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Source; wikiwand
Access RAS 2018-02-15

There is a sculpture in bronze (by sculptor DANIEL CHESTER FRENCH) in Harvard Yard, Cambridge, Massachussetts honoring JOHN HARVARD (1607–1638), whose deathbed bequest to the "schoale or Colledge" recently undertaken by the Massachussetts Bay Colony was so gratefully received that it was consequently ordered "that the Colledge agreed upon formerly to bee built at Cambridg shalbee called Harvard Colledge." 

There being nothing to indicate what JOHN HARVARD had looked like, French used a Harvard student collaterally descended from an early Harvard president as inspiration.

The statue's inscription is the subject of na arch polemic, traditionally recited for visitors, questioning whether JOHN HARVARD justly merits the honorific title of founder.
According to a Harvard official, the founding of the college was not the act of one but the work of many; John Harvard is therefore considered not the founder, but rather a founder, of the school, though the timeliness and generosity of his contribution have made him the most honored of these.

Tourists often rub the toe of JOHN HARVARD's left shoe for luck, in the mistaken belief that doing so is a Harvard student tradition.
The New York Times described the statue at its unveiling:
The young clergyman is represented sitting, holding an open [book] on his knee. The costume is the simple clerical garb of the seventeenth century ... low shoes, long, silk hose, loose knee breeches, and a tunic belted at the waist, while a long cloak, thrown back, falls in broad, picturesque folds.

JOHN HARVARD's gift to the school was £ 780 and — perhaps more importantly — his 400-volume scholar's library:
Partly under the chair, within easy reach, lie a pile of books.
That he had died of tuberculosis, at about age thirty, was one of the few things known about JOHN HARVARD at the time of the statue's composition; as dedication orator GEORGE EDWARD ELLIS put it:

Gently touched by the weakness which was wasting his immature life, he rests for a moment from his converse with wisdom on the printed page, and raises his contemplative eye to the spaces of all wisdom.

Historian LAUREL ULRICH suggests that JOHN HARVARD's general composition may have been inspired by HENDRIK GOLTZIUS' engraving of CLIO, and that the figure's collar, buttons, tassel, and mustache may have been taken from a portrait of Plymouth Colony Governor EDWARD WINSLOW.


JOHN HARVARD's statue face


Harvard student SHERMAN HOAR was the inspiration for JOHN HARVARD's face. On June 27, 1883, at the Commencement Day dinner of Harvard alumni a letter was read from "a generous benefactor, General SAMUEL JAMES BRIDGE, an adopted alumnus of the college":

To the President and Fellows of Harvard College.
Gentlemen, — I have the pleasure of offering you an ideal statue in bronze, representing your founder, the Rev. JOHN HARVARD, to be designed by DANIEL C. FRENCH of Concord ... I am assured that the same can be in place by June, 01, 1884.

BRIDGE specified an "ideal" statue because there was then (as now)  nothing to indicate what JOHN HARVARD had looked like; thus when FRENCH began work in September he used Harvard student SHERMAN HOAR as inspiration for the figure's face. "In looking about for a type of the early comers to our shores," he wrote, "I chose a lineal descendant of them for my model in the general structure of the face. He has more of what I want than anybody I know." 

(Through his father EBENEZER ROCKWOOD HOAR — chairman of Harvard's Board of Overseers — SHERMAN HOAR was descended from a brother of Harvard's fourth president LEONARD HOAR, as well as from ROGER SHERMAN, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.)

The commission weighed heavily on FRENCH even as the figure neared completion. "I am sometimes scared by the importance of this work. It is a subject that one might not have in a lifetime," wrote the sculptor — who thirty years later would create the statue of ABRAHAM LINCOLN for the Lincoln Memorial — "and a failure would be inexcusable. As a general thing, my model looks pretty well to me, but there are dark days."

