Colman, Benjamin, 1673-1747

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Colman received his A.B. degree from Harvard in 1692.

From the description of Sermons : manuscript, 1709. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612882178

Benjamin Colman (1673-1747) was born in Boston on October 19, 1673. He received an A.B. from Harvard College in 1692 and an A.M. in 1695. Soon after graduation he departed on a ship for London. The ship was taken over by a French privateer, who held the passengers captive before exchanging them once on land. Once freed, Colman proceeded to England, where he preached for several years, in several locations, before returning to New England permanently in 1699. He accepted a position as minister of the newly established Brattle Street Church, where he remained for the duration of his life. Colman was also involved on a few occasions in missionary work among the Indians living in New England and served as a commissioner for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the Parts Adjacent. He served as an Overseer of Harvard College for forty-eight years and as a Fellow for eleven years, forging a close friendship and working relationship with President John Leverett. On Leverett's death in 1724, Colman was offered the Harvard Presidency, but he declined, largely from concern that his liberal views would prove too controversial and divisive. Colman was married three times - once to Leverett's widow - and had three children with his first wife. All of his children died before him. Benjamin Colman died in Boston on August 29, 1747.

John Leverett (1662-1724) was the first lawyer and jurist to become Harvard College President. He served as President from 1708 to 1724 and is recognized for his efforts in transforming Harvard College from a divinity school into a secular institution. He was born in Boston on August 25, 1662 to Hudson Leverett, an attorney, and Sarah (Payton) Leverett. His grandfather, John Leverett (1616-1679), was Massachusetts Bay Colony governor from 1672 to 1679. Leverett attended Boston Latin School before entering Harvard, where he received an A.B. in 1680, an A.M. in 1683, and an honorary S.T.B. in 1692. Upon graduation, Leverett preached irregularly for several years and became a member of the Brattle Street Church. He married Margaret Rogers Berry, the daughter of former Harvard College president John Rogers, on November 25, 1697. They had nine children, six of whom died in infancy. Margaret died on June 7, 1720. Shortly after, Leverett married again to Sarah Crisp Harris, who died on April 4, 1744. Leverett played several roles in Queen Anne's War (1701-1713), including serving as an Indian commissioner from Massachusetts and attempting, without success, to persuade the Iroquois to enter the war on the side of the British. Before becoming Harvard College president, Leverett pursued a career as an attorney, jurist, and politician. He was a member of the House of Representatives (1696-1702), Speaker of the House (1700-1702), a justice of the peace (1699), a judge in the Court of Admiralty (1705), a justice of the Superior Court (1702-1708), judge of Probate Court for Middlesex County (1702-1708), and a member of the Provincial Council (1706-1708). John Leverett died on May 3, 1724.

Edward Wigglesworth was born to Michael and Sybil (Sparhawk) Wigglesworth in Malden, Massachusetts in 1693; the day and month of his birth are unknown. He attended Harvard College, receiving an A.B. in 1710 and an A.M. in 1713. Following graduation, Wigglesworth served as an usher in the Boston Latin School. He also preached in several locations, including Salem and Barnstable, before accepting the appointment as Hollis Professor of Theology at Harvard on June 28, 1721. He was the first to hold the position and was chosen unanimously; he held it from 1721 to 1765. Wigglesworth was made a Fellow of the Harvard Corporation in 1724 and served in that role until 1765. He married twice, the first time in 1726 to Sarah Leverett (daughter of Harvard President John Leverett). Upon her death the following year, he remarried to Rebecca Coolidge; they would have four children. Edward Wigglesworth died on January 16, 1765.

From the description of Letter from Benjamin Colman to Edward Wigglesworth about John Leverett, March 4, 1728. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 629696578

