Horatio Balch Hackett (1808-1875), professor of Hebrew and classical literature, was born in Salisbury, Massachusetts, on December 27, 1808. He graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, and Amherst College, where he was a tutor in 1831-32. After graduation from Andover Theological Seminary, he taught at Mount Hope College in Baltimore in 1834-35. He was appointed adjunct professor of Latin and Greek at Brown in 1835, and was professor of Hebrew and classical literature from 1837 to 1839. Charles T. Congdon 1841 remembered Hackett:
"In Dr. Horatio B. Hackett we had a classical teacher of distinguished abilities and accomplishments.... I used to think him a man of the sixteenth century. He should have been employed in that kind of mastodonian annotation which swelled the spare remains of Velleius Paterculus into a chubby quarto of a thousand pages. Perhaps it was not altogether our fault if we could not relish the discussion of a disputed reading of Livy or of Tacitus as he relished it. He lived for learning, but he conscientiously gave all his great acquisitions to the cause of sound Christian knowledge. As he was accuracy itself, he occupied a high position among the American reviewers of the English Bible, and I suppose he went on toiling to the last."When Hackett left Brown in 1839 to become professor of Biblical literature at Newton Theological Institution, Ezekiel Gilman Robinson 1838 went along to continue his studies with him. Hackett continued to teach at Newton until 1868. In 1870, at the request of Robinson, then president of Rochester Theological Institution, Hackett returned to teaching as professor of Biblical literature and New Testament exegesis. After a trip to the East in 1852, he published Illustrations of Scripture, suggested by a Tour through the Holy Land. In 1858-59 he spent six months in Athens, sponsored by the American Bible Union. He contributed thirty articles to William Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, published in England in 1861-63, and in 1866 began an American edition of Smith’s Dictionary, which was published between 1867 and 1870. He continued to teach at Rochester, and only a few weeks after his final trip abroad, he died suddenly on November 2, 1875, having just met with one of his classes.