Heman Humphrey

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Heman Humphrey
Heman Humphrey.jpg
President of Amherst College
In office
Preceded by Zephaniah Swift Moore
Succeeded by Edward Hitchcock
Personal details
Born (1779-03-26)March 26, 1779
West Simsbury, Connecticut
Died April 3, 1861(1861-04-03) (aged 82)
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Spouse(s) Sophia Porter (1785-1868)
Alma mater Yale University class of 1805.

Heman Humphrey (March 26, 1779 – April 3, 1861) was a 19th-century American author and clergyman who served as a trustee of Williams College and afterward as the second president of Amherst College, a post he held for 22 years.[1][2][3][4]


Heman Humphrey was born in West Simsbury, Hartford County, Connecticut (which became Canton, Connecticut). His father's name was Solomon Humphrey, descended in direct line from Michael Humphrey, an immigrant who came from England some time before 1643. Heman's mother Hannah Brown Humphrey was the second wife of Solomon and was the eldest of the six children of Captain John Brown, who died on June, 1776, during the American Revolution in defense of New York. Heman's father Solomon was a farmer and moved from Simsbury in 1755, first to Bristol and then to Barkhamstead, where he died in 1834. [5]

Heman Humphrey graduated from Yale University with an A.M. in 1805 and was ordained a Congregational minister on March 16, 1807. He became a minister in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1807, moving to Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1817. Following his tenure at Williams College, in 1825 he was appointed president of Amherst.[6] He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1842.[7] Humphrey was influential in the nineteenth-century temperance movement and typical of the early proponents of prohibition.[8] He was the father of U.S. Representative James Humphrey.


  • Humphrey, Rev. Heman, D.D (1854). THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE. Reed, Hull & Peirson, Pittsfield. p. 32.  Url
  • Humphrey, Heman. Revival Sketches and Manual: in Two Parts (LC BV3790.H87 and Dewey 269). Pittsfield, Massachusetts: American Tract Society. Retrieved 2 October 2016. 
  • Humphrey, Heman. Intemperance:an address, to the churches and congregations of the Western district of Fairfield County. Published 1813. Printed by Eli Hudson, New Haven, Connecticut.



  1. ^ [1] Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
  2. ^ [2] Heman Humphrey and John R. Rice on Revival Praying
  3. ^ [3] William Stearns, President (amherstiana.org)
  4. ^ [4] Heman Humphrey, President (amherstiana.org)
  5. ^ H., Z.M..; N., H. (1869). Memorial Sketches, Heman Humphrey, Sophia Porter Humphrey (Computer copy ed.). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: J. B. Lippincott & Co. pp. unpaginated. 
  6. ^ "Heman Humphrey Sermons". Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Amherst, MA. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter H" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved September 8, 2016. 
  8. ^ (Hugins, Walter (ed.), The Reform Impulse, 1825–1850). Columbia, SC 1972
Academic offices
Preceded by
Zephaniah Swift Moore
President of Amherst College
Succeeded by
Edward Hitchcock