Ephraim Williams’ birthday was three weeks ago. I am sorry to have missed the party. Were any readers present? EphBlog author Morgan Goodwin ’08 certainly looks dashing in a tricorner hat. I liked this part:

Williams College traditionally recognizes the birth date of founder Colonel Ephraim Williams, Jr., as March 7, 1715, but a February 24 birthday nod to Williams wouldn’t be a full faux pas. When Williams was born in Newton, Mass., most Protestant-led countries ignored Catholic Pope Gregory’s Gregorian Calendar, which had been initiated about 270 years earlier. With an 11-day span between the Julian and Gregorian calendars, Williams’ birth date is believed originally recorded as February 24. But when Great Britain and the American colonies switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1752, Williams suddenly found that he had not only a new birth date but also a new birth month!

And a new zoological sign. Is it prurient of me to wonder about this?

Williams was killed during the French and Indian War Battle of Lake George in 1755. The 40-year-old bachelor Colonel met his demise during what became known as “The Bloody Morning Scout,” after he and his troops were ambushed. Historic lore asserts that Williams’ horse was shot from beneath him during the attack. When he ascended a rock to gather and direct his troops, Williams was fatally shot in the head.

How many rich men in 18th century New England were never-married “bachelors?” Not that many, I think. Take it away Professor Chris Waters!

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