United States Executive summary: After studying under the famous Ezekiel Cheeverhe entered Harvard College at twelve, and graduated in While teachinghe began the study of theology, but soon, on account of an impediment in his speech, discontinued it and took up medicine.
Mather was named after his maternal grandfather John Cotton. He attended Boston Latin Schoolwhere his name was posthumously added to its Hall of Fameand graduated from Harvard in at age InMather assumed full responsibilities as pastor of the church.
He set the moral tone in the colonies, and sounded the call for second- and third-generation Puritans to return to the theological roots of Puritanismwhose parents had left England for the New England colonies of North America.
The most important of these was Magnalia Christi Americana which comprises seven distinct books, many of which depict biographical and historical narratives.
Inhe conducted one of the first recorded experiments with plant hybridization because of observations of corn varieties. This observation was memorialized in a letter to his friend James Petiver: But to the Leeward Side, no less than Seven or Eight Rows, had ye same Colour communicated unto them; and some small Impressions were made on those that were yet further off.
He read Boyle's The Usefulness of Experimental Natural Philosophy closely throughout the s, and his own early works on science and religion borrowed greatly from it, using almost identical language to Boyle.
Increase was a pastor of the North Square Church and president of Harvard College ; he led an accomplished life. Despite Cotton's efforts, he never became quite as well known and successful in politics as his father. He did surpass his father's output as a writer, writing more than books. One of the most public displays of their strained relationship emerged during the witch trials, which Increase Mather reportedly did not support.
Catholic washerwoman Goody Glover was convicted of witchcraft and executed in this case. Besides praying for the children, which also included fasting and meditation, he would also observe and record their activities.
The children were subject to hysterical fits, which he detailed in Memorable Providences. Mr Cotton Mather, was the most active and forward of any Minister in the Country in those matters, taking home one of the Children, and managing such Intreagues with that Child, and after printing such an account of the whole, in his Memorable Providences, as conduced much to the kindling of those Flames, that in Sir Williams time threatened the devouring of this Country.
They are answerable… more than almost any other men have been, for the opinions of their time. It was, indeed a superstitious age; but made much more so by their operations, influence, and writings, beginning with Increase Mather's movement, at the assembly of Ministers, inand ending with Cotton Mather's dealings with the Goodwin children, and the account thereof which he printed and circulated far and wide.
For this reason, then in the first place, I hold those two men responsible for what is called 'Salem Witchcraft'  The court[ edit ] Mather was influential in the construction of the court for the trials from the beginning. Sir William Phipsgovernor of the newly chartered Province of Massachusetts Bayappointed his lieutenant governor, William Stoughtonas head of a special witchcraft tribunal and then as chief justice of the colonial courts, where he presided over the witch trials.
According to George Bancroft, Mather had been influential in gaining the politically unpopular Stoughton his appointment as lieutenant governor under Phips through the intervention of Mather's own politically powerful father, Increase.
Bancroft quotes Mather's reaction to Stoughton's appointment as follows: His contemporaries Calef and Thomas Brattle place him at the executions see below. Mather began to publicize and celebrate the trials well before they were put to an end: Mather referred to George Burroughs  as a "very puny man" whose "tergiversations, contradictions, and falsehoods" made his testimony not "worth considering".
Though I believe that the just God then ordinarily provides a way for the speedy vindication of the persons thus abused. Cotton Mather seems to take credit for the varied responses when anonymously celebrating himself years later: The original full version of the letter was reprinted in late in the final two pages of Increase Mather 's Cases of Conscience.
It is a curious document and remains a source of confusion and argument. Calef calls it "perfectly Ambidexter, giving as great as greater Encouragement to proceed in those dark methods, then cautions against them… indeed the Advice then given, looks most like a thing of his Composing, as carrying both Fire to increase and Water to quench the Conflagration.
Thomas Hutchinson summarized the Return, "The two first and the last sections of this advice took away the force of all the others, and the prosecutions went on with more vigor than before.
On August 19,Mather attended the execution of George Burroughs  and four others who were executed after Mather spoke and Robert Calef presents him as playing a direct and influential role: Buroughs [sic] was carried in a Cart with others, through the streets of Salem, to Execution.
When he was upon the Ladder, he made a speech for the clearing of his Innocency, with such Solemn and Serious Expressions as were to the Admiration of all present; his Prayer which he concluded by repeating the Lord's Prayer [as witches were not supposed to be able to recite] was so well worded, and uttered with such composedness as such fervency of spirit, as was very Affecting, and drew Tears from many, so that if seemed to some that the spectators would hinder the execution.
The accusers said the black Man [Devil] stood and dictated to him. As soon as he was turned off [hanged], Mr. Cotton Mather, being mounted upon a Horse, addressed himself to the People, partly to declare that he [Mr.
Burroughs] was no ordained Minister, partly to possess the People of his guilt, saying that the devil often had been transformed into the Angel of Light.- Revolt led by Increase and Cotton Mather. Increase Mather led negotiations in England over a new charter , returned with new governor William Phips after the witch hunt had begun - Andros eventually forced to flee - Massachusetts given a new charter.
Mather lived only another five years, dying in Boston in February at the age of sixty-four. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.
Early in sixty-two-year-old Hannah Mather Crocker of Boston gathered together three family heirlooms: the Mather family coat of arms, once owned by her grandfather, Boston minister Cotton Mather, and a whetstone and a tobacco box, formerly the property of her great-grandfather, clergyman Increase Mather.
Cotton Mather himself died on the day after his sixty-fifth birthday, February 13th , after an illness of about six weeks having served the Lord in the church at Boston for some forty-two years. Death was no stranger to him and he .
Cotton Mather. Cotton Mather (), Puritan clergyman, historian, and pioneering student of science, was an indefatigable man of letters. Of the third generation of a New England founding family, he is popularly associated with the Salem witchcraft trials..
Cotton Mather recorded the passing of an era. Increase Mather: Increase Mather, Boston Congregational minister, author and educator, who was a determining influence in the councils of New England during the crucial period when leadership passed into the hands of the first native-born generation.
He was the son of Richard Mather, son-in-law of John Cotton.