Samuel Sewall (3049 words)

Oliver Scheiding (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz )
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error

Samuel Sewall is one of a number of important public figures of the colonial period. He is probably best known as one of the witch judges who helped sentence twenty people to death during the notorious Salem witchcraft trials (1691-1693). His penitence and deep contrition for the share he had in them later made him an advocate for human rights and a spokesman against the injustice of the institution of slavery. John Greenleaf Whittier remembered him as the “the Judge of the old Theocracy / Whom even his errors glorified” (1894, 67). Although he was closely related to the orthodox religious leaders of New England – foremost among them Increase and Cotton Mather – he took part in the reexamination of the ‘New England way’ in …

We have have no profile for this entry. If you are a qualified scholar and you wish to write for The Literary Encyclopedia, please click here to contact us.

Scheiding, Oliver. "Samuel Sewall". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 December 2008
[, accessed 19 January 2019.]

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here.