Heman Humphrey Sermons
Heman Humphrey (1779-1861), educator and Congregational clergyman, was the second President of Amherst College (1823-1844). He was born in Hartford County, Conn. and graduated from Yale University with an A.M. in 1805. He was ordained a Congregational minister on March 16, 1807. He pastored in Fairfield, Conn., 1807-1817, and Pittsfield, Mass., 1817-1823. In the third year of his pastorate in Fairfield (1810), he began active proselytizing on behalf of the temperance movement, preaching and writing two books: Intemperance: An Address to the Churches and Congregations of the Western District of Fairfield (1813) and Parallel between Intemperance and the Slave Trade (1828).
On the basis of his pastoral and temperance work, Humphrey had become well known to the trustees of Amherst Academy (the founders of Amherst College). After the sudden death in June of 1823 of the first president of Amherst College, Zephaniah Moore, Humphrey was called to the presidency as his replacement. Humphrey's first and most lasting contribution as president of Amherst was to procure a charter for the college from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The charter (obtained in 1825) gave the college badly needed recognition and was secured despite opposition from Williams College and Harvard, both of which feared the loss of students and revenue to the upstart institution.
The Humphrey administration began with great enthusiasm. Preferring that his students worship as a group, Humphrey started the Church of Amherst College, leading the Congregational services himself. Great emphasis was placed on the spiritual development of the students, with six revivals taking place during the administration. By 1830 he had founded the Antivenenean Society, whose members were required to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and narcotics.
President Humphrey resigned his post on January 19, 1844. After leaving Amherst College he relocated to Pittsfield and continued to write, preach and lecture.
(Source: Edward L. Lach, Jr.. " Humphrey, Heman"; American National Biography Online Feb. 2000.)