‘Till The Stock of Purtians Die’

For several days I have been debating authoring a historic book on my Puritan Ancestors. I posted on Poe, the Wilsons, and Hawthorne. This morning I read an article on the transformation of ‘Fair Harvard’ in order to makes certain peoples feel more included. Harvard was founded by Puritans. I am amazed at how little history this world renowned University compiled on the Puritans. I have asked, why? I have found amazing answers. I believe I was born to own these answers because I am of ‘Puritan Stock’.

The Hart family of Connecticut are of Puritan Stock. They came from Boston with Thomas Hooker. Captain Isaac Hull married into this stock and fought against the Barbary pirates on famous American vessels. There are famous Catholic Universities. Harvard is a Puritan University. The message in their song is meant for the ‘First Fruits’ of which my kin, John Wilson Jr. was one.

Harvard was formed as a perpetuating Corporation that I believe ‘Fair Harvard’ honors, and promotes – forever! Do those who feel left-out of American Corporate History have the right to revise and alter business history? Why not install a Native American as a honorary member of the board of Ford Motors?

“Have you driven a Ford, lately? Have you considered those who have not had the privilege? Maybe you shouldn’t feel so proud. Perhaps you should be very un-happy.”

I am seeking a attorney.

John Presco a.k.a  John Wilson Rosamond

“Harvard’s first commencement was a solemn affair. There were nine graduates in the class of 1642: Benjamin Woodbridge, George Downing, John Bulkeley, William Hubbard, Samuel Bellingham, John Wilson, Henry Saltonstall, Tobias Barnard, and Nathaniel Brewster. The graduates embarked on various religious and political careers, which oftentimes took them throughout the English Atlantic.”

In 1650, at the request of Harvard President Henry Dunster, the Great and General Court of Massachusetts issued the body’s charter, making it now the oldest corporation in the Americas; the subsequent Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts confirmed that, despite the change in government, the corporation would continue to “have, hold, use, exercise and enjoy” its property and legal privileges[1]. Although the institution it governs has grown into Harvard University (of which Harvard College is one of several components), the corporation’s formal title remains the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

The corporation was probably originally intended to be a body of the school’s resident instructors, similar to the fellows of an Oxbridge college. However, it early fell into the now-familiar American model of a governing board—an outside body whose members are not involved in the institution’s daily life, which meets periodically to consult with the day-to-day head, the president (whom it appoints). The Corporation is self-perpetuating, appointing new members to fill its own vacancies as they arise.








Fair Harvard
by Samuel Gilman (1836, revised 1997)
The first and fourth verses

Fair Harvard! We join in thy jubilee throng,
And with blessings surrender the o’er,
By these festival rites, from the age that is past
To the age that is waiting before.
O relic and type of our ancestors’ worth,
That has long kept their memory warm,
First flower of the wilderness! star of their night!
Calm rising through change and through storm.Farewell! be thy destinies onward and bright!
To thy children the lesson still give,
With freedom to think, and with patience to bear,
And for right ever bravely to live.
Let not moss-covered error move thee at its side,
As the world on truth’s current glides by,
Be the herald of light, and the bearer of love,
Till the stock of the Puritans die. 

You can find the tune here:

Lyrics to “Fair Harvard”

Fair Harvard! we join in thy Jubilee throng,
And with blessings surrender thee o’er
By these Festival-rites, from the Age that is past,
To the Age that is waiting before.
O Relic and Type of our ancestors’ worth,
That hast long kept their memory warm,
First flow’r of their wilderness! Star of their night!
Calm rising thro’ change and thro’ storm.

Farewell! be thy destinies onward and bright!
To thy children the lesson still give,
With freedom to think, and with patience to bear,
And for Right ever bravely to live.
Let not moss-covered Error moor thee at its side,
As the world on Truth’s current glides by,
Be the herald of Light, and the bearer of Love,
Till the stars in the firmament die.

[Revised 2018]
Samuel Gilman, Class of 1811


Diversity Task Force Chooses New Lyrics for Alma Mater

University President Drew G. Faust speaks at Commencement in 2015. Faust said she is excited to sing the updated lyrics to Harvard’s alma mater at this year’s Commencement.

Harvard announced an immediate revision to the last line of “Fair Harvard,” the University’s 181-year old alma mater, in a Harvard-wide task force report on diversity and inclusion released Tuesday morning.The lyrics, which previously read “till the stock of the Puritans die,” will now read “till the stars in the firmament die.” “Fair Harvard,” written in 1836, has only been altered once before in its history. In 1998, the word “sons” was replaced with the word “we” to address concerns of gender inclusivity.

Last April, Danielle S. Allen, co-chair of the University task force on inclusion and belonging, announced Harvard would hold a competition to select new lyrics for the final line of the song.

“The Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging launched this competition to affirm that Harvard’s motto, Veritas, speaks to and on behalf of all members of our community, regardless of background, identity, religious affiliation, or viewpoint,” the task force’s website reads.

The new line, submitted by Janet B. Pascal ’84, was selected from among 168 entries for the task force’s competition by a committee of five judges, among them Kurt Crowley, the associate conductor of Broadway musical “Hamilton.”

“I wanted something that had as much the same rhythm and vowels as possible, so it would sound the same, and the same kind of formal and flowery diction, so firmament just seemed like the perfect word,” Pascal said.

After months of work, the diversity task force on Tuesday debuted the final version of its University-wide report (which included the revisions to the alma mater). The report detailed eight key recommendations, one of which called for “Inclusive Values, Symbols, and Spaces.”

“The alma mater revision is a key part of that,” Allen said in an interview last week.

Pascal said she thinks the alteration to the alma mater means the song better reflects the perspectives of all Harvard affiliates.

“I think it’s a very good thing that Harvard was actually thinking about it enough to decide to change what is a line too firmly focused on one small group, so I’m glad they did,” Pascal said.

In an email response to the release of the report Tuesday, University President Drew G. Faust also referenced her desire to make symbols at Harvard more inclusive.

“The task force recommendations on inclusive symbols and spaces obviously extend well beyond the Smith Center, and I have asked the executive vice president and the deans to develop additional guidelines and policies designed to improve wayfinding on campus and to ensure that public art on campus reflects our commitment to belonging and inclusion, ” Faust wrote in the email.

The revision to the alma mater is one of multiple changes to Harvard symbols in recent years. In 2016, the Corporation approved the removal of a seal at the Law School after outcry from students.

The former seal featured the crest of a slaveholding family that contributed to the endowment of Harvard’s first law professorship more than two centuries ago.

“When it comes time to sing our alma mater, updated at the suggestion of the task force, I will proudly give voice to the song’s new final line—and its recognition that the pursuit of truth and knowledge belongs to everyone at Harvard, from all backgrounds and beliefs,” Faust wrote in her email.

—Staff writer Olivia C. Scott can be reached at olivia.scott@thecrimson.com










About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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