Judge Sewall's apology: the Salem witch trials and the forming of a conscience
"The Salem witch-hunt of 1692 has entered our vocabulary as the very essence of injustice. Biographer and novelist Richard Francis shows the event's true significance with the story of Samuel Sewall, New England Puritan, Salem trial judge, anti-slavery agitator, defender of Native American rights, campaigner against periwigs, utopian thinker, family man, gallant wooer." "Sewall's life encompassed the tensions that faced the second-generation colonists, caught between the staunch conservatism of the Founding Fathers and the possibilities their new world offered. Everywhere there was conflict, schism and violence, from pagan Indians to a hostile mother country. Out of the struggle to maintain cohesion emerged the forces that drove the Salem tragedy. Five years after pronouncing judgement at the trials, Sewall walked into his church in Boston and recanted the guilty verdicts, praying for forgiveness. This extraordinary act not only proved a turning point for Sewall, but marked the moment when modern American values and attitudes came into being." "Drawing on Sewall's copious diaries, Francis enables us to see the colonial Puritans not as grim ideologues but as flesh and blood idealists, striving for a new society. Through Sewall's life, we gain access to the first, lost frontier of the New World."--BOOK JACKET.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -395) and index.
- LCC: F67
- Dewey Decimal: 974.402092
- Language: eng
- Physical Description: xvii, 412 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
- Sewall, Samuel,1652-1730
- Sewall, Samuel,1652-1730 -- Ethics
- Puritans -- Massachusetts -- Biography
- Judges -- Massachusetts -- Biography
- Merchants -- Massachusetts -- Biography
- Massachusetts -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
- Trials (Witchcraft) -- Massachusetts -- Salem -- History -- 17th century
- Salem (Mass.) -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
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