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Mather, family of American colonial ministers. Richard Mather (1596–1669) fled England (1635) for Massachusetts seeking religious freedom. A Puritan and pastor of Dorchester, he wrote the Platform of Church Discipline (1649), the basic creed of Massachusetts Congregationalism. Increase Mather (1639–1723), son of Richard, was president of Harvard College (1685–1701). A renowned Puritan pastor and scholar, he helped negotiate the colony's new charter and intervened against witchcraft persecution. Cotton Mather (1663–1728), son of Increase, was a famous preacher and scholar who contributed to the witchcraft hysteria. He helped found Yale Univ.; because of his broad scientific interests he was the first American colonist elected to the Royal Society of London.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Manuelito to Medical Association, American