HarvardCollege (1780- ). Class of 1843. Harvard College Class of 1843 class book:
Harvard University Archives
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: HUD 243.714F
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: HarvardCollege (1780- ). Class of 1843.
Title: Harvard College Class of 1843 class book, 1843-1910.
Quantity: 0.3 cubic feet (1 volume (, 548 p. ; 40 cm.)
Abstract: The Class Book of 1843 contains biographical entries for nearly all members of the
Class of 1843, many of them written by the students themselves. Broad portraits of
undergraduate life are not found in these pages; they consist mainly of biographical
facts and anecdotes. The Class Book also contains the Class Oration and Class Poem,
as well as the minutes of Class Meetings and Suppers.
Harvard University Library, August 1964. Purchased from gift of Homer Halvorson.
This volume was held by four successive class secretaries including Luther Parks (1843-1852), William A. Richardson (1852-1896), Thomas Hall (1896-1903), and Francis Williams (1903-1910).
The book has suffered from one of its custodians, but nevertheless survived longer
than some in the class intended that it should. William Richardson wrote a note on the first unnumbered page "At the class meeting in 1863 it was unanimously
voted to abandon this book, and to suppress it; first, because of its incompleteness
as to the early lives of many of the class who had died or had not written their biographies,
and secondly, because some who had written them were very much dissatisfied, in later
years, with what they had written. I have kept it and have not yet destroyed it, because
I wanted to turn to it occasionally as a matter of reference."
Several pages were torn out of the volume by Richardson. A note on page 74 reads
"Two leaves written in full by O.B. Frothingham taken out, at his request, by WAR."
The class members whose biographies are limited or eliminated by the removal of pages
are O. B. Frothingham, Thomas Hill, and William A. Richardson. A few classmates expressed in letters their views on this mutilation, and a subsequent
class secretary, Francis Williams, made great efforts to salvage and complete the
Inventorycreated and encoded in May 2005 by S. Shoemaker, Intern.
Access is unrestricted; however, the volume is fragile andusers are required to use
care in its handling.
- Class of 1843, Miscellany (HUD 243.00)
- Correspondence of Luther R. Parks re. Funds for Alumni Hall (HUD 243.52)
- Harvard College. Class of 1843. Memorabilia, 1883. Prepared by William A. Richardson, Class Secretary. Printed for the use of
the Class, June 27, 1883 (HUD 243.40A)
- Thomas Hill Biographical Folder (HUG 300)
- William A. Richardson Biographical Folder (HUG 300)
The Harvard classes began compiling class books in about 1800. These documents were
typically written or compiled by an elected class secretary and were often maintained for many years following commencement. Each class book
is devoted to the members of a class graduating in a specific year and includes information
about individual members of the class both pre- and post-commencement as well as documentation
of class reunions, meetings, and significant events. Harvard classes discontinued
the practice of compiling class books around 1900.
In the mid-nineteenth to early twenty-first century, class albums of photographs
were created as a complementary series to the class books. Unlike class books, class
albums were usually compiled by individual students rather than the class secretary , so many albums may exist for a single year. Class albums typically include photographs
of students, faculty, staff, and the campus.
The Class of 1843 saw most of its graduates proceed into lives as businessmen, ministers,
lawyers, and politicians. Josiah Quincy was president of Harvard during their days, and although he was an unpopular president
(to such a degree that he was hanged in effigy in the Yard in 1834 or so), the members
of the Class of 1843 seem to have found their time in Cambridge largely enjoyable,
and one went on to become president himself (Thomas Hill, president from 1862-1868).
Clubs and traditions were prominent in the rituals of college life. Class Day was
a celebration of extreme importance at that time, and subsequent meetings of the class,
at which members came together for a dinner and meeting to discuss class business
and enjoy each other's company, were often held on its anniversary. The Class of 1843
elected members into the Navy Club, a society reserved for those who for reason of
their grades were not awarded roles in Class Day oratories; officers included Lord
High Admiral, the "jolliest of all jolly blades in the class" according to Samuel
Eliot Morison's Three Centuries of Harvard, 1636-1936 ; Vice Admiral, the poorest classmate; Rear-Admiral, the laziest; Chaplain, the most
profane; Boatswain, the most obscene; and so forth (pages 398-399 of the Class Book
include the list). Traditions such as awarding a "class cradle" to the first member
of the class to become a father were followed and celebrated (pages 398, 408, 415-416,
418-419); less happily, members of the class gathered to make resolutions on the early
deaths of a few of their number, most notably John Abbot Emery , who died before commencement, much lamented by his classmates.
