Portrait by Joseph Badger ca.1750 (courtesy American Antiquarian Society)
|Born||May 15, 1687|
|Died||August 22, 1758|
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
|Notable works||A Chronological History of New England, in the Form of Annals|
Thomas Prince (May 15, 1687 – August 22, 1758) was an American clergyman, scholar and historian noted for his historical text A Chronological History of New England, in the Form of Annals. Called 'an American pioneer in scientific historical writing',Prince influenced historians such as Jeremy Belknap and Thomas Hutchinson, and his Annals was still being used as a reference text as late as 1791.
Jeremy Belknap was an American clergyman and historian. His great achievement was the History of New Hampshire, published in three volumes between 1784 and 1792. This work is the first modern history written by an American, embodying a new rigor in research, annotation, and reporting.
Thomas Hutchinson was a businessman, historian, and a prominent Loyalist politician of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in the years before the American Revolution. He has been referred to as "the most important figure on the loyalist side in pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts." He was a successful merchant and politician, and was active at high levels of the Massachusetts government for many years, serving as lieutenant governor and then governor from 1758 to 1774. He was a politically polarizing figure who came to be identified by John Adams and Samuel Adams as a proponent of hated British taxes, despite his initial opposition to Parliamentary tax laws directed at the colonies. He was blamed by Lord North for being a significant contributor to the tensions that led to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War.
He was the fourth child of Samuel Prince Esq. and Mercy Hinkley, and entered Harvard University in 1703, graduating in 1707 with a B.A. While at Harvard his interest in books was sparked after he
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 13,100 postgraduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning. Its history, influence, wealth, and academic reputation have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It has often been cited as the world's top university by most publishers.
chanced in my leisure Hours to read Mr. Chamberlain's Account of the Cottonian Library: Which excited in me a Zeal of laying hold on every Book, Pamphlet, and Paper, both in Print and Manuscript which are either written by persons who lived here, or that have any Tendency to enlighten our History" and began the formation of his "New England Library.
After graduation he began teaching at Sandwich while working on his M.A, which was granted in absentia in 1710 a year after he had begun travelling. He spent 2 years travelling to places such as the West Indies and Madeira before travelling to England in 1711 and preaching in Combs, Suffolk. While in England he gathered texts on the subject of early American history, hoping to write a book on the topic, but looking after the church and local citizens did not leave him enough time to do so.He returned to Boston in 1717, homesick, and traveled with Deborah and her brother Samuel Denny, members of the congregation at Combs. He married Deborah on October 30, 1719; they had four daughters and a son. He was ordained as a minister on October 1, 1718 by Dr. Joseph Sewell, and became the pastor for Old South Church, a position he retained until his death.
Sandwich is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, the oldest town on Cape Cod, turning 375 years old in 2014. The town motto is Post tot Naufracia Portus, "after so many shipwrecks, a haven". The population was 20,675 at the 2010 census.
A Master of Arts is a person who was admitted to a type of master's degree awarded by universities in many countries, and the degree is also named Master of Arts in colloquial speech. The degree is usually contrasted with the Master of Science. Those admitted to the degree typically study linguistics, history, communication studies, diplomacy, public administration, political science, or other subjects within the scope of the humanities and social sciences; however, different universities have different conventions and may also offer the degree for fields typically considered within the natural sciences and mathematics. The degree can be conferred in respect of completing courses and passing examinations, research, or a combination of the two.
The West Indies is a region of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean that includes the island countries and surrounding waters of three major archipelagos: the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Lucayan Archipelago.
In 1728 Prince began work on a A Chronological History of New England, in the Form of Annals, a history of New England beginning with the 6th day of creation. He became interested in such a project after, during his travels, he found 'the want of a regular history of this country everywhere complained of' and in an effort to preserve the contents of various texts, some of which by then had already been destroyed.This was such a momentous project that it took him until 1736 to finish the first volume, which covered events up to September 7, 1630 and had to be cut short after the publisher informed him that the book was becoming too large to be effectively published. The volume had poor sales, which is attributed to the lack of need for a text of such detail at that time and the lack of interest in a text 'written for a higher purpose than to amuse its reader'. Despite the lack of interest in the text Prince continued to work as a second volume, releasing it in three parts going up to 1633, each costing sixpence. Due to lack of further interest in the text this format was discontinued. Prince's work is noted for its accuracy, with Prince saying that “I cite my vouchers to every passage, and I have done my utmost, first to find out the truth, and then to relate it in the clearest order. I have laboured after accuracy; and yet I dare not say that I am without mistake; nor do I desire the reader to conceal any he may possibly find.”
