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Title: Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II - With an Account of Salem Village and a History of Opinions - on Witchcraft and Kindred Subjects
Author: Upham, Charles, 1802-1875
Language: English
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AMERICAN CLASSICS

SALEM WITCHCRAFT

_With an Account of Salem Village
and
A History of Opinions on
Witchcraft and Kindred Subjects_


CHARLES W. UPHAM


[Illustration: [autograph] Charles W. Upham.]


_Volume I_


FREDERICK UNGAR PUBLISHING CO.

_New York_

[Transcriber's Note: Originally published 1867]

_Fourth Printing, 1969_

_Printed in the United States of America_

Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 59-10887

[Illustration: THE TOWNSEND BISHOP HOUSE.--VOL. I., 70, 96;
VOL. II., 294, 467.]



DEDICATED

TO

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES,

PROFESSOR OF ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY IN

HARVARD UNIVERSITY.



CONTENTS.


VOLUME I.

                                    PAGE

PREFACE                   vii to xiv

MAP AND ILLUSTRATIONS      xv to xvii

INDEX TO THE MAP           xix to xxvii

GENERAL INDEX             xxix to xl

INTRODUCTION                 1 to 12

PART FIRST.--SALEM VILLAGE  12 to 322

PART SECOND.--WITCHCRAFT   325 to 469


VOLUME II.

                                                PAGE

PART THIRD.--WITCHCRAFT AT SALEM VILLAGE  1 to 444

SUPPLEMENT                              447 to 522

APPENDIX                                525 to 553



PREFACE.


This work was originally constructed, and in previous editions
appeared, in the form of Lectures. The only vestiges of that form, in
its present shape, are certain modes of expression. The language
retains the character of an address by a speaker to his hearers; being
more familiar, direct, and personal than is ordinarily employed in the
relations of an author to a reader.

The former work was prepared under circumstances which prevented a
thorough investigation of the subject. Leisure and freedom from
professional duties have now enabled me to prosecute the researches
necessary to do justice to it.

The "Lectures on Witchcraft," published in 1831, have long been out of
print. Although frequently importuned to prepare a new edition, I was
unwilling to issue again what I had discovered to be an insufficient
presentation of the subject. In the mean time, it constantly became
more and more apparent, that much injury was resulting from the want
of a complete and correct view of a transaction so often referred to,
and universally misunderstood.

The first volume of this work contains what seems to me necessary to
prepare the reader for the second, in which the incidents and
circumstances connected with the witchcraft prosecutions in 1692, at
the village and in the town of Salem, are reduced to chronological
order, and exhibited in detail.

As showing how far the beliefs of the understanding, the perceptions
of the senses, and the delusions of the imagination, may be
confounded, the subject belongs not only to theology and moral and
political science, but to physiology, in its original and proper use,
as embracing our whole nature; and the facts presented may help to
conclusions relating to what is justly regarded as the great mystery
of our being,--the connection between the body and the mind.

It is unnecessary to mention the various well-known works of authority
and illustration, as they are referred to in the text. But I cannot
refrain from bearing my grateful testimony to the value of the
"Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society" and the
"New-England Historical and Genealogical Register." The "Historical
Collections" and the "Proceedings" of the Essex Institute have
afforded me inestimable assistance. Such works as these are providing
the materials that will secure to our country a history such as no
other nation can have. Our first age will not be shrouded in darkness
and consigned to fable, but, in all its details, brought within the
realm of knowledge. Every person who desires to preserve the memory of
his ancestors, and appreciate the elements of our institutions and
civilization, ought to place these works, and others like them, on the
shelves of his library, in an unbroken and continuing series. A debt
of gratitude is due to the earnest, laborious, and disinterested
students who are contributing the results of their explorations to the
treasures of antiquarian and genealogical learning which accumulate in
these publications.

A source of investigation, especially indispensable in the preparation
of the present work, deserves to be particularly noticed. In 1647, the
General Court of Massachusetts provided by law for the taking of
testimony, in all cases, under certain regulations, in the form of
depositions, to be preserved _in perpetuam rei memoriam_. The evidence
of witnesses was prepared in writing, beforehand, to be used at the
trials; they to be present at the time, to meet further inquiry, if
living within ten miles, and not unavoidably prevented. In a capital
case, the presence of the witness, as well as his written testimony,
was absolutely required. These depositions were lodged in the files,
and constitute the most valuable materials of history. In our day,
the statements of witnesses ordinarily live only in the memory of
persons present at the trials, and are soon lost in oblivion. In cases
attracting unusual interest, stenographers are employed to furnish
them to the press. There were no newspaper reporters or "court
calendars" in the early colonial times; but these depositions more
than supply their place. Given in, as they were, in all sorts of
cases,--of wills, contracts, boundaries and encroachments, assault and
battery, slander, larceny, &c., they let us into the interior, the
very inmost recesses, of life and society in all their forms. The
extent to which, by the aid of WILLIAM P. UPHAM, Esq., of
Salem, I have drawn from this source is apparent at every page.

A word is necessary to be said relating to the originals of the
documents that belong to the witchcraft proceedings. They were
probably all deposited at the time in the clerk's office of Essex
County. A considerable number of them were, from some cause,
transferred to the State archives, and have been carefully preserved.
Of the residue, a very large proportion have been abstracted from time
to time by unauthorized hands, and many, it is feared, destroyed or
otherwise lost. Two very valuable parcels have found their way into
the libraries of the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Essex
Institute, where they are faithfully secured. A few others have come
to light among papers in the possession of individuals. It is to be
hoped, that, if any more should be found, they will be lodged in some
public institution; so that, if thought best, they may all be
collected, arranged, and placed beyond wear, tear, and loss, in the
perpetual custody of type.

The papers remaining in the office of the clerk of this county were
transcribed into a volume a few years since; the copyist supplying,
conjecturally, headings to the several documents. Although he executed
his work in an elegant manner, and succeeded in giving correctly many
documents hard to be deciphered, such errors, owing to the condition
of the papers, occurred in arranging them, transcribing their
contents, and framing their headings, that I have had to resort to the
originals throughout.

As the object of this work is to give to the reader of the present day
an intelligible view of a transaction of the past, and not to
illustrate any thing else than the said transaction, no attempt has
been made to preserve the orthography of that period. Most of the
original papers were written without any expectation that they would
ever be submitted to inspection in print; many of them by plain
country people, without skill in the structure of sentences, or regard
to spelling; which, in truth, was then quite unsettled. It is no
uncommon thing to find the same word spelled differently in the same
document. It is very questionable whether it is expedient or just to
perpetuate blemishes, often the result of haste or carelessness,
arising from mere inadvertence. In some instances, where the interest
of the passage seemed to require it, the antique style is preserved.
In no case is a word changed or the structure altered; but the now
received spelling is generally adopted, and the punctuation made to
express the original sense.

It is indeed necessary, in what claims to be an exact reprint of an
old work, to imitate its orthography precisely, even at the expense of
difficulty in apprehending at once the meaning, and of perpetuating
errors of carelessness and ignorance. Such modern reproductions are
valuable, and have an interest of their own. They deserve the favor of
all who desire to examine critically, and in the most authentic form,
publications of which the original copies are rare, and the earliest
editions exhausted. The enlightened and enterprising publishers who
are thus providing facsimiles of old books and important documents of
past ages ought to be encouraged and rewarded by a generous public.
But the present work does not belong to that class, or make any
pretensions of that kind.

My thanks are especially due to the Hon. ASAHEL HUNTINGTON, clerk of
the courts in Essex County, for his kindness in facilitating the use
of the materials in his office; to the Hon. OLIVER WARNER, secretary
of the Commonwealth, and the officers of his department; and to
STEPHEN N. GIFFORD, Esq., clerk of the Senate.

DAVID PULSIFER, Esq., in the office of the Secretary of
State, is well known for his pre-eminent skill and experience in
mastering the chirography of the primitive colonial times, and
elucidating its peculiarities. He has been unwearied in his labors,
and most earnest in his efforts, to serve me.

Mr. SAMUEL G. DRAKE, who has so largely illustrated our
history and explored its sources, has, by spontaneous and considerate
acts of courtesy rendered me important help. Similar expressions of
friendly interest by Mr. WILLIAM B. TOWNE, of Brookline,
Mass.; Hon. J. HAMMOND TRUMBULL, of Hartford, Conn.; and
GEORGE H. MOORE, Esq., of New-York City,--are gratefully
acknowledged.

SAMUEL P. FOWLER, Esq., of Danvers, generously placed at my
disposal his valuable stores of knowledge relating to the subject. The
officers in charge of the original papers, in the Historical Society
and the Essex Institute, have allowed me to examine and use them.

I cordially express my acknowledgments to the Hon. BENJAMIN F. BROWNE,
of Salem, who, retired from public life and the cares of business, is
giving the leisure of his venerable years to the collection,
preservation, and liberal contribution of an unequalled amount of
knowledge respecting our local antiquities.

CHARLES W. PALFRAY, Esq., while attending the General Court
as a Representative of Salem, in 1866, gave me the great benefit of
his explorations among the records and papers in the State House.

Mr. MOSES PRINCE, of Danvers Centre, is an embodiment of the
history, genealogy, and traditions of that locality, and has taken an
active and zealous interest in the preparation of this work.
ANDREW NICHOLS, Esq., of Danvers, and the family of the late
Colonel PERLEY PUTNAM, of Salem, also rendered me much aid.

I am indebted to CHARLES DAVIS, Esq., of Beverly, for the use
of the record-book of the church, composed of "the brethren and
sisters belonging to Bass River," gathered Sept. 20, 1667, now the
First Church of Beverly; and to JAMES HILL, Esq., town-clerk
of that place, for access to the records in his charge.

To GILBERT TAPLEY, Esq., chairman of the committee of the
parish, and AUGUSTUS MUDGE, Esq., its clerk, and to the Rev.
Mr. RICE, pastor of the church, at Danvers Centre, I cannot
adequately express my obligations. Without the free use of the
original parish and church record-books with which they intrusted me,
and having them constantly at hand, I could not have begun adequately
to tell the story of Salem Village or the Witchcraft Delusion.

C.W.U.



MAP AND ILLUSTRATIONS.


The map, based upon various local maps and the Coast-Survey chart, is
the result of much personal exploration and perambulation of the
ground. It may claim to be a very exact representation of many of the
original grants and farms. The locality of the houses, mills, and
bridges, in 1692, is given in some cases precisely, and in all with
near approximation. The task has been a difficult one. An original
plot of Governor Endicott's Ipswich River grant, No. III., is in the
State House, and one of the Swinnerton grant, No. XIX., in the Salem
town-books. Neither of them, however, affords elements by which to
establish its exact location. A plot of the Townsend Bishop grant, No.
XX., as its boundaries were finally determined, is in the State House,
and another of the same in the court-files of the county. This gives
one fixed and known point, Hadlock's Bridge, from which, following the
lines by points of compass and distances, as indicated on the plot and
described in the Colonial Records, all the sides of the grant are laid
out with accuracy, and its place on the map determined with absolute
certainty. A very perfect and scientifically executed plan of a part
of the boundary between Salem and Reading in 1666 is in the State
House; of which an exact tracing was kindly furnished by Mr. H.J.
COOLIDGE, of the Secretary of State's office. It gives two of the
sides of the Governor Bellingham grant, No. IV., in such a manner as
to afford the means of projecting it with entire certainty, and fixing
its locality. There are no other plots of original or early grants or
farms on this territory; but, starting from the Bishop and Bellingham
grants thus laid out in their respective places, by a collation of
deeds of conveyance and partition on record, with the aid of portions
of the primitive stone-walls still remaining, and measurements resting
on permanent objects, the entire region has been reduced to a
demarkation comprehending the whole area. The locations of
then-existing roads have been obtained from the returns of laying-out
committees, and other evidence in the records and files. The
construction of the map, in all its details, is the result of the
researches and labors of W.P. UPHAM.

The death-warrant is a photograph by E.R. PERKINS, of Salem.
The original, among the papers on file in the office of the clerk of
the courts of Essex County, having always been regarded as a great
curiosity, has been subjected to constant handling, and become much
obscured by dilapidation. The letters, and in some instances entire
words, at the end of the lines, are worn off. To preserve it, if
possible, from further injury, it has been pasted on cloth. Owing to
this circumstance, and the yellowish hue to which the paper has faded,
it does not take favorably by photograph; but the exactness of
imitation, which can only thus be obtained with absolute certainty, is
more important than any other consideration. Only so much as contains
the body of the warrant, the sheriff's return, and the seal, are
given. The tattered margins are avoided, as they reveal the cloth,
and impair the antique aspect of the document. The original is slowly
disintegrating and wasting away, notwithstanding the efforts to
preserve it; and its appearance, as seen to-day, can only be
perpetuated in photograph. The warrant is reduced about one-third, and
the return one-half.

The Townsend Bishop house and the outlines of Witch Hill are from
sketches by O.W.H. UPHAM. The English house is from a drawing
made on the spot by J.R. PENNIMAN of Boston, in 1822, a few
years before its demolition, for the use of which I am indebted to
JAMES KIMBALL, Esq., of Salem. The view of Salem Village and
of the Jacobs' house are reduced, by O.W.H. UPHAM, from
photographs by E.R. PERKINS.

The map and other engravings, including the autographs, were all
delineated by O.W.H. UPHAM.

[Illustration: [map]]



INDEX TO THE MAP.


DWELLINGS IN 1692.

     [The Map shows all the houses standing in 1692 within the
     bounds of Salem Village; some others in the vicinity are
     also given. The houses are numbered on the Map with Arabic
     numerals, 1, 2, 3, &c., beginning at the top, and proceeding
     from left to right. In the following list, against each
     number, is given the name of the occupant in 1692, and, in
     some cases, that of the recent occupant or owner of the
     locality is added in parenthesis.]


ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THIS LIST.

_s._ The same house believed to be still standing.

_s.m._ The same house standing within the memory of persons now
living.

_t.r._ Traces of the house remain.

_c._ The site given is conjectural.


