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



To the Editors of the Crimson;

For those of the 20th century who think that a Harvard Commencement in the 18th century must have been a very dull and colorless affair, I should like to submit the following notes. The first is from the diary of John Rowe, Boston Merchant, for whom the present Rowe's Wharf in Boston was named. July 16, 1772.

"I went early to Mr. Inman's who made the Genteelest Entertainment I ever saw on account of his son George taking his Degree yesterday--he had Three hundred forty seven Gentlemen & Ladies dined. Two hundred & Ten at one Table--amongst the Company The Governour & Family, The Lieut. Governour & Family. The Admirall & Family & all the Remainder, Gentlemen & Ladies of Character & Reputation. The whole was conducted with much Ease & Pleasure & all Joyned in making each other Happy--such an Entertainment has not been made in New England before on any Occasion. I ( - - - ) went to the Ball at the Town House, where most of the Company went to Dance--they were all very happy & Cheerful & the whole was conducted to the General Satisfaction of all present."

And the following from "Benjamin" Wadsworth's Book."

"Capt. Sam. Gookin July 25, 1733 had a note to the Steward, to receive 20s for himself, and 10s apiece for Sam. Whittemore, Abraham Watson, Thomas Kidder, Wm. Morse, Tho. Soden, Nath. Cutter; for walking about near ye College, on Commencement day last in ye evening, and ye night following to prevent riots and disorders." and--

"Mr. Sheriff Gookin July 16, 1736 had a note to ye Steward for 25s for himself, and 12s apiece for six men more, for endeavoring to prevent disorders on ye last Commencement day, and ye night following".

The increase in wages would seem to indicate that the work of these 18th century Yard Police was proportionately increased from 1733 to 1736. John P. Brown

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