Biography of Rev. Cotton Mather
Famous American Biographies





COTTON MATHER, a celebrated minister in the "Puritan times" of New England, was born at Boston, Massachusetts, February 12, 1663, being a son of Rev. Increase Mather, and a grandson of John Cotton. A biography of his father will be found elsewhere in this volume. Cotton Mather received his early education in his native city, was trained by Ezekiel Cheever, and graduated at Harvard College in 1678; became a teacher, and in 1684 was ordained as associate pastor of North church, Boston, with his father, having by persistent effort overcome an impediment in his speech. He labored with great zeal as a pastor, endeavoring also, to establish the ascendancy of the church and ministry in civil affairs, and in the putting down of witchcraft by legal sentences, a work in which he took an active part and through which he is best known in history. He received the degree of D. D. in 1710, conferred by the University of Glasgow, and F. R. S. in 1713. His death occurred at Boston, February 13, 1728. He was the author of many publications, among which were "Memorable Providences Relating to Witchcraft," "Wonders of the Invisible World," "Essays to Do Good," "Magnalia Christi Americana," and "Illustrations of the Sacred Scriptures." Some of these works are quaint and curious, full of learning, piety and prejudice. A well known writer, in summing up the life and character of Cotton Mather, says: Mather, with all the faults of his early years, was a man of great excellence of character. He labored zealously for the benefit of the poor, for mariners, slaves, criminals and Indians. His cruelty and credulity were the faults of his age, while his philanthrophy was far more rare in that age than in. the present."


FROM:
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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