Salem Chronicle

By: Cathryn Jones

1692

Women given the title 'witches'

January 1692: Young girls Abigail Williams, 11 and Betty Parris, 9, of Salem, Massachusetts have claimed to have been bewitched by a specific elderly lady. Williams, an orphan, has been taken into the home of her cousin Parris. The woman they think bewitched them is Parris' slave originating from Barbados, Tituba. The girls were showing signs of illness and exhibiting bizarre behavior for an unknown reason. Local Dr. William Griggs observed the girls actions and came to the conclusion that they were under the influence of an "Evil Hand". Soon after Williams and Parris began to act in this bizarre way, other girls began to act similarly. Williams continues to make complaints about other "witches" saying she has witnessed over 40 witches joining in a ceremony of blood drinking and one in particular choking, pinching, and attempting to put her in a fire. The girls accuse Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne of witchcraft.
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Witches on trial

June 1692: Suspected witch, Bridget Bishop was the first to be tried for witchcraft earlier this week. Her verdict: sentenced to death. Bishop will be hanged later this week at Gallows Hill. Puritan minister, Cotton Mather of New England has requested that the court not use spectral evidence, evidence based on dreams and visions of the witness, as the benchmark for the trials. Instead Mather wants the court be fast in their trials. However, the court of Oyer and Terminer, by which a British judge is commissioned to hear and determine a case, has begun to pay more attention to the request for speed and less attention to the criticism of spectral evidence. Locals Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Sarah Wildes, Sarah Good, and Elizabeth Howe have been tried and are sentenced to hang later this month.

Hanging of Bridget Bishop

Tuesday, June 10th 1692 at 12pm

Gallows Hill

First tried and accused witch to be hung. High Sheriff George Corwin will take Bishop to the top of Gallows Hill where she will be hanged alone from the branches of an oak tree.
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The slow decline of the witch trials

October 1692: Governor of Massachusetts, William Phipps, has recently declared that the use of spectral evidence shall no longer be admitted into the witch trials. Governor Phipps prohibits further arrests of accused witches because of social and political reasons. He was also influenced by minister Cotton Mather's plea to get rid of it as his wife has been accused of witchcraft. Phipps also released accused witches from custody and dissolved his own creation, the court of Oyer and Terminer. He gets rid of this court system after Boston ministers and the public beca me opposed of the witch trials. Although most of the trials and hysteria have now been put to rest, the damage to this society has already been done. Nineteen have been hung, one pressed to death, several deaths in jail and around two-hundred accused of doing the "devils magic".
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Works Cited

Blumberg, Jess. "A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials." Smithsonian. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Sept. 2015.


Brooks, Rebecca Beatrice. "Betty Parris: First Afflicted Girl of the Salem Witch Trials." History of Massachusetts. N.p., 10 June 2013. Web. 02 Sept. 2015.


"Chronology of Events Relating to the Salem Witchcraft Trials." N.p., n.d. Web.


Kennedy, David M., and Lizabeth Cohen. "4: American Life in the Seventeenth Century." The American Pageant. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print.


Ray, Benjamin. "Important Persons in the Salem Court Records." Salem Witch Trials. The University of Virginia, n.d. Web.


"Salem Witch Trials Facts – Witchcraft Accusations from 1692-1693." Totally History Salem Witch Trials Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Sept. 2015.


Walsh, Sarah Nell. "Salem Witch Trials Notable Persons." Salem Witch Trials Notable Persons. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Sept. 2015.