Few schools exist
Schooling is still a rarity in Massachusetts, as only twenty three public schools exist in Massachusetts at the turn of the eighteenth century.
A group of Congregational clergy petition the Connecticut legislature to form Yale in order to train ministers and magistrates.
Education and theology part slightly
Harvard's seventh President, John Leverett (1662-1724) is its first not to be trained as a clergyman.
Ben Franklin Departs Boston
A renowned diplomat, scientist, inventor, and author, Franklin's achievements are remarkable considering he had only two years of formal education. Franklin founded the American Philosophical Society, the first lending library in the colonies and an institute which later became the University of Pennsylvania.
Extending beyond the classics
Harvard College adds such non-classical studies as mathematics, surveying and astronomy. This demonstrates the growing the influence of the still new Newtonian world view on learning.
America's first professional scientist
John Winthrop (1714-1779) is Harvard's first research scientist. He explains earthquakes as caused by nature, engages in theoretical astronomy which predicts the movement of comets and moons, practices medicine and introduces algebra and calculus to the Harvard curriculum.
Citizens debate - newspapers grow
As colonial debate starts to grow so does the number of newspapers. There are accounts of seven colonial newspapers during this time including The Boston Post-Boy, Boston News-Letter, Boston Gazette, and Boston Evening Post.
Tensions run high in Massachusetts as animosity between British troops and colonists erupts into soldiers firing into a mob. The soldiers, who are represented by future President John Adams, are acquitted. The incident stirs sentiment for independence.
America declares independence, the colonies draw together through the Continental Congress.
Establishes the state's role in promoting education -- "it shall be the duty of the legislatures and magistrates, in all future periods of the Commonwealth, to cherish the interests of…public school and grammar schools in the towns." --- Massachusetts Constitution, Chapter V, Section II.
American Academy of Arts & Sciences
The academy is formed in Cambridge to associate "minds of genius" to work in concert "to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people."
The Petition of Prince Hall
Prince Hall, a black Masonic leader, begins Boston's struggle for educational equality for black Americans. As a tax payer he petitions the legislature to extend public education to black children, as it does to children of whites. This argument's failure energizes the community, which later petitions for separate schools.
Massachusetts Governor, Samuel Adams, advocates extending education for girls through English schools, and requires that children learn to read before starting school.
Williams becomes second Massachusetts College
Colonel Ephraim Williams' will provides for creating a free school in "West Township" -- so long as its disputed jurisdiction is ruled to be in Massachusetts, and that the town's name is changed to Williamstown. Harvard has been the only college in Massachusetts for over 150 years.
Caleb Bingham (1757 - 1817)
His publication of American Preceptor and later Columbian Orator has the effect of replacing bible reading as the primary instructional reading matter. Frederick Douglas credits much of his oratorical skill to secretly reading the Columbian Orator.