The Path to Public Service at SEAS


Should Supreme Court Justices Have Term Limits? That ‘Would Be Fine,’ Breyer Says at Harvard IOP Forum


Harvard Right to Life Hosts Anti-Abortion Event With Students For Life President


Harvard Researchers Debunk Popular Sleep Myths in New Study


Journalists Discuss Trump’s Effect on the GOP at Harvard IOP Forum

Famed Progenitor of University's Gum Machine Benefactor No Ordinary General--Artemus Ward Was Soldier, Not Humorist


With the recent bequest to the University of $2,000,000 in memory of General Artemas Ward of the class of 1748, the income to be applied among other things "to establish his reputation, too long neglected as a devoted and faithful friend of his country", one more soldier of the Revolution will be rescued from the limbo of almost forgotten generals whose chief glory seems to exist, according to the popular mind, in a solitary monument on some old battlefield, or in the musty texts of arid histories and encyclopedias.

General Artemas Ward was a man of parts. Not only was he nominally in command of the Massachusetts troops at the Battle of Bunker Hill, but he was also prominent in the political life, first of the Commonwealth, and finally, toward the latter part of his life, of the nation.

Shortly after his graduation from the University, Artemas Ward was made a member of the Assembly and Executive Council for Worcester County. During the following years, he took part in the wars against the French and Indians, and finally on April 22, 1775, two days after the beginning of the siege of Boston was made Captain-General. A month later he was raised to the position of General and Commander in Chief of the Massachusetts troops. In this capacity he commanded at Bunker Hill, although he himself stayed in Cambridge at the time and detailed the leading of the troops to Colonel Prescott.

It would, indeed, be a pleasure for those who have loved the humor of a later Artemas Ward, to be able to think of him as a descendant of the worthy old general. Yet this is unfortunately not the case, for the name of the humorist was Charles Farer Browne, who chose as his nomme do plume. "Artemas Ward", for reasons known only to himself.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.