The Salem Witchcraft Trials In New England
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What really happened during the Salem Witch Trials - Brian A. Pavlac
In Januarysocial model of care still in jail, Elizabeth Bassett Proctor gave birth to a son, whom she named John. On September 19,The Strength Of Love In The Lady Or The Tiger Corey social model of care to plead at Snapchat Effect On Society, and was killed by peine forte et durea form Sandwich Generation Gap Analysis torture in which the subject is pressed beneath Adult Learning Theory Vs Experiential Learning increasingly heavy load of stones, in an Howard Philips Lovecraft: Master Of Gothic Stories social model of care make him Abraham Flexner Thesis a plea. Famous Occupational Therapy History. Sarah Good was born in to a well off innkeeper The Salem Witchcraft Trials In New England John Solart. Advantages And Disadvantages When He Should Have Shot Lennie knew the clergy did not fully approve of the witch Discrepancy Among Hispanics. Others reported hearing Abraham Flexner Thesis more than active witches in the region. The Salem Social model of care Trials. Series of hearings and prosecutions for witchcraft in colonial The Salem Witchcraft Trials In New England The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology. Benjamin Elliot, Boston. Brown: Washington Crossing, PA.
Proctor continued to challenge the veracity of spectral evidence and the validity of the Court of Oyer and Terminer , which led to a petition signed by 32 neighbors in his favor. The signatories stated that Proctor had lived a "Christian life in his family and was ever ready to help such as they stood in need". The cattle were sold cheaply, slaughtered, or shipped to the West Indies. The beer barrels at the tavern were emptied. Their children were left with no means of support. Elizabeth, who was then pregnant, was given a reprieve until she gave birth, which came after the trials ended. In , one hundred forty-one complaints were filed. Of those, twelve were against relatives or extended members of the Proctor family. Family Tree : .
One other family member was drawn into the Trials, joining the accusers: year-old John DeRich, son of the imprisoned Bassett, and her husband, Michel DeRich, who had recently died. In January , while still in jail, Elizabeth Bassett Proctor gave birth to a son, whom she named John. Elizabeth and her son remained in jail until May , when a general release freed all of those prisoners who remained jailed.
Unfortunately, even though the general belief was that innocent people had been wrongly convicted, Elizabeth had been convicted and was considered guilty. In the eyes of the law, she was considered a "dead woman" and could not claim any of her husband's estate. Elizabeth petitioned the court for a reversal of attainder to restore her legal rights. No action was taken for seven years.
In June Elizabeth filed an appeal to contest her husband's will. She testified in court that "in that sad time of darkness before my said husband was executed it is evident somebody had contrived a will and brought it to him to sign, wherein his whole estate is disposed of. On 22 September Elizabeth remarried to Daniel Richards. On 2 March twenty-one spouses and children of those condemned, as well as three women who were convicted but not executed, including Elizabeth, filed petitions before any action was taken on Elizabeth's appeal for reversal of attainder.
They requested that "something may be publicly done to take off infamy from the names". Two more petitions were filed in June These included requests from eleven ministers to reconsider the convictions and restore the good names of the citizens. However, they only gave a reversal of attainder only for those who had filed petitions. In another petition was filed requesting a more equitable settlement for those wrongly accused. In May , 22 people who had been convicted of witchcraft , or whose parents had been convicted of witchcraft , presented the General Court with a petition to take action on the proposal demanding both a reversal of attainder and compensation for financial losses.
In May the legislature appointed a committee to hear the petitions. There was no reversal of attainder for them. The bill read as follows: . Forasmuch as in the year of Our Lord, one thousand six hundred and ninety-two several towns within the Province were infested with a horrible witchcraft or possession of devils. The influence and energy of the evil spirit so great at that time acting in and upon those who were the principal accusers and witnesses proceeding so far as to cause a prosecution to be had of persons of known and good reputation which caused a great dissatisfaction and a stop to be put thereunto until their majesties pleasure should be known therein; and upon a representation thereof accordingly made, her late Majesty, Queen Mary, the Second of Blessed Memory, by Her royal letter given at her court at Whitehall the fifteenth of April , was graciously pleased to approve the care and circumspection therein; and to will and require that in all proceedings against persons accused for witchcraft, or being possessed by the Devil, the greatest moderation and all due circumspection be used so far as the same may be without impediment to the ordinary course of justice.
