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Henry Dunster Becomes President of Harvard - Timeline Event

Time Period

08-27-1640

Description

Henry Dunster, educated at Cambridge, was named the first President of Harvard College three weeks after stepping foot in Boston in 1640. Harvard had technically been founded in 1636, but early struggles led to its closure after a single year of operation. Dunster gave Harvard its institutional structure with the incorporation charter of 1650, providing for a board of seven members.

In 1654, however, Dunster was forced by the Massachusetts authorities to resign over his belief in adult baptism. He had refused to have his infant son baptized and so moved to the more tolerant Plymouth Plantation where he pastored a Baptist church until his death in 1659.

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Photographs

Harvard College- Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-45523
Harvard College- Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-45523

Harvard College charter- Wikimedia Commons
Harvard College charter- Wikimedia Commons

Memorial Hall, Harvard College- Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection
Memorial Hall, Harvard College- Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection

Additional Resources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Dunster

Web Source(s)

https://web.archive.org/web/20200702002157/http://www.harvard.edu/about-harvard/harvard-glance/history-presidency/henry-dunster
(Link updated [7.26.2023] to archived copy, original is no longer online.)

Web Page Contributor

Paul Matzko
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

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