Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MORTON, Charles, clergyman, born in Pendavy, Cornwall, England, in 1626; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 11 April, 1698. He was descended from Thomas Morton, secretary to Edward III., was educated at Oxford, of which he became a fellow, took holy orders, and for some time was a royalist, but on his conversion to Puritanism was ejected from his living, under the act of conformity of 1662. He then retired to the parish of St. Ires, where he preached to a semi non-conformist congregation, and after the great fire of London established a boys' academy at Alwington Green, where, among other youths, he taught Daniel Defoe. At length the annoyances that he suffered under the processes of the bishop's court induced him to emigrate to New England. With his pupil, the future historian, Samuel Penhallow, he arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1686, and a few months afterward he was chosen to the pastorate of the church there, which he held until his death. It was at first suggested that he be appointed president of Harvard, but a person so obnoxious to the government was judged unsuitable to occupy that post, and the office of vice-president was therefore created for him. He also read lectures on philosophy to a large class of students, but, by the order of the corporation, they were discontinued. Morton had great learning and much influence with his students. He was an enemy of large volumes, and therefore comparatively little record is preserved of his busy life. One of his manuscript pamphlets, entitled "Compendium physicale ex auctoribus extractum," is in the library of the American antiquarian society, and another, "A Complete System of Natural Philosophy in General and Particular," is in that of Bowdoin college. His published works include "A Discourse on improving the Country of Cornwall," a part of which, on the use of sea sand as manure, is printed in the "Philosophical Transactions" for April, 1675 ; "The Ark. its Loss and Recovery"" and a "System of Logic," long a text-book at Harvard (Charlestown, 1693).
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