Several members of the Class of 1843 were commissioned officers in the Civil War after
graduation, but the biographical notes in the Class Book regarding their roles are
limited. Similarly, biographical notes indicate the membership of some alumni of 1843
in the Free Soil Party, but both this and the slavery issue in general receive scant
mention in the pages of the Class Book.
Notable members of the class include Thomas Hill , president of Harvard University from 1862-1868 ; William A. Richardson , Secretary of the Treasury from 1873-1874 and Chief Justice of the U.S. Court of Claims from 1885-1896; and Octavius Brooks Frothingham , writer and clergyman. Unfortunately, the greater part of the entries in the Class
Book involving these three men was removed by Richardson. Others of note include Arthur Buckminster Fuller , Unitarian Universalist minister; Horace Binney Sargent , Lieutenant Colonel of the First Mass. Cavalry, Fifth Army Corps; and Alexander Wheelock Thayer , music historian.
Morison, Samuel Eliot. Three Centuries of Harvard, 1636-1936. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1965.
Volume has 8 unnumbered pages at its beginning.
- Quotations and secretary's note, first unnumbered page
- Secretary's note regarding purpose of Class Book, fifth unnumbered page
- Biographical entries, pages 1-374
- List of names of 26 men who had at any point been members of the Class of 1843 but
did not graduate with the Class, with a few notes, page 375
- Class Oration, delivered by Eben Carleton Sprague , pages 376-390
- Note that the Class Poem would have appeared following the Class Oration but the lack
of space prevents it (the poem appears on pages 525-537), page 391
- Records of Class Meetings and Suppers, 1843-1896 , pages 397-426
- Transcription of letter to all known survivors of Class from secretary, February 1897,
- Notes of class secretary about Class Book and list of surviving members of class as of June 1903 , page 428
- Class Poem by Henry P. Sedgwick , pages 525-537
The Class Book of 1843 includes some of the type of information currently printed
in the modern-day class yearbook; however, Class Books show a greater emphasis on
biographical information. The book contains biographical entries for nearly all members
of the Class of 1843, many of them written by the students themselves. These entries
vary widely in length and depth; a few are lively autobiographical essays, with memories
of both childhood and Harvard, while others are little more than a signature with
a line or two of notes added in later years by the class secretary. Broad portraits
of undergraduate life are not found in these pages; they consist mainly of biographical
facts and anecdotes.
In a few cases the secretary transcribed autobiographical letters written in later
years. Some of the secretaries' addenda are in the form of biographical timelines,
with notes on the later significant doings of the class members, such as marriages,
the births of children, professional accomplishments, appointments to office, and,
in most cases, death dates.
In fact, much of what the Class Book contains was written as addenda by the secretaries
of the Class of 1843. Notwithstanding several years of neglect and the near-destruction
of the volume by class secretary William Richardson , the Class Book includes many pages of biographical notes and transcriptions by
all of the secretaries of the class. An attempt was made to resurrect the book after
its intended demise; the two secretaries following Richardson added what they could
in an effort to keep the information current. In 1897, following his election as class
secretary, Thomas Hall made an urgent plea to his classmates to fill the pages of the book; he sent a letter
to all who could be found and to the relatives of those deceased, asking for biographical
information for themselves and any deceased classmates, from any time period. He asked
also for photographs, and notes that "a few of these have been sent to me by Judge
Richardson's representative," but none appear in the Class Book. Francis Williams sent a similar letter upon his election as class secretary in 1903, and he notes
that "the pages are slowly filling up."
Also found in the Class Book are a list of names of students who had at one time been
members of the class; the Class Oration and Class Poem; records of many of the Class
Meetings and Suppers from 1843-1896, particularly in the earlier years; and secretaries'
notes. The minutes of Class Meetings and Suppers indicate that such occasions were
often devoted more to hilarity than to business; however, it was also at these meetings
that the class organized such offerings as the class cradle for the first father in
the Class of 1843 and a monument at Mount Auburn Cemetery for a departed classmate.
The minutes from Class Meetings and Suppers are extremely sparse after 1853.
This document last updated 2016 May 3.
- Series: Introductory matter and secretaries' notes.
Pages: initial unnumbered pages.
- Series: Autobiographical and biographical entries, obituary clippings, letters.
Pages: Pages 1-374.
Scope and Contents
: These entries are arranged alphabetically except for John Abbot Emery , who is placed last.
