Jane Stanford, Opponent of Academic Freedom

Now here’s an interest character from history. I doubt Stanford Uni thought the matter through when they chose to honor this wife of an 1800s Donald Trump in place of Junipero Serra. But what can one expect from philistines? History is, like, so not Current Year anymore.

Not that Jane herself was an interesting character. She was apparently loyal to her husband, Leland Stanford, the founder of the Central Pacific Railroad, onetime California governor and US Senator until his death. A powerful and wealthy man. They had one child, Junior, a son who died young from typhoid, and the couple built Stanford University in memory of him.

University Archives | Stanford University Libraries

Jane is credited by multiple sources with having insisted upon a coed student body. A quote from her inaugural speech, not actually given because she was too shy:

Click to access sc0033b_s5_b2_f04.pdf

I am also anxious that these young men should treat the young ladies who have entered this Institution with the greatest deference; that they will be helpful in aiding and cheering them in their ambition for a thorough education.

Definitely proto-feminist but she went on to praise manual labor in addition to “improving the mental faculties” so Jane wasn’t on the same level as the famous feminists of her time. She also capped female enrollment at 500 in fear that the university was becoming a womens’ school. You see, Stanford U charged no tuition until 1920 so it was a great way for hypergamous women to get their MRS degrees. An early derp in Red Pill history.

The main scandal of her rule over the administration (as a widow) was the Ross Affair, the result of which was tenure and the implementation of academic freedom in America… in opposition to Jane Stanford.


Ross Affair and departure from Stanford

In Stanford’s “first academic freedom controversy”, Ross was fired from Stanford because of his political views on eugenics. He objected to Chinese immigrant labor (on both economic and racial grounds: he was an early supporter of the “race suicide” doctrine and expressed his wish to restrict entry of other races in strong and crude language in public speeches) and Japanese immigration altogether. In the speech that was the catalyst for his potential firing and ultimate resignation, he was quoted as declaring:

And should the worst come to the worst it would be better for us if we were to turn our guns upon every vessel bringing Japanese to our shores rather than to permit them to land

In response, Jane Stanford called for his resignation.

In Ross’ public statement as to his resignation, he wrote about how his good friend, Dr. Jordan, was the one who asked him to make the unfortunate speech in the first place, which ended up being surrounded with so much controversy. Jordan managed to keep Ross from being fired, but Ross resigned shortly after. The position was at odds with the university’s founding family, the Stanfords, who had made their fortune in Western rail construction, a major employer of coolie laborers.

In honesty, Ross couldn’t have expected a different fate. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. But his sentiments are remarkably relevant to modern immigration concerns.

From the American Association of University Professors, founded in the wake of Ross’ firing:


In 1900, when noted economist Edward Ross lost his job at Stanford University because Mrs. Leland Stanford didn’t like his views on immigrant labor and railroad monopolies, other professors were watching. The incident stuck in the mind of Arthur O. Lovejoy, philosopher at Johns Hopkins. When he and John Dewey organized a meeting in 1915 to form an organization to ensure academic freedom for faculty members, the AAUP was born. At that time, the notion of “academic freedom” was still a novel concept.

We need to repeal academic freedom. Its original purpose was to prevent retaliation from authorities. No wonder higher education is a swamp of Leftism, if its academic freedom was intended from the very beginning to encourage subversion. Protection from consequences attracts Leftoids like garbage attracts flies. Ross himself went on to become an apologist for Communism.

Interestingly, as an aside, Ross believed that the closing of the frontier led directly to the death of America’s ability to assimilate immigrants. His contemporary Frederick Jackson Turner is a better starting point for those inclined to read up on the “frontier thesis”.

Another aside is his ally, University President David Jordan, a fellow eugenicist and equally interesting character. From wikipedia:

In March 1891, he was approached by Leland and Jane Stanford, who offered him the presidency of their about-to-open California university, Leland Stanford Junior University. Andrew White, the president of Cornell, had recommended Jordan to the Stanfords based on an educational philosophy fit with the Stanfords’ vision of a non-sectarian, co-educational school with a liberal arts curriculum. He quickly accepted the offer. Jordan arrived at Stanford in June 1891 and immediately set about recruiting faculty for the university’s planned September opening. Pressed for time, he drew heavily on his own acquaintances; most of the fifteen founding professors came either from Indiana University or Cornell. That first year at Stanford he was instrumental in establishing the university’s Hopkins Marine Station. He served Stanford as president until 1913 and then chancellor until his retirement in 1916. The university decided not to renew his three-year-term as chancellor in 1916. As the years went on, Jordan became increasingly alienated from the university.

While chancellor, he was elected president of the National Education Association. Jordan was a member in the Bohemian Club and the University Club in San Francisco. Jordan served as a Director of the Sierra Club from 1892 to 1903.

In retirement, Jordan served as an evolution expert witness for the defense in the 1925 Scopes Trial.

Jane Stanford was eventually murdered by strychnine poisoning in a case so sensational that it made online research difficult.

In closing, I find it fitting that Leland Stanford Jr, University (its full, official name) should honor Jane Stanford, an early feminist, enemy of academic freedom and profiteer from Chinese immigration, in place of Junipero Serra, a devout Christian who first brought civilization to the pagan locals.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.


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