Papers of Henry Ware Sr., 1783-1842

Content Notes

The papers of Henry Ware, Sr. contain materials he created over more than half a century beginning as a Harvard undergraduate, a minister in Hingham, Mass., and later as the Hollis Professor of Divinity. The collection is comprised of two quarter bills from his undergraduate years, financial records and documents created during his Hingham pastorship, sermons, lectures delivered to students, teaching materials used for Divinity School courses, and a small collection of correspondence and records related to Harvard College administration. The collection also includes Ware's research materials, two documents related to the publication of Ware's monograph An Inquiry into the Foundation, Evidences, and Truths of Religion, and an undated library shelflist. Ware's influence as a Unitarian theologian and educator can be researched in the sermons and lectures that form the bulk of this collection, and were delivered to Harvard undergraduates and Harvard Divinity School students regularly for more than two decades. Ware's lectures and sermons focused on careful study of the Bible and the training of a community-minded minister, and the collection provides a resource for studying the religious curriculum of Harvard in the early 19th century.

Biographical Notes

Henry Ware, Sr., Unitarian minister and theologian, was the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard University from 1805 until 1837. Ware was instrumental in the creation of the Harvard Divinity School and the development of Unitarianism in New England. Ware was born on April 1, 1764 in Sherborn, Mass. and received an AB from Harvard in 1785 and an AM in 1788. He served as minister of the First Church in Hingham, Mass. from 1787 until 1805, when he was elected as Harvard's fourth Hollis Professor of Divinity. In 1808, Ware began teaching a course for the resident divinity students at Harvard that preceded the creation of the Harvard Divinity School in 1816. Ware's principal focus was the education of future ministers, but he also published sermons and theological works periodically. In 1840, Ware resigned from the College due to failing eyesight, and died on July 12, 1845.