Samuel Willard (1290 words)

Elisabeth Ceppi (Portland State University)
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Though he has not attracted as much scholarly attention as his more famous contemporaries Increase Mather and Samuel Sewall, the Reverend Samuel Willard was among the most prominent ministers and intellectual leaders of Puritan New England throughout the volatile last quarter of the seventeenth century. As a young minister in the frontier town of Groton in the 1670s, he contended with a notorious case of demonic possession and the destruction of the town during King Philip's War. During the next three decades, as pastor of Boston's wealthy Third (Old South) Church, Willard would confront such challenges to the Puritan social and spiritual order as declining church membership, the revocation of New England's original charter, …

Citation: Ceppi, Elisabeth. "Samuel Willard". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 November 2004; last revised 10 September 2019. [, accessed 19 June 2021.]

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