Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Cance, Alexander E. (Alexander Edmond), 1874-

Alexander E. Cance Papers, 1911-1951.
6 boxes (2.75 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 045

Alexander E. Cance
Alexander E. Cance

Professor and Head of the Agricultural Economics Department at the Massachusetts Agricultural College who also worked briefly for Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Hoover, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture.

Includes biographical materials, correspondence concerning Cance’s role in the agricultural cooperative movement, addresses, articles (both in typescript and published), lectures, book reviews, typescript of a Carnegie study of factors in agricultural economics, a summary of a U.S. Senate report of which he was co-author, “Agricultural Cooperation and Rural Credit in Europe,” and research material. No documentation of his role as a delegate to the Hoover Conference on Economic Crisis, 1920, or his position as Supervisor of Market Research with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1922.

Biographical Note

Alexander E. Cance, Professor and Head of the Agricultural Economics Department at the University of Massachusetts, was born in 1874 in Wisconsin. In 1891 he graduated from the academy of Gale College, Galesville, Wisconsin, and taught physics, mathematics, and science through the next year (1892). From there he went to Macalester College of St. Paul, Minnesota, where he received his B.A. in 1896. For the next three years (1896-1899) he taught Mathematics, Greek, Latin, and English Literature at Avalon College, Missouri. In 1900 he taught Mathematics at Diploma Teachers College, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Cance then spent three years teaching on the high school level, first at Ganesville, Wisconsin (1901), then as Principal of the Industrial and Farm School, Asheville, North Carolina (1902-1904). Cance then returned to Wisconsin, where he earned the M.A. in Psychology and Education (1906) and his Ph.D. in Economics (1908) from the University of Wisconsin.

In the fall of 1909 Cance came to the Massachusetts Agricultural College and initiated his work in Agricultural Cooperation. By 1910 he had organized the first course in “Cooperation in Agriculture” to be offered in the United States. In 1912 he was made the Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, a post he retained until 1935.

Dr. Cance also served in a variety of roles outside the University. In 1913 he was appointed to President Woodrow Wilson’s Committee of Seven to Study Cooperation and Credit in Europe. While serving on this committee he visited cooperative leaders in fourteen countries and assisted in the editing of the four volumes published by the U.S. Senate in 1914. In 1916 the Bureau of the Census selected Cance to make a field study and report on Agriculture in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Directly after the end of World War I, Cance served with the Army Education Corps as Head of the Department of Economics at the University of Beaune, France (1919). Here he taught courses in Agricultural Economics to American servicemen stationed in France. Upon his return to the United States in 1920 he was selected as a delegate to the Hoover Conference on the Economic Crisis, where he served as a member of the Committee for the Agricultural Report. In 1922 he was made Supervisor of Market Research for the United States Department of Agriculture in the Bureau of Agricultural Economics. This was to be Cance’s last extended absence from the Massachusetts Agricultural College; he dedicated the rest of his career to expanding the college.

Dr. Cance retired in June 1942 from Massachusetts State College (formerly the Massachusetts Agricultural College). He was honored with a D.Sc. by his Alma Mater, Macalester College, in June 1948. The Institute of Cooperation honored him at its 1948 session in Amherst for his lifetime service to the cooperative movement.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers document Alexander Cance’s distinguished career as professor and Head of the Agricultural Economics Department at the Massachusetts Agricultural College. They include biographical material, a small amount of correspondence (largely professional), addresses, typescripts of articles, an annotated typescript of his book Agricultural Marketing (1916), publications, book reviews, lectures, press notices, research material, lectures and articles by others on agricultural cooperation and economics, and newsclippings.

Well-documented and representing the bulk of the collection are Cance’s writings. They include a substantial number of addresses (1925-1934; n.d.), articles both in typescript (1912-1926; n.d.) and published (1911-1925), lectures (n.d.), book reviews (1912-1932), and the Carnegie Study of Factors in Agricultural Economics (1914).

Other materials include: a Senate Report of the American Commission Investigating Cooperative Agriculture in Europe, entitled “Agricultural Cooperation and Rural Credit in Europe” (1914); a small amount of correspondence concerning Cance’s role in the agricultural cooperative movement; and some miscellaneous research material.

Largely absent from this collection, with the exception of a few of his lectures, are materials related to his role as a teacher. In addition, these papers include no documentation of Cance’s activities as a delegate to the Hoover Conference on Economic Crisis (1920), or his position as Supervisor of Market Research with the United States Department of Agriculture (1922).

This collection is organized into two series:


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Alexander E. Cance Papers (RG 40/11 Cance). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Acquired prior to 1972.

Processing Information

Processed by Guy A. McLain Jr, Kenneth Fones-Wolf, 1983 and 1985.


