Edward Everett (1794-1865)
Born in Dorchester, Massachusetts on April 11, 1794, Edward Everett went on to become a great orator and statesman.Everett graduated from Harvard College in 1811 before pursuing his studies in divinity, for which he received his M.A. in 1814. He was pastor at the Brattle Street Church for a year before becoming the first chair of Greek literature at Harvard. The College paid for his studies in Germany, and in 1817 Everett was the first American to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Göttingen. He married Charlotte Gray Brooks shortly after returning to America; the couple had six children.
Everett was nominated as a representative to Congress following a Phi Beta Kappa oration in 1824. He served from 1825-35, for five terms, and was recognized for his great abilities as an orator. He was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1835 (serving until 1839), then served as minister to Great Britain (from 1841-45), and then as president of Harvard from 1846-49. Following four months as Secretary of State during the Fillmore presidency, Everett was elected as a Massachusetts Senator for a six-year term. He resigned due to elevated conflicts over the issue of slavery. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Everett began traveling throughout the North giving orations that supported the government and acted as calls to action.
In addition to Everett’s legacy in the realm of American political history, he was important in the history of Mount Auburn: he was secretary at the June 1831 meeting at Mount Auburn that voted to purchase the land on which the Cemetery is now situated.
Edward Everett is buried at Mount Auburn in Lot 17 on Magnolia Avenue.
Adapted from the research of Judy Jackson and Janet Heywood, as published in Mount Auburn’s Person of the Week: Edward Everett, 1999.