Sparks, Jared,1789–1866, American historian and educator, b. Willington, Conn. He studied theology, mathematics, and natural philosophy at Harvard (1817–19). He was pastor of a Unitarian church in Baltimore (1819–23), founded and edited (1821–22) the Unitarian Miscellany, and was chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives (1821–23). Returning to Boston, he bought and edited the North American Review (1824–30), of which he had previously (1817–18) served as editor, and founded and edited (1830) The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge. From 1838 to 1849 he was McLean professor of history at Harvard and then was president of the university (1849–53). Among the many works he wrote or edited are The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution (12 vol., 1829–30), The Writings of George Washington (12 vol., 1834–37), and The Works of Benjamin Franklin (10 vol., 1836–40).
See biography by H. B. Adams (2 vol., 1893; repr. 1973).