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William Dummer

DUMMER, William, lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, born in Boston in 1677; died there, 10 October 1761. When Samuel Shute was appointed governor of the colony in 1716, Dummer was commissioned lieutenant governor, and after Shute left, 1 January 1723, he acted as governor and commander-in-chief till the arrival of Governor Burner in 1728. He conducted the war with the Indians with skill, and was respected for his ability and zealous regard for the public good. After the death of Governor Burner he was commander-in-chief again till the arrival of Belcher. After 1730 he lived in retirement. When he died he left his valuable farm and the mansion house, which is still standing, to endow Dummer academy in Byfield parish, in the town of Newbury, the earliest academy in New England, which was opened on 27 February 1763, with twenty-eight pupils.

His brother, Jeremiah Dummer, scholar, born in Boston, Massachusetts, about 1680; died in Plaistow, England, 19 May 1739, was graduated at Harvard in 1699, where he was noted for brilliancy. He studied theology, and afterward spent several years at the University of Utrecht, where he obtained his doctor's degree. Soon after his return to America he was sent to England in 1710 as agent of Massachusetts, and remained in London in that capacity till 1721. He was a benefactor of Yale College, to which he presented 800 volumes. He was intimate with Bolingbroke, and adopted some of his views. He published theological and philosophical disquisitions in Latin while at Utrecht, and a " Defense of the New England Charters" (London, 1728; reprinted, 1765), in which he argued that the New England colonists held their charters by compact, in consideration for redeeming the wilderness and annexing it to the British dominions, and that their land titles were not derived from the crown, which only possessed political rights over the country, but were based on purchases from the natives and on occupation and their own courage and enterprise. Tim proposal of the Board of trade to unite the colonies under a single viceroy and one assembly would produce, in his opinion, the result that it was chiefly intended to avert, that of encouraging the colonies to throw off their allegiance and constitute themselves a free state.

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