1. John Willard. _c._

2. Isaac Easty.

3. Francis Peabody. _c._

4. Joseph Porter. (John Bradstreet.)

5. William Hobbs. _t.r._

6. John Robinson.

7. William Nichols. _t.r._

8. Bray Wilkins. _c._

9. Aaron Way. (A. Batchelder.)

10. Thomas Bailey.

11. Thomas Fuller, Sr. (Abijah Fuller.)

12. William Way.

13. Francis Elliot. _c._

14. Jonathan Knight. _c._

15. Thomas Cave. (Jonathan Berry.)

16. Philip Knight. (J.D. Andrews.)

17. Isaac Burton.

18. John Nichols, Jr. (Jonathan Perry and Aaron Jenkins.) _s._

19. Humphrey Case. _t.r._

20. Thomas Fuller, Jr. (J.A. Esty.) _s._

21. Jacob Fuller.

22. Benjamin Fuller.

23. Deacon Edward Putnam. _s.m._

24. Sergeant Thomas Putnam. (Moses Perkins.) _s._

25. Peter Prescot. (Daniel Towne.)

26. Ezekiel Cheever. (Chas. P. Preston.) _s.m._

27. Eleazer Putnam. (John Preston.) _s.m._

28. Henry Kenny.

29. John Martin. (Edward Wyatt.)

30. John Dale. (Philip H. Wentworth.)

31. Joseph Prince. (Philip H. Wentworth.)

32. Joseph Putnam. (S. Clark.) _s._

33. John Putnam 3d.

34. Benjamin Putnam.

35. Daniel Andrew. (Joel Wilkins.)

36. John Leach, Jr. _c._

37. John Putnam, Jr. (Charles Peabody.)

38. Joshua Rea. (Francis Dodge.) _s._

39. Mary, wid. of Thos. Putnam. (William R. Putnam.) _s._

     [Birthplace of Gen. Israel Putnam. Gen. Putnam also lived in
     a house, the cellar and well of which are still visible,
     about one hundred rods north of this, and just west of the
     present dwelling of Andrew Nichols.]

40. Alexander Osburn and James Prince. (Stephen Driver.) _s._

41. Jonathan Putnam. (Nath. Boardman.) _s._

42. George Jacobs, Jr.

43. Peter Cloyse. _t.r._

44. William Small. _s.m._

45. John Darling. (George Peabody.) _s.m._

46. James Putnam. (Wm. A. Lander.) _s.m._

47. Capt. John Putnam. (Wm. A. Lander.)

48. Daniel Rea. (Augustus Fowler.) _s._

49. Henry Brown.

50. John Hutchinson. (George Peabody.) _t.r._

51. Joseph Whipple. _s.m._

52. Benjamin Porter. (Joseph S. Cabot.)

53. Joseph Herrick. (R.P. Waters.)

54. John Phelps. _c._

55. George Flint. _c._

56. Ruth Sibley. _s.m._

57. John Buxton.

58. William Allin.

59. Samuel Brabrook. _c._

60. James Smith.

61. Samuel Sibley. _t.r._

62. Rev. James Bayley. (Benjamin Hutchinson.)

63. John Shepherd. (Rev. M.P. Braman.)

64. John Flint.

65. John Rea. _s.m._

66. Joshua Rea. (Adam Nesmith.) _s.m._

67. Jeremiah Watts.

68. Edward Bishop, the sawyer. (Josiah Trask.)

69. Edward Bishop, husbandman.

70. Capt. Thomas Rayment.

71. Joseph Hutchinson, Jr. (Job Hutchinson.)

72. William Buckley.

73. Joseph Houlton, Jr. _t.r._

74. Thomas Haines. (Elijah Pope.) _s._

75. John Houlton. (F.A. Wilkins.) _s._

76. Joseph Houlton, Sr. (Isaac Demsey.)

77. Joseph Hutchinson, Sr. _t.r._

78. John Hadlock. (Saml. P. Nourse.) _s.m._

79. Nathaniel Putnam. (Judge Putnam.) _t.r._

80. Israel Porter. _s.m._

81. James Kettle.

82. Royal Side Schoolhouse.

83. Dr. William Griggs.

84. John Trask. (I. Trask.) _s._

85. Cornelius Baker.

86. Exercise Conant. (Subsequently, Rev. John Chipman.)

87. Deacon Peter Woodberry. _t.r._

88. John Rayment, Sr. (Col. J.W. Raymond.)

89. Joseph Swinnerton. (Nathl. Pope.)

90. Benjamin Hutchinson. _s.m._

91. Job Swinnerton. (Amos Cross.)

92. Henry Houlton. (Artemas Wilson.)

93. Sarah, widow of Benjamin Houlton. (Judge Houlton.) _s._

94. Samuel Rea.

95. Francis Nurse. (Orin Putnam.) _s._

96. Samuel Nurse. (E.G. Hyde.) _s._

97. John Tarbell. _s._

98. Thomas Preston.

99. Jacob Barney.

100. Sergeant John Leach, Sr. (George Southwick.) _s.m._

101. Capt. John Dodge, Jr. (Charles Davis.) _t.r._

102. Henry Herrick. (Nathl. Porter.)

     [This had been the homestead of his father, Henry Herrick.]

103. Lot Conant.

     [This was the homestead of his father, Roger Conant.]

104. Benjamin Balch, Sr. (Azor Dodge.) _s._

     [This was the homestead of his father, John Balch.]

105. Thomas Gage. (Charles Davis.) _s._

106. Families of Trask, Grover, Haskell, and Elliott.

107. Rev. John Hale.

108. Dorcas, widow of William Hoar.

109. William and Samuel Upton. _c._

110. Abraham and John Smith. (J. Smith.) _s._

     [This had been the homestead of Robert Goodell.]

111. Isaac Goodell. (Perley Goodale.)

112. Abraham Walcot. (Jasper Pope.) _s.m._

113. Zachariah Goodell. (Jasper Pope.)

114. Samuel Abbey.

115. John Walcot.

116. Jasper Swinnerton. _s.m._

117. John Weldon. Captain Samuel Gardner's farm. (Asa Gardner.)

118. Gertrude, widow of Joseph Pope. (Rev. Willard Spaulding.) _s.m._

119. Capt. Thomas Flint. _s._

120. Joseph Flint. _s._

121. Isaac Needham. _c._

122. The widow Sheldon and her daughter Susannah.

123. Walter Phillips. (F. Peabody, Jr.)

124. Samuel Endicott. _s.m._

125. Families of Creasy, King, Batchelder, and Howard.

126. John Green. (J. Green) _s._

127. John Parker.

128. Giles Corey. _t.r._

129. Henry Crosby.

130. Anthony Needham, Jr. (E. and J.S. Needham.)

131. Anthony Needham, Sr.

132. Nathaniel Felton. (Nathaniel Felton.) _s._

133. James Houlton. (Thorndike Procter.)

134. John Felton.

135. Sarah Phillips.

136. Benjamin Scarlett. (District Schoolhouse No. 6.)

137. Benjamin Pope.

138. Robert Moulton. (T. Taylor.) _c._

139. John Procter.

140. Daniel Epps. _c._

141. Joseph Buxton. _c._

142. George Jacobs, Sr. (Allen Jacobs.) _s._

143. William Shaw.

144. Alice, widow of Michael Shaflin. (J. King.)

145. Families of Buffington, Stone, and Southwick.

146. William Osborne.

147. Families of Very, Gould, Follet, and Meacham.

+ Nathaniel Ingersoll.

¶ Rev. Samuel Parris. _t.r._

[Symbol: box] Captain Jonathan Walcot. _t.r._


TOWN OF SALEM.

     [For the sites of the following dwellings, &c., referred to
     in the book, see the small capitals in the lower right-hand
     corner of the Map.]

A. Jonathan Corwin.
B. Samuel Shattock, John Cook, Isaac Sterns, John Bly.
C. Bartholomew Gedney.
D. Stephen Sewall.
E. Court House.
F. Rev. Nicholas Noyes.
G. John Hathorne.
H. George Corwin, High-sheriff.
I. Bridget Bishop.
J. Meeting-house.
K. Gedney's "Ship Tavern."
L. The Prison.
M. Samuel Beadle.
N. Rev. John Higginson.
O. Ann Pudeator, John Best.
P. Capt. John Higginson.
Q. The Town Common.
R. John Robinson.
S. Christopher Babbage.
T. Thomas Beadle.
U. Philip English.
W. Place of execution, "Witch Hill."

       *       *       *       *       *

GRANTS.

     NOTE.--The grants are numbered on the Map with
     Roman numerals, the bounds being indicated by broken lines.
     They were all granted by the town of Salem, unless otherwise
     stated.

I. JOHN GOULD.

Sold by him to Capt. George Corwin, March 29, 1674; and by Capt.
Corwin's widow sold to Philip Knight, Thomas Wilkins, Sr., Henry
Wilkins, and John Willard, March 1, 1690.

II. ZACCHEUS GOULD.

Sold by him to Capt. John Putnam before 1662; owned in 1692 by Capt.
Putnam, Thomas Cave, Francis Elliot, John Nichols, Jr., Thomas
Nichols, and William Way.

The above, together, comprised land granted by the General Court to
Rowley, May 31, 1652, and laid out by Rowley to John and Zaccheus
Gould.

III. GOV. JOHN ENDICOTT.

Ipswich-river Farm, 550 acres, granted by the General Court, Nov. 5,
1639; owned in 1692 by his grandsons, Zerubabel, Benjamin, and
Joseph.

The General Court, Oct. 14, 1651, also granted to Gov. Endicott 300
acres on the southerly side of this farm, in "Blind Hole," on
condition that he would set up copper-works. As the land appears
afterwards to have been owned by John Porter, it is probable that the
copper-mine was soon abandoned; but traces of it are still to be seen
there.

IV. GOV. RICHARD BELLINGHAM.

Granted by the General Court, Nov. 5, 1639.

V. FARMER JOHN PORTER.

Owned in 1692 by his son, Benjamin Porter. This includes a grant to
Townsend Bishop, sold to John Porter in 1648; also 200 acres granted
to John Porter, Sept. 30, 1647. That part in Topsfield was released by
Topsfield to Benjamin Porter, May 2, 1687.

VI. CAPT. RICHARD DAVENPORT.

Granted Feb. 20, 1637, and Nov. 26, 1638; sold, with the Hathorne
farm, to John Putnam, John Hathorne, Richard Hutchinson, and Daniel
Rea, April 17, 1662.

VII. CAPT. WILLIAM HATHORNE.

Granted Feb. 17, 1637; sold with the above.

VIII. JOHN PUTNAM THE ELDER.

This comprises a grant of 100 acres to John Putnam, Jan. 20, 1641; 80
acres to Ralph Fogg, in 1636; 40 acres (formerly Richard Waterman's)
to Thomas Lothrop, Nov. 29, 1642; and 30 acres to Ann Scarlett, in
1636. The whole owned by James and Jonathan Putnam in 1692.

IX. DANIEL REA.

Granted to him in 1636; owned by his grandson, Daniel Rea, in 1692.

X. REV. HUGH PETERS.

Granted Nov. 12, 1638; laid out June 15, 1674, being then in the
possession of Capt. John Corwin; sold by Mrs. Margaret Corwin to Henry
Brown, May 22, 1693.

XI. CAPT. GEORGE CORWIN.

Granted Aug. 21, 1648; sold (including 30 acres formerly John
Bridgman's) to Job Swinnerton, Jr., and William Cantlebury, Jan. 18,
1661.

XII. RICHARD HUTCHINSON, JOHN THORNDIKE, AND MR. FREEMAN.

Granted in 1636 and 1637; owned in 1692 by Joseph, son of Richard
Hutchinson, and by Sarah, wife of Joseph Whipple, daughter of John,
and grand-daughter of Richard Hutchinson.

XIII. SAMUEL SHARPE.

Granted Jan. 23, 1637; sold to John Porter, May 10, 1643; owned by his
son, Israel Porter, in 1692.

XIV. JOHN HOLGRAVE.

Granted Nov. 26, 1638; sold to Jeffry Massey and Nicholas Woodberry,
April 2, 1652; and to Joshua Rea, Jan. 1, 1657.

XV. WILLIAM ALFORD.

Granted in 1636; sold to Henry Herrick before 1653.

XVI. FRANCIS WESTON.

Granted in 1636; sold by John Pease to Richard Ingersoll and William
Haynes, in 1644.

XVII. ELIAS STILEMAN.

Granted in 1636; sold to Richard Hutchinson, June 1, 1648.

XVIII. ROBERT GOODELL.

504 acres laid out to him, Feb. 13, 1652: comprising 40 acres granted
to him "long since," and other parcels bought by him of the original
grantees; viz., Joseph Grafton, John Sanders, Henry Herrick, William
Bound, Robert Pease and his brother, Robert Cotta, William Walcott,
Edmund Marshall, Thomas Antrum, Michael Shaflin, Thomas Venner, John
Barber, Philemon Dickenson, and William Goose.

XIX. JOB SWINNERTON.

300 acres laid out, Jan. 5, 1697, to Job Swinnerton, Jr.; having been
owned by his father, by grant and purchase, as early as 1650.

XX. TOWNSEND BISHOP.

Granted Jan. 11, 1636; sold to Francis Nurse, April 29, 1678.

XXI. REV. SAMUEL SKELTON.

Granted by the General Court, July 3, 1632; sold to John Porter, March
8, 1649; owned by the heirs of John Porter in 1692.

XXII. JOHN WINTHROP, JR.

Granted June 25, 1638; sold by his daughter to John Green, Aug. 9,
1683.

XXIII. REV. EDWARD NORRIS.

Granted Jan. 21, 1640: sold to Elleanor Trusler, Aug. 7, 1654; to
Joseph Pope, July 18, 1664.

XXIV. ROBERT COLE.

Granted Dec. 21, 1635; sold to Emanuel Downing before July 16th, 1638;
conveyed by him to John and Adam Winthrop, in trust for himself and
wife during their lives, and then for his son, George Downing, July
23, 1644; leased to John Procter in 1666; occupied by him and his son
Benjamin in 1692.

