Essex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643 by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when it ordered "that the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires."
Many factors led to the witchcraft accusations in Salem.
A Puritan was a member of the religious group in the 16th and 17th centuries that advocated "purity" of worship and doctrine who believed in personal and group piety. Puritans were persecuted in England and came to America so they would be free to practice their religion.
By the Hon. John Hathorne & Jonathan Corwin.
At the bringing in of the the accused severall fell into fits.
Doth this woman hurt you?
Many mouths were stopt, & several other fits seized them
Abig Williams said it was Goody Eastie, & she had hurt her, the
like said Mary Walcot, & Ann Putman, John indian said her saw her
with Goody [Deliverance] Hobbs.
What do you say, are you guilty?
I can say before Christ Jesus, I am free.
You see these accuse you.
There is a God --
Hath she brought the book to you?
Their mouths were stopt.
What have you done to these children?
I know nothing.
How can you say you know nothing, when you see these tormented , & accuse you that you know nothing?
Would you have me accuse my self?
Yes if you be guilty.
How far have you complyed w'th Satan whereby he takes this advantage ag't you?
Sir, I never complyed but prayed against him all my dayes, I have no complyance with Satan, in this. What would you havme do?
Confess if you be guilty.
I will say it, if it was my last time, I am clear of this sin.
Of what sin?
Are you certain this is the woman?
Never a one could speak for fits. By and by Ann Putman said that was the woman, it was like her, & she told me her name;
It is marvailous to me that #[she] you should sometimes think they are bewitcht, & sometimes not, when severall confess that they
have been guilty of bewitching them.
Well Sir would you have me confess that that I never knew?
Her hands were clincht together, & then the hands of Mercy Lewis was clincht
Look now you hands are open, her hands are open.
Is this the woman?
They made signes but could not speak, but Ann Putman afterwards Betty Hubbard cryed out Oh. Goody Easty, Goody Easty you
are the woman, you are the woman
Put up her head, for while her head is bowed the necks of these are broken.
What do you say to this?
Why God will know.
Nay God knows now.
I know he dos.
What did you think of the actions of others before your sisters came out, did you think it was Witchcraft?
I cannot tell.
Why do you not think it is Witchcraft?
It is an evil spirit, but wither it be witchcraft I do not know, Severall said she brought them the Book & then they fell into fits.
Salem Village March 24'th. 1691/2.
Mr Sam'l parris being desired to take in wrighting the Examination of Mary Eastie hath delivered itt as aforesaid
Upon heareing the aforesaid, and seeing what wee then did see,
togeather with the Charge: of the persons then present Wee
Committed sdMary Easte to theire Majest's Goale
John Hathorne was born August 5, 1641 in Salem. He was distinguished in civil and military life and participated in the Indian wars. He was a magistrate and a cruel and intolerant judge during the witchcraft delusion.
Mary Walcott was about 17 at the time of the trials. She was the daughter of Captain Jonathan Walcott. She married Isaac Farrar and David Harwood. Her step-mother was Deliverance Putnam.
Abigail Williams was about 11 at the time of the trials. She lived with her uncle, the Reverend Samuel Parris.
Abigail Hobbs was about 15 years when she was arrested for witchcraft on April 18, 1692. Her stepmother, Goody Deliverance Hobbs, and her father William Hobbs, were also both charged. Prior to living in Salem Village they had lived in Casco, Maine.
Samuel Parris was a rigid Puritan minister of Salem Village. He married Elizabeth Eldridge, and they had three children including Betty Parris.
Judge Jonathan Corwin was born 14th of November, 1640. He presided at the Salem court on June 2 and 28, August 3 and September 9 and 17 where nineteen persons were tried, condemned and executed for witchcraft.
John Indian was the Reverend Samuel Parris's slave and Tituba's husband.
Very little is known about Elizabeth (Betty) Hubbard.
Deacon Edward Putnam (1654-1747) was about 38 at the time of the trials. His parents were Thomas Putnam and Ann Holyoke. He married Mary Hale. His brother was Thomas Putnam. Ann Putnam was 12 years old at the time of the trials. She was the daughter of Thomas and Ann Putnam. Ann died in 1716 and was the only girl to apologize. Constable John Putnam. Jr. (1627-1710). His parents were John Putnam and Priscilla Gould. He married Rebecca Prince.
Salem is in Essex County, Massachusetts and was a significant seaport in early America. John Endicott obtained a patent from England and arrived there in 1628. Salem originally included much of the North Shore, including Marblehead. Salem Village also included Peabody and parts of Beverly, Middleton, Topsfield, Wenham and Manchester-by-the-Sea.
In contracts and pleadings usually people and things mentioned before are designated by the term said (sd ) for clarity.
Aforesaid (afd, afsd, aforesd ) means it was already mentioned.
Goodman was a courtesy title before the surname of a man not of noble and Goodwife or Goody was the courtesy title for a married woman not of noble birth.
Mercy Lewis was a servant in Thomas Putnam's home. She was born in Maine about 1673 and lost both parents in Indian attacks at a young age.
The Salem witch trials were between February, 1692 and May, 1693.