Increase Mather was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Graduating from Harvard in 1656, he took his MA at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, in 1658. After holding several pastorates in England he returned to Boston in 1661, and three years later began a 59-year pastorate of Boston's Second Church. In addition to his church work, he played an important role in ending the Salem Witch Trials. He was president of Harvard (1685-1701); but after being forced to resign from the presidency of Harvard by more liberal elements, he gave his support to Yale, which he hoped would become a stronghold of orthodoxy. Mather was a diligent scholar and wrote more that 100 books and pamphlets.
Birth of Matthew Simpson. This Methodist bishop, who was a close friend and the Civil War advisor to Abraham Lincoln, delivered the eulogy at Lincoln's funeral in Springfield, Illinois.