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Judge Sewall and the Salem Witch Trials

Public Domain
Samuel Sewall by John Symbert

Monday, we’re talking to historian Richard Francis about Samuel Sewell. He was the only one of the judges during the Salem Witch trials who apologized for his role in the execution of 20 people.

RadioWest divider.

The Salem witch trials haunt the American imagination as a time of extreme injustice. The story is most often told from the perspective of the accused and the accusers, but historian Richard Francis has spent years exploring the actions of Samuel Sewall. Sewall was among the judges who issued the harsh verdicts, but five years later, he became the only judge to issue an apology for his role in the trials. Richard Francis joins Doug to talk about Sewall, his idealism, and his conscience. (Rebroadcast)

    • Richard Francis is a biographer, historian of American culture, and novelist. He's the author of 15 books, including Judge Sewall's Apology [Indie bookstores|Amazon] and Crane Pond: A Novel of Salem [Indie bookstores|Amazon]