White, Russel, Hart, and Crane conveyed their enthusiasm for the Middle Ages to their students. Under White’s tutelage, one student, George Lincoln Burr, became a distinguished scholar of medieval and Renaissance history. After Burr graduated from Cornell, White made arrangements for him to travel to Europe in order to deepen his knowledge of medieval history. Young American students were attracted to Germany to study with the likes of Leopold von Ranke (whose library and desk were later acquired by Syracuse University) and to learn the new wissenschaftlich or scientific method that ostensibly made it possible to reconstruct history as it actually occurred (wie es eigentlich geschehen ist). It is estimated that, in the 1890s, more than half of all American historians had trained in Germany.

Portrait of George Lincoln Burr, n.d., Uris Library