Records relating to the founding of the Hersey Professorship of the Theory and Practice of Physic
- Harvard University. Corporation (Organization)
Extent1 cubic feet (1 flat box)
The records were assembled as an archival collection by the archivist at an unknown date from various sources without regard to original provenance in order to document University professorships.
In 1785, the Corporation voted to approve the use Ezekiel Hersey's legacy to support of the Professors of Anatomy and Surgery and the Theory and Practice of Physic, but due to insufficient funding the Board of Overseers rejected this proposal. Fortuitously for the future of the Harvard Medical School, two other members of the Hersey family later bequeathed legacies that doubled the size of the original Hersey bequest. In 1790, Dr. Hersey's widow, Sarah Derby, whose second husband was Richard Derby (1712-1783), a Salem ship owner, left £1,000 to the College to supplement Ezekiel's original bequest. As a result of this additional gift, the Corporation decided in 1791 to equally share the income of these Hersey bequests between a chair in Anatomy and Surgery and a chair in the Theory and Practice of Physic, giving the name of Hersey to both professorships. Two years later, in 1793, the College received £500 from the estate of Dr. Abner Hersey (1722-1787), Ezekiel's younger brother, to provide additional support for a Professor of Surgery and Physic.
Two items were acquired through donation in October 1956 from John Gay:
- Vote of the President and Fellows of Harvard College relative to Dr. Ezekiel Hersey's bequest, 1771 April 5.
- Vote of the President and Fellows of Harvard College relative to Dr. Exekiel Hersey's bequest, 1772 November 9.
- Bentinck-Smith, William and Elizabeth Stouffer. "Hersey Professorship of the Theory and Practice of Physic, 1791." In Harvard University, History of Named Chairs: Sketches of Donors and Donations. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Secretary to the University, 1991.
- Quincy, Josiah. The History of Harvard University. Vol. 2. Cambridge, Massachusetts: John Owen, 1840.
This finding aid was created by Dominic P. Grandinetti in June 2011.
Preservation and description of the Records relating to the founding of the Hersey Professorship of the Theory and Practice of Physic was supported, in part, by the Arcadia-funded project Harvard in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.
- Harvard University. Corporation. Records relating to the founding of the Hersey Professorship of the Theory and Practice of Physic, 1771-1791: 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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