Summary Of Samuel Sewall And William Byrd

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After reading the letters and secret diaries of Samuel Sewall and William Byrd, I was able to see the views and perspectives of two great, but very different men. Samuel Sewall was born in England and came to America, to Massachusetts in 1661 with his parents at a young age. He received his education at Harvard, studying theology. Sewall was a judge during the Salem witch trials and also served a as member of the Colonial Governors Council, where he served as Chief Justice. Sewall would later tell of his regrets and errors made on his part during the Salem Witch trials, although he would be the only one of Salem’s judges to do so publicly. William Byrd II was born in America in Virginia. Unlike Sewall who was born in England and brought …show more content…

Sewall was a man of conviction and tried to maintain a life of purity. William Byrd on the other hand lived a very sinful life that consisted of “wenching and gambling” (page 143). Although Byrd wasn’t strong in the Christian faith, he did believe in God. His morning and nightly routines as shown in his diary writings were often consistent, beginning with reading, prayer, eating, and praying again to God. Byrd wrote in his May 21, 1709 diary “I rose at 5’oclock and read a chapter in Hebrew and some Greek in Josephus. I said my prayers, and ate milk for breakfast…I recommended my all to God (page …show more content…

They were married for 41 years. She later died and Sewall married Abigail Tilley, who less than a year into the marriage, she also died. He then married Mrs. Mary Gibbs. During the times of his previous wives sicknesses Sewall was heartbroken, saying to the Lord after Hannah died, “Lord help me to learn, and be a sun and shield to me, now so much of my comfort and defense are taken away (page 118).” William Byrd was also married, but he appears to have little respect for women and the sanctity of marriage. He was often took advantage of women, forcing himself upon them, as well as sleeping with prostitutes, all while being married. He stated of one incident, “I play at [r-m] with Mrs. Chiswell and kissed her on the bed till she was angry and my wife also was uneasy about it, and cried as soon as the company was gone (page 145).” In many of his writings Byrd discussed his infidelity and struggles in his flesh dealing with lust, but showed little remorse for his riotous

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