Cotton Mather Essay

814 words - 4 pages

In the history of United States there are not many men who was as influential as Cotton Mather. Cotton Mather, born in 1663 is third person of so called The Mather Dynasty, which begins with Richard Mather, his grand father. Although viewed now as just another intolerant puritan, Cotton Mather's literary and scientific accomplishments are truly great. During his sixty five years of living, he produced 382 literary works, which include Memorable Providences, which is about witches and what to do with them, Wonders of the Invisible World, which is also about spiritual world, and Magnalia Christi Americana, which is a book of spiritual history of New England. Even though he was a very pious ...view middle of the document...

In Massachusetts he became pastor of Dorchester until his death at 1669. Increase Mather, the father of Cotton was born in 1639 in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard in 1656. Then in 1658 he pursued further education in Trinity College in Dublin to get his M.A. Then he became a preacher in England till 1661, when he returned to Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, he became pastor of North Church, Boston in 1664 till he died. During the Restoration period he was a bitter opponent of Edward Randolph and Sir Edmund over the withdrawal of the Massachusetts charter. He was also president of Harvard College during 1685 and 1701. He wrote many books such as Cases of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits in 1693 soon after Salem Witch Trial and A History of the War with the Indians in 1676 written just after King Philip's War. Cotton Mather believed in witchcraft. In 1688, when he investigated the strange behavior of four children of John Goodwin in Boston. The children had been complaining of sudden pains and crying out together in chorus. He concluded that witchcraft, specifically that practiced by an Irish washerwoman named Mary Glover, was responsible for the children's problems. Three of five judges who were sent to Salem for witch...

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