Facts and Events
William Dummer (bapt. October 10, 1677 – October 10, 1761) was a politician in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. He served as its lieutenant governor for fourteen years (1716–1730), including an extended period from 1723 to 1728 when he acted as governor. He is remembered for his role in leading the colony during what is sometimes called Dummer's War, which was fought between the British colonies of northeastern North America and a loose coalition of native tribes in what is now New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
Dummer was born into a wealthy Massachusetts merchant family, traveling to England as a young man to participate in the business. Upon his return to Massachusetts in 1712 he entered provincial politics, gaining a royal commission as lieutenant governor through the efforts of his brother Jeremiah. He served during the turbulent tenure of Governor Samuel Shute, in which Shute quarreled with the assembly over many matters. Shute left the province quite abruptly at the end of 1722, while it was in the middle of a war with the natives of northern New England.
The war was brought to a somewhat successful conclusion by Dummer. He negotiated a treaty with the Abenakis which formed the basis for a succession of later treaties. In 1728 Shute was replaced by William Burnet, whose 1 1/2 years in office were consumed by a vitriolic fight over his salary. Burnet died in office, and was eventually replaced in 1730 by Jonathan Belcher, who selected William Tailer to be his lieutenant.
Dummer then retired, dividing time between his farm in Byfield and his home in Boston. A proponent of education, he bequeathed funds for the establishment of a preparatory school in Massachusetts, and donated his Byfield estate for its use. For many years it was known as either the Dummer Academy or the Governor Dummer Academy, but is now called The Governor's Academy.