Andrew Dickson White House

The mansion of Cornell University cofounder Andrew Dickson White stands on the Cornell campus.

Andrew Dickson White was the cofounder (with Ezra Cornell) of Cornell University, the first major American institution of higher learning not to be affiliated with any religious body. As Cornell’s first president, White erected this imposing brick mansion on a hilltop that is now deep inside the Cornell campus. White was a religious man and frequently attended Unitarian services in Ithaca. But he believed that both religion and science would be best served if kept strictly separate. His hugely influential book History of the Warfare of Science with Theology depicted dogmatic religion (which he called "theology") as locked in a centuries-long war against science. Perhaps inadvertently, White cemented into Victorian thought the "military metaphor" of science and religion at war.

Since White’s History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom is now in the public domain, you can read the complete text online here.

This site has been included among two hundred sites on the New York State Path Through History, commemorating Cornell as New York’s only land grant university. For announcement, click here. For full list of Path Through History sites, click here.