New England is a region composed of six states in the northeastern United States: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick to the northeast and Quebec to the north. The Atlantic Ocean is to the east and southeast, and Long Island Sound is to the south. Boston is New England's largest city, as well as the capital of Massachusetts. Greater Boston is the largest metropolitan area, with nearly a third of New England's population; this area includes Worcester, Massachusetts, Manchester, New Hampshire, and Providence, Rhode Island.
Prince, a noted preacher presented a sermon at his own ordination which was said to be "a wonderful production." He was given several offers from various churches in New England upon his return, but chose to settle in Boston as pastor of Old South Church. In the 1740s he was a great supporter of the First Great Awakening, inviting George Whitefield to preach in Boston in September 1740.In an age of increasing religious skepticism, Prince attempted to reconcile scientific theories with orthodox theology, evident in writings such as Earthquakes the Works of God, & Tokens of His Just Displeasure and An Account of a Strange Appearance in the Heavens, a description of the Aurora Borealis he witnessed while in England.
The First Great Awakening or the Evangelical Revival was a series of Christian revivals that swept Britain and its Thirteen Colonies between the 1730s and 1740s. The revival movement permanently affected Protestantism as adherents strove to renew individual piety and religious devotion. The Great Awakening marked the emergence of Anglo-American evangelicalism as a trans-denominational movement within the Protestant churches. In the United States, the term Great Awakening is most often used, while in the United Kingdom, it is referred to as the Evangelical Revival.
George Whitefield, also spelled Whitfield, was an English Anglican cleric and evangelist who was one of the founders of Methodism and the evangelical movement.
He created the Christian History, a periodical in 1743 to report on the revivals sweeping Europe and the American colonies, with his son Thomas Prince Jr. acting as editor, although the periodical only ran for two years. The publication is notable as the first such Christian periodical to be created. In 1743 he wrote An Account of the Revival of Religion in Boston in the Years 1740-1-2-3, an account of the revival of Christianity in Boston linked in part to his support of the Great Awakening.
As well as the obvious collection of books, Thomas Prince also left an intellectual legacy. Dr. Charles Chauncy, a frequent ideological opponent of Prince, said after his death that "He possessed all the intellectual powers in a degree far beyond what is common. He may be justly characterized as one of our great men ... [and] deserves to be remembered with honour." His reliance on primary sources and meticulous checks of factual accuracy also makes his Annals a key historical work, one which is still in print today.
The town of Princeton, Massachusetts was named after Prince due to his high standing within the local community and his ownership of part of the land used to form the town, which was given to him in 1727 as part of the will of Cyprian Stevens; the Thomas Prince School, a school within the town, is also named after him. A printing company named after him (the Prince Association) was also formed in 1858.
The Thomas Prince Collection, belonging to Old South Church and deposited at the Boston Public Library includes, in addition to Thomas Prince's personal library, a copy of the 1640 Bay Psalm Book as well as John Eliot’s Indian Bible of 1663), and a collection of Prince's personal correspondence.
The Prince Society (est.1858), described in "The Cambridge History of English and American Literature" as "one of the most honoured of American historical organizations" is also named after him.
Jonathan Edwards was a North American revivalist preacher, philosopher, and Congregationalist Protestant theologian. Edwards is widely regarded as one of the America's most important and original philosophical theologians. Edwards' theological work is broad in scope, but he was rooted in Reformed theology, the metaphysics of theological determinism, and the Puritan heritage. Recent studies have emphasized how thoroughly Edwards grounded his life's work on conceptions of beauty, harmony, and ethical fittingness, and how central The Enlightenment was to his mindset. Edwards played a critical role in shaping the First Great Awakening, and oversaw some of the first revivals in 1733–35 at his church in Northampton, Massachusetts. His theological work gave rise to a distinct school of theology known as the New England theology.
