North American Scholar

KELSEY, Francis Willey

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1858-05-23
  • Born City: Ogden
  • Born State/Country: NY
  • Parents: Henry & Olive Cornelia Trowbridge K.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1927-05-14
  • Death City: Ann Arbor
  • Death State/Country: MI
  • Married: Isabelle Badger, 22 Dec. 1886.
  • Education:

    A.B. U. Rochester, 1880; A.M., 1883; Ph.D. (hon.), 1886; LL.D., 1910; study in Europe, 1883, 1884-5.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. class. Lake Forest U., 1880-2; prof. Lat., 1882-9; prof. Lat. lang. & lit. U. Michigan, 1889-1927; ann. prof. ASCSR, 1900-1; pres. APA, 1906-7; pres. AIA, 1907-12; dir. U. Michigan expeditions to Near East, 1919, 1924, 1925; 1926; mem. Académie des Inscriptions et des Belles-Lettres; Deutsches Archäologisches Institut.

  • Publications:

    Cicero's Cato Major De senectute and Laelius De Amicitia, intro. & notes by James S. Reid (Boston, 1883); T. Lucreti Cari De Rerum Natura Libri Sex (Boston, 1884; 6th ed., 1906); C. Iulii Caesaris Commentarii rerum gestarum (Boston, 1886; 1917); August Maur Pompeii—Its Life and Art (trans.) (New York & London, 1889; 1904); P. Ovidii Nasonis Carmina Selecta (Boston & New York, 1891; 1906; 1925); Topical Outline of Latin Literature (Boston, 1891; rev. 1899); Fifty Topics in Roman Antiquities (Boston, 1891); Select Orations and Letters of Cicero (Boston, 1892-1911); Xenophon's Anabasis Books I-TV, with Andreas C. Zenos (Boston, 1889; 1898); Macmillan's Handbook of Archaeology and Antiquities, with Percy Gardner, (New York & London, 1896); C. Iul. Caesaris De Bello Gallico Libri VII (8th ed., Boston, 1897); "The Title of Caesar's Work," TAPA 36 (1905) 211-38; "The Cues of Caesar," CJ 2 (1906-7) 49-58; "Hirtius' Letter to Balbus and the Commentaries of Caesar," CP 2 (1907) 92-3; "Is There a Science of Classical Philology?," CP 3 (1908) 369-85; "The Problem of Religious Instruction in State Universities," Education and National Character, Religious EducationAssociation V (Chicago, 1908) 1-22; Latin and Greek in American Education (New York, 1911); Hugonis Grotii De jure belli ac pads libri tres, 2 vols. (ed. & trans. Book I) (Washington, DC, 1913-25); "A Waxed Tablet of the Year 128 A.D.," TAPA 54 (1923) 187-95; "A Picture Map of Rome in a Manuscript of Valerius Maximus," TAPA 56 (1925) 242-51; Excavations at Carthage, 1925; A Preliminary Report (New York & London, 1926); Third Year Latin (revision of his Cicero, with additions by B. Meinecke) (Boston, 1933).

  • Notes:

    Francis Willey Kelsey was instrumental in establishing the Classics Department at Michigan, which he served for 38 years, as a center for papyrological study. Well past his 60th year, he raised funds for the first University Archaeological Expedition to Antioch, Carthage, and Karanis, among other sites, one result of his careful supervision being the beginning of the university's great collections of papyri and artifacts. Earlier in his career Kelsey tirelessly defended the classics and enlisted the support of successful non-academic figures to write essays on the value of learning ancient languages, collected in Latin and Greek in American Education. He edited and secured funds for the publication of over 20 volumes of the Humanistic Series of the University of Michigan Studies. He was also a keen lover of music and brought his organizational skills to his presidency of the University Musical Society and to the establishment of the annual Music Festival on campus.

  • Sources:

    CP 22 (1927) 308; DAB 10:313; NatCAB 14:484; 26:461-2; Rochester Alumni Review (June-July 1927) 168; WhAm 1:664; John G. Winter, CJ 23 (1927-8) 4 (with portrait). Papers: U. Michigan archives.

  • Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.