Experience Mayhew


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(1673–1758), born at Martha's Vineyard, from the age of 20 until his death was employed by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England, as a preacher among the Indians. He translated into the Indian tongue a lecture by Cotton Mather, and his Massachusee Psalter (1709), an Indian version of the Psalms and the Gospel of St. John, is declared to be the greatest monument of the Massachuset language after the Indian Bible of Eliot. Mayhew's other writings include Indian Converts (1727), a defense of his work; Grace Defended (1744), a theological tract upholding a measure of free will against the Calvinist doctrine of total depravity; and Observations on the Indian Language (1884), a personal letter written in 1722. Other works remain in manuscript. He was a grandson of Thomas Mayhew.

From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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