Manuscript copy of the book of Harvard, 1767: The book of Harvard

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About this Item

Creator
Cummings, Joseph , 1745-1788
Type
Acrostics.
Language
English
Origin
Massachusetts
Description
.03 cubic feet (1 volume)
Date
1767
Repository
Harvard University Archives
Identifier
colonialnorthamerica.library.harvard.edu/990122633650203941

Content Notes

The pamphlet-sized manuscript includes "The Book of Harvard" signed "Joseph Cummings, scriptis, Janr 7th 1767," an untitled two-page essay beginning, "Wisdom is ye Crown of life" and ending "Draught of Knowledge, let us with a laudable ambition, strive to excel each other in an ardent pursuit of Learning, then shall we raise to ourselves a monument of honest fame, which shall perish only in ye general wreak of nature," and on the last page, "An Accrostick" beginning "Jangling & Discord are thy Souls delight" and spelling out JAMES MITCHEL VARNUM dated July 3, 1767 and signed "The 3d edition revised & improved by Gove & Fogg."

Biographical Notes

Joseph Cummings was born on December 27, 1745 in Ipswich, Massachusetts. At Harvard, he was one of the students who agreed to turn in classmates who used profanity. He received an AB from Harvard in 1768, and then went on to receive an AM. After graduating, he became a minister in Marlborough, New Hampshire, but was dismissed in 1780. He died on September 24, 1788.|James Mitchel Varnum was born in Dracut, Massachusetts on December 17, 1748. As a member of the Harvard Class of 1769 he was a prominent agitator in the student disturbances of April 1768 and left the school as a result. He graduated from Rhode Island College in 1769 and became a lawyer. He was early involved in the American Revolution and became a brigadier general in 1777. In 1780 he was appointed a delegate to the Continental Congress, and would continue to be actively in law and civil duties until his death on January 9, 1789.|Jonathan Gove was born on August 22, 1746 in Weston, Massachusetts. At Harvard, he was one of the students who agreed to turn in classmates who used profanity. He received an AB in 1768 and an AM in 1771. After graduating, he became a doctor and later a Justice of the Peace. He died on March 21, 1818.|Jeremiah Fogg was born on October 16, 1749 in Kensington, New Hampshire. At Harvard, he was one of the students who agreed to turn in classmates who used profanity. He received an AB in 1768 and an AM in 1771. He served as a Major during the Revolutionary War, and later in various political offices. He died on May 23, 1808.|The Book of Harvard was written by a Harvard student, likely Asa Dunbar (Harvard College 1767), as a satirical record of the Harvard College Butter Rebellion of 1766. Dunbar led a protest against the rancid butter being served to students in September 1766. The faculty responded by disciplining Dunbar, which prompted a walk-out by Harvard students. Finally after considerable friction between the governing board and students, 155 students signed a confession promising "future good Conduct." The Book of Harvard satirizes the involvement of Harvard President Edward Holyoke (Edward the Chief Ruler), Professors John Winthrop, Edward Wigglesworth, and Stephen Sewall, Tutors Belcher Hancock, Thomas Danforth, and Joseph Dillard, and Asa Dunbar (Asa the Scribe).