Skip to main content
ITEM — Box: 3, Volume: 1 Identifier: UAI 15.1404

[Will of Daniel Williams], 1721 Digital

Scope and Contents

Printed 44-page copy of the 1711 Last Will and Testament of Daniel Williams in a parchment binding with blank interleaved pages. The volume is accompanied by a one-page 1796 letter from Benjamin Colman to an unidentified "Hond. Sir" (the owner of the volume) with extracts from the will related to bequests to support conversion in "Infidel Countrys."


  • 1721

Researcher Access

The Wills naming Harvard as a beneficiary are open for research.


1.57 cubic feet (1 legal document box, 1 flat box, 1 oversized volume, 6 volumes, and 2 folders)

Biographical / Historical

Daniel Williams (c. 1643-1716) was an influential Welsh Presbyterian theologian. Williams held ministries in Ireland and England, and became an influential Dissenter in London. He was often involved in sectarian controversy, and published a number of religious treatises including Gospel-truth Stated and Vindicated in 1692. Upon his death in 1716, much of Williams’s estate was divided among charitable and educational institutions, including Harvard College.

The will of Daniel Williams bequeathed annual funds to Harvard College to support missionary work among the Indians of North America. The New England Company managed the funds and the College had difficulty recovering the funds during and after the Revolutionary War.

Benjamin Colman (1673-1747), a Boston minister and Harvard Overseer, was born in 1673. He received an AB from Harvard in 1692 and an AM in 1695. Colman was ordained the minister of the Brattle Street Church in Boston in 1699. He served as a Harvard Overseer for forty-eight years and as a Fellow of the Corporation for eleven. Colman died in 1747.

Former call number

Formerly classified as UAI 15.1440 Will of Daniel Williams, 1711

Related Materials

Documents related to Harvard's efforts to collect on the Williams' legacy can be found in the Wills, gifts and grants volume in the Records of gifts and donations in the Harvard University Archives (UAI 15.400 Box 4, Volume 1).


Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

Pusey Library
Harvard Yard
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2461