Thomas Clap or Thomas Clapp was an American academic and educator, a Congregational minister, and college administrator. He was both the fifth rector and the earliest official to be called "president" of Yale College (1740–1766). He is best known for his successful reform of Yale in the 1740s, partnering with the Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson to restructure the forty-year-old institution along more modern lines. He convinced the Connecticut Assembly to exempt Yale from paying taxes. He opened a second college house and doubled the size of the college; Yale graduated more students than Harvard beginning in 1756. He introduced Enlightenment math and science and Johnson's moral philosophy into the curriculum, while retaining its Puritan theology. He also helped found the Linonian Society in 1753, a literary and debating society and one of Yale's oldest secret societies. He personally built the first Orrery in America, a milestone of American science, and awarded his friend Benjamin Franklin an honorary degree.
John Winthrop was the 2nd Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in Harvard College. He was a distinguished mathematician, physicist and astronomer.
Timothy Cutler was an American Episcopal clergyman and rector of Yale College.
Jonathan Mayhew was a noted American Congregational minister at Old West Church, Boston, Massachusetts.
Daniel Cosgrove Waterland was an English theologian. He became Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge in 1714, Chancellor of the Diocese of York in 1722, and Archdeacon of Middlesex in 1730.
Jonathan Parsons was a Christian New England clergyman during the late colonial period and a supporter of the American Revolution. Born in West Springfield, Massachusetts, he was the youngest son of Ebenezer (Deacon) Parsons (1668-1752) and Margaret Marshfield of Springfield. Though intended for an artisan career, the Rev. Jonathan Edwards, then a tutor at Yale, persuaded young Parsons to prepare for college.
William Webster (1689–1758) was a British priest in the Church of England and a theological writer.
Samuel Danforth (1626–1674) was a Puritan minister, preacher, poet, and astronomer, the second pastor of The First Church in Roxbury and an associate of the Rev. John Eliot of Roxbury, Massachusetts, known as the “Apostle to the Indians.”
John Hoadly was an Anglican divine in the Church of Ireland. He served as Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, as Archbishop of Dublin, and as Archbishop of Armagh from 1742 until his death.
Experience Mayhew (1673-1758) was a New England missionary to the Wampanoag Indians on Martha's Vineyard and adjacent islands. He is the author of Massachusett Psalter. He married Thankful, daughter of Thomas Hinckley, Governor of Plymouth Colony.
Leo the Mathematician or the Philosopher was a Byzantine philosopher and logician associated with the Macedonian Renaissance and the end of the Second Byzantine Iconoclasm. His only preserved writings are some notes contained in manuscripts of Plato's dialogues. He has been called a "true Renaissance man" and "the cleverest man in Byzantium in the 9th century". He was archbishop of Thessalonica and later became the head of the Magnaura School of philosophy in Constantinople, where he taught Aristotelian logic.
Thomas Foxcroft (1697–1769) was a minister of the First Church in Boston, Massachusetts in the 18th century.
Charles Apthorp (1698–1758) was an English-born merchant and slave trader in 18th-century Boston, in the colonial Province of Massachusetts Bay. He ran his import business from Merchants Row, and "in his day he was called the richest man in Boston." He acted for the British government, and supported King's Chapel.
Thomas Allen or Allyn was an East Anglian nonconformist minister and divine who preached during the 1640s in Charlestown, Massachusetts, but returned to England during the Commonwealth and was ejected after the Restoration. He was the author of various published works.
John Callender Jr. (1706–1748) was an American historian and pastor of First Baptist Church in Newport, Rhode Island. He authored the first historical account of Rhode Island, An Historical Discourse on the Civil and Religious Affairs of the Colony of Rhode-Island, in New England in America. From the First Settlement in 1638, to the end of the First Century.
Isaac Kimber (1692–1755) was an English General Baptist minister, biographer, and journalist.
Samuel Carte was an English antiquarian and clergyman of the Church of England. After attending Magdalen College, Oxford, he held many ecclesiastical positions in his adult life, publishing two sermons. He was an active local antiquarian researcher, assisting several fellow antiquarians in their histories of Leicestershire, and publishing several articles and one book on such subjects.
|Wikisource has the text of a 1900 Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography article about Thomas Prince .|