Correspondence about Professor Ross' dismissal, including resignation letters of faculty departing in protest, news clippings,
pamphlets, and pamphlets by Ross.
In the late 1890s, sociology professor Edward A. Ross gained notoriety following several years of political activism in favor
of the free silver movement, municipal ownership of utilities (including the railroads), and Japanese exclusion. While Mrs.
Stanford found his opinions personally objectionable, her main concern was the reputation of the univeristy which, she felt,
would be damaged by hasty espousal of political and social fads. The founders had intended the university to be free from
the pressures of political partisanship; the apolitical nature of the university was now endangered by Ross's activities.
Publicly, Mrs. Stanford affirmed President Jordan's power as defined in the Founding Grant to "remove professors and teachers
at will," giving him full responsibility for clearing up the matter; however, privately, she pressed for Ross's dismissal.
She disagreed with Ross's economic theories and was indignant about the idea of municipal ownership of the railroads, but
she was particularly shocked by his anti-Japanese stand. Mrs. Stanford identified such attitudes with the earlier anti-Chinese
movement instigated by Dennis Kearny and its resulting "reign of terror" which had pervaded San francisco. Ross, she felt,
was a racist.
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