This time honored and interesting relic has been in the possession of the college since the time of President Holyoke, 1737-1769. It was presented to him by the Rev. Ebenezer Terrell, of Medford. This worthy man was connected in marriage with the famous Mathers, by one of whom the chair is said to have been brought from England. It is triangular in shape and resembles many chairs found in the pleasant cottages of Herefordshire at the beginning of the last century. The wooden knobs which ornament the back were turned by President Holyoke himself. Now it is only used on Commencement Day, when the President as the head of the whole university, sits in it. During the remainder of the year it passes a dignified and quiet existence in the President's office at U. 5, in company with several other antiquities. Previous to its stay in the University it was kept for many years in Gore Hall where it was one of the chief attractions for visitors to the library. Years ago, before Gore Hall was built, it was kept in Harvard hall. During that time a custom prevailed with regard to it, which it is interesting to recall. Mr. Bigelow thus describes this custom in his Phi Beta Kappa poem of 1811.
"Now young gallants allure their favorite fair
To take a seat in Presidential chair ;
Then seize the long accustomed fee, the bliss
Of the half ravished, half free-granted kiss."