Cotton Mather

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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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 man, he was also a great scientist. In 1721, he helped the public to overcome the smallpox with by aiding Boylston, an American Physician. For this achievements Cotton Mather became the first native-born American inducted into the Royal Society of London.

No account of New England colonial literature would be complete without mentioning Cotton Mather. His theological writings, now largely forgotten, had great influence in his time. One of his writing, Memorable Providences Relating to Witchcraft and Possessions stir up the wave of fear of witches in New England. Later he further wrote about satanic possessions with Wonders of the Invisible World. Essays to Do Good, written in 1710 was about doing good deeds. Mather's Magnalia Christi Americana (Ecclesiastical History of New England) was one of his most ambitious work. He couldn't be the president of Harvard like his father, but was one of the founders of Yale.

Ok, I'll talk about his family background now.

Richard Mather, the grand father of Cotton was born in 1596 in Lancashire, England. He was educated in Oxford University then he became a preacher, but when puritans...



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