Writes famous diary

Sewall wrote numerous historical and religious works as well as unpublished poetry during his lifetime. He is best known, however, for his diary, in which he gives a vivid picture of Puritan life in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century New England. (The diary spans the period from 1674 to 1729; there were no entries from 1677 to 1685.) Sewall was married three times. Hannah Hull Sewall, with whom he had fourteen children, died in 1717. In 1719 he wed Abigail Melyen, who died the following year. One of the most amusing passages in

Sewall's diary is his account of courting (seeking to marry) Katherine Winthrop, whom he hoped would become his third wife. He wrote that he gave her such gifts as sermons, gingerbread, and sugared almonds. Yet she would not be won over unless he promised to wear a wig and buy a coach. Finally unable to reach a marriage agreement with Winthrop, Sewall turned his affections elsewhere and, at age seventy, took Mary Gibbs as his third wife. He died eight years later, in 1730.

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