Uma história curiosa

A história que aqui é contada é fofa e, seguramente, tem alguma coisa de verdade.

Todavia, não me convence inteiramente por uma simples razão: o homem de aparência humilde que esperou em Harvard para ser atendido era, apenas e só, um ex-Governador do Estado da Califórnia. Depois, há outro detalhe: segundo a página da Universidade de Stanford o que ele propôs originalmente não terá sido a criação de um novo edifício em Boston, mas sim a abertura de uma sucursal de Harvard no Estado da Califórnia.

Enfim, é como digo: a história é fofa, apela aos bons sentimentos mas… há sempre um “mas”, é de verosimilhança duvidosa.

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Uma resposta a Uma história curiosa

  1. Pronto! A “estória” é mesmo falsa. No site da Universidade de Stanford esclarece-se tudo:

    “Were Leland and Jane Stanford snubbed by the president of Harvard University? Did Leland Jr. attend Harvard before his death in an accident?

    A widely-circulated tale describes Leland and Jane Stanford’s supposed visit to Harvard University’s president, dressed in a suit of homespun cloth and a faded gingham dress. Harvard’s president, the story goes, rebuffed their offer of money for the University (to be given in memory of their son, Leland Jr.), and so the couple went west and founded Leland Stanford Junior University.

    Leland Stanford Junior was just short of his 16th birthday when he died of typhoid fever in Florence, Italy on March 13, 1884. He had not spent a year at Harvard before his death, nor was he “accidentally killed.” Following Leland Junior’s death, Leland and Jane Stanford determined to found an institution in his name that would serve the “children of California.”

    Detained on the East Coast following their return from Europe, the Stanfords visited a number of universities and consulted with the presidents of each. The account of their visit with Charles W. Eliot at Harvard is actually recounted by Eliot himself in a letter sent to David Starr Jordan (Stanford’s first president) on 1919 Jun 26. At the point the Stanfords met with Eliot they had not yet decided whether to establish a university, a technical school or a museum. Eliot recommended a university and told them the endowment should be $5 million. Accepted accounts indicate that Jane and Leland looked at each other and agreed they could manage that amount.

    The thought of Leland and Jane Stanford, by this time quite wealthy, arriving at Harvard in a homespun threadbare suit and faded gingham dress is amusing, but highly inaccurate. It also is unlikely that Leland Stanford, a former governor of California and well-known railroad baron, and his wife Jane were knowingly kept waiting outside Eliot’s office. The Stanfords also visited Cornell, MIT, and Johns Hopkins.

    Leland and Jane Stanford established two institutions in Leland Junior’s name – the University and the Museum, which was originally planned for San Francisco, but moved to adjoin the university.”

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