Nearly all entries consist of autographs with some biographical information. The information
included varies greatly, from extensive autobiographical essays (the exception rather
than the rule) to a few words of biographical notes added by the class secretary.
In some cases the secretary has added chronological biographical notes in the form
of a timeline. A few entries include family information, such as ancestors and children.
A deliberate distinction is made in the notes below between autobiographical and biographical
Several entries include letters or newspaper clippings either pasted to or interfiled
within the pages of the book.
A few members of the class as recorded in the Quinquennial Catalogue of Harvard University 1636-1930 are not included in the Class Book.
- William Henry Adams,
Pages: Pages 1-3.
Biographical / Historical: 1823-1845 (died of 'the dread disease of the climate').
Scope and Contents: The entry is an obituary copied from the Lowell Courier of 5 August 1845 . 'He now adds another name to the long list of young men who have
fallen martyrs to their devotion to study.' Brief timeline, Resolutions of the Class
of 1843 regarding his death, brief genealogy info.
- Charles Frederick Adams,
Pages: Page 7.
Biographical / Historical: 1824-1856.
Scope and Contents: Brief biographical notes. Went to California in 1847; came back by way of Canton,
China, in 1850.
- Charles Anderson Dana
Pages: Page 57
Biographical / Historical: 1819-1897
Scope and Contents: Biographical notes. Left the Class of 1843 at the end of his sophomore year because
of failing eyesight, but remained a member of the class. Upon his death, "Long and
interesting accounts of him, as a reasonable man, and perhaps the foremost journalist
of his time, were in all the newspapers."
- Thomas Bartlett Hall
Pages: Page 99
Biographical / Historical: 1824-1903
Scope and Contents: Biographical notes, timeline, and brief essay. Interest in Modern Spiritualism.
- Roger Brown Hildreth
Pages: Page 105
Biographical / Historical: 1823-1872
Scope and Contents: Brief biographical notes. "Received the degree of A.B. and A.M. in 1846. He continued
with the Class up to the time of graduating, and entered his name as above, before
the close of the last senior term, but, through some means or other, was prevented
from taking his Diploma in the year 1843."
- Thomas Hill
Pages: Pages 111-112
Biographical / Historical: 1818-1891
Scope and Contents: Timeline and biographical essay. President of Harvard University 1862-1868. "Hill
was our first scholar; but, disregarding Dr. James Walker's warning that his frequent
absences would lose him the first place, he was away at Walpole N.H., 'for an object
he must attend to' no doubt explained by his subsequent marriage; and he graduated
Scope and Contents
: Pages between 110 and 111 appear to have been removed, but page numbers are consecutive
and no explanatory note is given.
Between pages 112 and 113 is inserted a printed notice to the Class of 1843, dated
21 February 1836: "The inauguration of our classmate, Thomas Hill, as President of
the College, will take place at Cambridge, on Wednesday, the 4th day of March next,
at 3 o'clock, P. M. Members of the class are especially requested to meet at Room
No. 10, in University Hall, at 2 1/2 o'clock, P.M., on that day, to attend the inauguration
together, and to act upon the proposition to print a Class Memorial, containing each
member's full record. --William A. Richardson, Class Secretary."
- Howland Holmes
Pages: Pages 113-115
Biographical / Historical: 1815-1893
Scope and Contents: Brief biographical essay, extensive timeline. Oldest man in the class (28 years old)
at graduation. Brief account of shipwreck near Ireland, and a subsequent encounter
with the U.S.S. Jamestown, whose surgeon was classmate Luther Parks, Jr.
- Henry James Hudson
Pages: Pages 119-124
Biographical / Historical: 1821-1901
Scope and Contents: Extensive autobiographical essay, one page of which was written in 1843 and two in
1846, with final five lines written in Pitman Shorthand; timeline, with Mason symbol
drawn after death date; extensive transcribed autobiographical essay furnished by
Hudson in 1897. Touches on Fourier, cooperative socialism, Modern Spiritualism, Pitman
shorthand. "I wish to study the application of Christianity and science to our false
and selfish social institutions."
Scope and Contents: Obituary clipping from Christian Register attached on page 124.
- John William Kingman
Pages: Pages 125-129
Biographical / Historical: 1821-1903
Scope and Contents: Biographical notes, timeline, extensive transcribed autobiographical essay furnished
by Kingman in 1897. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Wyoming Territory. Essay
includes account of a legal struggle to ensure the rights of women to serve on a jury
and to vote. "I cannot help regarding the part I took in securing the passage of the
woman suffrage act; and in giving it vital force and effect; and in preserving its
perpetuation and popularity; as the most creditable act of my life."
