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This week in Christian history: Puritan leader born, Quakers make treaty with Native Americans

Increase Mather born – June 21, 1639 

Increase Mather
A 1688 portrait of Increase Mather (1639-1723), a prominent Massachusetts Puritan preacher, politician, writer, and former head of Harvard University. |

This week marks the anniversary of when Increase Mather, a prominent leader in Puritan Massachusetts, was born in Dorchester to Richard and Katherine Mather.

A graduate of Harvard College in 1656, Mather would later become a Puritan minister and serve as president of the academic institution, as well as be the father of Cotton Mather.

“Even more than his illustrious son Cotton, Increase Mather is representative of American Puritanism in seventeenth-century New England,” explained the Mather Project.

“As a leader of Boston’s ministry, he became the defender of Puritan orthodoxy during its decline; as president of Harvard, he guided the college through its most difficult period; as a political figure, he secured a new charter for Massachusetts when the old had been revoked; and as a voluminous writer, he published in widely diverse disciplines.”

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