The Diary of Samuel Sewall

  • Went to Salem.

    Went to Salem, where, in the meeting-house, the persons accused of witchcraft were examined. Was a very great assembly. 'Twas awful to see how the afflicted persons were agitated....
  • Giles Cory was crushed to death.

    About noon, at Salem, Giles Cory was pressed to death for standing mute. A large wooden board was placed atop his chest and stones were placed one by one onto the board.
  • A petition is sent to town in behalf of Dorcas Hoar.

    A petition is sent to town in behalf of Dorcas Hoar, who now confesses. An order is also sent to the sheriff to not have her executed, since she is on the execution list. This is the first condemned person who has confessed.
  • A bill is sent.

    A bill is sent in about calling a fast, and convocation of ministers. This is wanted and needed so that they may be led in the right way as to the witchcrafts.
  • Sam recites to me scripture from the Bible.

    Sam recites to me in Latin, Matthew 12 from the 6th to the end of the 12th verse. The 7th verse brough back awful memories of the Salem tragedy.