John Harvard was an Englishman from the Southwark neighborhood of London. He emigrated to New England in 1637 but died of tuberculosis only one year later. He is buried in the Phipps Street Burial Ground in Charlestown. When Harvard died he bequeathed half of his fortune and his entire library to the new college that was founded in Cambridge. The college was named after him in 1638. Daniel Chester French (Massachusetts native who also created the Lincoln Memorial sculpture, among many other famous monuments) sculpted the John Harvard Statue, now known as the "statue of three lies" in 1884. The three lies are: 1) the sculpture is not of John Harvard because, of course, it was created 250 years after Harvard died. French used a student as a model. 2) The statue incorrectly states that the founding of Harvard was in 1638, not 1636. 3) The plaque lists Harvard as the founder of Harvard college, when he was in fact only a benefactor after the Massachusetts colonial government founded the college.

Installed, 1884
Moved, 1924