- Frederick Newman Knapp
Pages: Pages 137-138
Biographical / Historical: 1821-1889. Brother of Francis Bellows Knapp.
Scope and Contents: Biographical notes, transcribed biographical essay provided by Mrs. Frederick N. Knapp
in 1901, touching briefly on his role in Special Relief for wounded and homeless soldiers
of the Civil War.
- John Gardner Ladd
Pages: Pages 149-150
Biographical / Historical: 1820-1853
Scope and Contents: Brief autobiographical essay (ceasing rather suddenly with "cetera desunt"), addenda,
- Francis L. Lee
Pages: Page 155
Biographical / Historical: 1823-1886
Scope and Contents: Brief biographical notes, brief biographical essay provided by his son in 1897. "In
the fall of 1866, accompanied by Hon. Geo. S. Hale, of Boston, and some members of
his own family, he went to North Elba, where John Brown was buried, and had the simple
inscription 'John Brown 1859' cut in the gigantic boulder beside which John Brown
requested to be buried. He had known personally and admired Brown for his fine rugged
- John Lowell
Pages: Pages 168-170
Biographical / Historical: 1824-1898
Scope and Contents: Extensive biographical essay, with typed transcription of an informal speech made
by Lowell at a dinner in his honor glued onto pages 168 and 169. Judge in United States
Supreme Court for the 1st circuit.
- Farrington McIntire
Pages: Pages 173-175
Biographical / Historical: 1819-1893
Scope and Contents: Autobiographical essay ("So here I am, enjoying my otium, sometimes with, sometimes
without my dignitate") and addenda, including note that in 1850 he "was one of a party
of three who during one season bagged the California 'dust' to the amount of seventy
thousand dollars. This was accomplished by personal labor at the mines."
- Henry Bartlett Maglathlin
Pages: Pages 179-180
Biographical / Historical: 1819-1910
Scope and Contents: Biographical notes, transcribed autobiographical essay provided by Maglathlin in 1897.
Involved as commander in surrender of Port Hudson.
- Luther Parks, Jr.
Pages: Pages 201-204
Biographical / Historical: 1823-1886
Scope and Contents: Brief biographical notes, extensive biographical essay, timeline. Surgeon on the U.S.S.
Jamestown on its mission to provide food relief to Ireland. "But Alas, Brothers, for
our country! With one hand preferring aid to a suffering neighbor, and, with the other
spreading desolation over a sister republic, weak in strength and distracted in counsel;
and this, too, for the purpose of extending the hideous institution of slavery, have
we not reason, while appreciating the good that is in her, to be anxious on her behalf?"
- Charles Callahan Perkins
Pages: Pages 205-208
Biographical / Historical: 1823-1886
Scope and Contents: Biographical notes, extensive transcribed biographical essay from a memoir of Perkins
by Samuel Eliot, printed in Vol. 3 of the Proceedings of the Mass Historical Society
Second Series, 10 February 1887. Artist and composer involved with the founding of
the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
- Thomas Handasyde Perkins
Pages: Page 209
Biographical / Historical: 1823-1900
Scope and Contents: Biographical notes ("Because of too active participation in an incipient College Rebellion
in the latter part of his Sophomore year, his connection with the College was severed
by the Faculty"). However, in 1894 the College Authorities awarded him the A.B., and
he was reinstated in the Class of 1843.
- Robert Gordon Pike
Pages: Pages 211-212
Biographical / Historical: 1822-1898
Scope and Contents: Brief biographical notes, timeline, transcription of "Resolutions to be passed on
the death of Judge Pike" by Middlesex Bar Association and transcription of obituary,
both from The Penny Press of Middletown, Connecticut.
- William Bordman Rice
Pages: Page 217
Biographical / Historical: 1824-1899
Scope and Contents: Brief biographical notes ("The subject of these memoirs, altho' he receive the baptismal
appellation of William, is yet so generally and familiarly known as 'Billy Rix' that
any other name in this Book would be as strange to the ears of his dear classmates
as distasteful to his sweet self"), brief biographical essay with information provided
by classmate H.D. Sedgwick and by Rice's widow.
- Thomas Hastings Russell
Pages: Pages 229-230
Biographical / Historical: 1820-1911
Scope and Contents: Brief biographical notes, timeline, family information.
