Sunday, April 24, 2022


TL;DR -- We have been looking at the History of Harvard as a way to study the history of the U.S. Several times, we have mentioned older universities. This is the first post dealing with the subject where we note that both Oxford and Cambridge have had ties from the beginning, back to Rev. John White and before. 


One of our research thrusts has been to parallel Harvard's experiences via looking at the Heads (with Benjamin Wadsworth and Urian Oakes as our latest entries) over the centuries with that of the U.S., its colonial beginning, and post Civil War accomplishments. But, we realize that we have to consider the old country in our analysis, so we will start to look at the Universities (Oxford, Cambridge) with respect to U.S. history. 

For instance, "Cambridge is the UK’s leading university for graduate studies in American History" and offers regular seminars to the public on the subject. On the other hand, Oxford claims "particularly strong connections" to the U.S. We have mentioned comparing events at Harvard over the years with its peers in the old world without being specific. Now, we are looking to use both. 

For instance, Rev. John White's education is of Oxford. On looking at his extended family, there are many from Cambridge, including Ann's ancestors. John Harvard was a Cambridge man; Harvard was modeled on Cambridge. 

The alumni list of both schools include many of the U.S., including modern day scholars. Of interest is, that of the first class of Harvard (1642), the majority went back to England. One of these was George Downing the namesake of Downing Street. They went back to an England in turmoil. Nathaniel Brewster studied further at Trinity College, Dublin and served under Henry Cromwell, son of Oliver. 

As well as current-event issues, technology will be a focus. One of our tasks is to follow technology over the four centuries as it evolved here and over there with quite a bit of disparity until after the Revolution. Too, we will look at classes and trace the influence of graduates. 

Reminder: Count Rumford about whom we will have further discussion. 

In the arts, we can point to Ezra Pound who was at all three places. In academia, the first Head of Harvard, Henry Dunster, studied at Cambridge. Stepping back to a subject still pending some attention, the prior Harvard Head, Nathaniel Eaton, was a Cambridge graduate who later earned MD and PhD degrees from the University of Padua. Those are samples from the modern era and from the beginning with lots of time in-between to fill in. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/20/2022

04/24/2022 -- 

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