Hooper, Joseph. Oratio salutatoria et oratio valedictoria, ca. 1763. HUC 6765.82, Harvard University Archives.


Undated and unattributed handwritten Latin salutatory and valedictory orations composed for the Harvard College Commencement. A modern note with the materials suggests Nathaniel Sparhawk (Harvard AB 1765) as the author, but the author was more likely Joseph Hooper (Harvard AB 1763), who delivered the orations for the 1763 Harvard Commencement. While the documents are undated, textual clues include mention of the command of George III in recent war against France and Spain, suggesting the speech was written soon after the Treaty of Paris which was signed in February 1763 to end the Seven Years' War. The speech also celebrates Harvard Tutor William Kneeland, who resigned from his position in July 1763, and mentions the illness of Professor Edward Wigglesworth (who died before the 1765 Commencement). The text also mentions Professor John Winthrop and Massachusetts Governor Francis Bernard.

Biographical Notes

Joseph Hooper (1743-1812), a paper manufacturer, was born on May 29, 1743 in Marblehead, Mass. He received an AB from Harvard in 1763 and an AM in 1766. Hooper was a prosperous merchant in Marblehead until his support of the British during the Revolutionary War forced him to flee to England in 1775. In 1783, he established a paper mill in Bungay, England. Hooper died in August 1812.

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