Additional Information

Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Language
English.


Contents List
Series 1. Writings
1910-1948, n.d.
Biographical materials
n.d.
Box 1:1
Memoirs of an Irresponsible Executive
n.d.
Box 1:2
Correspondence
1945-1948
Box 1:3
Addresses
1911-1934
Box 1:4-9
Articles
1911-1928
Box 1:10-11
Articles-Typescripts
1910-1919
Box 1:12-13
Articles-Typescripts
1920-1933
Box 2:14
Book reviews
1912-1932
Box 2:15
Book typescripts
1916, n.d.
Box 2:16-17
Carnegie Study report
1914
Box 2:18
Course Lectures
n.d.
Box 2:19
Course Outlines
1917-1931
Box 2:20
Press notices
n.d.
Box 2:21
Writings-Typescripts
n.d.
Box 2:22-24
Series 2. Research Files
1909-1949
Agricultural Economics-Research
1925
Box 3:1
Agricultural Production
1909-1934
Box 3:2-3
Agricultural Production Costs
1916
Box 3:4
Agricultural Subsidies
1917
Box 3:5
Agricultural Survey- Belchertown
1912
Box 3:6
Agricultural-Massachusetts
1913-1925
Box 3:7
American Inst. of Cooperation
1932
Box 3:8
Banks and Agriculture
1916
Box 3:9
Bibliographies
1914-1949
Box 3:10-11
Capper-Volstead Act
1922
Box 3:12
Connecticut Valley Tobacco Growers Assoc.
1917-1929
Box 3:13
Consumers’ Societies
1915
Box 3:14
Cooperation-Massachusetts
1918-1928
Box 3:15
Cooperative Associations-Massachusetts
1914-1934
Box 3:16
Cooperative Legislation
1913-1934
Box 3:17-18
Cooperative Legislation-Massachusetts
1913-1937
Box 4:19-20
Country Life
1927
Box 4:21
County Farm Bureau
1914-1919
Box 4:22
Credit Unions
1914-1918
Box 4:23
Dairy Planning
1925-1929
Box 4:24
Disarmament
1926-1933
Box 4:25
Egg Selling Exchange
1914
Box 4:26
Farm Accounting
1914-1919
Box 4:27
Farm Labor
1912-1916
Box 4:28
Farm Labor Cooperatives
1912-1914
Box 4:29
Farmers’ Commercial Assoc.
n.d.
Box 4:30
Farmers’ Cooperative Exchanges
1914-1922
Box 4:31-32
Food Marketing Research
1916-1928
Box 4:33-34
Food Supply
1917
Box 4:35
Fruit Growers’ Cooperatives
1915-1917
Box 4:36
Immigrants
1911-1916
Box 4:37
Labor Problems
1918
Box 4:38
Land Banks
1915-1917
Box 5:39
Land Depreciation
1913-1914
Box 5:40
Land Tenure
1911-1922
Box 5:41
Land Utilization
1916-1917
Box 5:42
Livestock Planning
1920-1925
Box 5:43
Manufacturing Investment
1918
Box 5:44
Massachusetts Dairymen’s Assoc.
1932
Box 5:45
Massachusetts Fruit Growers’ Assoc.
1920-1923
Box 5:46
New England Agricultural Survey
n.d.
Box 5:47
New England Dairies
1926-1932
Box 5:48
New England Institute of Cooperation
1928
Box 5:49
New England Milk Producers’ Assoc.
1916-1922
Box 5:50
Polish Corporation Store
1911
Box 5:51
Principles of Cooperation
1915-1923
Box 5:52
Rural Credit
1915-1917
Box 5:53
Rural Credit Conditions
1916
Box 5:54-56
Rural Credit Legislation
1916
Box 5:57
Rural Problems
1920
Box 5:58-59
Rural Social Life
1917-1925
Box 5:60
Sovereigns of Industry
1911
Box 5:61
State Aid to Agriculture
1915-1920
Box 5:62
Statistics-Massachusetts
1910-1925
Box 6:63
Student Papers
n.d.
Box 6:64
Surveys
1915-1920
Box 6:65
Tobacco Marketing
1927
Box 6:66
Vegetable Marketing Cooperatives
1916-1917
Box 6:67
Vermont Cooperative Creameries
1920
Box 6:68
World Agriculture Society
1919
Box 6:69
YMCA War Work
1918
Box 6:70
Subjects
  • Massachusetts Agricultural College--Faculty
  • Massachusetts Agricultural College. Department of Agricultural Economics
  • Massachusetts Agricultural College. Department of Agricultural Economics
  • Massachusetts State College--Faculty
Contributors
  • Cance, Alexander E. (Alexander Edmond), 1874-
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