Education of Stephen Williams
Stephen Williams was educated in the typical
manner of children in Deerfield.
In addition, his father, Rev. John
Williams, taught him to read the Bible and
allowed him to read the books in his library.
His formal education was interrupted by the raid
on Deerfield and his ensuing captivity from
After he was redeemed from captivity in
late 1705, he lived with relatives in Roxbury
until his father and brothers were redeemed in
the fall of 1706.
The Williams family then returned to
Deerfield to help the town rebuild.
Deerfield was very crowded and housing was
scarce, so another family moved in with the
To make more room in the house, Stephen
moved to neighboring town of Hatfield to
continue his education with his cousin William
In July, 1709, sixteen year old Stephen was
admitted to Harvard College.
He and his six fellow classmates studied
Greek grammar, Hebrew grammar, logic, ethics,
politics, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy,
declamation, and divinity.
Stephen was a scholarship student and his
college expenses were met by several funds
already established at Harvard to financially
He also borrowed many books needed for
his studies from relatives and friends and had
access to the library of his great uncle Cotton
Mather (one of the largest libraries in Boston).
Later in life, he received an honorary degree of
Doctor of Divinity from Yale College in 1741 and
also from Dartmouth College in 1773.
The Journals of the
Rev. Stephen Williams
by Andrew Medlicott
Not to Fear the Face
of Man: A Biography of the Rev. Dr. Stephen
Williams First Minister to the Longmeadow
Congregational Church 1716 to 1782
by Margaret Stoler 1974
The History of the Williams Family
Stephen West Williams
by Elizabeth Hoff