Founders of the Massachusetts Bible Society - 1809

The Massachusetts Bible Society began on July 6, 1809 and is an ecumenical, Christian organization dedicated to promoting Biblical literacy, understanding, and dialogue. This blog lists brief biographies of our founders who gathered in the Massachusetts State House Senate Chamber on that historic day to sign the Charter founding MBS. Please visit our website:

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Location: Newton Centre, MA, United States

Friday, June 26, 2009

Rev. Samuel Webber, DD

When the names of our founders were recorded on July 6, 1809, Rev. Webber’s name headed the list. Himself a 1784 Harvard graduate, he was ordained a Congregational minister in 1787. In 1806 he was selected as the thirteenth President of Harvard College, thrown into the conflict between founders Eliphalet Pearson and Henry Ware and their various supporters.

Before ascending to the presidency of the college, Rev. Webber had been the Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, writing a book on mathematics that served for many years as the only textbook on the subject in New England. He also had served on the commission that drew the boundaries between the U.S. and the surrounding British Provinces, boundaries that were later recognized by the Treaty of Paris. He was the Vice President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Rev. Webber was born in Byfield, Mass. Jan. 13, 1760 and died suddenly on July 17, 1810 at just 51 years of age, after which fellow founder John Thornton Kirkland succeeded him as Harvard’s President. Founder Henry Ware gave his eulogy.

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