The Salem Witch Trials is a term that is used to refer to a series of different witchcraft cases that were taken to the local magistrates of a region known as Salem that happened to be considered as a part of the Massachusetts Bay colony in the 17th Century (Roach and Rosenthal 925). He stated that while "calamities" that had begun in his own household "it never brake forth to any considerable light, until diabolical means were used, by the making of a cake by my Indian man, who had his direction from this our sister, Mary Sibley." The Salem Witch Trials Reader (Da Capo Press, BF1576.H55 2000). These trials are still today widely thought of as being important, because they showed an excellent Only fourteen other women and two men had been executed in Massachusetts and Connecticut during the 17th century.  Increase Mather had published a book on witchcraft in 1684 and his son Cotton Mather published one in 1689. The Devil’s Disciples: Makers of the Salem Witchcraft Trials (Johns Hopkins University Press, XXKFM2478.8.W5H646 1996).  This may have been a superstitious attempt to ward off evil spirits. "Examination and Evidence of Some Accused Witches in Salem, 1692. Elizabeth Proctor was given a temporary stay of execution because she was pregnant. The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. , In the early 1640s, England erupted in civil war. 336–337. Rumors spread through the village attributing the fits to the devil and the work of his evil hands. The Salem witch trials was a huge part of American history, they are important to remember because they are probably a crucial turning point for America, because before the trials religion and superstition were very important and after the trials happened rational thinking became more and more important. When it was finally signed on October 31, 2001, by Governor Jane Swift, more than 300 years later, all were finally proclaimed innocent. Faulkner admitted she was "angry at what folk said," and the Devil may have temporarily overtaken her, causing harm to her neighbors. From June 30 through early July, grand juries endorsed indictments against Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin, Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor, Martha Carrier, Sarah Wildes and Dorcas Hoar. The authors were listed as "P. E. and J.  The theological dispute that ensued about the use of this evidence was based on whether a person had to give permission to the Devil for his/her shape to be used to afflict. 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. Presumptions whereupon persons may be committed, and, much more, convictions whereupon persons may be condemned as guilty of witchcrafts, ought certainly to be more considerable than barely the accused person's being represented by a specter unto the afflicted; inasmuch as it is an undoubted and notorious thing, that a demon may, by God's permission, appear, even to ill purposes, in the shape of an innocent, yea, and a virtuous man. 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.  If the complaint was deemed credible, the magistrates had the person arrested and brought in for a public examination—essentially an interrogation where the magistrates pressed the accused to confess. However, modern day witch trails are still extremely prevalent. Karlsen, Carol F. The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England (Norton, BF1576.K370 1987). The conditions before, during, and after the Salem Trials were unlike the witch hunts in any other colonies in the New World, The history of witch hunt 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., Elizabeth Proctor and Sarah Wardwell. Over 150 people were imprisoned for witchcraft using OUR judicial system. Within a week, Giles Corey (Martha's husband and a covenanted church member in Salem Town), Abigail Hobbs, Bridget Bishop, Mary Warren (a servant in the Proctor household and sometime accuser), and Deliverance Hobbs (stepmother of Abigail Hobbs), were arrested and examined. In 1957, 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 1711, or added to it in 1712, demanded that the General Court formally clear the names of their ancestral family members. If you recited the Lord’s Prayer, you were not a witch. ___________________________. Preston, VK. On September 22, 1692, eight more persons were executed, "After Execution Mr. Noyes turning him to the Bodies, said, what a sad thing it is to see Eight Firebrands of Hell hanging there. (Philip English and John Alden), but the work is generally attributed to Willard. Lydia Dustin died in jail on March 10, 1693. John Alden by proclamation. Glanvill, Joseph. Nicholas Noyes and members of the Salem church reversed Noyes' earlier excommunications of Rebecca Nurse and Giles Corey. A copy of this letter was printed in Increase Mather's Cases of Conscience, published in 1693. Parris increased the village's divisions by delaying his acceptance. Historian Clarence F. Jewett included a list of other people executed in New England in his 1881 book.. The grand jury failed to indict William Proctor, who was re-arrested on new charges. [full citation needed] In 1703, another petition was filed, requesting a more equitable settlement for those wrongly accused, but it was not until 1709, when the General Court received a further request, that it took action on this proposal. Compiles trial evidence documents, contemporary comments, and legal redress. 