Sewall, Samuel

Sewall, Samuel, chief-justice of the supreme court of Massachusetts, was born at Bishopstoke, England, March 28, 1652, His father established himself in the United States in 1661, when Samuel was nine years old. In his childhood the latter was under the instruction of Mr. Parker, of Newbury. He was graduated at Harvard College in 1671, and afterwards preached for a short time. In 1688 he went to England. He returned to the United States in 1689. In 1692 he was appointed in the new charter one of the council, il which station he continued till 1725. He was made one of the judges in 1692, and chief-justice of the superior court in 1718. Sharing in the then general belief in witchcraft, he concurred in its condemnation in 1692; but at a public fast, Jan. 14, 1697, he acknowledged his wrong. In 1699 he was chosen one of the commissioners of the. society in England for the propagation of the Gospel in New England. He died Jan. 1, 1730. By his wife he received a large fortune, thirty thousand pounds, which he employed for the glory of God and the advantage of men. Eminent for piety, wisdom, and learning, in all the relations of life he exhibited the Christian virtues and secured universal respect. For a long course of years he was a member of the Old South Church and one of its greatest ornaments. Judge Sewall's writings are, Answer to Queries respecting America (1690): — Prospects touching the Accomplishment of Prophecies (Boston, 1713, 4to): — Memorial relating to the Kennebec Indians (1721, 4to): — -Phoenomena quoedam Apocalyptica ad Aspectum Novi Orbis Configurata (2d ed. 1727, 4to).

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