12 February 2009

Happy Birthday, Cotton!

Yes, it's Abraham Lincoln's and Charles Darwin's birthday, but let's not forget Cotton Mather -- born 12 February 1663.

In 1713, he became the first and only American clergyman to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and, in 1721, he was the most prominent and vocal proponent for small pox inoculation -- which he learned from his West Indian slave, Onesimus.

Oh, sure, in 1692 he defended the Salem Witch Trials with his Wonders of the Invisible World, but, hey, you can't be right all the time!

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