131 Draft of a Letter from Increase Mather to the Speaker of the House

    [October 1702]

    Mr. Speaker

    Since the Colledge was 20 years under my inspection I can not but bear a great affection for its welfare and would [. . .] [propose?] something to your consideration in order to its future prosperity. Two things I take for granted. 1. It is necessary that the president and vice-president should be as the [just?] principles relating to church discipline Nonconformists as the Fellows who built the Colledge were 2. that they be men of Learning, otherwise the Colledge and whole country will be exposed to disgrace, as of Late it has bin.

    Considering that Mr. Brattle1 has his residence in Cambridge he is singularly advantaged to be servicable to that Society. I take him to be sincerely pious. And fully as orthodox as the person who has had the Name of vice president since Mr. Mortons death.2 He is scholar sufficient. When I was in England he managed one of the Commencements so as that the Colledge did not suffer any reproach by reason of his deficiency or Academical Learning. He is too young for president but let me recommend him to you for vice-president. As things are circumstanced there is no hope that any president will be prevailed with to remove to Cambridge. For my own part I plainly foresaw that the Colledge would come to that deplorable state tis now in, which made me decline removing my Family thither. It is now in vain to attempt the obtaining of a charter from England, which Letters from thence signify to me might have bin had a few years since, but now is too late. Yet it is meet that some one should have the Name of president who by his Advice, Authority, and Visitations may have a good and great influence on that Society. Give me leave to recommend Mr. Nehemiah Hobart3 to you. He is from the Congregational way and has a greater [measure?] of Learning than most ministers among us have. And has years and [gravity?] sufficient to qualify him for such a station. The late Corporation [consisted?] of 17, which number was too many. I often found inconvenience in it because the Quorum was so great as many times Corporation meetings were called in vain. In the first charter there were but 10. I conceive 13 are enow, of which 7 is a major part. I must pray you to be private in what I write to you. Only you may if you please communicate these intimations to Mr. Phips, Mr. Jewit, Mr. Oliver, Mr. Denison, for I know them to be men soundly [interested?] for the true interest of the Churches and Country.

    I pray the Lord to direct all your publick affairs, and rest

    Yours to my [power?]

    Will not the Assembly [record?] their vote for [requesting?] the Synods?

    College Papers, i. 31 (No. 70). Many words are crossed out. The Speaker of the House, to whom this was addressed, was James Converse. Quoted in Morison, Seventeenth Century, ii. 535n.