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Charles W. Eliot. Cabinet card, ca. 1875. Harvard University Archives, HUP Eliot, Charles W. (25b)

C.W.Eliot was confirmed President yesterday—His great personal defects—tactlessness—meddlesomeness—and disposition to cherish petty grudges seem pretty universally acknowledged—but his ideas seem good and his economic powers first rate—so in the absence of any other possible candidate, he went in.” -- Letter to Henry Bowditch, 22 May 1869.

A second turning point in James’s life occurred in 1872, when his friend Henry Bowditch secured for him a substitute position teaching physiology, if Charles W. Eliot, the new president of the college, consented. He did, and James began the career that would engage him for the rest of his life.