Things to remember while reading the Diary Entries of Samuel Sewall

• Sewall was actually an ordained minister, not a judge. However, at the time of the witch trials, people were chosen to sit on courts as judges based on their social standing and not on whether or not they had any legal training.

Giles Corey was pressed to death because he contested the charges of witchcraft against him and refused to stand trial. Historians suggest that Corey must have known his case was hopeless, and therefore decided to defend the truth by refusing a trial.

The witch trials were brought on by a mass hysteria that made many people actually believe that they were being haunted or possessed by evil.

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