[ban-krawft, -kroft, bang-]
Bancroft, Anne, 1931-2005, American actress, b. New York City as Anna Maria Italiano. Her New York stage debut in Two for the Seesaw (1958) was a major triumph. She was acclaimed for her performance in The Miracle Worker (1959) and won an Academy Award for the 1962 film version. Her role as the predatorily seductive Mrs. Robinson in Mike Nichols' The Graduate (1967) is a cinema classic. An extremely versatile and active performer, Bancroft starred in dozens of films, including The Pumpkin Eater (1964), Seven Women (1966), The Turning Point (1977), Agnes of God (1985), Torch Song Trilogy (1988), Great Expectations (1998), and Up at the Villa (2000). With husband Mel Brooks, she appeared in Silent Movie (1975) and To Be or Not To Be (1983). In 1980, she directed her first movie, Fatso, in which she also acted. After a 21-year absence from the stage, Bancroft starred as sculptor Louise Nevelson in Albee's off-Broadway play Occupant (2002).
Bancroft, Edward, 1744-1821, spy in the American Revolution, b. Westfield, Mass. While living in London, he became a friend of Benjamin Franklin and in the Revolution began to operate as an American secret agent. He reported to the American commissioners in France, but, unknown to them, he was a double agent and reported their movements to the British. Bancroft in 1778 gave advance information of the Franco-American alliance to the British. Evidence of his duplicity was revealed by Paul L. Ford in 1891.

See L. Einstein, Divided Loyalties (1933).

Bancroft, George, 1800-1891, American historian and public official, b. Worcester, Mass. He taught briefly at Harvard and then at the Round Hill School in Northampton, Mass., of which he was a founder and proprietor. He then turned definitively to writing. His article (Jan., 1831) in the North American Review attacking the Bank of the United States delighted Jacksonian Democrats, and in 1834 Bancroft became an avowed apostate from New England Federalism. In that year also appeared the first volume of his monumental work, A History of the United States (10 vol., 1834-74; revised into 6 vol. by the author in 1876 and 1883-85). As a reward for his speeches and writings for the Democratic cause he was appointed (1837) collector of the port of Boston by President Martin Van Buren, and as the dispenser of the patronage of that office Bancroft was the Democratic boss in Massachusetts. He was defeated for the governorship in 1844, but President Polk, whom he had helped nominate, made him Secretary of the Navy. In that post (Mar., 1845-Sept., 1846) he established the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and issued the standing orders under which Capt. John D. Sloat, commanding the Pacific squadron, seized California ports on the outbreak of the Mexican War. That conflict formally began in May, 1846, when Bancroft, then serving also as acting Secretary of War, gave the order that sent Gen. Zachary Taylor into Mexico. While minister to Great Britain (1846-49), he diligently collected materials for his History in British and French archives. Bancroft, an antislavery Democrat, came to support Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War and on Feb. 12, 1866, delivered the official memorial address on Lincoln before the Congress (he had also been the official eulogist of Andrew Jackson in 1845). He is assumed to have written President Andrew Johnson's first message to Congress, and in 1867 Johnson appointed him minister to Prussia. He held the post until 1874. Although his famous History is little read today, it was an important landmark in American historiography, and it remains valuable for its extensive use of source materials. The History is violently anti-British and intensely patriotic and leaves no doubt that the author was passionately sincere in his devotion to democracy. Acknowledged partisan that he was, Bancroft, the first American trained in the so-called scientific school of German historical scholarship, nevertheless insisted that his was an objective interpretation; the high praise his work won from the great Leopold von Ranke as the best history ever written from the democratic point of view annoyed as well as gratified him. His literary style was sonorous and rather ponderous, although some passages still have an emotional appeal.

See biographies by M. A. De Wolfe Howe (1908) and R. B. Nye (1944, repr. 1964); study by R. H. Canary (1974).

Bancroft, Hubert Howe, 1832-1918, American publisher and historian, b. Granville, Ohio. Bancroft began his career as a bookseller in San Francisco in 1852. Soon he had his own firm, the largest book and stationery business W of Chicago. He also developed a passion for collecting materials on the western regions of North and South America, from Alaska to Patagonia. After toying with the idea of compiling an encyclopedia, he settled on the publication of a prodigious history (39 vol., 1874-90), reissued (1882-90) as The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft. The Works cover the history and to some extent the anthropology of Central America, Mexico, and the Far West of the United States. The first 5 volumes concern the native races, the next 28 the Pacific states, and the last 6 are essays. Literary Industries, the 39th volume, contains autobiographical material and an account of Bancroft's historical method. About a dozen assistants—out of hundreds Bancroft had tried out in his "history factory"—did the actual writing of the Works; Bancroft personally wrote very little. Because his assistants were not given credit lines and because of Bancroft's rather unethical business practices, Bancroft and the Works were at first severely attacked. However, his enormous contribution soon received just recognition. When Bancroft presented his library to the Univ. of California (1905) it contained about 60,000 items, including rare manuscripts, maps, books, pamphlets, transcripts of archives made by his staff, and personal narratives of early pioneers as recorded by his reporters. Known as the Bancroft Library, the collection remains an outstanding repository of the history of the West.

See biography by J. W. Caughey (1946, repr. 1970).

Bancroft, Marie Effie Wilton, Lady, 1839-1921, English actress and manager. She made her debut (1856) at the Lyceum Theatre, London, and in 1865 became joint manager of the Prince of Wales's Theatre, London, with Sir Squire Bancroft, 1841-1926, whose entire name was Squire Bancroft White Butterfield. They were married in 1867. With their production of Caste in the same year, the Bancrofts, as co-stars, began an association with its author, Tom Robertson, that was to prove most successful. Their presentations of his plays, which were more true to life than the current melodramas, and their utilization of the reforms of Mme Vestris introduced realism to the 19th-century English stage. They continued their work at the Haymarket theater in London (1880-85). The Bancrofts appeared together until 1886, when Mrs. Bancroft retired. Squire Bancroft was knighted in 1895.

See their joint memoirs, Mr. and Mrs. Bancroft, on and off the Stage (1888) and Recollections of Sixty Years (1909).

Bancroft, village (1991 pop. 2,383), SE Ont., Canada, on the York River. Its industries include milling, quarrying, dairying, lumbering, and tourism. The Bancroft Gemboree is an annual gathering of rock collectors.
Bancroft is a city in the Gem Valley of Caribou County, Idaho, United States. The population was 382 at the 2000 census.


Bancroft is located at (42.719440, -111.886194), in the Portneuf Valley. It is a railroad town and lies on the historic route of old U.S. Highway 30. The elevation is 5,420 feet.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.7 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 382 people, 144 households, and 103 families residing in the city. The population density was 580.0 people per square mile (223.5/km²). There were 172 housing units at an average density of 261.2/sq mi (100.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.69% White, 0.26% African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.52% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.79% of the population.

There were 144 households out of which 38.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.9% were married couples living together, 4.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.8% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.4% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 22.0% from 25 to 44, 25.4% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 84.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,458, and the median income for a family was $43,125. Males had a median income of $46,250 versus $20,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,549. About 9.7% of families and 15.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.3% of those under age 18 and 21.5% of those age 65 or over.


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