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Cotton Mather

(1663—1728) minister in America and author


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(1663–1728)

American Puritan clergyman. The son of Increase Mather, he became his father's clerical colleague in 1685. Immensely learned, often pedantic, he published nearly 500 works on theology, history, political questions, science, medicine, social policy, and education. Although he did not support the Salem witch trials, his Memorable Providences relating to Witchcraft and Possessions (1689) helped to stir emotions. After being passed over as President of Harvard, he helped found Yale University (1701), advocated Puritan involvement in social welfare, and championed smallpox inoculation. He was the first American-born scholar elected to the Royal Society.

Subjects: Literature.


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