Letter from George Richards Minot to Daniel Kilham, 1777 December 1
Letter from George Richards Minot to Daniel Kilham, 1777 December 1
Three-page handwritten letter from Harvard undergraduate George Richards Minot to his friend and Harvard graduate Daniel Kilham, dated December 1, 1777. The letter describes the discipline inflicted upon Minot and seven of his classmates by the Harvard government following a “Thanksgiving frolic,” and the retributions carried out by the students against a Tutor who recommended harsh measures for the accused students. The Early Faculty minutes for 1777 (UAIII 5.5, Volume 4, pages 75-76) describes the students’ crime as “making riotous & tumultuous noises in the Hall…committed in Presence of a number foreigners, & and on a day appointed by Authority for public Thanksgiving.”
Open for research.
Minot, George Richards, 1758-1802. Letter from George Richards Minot to Daniel Kilham, 1777 December 1. HUM 192, Harvard University Archives.
The Harvard University Archives holds the Harvard Corporation Papers, 1st series, supplements to the Harvard College Papers, 1st series, circa 1650-1828 (UAI 5.120), which includes a typewritten copy of a letter written by Harvard classmate Rufus King (1777) to Daniel Kilham in 1784. The Massachusetts Historical Society holds the Minot family papers, 1658-1933, as well as George Richards Minot’s political journal, 1784-1792.
George Richards Minot (1758-1802) was born in Boston to Stephen Minot (AB 1730) and Sarah Clark. He received his Harvard AB in 1778 and his AM in 1781. Minot was appointed Clerk to the House of Representatives in 1782, a year after being admitted to the bar; he held that position for ten years. In 1788, he published a history of Shay’s Rebellion. Minot was one of the twelve original founding members of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and was admitted to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1789. In 1792, he was appointed Judge of Probate for Suffolk County; in 1799, Minot was appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas in Suffolk County. He died in 1802.
Daniel Kilham (1753-1841) was born on January 15, 1753 to Daniel Kilham and Hannah Dodge. He received his Harvard AB in 1777. Following graduation, he studied medicine with Dr. Holyoke in Salem, Massachusetts, and later opened an apothecary business in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Kilham never married and eventually retired in ill health to his farm in Wenham, Massachusetts; he died on October 12, 1841.
Minot, George Richards , 1758-1802
Harvard University Archives
Kilham, Daniel, 1753-1841 (recipient.)
.01 cubic feet (1 pamphlet binder)
Harvard students' letters.
Personal correspondence.
Minot, George Richards , 1758-1802, “Letter from George Richards Minot to Daniel Kilham, 1777 December 1,” Colonial North American Project at Harvard, accessed September 24, 2017, http://colonialnorthamerican.library.harvard.edu/items/show/12104.