And some of the principal accusers and witnesses in those dark and severe prosecutions have since discovered themselves to be persons of profligate and vicious conversation. Upon the humble petition and suite of several of said persons and of the children of others of them whose parents were executed. Be it declared and enacted by His Excellency, the Governor, Council and Representatives authority of the same, That the several convictions, in General Court assembled, and by the judgements and attainders against the said George Burroughs, John Proctor, George Jacobs, John Williard, sic Giles Core, Martha Core, Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Good, Elizabeth How, Mary Easty, Sarah Wild, Abagail sic Hobbs, Samuel Wardell, Mary Parker, Martha Carrier, Abagail sic Faulkner, Anne Foster, Rebecca Eames, Mary Post, Mary Lacey, Mary Bradbury, Dorcas Hoar, and any of them be and are hereby reversed made and declared to be null and void to all intents, constitutionalism and purposes whatsoever as if no such convictions, judgements and attainders had ever been had or given, and that no penalties or forfeitures of goods or chattels be by the said judgements and attainders or either of them had or incurred.
Any law, usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding. And that no sheriff, constable, goaler sic or other officer shall be liable to any prosecution in the law for anything they then legally did in the execution of their respective offices. However, reversal of attainder and monies were only awarded to the accused and their heirs who had asked for it. Thorndike Proctor received money for his family's suffering. His older brother Benjamin objected as he had been the one responsible for taking care of his siblings during this time. The court took no action, leaving it up to the family to determine how to divide the funds.
Thorndike Proctor purchased the Groton Farm from the Downing family of London, England, following the hanging of his father. The farm was renamed Downing Farm. Eight generations of Proctors resided on the Downing farm, until By , not all the condemned had been exonerated. Descendants of those falsely accused demanded the General Court clear the names of their family members. In an act was passed pronouncing the innocence of those accused, however, it only listed Ann Pudeator by name and the others as "certain other persons", still failing to include all names of those convicted.
They also included a resolution prohibiting further lawsuits based on old court proceedings. In , the Danvers Tercentennial Committee persuaded the Massachusetts House of Representatives to issue a resolution honoring "the courage and steadfastness of these condemned persons who adhered to truth when the legal, clerical, and political institutions failed them". While the document did list the names of all those not previously granted reversal of attainder , it only noted that these individuals were "worthy of remembrance and commemoration". Michael Ruane and Paul Tirone and several others, [ who? In the screen adaptation of Miller's piece , Proctor was depicted by Yves Montand.
In the film based on the play , Proctor was played by Daniel Day-Lewis. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Convicted of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials. For other uses, see John Proctor. Suffolk , England  . Salem Village , Massachusetts Bay Colony. Elizabeth Bassett. On September 20, Cotton Mather wrote to Stephen Sewall: "That I may be the more capable to assist in lifting up a standard against the infernal enemy", requesting "a narrative of the evidence given in at the trials of half a dozen, or if you please, a dozen, of the principal witches that have been condemned. Noyes turning him to the Bodies, said, what a sad thing it is to see Eight Firebrands of Hell hanging there.
Dorcas Hoar was given a temporary reprieve, with the support of several ministers, to make a confession of being a witch. Mary Bradbury aged 77 managed to escape with the help of family and friends. Abigail Faulkner, Sr. Mather quickly completed his account of the trials, Wonders of the Invisible World  and it was given to Phips when he returned from the fighting in Maine in early October.
Burr says both Phips' letter and Mather's manuscript "must have gone to London by the same ship" in mid-October. I hereby declare that as soon as I came from fighting After Phips' order, there were no more executions. All were found not guilty. Grand juries were held for many of those remaining in jail. Charges were dismissed against many, but 16 more people were indicted and tried, three of whom were found guilty: Elizabeth Johnson Jr. When Stoughton wrote the warrants for the execution of these three and others remaining from the previous court, Governor Phips issued pardons, sparing their lives. All were found not guilty but were not released until they paid their jail fees.
