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HUG 1871

Ware, Henry, 1764-1845. Papers of Henry Ware, Sr., 1783-1842: an inventory

Harvard University Archives

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Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HUG 1871
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Ware, Henry, 1764-1845.
Title: Papers of Henry Ware, Sr., 1783-1842
Date(s): 1783-1842
Quantity: 2.72 cubic feet (5 document boxes, 2 half legal document boxes, and 1 legal document box)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Henry Ware, Sr., a Unitarian minister and theologian, was the fourth Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard University from 1805 until 1837. Ware was instrumental in the creation of the Harvard Divinity School and the development of Unitarianism in New England. The papers of Henry Ware, Sr. contain materials he created over more than half a century beginning as a Harvard undergraduate in 1785, a minister in Hingham, Mass., and later as the Hollis Professor of Divinity. The collection includes two quarter bills from his undergraduate years, financial records and documents created during his Hingham pastorship, sermons, lectures delivered to students, teaching materials used for Divinity School courses, and a small collection of correspondence and records related to Harvard College administration. Ware's influence as a Unitarian theologian and educator can be researched in the sermons and lectures that form the bulk of this collection, and were delivered to Harvard undergraduates and Harvard Divinity School students regularly for more than two decades.

Acquisition information:

The complete provenance of the papers of Henry Ware is unknown. Some records were received on February 9, 1852 as the gift of Rev. William Ware. Additional records related to Ware's pastorship in Hingham, Mass. were received in January 1978 from the First Parish of Watertown, and appear to have been owned by the Watertown Historical Society. When available, specific acquisition information is noted at the item level.

Processing Information:

The material was first classified and described in the Harvard University Archives shelflist prior to 1980. The collection was re-processed in 2011. Re-processing involved a collection survey, re-housing in archival folders and boxes, and the creation of this finding aid. Typed transcriptions of the correspondence in the Records related to the Hingham pastorship series were moved to the control file for this collection.
This finding aid was created by Diann Benti in May 2011.
Preservation and description of the papers of Henry Ware, Sr. was supported by the Arcadia-funded project Harvard in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.

Researcher Access:

The Papers of Henry Ware, Sr. are open for research.

Copying Restriction:

Copying of fragile materials may be limited.

Preferred Citation:

Ware, Henry, 1764-1845. Papers of Henry Ware, Sr., 1783-1842. HUG 1871, Harvard University Archives.

Related Materials

In the Harvard University Archives
In the Massachusetts State Archives

Biographical Note

Henry Ware, Sr., a Unitarian minister and theologian, was the fourth Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard University from 1805 until 1837. Ware was instrumental in the creation of the Harvard Divinity School and the development of Unitarianism in New England.
Henry Ware was born on April 1, 1764 in Sherborn, Massachusetts. He received an AB from Harvard in 1785, and delivered the valedictory oration at Commencement. After graduation, Ware taught at the Cambridge town school and studied for the ministry under Timothy Hilliard, pastor of the First Church in Cambridge. Ware received an AM from Harvard in 1788 and on October 24, 1787 was ordained as the minister of the First Church in Hingham, Mass. Ware served as minister until 1805, when he was elected as Harvard's fourth Hollis Professor of Divinity, following the death of Professor of David Tappan on August 27, 1803.
Efforts to appoint a successor to Tappan had been stalled by controversy between liberal and orthodox Calvinist members of the Harvard Corporation and Board of Overseers. Ware was a liberal Unitarian, and it was only after public and contentious debate among College governors that the Corporation elected him as the Hollis Professor of Divinity on February 5, 1805. In response, Overseer Jedediah Morse published The true reasons on which the election of a Hollis professor of divinity in Harvard College was opposed at the Board of Overseers, Feb. 14, 1805, and founded the conservative Andover Theological Seminary. Opposition to Ware's appointment also precipitated the resignation in 1807 of Eliphalet Pearson, a Corporation member and the Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages.
Ware preached his last sermon in Hingham on May 5, 1805 and was inaugurated at Harvard on May 14, 1805. In 1811, Ware began teaching a course for the resident divinity students at Harvard. Traditionally, Harvard graduates interested in joining the ministry studied theology with local ministers for three years before receiving a Master's degree from Harvard. Many of these students remained in Cambridge to make use of the University Library, and Ware's course was the first to regulate their studies. In July 1816, the Society for promoting Theological Education in Harvard University was formed to raise funds to establish the Divinity School, and the first class of the Divinity School graduated in December 1817.
As an educator, Ware delivered sermons every Sunday morning to the College on the "Evidences and truths of natural and revealed religion," and for the resident Divinity students, Ware provided a weekly seminar that included a lecture and class assignments. Ware served as the Acting President of Harvard in 1810 (following the death of President Samuel Webber) and in 1828 (following the resignation of President John Thornton Kirkland). Ware's principal focus was the education of future ministers, but he also published sermons and theological works periodically. In 1820, Ware defended Unitarian theology in a published response to Dr. Leonard Wood, of the Andover Theological Seminar, entitled, Letters to Trinitarians and Calvinists.
In 1840, Ware resigned from the College due to failing eyesight, and spent the next two years developing his lectures on natural and revealed religion into An Inquiry into the Foundation, Evidences, and Truths of Religion, which was published 1842. Ware died on July 12, 1845.
Ware married Mary Clarke (1762-1805) on March 31, 1789, and before Mary's death on July 13, 1805, the couple had nine children, of whom six survived to adulthood. In February 1807, Ware married Mary Otis Lincoln, who died eight days later. On September 18, 1807, Ware married Elizabeth Bowes (1776-1850), and together they had nine children. Six of Ware's sons graduated from Harvard: Henry Ware, Jr. (1794-1843; AB 1812), John Ware (1795-1864; AB 1813), William Ware (1797-1852; AB 1816), Charles Eliot Ware (1814-1887; AB 1834), George Frederick Ware (1820-1849; AB 1838), and Thornton Kirkland Ware (1826-1896; AB 1842). Henry Ware Jr. was a member of the Harvard Divinity School faculty from 1830 to 1842.

References

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in twelve series:

Scope and Content

The papers of Henry Ware, Sr. contain materials he created over more than half a century beginning as a Harvard undergraduate in 1785, a minister in Hingham, Mass., and later as the Hollis Professor of Divinity. The collection is comprised of two quarter bills from his undergraduate years, financial records and documents created during his Hingham pastorship, sermons, lectures delivered to students, teaching materials used for Divinity School courses, and a small collection of correspondence and records related to Harvard College administration. The collection also includes Ware's research materials, two documents related to the publication of Ware's monograph An Inquiry into the Foundation, Evidences, and Truths of Religion, and an undated library shelflist.
Ware's election as the Hollis Professor of Divinity is considered a foundational moment in the development of Unitarian thought in New England. The sermons and lectures that form the bulk of this collection were delivered to Harvard undergraduates and Harvard Divinity School students regularly for more than two decades and help trace Ware's influence as a Unitarian theologian and educator. Ware's lectures and sermons focused on careful study of the Bible and the training of a community-minded minister, and the collection provides a resource for studying the religious curriculum of Harvard in the early 19th century.

General

This document last updated 2014 February 25.

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