In the past several years, Brown University, the University of Virginia, the College of William and Mary and other institutions of higher learning have investigated their ties to slavery. Now the Slavery Research Project at Harvard University has published a booklet entitled Harvard and Slavery: Seeking a Forgotten History.
Harvard was founded in 1636 and slavery was legal in Massachusetts until 1783. The new research project found that three Harvard presidents owned slaves. Evidence was found that slaves worked on campus as early as 1639. Several slave-related industries and slave owners contributed to Harvard right up to the Civil War. More information is available at the project’s website.
Here is a student video on the history of slavery in the early years of Harvard University.