Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Marshall, John P., 1823-1901


John Potter Marshall (1832-1901), one of the first members of the Tufts faculty, was connected to the college for more than forty-five years. He served as acting president of the institution following Hosea Ballou's death in 1861.

Marshall, the great great grandson of Governor Dudley of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was born in Kingtson, New Hampshire, on August 11, 1823. Before entering Yale in 1840, Marshall attended local academies and worked for a year as a carriage builder in Boston. Following graduation, Marshall spent several years teaching in New England academies and also traveled south to be with his invalid brother. He later returned to New England to resume teaching, moving from his hometown to Danvers, Massachusetts, where he became principal of the high school there. Charles Leonard, future dean of the Tufts Divinity School, recruited him to be principal of Chelsea High School. In 1853, Marshall married Caroline Clement, with whom he had two children. She died in 1895.

Seeing it"as his duty as a universalist to aid the advancement of the college by every means in his power," Marshall left Chelsea to join the faculty of the fledgling institution. He did not immediately vacate his position in Chelsea, teaching there in the morning and at Tufts in the afternoon. Initially charged with instructing all of the scientific work of the college, Marshall eventually limited his courses to mineralogy and geology as the faculty grew in size. As the first faculty member appointed, Marshall served as Professor of Math and Physics from 1855 to 65, and then held the position of Professor of Mineralogy and Geology until 1901.He also served as Professor of Chemistry (1865-76), and Director of Barnum Museum (1892-1898). Following Hosea Ballou's death in 1861, Marshall was appointed acting president of the college for one year. He had also served as dean of the faculty from 1892 to 1898.

During the Civil War, Marshall spent two years in hospital service in the South. In 1872 and 1874, Marshall traveled abroad, studying mineralogy and geology throughout Europe.

In his spare time, he would grind lenses for the college's laboratory equipment and maintain the college's fossil collection, comprised mainly of his private pieces. He built the second house on the hill, at 48 Professors Row, two years after coming to Medford, and resided there until his death on February 4, 1901. A bronze bas relief in memory of Marshall is located in Goddard Chapel.

Source: VF; HTC, 105-107

Subject terms:
  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
This object is in collection Subject Temporal Permanent URL
Component ID:
To Cite:
DCA Citation Guide    EndNote
Detailed Rights
View all images in this book
Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
 List of Sources