In the Columbian Centinel, published at Boston, July 2,1806, appears the following notice:-
HARVARD COLLEGE LOTTERY."The subscribers, appointed managers of the above lottery, pursuant to an act of the General Court of this Commonwealth, having given bonds for the faithful discharge of that trust, respectfully present the public with the following scale of prizes" : -
After a considerable list of prizes, ranging from $7 up to $15,000, and an extended description of the scheme, the notice proceeds thus : -
"In the above scheme the just expectations of the public and the interest of the University have been consulted. It is worthy the attention of adventurers that the highest prize is nearly double in value to any that has been drawn in this Commonwealth for many years past. The managers solicit the patronage of the public in general, and of the friends of literature and the University in particular; and, considering the object of the lottery, anticipate their liberal attendance.
"It will be pleasing to reflect that, by adventuring in this lottery, they will combine the prospect of gain with the certainly of benefiting the University; and, by lending their aid to the means of education, will promote the best interests of their country.
??? "Tickets for sale by the managers, by William Hillard, Cambridge, and at the usual places in Boston, etc."
The tickets were sold at the moderate sum of five dollars each, and "quarter-tickets" were provided for the benefit of those whose interest in literature was not of an alarmingly ardent nature.
Although it is not stated what the result of the lottery was, we can nevertheless imagine the immense state of excitement that prevailed among the litterateurs and bas-bleus of the period.
The beneficial effect, too, on the fortunate man who drew the first prize must have been incalculable; and although he may not have understood exactly how he was "promoting the best interests of his country," yet he was certainly convinced that the fruits of learning are great indeed.