Judge Sewall’s Apology
This work focuses on Samuel Sewall, a judge at the Salem witch trials who was so remorseful after the resulting executions that he later made a public apology. Viewing the trials and colonial society through Sewall’s eyes provides fascinating insight into the Puritans’ worldview. The picture that emerges from Sewall’s diary is contradictory—an avowed family man, he spent pages describing what he had for dinner, but wasted only a sentence on the death of his child. Overall, this is an absorbing look at a complex man who lived through interesting times and had the courage to admit that he had been wrong.