Reverend Deodat Lawson was the minister of Salem Village from 1684 to 1688. He believed that several members of his family may have previously died there under "the malicious operations of the infernal powers".
After hearing about the Salem witch trials in 1692, he returned in March of that year to find out what was happening. His courtroom observations from March and April were recorded in a 10-page pamphlet entitled A Brief and True Narrative of Some Remarkable Passages Relating to Sundry Persons Afflicted by Witchcraft, at Salem Village and published by Benjamin Harris of Boston, Massachusetts. These descriptions bring a new aspect to the surviving court records of the events.