XXV. COL. THOMAS REED.

Granted Feb. 16, 1636; sold to Daniel Epps, June 28, 1701, by Wait
Winthrop, as attorney to Samuel Reed, only son and heir of Thomas
Reed.

XXVI. JOHN HUMPHREY.

Granted by the General Court, Nov. 7, 1632, May 6, 1635, and March 12,
1638, 1,500 acres, part in Salem and part in Lynn; sold, on execution,
to Robert Saltonstall, Dec. 6, 1642, and by him sold to Stephen
Winthrop, June 7, 1645, whose daughters--Margaret Willie and Judith
Hancock--owned it in 1692: that part within the bounds of Salem is
given in the Map according to the report of a committee, July 11,
1695.

ORCHARD FARM.

Granted by the General Court to Gov. Endicott; owned by his grandsons,
John and Samuel, in 1692.

THE GOVERNOR'S PLAIN.

Granted to Gov. Endicott, Jan. 27, 1637, Dec. 23, 1639, and Feb. 5,
1644; including land granted under the name of "small lots."

JOHNSON'S PLAIN.

Granted to Francis Johnson, Jan. 23, 1637.


FARMS.

     [The bounds of farms are indicated by dotted lines, except
     where they coincide with the bounds of grants. The following
     are those given on the Map.]

_1st_, Between grants No. XI. and VII., and extending north of the
Village bounds, and south as far as Andover Road,--about 500 acres;
bought by Thomas and Nathaniel Putnam of Philip Cromwell, Walter Price
and Thomas Cole, Jeffry Massey, John Reaves, Joseph and John Gardner,
and Giles Corey; owned, in 1692, by Edward Putnam, Thomas Putnam, and
John Putnam, Jr. This includes also 50 acres granted to Nathaniel
Putnam, Nov. 19, 1649.

_2d_, At the northerly end of Grant No. VII., and extending north of
the Village bounds,--100 acres, known as the "Ruck Farm;" granted to
Thomas Ruck, May 27, 1654, and sold to Philip Knight and Thomas Cave,
July 24, 1672.

_3d_, North of the "Ruck Farm,"--100 acres; sold by William Robinson
to Richard Richards and William Hobbs, Jan. 1, 1660, and owned, in
1692, by William Hobbs and John Robinson.

_4th_, Next east, bounded northeast by Nichols Brook, and extending
within the Village bounds,--200 acres; granted to Henry Bartholomew,
and sold by him to William Nichols before 1652.

_5th_, East of the "Ruck Farm," and extending across the Village
bounds,--about 150 acres; granted to John Putnam and Richard Graves.
Part of this was sold by John Putnam to Capt. Thomas Lothrop, June 2,
1669, and was owned by Ezekiel Cheever in 1692: the rest was owned by
John Putnam.

_6th_, East of the above, and south of the Nichols Farm,--60 acres,
owned by Henry Kenny; also 50 acres granted to Job Swinnerton, given
by him to his son, Dr. John Swinnerton, and sold to John Martin and
John Dale, March 20, 1693.

_7th_, South of the above, and east of Grant No. VII.,--150 acres;
granted to William Pester, July 16, 1638, and sold by Capt. William
Trask to Robert Prince, Dec. 20, 1655.

_8th_, East of Grant No. VI., and extending north to Smith's Hill and
south to Grant No. IX.,--about 400 acres; granted to Allen Kenniston,
John Porter, and Thomas Smith, and owned, in 1692, by Daniel Andrew
and Peter Cloyse.

_9th_, East and southeast of Smith's Hill,--500 acres; granted to
Emanuel Downing in 1638 and 1649, and sold by him to John Porter,
April 15, 1650. John Porter gave this farm to his son Joseph, upon his
marriage with Anna daughter of William Hathorne.

_10th_, East of Frost-fish River, including the northerly end of
Leach's Hill, and extending across Ipswich Road,--about 250 acres,
known as the "Barney Farm;" originally granted to Richard Ingersoll,
Jacob Barney, and Pascha Foote.

_11th_, South of the "Barney Farm,"--about 200 acres; granted to
Lawrence, Richard, and John Leach; owned, in 1692, by John Leach.

_12th_, North of the "Barney Farm," and between grants No. XIII. and
XIV.,--about 250 acres, known as "Gott's Corner;" granted to Charles
Gott, Jeffry Massey, Thomas Watson, John Pickard, and Jacob Barney,
and by them sold to John Porter. (Recently known as the "Burley
Farm.")

_13th_, Eastward of the "Barney Farm,"--40 acres; originally granted
to George Harris, and afterwards to Osmond Trask; owned, in 1692, by
his son, John Trask.

_14th_, Next east, and extending across Ipswich Road,--40 acres;
granted to Edward Bishop, Dec. 28, 1646; owned, in 1692, by his son,
Edward Bishop, "the sawyer."

_15th_, At the northwest end of Felton's Hill, and extending across
the Village line,--about 60 acres; owned by Nathaniel Putnam.

_16th_, Southeast of Grant No. XXIII.,--a farm of about 150 acres;
owned by Giles Corey, including 50 acres bought by him of Robert
Goodell, March 15, 1660, and 50 acres bought by him of Ezra and
Nathaniel Clapp, of Dorchester, heirs of John Alderman, July 4, 1663.

_17th_, Northeast of the above,--150 acres granted to Mrs. Anna
Higginson in 1636; sold by Rev. John Higginson to John Pickering,
March 23, 1652; and by him to John Woody and Thomas Flint, Oct. 18,
1654; owned in 1692 by Thomas and Joseph Flint.



GENERAL INDEX.


A.

Abbey, Thomas, 129.

Abbey, Samuel, ii. 200, 272.

Abbot, Joseph, 123.

Abbot, Nehemiah, ii. 128, 133, 208.

Aborn, Samuel, Jr., ii. 272.

Addington, Isaac, ii. 102, 474.

Afflicted children, ii. 112, 384, 465.

Age, reverence for, 217.

Agrippa, Henry Cornelius, 367.

Alford, William, 66.

Alden, John, ii. 208, 243-247, 255, 453.

Allen, James, 78-84; ii. 89, 309, 494, 550-553.

Allin, James, ii. 226.

America, the peopling of, 395.

Amsterdam, 460.

Andover, ii. 247.

Andrew, Daniel, 155, 214, 251, 270, 296, 319; ii. 59, 187, 272, 497,
550.

Andrews, Ann, ii. 170, 319.

Andrews, John, ii. 306.

Andrews, John, Jr., ii. 306.

Andrews, Joseph, ii. 306.

Andrews, William, ii. 306.

Andrews, Robert, 123.

Andros, Sir Edmund, ii. 99, 154.

Appleton, Samuel, 119; ii. 102, 250.

Apon, Peter, 342.

Arnold de Villa Nova, 342.

Arnold, Margaret, 356.


B.

Babbage, Christopher, ii. 184.

Bachelder, Mark, 123.

Bacheler, John, ii. 475.

Bacon, Francis, 383.

Bacon, Roger, 341.

Badger, John, 445.

Baker, Eben, 123.

Bailey, John, ii. 89, 310.

Balch, John, 129.

Balch, Joseph, 105.

Baptism: its subjects, 307.

Barbadoes, 287.

Barker, Abigail, ii. 349, 404.

Barnard, Thomas, ii. 477.

Barnes, Benjamin, ii. 499.

Barney, Jacob, 40, 140.

Barrett, Thomas, ii. 353.

Bartholomew, Henry, 206.

Bartholomew, William, 428.

Barton, Elizabeth, 343.

Bassett, William, ii. 207.

Batter, Edmund, 40, 46, 57.

Baxter, Richard, 352, 353, 355, 401, 459.

Bayley, James, 245-255, 278;
  autograph, 280; ii. 514.

Bayley, Joseph, ii. 417.

Bayley, Thomas, 105.

Beadle, Samuel, 132; ii. 164, 181.

Beadle, Thomas, ii. 164, 170, 172.

Beale, William, ii. 141.

Beard, Thomas, 360.

Bears, 210.

Becket, John, ii. 267.

Beers, Richard, 104.

Bekker, Balthasar, 371.

Belcher, Jonathan, ii. 481.

Bellingham, Richard, 144.

Bentley, Richard, 372.

Bentley, William, ii. 143, 365, 377.

Best, John, ii. 329.

Best, John, Jr., ii. 329.

Bibber, Sarah, ii. 5, 205, 287.

Billerica, 9.

Bishop, Bridget, 143, 191-197; ii. 114, 125-128, 253;
  trial and execution, 256-267;
  her house, 463.

Bishop, Edward, 142; ii. 272.

Bishop, Edward, 142, 191; ii. 253, 267, 466.

Bishop, Edward, 141, 143; ii. 128, 135, 383, 465, 478.

Bishop, Edward, 143.

Bishop, John, 8.

Bishop, Richard, 142.

Bishop, Sarah, ii. 128, 135.

Bishop, Thomas, 206.

Bishop, Townsend, 40, 66;
  his house, 69-74, 96, 97;
  autograph, 279; ii. 294, 467.

Black, Mary, ii. 128, 136.

Blackstone, Sir William, ii. 517.

Blazdell, Henry, 430.

Blazed trees, 43.

Bly, John, ii. 261, 266.

Bly, William, ii. 266.

Bloody Brook, 105.

Booth, Elizabeth, ii. 4, 465.

Bowden, Michael, ii. 467.

Bowditch, Nathaniel, 172.

Boyle, Robert, 359.

Boynton, Joseph, ii. 553.

Bradbury, Thomas, ii. 224, 450.

Bradbury, Mary, ii. 208, 224-238;
  trial and condemnation, 324, 480.

Bradford, William, 122.

Bradstreet, Dudley, ii. 248, 347.

Bradstreet, John, 428.

Bradstreet, John, ii. 248, 347.

Bradstreet, Simon, 124, 139, 147;
  autograph 279, 451, 454; ii. 99, 455, 456.

Braman, Milton P., ii. 516.

Brattle, William, ii. 450.

Braybrook, Samuel, ii. 30, 72, 202.

Bridges, Edmund, 186; ii. 94.

Bridges, Mary, ii. 349.

Bridges, Sarah, ii. 349.

Bridgham, Joseph, ii. 553.

Bridle-path, 43.

Britt, Mary, ii. 38.

Broom-making, 202.

Browne, Charles, 429.

Browne, Christopher, 438.

Browne, Henry, Jr., 55.

Browne, Sir Thomas, 357.

Browne, William, Jr., 226, 271.

Buckley, Sarah, ii. 187, 199, 349.

Buckley, Thomas, 105.

Buckley, William, ii. 199.

Burial of those executed, ii. 266, 293, 301, 312, 320.

Burnham, John, ii. 306.

Burnham, John, Jr., ii. 306.

Burroughs, Charles, ii. 478.

Burroughs, George, 255, 278;
  autograph, 280;
  arrest and examination, ii. 140-163;
  trial and execution, 296-304, 319, 480, 482, 514.

Burt, Goody, 437.

Burton, John, 151.

Burton, Isaac, 152, 241.

Burton, Warren, 152.

Butler, Samuel, 352, 367.

Butler, William, ii. 306.

Buxton, Elizabeth, ii 272.

Buxton, John, 154, 262.

Byfield, Nathaniel, ii. 455.


C.

Calamy, Edmund, 283, 352.

Calef, Robert, ii. 32, 461, 490.

Candy, ii. 208, 215, 349.

Canoes, 61.

Cantlebury, William, 154.

Cantlebury, Ruth, ii. 18.

Capen, Joseph, ii. 326, 478.

Capital punishment, 377.

Cary, Elizabeth, ii. 208, 238, 453, 456.

Cary, Jonathan, ii. 238.

Carr, Ann, 253; ii. 465.

Carr, George, ii. 229.

Carr, James, ii. 232.

Carr, John, ii. 234.

Carr, Mary, 253.

Carr, Richard, ii. 230.

Carr, Sir Robert, 220.

Carr, William, ii. 234, 465.

Carrier, Martha,
  arrest and examination, ii. 208-215;
  trial and execution, 296, 480.

Carrier, Sarah, ii. 209.

Carter, Bethiah, ii. 187.

Cartwright, George, 220.

Casco, 256.

Case, Humphrey, 154.

Castle Island, 102.

Cave, Thomas, 154.

Chapman, Simon, ii. 219.

Charter of Massachusetts, 15.

Checkley, Samuel, ii. 553.

Cheever, Ezekiel, 111.

Cheever, Ezekiel, Jr., 113, 117, 226, 299; ii. 15, 40, 550.

Cheever, Peter, 226.

Cheever, Samuel, 113; ii. 193, 478, 550.

Cheever, Thomas, 113.

Chickering, Henry, 74.

Chipman, John, 130.

Choate, John, ii. 306.

Choate, Thomas, ii. 306.

Church, Benjamin, 123.

Church-of-England Canon, 347.

Churchill, Sarah, ii. 4, 166, 169.

Clark, Peter, 171; ii. 513, 516.

Clark, Thomas, 425.

Clark, William, 40.

Cleaves, William, ii. 38, 336.

Clenton, Rachel, ii. 198.

Cloutman, William, ii. 267.

Cloyse, Peter, 269; ii. 9, 59, 94, 465, 485.

Cloyse, Sarah, ii. 60, 94, 101, 111, 326.

Cobbye, Goodman, 431.

Code, Roman, 374.

Cogswell, John, ii. 306.

Cogswell, John, Jr., ii. 306.

Cogswell, Jonathan, ii. 306.

Cogswell, William, ii. 306.

Cogswell, William, Jr., ii. 306.

Coldum, Clement, ii. 191.

Cole, Eunice, 437.

Colman, Benjamin, ii. 505.

Colson, Elizabeth, ii. 187.

Conant, Lot, 133.

Conant, Roger, 60, 63, 129.

Confessors, ii. 350, 397.

Constables, 21.

Cook, Elisha, ii. 497.

Cook, Elizabeth, ii. 272.

Cook, Henry, 57.

Cook, John, ii. 261.

Cook, Isaac, ii. 272.

Cook, Samuel, 230.

Copper mine, 45.

