1931 - 1989

Dr. Ernest John Knapton

Member of the history department from 1931 to 1969 and professor emeritus from 1969 to 1989, Dr. Knapton was educated at the University of British Columbia, Oxford University (where he was a Rhodes Scholar) and Harvard University. During his scholastic career, Dr. Knapton was considered to be the foremost Napoleonic scholar in the United States. His numerous publications included Lady of the Holy Alliance (1939), and Empress Josephine (1963).

Ernest Knapton was a visiting professor at Harvard, Brown, University of Washington, University of British Columbia and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. “He [was] recognized, both in the United States and Europe, as this country’s leading authority on Napoleon” (Cape Cod Times, 3 Sept. 1978). He was the only American representative to the Third International Congress of Napoleonic Studies in May 1969 at Portoferraio on the island of Elba, for the bicentennial celebration of Napoleon’s birth, where he read a paper.

In 1971, Knapton Hall was redesigned as a center for the social sciences, and renamed Knapton Hall in honor of Dr. Ernest John Knapton.

In 1972, he was awarded an honorary degree.