Timeline of Salem Witch Trials

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The Trials in Salem about Witches were some of the most gruesome parts of United States history. We’re not only the Citizens in Salem are to blame, but the Superstition in Salem as well during this time. Other cause will be explained later.

The belief in the supernatural omits the devils practice giving certain people abnormal abilities to harm different people in return for their loyalty to the devil. The witch trials would be fueled by people’s suspicions and hatred toward others around them as well as their fear of outsiders.

In January of 1692, a nine-year-old girl named Elizabeth Parris along with eleven-year-old girl named Abigail Williams began having fits, involving violence and uncontrollable outburst and screaming. After the local doctor, William Griggs came to see what the problem was his diagnoses was that the girls were bewitched, other girls in the area began to have similar behavior problems these girls included Ann Putnam Jr., Mercy Lewis, Elizabeth Hubbard, Mary Walcott, and Mary Warren.

Late February an arrest warrant went out for Parris’s Caribbean slave, Tituba, and two other women. A homeless beggar named Sarah Good, and an old woman named Sarah Osborn whom the girls accused of witchcraft. These three women were brought before Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne and questioned, their accusers appeared in the courtroom and in front of everyone preformed a grand display of spasms, contortions, screaming and writing. Sarah Osborn and Sarah good both claimed they were not guilty, only Tituba confessed. Likely trying to save herself from certain conviction by saying she was an informer, she claimed there were others alongside her in service of the devil against the Puritans.

More began to be accused such as Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse both regarded as upstanding members of church and community, there was also a 4-year-old girl who was Sarah Good’s daughter confest like Tituba. Several accused “witches” confessed and named others, and the trials soon began to overwhelm the Salem justice system. In May 1692, the newly appointed governor of Massachusetts, William Phips, ordered the establishment of a special Court of Oyer and Terminer on witchcraft cases for Suffolk, Essex, and Middlesex counties.

Presided over by judges including Hathorne, Samuel Sewall, and William Stoughton, the court handed down its first conviction, against Bridget Bishop, on June 2, she was hanged eight days later what would become known as Gallows Hill in Salem Town. Five more people have hanged that July; five in August and eight more in September. In addition, seven other accused witches died in jail, such as elderly Giles Corey was pressed to death by stones after he refused to enter a plea at his arraignment.

Though the respected minister Cotton Mather had warned of the dubious value of spectral evidence, his concerns were not listened to during the Salem witch trials. Increase Mather, president of Harvard College later joined his son in urging that the standards of evidence for witchcraft must be equal to those for any other crime. Amid waning public support for the trials, Governor Phips dissolved the Court of Oyer and Terminer in October and mandated that its successor disregard spectral evidence. Trials continued with dwindling intensity until early 1693, and by that May Phips had pardoned and released all those in prison on witchcraft charges.

Cite this paper

Timeline of Salem Witch Trials. (2021, Mar 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/timeline-of-salem-witch-trials/

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