Corey, Giles, 181-191, 205; ii. 38, 44, 52, 114, 121, 128;
  pressed to death, 334-343;
  excommunicated, 343, 480, 483.

Corey, Martha, 190; ii. 38-42;
  examination, 43-55, 111;
  trial and execution, 324, 458, 507.

Corlet, Elijah, 111.

Corwin, George, 57, 98, 226.

Corwin, George, ii. 252, 470, 472.

Corwin, George, ii. 484.

Corwin, John, 55.

Corwin, Jonathan, 101; ii. 11, 13;
  autograph, (29, 50, 69, 314,) 89, 101, 116, 157, 165, 250, 345;
  letter to, 447, 485, 538.

Court House, ii. 253.

Court, Special, ii. 251, 254.

Court, Superior, of Judicature, ii. 349.

Cox, Mary, ii. 198.

Cox, Robert, 123.

Cradock, Matthew, 17.

Crane River Bridge, 194.

Cranmer, Archbishop, 343.

Creesy, John, 141.

Crosby, Henry, ii. 38, 45, 50, 124.

Cullender, Rose, 355.


D.

Daland, Benjamin, 230.

Dane, Francis, ii. 223, 330, 459, 478.

Dane, Deliverance, ii. 404.

Dane, John, ii. 475.

Dane, Nathaniel, ii. 460.

Danforth, Thomas, 461; ii. 101, 250, 349, 354, 455, 456.

Darby, Mrs., 260.

Darling, James, ii. 201.

Davenport, John, 385.

Davenport, Nathaniel, 121, 125-128.

Davenport, Richard, 100-103.

Davenport, True Cross, 101, 126.

Davis, Ephraim, 429.

Davis, James, 429.

De La Torre, 361.

Deane, Charles, 50.

Death-warrant, ii. 266.

Deland, Thorndike, ii. 267.

Demonology, 325, 327.

Dennison, Daniel, 147.

Derich, Mary, ii. 208.

Devil, 325, 338, 387.

Dexter, Henry M., 123.

Dodge, Granville M., 232.

Dodge, John, 129.

Dodge, Josiah, 105.

Dodge, William, 130.

Dodge, William, Jr., 129.

Dole, John, 444.

Dolliver, Ann, ii. 194.

Dolliver, William, ii. 194.

Douglas, Ann, ii. 179.

Dounton, William, ii. 274.

Downer, Robert, ii. 413.

Downing, Emanuel, 38-46;
  autograph, 279.

Downing, Lucy, 39;
  autograph, 279.

Downing, Sir George, 46.

Drake, Samuel G, ii. 26.

Dreams, ii. 411.

Druillettes, Gabriel, 37.

Dudley, Joseph, ii. 480.

Dudley, Thomas, 23.

Dugdale, Richard, 354.

Dummer, Jeremiah, ii. 553.

Dunny, Amey, 355.

Dunton, John, ii. 90, 471.

Dustin, Hannah, 9.

Dustin, Lydia, ii. 208.

Dustin, Sarah, ii. 208.

Dutch, Martha, ii. 179.


E.

Eames, Daniel, ii. 331.

Eames, Rebecca, ii. 324, 480.

Easty, Isaac, 241; ii. 56, 478.

Easty, John, 241.

Easty, Mary, ii. 60;
  arrest, 128;
  examination, 137;
  re-arrest, 200-205;
  trial and execution, 324-327, 480.

Education, 111, 213-216, 280, 284; ii. 221.

Eliot, Andrew, ii. 475.

Eliot, Daniel, ii. 191.

Eliot, Edmund, ii. 412.

Eliot, Elizabeth, 126.

Emerson, John, 444, 462.

Emory, George, 57.

Endicott, John, 16-20, 23, 32-38, 45, 50, 74-79, 95, 454.

Endicott, John, Jr., 74-78.

Endicott, Samuel, 32; ii. 231, 272, 307.

Endicott, Zerubabel, 32, 35, 58, 84-95.

Endicott, Zerubabel, ii. 230.

English, Mary, ii. 128, 136;
  autograph, 313.

English, Philip, ii. 128, 140, 255;
  autograph, 313, 470, 473, 478, 482.

Essex, Flower of, 104.

Eveleth, Joseph, ii. 306, 475.


F.

Fairfax, Edward, 347.

Fairfield, William, ii. 267.

Farmer, Hugh, 335, 390.

Farrar, Thomas, ii. 187.

Farrington, John, 123.

Faulkner, Abigail, ii. 330, 476, 480.

Fellows, John, ii. 306.

Felt, David, ii. 267.

Felton, Benjamin, 56.

Felton, John, 236; ii. 307.

Felton, Nathaniel, ii. 272, 307.

Felton, Nathaniel, Jr., ii. 307.

Filmer, Sir Robert, 373.

Fireplaces, 202.

First Church in Salem, 243, 246, 271; ii. 257, 290, 483.

Fisk, Thomas, ii. 284, 475.

Fisk, Thomas, Jr., ii. 475.

Fisk, William, ii. 475.

Fitch, Jabez, ii. 477.

Fletcher, Benjamin, ii. 242.

Flint, John, 141, 154.

Flint, Samuel, 229.

Flint, Thomas, 123, 188, 226, 270.

Flood, John, ii. 208, 331.

Fogg, Ralph, 57.

Forests, 7, 27.

Fosdick, Elizabeth, ii. 208.

Foster, Abraham, ii. 384.

Foster, Ann, ii. 351, 398, 480.

Foster, Isaac, ii. 306.

Foster, John, ii. 466.

Foster, Reginald, ii. 306.

Fowler, Joseph, ii. 206.

Fowler, Philip, ii. 206.

Fowler, Samuel P., ii. 206.

Fox, Rebecca, ii. 188.

Foxcroft, Francis, ii. 455.

Frayll, Samuel, ii. 307.

Fuller, Benjamin, ii. 177.

Fuller, Jacob, 227.

Fuller, John, ii. 280.

Fuller, Samuel, ii. 177.

Fuller, Thomas, 187, 227, 250, 288; ii. 25.

Fuller, Thomas, Jr., 288; ii. 173.


G.

Gallop, John, 122.

Game, pursuit of, 208.

Gammon, ----, ii. 354.

Gardiner, Sir Christopher, 68.

Gardner, Joseph, 45, 122, 123, 124.

Gardner, Samuel, 45.

Gardner, Thomas, 45, 117.

Gaskill, Edward, ii. 307.

Gaskill, Samuel, ii. 307.

Gaule, John, 363.

Gedney, Bartholomew, 271; ii. 89, 243, 244, 250, 251, 254, 496.

Gedney, John, 158, 258; ii. 254.

Gedney, John, Jr., ii. 254.

Gedney, Susannah, ii. 254, 264.

General Court responsible for the executions, ii. 268.

Gerbert (Sylvester II.), 339.

Gerrish, Joseph, ii. 478, 550.

Gidding, Samuel, ii. 306.

Gifford, Margaret, 437.

Gingle, John, 144.

Glover, Goody, 454.

Gloyd, John, 186, 189.

Godfrey, John, 428-436.

Good, Dorcas, examination of, ii. 71, 111.

Good, Sarah, ii. 11;
  examination of, 12-17;
  trial and execution, 268, 269, 480.

Good, William, ii. 12, 481.

Goodell, Abner C., 141.

Goodell, Robert, 141.

Goodhew, William, ii. 306.

Goodwin, Mr., 454.

Governors of Massachusetts, time of election by charter, 17.

Governor's Plain, 24.

Gould, Nathan, 432.

Gould, Thomas, 188.

Grants, policy of, 22.

Gray, William, 130.

Graves, Thomas, ii. 455.

Green, Joseph, 9, 146, 170; ii. 199, 477, 506, 516.

Greenslit, John, ii. 298.

Greenslit, Thomas, ii. 298.

Griggs, William, ii. 4, 6.

Griggs, Goody, ii. 111.

Grover, Edmund, 31.


H.

Hakins, Nicholas, 123.

Hale, John, 195-197, 299, 452; ii. 43, 70, 257, 345, 475, 478, 550.

Hale, Sir Matthew, 355; ii. 269.

Halliwell, Henry, 364.

Handwriting, 214, 277-281; ii. 55.

Harding, Edward, 123.

Hardy, George, 443.

Harris, Benjamin, ii. 90.

Harris, George, 63.

Harsnett, Samuel, 369.

Hart, Thomas, ii. 352.

Hart, Elizabeth, ii. 187.

Harwood, John, ii. 275.

Hathorne, John, 40, 99, 271; ii. 11, 13, 20, 28;
  autograph, (29, 50, 69, 314), 43, 60, 89, 101, 102, 116, 241, 250.

Hathorne, William, 46, 57, 99.

Haverhill, 9.

Hawkes, Mrs., ii. 216, 349.

Haynes, John, 139.

Haynes, Richard, 138, 140.

Haynes, Thomas, 139, 260, 431; ii. 132, 465.

Haynes, William, 40, 138.

Hazeldon, John, 429.

Herrick, George, ii. 49, 60, 71, 202, 252, 274, 471.

Herrick, Henry, 66, 153.

Herrick, Henry, ii. 475.

Herrick, Joseph, 129, 141, 269, 270; ii. 12, 28, 272.

Hibbert's Philosophy of Apparitions, ii. 518.

Hibbins, Ann, 420-427, 453.

Higginson, John, 271, 273; ii. 89, 193, 478, 550.

Highways, 43, 212.

Highways, surveyors of, 21.

Hill, Captain, ii. 244.

Hoar, Dorcas, ii. 140, 144, 384, 480.

Hobbs, Abigail, ii. 114, 128, 480, 481.

Hobbs, Deliverance, ii. 128, 161.

Hobbs, William, ii. 114, 128, 130.

Holgrave, John, 63.

Holyoke, Edward, 156.

Holyoke, Edward Augustus, 156; ii. 377.

Hopkins, Matthew, 351.

Horace, 366.

Horse Bridge, 234.

Houchins, Jeremiah, 74.

Houlton, Benjamin, ii. 275, 280, 281.

Houlton, James, ii. 307.

Houlton, Joseph, 86, 147, 243, 270; ii. 272, 496.

Houlton, Joseph, Jr., 123; ii. 272.

Houlton, Samuel, 148, 223.

Houlton, Sarah, ii. 281, 495, 506.

Houlton, town of, 151.

Houses, 184.

How, Elizabeth, ii. 208;
  examination of, 216-223;
  trial and execution, 268, 270, 480.

How, James, Sr., ii. 221.

How, John, 241.

Howard, John, ii. 198.

Howard, Nathaniel, 141.

Hubbard, Elizabeth, ii. 4, 191.

Hubbard, William, ii. 193, 477.

Hudson, William, 425.

Hungerford, Earl of, 343.

Hunniwell, Richard, ii. 298.

Hunt, Ephraim, ii. 553.

Huskings, 201.

Hutchinson, Benjamin, 172; ii. 151, 197, 201.

Hutchinson, Edward, 425.

Hutchinson, Elisha, ii. 150.

Hutchinson, Israel, 223, 228.

Hutchinson, Joseph, 243, 250, 270, 285, 319; ii. 11, 28, 33, 272, 393,
545, 550.

Hutchinson, Lydia, ii. 272.

Hutchinson, Richard, 27, 40, 86, 137.

Hutchinson, Thomas, History of Massachusetts, 415.


I.

Indians, 7, 25, 62, 286.

Ingersoll, Hannah, 166, 261; ii. 192.

Ingersoll, John, 40, 172; ii. 171.

Ingersoll, Joseph, ii. 129.

Ingersoll, Nathaniel, 35, 86, 165-179, 225, 244, 249, 251, 259, 261;
  autograph, 280, 288, 294, 301, 303;
  ordination as deacon, 305; ii. 11, 33, 42, 60, 73, 100, 112, 114,
  128, 132, 140, 499.

Ingersoll, Sarah, ii. 169.

Ingersoll, Richard, 36, 40, 138.

Ingersoll's Point, 138.

Inquest, jury of, ii. 178.

Ipswich road, 43.

Ireson, Benjamin, ii. 208.

Iron works, 147.

Izard, Ann, ii. 520.


J.

Jackson, John, ii. 198, 223.

Jackson, John, Jr., ii. 198, 223.

Jacobs, George, 198; ii. 4;
  arrest and examination, 164-172, 274;
  execution, 296, 312, 382, 480.

Jacobs, George, Jr., 198; ii. 187.

Jacobs, Margaret, ii. 164, 172, 315, 349, 353, 466.

Jacobs, Rebecca, ii. 187, 349.

Jacobs, Thomas, ii. 207.

James I., 368, 375, 410.

Jewell, John, 345.

Jewett, Nehemiah, ii. 553.

Joan of Arc, 343.

Jones, Hugh, 91.

Jones, Margaret, 415, 453.

John Indian, ii. 2, 95, 106, 241.

Johnson, Elizabeth, ii. 349.

Johnson, Elizabeth, Jr., ii. 349.

Johnson, Francis, 40.

Johnson, Isaac, 121, 122.

Johnson, Samuel, 357.

Johnson, Captain, 425.

Jovius Paulus, 367.

Judges, ii. 354.

Jury to examine the bodies of prisoners, ii. 274.

Jury of trials, ii. 284, 474.


K.

Kembal, John, ii. 412.

Kenny, Henry, 251; ii. 61.

Kepler, John, 345.

King, Daniel, ii. 181.

King, Joseph, 105.

King, Margaret, 196.

Kircher, Athanasius, 388.

Kitchen, John, 205.

Knight, Charles, 123.

Knight, John, 138.

Knight, Jonathan, ii. 177.

Knight, Philip, ii. 177.

Knight, Walter, 35.

Knowlton, Joseph, ii. 220.


L.

Lacy, Mary, ii. 400, 480.

Lacy, Mary, Jr., ii. 349, 401.

Lamb, Dr., 348.

Land, policy concerning, 16, 22;
  given up to towns, 20;
  clearing of, 26;
  disposition of, to children, 158;
  value of, 159.

Landlord, 218.

Laodicea, Council of, 375.

Law under which the trials took place, ii. 256, 268, 360.

