Other Authors: Smith, Isaac W. (Isaac William), 1825-1898.
Dartmouth Location: Special Collections, Manuscript 891370

22 of the items above can be found in the Dartmouth Library, but I did not keep the call numbers (except on the manuscripts).


Davis, E. G., “Distinguished graduates of the U. S. M. A. in civil life. IV. The Honorable Arthur Sherburne Hardy, Army and Navy Life, vol. 4, year ????, 270-274. Photocopy from Pappus collection.

Stewart, E. Kate, Arthur Sherburne Hardy: man of American letters.  Publish info Potomac, Md., U.S.A.: Scripta Humanistica, [1986], 128 p. ; 22 cm. Stewart received her PhD at The University of Mississippi with an 1983 dissertation with the same title. It is 198 pages in length. Details and abstract are in his file.

Pattee, Fred Lewis, 1863- , ed., Century readings in the American short story, edited and annotated by Fred Lewis Pattee. Publish info: New York ; London : The Century co., c1927. Contains “The mystery of Celestine” by Hardy.

Harkins, E. F. (Edward Francis), 1872-, Little pilgrimages among the men who have written famous books. Second series, by E. F. Harkins. Publish info: Boston, L. C. Page, 1903.
 There is a chapter about Hardy.

Source for diplomatic service:


Arney, Chris, West Point's Scientific 200: Celebration of the Bicentennial. Biographies of 200 of West Point's Most Successful and Influential Mathematicians, Scientists, Engineers, and Technologists, 2002.


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Updated 2 March 2001.