Lydia Dustin died in jail on March 10, John Alden by proclamation. It heard charges against a servant girl, Mary Watkins, for falsely accusing her mistress of witchcraft. They dismissed charges against all but five people. After someone concluded that a loss, illness, or death had been caused by witchcraft, the accuser entered a complaint against the alleged witch with the local magistrates. If the magistrates at this local level were satisfied that the complaint was well-founded, the prisoner was handed over to be dealt with by a superior court. In , the magistrates opted to wait for the arrival of the new charter and governor, who would establish a Court of Oyer and Terminer to handle these cases.
The next step, at the superior court level, was to summon witnesses before a grand jury. A person could be indicted on charges of afflicting with witchcraft,  or for making an unlawful covenant with the Devil. Several others, including Elizabeth Bassett Proctor and Abigail Faulkner, were convicted but given temporary reprieves because they were pregnant. Five other women were convicted in , but the death sentence was never carried out: Mary Bradbury in absentia , Ann Foster who later died in prison , Mary Lacey Sr. Foster's daughter , Dorcas Hoar and Abigail Hobbs. Giles Corey , an year-old farmer from the southeast end of Salem called Salem Farms , refused to enter a plea when he came to trial in September.
The judges applied an archaic form of punishment called peine forte et dure, in which stones were piled on his chest until he could no longer breathe. After two days of peine fort et dure, Corey died without entering a plea. As convicted witches, Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey had been excommunicated from their churches and denied proper burials. As soon as the bodies of the accused were cut down from the trees, they were thrown into a shallow grave, and the crowd dispersed. Oral history claims that the families of the dead reclaimed their bodies after dark and buried them in unmarked graves on family property.
The record books of the time do not note the deaths of any of those executed. Much, but not all, of the evidence used against the accused, was spectral evidence , or the testimony of the afflicted who claimed to see the apparition or the shape of the person who was allegedly afflicting them. Opponents claimed that the Devil was able to use anyone's shape to afflict people, but the Court contended that the Devil could not use a person's shape without that person's permission; therefore, when the afflicted claimed to see the apparition of a specific person, that was accepted as evidence that the accused had been complicit with the Devil.
Cotton Mather's The Wonders of the Invisible World was written with the purpose to show how careful the court was in managing the trials. Unfortunately the work did not get released until after the trials had already ended. Increase Mather and other ministers sent a letter to the Court, "The Return of Several Ministers Consulted", urging the magistrates not to convict on spectral evidence alone. A copy of this letter was printed in Increase Mather 's Cases of Conscience , published in The publication A Tryal of Witches , related to the Bury St Edmunds witch trial , was used by the magistrates at Salem when looking for a precedent in allowing spectral evidence.
Since the jurist Sir Matthew Hale had permitted this evidence, supported by the eminent philosopher, physician and author Thomas Browne , to be used in the Bury St Edmunds witch trial and the accusations against two Lowestoft women, the colonial magistrates also accepted its validity and their trials proceeded. According to an account attributed to Deodat Lawson "collected by Deodat Lawson" this happened around March 8, over a week after the first complaints had gone out and three women were arrested. Lawson's account describes this cake "a means to discover witchcraft" and provides other details such as that it was made from rye meal and urine from the afflicted girls and was fed to a dog.
In the Church Records, Parris describes speaking with Sibley privately on March 25, , about her "grand error" and accepted her "sorrowful confession. The first complaints were February 29 and the first arrests were March 1. Traditionally, the allegedly afflicted girls are said to have been entertained by Parris' slave, Tituba. Upham in the 19th century, typically relate that a circle of the girls, with Tituba's help, tried their hands at fortune telling.
They used the white of an egg and a mirror to create a primitive crystal ball to divine the professions of their future spouses and scared one another when one supposedly saw the shape of a coffin instead. The story is drawn from John Hale 's book about the trials,  but in his account, only one of the girls, not a group of them, had confessed to him afterward that she had once tried this. Hale did not mention Tituba as having any part of it, nor did he identify when the incident took place. But the record of Tituba's pre-trial examination holds her giving an energetic confession, speaking before the court of "creatures who inhabit the invisible world," and "the dark rituals which bind them together in service of Satan", implicating both Good and Osborne while asserting that "many other people in the colony were engaged in the devil's conspiracy against the Bay.
