Cotton Mather /ˈmæðər/ FRS (February 12, 1663 – February 13, 1728; A.B. 1678, Harvard College; A.M. 1681, honorary doctorate 1710, University of Glasgow) was a New England Puritan minister, prolific author, and pamphleteer. He left a scientific legacy due to his hybridization experiments and his promotion of inoculation for disease prevention, though he is most frequently remembered today for his involvement in the Salem witch trials. He was subsequently denied the presidency of Harvard College which his father, Increase Mather, had held.
Mather wrote more than 450 books and pamphlets, and his ubiquitous literary works made him one of the most influential religious leaders in America. He set the moral tone in the colonies and sounded the call for second- and third-generation Puritans, whose parents had left England for the New England colonies, to return to the theological roots of Puritanism . The most important of these was Magnalia Christi Americana (1702) which comprises seven distinct books, many of which depict biographical and historical narratives.