Talk:Increase Mather

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article quality[edit]

I know even less about this person after reading the article than I did before. It is clearly tendentious and thoroughly partisan, as well as lacking in clarity of exposition. Possibly the worst wikipedia article I have seen. Should be thoroughly rewritten so that someone like myself who has no opinion, but wants information, is not spurred to complain as I have been.

The article was derived from the 1911 EB. The difference in time probably accounts for much of your confusion. What we need here is a good redactor. --Flex 14:58, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Above, I did some improving, I hope. I pruned a low snipe at Robert Calef. There seem to be (or have been) advocates of Increase and his son Cotton who want badly to exonerate them for any wrong doing, and to celebrate them. I don't understand the motive behind this and would love to hear from anyone out there who has a theory. If the early version of this was derived from the 1911 E.B. why was that entry, at that time so slanted (and immediately preceded by C.W. Upham's thorough treatment from 1859)? A friend of mine is married to a Baptist preacher and taught history at a Christian high school and she told me that "the ministers opposed the Salem trials and put a stop to it." This isn't supported by the primary documents. (Governor Phips stopped them after his wife was accused.) Also there is a lot of simple confusion between the names and books, with many stating that Increase burned his son's book, instead of Calef's book. More importantly, people have trouble understanding the double-speak of both Cotton and Increase, and selectively take from their writings, what they desire. Calef's main argument was 100% Bible-based and he resembled one of our modern American fundamentalist Christians much more than either of the Mathers, especially Cotton. Calef's declared motive was to thoroughly document the horror at Salem so it would not be repeated. No one has ever ascribed any other motive to him, in his lifetime or since (as far as I know-- please enlighten me if otherwise). Cotton Mather had him prosecuted for libel and then didn't show up in court so it was dropped. His further response is published/available and it is neither rational nor convincing. Juliegolden (talk) 16:31, 10 February 2012 (UTC)


I've cleaned this article up (somewhat), and have made the following notes:

  • Is the "Second (or North) Church" the Old North Church of Paul Revere infamy?
  • Is it just me or do semicolons make thought fundamentally harder to understand?
  • "fetched over and made a Sacrifice" ?!
  • "Eluded officers sent to alrest him" *roll*
  • I think the == ==s help the most...

Thanx 21:51, 27 July 2005 (UTC)


I thought that this Wikipedia article was VERY confusing. It was too technical, not to mention VERY opinion oriented. Someone needs to do some serious editing.

~Anonymous Student~

Further redactions[edit]

Redacted alot, hopefully the years time since the above comment(s) will make this a legitimate articel. 03:56, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Removed noxious tendentious partizanry heretofore complained about.[edit]

See title. I completely revoked the previous articel except for the categories, interlanguages, templates and sucession boxes and the image. Doing some cursory sourcing I hope I've been able to decently "clean-room" an articel on this dude. I'm not sure of the method of referencing I've used is legitimate, but it's a matter of alot of cites and not alot of sources, so I did what didn't make the refs section as long as the articel itself. 09:22, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Screw it screw it screw it screw it[edit]

I refuse to deal with this page anymore. 13:05, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

User:No1lakersfan violated WP:FN#Converting_citation_styles by not getting consensus before converting the citation style, and you would be completely justified in reverting that change wholesale. Is there some other reason you are giving up? (On the other hand, note that the bottom of every edit box is the statement "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed by others, do not submit it." Cf. WP:OWN.) --Flex (talk|contribs) 01:06, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I've made the revert. I don't mind other people editing this page (Granted, I may dislike the edit itself) and have no problem with it occurring. What irritated me most was just that it can be incredibly hard (for me at least) to deal with this new style. I admit it has certain advantages, but when I'm doing maintenance on it it is so much harder to deal with then the current style. 07:19, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I apologize for the damages I made to that page. I did not intend to cause trouble by converting the references for that page, and did not know that such a rule for Wikipedia existed. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, and I will be more careful with converting these tags from now on. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by No1lakersfan (talkcontribs) 03:27, 19 December 2006 (UTC).
Don't worry about it, I didn't know that that rule existed either untill User:Flex notifyed me of this on my talk page! As they say, "continue editing normally". ;D! 07:19, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

O and by the way, sorry for the less then couth section heading I gave this... 07:22, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Another conversion[edit]

I see User:CharlotteWebb converted the references without seeking consensus here. Let me just go ahead and propose that we move the ref tags. All in favor? Opposed? --Flex (talk|contribs) 16:29, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you are proposing, though it appears to be a vote of some kind, possibly on whether to endorse or revert the work I've done, which would be a silly alternative to editing the page however you see fit. Furthermore, I was unaware of the previous controversy, but it is my opinion that the {{ref}}/{{note}} method should be abandoned wherever possible. — CharlotteWebb 02:14, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I propose the vote because User: previously objected to the change (see above) and because WP:FN#Converting_citation_styles (in tension with WP:BOLD) does say consensus should be reached on this matter before moving ahead. Usually seeking consensus would be little more than a courtesy and a rubber stamp since most editors would prefer the newer citation styles, but here it may not be so. I vote that we keep the new citation style as is. --Flex (talk|contribs) 13:40, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I've completely abandoned this page and all others; do with it as you see fit. 18:46, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I may also add: You botched the conversion. For some strange reason the UMKC reference wasn't converted, resulting in a flood of "citation needed" tags, including one an an already cited statement! 18:54, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I am relieved that user has forsworn editing this page. In my opinion, the mass edits done were not at all improvements. Proyster 15:19, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

OKokok I'm back. Anyway, the "mass edits" I did were because the original page was repeatedly complained about and was almost totally unsourced beyond the "we-stole-it-from-Britannica-from-1911". Others edits I can't try and justify. As to improvements, you can try and make them yourself. All my edits were attempts to that end. Also, I'm not a "vandal". 23:56, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Please accept my apologies for using that term. I note your yeoman service, honors, and decorations on other entries. I was misled by the "headline," the quantity of deletions, and lack of a user-name--although your right to anonymity is inalienable & fine by me. I believe this article still needs further work, even reorganization; but I'm not prepared to undertake it; at least all at once. I'm not persuaded yet that the new referencing scheme is so great. It certainly produces some odd-looking results here. Proyster 15:15, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

I admitted previously (and stick by it) that the name of the section was less then calmly selected. As to further improvements, I fully admit this is far from something I would submit as finished work and anyone is welcome to do so without let or hindrance from me. 18:53, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Is this real?[edit]

In the middle of the list of works of his works is "De successu evangelij apud Indos in Novâ-Angliâ epistola (1688)" — That looks alot like Esperanto, but in 1688?! 15:13, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

It's Latin and seems legit: [1]. --Flex (talk/contribs) 17:54, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

It translates as "A letter concerning the success of the gospel among the Indians in New-England"--and it was probably his most widely translated and circulated work in Europe. It is a brief (about 10 pages) account of the missionary efforts of John Eliot at Natick & the Mayhews of Martha's Vineyard.Proyster 23:47, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I see. I was unaware that Latin had J's and a's-with-circumflexes. (talk) 06:25, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Classical Latin didn't have, but new letters were added in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Era. Their use was not always consistent. The circumflexes denote an ablative case here, since 'Nova Anglia' is written the same way in the nominative and ablative but pronounced differently. -- (talk) 17:10, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

Someone should mention his sympathy for preying Indians during King Philips war[edit]

he seems to be one of the few people who cared about their fates, yet there is nothing about this war. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:24, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Mather's name[edit]

It is not clear how the name "Mather" was pronounced. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:42, 14 August 2013 (UTC)