Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Friday, June 08, 2012

Salem Witch Judge by Eve LaPlante (Book Review)





LaPlante, Eve. Salem Witch Judge: The Life and Repentance of Samuel Sewall. New York: HarperOne, 2008, c2007.

LaPlante, a descendant of Judge Samuel Sewall, studied his life in an effort to understand more of the man who was her ancestor. She begins with his marriage and the life which eventually led to his being selected to sit on the court as one of the judges for the Salem trials. She does a great job presenting his family life and the struggles he had with Puritanism and his own family's misfortunes. She shows his repentance of his involvement in the trials and his subsequent life. The reader is given a glimpse into what it was like to live in New England in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Drawing from Sewall's own journals as well as other primary and secondary sources, the author has successfully painted a portrait of her ancestor that will be studied for years to come. (4 of 5 stars)

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