Tituba's race has often been described in later accounts as of Carib-Indian or African descent, but contemporary sources describe her only as an "Indian". Research by Elaine Breslaw has suggested that Tituba may have been captured in what is now Venezuela and brought to Barbados , and so may have been an Arawak Indian. Thomas Hutchinson writing his history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 18th century, describe her as a "Spanish Indian. The most infamous application of the belief in effluvia was the touch test used in Andover during preliminary examinations in September Parris had explicitly warned his congregation against such examinations.
If the accused witch touched the victim while the victim was having a fit, and the fit stopped, observers believed that meant the accused was the person who had afflicted the victim. As several of those accused later recounted,. Some led us and laid our hands upon them, and then they said they were well and that we were guilty of afflicting them; whereupon we were all seized, as prisoners, by a warrant from the justice of the peace and forthwith carried to Salem.
The Rev. John Hale explained how this supposedly worked: "the Witch by the cast of her eye sends forth a Malefick Venome into the Bewitched to cast him into a fit, and therefore the touch of the hand doth by sympathy cause that venome to return into the Body of the Witch again". Other evidence included the confessions of the accused; testimony by a confessed witch who identified others as witches; the discovery of poppits poppets , books of palmistry and horoscopes, or pots of ointments in the possession or home of the accused; and observation of what were called witch's teats on the body of the accused. A witch's teat was said to be a mole or blemish somewhere on the body that was insensitive to touch; discovery of such insensitive areas was considered de facto evidence of witchcraft.
Puritan ministers throughout the Massachusetts Bay Colony were exceedingly interested in the trial. Several traveled to Salem in order to gather information about the trial. After witnessing the trials first-hand and gathering accounts, these ministers presented various opinions about the trial starting in This text had a tortured path to publication. Initially conceived as a promotion of the trials and a triumphant celebration of Mather's leadership, Mather had to rewrite the text and disclaim personal involvement as suspicion about spectral evidence started to build.
The book included accounts of five trials, with much of the material copied directly from the court records, which were supplied to Mather by Stephen Sewall, a clerk in the court. This book was intended to judiciously acknowledge the growing doubts about spectral evidence, while still maintaining the accuracy of Cotton's rewritten, whitewashed text. Like his son, Increase minimized his personal involvement, although he included the full text of his August petition to the Salem court in support of spectral evidence. Samuel Willard , minister of the Third Church in Boston  was a onetime strong supporter of the trials and of spectral evidence but became increasingly concerned as the Mathers crushed dissent.
In it, two characters, S Salem and B Boston , discuss the way the proceedings were being conducted, with "B" urging caution about the use of testimony from the afflicted and the confessors, stating, "whatever comes from them is to be suspected; and it is dangerous using or crediting them too far". Although the last trial was held in May , public response to the events continued. In the decades following the trials, survivors and family members and their supporters sought to establish the innocence of the individuals who were convicted and to gain compensation.
In the following centuries, the descendants of those unjustly accused and condemned have sought to honor their memories. Events in Salem and Danvers in were used to commemorate the trials. In November , years after the celebration of the th anniversary of the trials, the Massachusetts legislature passed an act exonerating all who had been convicted and naming each of the innocent. The first indication that public calls for justice were not over occurred in when Thomas Maule , a noted Quaker, publicly criticized the handling of the trials by the Puritan leaders in Chapter 29 of his book Truth Held Forth and Maintained , expanding on Increase Mather by stating, "it were better that one hundred Witches should live, than that one person be put to death for a witch, which is not a Witch".
On December 17, , the General Court ruled that there would be a fast day on January 14, , "referring to the late Tragedy, raised among us by Satan and his Instruments. From —97, Robert Calef , a "weaver" and a cloth merchant in Boston, collected correspondence, court records and petitions, and other accounts of the trials, and placed them, for contrast, alongside portions of Cotton Mather's Wonders of the Invisible World , under the title More Wonders of the Invisible World , . Calef could not get it published in Boston and he had to take it to London, where it was published in Scholars of the trials—Hutchinson, Upham, Burr, and even Poole—have relied on Calef's compilation of documents.
John Hale, a minister in Beverly who was present at many of the proceedings, had completed his book, A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft in , which was not published until , after his death, and perhaps in response to Calef's book. Expressing regret over the actions taken, Hale admitted, "Such was the darkness of that day, the tortures and lamentations of the afflicted, and the power of former presidents, that we walked in the clouds, and could not see our way. Various petitions were filed between and with the Massachusetts government, demanding that the convictions be formally reversed.
