1700

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.

1701

Yale Founded

A group of Congregational clergy petition the Connecticut legislature to form Yale in order to train ministers and magistrates.

1708

John Leverett

Education and theology part slightly

Harvard's seventh President, John Leverett (1662-1724) is its first not to be trained as a clergyman.

1716

Ben Franklin statue

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.

1728

Harvard seal

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.

1738

John Winthrop

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.

1750

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.

1770

Boston Massacre

Boston Massacre

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.

1776

Declaration title

American Revolution

America declares independence, the colonies draw together through the Continental Congress.

1780

Massachusetts Constitution

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.

1780

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."

1787

Prince Hall

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.

1789

Samuel Adams

Massachusetts Governor, Samuel Adams, advocates extending education for girls through English schools, and requires that children learn to read before starting school.

1793

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.

1794

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.