French's final model was ready the following May and realized in bronze by the Henry-Bonnard Bronze Company over the next several months. The cost was reportedly more than $20,000.
The statue was installed‍—‌"looking wistfully into the western sky", said Harvard presidente CHARLES W. ELIOT — at the western end of Memorial Hall on the triangular city block then known as the Delta (see Memorial Hall).
At its October 15, 1884 unveiling ELLIS gave "a singularly felicitous address, telling the story of the life of John Harvard, who passes so mysteriously across the page of our early history." 

Original site west of Memorial Hall
In 1920 French wrote[21][22] to Harvard president Abbott Lawrence Lowelldesiring that the statue be relocated; in 1924[4][18][19] it was moved from Memorial Hall (then the college dining hall‍—‌a Harvard Lampoon drawing showed John Harvard dismounting his plinth, chair in tow, and holding his nose because he "couldn't stand the smell of 'Mem' any longer")[citation needed] to its current location on the west side of Harvard Yard's University Hall, facing Harvard HallMassachusetts Hall, and the Johnston Gate.[f] Later that year the Lampoon imagined the frustrations of the metallic and immobile John Harvard surrounded by Harvard under­graduates—[18]

Great men arise  /  Before my eyes  /  From yonder pile I founded
While I must sit    /  Quite out of it      /  My jealousy unbounded
—though twelve years later David McCord portrayed the founder as satisfied in his stationarity:[23]

"Is that you, John Harvard?"  /    I said to his statue.
"Aye, that's me," said John,    /  "And after you're gone."
Sometime in the 1990s tour guides began encouraging visitors to emulate a "student tradition"‍—‌nonexistent‍—‌of rubbing the toe of John Harvard's left shoe for luck, so that while the statue as a whole is darkly weathered the toe now "gleams almost throbbingly bright, as though from an excruciating inflammation of the bronze." [g] It is, however, traditional for seniors, as they process to graduation exercises on Commencement Day (see History and traditions of Harvard commencements), to remove their caps as they pass.[18][24]
The statue is depicted on the United States Postal Service's 1986 John Harvard stamp (part of its Great Americans series).[25]

JOHN HARVARD Biography (English minister; clergyman)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Access RAS 2018-02-15.

John Harvard
26 November 1607; SouthwarkSurrey, England
14 September 1638 (aged 30); CharlestownMassachusetts Bay Colony
Cause of death
Alma mater
Known for
A founder of Harvard College
Ann Sadler

JOHN HARVARD (1607–1638) was an English minister in America, "a godly gentleman and a lover of learning",[1]whose deathbed[2] bequest to the "schoale or Colledge" founded two years earlier by the Massachusetts Bay Colony was so gratefully received that it was consequently ordered "that the Colledge agreed upon formerly to bee built at Cambridg shalbee called Harvard Colledge."[3] The institution considers him the most honored of its founders – those whose efforts and contributions in its early days "ensure[d] its permanence."
statue in his honor is a prominent feature of Harvard Yard.


Early life

HARVARD was born and raised in SouthwarkSurrey, England, (now part of London), the fourth of nine children of ROBERT HARVARD (1562–1625), a butcher and tavern owner, and his wife KATHERINE ROGERS (1584–1635), a native of Stratford-upon-Avonwhose father, Thomas Rogers (1540–1611), was an associate of Shakespeare's father (both served on the borough corporation's council). HARVARD was baptised in the parish church of St Saviour's (now Southwark Cathedral)[4] and attended St Saviour's Grammar School, where his father was a member of the governing body and a warden of the Parish Church.
In 1625, bubonic plague reduced the immediate family to only John, his brother Thomas, and their mother. Katherine was soon remarried — firstly in 1626 to John Elletson (1580–1626), who died within a few months, then (1627) to Richard Yearwood (1580–1632). She died in 1635, Thomas in 1637.
Left with some property, Harvard's mother was able to send him to Emmanuel College, Cambridge,[5] where he earned his B.A. in 1632[6]and M.A. in 1635 and was subsequently ordained a dissenting minister.[7]


