Object photography

Click image to enlarge +

On View Barbara Weld Putnam Gallery.GALB.WALL

Object description

  • John Smibert (American, 1688-1751)
  • Portrait of Judge Samuel Sewall, 1733
  • Oil on canvas
  • Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • H: 30 in, W: 25 in
  • Bequest of George Rea Curwen, 1993
  • 4134.4


This is a half-length portrait of Judge Samuel Sewall with his face nearly front. He has long gray hair and wears a black skull cap, black coat, and a tied white neckerchief with long ends. The background is dark. Further Remarks: Portrait of Judge Samuel Sewall, born March 28, 1652 in Bishopstoke , England, the son of Henry and Jane (Dummer) Sewall. Mr. Sewall was a minister and jurist whose education begun in England, and continued with the Reverend Thomas Parker of Newbury. Mr. Sewall attended Harvard College, graduating in 1671. He became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and was involved in the condemnation of those accused of witchcraft. Married to Hannah Hull on February 28, 1675 , the daughter of the "Mint-Master" John Hull. The Judge and Mrs. had 14 children, only 5 of which survived to adulthood. Mrs. Hannah Sewall died on October 19, 1717. In 1719 Judge Sewall married Mrs. Abigail Tilley who died six months later. He married his third wife, Mrs. Mary Gibbs, on March 29, 1722. Judge Samuel Sewall died January 1, 1730, sermon given by Rev. Dr. Prince. John G. Whittier fitly summerized his character "Praise and thanks for an honest man / Glory to God for the Puritan".

Exhibition History

  • Days of Judgment: The Salem Witch Trials of 1692, Essex Institute, Salem, MA.; June 11, 1992 through November 29, 1992