Cotton Mather (ˈmæðər; February 12, 1663 – February 13, 1728) was a New England Puritan clergyman and writer. Educated at Harvard College, in 1685 he joined his father Increase as minister of the Congregationalist Old North Meeting House of Boston, where he continued to preach for the rest of his life.
A major intellectual and public figure in English-speaking colonial America, Cotton Mather helped lead the successful revolt of 1689 against Sir Edmund Andros, the governor imposed on New England by King James II. Mather's subsequent involvement in the Salem witch trials of 1692–1693, which he defended in the book Wonders of the Invisible World (1693), attracted intense controversy in his own day and has negatively affected his historical reputation. As a historian of colonial New England, Mather is noted for his Magnalia Christi Americana (1702).
Personally and intellectually committed to the waning social and religious orders in New England, Cotton Mather unsuccessfully sought the p