Knox County’s Ernest Sutherland Bates is introduced in Twentieth Century Authors as an “American biographer, historian, and educator.” He is further described as an “advocate of free speech, a respected critic, whose writings were lucid, readable, and soundly considered.” From his writings it is obvious that he had a vital interest in religion and the Bible.
Bates was born in Gambier, Ohio, in 1879, the son of Cyrus and Lavern (Sutherland) Bates. His academic education includes A.B. and A.M. degrees from the University of Michigan. He taught English at Oberlin College from 1903 to 1905, and in 1908 received a PhD from Columbia University. Bates taught English and Philosophy at the University of Arizona from 1908 to 1915 and at the University of Oregon from 1915 to 1925. He resigned from the University of Oregon in 1925 over a free speech controversy, and moved with his family to New York. He spent the rest of his life in journalism and writing.
His career included many assignments in the literary world. He was the literary editor of the Dictionary of American Biography, associate editor of Modern Monthly, and staff member of the Saturday Review of Literature. Ernest Sutherland Bates died in 1939 of a sudden heart attack a few minutes after finishing the last page of his book, American Faith.
American Faith: Its Religious, Political, and Economic Foundations. 1940
The American Hurley-Burley (with A. Williams). 1937
The Bible Designed to be Read as Living Literature (ed.). 1936
The Biography of the Bible (Life of the Bible). 1937
The Four Gospels (ed.). 1932
The Friend of Jesus (The Gospel According to Judas Iscariot). 1925
The Gospel According to Judas Iscariot (The Friend of Jesus). 1929
Hearst: Lord of San Simeon (with O. Carlson). 1936
This Land of Liberty. 1930
Life of the Bible (The Biography of the Bible). 1953
Mary Baker Eddy: The Truth and the Tradition. 1932
The Pageant of the States. 1938
The Pocket Bible (ed.). 1951
Oxford Companion to American Literature (ed.). 1956
The Story of Congress 1789-1935. 1936
The Story of the Supreme Court. 1936
A Study of Shelley’s Drama. 1908
Touring in 1600. 1911