Important Persons in the Salem Court Records

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Samuel Sewall

Born in England in 1652, Samuel Sewall moved to America at the age of nine and obtained two degrees from Harvard before marrying into a wealthy family. As a prominent member of the merchant class, Sewall was selected by Governor Phips to sit as a judge for the witchcraft trials on the Court of Oyer and Terminer. Five years after the trials concluded, Sewall issued a public confession demonstrating personal remorse, taking in his words the "Blame and Shame" for his part in condemning innocent people. He was the only judge to do so.

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