Samuel Whiting (c1655) authored Concerning the Life of the Famous Mr. Cotton, Teacher to the Church of Christ at Boston, in New-England. This work is found both in the Hutchinson Collection, pages 242 to 249 and in Alexander Young’s, Chronicles of the First Planters, pages 419 to 431. Most scholars assume that Whiting’s work was used by Norton to author Abel Being Dead yet Speaketh in 1658. Samuel Whiting was a native of Boston, England, received both his bachelor of arts and master’s degrees from Emmanuel College, Cambridge University. He migrated to Boston, Massachusetts in 1636 and was related to John Cotton through Cotton’s second wife, Sarah Hawkred, as a result, he addressed Cotton as “Cousen” in his correspondence.
John Norton (1658) authored Abel being dead, yet speaketh: of the Life and Death of that deservedly famous man of God, Mr. John Cotton, late Teacher of the Church of Christ, at Boston, in New England printed in 1658 by Tho. Newcomb for Lodowick Lloyd to be sold at his shop next to the Castle tavern in Cornhill. John Norton graduated Peterhouse, Cambridge in 1627. In 1634, he migrated to Massachusetts where he succeeded John Cotton as minister at the First Church in Boston after Cotton’s death in 1652.
Samuel Clarke (1662) authored A Collection of the Lives of Ten Eminent Divines printed in 1662 for William Miller at the Gilded Acorn near the Little North-door in St. Paul’s Churchyard, London. This collection includes “The Life and Death of Mr. John Cotton, who died An. Christi 1652”. Like John Cotton, Samuel Clarke, graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge University. Clarke specialized in compilations of biographies taken from works about or by England’s leading Divines.
Cotton Mather (1702) authored Magnalia Christi Americana printed in 1702 by Thomas Parkhurst at the Bible and Three Crowns in Cheapside, London. Book III, Chapter 1, pages 14-32 of the Magnalia Christi Americana includes “COTTONUS Redivivus: Or, The LIFE of Mr. JOHN COTTON”. Cotton Mather was John Cotton’s maternal grandson. He graduated Harvard College and authored more than 450 books and pamphlets. His biography of John Cotton relied heavily on the work of Samuel Whiting and John Norton.
Larzer Ziff (1962) authored The Career of John Cotton: Puritanism and the American Experience published in 1962 by the Princeton University Press. Ziff examined Cotton’s career as a teacher and preacher, both in England and New England by comparing Cotton’s preaching and theology with that of his contemporaries in both the established church and various Puritan sects.
Sargent Bush (2001) edited The Correspondence of John Cotton, published in 2001 by The University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia. This work collects all known surviving correspondence by and to Cotton and contains 125 letters- more than 50 of which were published for the first time and span the decades between 1621 and 1652, a period of great activity and change in the Puritan movement and in English history.
Jesper Rosenmeier (2012) authored Spirituall Concupiscence: John Cotton’s English Years, 1584-1633, published in 2012 by Richard Kay Publications, Boston, England.