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. Levit.  Throughout their daily lives, Puritans, especially Puritan women, actively attempted to thwart attempts by the Devil to overtake them and their souls. 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.  Robert Calef, a strong critic of Cotton Mather, stated in his own book titled More Wonders of the Invisible World that by confessing, an accused would not be brought to trial, such as in the cases of Tituba and Dorcas Good. What Happened in Salem? Norton, Mary Beth. Benjamin Ray’s, “Salem witch trials” grants primary source historical documents to support the allegations of the witch trials in that period. The Examination of Bridget Bishop, April 19, 1692. "Examination and Evidence of Some the Accused Witches i Salem, 1692. Witchcraft and the Law: A Selected Bibliography of Recent Publications (Christine Corcos, LSU Law)(includes mostly pre-2000 works). , The Rev.  In January 2016, the University of Virginia announced its Gallows Hill Project team had determined the execution site in Salem, where the 19 "witches" had been hanged. England where fourteen women and six men were killed for allegations of witchcraft in 1692 Other evidence included the “touching test” (afficted girls tortured by fits became calm after touching the accused). Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England (Oxford University Press, BF1576.D38 1982).  On August 25, 1706, when Ann Putnam Jr., one of the most active accusers, joined the Salem Village church, she publicly asked forgiveness. Children died in prisons. An act was passed pronouncing the innocence of those accused, although it listed only Ann Pudeator by name. American Association of Law Library, Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, July 23, 2012 (AALL2go – password needed to access .mp3 and program handout). ” Historical Journal 40 (1997): 331-358. In 1892, an additional monument was erected in honor of forty neighbors who signed a petition in support of Nurse.  The original 1629 Royal Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was vacated in 1684, after which King James II installed Sir Edmund Andros as the governor of the Dominion of New England.  One of the first orders of business for the new governor and council on May 27, 1692, was the formal nomination of county justices of the peace, sheriffs, and the commission of a Special Court of Oyer and Terminer to handle the large numbers of people who were "thronging" the jails.  Regardless, it was published in both Boston and London, with an introductory letter of endorsement by William Stoughton, the Chief Magistrate. Burr says both Phips' letter and Mather's manuscript "must have gone to London by the same ship" in mid-October.. King Charles I was hostile to this viewpoint, and Anglican church officials tried to repress these dissenting views during the 1620s and 1630s. Young, Martha M. “The Salem Witch Trials 300 Years Later: How Far Has the American Legal System Come? Milbourne had to post £200 bond (equal to £31,541, or about US$42,000 today) or be arrested for "contriving, writing and publishing the said scandalous Papers". , Good was a destitute woman accused of witchcraft because of her reputation. On April 30, Reverend George Burroughs, Lydia Dustin, Susannah Martin, Dorcas Hoar, Sarah Morey, and Philip English (Mary's husband) were arrested. Churches removed from their congregations some of the persons accused of witchcraft. The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology. Mackay, Christopher S., trans. , In Salem Village in February 1692, Betty Parris (age nine) and her cousin Abigail Williams (age 11), the daughter and the niece, respectively, of Reverend Samuel Parris, began to have fits described as "beyond the power of epileptic fits or natural disease to effect" by John Hale, the minister of the nearby town of Beverly. Other young women in the village began to exhibit similar behaviors. Hutchinson, Thomas. And this did somewhat appease the People, and the Executions went on; when he [Mr. Burroughs] was cut down, he was dragged by a Halter to a Hole, or Grave, between the Rocks, about two feet deep; his Shirt and Breeches being pulled off, and an old pair of Trousers of one Executed put on his lower parts: he was so put in, together with Willard and Carrier, that one of his Hands, and his Chin, and a Foot of one of them, was left uncovered.
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