Records compiled by Eliphalet Pearson relating to the election of Henry Ware as Hollis Professor of Divinity
- 1804-1808 and undated
- Pearson, Eliphalet, 1752-1826 (Person)
Extent.22 cubic feet (1 legal half-document 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.
Historical Note on Eliphalet Pearson
President Joseph Willard died on September 25, 1804, before a successor to Tappan could be named. As the senior member on the Harvard faculty, Pearson was appointed acting president and soon after the election process for both the president and Hollis professorship began. Pearson supported the Reverend Jesse Appleton (1772-1819), a leader of the conservative element of the Congregational churches for the Divinity Professorship. The Corporation was equally divided and spent the month of December 1804 debating the merits of various candidates. On February 1, 1805, a compromise was proposed that would have Ware elected president of Harvard and Appleton as Hollis professor. After several trial ballots, Ware was nominated for the Hollis professorship by a single vote. On February 14, 1805, the Board of Overseers elected Ware as the new Hollis Professor of Divinity, and thus the oldest theological professorship in the country became Unitarian. The professorship controversy created a divide between Pearson and the liberal members of the Corporation and diminished Pearson's chances to be elected Harvard's next president. On December 11, 1805, the Corporation elected Fisher Ames (1758-1808), the Federalist statesman, as president of Harvard. However, citing poor health and old age, Ames declined the appointment. On March 1, 1806, Pearson resigned both his chair and fellowship at Harvard when it became apparent to him that he would not be selected as the next Harvard president. On March 3, 1806, the Corporation elected the Reverend Samuel Webber (1759-1810), Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy and a Unitarian, President of Harvard University.
- Correspondence, 1804-1805
- Intended publication relative to choice of Professor of Divinity, 1805
- Nomination slips and ballots, 1804-1805
- Questions to be proposed to Overseers at meeting to confirm the choice of Mr. Ware, [1805 February 14]
- Extracts from college and government records, undated
- Theses Theologica, first draft, 
- Dr. Ware's course of reading for a student in divinity, 1808 September 2
- Bentinck-Smith, William and Elizabeth Stouffer. "Hollis Professorship of Divinity, 1721." In Harvard University, History of Named Chairs: Sketches of Donors and Donations. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Secretary to the University, 1991.
- Fuess, Claude M. "Pearson, Eliphalet." Dictionary of American Biography. Ed. Dumas Malone, Vol. XIV. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1943. 358.
- Morison, Samuel Eliot. Three Centuries of Harvard, 1636-1936. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1936.
- Quincy, Josiah. The History of Harvard University. Vol. II. Cambridge, Massachusetts: John Owen, 1840.
- Wright, Conrad. "The Election of Henry Ware: Two Contemporary Accounts, Edited with Commentary." Harvard Library Bulletin 17 (July 1969) : 245-278.
This finding aid was created by Dominic P. Grandinetti in July 2011.
- Pearson, Eliphalet, 1752-1826. Records compiled by Eliphalet Pearson relating to the election of Henry Ware as Hollis Professor of Divinity, 1804-1808 and undated: 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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