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To Stephen Sewall NEHGR; Upham/NEHGS September 20, 1692

September 20, 1692

My dear and very obliging Stephen,

[He is beset by �objectors� to the Salem trials.] � that I may be the more capable to assist in lifting up a standard against the infernal enemy, I must renew my most importunate request, that you would please quickly to perform what you kindly promised, of giving me a narrative of the evidences given in at the trials of half a dozen or, if you please, a dozen, of the principal witches that have been condemned. I know, �twill cost you some time; but when you are sensible of the benefit that will follow, I know you will not think much of that cost. And my own willingness to expose myself unto the utmost, for the defense of my friends with you, makes me presume to plead something of merit to be considered.

I shall be content if you draw up the desired narrative by way of letter to me; or at least, let it not come without a letter, wherein you shall, if you can, intimate over again, what you have sometimes told me, of the awe which is upon the hearts of your juries, with [respect?] unto the validity of the spectral evidences. Please also [torn] some of your observations about the confessors and [torn] the credibility of what they assert; or about things evidently preternatural in the witchcrafts, and whatever else you may account an entertainment, for an inquisitive person, that entirely loves you and Salem. Nay, tho� I will never lay aside the character which I mentioned in my last words, yet I am willing that when you write, you should imagine me as obstinate a Sadducee and witch-advocate as any among us; address me as one that believed in nothing reasonable; and when you have so knocked me down, in a specter so unlike me, you will enable me to box it about among my neighbors, till it come, I know not where, at last.

�Sir, Your grateful friend,

[Mentions in a postscript that Governor Phips himself prompted his request to Sewall.]