Mather, Cotton

Cotton MatherCotton Mather (1663–1728) was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His father was Increase Mather, the president of Harvard College and minister of Boston’s North Church. Cotton Mather was educated at the Free School in Boston and then at Harvard College. He joined his father as assistant pastor of Boston’s Second Church, which occupied the Old North Church Meeting House at North Square at the time. He became full pastor in 1685. He was a very industrious man and published many books. A hallmark of his life was “to do good.” During the Salem witch trials, he had established the court to try them and had an interest in explaining the spiritual nature of this phenomena. He was an early advocate for small pox inoculation.