Mayhew, Jonathan

Mayhew, Jonathan

(1720–66) Protestant clergyman; born on Martha's Vineyard, Mass. A minister's son, he graduated from Harvard in 1744 and became pastor of West Church, Boston, three years later. He was a theological liberal opposed to Calvinist notions of predestination, and is acknowledged as a forerunner of Unitarianism. A political liberal, too, he delivered a sermon on the Stamp Act (1765) that advocated resistance to unjust laws, thus helping to create a climate in which the independence movement could flourish.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.