Papers of Samuel Langdon
- 1745-1790, 1896.
- Langdon, Samuel, 1723-1797 (Person)
Conditions on Use and Access
Extent0.2 cubic feet (1 boxes)
Langdon was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1723. The youngest of six children and of limited financial means, he worked his way through Harvard College as a waiter and as the recipient of several scholarships. He received his A.B. degree in 1740 and his A.M. degree in 1743.
Langdon began his career as a schoolmaster in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1741, accepting a teaching position in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, three years later. In 1745, he was named Chaplain of a New Hampshire regiment sent to Cape Breton Island to lay siege to the fortress of Louisbourg. Following his military service, Langdon married Elizabeth Whipple Brown in 1746 and was appointed Pastor of the First Church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1747.
For the next twenty five years, Langdon established his reputation as a man of learning and piety, promoting religious tolerance and education. As the colonies’ dispute with England grew, Langdon worried that the Crown would establish Anglican control over the colonies, and he placed his support with the colonists.
Chosen primarily for his political sympathies, Langdon was installed as President of Harvard College in 1774. The unfortunate combination of a smallpox epidemic in Cambridge, economic inflation, a decline in revenues, and the distractions of impending war left the College in a state of disarray and undercut Langdon’s ability to effectively manage College affairs. Temporary evacuation of the College from 1775 to 1776 further hampered Langdon’s administration. Ultimately, it was Langdon’s attempts to impose a more religious character on College life that infuriated students and led to Langdon’s resignation in 1780.
Langdon returned to New Hampshire, where he served as pastor in Hampton Falls until his death in 1797.
- Morison, Samuel Eliot. Three Centuries of Harvard, 1636-1936. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1936.
- Peterson, Mark A.
Langdon, Samuel; http://www.anb.org.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/articles/01/01-00492.html American National Biography Online February 2000.
- Quincy, Josiah. The History of Harvard University, Vol. II. Cambridge, Massachusetts: John Owen, 1840.
Samuel Langdon.Dictionary of American Biography Base Set. American Council of Learned Societies, 1928-1936. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington, Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2009: http://galenet.galegroup.com.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/servlet/BioRC
- Sanborn, Franklin B.
Reverend Samuel Langdon.Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Second Series, Vol. XVIII, 1903, 1904. Boston: The Society, 1905. 192-232.
- Sanborn, Franklin B.
Two New Hampshire Libraries in Hampton Falls, 1785.Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, October, 1909-June, 1910, Vol. XLIII. Boston: The Society, 1910. 33-45.
- Shipton, Clifford K.Biographical Sketches of Those Who Attended Harvard College in the Classes 1736-1740, Sibley's Harvard Graduate Series, Vol. X. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1958.
- No date, Massachusetts Historical Society
- 1902 Mrs. M.L. Harrison
- 1902 Edith S. Brown
- 1914 Mary S.D. Ferris
- 1917 Bright Fund
- 1923 Lawrence W. Jenkins
- 1926 Mrs. O.W. Charles
- 1927 Paul Sachs
- 1931 Charles P. Everett
- 1936 Philip Spaulding
- 1948 Mrs. Mary Barrows
The digitization of Samuel Langdon's papers was made possible in part by generous support from the Sidney Verba Fund.
- Langdon, Samuel, 1723-1797. Papers of Samuel Langdon: 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.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA