Judge Samuel Sewall

This entry was posted on Oct 13 2010

On November 18, the Gordon College Institute for Public History In Historic Salem inaugurates a series of lectures, Old Town Hall Lectures, in Salem’s historic Old Town Hall.

The inaugural lecture is being given by Richard Francis, on his book,
Judge Sewall’s Apology: The Salem Witch Trials and the Forming of a Conscience (London and New York: Fourth Estate, 2005) [Buy a copy on our online store]


Here’s a description from the website:

The Salem witch hunt has entered our vocabulary as the very essence of  injustice. Judge Samuel Sewall presided at these trials, passing harsh judgment on the condemned. But five years later, he publicly recanted his guilty verdicts and begged for forgiveness. This extraordinary act was a turning point not only for Sewall but also for America’s nascent values and mores.

We were curious to find out more about Judge Sewall. As it turns out, Google books has scanned in his published diaries and you can read them online. Search for “witchcraft” and this is the entry from August 19, 1692:

Clicking on the diary image above will send you to the Google Books site where you can read more.

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