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SALEM WITCH TRIAL

SALEM WITCH TRIALS







 May 27 
Governor Phips set up a special Court of Oyer and Terminer
comprised of seven judges to try the witchcraft cases. Appointed        	
were Lieutenant Governor William Stoughon, Nathaniel Saltonstall, 		
Bartholomew Gedney, Peter Sergeant, Samuel Sewall, Wait Still     		
Winthrop, John Richards, John Hathorne, and Jonathan Corwin. 

These magistrates based their judgments and evaluations on
various kinds of intangible evidence, including direct confessions, 		
supernatural attributes (such as "witchmarks"), and
reactions of the afflicted girls. Spectral evidence, based on
the assumption that the Devil could assume the "specter" of an 		
innocent person, was relied upon despite its controversial nature.
        	
 May 31 
Martha Carrier, John Alden, Wilmott Redd, Elizabeth Howe, and
Phillip English were examined before Hathorne, Corwin, and Gedney.

 June 2 
Initial session of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. Bridget
Bishop was the first to be pronounced guilty of witchcraft and 			
condemned to death.

 Early June 
Soon after Bridget Bishop's trial, Nathaniel Saltonstall resigned 		
from the court, dissatisfied with its proceedings.

 June 10 
Bridget Bishop was hanged in Salem, the first official execution
of the Salem witch trials. 

                                             Bridget Bishop 
                           "I am no witch. I am innocent. I know nothing of it." 

Following her death, accusations of witchcraft escalated, but the 
trials were not unopposed. Several townspeople signed petitions 		
on behalf of accused people they believed to be innocent.

 

June 29-30 
Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Sarah Wildes, Sarah Good and
Elizabeth Howe were tried for witchcraft and condemned. 

                                             Rebecca Nurse 
                "Oh Lord, help me! It is false. I am clear. For my life 
                                        now lies in your hands...."

 Mid-July 
In an effort to expose the witches afflicting his life, Joseph
Ballard of nearby Andover enlisted the aid of the accusing girls of 
Salem. This action marked the beginning of the Andover witch hunt.

 July 19 
Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Elizabeth Howe, Sarah Good, and
Sarah Wildes were executed. 

                                            Elizabeth Howe 
                    "If it was the last moment I was to live, God knows
					I am innocent..." 

                                           Susannah Martin 
                                   I have no hand in witchcraft."

 August 2-6 
George Jacobs, Sr., Martha Carrier, George Burroughs, John and
Elizabeth Proctor, and John Willard were tried for witchcraft and condemned. 

                                             Martha Carrier 
         "...I am wronged. It is a shameful thing that you should mind
					these folks that are out of their wits."

 August 19 
George Jacobs, Sr., Martha Carrier, George Burroughs, John
Proctor, and John Willard were hanged on Gallows Hill. 

                                              George Jacobs 
                               "Because I am falsely accused. I never did it."

 September 9 
Martha Corey, Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Dorcas
Hoar, and Mary Bradbury were tried and condemned. 

                                             Mary Bradbury 
                      "I do plead not guilty. I am wholly innocent of
					                     such wickedness."

 September 17 
Margaret Scott, Wilmott Redd, Samuel Wardwell, Mary Park , 
Abigail Faulkner, Rebecca Eames, Mary Lacy, Ann Foster, and 
Abigail Hobbs were tried and condemned.

 September 19 
Giles Corey was pressed to death for refusing a trial.

 September 21 
Dorcas Hoar was the first of those pleading innocent to confess.
Her execution was delayed.

 September 22 
Martha Corey, Margaret Scott, Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Ann
Pudeator, Wilmott Redd, Samuel Wardwell, and Mary Parker were 		
hanged.

 October 8 
After 20 people had been executed in the Salem witch hunt,
Thomas Brattle wrote a letter criticizing the witchcraft trials. 
This letter had great impact on Governor Phips, who ordered that 
reliance on spectral and intangible evidence no longer be allowed 
in trials.

 October 29 
Governor Phips dissolved the Court of Oyer and Terminer.

 November 25 
The General Court of the colony created the Superior Court to
try the remaining witchcraft cases which took place in May, 1693. 
This time no one was convicted. 

                                               Mary Easty 
                 "...if it be possible no more innocent blood be shed... 
                                         ...I am clear of this sin."