Lawson, Deodat, 268-284;
  autograph, 280; ii. 7, 70, 73;
  his sermon, 76-92, 515, 525-537.

Lawson, Thomas, 283.

Law-suits, 232.

Layman, Paul, 361.

Leach, John, 141.

Leach, Lawrence, 141.

Leach, Robert, 129.

Leach, Sarah, ii. 272.

Lecture-day, 313, 450; ii. 76.

Lewis, Mercy, ii. 4, 287;
  autograph, 313.

Lewis, Rev. Mr., 353.

Lexington, 229.

Lightning, 72.

Locke, John, 372.

Locker, George, ii. 12, 307.

Lothrop, Ellen, 111.

Lothrop, Thomas, 100, 103-117.

Louder, John, ii. 264.

Lovkine, Thomas, ii. 306.

Low, Thomas, ii. 306.

Luther, Martin, 344.


M.

Mackenzie, Sir George, 350.

Magistrates, ii. 354.

Manning, Jacob, ii. 142.

Maple-sugar, 203.

Marblehead, ii. 519.

March, John, ii. 234.

Marriage, early, 160; ii. 236.

Marsh, Samuel, ii. 307.

Marsh, Zachariah, ii. 307.

Marshall, Benjamin, ii. 306.

Marshall, Samuel, 122.

Marston, Mary, ii. 349.

Martin, Susannah, 427;
  arrest and examination, ii. 145;
  trial and execution, 268.

Mascon, Devil of, 359.

Mason, Thomas, ii. 267.

Maverick, Samuel, 220.

Maverick, Samuel, Jr., ii. 228.

Mather, Cotton, 112, 384, 391, 454; ii. 89, 211, 250, 257, 299, 341,
366, 487, 494, 503, 553.

Mather, Increase, ii. 89, 299, 308, 345, 404, 494, 553.

Mechanical occupations, 224.

Mede, Joseph, 394.

Medical profession, ii. 361.

Meeting, intermission of, on the Lord's Day, 207.

Meeting-house of Salem Village, 243, 244, 285.

Meeting-house of Salem Village, scenes at, 263; ii. 34, 60, 94, 510.

Meeting-house of First Church in Salem, scenes at, ii. 111, 257, 290.

Melancthon, Philip, 344.

Middlecot, Richard, ii. 553.

Milton, John, 387, 467.

Ministers, ii. 267, 362.

Minot, Stephen, 125.

Mirage, 386.

Mitchel, Jonathan, 434, 437.

Moody, Lady Deborah, 57, 183.

Moody, Joshua, ii. 309.

Moore, Captain, 187.

Moore, Caleb, 188.

Moore, Jane, 188.

More, Henry, 400.

Morrel, Robert, ii. 153, 191.

Morrell, Sarah, ii. 140, 144.

Morse, Anthony, 447.

Morse, Elizabeth, 449-453.

Morse, William, 438.

Morton, Charles ii. 89.

Mosely, Samuel, 121.

Moulton, John, ii. 38, 336, 478.

Moulton, Robert, 40.

Moulton, Robert, Jr., 40.

Moxon, George, 419.


N.

Narragansett expedition, 118-135.

Narragansett townships, 133.

Nauscopy, 386.

Navigation, early New-England, 440.

Neal, Joseph, ii. 164, 274.

Needham, Anthony, 155, 184, 226, 236; ii. 48.

Newbury, 9.

New-Haven Phantom-ship, 384.

New-York Negro Plot, ii. 437.

Newman, Antipas, 58.

New Salem, 149.

Newton, Thomas, ii. 254;
  autograph, 314.

Nichols, Isaac, ii. 177.

Nichols, John, 241, ii. 133.

Nichols, Richard, 220.

Nichols, William, 154.

Norfolk, old county of, ii. 228.

Norris, Edward, 57, 237.

Norris, Edward, Jr., 205.

Norton, John, 423, 425; ii. 450.

Noyes, Nicholas, 117, 271, 299; ii. 43, 48, 55, 89, 170, 172, 184,
245, 253, 269, 290, 292, 365, 485, 550;
  autograph, 314.

Numa Pompilius, 330.

Nurse, Francis, 79, 84, 91, 214, 287, 319, 320; ii. 9, 467.

Nurse, Rebecca, 80;
  her arrest and examination, ii. 56-71, 111, 136;
  trial, 268, 270-289;
  excommunication, 290;
  execution, 292, 480, 483.

Nurse, Samuel, 80; ii. 57, 288, 479, 485, 497, 506, 545-553.

Nurse, Sarah, 80; ii. 287, 467.


O.

Obinson, Mrs., ii. 456.

Ocular fascination, 412; ii. 520.

Oliver, Christian, ii. 267.

Oliver, Mary, 420.

Oliver, Peter, 425.

Oliver, Thomas, 143, 191; ii. 253, 267.

Orchard Farm, 24, 87.

Orne, John, 57.

Osborne, Hannah, ii. 272.

Osborne, William, 152, 227; ii. 272.

Osburn, Alexander, ii. 18.

Osburn, John, ii. 19.

Osburn, Sarah, ii. 11, 17;
  examination, 20;
  death, 32.

Osgood, Mary, ii. 349, 404, 406.

Osgood, William, 432.


P.

Page, Abraham, 139.

Paine, Elizabeth, ii. 208.

Paine, Stephen, ii. 208.

Paine, Robert, 423; ii. 449.

Palfrey, Peter, 63, 129.

Palfrey, John G., 125.

Palisadoes, 31.

Parker, Alice, ii. 179-185;
  trial and execution, 324.

Parker, John, ii. 179, 181.

Parker, John, 189; ii. 38, 48, 124.

Parker, Mary, trial and execution, ii. 324, 325, 480.

Parris, Elizabeth, ii. 3.

Parris, Samuel, 170, 172, 278;
  autograph, 280, 286-320; ii. 1, 7, 9, 25, 31, 43, 49, 55, 92, 275,
  290, 485-503, 515, 545-553.

Parris, Thomas, 286; ii. 499.

Parsonage of Salem Village, 243, 386; ii. 74, 466, 493.

Parsons, Hugh, 419.

Parsons, Mary, 418.

Partridge, John, ii. 150.

Payson, Edward, ii. 218, 494, 553.

Peabody, John, ii. 475.

Peach, Barnard, ii. 414.

Pease, Robert, ii. 208.

Peele, William, ii. 267.

Peine forte et dure, ii. 338, 484.

Peirce, Joseph, 123.

Pendleton, Bryan, 256.

Penn, William, 414.

Perkins, Isaac, ii. 306.

Perkins, Nathaniel, ii. 306.

Perkins, Thomas, ii. 475.

Perkins, William, 362.

Perley, Samuel, ii. 216.

Perley, Thomas, ii. 475.

Peters, Elizabeth, 50-53, 57.

Peters, Hugh, 47, 50, 51-59.

Pettingell, Richard, 40.

Phelps, Henry, 237.

Phelps, John, 187.

Phips, Sir William, 131, 451; ii. 99, 250;
  autograph, 314, 345.

Phips, Spencer, ii. 482.

Phillips, Margaret, ii. 272.

Phillips, Samuel, 299; ii. 218, 494, 553.

Phillips, Tabitha, ii. 272.

Phillips, Walter, ii. 272.

Pickering, John, 46.

Pickering, Timothy, 46, 227.

Pierpont, James, 384.

Pike, John, ii. 226, 229.

Pike, Robert, ii. 226, 228, 250, 449, 538-544.

Pikeworth, 123; ii. 329.

Pitcher, Moll, ii. 521.

Pit-saw, 191.

Poindexter, ii. 185.

Poland, James, 188.

Pope, Gertrude, 236.

Pope, Joseph, 237, 238; ii. 65, 496.

Pope Innocent VIII., 342.

Porter, Benjamin, 141.

Porter, Elizabeth, ii. 272.

Porter, Israel, 141; ii. 59, 272, 550.

Porter, John, 40, 136.

Porter, John, Jr., 219.

Porter, John, ii. 207.

Porter, Joseph, 270, 296, 319.

Porter, Moses, 223, 230.

Post, Hannah, ii. 349.

Post, Mary, ii. 349, 480.

Powell, Caleb, 439.

Pratt, Francis, 428.

Prescott, Peter, 129, 316; ii. 153.

Preston, Thomas, 80, 91; ii. 11, 57, 496, 550.

Price, Walter, 226.

Prince, James, ii. 17.

Prince, Joseph, ii. 17.

Prince, Robert, ii. 17.

Prison, ii. 254.

Procter, Benjamin, ii. 207.

Procter, Elizabeth, arrest and examination, ii. 101-111;
  trial and condemnation, 296, 312, 466.

Procter, John, 179, 184, 227; ii. 4, 106, 111;
  trial and execution, 296, 304-312;
  autograph, 313, 458, 480.

Procter, Joseph, ii. 306.

Procter, Sarah, ii. 207.

Procter, William, ii. 208, 311.

Procter's Corner, 49.

Pronunciation, ii. 233.

Pudeator, Ann, ii. 179, 185, 300;
  trial and execution, 324, 329.

Pudeator, Jacob, ii. 185, 329.

Puppets, 408, ii. 12, 266.

Putnam, Ann, 253; ii. 5, 61, 69, 74, 177, 229, 236, 276, 282, 465,
495, 506.

Putnam, Ann, Jr., 214; ii. 3, 8, 40, 190;
  autograph, 313, 341, 511, 509-512.

Putnam, Archelaus, 164.

Putnam, Benjamin, 164; ii. 72, 272, 481.

Putnam, Daniel, 164.

Putnam, David, 227.

Putnam, Edward, 8, 161-164, 288, 302; ii. 11, 40, 44, 60, 71, 203,
288, 465.

Putnam, Eleazer, 132; ii. 152.

Putnam, Enoch, 229.

Putnam, Holyoke, 9.

Putnam, Israel, 160, 164, 227, 238.

Putnam, James, ii. 506.

Putnam, Jeremiah, 229.

Putnam, John, 34, 40, 155.

Putnam, John, 34, 155, 157, 241, 250, 251, 258, 267, 270, 284, 287,
316, 317; ii. 272, 359, 496, 550.

Putnam, John, Jr., 259; ii. 4, 172, 202, 506.

Putnam, John, 3d, ii. 506.

Putnam, Jonathan, 269; ii. 60, 71, 201, 272.

Putnam, Joseph, 160, 296, 319; ii. 9, 272, 457, 497.

Putnam, Lydia, ii. 272.

Putnam, Miriam, ii. 295.

Putnam, Nathaniel, 84, 86, 155, 157, 186, 198, 236, 250, 288, 296;
ii. 33, 128, 178, 271.

Putnam, Orin, ii. 295.

Putnam, Perley, 230.

Putnam, Phinehas, ii. 295.

Putnam, Rebecca, 267; ii. 272, 359.

Putnam, Rufus, 227.

Putnam, Samuel, 223.

Putnam, Sarah, ii. 272.

Putnam, Susannah, 143.

Putnam, Thomas, 155, 226, 250, 251, 259;
  autograph, 279.

Putnam, Thomas, 129, 225, 227, 236, 253;
  autograph, 279, 281, 316; ii. 3, 4, 11, 28, 55, 140, 232, 341, 464,
  465, 506.

Putnam, William Lowell, 232.


Q.

Queen Elizabeth, 345.

Quick, John, 283.


R.

Rabbits, 209.

Raising of a house, 201.

Rawson, Edward, 425, 450.

Raymond, John, 66.

Raymond, John, 129, 134; ii. 465.

Raymond, John W., 232.

Raymond, Richard, 141.

Raymond, Thomas, 129, 133, 141.

Raymond, William, 129, 132, 143.

Raymond, William, Jr., ii. 192.

Rea, Bethiah, 113, 116.

Rea, Daniel, 40, 113, 140.

Rea, Daniel, Jr., 288; ii. 272.

Rea, Hepzibah, ii. 272.

Rea, Joshua, 114, 140, 141, 287, 288; ii. 272, 545.

Rea, Sarah, ii. 272.

Read, Christopher, 123.

Read, Thomas, 49.

Records of Salem Village, 269, 272, 273-278.

Redemptioners, ii. 18.

Reed, Nicholas, 8.

Reed, Philip, 437.

Reed, Wilmot, arrest, ii. 208;
  trial and execution, 324, 325.

Reinolds, Alexius, 91.

Remigius, 344.

Rice, Charles B., ii. 513.

Rice, Sarah, ii. 208.

Richards, John, ii. 251, 349.

Richardson, Mr., 442.

Richardson, Mary, 448.

Ring, Jarvis, ii. 414.

Rist, Nicholas, ii. 352.

Roads, 43.

Robinson, John, ii. 181, 184.

Rogers, John, ii. 477.

Rogers, Thomas, 443.

Rolfe, Benjamin, 9; ii. 478.

Roots, Susannah, ii. 207.

Ropes, Nathaniel, 237.

Rose, Richard, ii. 171.

Royal Neck, 58.

Ruck, Thomas, 57.

Rule, Margaret, ii. 489.

Russell, James, ii. 102.

Russell, William, 80.


S.

Salem Farms, 136.

Salem Village, 199, 216, 223, 224, 233, 234, 242, 248, 269-278, 298,
312, 321, 322; ii. 485, 513.

Saltonstall, Nathaniel, ii. 251, 455.

Satan, 325, 338.

Sargent, Peter, ii. 251.

Savage, James, 50, 384.

Saw-pit, 191.

Sawyers, 191.

Sayer, Samuel, ii. 475.

Scarlett, Benjamin, 32.

Science, physical, 380.

Scott, Margaret, trial and execution, ii. 324, 325.

Scott, Reginald, 368, 410.

Scott, Sir Walter, 335.

Scottow, Joshua, 424, 425; ii. 298.

Scriptures, King James's Translation of, 375.

Scruggs, Margery, 66.

Scruggs, Rachel, 65.

Scruggs, Thomas, 64, 130.

Sears, Ann, ii. 208.

Seating the meeting-house, 217; ii. 506.

Seely, Robert, 122.

Settlers, provision of land for, 16.

Sewall, Mitchel, ii. 481.

