109 Draft of a Protest to the Lieutenant-Governor and Council

    [June 17, 1697]

    To the Honourable, the Lieutenant-Governour, and Council.

    Wee, whose Names are Subscribed, being some of those, who by the Late Act for Incorporating Harvard-Colledge, are entrusted with the Government of that Society, do judge it Necessary to make this Representation of our present Thoughts thereupon.

    Wee are so exceedingly Discouraged, by some Late Votes, and other unusual [Threats?] wherewith the Colledge [effort?] hath bin discountenanced that wee cannot comfortably proceed in the management of the Trust Reposed in us. Nor can wee Think any other, but that serious and seeing men throughout the Land will bee grieved when they consider, what a sentence of Death hath been therein passed upon a Colledge that hath hitherto been the Life of the Country.

    Altho’ in Hopes that the General Assembly may at their Next Meeting be better informed in the true state of Things so as to Recal that Sentence, wee do not Immediately and Absolutely Resign our Relation to the Colledge, yett wee do hereby Declare that wee must, for weighty Reasons, utterly suspend all Action in that Relation, until wee see the event of these our Hopes.

    And if the Discountenance of the Colledge bee still continued, wee shall judge that wee have a Call from God and Man, Totally to Resign, and Lay the Blame of all the following Damages where it ought to Lye.

    James Allen

    Sam. Willard

    Cotton Mather

    Neh. Walter

    John White

    College Papers, i. 20 (No. 47). The entire document, including the five signatures, is in Cotton Mather’s handwriting. The “discountenance” of the College involved the vote by the House of Representatives against paying President Mather’s way to England to argue for Royal approval of the Charter of 1697. Mather’s supporters, who signed the protest, were: James Allen, of the First Church, Boston; Samuel Willard (A.B. 1659), of the Second (Old South) Church, Boston; Mather’s son, Cotton (A.B. 1678); Nehemiah Walter (A.B. 1684), of the Roxbury Church, and Mather’s son-in-law; and John White (A.B. 1685), future College Treasurer. The document contains some words crossed out.