Samuel Sewall (congressman)

Samuel Sewall (December 11, 1757 – June 8, 1814) was an American lawyer and congressman. He was born in Boston in the Province of Massachusetts Bay.

Samuel Sewall
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 10th district
In office
December 7, 1796 – January 10, 1800
Preceded byBenjamin Goodhue
Succeeded byNathan Read
Personal details
Born(1757-12-11)December 11, 1757
Boston, Province of Massachusetts Bay, British America
DiedJune 8, 1814(1814-06-08) (aged 56)
Wiscasset, Massachusetts, U.S. (now Maine)
Political partyFederalist
Alma materHarvard College

After attending Dummer Charity School (now The Governor's Academy), Sewall graduated from Harvard College (A.B. 1776, A.M. 1779, honorary LL.D. 1808) and set up practice as a lawyer in Marblehead. He served as a member of the state legislature in 1783, and from 1788-96.

He represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1796 to 1800, and from 1800 to 1814 served as a judge of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, becoming Chief Justice in 1814. He died at Wiscasset in Massachusetts' District of Maine while holding a court there.[1] He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1801.[2]

American novelist Louisa May Alcott was Sewall's great niece. His younger sister, Dorothy, was Alcott's great-grandmother.[3] In 1781, he married Abigail Devereux; they had a family of at least six sons and two daughters. Sewall's great-grandfather Samuel Sewall was a judge at the Salem witch trials in colonial Massachusetts, and subsequently Chief Justice of Massachusetts.[1]

Sewall was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society on June 1, 1814.[4] Sewall died 7 days later on June 8, apparently before he could formally respond, so his disposition regarding membership is unknown.

In 1814 Fort Sewall in Marblehead, Massachusetts was renamed for him.[5]


  1. ^ a b Graves, Eben W. (2007). The Descendants of Henry Sewall (1576-1656) of Manchester and Coventry, England, and Newbury and Rowley, Massachusetts (1st ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Newbury Street Press. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-88082-198-8.
  2. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter S" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  3. ^ Powell, Kimberly. "Ancestry of Louisa May Alcott". Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  4. ^ American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
  5. ^ Roberts, Robert B. (1988). Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States. New York: Macmillan. p. 410. ISBN 0-02-926880-X.

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 10th congressional district

December 7, 1796 – January 10, 1800
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by
Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Succeeded by