Who was Josiah Quincy?

Josiah Quincy III was born February 4, 1772 in Braintree, MA (current-day Quincy).  

In 1797, he married Eliza Susan Morton and had 7 children. 

He was a Congressman (1805-1813), a judge of the Massachusetts Municipal Court, the Mayor of Boston (1823-1828), a State Representative (1821-1822), and he also served in the White House for a year.  Quincy left Washington when he was 41 and returned to Braintree.  

In 1828, Quincy was elected president of Harvard College (1829-1846), where over fifteen years he modernized Harvard’s curriculum.  

Josiah Quincy served as a mayor of Boston for 5 years, and in that capacity Quincy professionalized employment in the city, and made Boston into a modern city.  Thanks to Josiah Quincy, Boston was known as one of the healthiest cities in America.  With all of Josiah Quincy's accomplishments for the city, he became known as the “Great Mayor.”  

Quincy played important roles in the American Academy of Arts, the Boston Athenaeum, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the Massachusetts Society for Prompting Agriculture. 

Quincy wrote a number of books including A Municipal History of BostonA History of Boston Athenaeum and others on scientific agriculture.  

Quincy died in Braintree on July 1, 1864. Quincy’s body was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery. The town of Braintree was renamed Quincy to honor his family.  

Taken from the Quincy biography by Cecilia Liu and Michele Li.