Willard, Joseph, 1738-1804

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University president, clergyman, and educator.

From the description of Circular signed by Joseph Willard, Harvard University president, undated. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71067536

Joseph Willard (1738-1804) was President of Harvard from 1781 to 1804.

From the description of Letter from Joseph Willard to Mrs. Mary Willard, "My dear wife..." Sept. 12, 1802 (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 77067919

Joseph Willard (1738-1804) was President of Harvard University from December 19, 1781 to September 25, 1804. He was also a sailor, schoolmaster, college tutor, and clergyman.

From the description of Papers of Joseph Willard, 1768-1804, 1838. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 77072186

Joseph Willard was born on 29 Dec. 1738, the youngest son of the Rev. Samuel and Abigail Willard of Biddeford, Me. Upon the death of his father, his mother remarried, and he grew up in the household of the Rev. Richard Elvins of Scarborough, Me. Intent upon a medical career, and encouraged by a local schoolmaster, he entered Harvard University, where his tuition was defrayed by a classmate's father. In his studies, Willard acquitted himself as "unquestionably the best geometrician, the best astronomer, and the best classical scholar of his class." Upon graduation in 1766, he remained at Harvard as college butler, and then tutor, and only finally decided upon a life in the ministry at the urging of the professor of divinity, Edward Wigglesworth. In 1772 he answered a call to the First Church in Beverly, Mass., where he served as minister until 1781. While there, Willard did "much to kindle and keep alive the general flame of patriotism," and it has been stated that Beverly's deployment of two militia companies to the battle of 19 Apr. 1775 was due in "no small part to his exertions and influence." In 1781 he was installed as President of Harvard University, and remained in that capacity until his death on 25 Sept. 1804. Willard did not speak well extemporaneously, and this perhaps accounts for the care with which he prepared his sermons. He is known to have prepared over 325 sermons between 1768 and 1792, about three-quarters of which survive, either at the Cambridge Historical Society or the Harvard University Archives.

From the description of Joseph Willard sermons, 1775-1777. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71128375

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Harvard University. Relative to the change of Commencement, [1802]. Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn John Jeffries papers, 1768-1819. Houghton Library.
creatorOf American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Papers, 1778-1789. Boston Athenaeum
referencedIn Joseph Dennie papers, 1783-1815 (inclusive), 1790-1803 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Willard family. Papers, 1797-1828. Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn Autograph File, H, 1584-1988. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Jared Sparks collection of American manuscripts, 1582-1843. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Lear, Tobias, 1762-1816. An oration upon ancient history / spoken by T. Lear at Cambridge : manuscript, 1782. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Pike, Nicolas, 1743-1819. Papers, 1783-1798. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Mayer, Tobias, 1723-1762. Tabulae solares ex theoria gravitatis, et observationibus praecipue Gottingensibus deductae : Adjectis nonnullis aliis tabulis astronomicis / auctore Tobia Mayer : manuscript, [17--] Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives, 1743-1984 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Willard, Joseph, 1738-1804. Papers of Joseph Willard, 1768-1804, 1838. Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn Burroughs, Charles,. Certification of marriage, 1818. Portsmouth Athenaeum Library & Museum
creatorOf Willard, Joseph, 1738-1804. Circular signed by Joseph Willard, Harvard University president, undated. Library of Congress
referencedIn Richard Price Papers, 1767-1790 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Willard, Joseph, 1738-1804. Joseph Willard sermons, 1774-1780. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn Harvard University. Treasurer. Records of the Treasurer, John Hancock, 1754-1926 (inclusive). Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn Houghton Library printed book provenance file, R-Z, and unidentified. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Samuel, Williams family, papers, 1723-1995. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Price, Richard, 1723-1791. Papers, 1767-1790. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Willard, Joseph, 1738-1804. Joseph Willard sermons, 1775-1777. Cambridge Historical Society
referencedIn Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge. Records, 1828 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Charles Sumner correspondence, 1829-1874. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Ebenezer Hazard papers, 1766-1813, 1766-1813 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Willard, Joseph, 1738-1804. Letter from Joseph Willard to Mrs. Mary Willard, "My dear wife..." Sept. 12, 1802 Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn Harvard University. Treasurer. Records of the Treasurer, John Hancock, 1754-1926 (inclusive). Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IIa, 1743-1806 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
creatorOf Mayer, Tobias, 1723-1762. Precepts for using Professor Mayer's new and correct tables of the motions of the sun and moon : manuscript, [not before 1770] Harvard University, Houghton Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Academy of Arts and Sciences. corporateBody
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Burroughs, Charles, person
correspondedWith Dennie, Joseph, 1768-1812 person
associatedWith First Parish Church (Beverly, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard College (1636-1780) corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard University corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard University. Treasurer. corporateBody
associatedWith Hazard, Ebenezer, 1744-1817 person
associatedWith Houghton Library. person
associatedWith Jeffries, John, 1745-1819 person
associatedWith Lear, Tobias, 1762-1816. person
associatedWith Mayer, Tobias, 1723-1762. person
associatedWith Pike, Nicolas, 1743-1819. person
associatedWith Price, Richard, 1723-1791. person
associatedWith Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 person
correspondedWith Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874 person
associatedWith United States. corporateBody
associatedWith Willard family. family
associatedWith Williams, Samuel, 1743-1817 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Massachusetts--Beverly
Scarborough (Me.)
Wiscasset (Me.)
Massachusetts--Beverly
Concord (Mass.)
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Durham (N.H.)
United States
Beverly (Mass.)
Subject
New Year sermons--1775
Thanksgiving Day addresses--1776
Congregational churches--Clergy
Thanksgiving Day addresses--1774
Fast-day sermons--1777
Congregational churches
Occupation
Educators
Clergy
Clergy--Massachusetts--Beverly
College presidents
Function

Person

Birth 1738-12-29

Death 1804-09-25

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SNAC ID: 336234