Wednesday, March 9, 2022

John Leverett

TL;DR -- We continue our look at U.S. history by way of the Heads of Harvard with a look at the first Head of the 18th Century. This was shortly after the Witch ordeal of Andover and a couple of generations prior to the U.S. revolution. John Leverette initiated the changes that resulted in the eventual 'secular' turn at Harvard. 


We continue to use the Heads of Harvard (Wikipedia) to establish our index for the U.S. through time. Initially, the interests were several, but we have started with this look: History of Harvard (ours); History of the Presidency (Harvard); graduates of Harvard (list initiated by Hoar); and Harvard in the long history of the U.S. We are about 1/2 way through these folks. After getting the list going, we will tie the goings on back to these Heads in terms of general happenings as well as specific family involvements. 

Though we saw John Leverett (WikipediaWikiTree) on the list of Heads earlier, it was seeing his predecessors that motivated today's entry. Also, we learned a little about his family. His grandfather was Governor and also a member of the Artillery Company of Massachusetts.  Leverette was Head of Harvard after Increase Mather left his role to be follow by Samuel Willard who fell ill while serving as an interim Head. 

The biography at Harvard has interesting information about Leverett's contributions to making Harvard a liberal institution while firming up its style as well as the demeanor of the students. This period is right about the turn of the 18th century with the closure of the Salem turmoils and a couple of generations prior to the U.S. revolution. Leverette was instrumental in starting the secular turn of Harvard, according to its Historian, Samuel E. Morrison. 

Remarks: Modified: 03/09/2022

03/09/2022 --

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