A few words on the history of the school may not be without interest to the students of the college, among whom there are, at the present time, over eighty alumni of the school.
Founded by the citizens of Boston in 1635, one year before Harvard, it has maintained an uninterrupted existence of 240 years, and today its prosperity and renown are surpassed by no other school in America. The school's history contains much that is of interest which cannot be contained in such a limited article, and but a few of the more important facts can be noted.
One of the early masters was John Lovell, whose portrait hangs in Memorial Hall, and it was during his administration that a party of Latin School boys made the famous protest to the British General Gage, against the petty tyranny of his troops. At this time the only requirement for admission was ability to read a few verses from the Bible.
Perhaps the most widely known master of the school was Dr. Francis Gardner, whose eccentricities were more than balanced by the success of his methods of instruction. He formed a prominent figure in the history of the school, and will always be remembered with respect by those who studied under his directions. At the present time the school is entering upon a new era of prosperity, and now that it has become settled in its new building, it bids fair to become more popular than ever before.
Some of the men to whom the college points with pride began their career in the school, among others Presidents Leverett, Langdon, Everett and Eliot, and Professor Josiah P. Cook. Other distinguished alumni were Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Robert Treat Paine, while the present century has witnessed the graduation from the school of Charles Sumner, Robert C. Winthrop, Charles Francis Adams, Ralph Waldo Emerson and hosts of others who have attained distinction, but whose names cannot be here given.