Sewall, Samuel, ii. 102, 111, 157, 251, 441, 497.

Sewall, Samuel, ii. 481.

Sewall, Stephen, 57; ii. 3, 230, 384, 487, 497.

Shakespeare, William, 379, 467.

Sharp, Samuel, 46, 57, 388.

Shattuck, Samuel, 193; ii. 180, 259.

Shaw, Israel, ii. 465.

Sheldon, Godfrey, 8.

Sheldon, Susannah, ii. 4, 322.

Shepard, John, ii. 465.

Shepard, Rebecca, ii. 275, 280.

Sherringham, Robert, 356.

Shippen, Mr., 261.

Ship Tavern, ii. 254.

Shirley, William, ii. 482.

Shovel-board, 196, 204.

Sibley, John, 141, 154.

Sibley, John L., 141.

Sibley, Mary, ii. 95, 97.

Sibley, Samuel, 259, 262; ii. 97, 465.

Sibley, William, 262; ii. 18.

Silsbee, Nathaniel, ii. 267.

Sinclair, George, 350.

Singletary, Jonathan, 433.

Skelton, Samuel, 57, 85.

Skerry, Henry, 259.

Sleighs, 203.

Small, Thomas, 154; ii. 19.

Smith, George, ii. 307.

Smith, Thomas, 105.

Soames, Abigail, ii. 208.

Soames, Joseph, 123.

Spaulding, Willard, 237.

Spencer, John, 432.

Spenser, Edmund, 346, 365.

Sprenger, James, 361.

Stacy, William, ii. 263.

Stearns, Isaac, ii. 263.

Stileman, Elias, 40, 86.

Stone, Samuel, ii. 307.

Story, Joseph, ii. 440.

Story, William, ii. 306.

Stoughton, William, 125; ii. 157, 250, 301, 349, 355.

Sunday patrol, 40.

Surey Demoniac, 354.

Sweden, King of, 344.

Swinnerton, Esther, ii. 272.

Swinnerton, Job, 140, 270.

Swinnerton, Job, ii. 272.

Swinnerton, Ruth, ii. 495.

Switchell, Abraham, 123.

Syllogism, 381.

Symmes, Thomas, ii. 478.

Symmes, Zachariah, ii. 478.

Symonds, John, ii. 377.

Symonds, Samuel, 433.

Symonds, William, 433.


T.

Tanner, Adam, 361.

Tarbell, John, 80, 91, 288; ii. 57, 287, 486, 497, 506, 545-553.

Taylor, Benjamin, 182.

Taylor, Zachary, 124.

Tears, trial by, 409.

Thacher, Mrs., ii. 345, 448, 453.

Thomasius, Christian, 373.

Thompson, William, ii. 306.

Tibullus, Elegy, 337.

Titcomb, Elizabeth, 444.

Tituba, ii. 2, 11;
  examination and confession, 23, 32, 255.

Tookey, Job,
  arrest, ii. 208;
  examination, 223, 349.

Toothacre, Mrs., ii. 208.

Topsfield, controversy with, 238.

Torrey, Samuel, ii. 494, 553.

Torrey, William, 450; ii. 553.

Towne, Jacob, 241; ii. 56.

Towne, John, 241; ii. 56.

Towne, Joseph, 241; ii. 56.

Towne, William, ii. 466.

Towns, 20.

Train-band, 100, 224.

Training-field, 176, 178, 225.

Trask, Edward, 105.

Trask, William, 34, 64, 129.

Travel, modes of, 43, 61, 203.

Troopers, company of, 226.

Trusler, Eleanor, 237.

Tucker, John, 444.

Tucker, Mary, 448.

Tufts, James, 105.

Turner, Sharon, 375.

Twiss, William, 395.

Tycho Brahe, 345.

Tyler, Hannah, ii. 349, 404.

Tyler, Mary, ii. 349, 404.

Tyng, Edward, 125.


U.

Upham, Phinehas, 118, 122.

Upton family, 155.

Urbain Grandier, 348.

Usher, Hezekiah, ii. 453.


V.

Varney, Thomas, ii. 306.

Verrin, Hilliard, 40.

Verrin, Joshua, 40.

Verrin, Nathaniel, 156, 287.

Verrin, Philip, 40, 63.

Verrin, Philip, Jr., 40.

Vigilance Committee, ii. 286.

Villalpando, Don Francisco Torreblanca, 361.

Virgil, 336, 413.


W.

Wade, Thomas, ii. 337.

Wadsworth, Benjamin, ii. 505.

Wadsworth, Benjamin, ii. 516.

Wagstaff, John, 370.

Wainwright, Simon, 9.

Walcot, Abraham, 188.

Walcot, Jonathan, 155, 225, 270; ii. 3, 100, 140, 464, 466.

Walcot, Jonathan, Jr., ii. 125, 550.

Walcot, Mary, ii. 3, 465.

Walker, Richard, ii. 207.

Walley, John, ii. 553.

Ward, George A., 98.

Wardwell, Mary, ii. 349.

Wardwell, Samuel, trial and execution, ii. 324, 384, 480.

Wardwell, Sarah, ii. 349.

Warren, Mary, ii. 4, 114, 128.

Warren, Sarah, ii. 17.

Wassalbe, Bridget, 191.

Waterman, Richard, 60.

Watson's Annals of Philadelphia, 414.

Watts, Isaac, ii. 516.

Watts, Jeremiah, 179.

Way, Aaron, 145; ii. 68, 177.

Way, William, ii. 493.

Weld, Daniel, 57.

Wells, town of, 256.

Wesley, John, ii. 518.

Westgate, John, ii. 181.

Weston, Francis, 60.

Wheelwright, John, ii. 228.

Whitaker, Abraham, 429.

White, James, ii. 306.

White, John, 389.

Whittier, John G., ii. 444.

Whittredge, Mary, ii. 187, 197, 199.

Wierus, John, 368, 376.

Wilds, John, ii. 128, 135.

Wilds, Sarah, arrest and examination, ii. 135;
  trial and execution, 268, 480.

Wilds, William, 143; ii. 135.

Wilderness, opening of, 26.

Wilkins, Benjamin, 227; ii. 173, 550.

Wilkins, Bray, 143-146, 214, 309; ii. 173, 174.

Wilkins, Daniel, ii. 174, 179.

Wilkins, Hannah, 309.

Wilkins, Henry, ii. 174.

Wilkins, Samuel, ii. 173.

Wilkins, Thomas, 154, 227, 316; ii. 491-495, 506, 546-553.

Willard, John, arrest, ii. 172-179;
  trial and execution, 321, 480.

Willard, Margaret, ii. 466.

Willard, Samuel, ii. 89, 289, 309, 494, 550-553.

Willard, Simon, ii. 210.

Williams, Abigail, ii. 3, 7, 46, 393.

Williams, Nathaniel, ii. 553.

Williams, Roger, 50, 56, 68.

Wilson, Robert, 105.

Wilson, Sarah, ii. 404.

Wills, 65, 75, 78, 92, 137, 162, 175, 425; ii. 304, 312, 511.

Wills Hill, 26, 144.

Winslow, Josiah, 119.

Winthrop, Fitz John, 54.

Winthrop, John, 17, 23, 39, 95, 454.

Winthrop, John, Jr., 39, 50, 58.

Winthrop, Wait, 54; ii. 251, 349, 497.

Wise, John, ii. 304, 306;
  autograph, 314, 477, 494.

Witch, 402.

Witchcraft, 337;
  law relating to, ii. 256, 516.

Witch-imp, 406.

Witch-mark, 405.

Witch-puppets, 408.

Witch Hill, ii. 376-380.

Witch of Endor, 333.

Wood, Anthony, 370.

Woodbridge, John, 438.

Wooden Bridge, 234.

Woodbury, Humphrey, 141.

Woodbury, John, 129.

Woodbury, Nicholas, 98.

Woodbury, Peter, 105.

Woodbury, William, 141.

Wooleston River, 23.

Wolf-pits, 212.

Wolves, 211.


Y.

Young, William, 51.



INTRODUCTION.


It is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the human being,
that he loves to contemplate the scenes of the past, and desires to
have his own history borne down to the future. This, like all the
other propensities of our nature, is accompanied by faculties to
secure its gratification. The gift of speech, by which the parent can
convey information to the child--the old transmit intelligence to the
young--is an indication that it is the design of the Author of our
being that we should receive from those passing away the narrative of
their experience, and communicate the results of our own to the
generations that succeed us. All nations have, to a greater or less
degree, been faithful to their trust in using the gift to fulfil the
design of the Giver. It is impossible to name a people who do not
possess cherished traditions that have descended from their early
ancestors.

Although it is generally considered that the invention of a system of
arbitrary and external signs to communicate thought is one of the
greatest and most arduous achievements of human ingenuity, yet so
universal is the disposition to make future generations acquainted
with our condition and history,--a disposition the efficient cause of
which can only be found in a sense of the value of such
knowledge,--that you can scarcely find a people on the face of the
globe, who have not contrived, by some means or other, from the rude
monument of shapeless rock to the most perfect alphabetical language,
to communicate with posterity; thus declaring, as with the voice of
Nature herself, that it is desirable and proper that all men should
know as much as possible of the character, actions, and fortunes of
their predecessors on the stage of life.

It is not difficult to discern the end for which this disposition to
preserve for the future and contemplate the past was imparted to us.
If all that we knew were what is taught by our individual experience,
our minds would have but little, comparatively, to exercise and expand
them, and our characters would be the result of the limited influences
embraced within the narrow sphere of our particular and immediate
relations and circumstances. But, as our notice is extended in the
observation of those who have lived before us, our materials for
reflection and sources of instruction are multiplied. The virtues we
admire in our ancestors not only adorn and dignify their names, but
win us to their imitation. Their prosperity and happiness spread
abroad a diffusive light that reaches us, and brightens our condition.
The wisdom that guided their footsteps becomes, at the same time, a
lamp to our path. The observation of the errors of their course, and
of the consequent disappointments and sufferings that befell them,
enables us to pass in safety through rocks and ledges on which they
were shipwrecked; and, while we grieve to see them eating the bitter
fruits of their own ignorance and folly as well as vices and crimes,
we can seize the benefit of their experience without paying the price
at which they purchased it.

In the desire which every man feels to learn the history, and be
instructed by the example, of his predecessors, and in the
accompanying disposition, with the means of carrying it into effect,
to transmit a knowledge of himself and his own times to his
successors, we discover the wise and admirable arrangement of a
providence which removes the worn-out individual to a better country,
but leaves the acquisitions of his mind and the benefit of his
experience as an accumulating and common fund for the use of his
posterity; which has secured the continued renovation of the race,
without the loss of the wisdom of each generation.

These considerations suggest the true definition of history. It is the
instrument by which the results of the great experiment of human
action on this theatre of being are collected and transmitted from age
to age. Speaking through the records of history, the generations that
have gone warn and guide the generations that follow. History is the
Past, teaching Philosophy to the Present, for the Future.

Since this is the true and proper design of history, it assumes an
exalted station among the branches of human knowledge. Every community
that aspires to become intelligent and virtuous should cherish it.
Institutions for the promotion and diffusion of useful information
should have special reference to it. And all people should be induced
to look back to the days of their forefathers, to be warned by their
errors, instructed by their wisdom, and stimulated in the career of
improvement by the example of their virtues.

The historian would find a great amount and variety of materials in
the annals of this old town,--greater, perhaps, than in any other of
its grade in the country. But there is one chapter in our history of
pre-eminent interest and importance. The witchcraft delusion of 1692
has attracted universal attention since the date of its occurrence,
and will, in all coming ages, render the name of Salem notable
throughout the world. Wherever the place we live in is mentioned, this
memorable transaction will be found associated with it; and those who
know nothing else of our history or our character will be sure to
know, and tauntingly to inform us that they know, that we hanged the
witches.

It is surely incumbent upon us to possess ourselves of correct and
just views of a transaction thus indissolubly connected with the
reputation of our home, with the memory of our fathers, and, of
course, with the most precious part of the inheritance of our
children. I am apprehensive that the community is very superficially
acquainted with this transaction. All have heard of the Salem
witchcraft; hardly any are aware of the real character of that event.
Its mention creates a smile of astonishment, and perhaps a sneer of
contempt, or, it may be, a thrill of horror for the innocent who
suffered; but there is reason to fear, that it fails to suggest those
reflections, and impart that salutary instruction, without which the
design of Providence in permitting it to take place cannot be
accomplished. There are, indeed, few passages in the history of any
people to be compared with it in all that constitutes the pitiable and
tragical, the mysterious and awful. The student of human nature will
contemplate in its scenes one of the most remarkable developments
which that nature ever assumed; while the moralist, the statesman, and
the Christian philosopher will severally find that it opens widely
before them a field fruitful in instruction.

Our ancestors have been visited with unmeasured reproach for their
conduct on the occasion. Sad, indeed, was the delusion that came over
them, and shocking the extent to which their bewildered imaginations
and excited passions hurried and drove them on. Still, however, many
considerations deserve to be well weighed before sentence is passed
upon them. And while I hope to give evidence of a readiness to have
every thing appear in its own just light, and to expose to view the
very darkest features of the transaction, I am confident of being able
to bring forward such facts and reflections as will satisfy you that
no reproach ought to be attached to them, in consequence of this
affair, which does not belong, at least equally, to all other nations,
and to the greatest and best men of their times and of previous ages;
and, in short, that the final predominating sentiment their conduct
should awaken is not so much that of anger and indignation as of pity
and compassion.