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Curwen family. Papers, 1637-1808. American Antiquarian Society
creatorOf Colman, Benjamin, 1673-1747. Letters to Benjamin Colman, 1693-1747. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Colman, Benjamin, 1673-1747. Sermons : manuscript, 1709. Houghton Library
creatorOf Colman, Benjamin, 1673-1747. Papers of Benjamin Colman, 1641-1763. Library of Congress
creatorOf Colman, Benjamin, 1673-1747. Letter, 1747 July 18, Boston, to Miriam Frost. New England Historic Genealogical Society
referencedIn Dogget family. Dogget family papers, 1648-1839. Maine Historical Society Library
creatorOf Goddard, Edward, 1675-1754. Sermon notes, ca.1709. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Davis, John, 1761-1847. Papers, 1627-1846. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Colman, Benjamin, 1673-1747. Letter, 1732 February 26, to Samuel Mather, Boston, Mass. New England Historic Genealogical Society
creatorOf Colman, Benjamin, 1673-1747. Letters, 1728-1745. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Edwards, Jonathan, 1703-1758. Letter, 1744 July 27, Northampton, to Benjamin Colman, Boston. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn Woodward, Joseph G. (Joseph Gurley),. Woodward collection, 1728-1776. Florence Griswold Museum
referencedIn Sergeant, John, 1710-1749. Letters, 1739-1743. Newberry Library
creatorOf Colman, Benjamin, 1673-1747. Benjamin Colman papers, 1641-1806. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Pepperrell, William, Sir, 1696-1759. William Pepperrell papers, 1664-1782. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Colman, Benjamin, 1673-1747. Papers, 1651-1809. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Colman, Benjamin, 1673-1747. Letter from Benjamin Colman to Edward Wigglesworth about John Leverett, March 4, 1728. Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Johnson, Samuel, 1696-1772. Samuel Johnson papers, 1710-1971, bulk 1710-1772. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Colman, Benjamin, 1673-1747. Sermons : manuscript, 1698-1706. Houghton Library
creatorOf Gilman, Nicholas, 1708-1748. Papers II, 1700-1784. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Colman, Benjamin, 1673-1747. Letter : to Edward Holyoke, 1744 July 10. Houghton Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Addington, Isaac. person
associatedWith Barnard, John, 1681-1770. person
associatedWith Belcher, Jonathan, 1682-1757. person
associatedWith Bury, Samuel, 1663-1730. person
associatedWith Church in Brattle Square (Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Colman, Mary Frost. person
associatedWith Cooper, Samuel, 1725-1783. person
associatedWith Cooper, William, 1694-1743. person
associatedWith Coram, Thomas, 1668?-1751. person
associatedWith Curwen family. person
associatedWith Davenport, Addington, 1670-1736. person
associatedWith Davis, John, 1761-1847. person
correspondedWith Dogget family. family
associatedWith Dudley, Joseph, 1647-1720. person
associatedWith Edwards, Jonathan, 1703-1758. person
associatedWith Fourth Church (Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Frost, Miriam person
associatedWith Galpine, Calvin. person
associatedWith Gilman, Nicholas, 1708-1748. person
associatedWith Goddard, Edward, 1675-1754. person
associatedWith Harvard College (1636-1780). Class of 1680. corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard University. corporateBody
associatedWith Holyoke, Edward, 1689-1769, person
associatedWith Jeffries, John, b. 1689. person
associatedWith Johnson, Samuel, 1696-1772. person
associatedWith Leverett, John, 1662-1724. person
associatedWith Massachusetts. Governor (1702-1715 : Dudley) corporateBody
correspondedWith Mather, Samuel, 1706-1785 person
associatedWith Mayo, Daniel, 1672?-1733. person
associatedWith Oswald, John, fl. 1726-1753. person
associatedWith Park, Joseph, 1705-1777. person
associatedWith Pepperrell, William, Sir, 1696-1759. person
associatedWith Righton, Elizabeth. person
associatedWith Sergeant, John, 1710-1749. person
associatedWith Sewall, Samuel, 1652-1730. person
associatedWith Shirley, William, 1694-1771. person
associatedWith Shurtleff, William, 1689-1747. person
associatedWith Shute, Samuel, 1662-1742. person
associatedWith Smith, William, 1697-1769. person
associatedWith Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (Great Britain) corporateBody
associatedWith Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England and Parts Adjacent. corporateBody
associatedWith Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. corporateBody
associatedWith Standen, Joseph. person
associatedWith Swift, John, 1679-1745. person
associatedWith Turell, Ebenezer, 1702-1778. person
associatedWith Turell family. family
associatedWith Whitefield, George, 1714-1770. person
associatedWith Wigglesworth, Edward, ca. 1693-1765. person
associatedWith William Augustus, Prince, Duke of Cumberland, 1721-1765. person
associatedWith Winder, Henry, 1693-1752. person
associatedWith Woodbridge, Timothy. person
correspondedWith Woodward, Joseph G. (Joseph Gurley), person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
United States
United States
United States
United States
Boston (Mass.)
Cape Breton Island (N.S.)
Great Britain
Church controversies
Congregational churches
Presbyterian Church
Presbyterian Church
Culloden, Battle of, Scotland, 1746
Dissenters, Religious
Indians of North America
Indians of North America
Local councils of churches
Pastoral theology
Pastoral theology
Religious thought


Birth 1673

Death 1747



Ark ID: w67d2vdm

SNAC ID: 4517960