Mather, Allyn

Variant first names: Allen
Variant last names: Marther; Meather
honorificMr.
Birth: March 21, 1747 in Windsor, CT
Death: November 12, 1784 in Savannah, GA
Affiliation:

Moor's Indian Charity School; Yale College

Education:

Moor's Indian Charity School (1766-1767), Yale (1771)

Faith:

Old Side Presbyterian

Nationality:

Anglo-American

Occupation:

Minister

Residence:

New Haven, CT (from 1772 to 1784)

Marital status:

Married Thankful Barnard of Hartford, CT. They had four children.

Biography:

Allyn Mather was an Anglo-American charity scholar at Moor’s Indian Charity School who had a brief career as a minister before succumbing to illness. Mather arrived at Moor’s in 1766 and entered Yale in 1767. He had a strong distaste for the college: hazing bothered him, and he found the atmosphere singularly unreligious (his dislike was not fleeting: in 1778, he wrote to the Connecticut Courant to criticize the college course of study). Mather volunteered for missions in 1768. He accompanied Ralph Wheelock on his ill-fated third trek to Oneida territory, where Ralph acted intemperately at the tribal council at Onaquaga. Mather then attended Fort Stanwix with Rev. Ebenezer Cleaveland to try to patch up the damage done to Eleazar Wheelock’s agenda by Jacob Johnson. After his adventures, Mather returned to Yale, where he obtained his degree in 1771. However, he did not return to the missionary business: instead, in 1772, he became the pastor of Fair Haven Church, or Fourth Presbyterian, in New Haven, CT. It was a conservative Old Light (or more properly, Old Side) church, largely populated by parishioners who had defected from Jonathan Edwards’ congregation. It is unclear how strongly Mather himself identified with Old Side beliefs; he seems to have described the church to Wheelock as “despised” (773208), but he may have used strong language because he was trying to get out of paying his debt as a defunct charity scholar. Wheelock never seems to have collected from him, nor did he pursue Mather as vigorously as he pursued some other students. In 1779, Mather began having serious health issues, which forced him to travel south regularly. He died in 1784 on one such trip, in Savannah, Georgia.

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Sources:

Chase, Frederick. A history of Dartmouth College and the Town of Hanover, New Hampshire. 1891. Dartmouth College Library. A Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the Papers of Eleazar Wheelock. Hanover: Dartmouth College Library, 1971. Dexter, Franklin B. “Allyn Mather.” In Biographical Sketches of the Graudates of Yale College, Vol. III, May, 1763-July, 1778. New York: Henry Hold and Company, 1903. Pp. 422-424. Accessed via GoogleBooks. Love, Deloss. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Pilgrim Press 1899. Mather Family Trees. "Rev. Allyn Mather." http://www.matherclan.com/trees/getperson.php?personID=I679&tree=Mather Accessed 4/21/14.