Bancroft, George, born in Massachusetts in 1800, was educated at Harvard College, at Gottingen, and at Berlin. He wrote in early life a volume of poems, translated Heeren's Reflections on the Politics of Ancient Greece, and began his great historical task, but entering the service of the Democratic Government became successively collector of the port of Boston, secretary to the navy, and minister plenipotentiary at the English Court, where he won much esteem. He retired in 1849 to devote himself to literature, writing frequently in reviews, and composing the chief work of his life, The History of the United States. From 1867 to 1871 he resided as American minister in Berlin. As a historian he is painstaking, philosophical, and tolerably impartial, but his style lacks brightness, and he gives the impression of being weighed down beneath the burden of his materials. He died in 1891.