The Colonial Image: Origins of American Culture

By John C. Miller | Go to book overview

Courtship

Samuel Sewall

By 1722, when Sewall began his courtship of Madam Winthrop, he had lost by death two wives (his first wife, Hannah Hull Sewall, had died in 1717), ten of his fourteen children and ten of his grandchildren. Nevertheless, he was still eager and fresh for marriage, but Madam Winthrop, having been twice married, was less inclined to give matrimony a third try. Despite his fervent prayers to Heaven for guidance, Sewall's lovelife was not blessed. The courtship collapsed when Sewall tried to drive too hard a bargain in the marriage settlement. Finding Madam Winthrop obdurate, Sewall married a widow, Mary Gibbs, who outlived him. Madam Winthrop died in 1725. One of the pallbearers was her recent suitor--Samuel Sewall.

September 5 [1720]. Mary Hirst goes to board with Madam Oliver and her mother Loyd. Going to son Sewall's, I there meet with Madam Winthrop; told her I was glad to meet her there, had not seen her a great while; gave her Mr. Homes's sermon. . . .

September 30. Mr. Colman's lecture. Daughter Sewall acquaints Madam Winthrop that if she pleased to be within at 3 P.M. I would wait on her. She answered she would be at home.

October 1. Saturday, I dine at Mr. Stoddard's; from thence I went to Madam Winthrop's just at 3. Spake to her, saying my loving wife died so soon and suddenly 'twas hardly convenient for me to think of marrying again. However, I came to this resolution, that I would not make my court to any person without first consulting with her. Had a pleasant discourse about 7 single persons sitting in the fore-seat September 29tb, viz., Madam Rebekah Dudley, Catharine Winthrop, Bridget Usher, Deliverance Legg, Rebekah Loyd, Lydia Colman, Elizabeth Bellingham. She propounded one and another for me; but none would do; said Mrs. Loyd was about her age.

October 3. 2. Waited on Madam Winthrop again; 'twas a little while before she came in. Her daughter Noyes being there alone with me, I said

____________________
Diary of Samuel Sewall, 1674-1729.

-132-

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The Colonial Image: Origins of American Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 5
  • Contents 9
  • Introduction 15
  • Part I - Arrivals 41
  • The Plymouth Plantation 43
  • A Description of New England 66
  • The New English Canaan 76
  • Letters 77
  • The Crossing to Pennsylvania! 83
  • Part II - Daily Life 99
  • Pirates in Plymouth 101
  • Thomas Morton of Merrymount 103
  • The Merrymount Colony 108
  • Edifying Incidents 113
  • An Exemplary Christian 115
  • Inoculation for Smallpox 118
  • Courtship 132
  • Marriage 141
  • On Taking a Mistress 154
  • The Speech of Polly Baker 156
  • Riding through Virginia 159
  • Part III - God and the Devil 167
  • Religious Tolerance 169
  • In Defence of Intolerance 175
  • Witchcraft in Salem 179
  • Witchcraft in Salem 185
  • Witchcraft in Salem 190
  • The Devil in the Shape of a Woman 193
  • Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God 207
  • Personal Narrative 212
  • Part IV - The Indians 221
  • The Indians in Virginia 223
  • Pocahontas 231
  • The Pequot War 239
  • The Pequot War 244
  • Indian Customs and Manners 248
  • Captured by Indians 257
  • Part V - The South 291
  • Virginia 293
  • History of the Dividing Line 310
  • Part VI - Literature 351
  • Anne Bradstreet 353
  • Michael Wigglesworth 357
  • Edward Taylor 367
  • Bacon's Epitaph 370
  • Ebenezer Cook 372
  • Benjamin Franklin 377
  • Part VII - Four Colonial Views 387
  • Itinerarium Dr. Alexander Hamilton 389
  • Autobiography 419
  • Journal 437
  • Letters from an American Farmer 479
  • Bibliography 499
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