Let us endeavor to carry ourselves back to the state of the colony of
Massachusetts one hundred and seventy years ago. The persecutions our
ancestors had undergone in their own country, and the privations,
altogether inconceivable by us, they suffered during the early years
of their residence here, acting upon their minds and characters, in
co-operation with the influences of the political and ecclesiastical
occurrences that marked the seventeenth century, had imparted a
gloomy, solemn, and romantic turn to their dispositions and
associations, which was transmitted without diminution to their
children, strengthened and aggravated by their peculiar circumstances.
It was the triumphant age of superstition. The imagination had been
expanded by credulity, until it had reached a wild and monstrous
growth. The Puritans were always prone to subject themselves to its
influence; and New England, at the time to which we are referring, was
a most fit and congenial theatre upon which to display its power.
Cultivation had made but a slight encroachment on the wilderness.
Wide, dark, unexplored forests covered the hills, hung over the
lonely roads, and frowned upon the scattered settlements. Persons
whose lives have been passed where the surface has long been opened,
and the land generally cleared, little know the power of a primitive
wilderness upon the mind. There is nothing more impressive than its
sombre shadows and gloomy recesses. The solitary wanderer is ever and
anon startled by the strange, mysterious sounds that issue from its
hidden depths. The distant fall of an ancient and decayed trunk, or
the tread of animals as they prowl over the mouldering branches with
which the ground is strown; the fluttering of unseen birds brushing
through the foliage, or the moaning of the wind sweeping over the
topmost boughs,--these all tend to excite the imagination and
solemnize the mind. But the stillness of a forest is more startling
and awe-inspiring than its sounds. Its silence is so deep as itself to
become audible to the inner soul. It is not surprising that wooded
countries have been the fruitful fountains and nurseries of
superstition.

    "In such a place as this, at such an hour,
    If ancestry can be in aught believed,
    Descending spirits have conversed with man,
    And told the secrets of the world unknown."

The forests which surrounded our ancestors were the abode of a
mysterious race of men of strange demeanor and unascertained origin.
The aspects they presented, the stories told of them, and every thing
connected with them, served to awaken fear, bewilder the imagination,
and aggravate the tendencies of the general condition of things to
fanatical enthusiasm.

It was the common belief, sanctioned, as will appear in the course of
this discussion, not by the clergy alone, but by the most learned
scholars of that and the preceding ages, that the American Indians
were the subjects and worshippers of the Devil, and their powwows,
wizards.

In consequence of this opinion, the entire want of confidence and
sympathy to which it gave rise, and the provocations naturally
incident to two races of men, of dissimilar habits, feelings, and
ideas, thrown into close proximity, a state of things was soon brought
about which led to conflicts and wars of the most distressing and
shocking character. A strongly rooted sentiment of hostility and
horror became associated in the minds of the colonists with the name
of Indian. There was scarcely a village where the marks of savage
violence and cruelty could not be pointed out, or an individual whose
family history did not contain some illustration of the stealth, the
malice or the vengeance of the savage foe. In 1689, John Bishop, and
Nicholas Reed a servant of Edward Putnam; and, in 1690, Godfrey
Sheldon, were killed by Indians in Salem. In the year 1691, about six
months previous to the commencement of the witchcraft delusion, the
county of Essex was ordered to keep twenty-four scouts constantly in
the field, to guard the frontiers against the savage enemy, and to
give notice of his approach, then looked for every hour with the
greatest alarm and apprehension.

Events soon justified the dread of Indian hostilities felt by the
people of this neighborhood. Within six years after the witchcraft
delusion, incursions of the savage foe took place at various points,
carrying terror to all hearts. In August, 1696, they killed or took
prisoners fifteen persons at Billerica, burning many houses. In
October of the same year, they came upon Newbury, and carried off and
tomahawked nine persons; all of whom perished, except a lad who
survived his wounds. In 1698, they made a murderous and destructive
assault upon Haverhill. The story of the capture, sufferings, and
heroic achievements of Hannah Dustin, belongs to the history of this
event. It stands by the side of the immortal deed of Judith, and has
no other parallel in all the annals of female daring and prowess. On
the 3d of July, 1706, a garrison was stormed at night in Dunstable;
and Holyoke, a son of Edward Putnam, with three other soldiers, was
killed. He was twenty-two years of age. In 1708, seven hundred
Algonquin and St. Francis Indians, under the command of French
officers, fell again upon Haverhill about break of day, on the 29th of
August; consigned the town to conflagration and plunder; destroyed a
large amount of property; massacred the minister Mr. Rolfe, the
commander of the post Captain Wainwright, together with nearly forty
others; and carried off many into captivity. On this occasion, a troop
of horse and a foot company from Salem Village rushed to the rescue;
the then minister of the parish, the Rev. Joseph Green, seized his gun
and went with them. They pursued the flying Indians for some
distance. So deeply were the people of Haverhill impressed by the
valor and conduct of Mr. Green and his people, that they sent a letter
of thanks, and desired him to come and preach to them. He complied
with the invitation, spent a Sunday there, and thus gave them an
opportunity to express personally their gratitude. On other occasions,
he accompanied his people on similar expeditions.

These occurrences show that the fears and anxieties of the colonists
in reference to Indian assaults were not without grounds at the period
of the witchcraft delusion. They were, at that very time, hanging like
a storm-cloud over their heads, soon to burst, and spread death and
destruction among them.

There was but little communication between the several villages and
settlements. To travel from Boston to Salem, for instance, which the
ordinary means of conveyance enable us to do at present in less than
an hour, was then the fatiguing, adventurous, and doubtful work of an
entire day.

It was the darkest and most desponding period in the civil history of
New England. The people, whose ruling passion then was, as it has ever
since been, a love for constitutional rights, had, a few years before,
been thrown into dismay by the loss of their charter, and, from that
time, kept in a feverish state of anxiety respecting their future
political destinies. In addition to all this, the whole sea-coast was
exposed to danger: ruthless pirates were continually prowling along
the shores. Commerce was nearly extinguished, and great losses had
been experienced by men in business. A recent expedition against
Canada had exposed the colonies to the vengeance of France.

The province was encumbered with oppressive taxes, and weighed down by
a heavy debt. The sum assessed upon Salem to defray the expenses of
the country at large, the year before the witchcraft prosecutions, was
£1,346. 1_s._ Besides this, there were the town taxes. The whole
amounted, no doubt, inclusive of the support of the ministry, to a
weight of taxation, considering the greater value of money at that
time, of which we have no experience, and can hardly form an adequate
conception. The burden pressed directly upon the whole community.
There were then no great private fortunes, no moneyed institutions, no
considerable foreign commerce, few, if any, articles of luxury, and no
large business-capitals to intercept and divert its pressure. It was
borne to its whole extent by the unaided industry of a population of
extremely moderate estates and very limited earnings, and almost
crushed it to the earth.

The people were dissatisfied with the new charter. They were becoming
the victims of political jealousies, discontent, and animosities. They
had been agitated by great revolutions. They were surrounded by
alarming indications of change, and their ears were constantly
assailed by rumors of war. Their minds were startled and confounded by
the prevalence of prophecies and forebodings of dark and dismal
events. At this most unfortunate moment, and, as it were, to crown the
whole and fill up the measure of their affliction and terror, it was
their universal and sober belief, that the Evil One himself was, in a
special manner, let loose, and permitted to descend upon them with
unexampled fury.

The people of Salem participated in their full share of the gloom and
despondency that pervaded the province, and, in addition to that, had
their own peculiar troubles and distresses. Within a short time, the
town had lost almost all its venerable fathers and leading citizens,
the men whose councils had governed and whose wisdom had guided them
from the first years of the settlement of the place. Only those who
are intimately acquainted with the condition of a community of simple
manners and primitive feelings, such as were the early New-England
settlements, can have an adequate conception of the degree to which
the people were attached to their patriarchs, the extent of their
dependence upon them, and the amount of the loss when they were
removed.

In the midst of this general distress and local gloom and depression,
the great and awful tragedy, whose incidents, scenes, and characters I
am to present, took place.



PART FIRST.



SALEM VILLAGE.

[Illustration]



PART FIRST.

SALEM VILLAGE.


It is necessary, before entering upon the subject of the witchcraft
delusion, to give a particular and extended account of the immediate
locality where it occurred, and of the community occupying it. This is
demanded by justice to the parties concerned, and indispensable to a
correct understanding of the transaction. No one, in truth, can
rightly appreciate the character of the rural population of the towns
first settled in Massachusetts, without tracing it to its origin, and
taking into view the policy that regulated the colonization of the
country at the start.

"The Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England"
possessed, by its charter from James the First, dated Nov. 3, 1620,
and renewed by Charles the First, March 4, 1629, the entire
sovereignty over all the territory assigned to it. Some few conditions
and exceptions were incorporated in the grant, which, in the event,
proved to be merely nominal. The company, so far as the crown and
sovereignty of England were concerned, became absolute owner of the
whole territory within its limits, and exercised its powers
accordingly. It adopted wise and efficient measures to promote the
settlement of the country by emigrants of the best description. It
gave to every man who transported himself at his own charge fifty
acres of land, and lots, in distinction from farms, to those who
should choose to settle and build in towns. In 1628, Captain John
Endicott, one of the original patentees, was sent over to superintend
the management of affairs on the spot, and carry out the views of the
company. On the 30th of April, 1629, the company, by a full and free
election, chose said Endicott to be "Governor of the Plantation in the
Massachusetts Bay," to hold office for one year "from the time he
shall take the oath," and gave him instructions for his government. In
reference to the disposal of lands, they provided that persons "who
were adventurers," that is, subscribers to the common stock, to the
amount of fifty pounds, should have two hundred acres of land, and, at
that rate, more or less, "to the intent to build their houses, and to
improve their labors thereon." Adventurers who carried families with
them were to have fifty acres for each member of their respective
families. Other provisions were made, on the same principles, to meet
the case of servants taken over; for each of whom an additional number
of acres was to be allowed. If a person should choose "to build on
the plot of ground where the town is intended to be built," he was to
have half an acre for every fifty pounds subscribed by him to the
common stock. A general discretion was given to Endicott and his
council to make grants to particular persons, "according to their
charge and quality;" having reference always to the ability of the
grantee to improve his allotment. Energetic and intelligent men,
having able-bodied sons or servants, even if not adventurers, were to
be favorably regarded. Endicott carried out these instructions
faithfully and judiciously during his brief administration. In the
mean time, it had been determined to transfer the charter, and the
company bodily, to New England. Upon this being settled, John
Winthrop, with others, joined the company, and he was elected its
governor on the 29th of October, 1629. On the 12th of June, 1630, he
arrived in Salem, and held his first court at Charlestown on the 28th
of August.

There was some irregularity in these proceedings. The charter fixed a
certain time, "yearly, once in the year, for ever hereafter," for the
election of governor, deputy-governor, and assistants. Matthew Cradock
had been elected accordingly, on the 13th of May, 1629, governor of
the company "for the year following." He presided at the General Court
of the company when Winthrop was elected governor. There does not
appear to have been any formal resignation of his office by Cradock.
In point of fact, the charter made no provision for a resignation of
office, but only for cases where a vacancy might be occasioned by
death, or removal by an act of the company. It would have been more
regular for the company to have removed Cradock by a formal vote; but
the great and weighty matter in which they were engaged prevented
their thinking of a mere formality. Cradock had himself conceived the
project they had met to carry into effect, and labored to bring it
about. He vacated the chair to his successor, on the spot. Still
forgetting the provisions of the charter, they declared Winthrop
elected "for the ensuing year, to begin on this present day," the 20th
of October, 1629. By the language of the charter, he could only be
elected to fill the vacancy "in the room or place" of Cradock; that
is, for the residue of the official year established by the express
provision of that instrument, namely, until the "last Wednesday in
Easter term" ensuing. All usage is in favor of this construction. The
terms of the charter are explicit; and, if persons chosen to fill
vacancies during the course of a year could thus be commissioned to
hold an entire year from the date of their election, the provision
fixing a certain day "yearly" for the choice of officers would be
utterly nullified. Whether this subsequently occurred to Winthrop and
his associates is not known; but, if it did, it was impossible for
them to act in conformity to the view now given; for, in the ensuing
"last Wednesday of Easter term," he was at sea, in mid ocean, and the
several members of the company dispersed throughout his fleet. When he
arrived in Salem, he found Endicott--who, in the records of the
company before its transfer to New England, is styled "the Governor
beyond the seas"--with his year of office not yet expired. The company
had not chosen another in his place, and his commission still held
good. It was so evident that the vote extending the term of Winthrop's
tenure to a year from the day on which he was chosen, Oct. 20, 1629,
was illegal, that when that year expired, in October, 1630, no motion
was made to proceed to a new election. In the mean time, however,
Endicott's year had expired; and, for aught that appears, there was
not, for several months, any legal governor or government at all in
the colony. When the next "last Wednesday of Easter term" came round,
on the 18th of May, 1631, Winthrop was chosen governor, as the record
says, "according to the meaning of the patent;" and all went on
smoothly afterwards. If the difficulty into which they had got was
apprehended by Winthrop, Endicott, or any of their associates, they
were wise enough to see that nothing but mischief could arise from
taking notice of it; that no human ingenuity could disentangle the
snarl; and that all they could do was to wait for the lapse of time to
drift them through. The conduct of these two men on the occasion was
truly admirable. Endicott welcomed Winthrop with all the honors due to
his position as governor; opened his doors to receive him and his
family; and manifested the affectionate respect and veneration with
which, from his earliest manhood to his dying day, Winthrop ever
inspired all men in all circumstances. Winthrop performed the
ceremony at Endicott's marriage. They each went about his own
business, and said nothing of the embarrassments attached to their
official titles or powers. After a few months, Winthrop held his
courts, as though all was in good shape; and Endicott took his seat as
an assistant. They proved themselves sensible, high-minded men, of
true public spirit, and friends to each other and to the country,
which will for ever honor them both as founders and fathers. They
entered into no disputes--and their descendants never should--about
which was governor, or which first governor.

The disposal of lands, at the expiration of Endicott's delegated
administration, passed back into the hands of the company, and was
conducted by the General Court upon the policy established at its
meetings in London. On the 3d of March, 1635, the General Court
relinquished the control and disposal of lands, within the limits of
towns, to the towns themselves. After this, all grants of lands in
Salem were made by the people of the town or their own local courts.
The original land policy was faithfully adhered to here, as it
probably was in the other towns.

