The fifty-six year diary of Samuel Sewall, rich merchant, landowner: exporter, influential Boston magistrate, covers the years from December 3, 1673 to October 13, 1729 barring an unexplained eight year gap. It is a straightforward accounting with expressions of faith and opinion, without special insight or perception (perhaps introspection is the word), which looks at America with Puritan eyes during the period of the Salem Witch trials (scanted), the depredations of Indians and Captain Kidd, the founding of Harvard. Sewall comments on affairs of state, slavery, the heart-much of his Journal is given over to his personal life, full of birthings and deaths of children (all too frequently close), the loss of his wife and the courting of four middle-aged widows after forty-four years of marriage. An abridgement, easily compassed, which appears to give the sense of the whole three volume work, long out of print. Not fully satisfying as an historical record, but more so as a life of the times.