[v. in-krees; n. in-krees]
Mather, Increase, 1639-1723, American Puritan clergyman, b. Dorchester, Mass.; son of Richard Mather. After graduation (1656) from Harvard, he studied at Trinity College, Dublin (M.A., 1658), and preached in England and Guernsey until the Restoration. After returning to Massachusetts (1661), he became (1664) pastor of North Church, Boston, and retained that position through his life. Cotton Mather, his son and colleague, cooperated with him in many of the affairs that occupied their busy lives. They were outstanding upholders of the old Puritan theocracy and of the established order in church and state. This conservatism led to trouble with the government during the Restoration period, and Increase Mather was a particularly bitter opponent of Edward Randolph and Sir Edmund Andros over the withdrawal of the Massachusetts charter and the conduct of the royal government. In 1688 he went to England to present the grievances of Massachusetts, and, after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the subsequent revolt in Massachusetts against Andros, he obtained a new charter that united Plymouth Colony with Massachusetts Bay Colony. Increase Mather looked with favor on the government of Sir William Phips. After 1692 his influence declined somewhat, but he remained powerful to the end. He was president of Harvard College (1685-1701), but he was inactive and spent little time in Cambridge. His writing reflected the concerns of his career. Cases of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits (1693), appearing soon after the Salem witch furor, denounced "spectral evidence" in witch trials. He also wrote a biography of his father (1670); A History of the War with the Indians (1676), written just after King Philip's War; and Remarkable Providences (1684), based on an earlier work by other writers.

See biography by K. B. Murdock (1925, repr. 1966); study by R. Middlekauff (1971); bibliography by T. J. Holmes (1931).

Increase Allen Lapham (March 1811 - September 15, 1875) was an author, scientist, and naturalist. Born in Palmyra, New York, his family moved to Pennsylvania, back to New York, to Ohio then to Louisville, Kentucky (1827-1830) then back to Ohio while his father, Seneca Lapham, worked on the canals in various locations. He displayed a talent for scientific observation early on while working on the canals and their locks himself, producing drawings that he could sell at the age of thirteen.

In 1836, Increase Lapham moved to Kilbourntown (which soon incorporated in to the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and worked closely with Byron Kilbourn in his business and development endeavors. The two had worked together previously on the Miami Canal and Lapham considered him a loyal friend and mentor. Before the end of the year, Lapham had published a Catalogue of Plants and Shells, Found in the vicinity of Milwaukee, on the West Side of Lake Michigan, perhaps the first scientific work published west of the Great Lakes.

Many of his works and early maps were used for various civil projects such as canal and railroad development. In 1844 Lapham published the first substantial book on the geography of the Wisconsin Territory. He published many more papers and books through his life, particularly on geology, archaeology and history, and flora and fauna of Wisconsin, including publication by the Smithsonian Institution.

Increase Lapham is considered the "Father of the U.S Weather Service," based upon his lobbying to Congress and the Smithsonian Institution to create such an agency to forecast storms on the Great Lakes and both coasts. When the agency was created through the U.S. Secretary of War, Lapham made the first such accurate Great Lakes storm warning from Chicago.

Increase Lapham is considered to be "Wisconsin's first great scientist." He was buried at Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee. Since his death, numerous landmarks throughout the southeastern Wisconsin area have been named after him, including Lapham Peak, the highest point in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee buildings, and streets. In Madison, Wisconsin, he currently has an elementary school named after him.

Published works

  • Catalogue of Plants and Shells, Found in the vicinity of Milwaukee, on the West Side of Lake Michigan, 1836
  • A Geographical and Topographical Description of Wisconsin, 1844
  • The Antiquities of Wisconsin, 1855
  • Geological Map of Wisconsin, 1855

See also


  • The Journals of Increase Allen Lapham for 1827-1830, Samuel W. Thomas and Eugene H. Conner, George Rogers Clark Press
  • Byron Kilbourn and the Development of Milwaukee, Goodwin Berquist & Paul C. Bowers, Jr., The Milwaukee County Historical Society

External links

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