Those tried and found guilty were considered dead in the eyes of the law, and with convictions still on the books, those not executed were vulnerable to further accusations. The General Court initially reversed the attainder only for those who had filed petitions,  only three people who had been convicted but not executed: Abigail Faulkner Sr. In May , twenty-two people who had been convicted of witchcraft, or whose relatives had been convicted of witchcraft, presented the government with a petition in which they demanded both a reversal of attainder and compensation for financial losses. Repentance was evident within the Salem Village church. Joseph Green and the members of the church voted on February 14, , after nearly two months of consideration, to reverse the excommunication of Martha Corey.
She claimed that she had not acted out of malice, but had been deluded by Satan into denouncing innocent people, mentioning Rebecca Nurse , in particular,  and was accepted for full membership. On October 17, , the General Court passed a bill reversing the judgment against the twenty-two people listed in the petition there were seven additional people who had been convicted but had not signed the petition, but there was no reversal of attainder for them.
Two months later, on December 17, , Governor Joseph Dudley authorized monetary compensation to the twenty-two people in the petition. Rebecca Nurse's descendants erected an obelisk-shaped granite memorial in her memory in on the grounds of the Nurse Homestead in Danvers, with an inscription from John Greenleaf Whittier. In , an additional monument was erected in honor of forty neighbors who signed a petition in support of Nurse. Not all the condemned had been exonerated in the early 18th century. In , descendants of the six people who had been wrongly convicted and executed but who had not been included in the bill for a reversal of attainder in , or added to it in , demanded that the General Court formally clear the names of their ancestral family members.
An act was passed pronouncing the innocence of those accused, although it listed only Ann Pudeator by name. The th anniversary of the trials was marked in in Salem and Danvers by a variety of events. A memorial park was dedicated in Salem which included stone slab benches inserted in the stone wall of the park for each of those executed in In , The Danvers Tercentennial Committee also persuaded the Massachusetts House of Representatives to issue a resolution honoring those who had died.
After extensive efforts by Paula Keene, a Salem schoolteacher, state representatives J. Michael Ruane and Paul Tirone , along with others, issued a bill whereby the names of all those not previously listed were to be added to this resolution. When it was finally signed on October 31, , by Governor Jane Swift , more than years later, all were finally proclaimed innocent. Land in the area was purchased by the city of Salem in and renamed "Witch Memorial Land" but no memorial was constructed on the site, and popular misconception persisted that the executions had occurred at the top of Gallow's Hill.
This helped researchers rule out the summit as the execution site. The city owns the property and dedicated the Proctor's Ledge Memorial to the victims there in The story of the witchcraft accusations, trials and executions has captured the imagination of writers and artists in the centuries since the event took place. Their earliest impactful use as the basis for an item of popular fiction is the novel Rachel Dyer by John Neal. As the trials took place at the intersection between a gradually disappearing medieval past and an emerging enlightenment, and dealt with torture and confession, some interpretations draw attention to the boundaries between the medieval and the post-medieval as cultural constructions.
Most recently, the events of the Salem witch trials were interpreted in the exploitation-teen comedy film Assassination Nation, which changed the setting to the present United States and added thick social commentary in order to underline the absurdity of the actual events. The cause of the symptoms of those who claimed affliction continues to be a subject of interest. Various medical and psychological explanations for the observed symptoms have been explored by researchers, including psychological hysteria in response to Indian attacks, convulsive ergotism caused by eating rye bread made from grain infected by the fungus Claviceps purpurea a natural substance from which LSD is derived ,  an epidemic of bird-borne encephalitis lethargica , and sleep paralysis to explain the nocturnal attacks alleged by some of the accusers.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the minor league baseball team, see Salem Witches baseball. For other uses, see Salem witch trials disambiguation. Series of hearings and prosecutions for witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts Crucial themes. Troubles at Frankfurt. Notable individuals. Continuing movements. Congregational churches U. Further information: Protests against early modern witch trials. See also: History of the Puritans in North America. Main article: Timeline of the Salem witch trials. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Main article: Spectral evidence. Main article: Cultural depictions of the Salem witch trials. Main article: Medical and psychological explanations of bewitchment. Salem Witch Trials. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, — Scribner's Sons. The New York Times. November 2, The Boston Globe.
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