Last week the Boston Globe ran an interesting article on Tiffany Smalley, who is the third Wampanoag Indian to graduate from Harvard. Her predecessors, Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck and Joel Iacommes attended Harvard in the 1660s.
From the beginning, Harvard had a unique involvement in the Native American Community of Massachusetts. The first book to be printed in America was Reverend John Eliot’s Massachusett-Natick language bible. The Eliot bible, as it is known, was translated at Harvard College in 1661 with the help of three members of the Massachusett tribe. One of Harvard’s first ventures was to open a school for Native Americans who had adopted puritan religious principles.
Harvard historian Jill Lepore has written a fantastic book, titled The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origins of American Identity, that touches on both John Eliot and Harvard’s role with the Native American community in Eastern Massachusetts.