- John Jackson Russell
Pages: Pages 235-236
Biographical / Historical: 1823-1897
Scope and Contents: Very brief biographical notes, timeline, very brief biographical essay with information
provided by Miss Helen Russell in 1899.
- Henry Dwight Sedgwick
Pages: Pages 253-254
Biographical / Historical: 1824-1903
Scope and Contents: Brief biographical notes, timeline, transcription of brief biographical essay provided
by Sedgwick in 1897. Author of Class Poem (pages 525-537).
- John Gallison Sewall
Pages: Pages 259-262
Biographical / Historical: 1822-1874
Scope and Contents: Autobiographical essay, addenda, timeline. Mentions dislocation of elbow at age four,
restricting the use of his arm thereafter; became a physician. Also: "What lofty ideas
I entertained of these College Walls! What prodigies of wisdom must they send forth,
thought I! [Entrance] examination came, and I was pretty soon brought back to myself.
I judged wrongly of this ordeal. Its severity appalled me."
- William Addison Smith
Pages: Page 265
Biographical / Historical: 1824-1913
Scope and Contents: Brief biographical notes, family information.
- Eben Carleton Sprague
Pages: Pages 271-274
Biographical / Historical: 1822-1895
Scope and Contents: Extensive autobiographical essay, addenda, typed transcription of "a Sketch written
in 1893" glued to pages 273 and 274. Gave Class Oration (pages 376-390). "I graduate
with very little respect for College government; but with much for my instructors
personally. I regard the latter as the unfortunate instruments of a system of petty
duties, which any high-minded man must feel degraded by assuming. I think that, on
the whole, they deduce as little evil as possible from a system of government calculated,
by its own nature, to crush all the truthfulness, and self-respect, and honor, which
students are silly enough to bring with them to college."
- Edward Stinson
Pages: Page 277
Biographical / Historical: Died 1878
Scope and Contents: Very brief biographical notes, family information.
- Eben Francis Stone
Pages: Pages 283-285
Biographical / Historical: 1822-1895
Scope and Contents: Very brief biographical notes, timeline, transcription of biographical essay from
the address of Hon. William D. Northend at "Exercises commemorating the life and character
of Hon. Eben Francis Stone held at the Meeting House of the First Religious Society,
Newburyport, Mass. April 21, 1895."
- James Winchell Stone
Pages: Pages 295-299
Biographical / Historical: 1824-1863. Brother of Henry Nathan Stone
Scope and Contents: Autobiographical essay and timeline. "Who, that ever became a Freshman, with his long
tail black on for the first time, think himself not only a man but a hero?"
- Levi Lincoln Thaxter
Pages: Page 301
Biographical / Historical: Died 1884
Scope and Contents: Brief biographical notes, brief transcribed biographical essay (including a short
account of his meeting the daughter of his landlord, who would become his wife).
- Washington Very
Pages: Pages 325-326
Biographical / Historical: 1815-1853
Scope and Contents: Family information, timeline, transcription of biographical letter to William Richardson
from Very's brother after Very's death.
- James Vita, Jr.
Pages: Pages 331-332
Biographical / Historical: 1824-1850
Scope and Contents: Biographical notes, including an account of his suicide in 1850.
- Joseph Hurd Walker
Pages: Pages 337-338
Biographical / Historical: 1822-1858
Scope and Contents: Brief biographical notes ("His 'engagement,' which was acknowledged some time in the
course of the last winter, existed, through the greater portion, if not the whole
of his College life, without the knowledge of his Class!!!"), timeline.
- Henry Orne White
Pages: Pages 361-363
Biographical / Historical: 1824-1887
Scope and Contents: Brief autobiographical essay (opening and closing quotations in Greek; the remainder
mostly a fond farewell to his class), extensive timeline.
- Francis Charles Williams
Pages: Pages 365-367
Biographical / Historical: 1824-1910
Scope and Contents: Autobiographical essay ("I have passed through college I hardly know how; as a boy
certainly, as regards a constant attendance at cricket and foot-ball; as a student,
negligently certainly, as regards recitations, prayers, parietals &c. But the last
recitation is finished, the prayers are dwindling, parietals are not, and with these
may my boyishness pass away and be forgotten"), brief timeline, family information.
Gave Greek oration at commencement.
- John Abbot Emery
Pages: Pages 369-374
Biographical / Historical: 1819-1842
Scope and Contents: Biographical essay by Emery's older sister Margaret, transcribed and introduced by
Henry D. Sedgwick. "He is gone and if there ever was a planet only enlightened by
the Pleiades its inhabitants have mourned their last Pleiad as I do now."