Papers of Benjamin Wadsworth
- Wadsworth, Benjamin, 1670-1737 (Person)
Conditions on Use and Access
Extent0.35 cubic feet (4 volumes, 1 half document box, 1 negative microfilm roll)
These materials document Wadsworth’s activities as president of Harvard and as pastor of the First Church of Boston. More detailed descriptions of the content of these materials appear in the item list below.
Born in Milton, Massachusetts in 1670, Wadsworth attended Harvard, receiving an A.B. degree in 1690 and an A.M. degree in 1693. Soon thereafter he was appointed pastor of the First Church of Boston, considered at the time to be one of the most important pulpits in New England. A religious moderate, Wadsworth was popular with the congregation and held the post for more than thirty years. In 1696, Wadsworth married Ruth Boardman (d. 1745). Although the Wadsworths had no children of their own, they boarded and taught boys and girls at their home throughout Wadsworth’s years as pastor.
Wadsworth served as a Fellow of Harvard College from 1697 to 1707 and from 1712 to 1725, when he was appointed president. As president, Wadsworth balanced the various religious and political factions in the College’s two governing boards and the colonial administration. During his administration, he established a new code of College laws, improved the curriculum, and appointed the first Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. Wadsworth devoted considerable attention to record-keeping, establishing a separate set of faculty records and formal lists of admitted students and graduates. He was also able to recoup College property that had been lost through the negligence of earlier College administrators or to squatters.
- 1797 Andrew Bordman: Diary, 1725-1736
- 1875 Mary W. Hackett: Sermon on 2 Samuel X:12, 1734
- 1888 John Ruggles: Volume of 23 sermons, 1711-1712
- 1903 D.P. Wright : Volume of 19 sermons, 1696-1704
- 1936 George Richardson Harlow: Medical account book, 1702-1733
- Date and donor unknown: Receipt to Thomas Emory
The digitization of Benjamin Wadsworth's papers was made possible in part by generous support from the Sidney Verba Fund.
- Wadsworth, Benjamin, 1670-1737. Papers of Benjamin Wadsworth : an inventory
- EAD ID
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.
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