Marriage and career

In 1636, HARVARD married Ann Sadler (1614–55) of Ringmer, sister of his college classmate John Sadler's, at St Michael the Archangel Church, in the parish of South Malling, Lewes, East Sussex.
In the spring or summer of 1637, the couple emigrated to New England, where Harvard became a freeman of Massachusetts and, settling in Charlestown, a teaching elder of the First Church there[8] and an assistant preacher. In 1638, a tract of land was deeded[to him there, and he was appointed that same year to a committee "to consider of some things tending toward a body of laws."
He built his house on Country Road (later Market Street and now Main Street), next to Gravel Lane, a site that is now Harvard Mall. Harvard's orchard extended up the hill behind his house.[9]



On 14 September 1638, HARVARD died of tuberculosis and was buried at Charlestown's Phipps Street Burying Ground.
In 1828, Harvard University alumni erected a granite monument to his memory there, his original stone having disappeared during the American Revolution.[8]


Founder of Harvard College


Tablet 1 outside Harvard Yard's Johnston Gate. The tablet [above]quotes from a longer history which continues, "And as we were thinking and consulting how to effect this great work, it pleased God to stir up the heart of one Mr. Harvard (a godly gentleman and a lover of learning, there living among us) to give the one-half of his estate (it being in all about 1700 £) toward the erecting of a college, and all his library. After him, another gave 300 £; others after them cast in more; and the public hand of the state added the rest." 


Tablet 2 outside Harvard Yard's Johnston Gate.

Two years before Harvard's death the Great and General Court of the Massachussetts Bay Colony — desiring to "advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity: dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches, when our present ministers shall lie in the dust"‍—‌appropriated £400 toward a "schoale or colledge"[3] at what was then called Newtowne.
In an oral will spoken to his wife[12] the childless Harvard, who had inherited considerable sums from his father, mother, and brother, bequeathed to the school £780 — half of his monetary estate — with the remainder to his wife; perhaps more importantly he also gave his scholar's library comprising some 329 titles (totaling 400 volumes, some titles being multivolume works).
In gratitude, it was subsequently ordered "that the Colledge agreed upon formerly to bee built at Cambridg shalbee called Harvard Colledge."  (Even before Harvard's death, Newtowne had been renamed Cambridge, after the English university attended by many early colonists, including Harvard himself.)



"Smartass" tourguides and the Harvard College undergraduate newspaper commonly assert that John Harvard does not merit the honorific founder, because the Colony's vote had come two years prior to Harvard's bequest. But as detailed in a 1934 letter by the secretary of the Harvard Corporation, the founding of Harvard College was not the act of one but the work of many; John Harvard is therefore considered not the founder, but rather a founder, of the school — though the timeliness and generosity of his contribution have made him the most honored of these:
The quibble over the question whether John Harvard was entitled to be called the Founder of Harvard College seems to me one of the least profitable. The destruction of myths is a legiti­mate sport, but its only justification is the establishment of truth in place of error.
If the founding of a university must be dated to a split second of time, then the founding of Harvard should perhaps be fixed by the fall of the president's gavel in announcing the passage of the vote of October 28, 1636. But if the founding is to be regarded as a process rather than as a single event [then John Harvard, by virtue of his bequest "at the very threshold of the College's existence and going further than any other contribution made up to that time to ensure its permanence"] is clearly entitled to be considered a founder. The General Court ... acknowledged the fact by bestowing his name on the College. This was almost two years before the first President took office and four years before the first students were graduated.
These are all familiar facts and it is well that they should be understood by the sons of Harvard. There is no myth to be destroyed.[22]



A statue in Harvard's honor—not, however, a likeness of him, there being nothing to indicate what he had looked like —is a prominent feature of Harvard Yard (see John Harvard statue) and was featured on a 1986 stamp, part of the United States Postal Service's Great Americans series. A figure representing him also appears in a stained-glass window in the chapel of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge.
The John Harvard Library in Southwark, London, is named in Harvard's honor, as is the Harvard Bridge that connects Boston to Cambridge. There is a memorial window in his honor in Southwark Cathedral.

Emmanuel College window (1884) depicting John Harvard on left
Tablets, Emmanuel College chapel

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