… and our’s has his own Wikipedia page.
Today being Halloween, I thought I’d reintroduce my great-great-great maternal grandfather Judge Samuel Sewall.
What makes G-G-G Grandpa so significant is that he is also known as the “Hanging Judge,” and “the Repenting Judge,” from the 1692 Salem Witch Trials.
I do not often bring it up on first dates, but I am a direct descendent from the very man who sentenced 18 women and one man to death for the crime of witchcraft. The women were hung and the man, Giles Corey, was crushed to death beneath rocks after being convicted on spectral evidence.
G-G-G Grandpa repented later, realizing that one should not sentence another to death simply on hearsay.
But before then, let me tell you, were my sisters and I ever on edge when our parents would say, “Come on girls, we’re off to visit Great-Great-Great Grandpa Sam. Now, remember to be good, because you know how he gets …”
We were always on our best behavior.
G-G-G Grandpa did come around and make good – unfortunately too late for those 19 people and their families. He set aside a day of public fasting and prayer to commemorate those who died at his hands. He also became one of the first abolitionists in the colonies, as well as one of the first feminists, believing women and blacks should have the same rights as white men.
I know those deeds will never undo the damage done, but I give him credit for doing better once he knew better.
We’re off to celebrate Halloween and hope you have a fabulous one, too, xo LMA