Erastus Otis Haven

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Erastus Otis Haven
File:Erastus Otis Haven.png
Erastus Otis Haven, President of the University of Michigan
President of the
University of Michigan
In office
Preceded by Henry Philip Tappan
Succeeded by James B. Angell
President of
Northwestern University
In office
Preceded by David H. Wheeler
Succeeded by Charles Henry Fowler
Chancellor of Syracuse University
In office
Preceded by Alexander Winchell
Succeeded by Charles N. Sims
Personal details
Born (1820-11-01)November 1, 1820
Boston, Massachusetts
Died August 2, 1881(1881-08-02) (aged 60)
Salem, Oregon
Spouse(s) Mary Frances (Coles) Rice
Alma mater Wesleyan College
Religion Methodism

Erastus Otis Haven (November 1, 1820 – August 2, 1881) was an American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, elected in 1880, and the president of several universities.[1]


Early life

Haven was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Jotham Haven, Jr. and Elizabeth (Spear) Haven, having descended from early colonists from Massachusetts Bay Colony, including Edmund Rice one of the founders of Sudbury, Massachusetts.[2] He is also a descendant of John Alden of the Mayflower.

Education and early career

He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1842. He had charge of a private academy at Sudbury, Massachusetts, while at the same time pursuing a course of theological and general study. He became Principal of Amenia Seminary, New York, in 1846. He entered the Methodist ministry in the New York Annual Conference in 1848. Five years later he accepted the professorship of Latin at the University of Michigan. The following year he became the Chair of English language, literature and history. He resigned in 1856 and returned to Boston, where he served as the editor of Zion's Herald for seven years. During this time he also served two terms in the Massachusetts State Senate, and part of the time as an overseer of Harvard University.

Administrative appointments

In 1863 he became the second President of the University of Michigan, where he served for six years. He then became the sixth President of Methodist-related Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. In 1872 he was chosen Secretary of the Board of Education of the M.E. Church. In 1874 he became the Chancellor of Methodist-related Syracuse University in New York. In 1880 he was elected a Bishop.[1]

Bishop Haven was a man of great versatility of talent. As a preacher he was able and earnest, didactic and hortatory rather than oratorical. As an administrator he was judicious and successful, but wearied among the details of perceptoral duties. His religious convictions were positive and controlling in all his life, and while ardently devoted to his own denomination, he was also broadly and generously catholic toward all other Christian bodies.

— Frances Elizabeth Willard, A Classic Town: The Story of Evanston (1891)


He was given the degree of D.D. by Union College in 1854, and a few years later that of LL.D. by Ohio Wesleyan University. Prior to his election to the Episcopacy, he served five times in the General Conference of the M.E. Church, and in 1879 visited Great Britain as a delegate of the M.E. Church to the parent Wesleyan body.[1]


He died in Salem, Oregon, and was buried at Lee Mission Cemetery in Salem.[2]

Selected Writings

File:Erastus Haven.jpg
Erastus Haven
  • American Progress
  • The Young Man Advised, New York, 1855. (made up of discourses delivered in the chapel of the University of Michigan)
  • Pillars of Truth, 1866. (a work on the evidences of Christianity)
  • a Treatise: Rhetoric.
  • Autobiography of Erastus O. Haven, D.D., LL.D., 1883.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Leete, Frederick DeLand, Methodist Bishops. Nashville, The Parthenon Press, 1948.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Edmund Rice (1638) Association, Descendants of Edmund Rice 9-generation Database, CD-ROM, available from Edmund Rice Association

External links

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
Henry Philip Tappan
President of the University of Michigan
Succeeded by
Henry S. Frieze (acting)
James B. Angell
Preceded by
David H. Wheeler
President of Northwestern University
Succeeded by
Charles H. Fowler
Preceded by
Alexander Winchell
Chancellor of Syracuse University
Succeeded by
Charles N. Sims