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1700s author studies

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During the 1700s, many authors wrote about the same thing, but had differences. When you compare them, their writings show what these are. Samuel Sewall and John Saffin were both Massachusetts court judges. Although the authors the authors wrote similarly, they expressed very different opinions.

Samuel Sewall was an author who wrote very strongly. Sewall was born in Bishopstoke, Hampshire, England on March 28, 1652.He grew up in Massachusetts. Samuel attended Harvard University and later went on to become a Massachusetts court judge. He was strongly against slavery. Sewall was also a major part of the Salem witch trials, which is probably what he’s most known for. He was married three times. Samuel Sewall died in Boston, Massachusetts on January 1, 1730. His two most famous works were The Selling of Joseph and The Journal of Samuel Sewall.

John Saffin was born in Somerset, England in 1626. He moved to Scituate, Massachusetts when he was just a little boy. He was for slavery. He was best known for writing A Brief and Candid Answer to Samuel Sewall’s The Selling of Joseph. He was for slavery and spent most of his writing trying to prove Sewall wrong. He died in 1710.

In The Selling of Joseph and A Brief and Candid Answer to Samuel Sewall’s The Selling of Joseph, the authors wrote very similarly. Both men use Old English spelling. Sewall spells color, colour. Saffin spells honorable, honourable. They also both capitalize common nouns such as day, hair, and example. Also, they both use large words that make them sound like they know what they’re talking about.

The sentence structure of Samuel Sewall and John Saffin is very similar. Both Sewall and Saffin used complete sentences, not fragments. The sentences are very confusing to read because it isn’t what you’re used to with all of the different parts. The authors both used lots of colons and semi-colons. One example of a sentence is,” Few can endure to hear of a Negro’s being made free; and indeed they can seldom use their freedom well; yet their continual aspiring after their forbidden Liberty, renders them Unwilling Servants.”( Samuel Sewall) We don’t see that very often nowadays. They also use Bible verses to justify their cases. Sewall quotes Acts 17, 26, 27, and 29 from the Bible to back up the fact that we are all children of God and should therefore respect each other. Acts 17,26,27, and 29 says: God hath made of one Blood all Nations of Men, for to dwell on all the face of the Earth, and hath determined the Times before appointed, and the bounds of their Habitation: That they should seek the Lord. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God. Saffin says that in Genesis 14.14, it states that Abraham had servants he bought with his money that lived in his house. Genesis 14.14 says: Abraham had Servants bought with his Money, and born in his House. This makes Saffin persuasive in the fact that since it has it in the Bible, slavery’s okay. Both of these authors are very persuasive.





Although Samuel Sewall and John Saffin have many similarities, they also have their differences. The biggest difference between them that I noticed was their opinions about slavery. Sewall is strongly against slavery, while Saffin is all for it. Sewall says that all men are created equal and should be treated that way. Saffin states that he believes it’s impossible to love all men equally. In my opinion, John Saffin has a little more insight because this feud is about his slave, Joseph, so he has more personal understanding than Sewall. Sewall is simply going off prior knowledge and what he feels is right, while Saffin experiences actually owning the slave.

These two authors write similar to each other, even if they have opposing opinions. I believe that Sewall is doing the morally right thing opposing slavery, but Saffin has personal experience and makes some persuasive points also.

Opposing Viewpoints in American History Packet



John Saffin Bio, http://connect.in.com/john-saffin/biography-149143.html
Accessed November 29, 2011


Samuel Sewall, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Sewall
Accessed November 27, 2011





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