The following is a copy of the Act:--

     "Whereas particular towns have many things which concern
     only themselves, and the ordering of their own affairs, and
     disposing of businesses in their own towns, it is therefore
     ordered, that the freemen of any town, or the major part of
     them, shall only have power to dispose of their own lands
     and woods, with all the privileges and appurtenances of the
     said towns, to grant lots, and make such orders as may
     concern the well ordering of their own towns, not repugnant
     to the laws and orders here established by the General
     Court; as also to lay mulcts and penalties for the breach of
     these orders, and to levy and distress the same, not
     exceeding the sum of twenty shillings; also to choose their
     own particular officers, as constables, surveyors of the
     high-ways, and the like; and because much business is like
     to ensue to the constables of several towns, by reason they
     are to make distress, and gather fines, therefore that every
     town shall have two constables, where there is need, that so
     their office may not be a burthen unto them, and they may
     attend more carefully upon the discharge of their office,
     for which they shall be liable to give their accounts to
     this court, when they shall be called thereunto."

The reflecting student of political science will probably regard this
as the most important legislative act in our annals. Towns had existed
before, but were scarcely more than local designations, or convenient
divisions of the people and territories. This called them into being
as depositories and agents of political power in its mightiest
efficacy and most vital force. It remitted to the people their
original sovereignty. Before, that sovereignty had rested in the hands
of a remote central deputation; this returned it to them in their
primary capacity, and brought it back, in its most important elements,
to their immediate control. It gave them complete possession and
absolute power over their own lands, and provided the machinery for
managing their own neighborhoods and making and executing their own
laws in what is, after all, the greatest sphere of government,--that
which concerns ordinary, daily, immediate relations. It gave to the
people the power to do and determine all that the people can do and
determine, by themselves. It created the towns as the solid foundation
of the whole political structure of the State, trained the people as
in a perpetual school for self-government, and fitted them to be the
guardians of republican liberty and order.

Large tracts were granted to men who had the disposition and the means
for improving them by opening roads, building bridges, clearing
forests, and bringing the surface into a state for cultivation. Men of
property, education, and high social position, were thus made to lead
the way in developing the agricultural resources of the country, and
giving character to the farming interest and class. In cases where men
of energy, industry, and intelligence presented themselves, if not
adventurers in the common stock, with no other property than their
strong arms and resolute wills, particularly if they had able-bodied
sons, liberal grants were made. Every one who had received a town lot
of half an acre was allowed to relinquish it, receiving, in exchange,
a country lot of fifty acres or more. Under this system, a population
of a superior order was led out into the forest. Farms quickly spread
into the interior, seeking the meadows, occupying the arable land, and
especially following up the streams.

I propose to illustrate this by a very particular enumeration of
instances, and by details that will give us an insight of the
personal, domestic, and social elements that constituted the condition
of life in the earliest age of New England, particularly in that part
of the old township of Salem where the scene of our story is laid. I
shall give an account of the persons and families who first settled
the region included in, and immediately contiguous to, Salem Village,
and whose children and grandchildren were actors or sufferers in, or
witnesses of, the witchcraft delusion. I am able, by the map, to show
the boundaries, to some degree of precision, of their farms, and the
spots on or near which their houses stood.

The first grant of land made by the company, after it had got fairly
under way, was of six hundred acres to Governor Winthrop, on the 6th
of September, 1631, "near his house at Mystic." The next was to the
deputy-governor, Thomas Dudley, on the 5th of June, 1632, of two
hundred acres "on the west side of Charles River, over against the new
town," now Cambridge. The next, on the 3d of July, 1632, was three
hundred acres to John Endicott. It is described, in the record, as
"bounded on the south side with a river, commonly called the Cow House
River, on the north side with a river, commonly called the Duck River,
on the east with a river, leading up to the two former rivers, known
by the name of Wooleston River, and on the west with the main land."
The meaning of the Indian word applied to this territory was
"Birch-wood." At the period of the witchcraft delusion, and for some
time afterwards, "Cow House River" was called "Endicott River."
Subsequently it acquired the name of "Waters River."

This grant constituted what was called "the Governor's Orchard Farm."
In conformity with the policy on which grants were made, Endicott at
once proceeded to occupy and improve it, by clearing off the woods,
erecting buildings, making roads, and building bridges. His
dwelling-house embraced in its view the whole surrounding country,
with the arms of the sea. From the more elevated points of his farm,
the open sea was in sight. A road was opened by him, from the head of
tide water on Duck, now Crane, River, through the Orchard Farm, and
round the head of Cow House River, to the town of Salem, in one
direction, and to Lynn and Boston in another. A few years afterwards,
the town granted him two hundred acres more, contiguous to the western
line of the Orchard Farm. After this, and as a part of the
transaction, the present Ipswich road was made, and the old road
through the Orchard Farm discontinued. This illustrates the policy of
the land grants. They were made to persons who had the ability to lay
out roads. The present bridge over Crane River was probably built by
Endicott and the parties to whom what is now called the Plains, one of
the principal villages of Danvers, had been granted. The tract granted
by the town was popularly called the "Governor's Plain." By giving, in
this way, large tracts of land to men of means, the country was opened
and made accessible to settlers who had no pecuniary ability to incur
large outlays in the way of general improvements, but had the
requisite energy and industry to commence the work of subduing the
forest and making farms for themselves. To them, smaller grants were
made.

The character of the population, thus aided at the beginning in
settling the country, cannot be appreciated without giving some idea
of what it was to open the wilderness for occupancy and cultivation.
This is a subject which those who have always lived in other than
frontier towns do not perhaps understand.

How much of the land had been previously cleared by the aboriginal
tribes, it may be somewhat difficult to determine. They were but
slightly attached to the soil, had temporary and movable habitations,
and no bulky implements or articles of furniture. They were nomadic in
their habits. On the coast and its inlets, their light canoes gave
easy means of transportation, for their families and all that they
possessed, from point to point, and, further inland, over intervening
territory, from river to river. They probably seldom attempted, in
this part of the country, to clear the rugged and stony uplands. In
some instances, they removed the trees from the soft alluvial meadows,
although it is probable that in only a very few localities they would
have attempted such a persistent and laborious undertaking. There were
large salt marshes, and here and there meadows, free from timber.
There were spots where fires had swept over the land and the trees
disappeared. On such spots they probably planted their corn; the land
being made at once fertile and easily cultivable, by the effects of
the fires. Near large inland sheets of water, having no outlets
passable by their canoes, and well stocked with fish, they sometimes
had permanent plantations, as at Will's Hill. With such slight
exceptions, when the white settler came upon his grant, he found it
covered by the primeval wilderness, thickly set with old trees, whose
roots, as well as branches, were interlocked firmly with each other,
the surface obstructed with tangled and prickly underbrush; the soil
broken, and mixed with rocks and stones,--the entire face of the
country hilly, rugged, and intersected by swamps and winding streams.

Among all the achievements of human labor and perseverance recorded in
history, there is none more herculean than the opening of a
New-England forest to cultivation. The fables of antiquity are all
suggestive of instruction, and infold wisdom. The earliest inhabitants
of every wooded country, who subdued its wilderness, were truly a race
of giants.

Let any one try the experiment of felling and eradicating a single
tree, and he will begin to approach an estimate of what the first
English settler had before him, as he entered upon his work. It was
not only a work of the utmost difficulty, calling for the greatest
possible exercise of physical toil, strength, patience, and
perseverance, but it was a work of years and generations. The axe,
swung by muscular arms, could, one by one, fell the trees. There was
no machinery to aid in extracting the tough roots, equal, often, in
size and spread, to the branches. The practice was to level by the axe
a portion of the forest, managing so as to have the trees fall inward,
early in the season. After the summer had passed, and the fallen
timber become dried, fire would be set to the whole tract covered by
it. After it had smouldered out, there would be left charred trunks
and stumps. The trunks would then be drawn together, piled in heaps,
and burned again. Between the blackened stumps, barley or some other
grain, and probably corn, would be planted, and the lapse of years
waited for, before the roots would be sufficiently decayed to enable
oxen with chains to extract them. Then the rocks and stones would have
to be removed, before the plough could, to any considerable extent, be
applied. As late as 1637, the people of Salem voted twenty acres, to
be added within two years to his previous grant, to Richard
Hutchinson, upon the condition that he would, in the mean time, "set
up ploughing." The meadow to the eastward of the meeting-house, seen
in the head-piece of this Part, probably was the ground where
ploughing was thus first "set up." The plough had undoubtedly been
used before in town-lots, and by some of the old planters who had
secured favorable open locations along the coves and shores; but it
required all this length of time to bring the interior country into a
condition for its use.

The opening of a wilderness combined circumstances of interest which
are not, perhaps, equalled in any other occupation. It is impossible
to imagine a more exhilarating or invigorating employment. It
developed the muscular powers more equally and effectively than any
other. The handling of the axe brought into exercise every part of the
manly frame. It afforded room for experience and skill, as well as
strength; it was an athletic art of the highest kind, and awakened
energy, enterprise, and ambition; it was accompanied with sufficient
danger to invest it with interest, and demand the most careful
judgment and observation. He who best knew how to fell a tree was
justly looked upon as the most valuable and the leading man. To bring
a tall giant of the woods to the ground was a noble and perilous
achievement. As it slowly trembled and tottered to its fall, it was
all-important to give it the right direction, so that, as it came down
with a thundering crash, it might not be diverted from its expected
course by the surrounding trees and their multifarious branches, or
its trunk slide off or rebound in an unforeseen manner, scattering
fragments and throwing limbs upon the choppers below. Accidents often,
deaths sometimes, occurred. A skilful woodman, by a glance at the
surrounding trees and their branches, could tell where the tree on
which he was about to operate should fall, and bring it unerringly to
the ground in the right direction. There was, moreover, danger from
lurking savages; and, if the chopper was alone in the deep woods, from
the prowling solitary bear, or hungry wolves, which, going in packs,
were sometimes formidable. There were elements also, in the work, that
awakened the finer sentiments. The lonely and solemn woods are God's
first temples. They are full of mystic influences; they nourish the
poetic nature; they feed the imagination. The air is elastic, and
every sound reverberates in broken, strange, and inexplicable
intonations. The woods are impregnated with a health-giving and
delightful fragrance nowhere else experienced. All the arts of modern
luxury fail to produce an aroma like that which pervades a primitive
forest of pines and spruces. Indeed, all trees, in an original
wilderness, where they exist in every stage of growth and decay,
contribute to this peculiar charm of the woods. It was not only a
manly, but a most lively, occupation. When many were working near each
other, the echoes of their voices of cheer, of the sharp and ringing
tones of their axes, and of the heavy concussions of the falling
timber, produced a music that filled the old forests with life, and
made labor joyous and refreshing.

The length of time required to prepare a country covered by a
wilderness, on a New-England soil, for cultivation, may be estimated
by the facts I have stated. A long lapse of years must intervene,
after the woods have been felled and their dried trunks and branches
burned, before the stumps can be extracted, the land levelled, the
stones removed, the plough introduced, or the smooth green fields,
which give such beauty to agricultural scenes, be presented. An
immense amount of the most exhausting labor must be expended in the
process. The world looks with wonder on the dykes of Holland, the
wall of China, the pyramids of Egypt. I do not hesitate to say that
the results produced by the small, scattered population of the
American colonies, during their first century, in tearing up a
wilderness by its roots, transforming the rocks, with which the
surface was covered, into walls, opening roads, building bridges, and
making a rough and broken country smooth and level, converting a
sterile waste into fertile fields blossoming with verdure and grains
and fruitage, is a more wonderful monument of human industry and
perseverance than them all. It was a work, not of mere hired laborers,
still less of servile minions, but of freemen owning, or winning by
their voluntary and cheerful toil, the acres on which they labored,
and thus entitling themselves to be the sovereigns of the country they
were creating. A few thousands of such men, with such incentives,
wrought wonders greater than millions of slaves or serfs ever have
accomplished, or ever will.

It was not, therefore, from mere favoritism, or a blind subserviency
to men of wealth or station, that such liberal grants of land were
made to Winthrop, Dudley, Endicott, and others, but for various wise
and good reasons, having the welfare and happiness of the whole
people, especially the poorer classes, in view. In illustration of the
one now under consideration, a few facts may be presented. They will
show the amount of labor required to bring the "Orchard Farm" into
cultivation, and which must have been procured at a large outlay in
money by the proprietor. In the court-files are many curious papers,
in the shape of depositions given by witnesses in suits of various
kinds, arising from time to time, showing that large numbers of hired
men were kept constantly at work. Nov. 10, 1678, Edmund Grover,
seventy-eight years old, testified, "that, above forty-five years
since, I, this deponent, wrought much upon Governor Endicott's farm,
called Orchard, and did, about that time, help to cut and cleave about
seven thousand palisadoes, as I remember, and was the first that made
improvement thereof, by breaking up of ground and planting of
Indian-corn." The land was granted to Endicott in July, 1632; and the
work in which Grover, with others, was engaged, commenced undoubtedly
forthwith. Palisadoes were young trees, of about six inches in
diameter at the butt, cut into poles of about ten feet in length,
sharpened at the larger end, and driven into the ground; those that
were split or cloven were used as rails. In this way, lots were fenced
in. In some cases, the upright posts were placed close together, as
palisades in fortifications, to prevent the escape of domestic
animals, and as a safeguard against depredations upon the young
cattle, sheep, and poultry, by bears, wolves, foxes, the loup-cervier,
or wild-cat, with which the woods were infested. Grover seems to have
wrought on the Orchard Farm for a short time. We find, that, a few
years after the point to which his testimony goes back, he had a farm
of his own. Some wrought there for a longer time, and were permanent
retainers on the farm. In 1635, the widow Scarlett apprenticed her son
Benjamin, then eleven years of age, to Governor Endicott. The
following document, recorded in Essex Registry of Deeds, tells his
story:--

     "To all christian people to whom these presents shall come,
     I, Benjamin Scarlett of Salem, in New England, sendeth
     Greeting--Know ye, that I, the said Benjamin Scarlett, having
     lived as a servant with Mr. John Endicott, Esq., sometimes
     Governor in New England, and served him near upon thirty
     years, for, and in consideration whereof, the said Governor
     Endicott gave unto me, the said Benjamin Scarlett, a certain
     tract of land, in the year 1650, being about 10 acres, more
     or less, the which land hath ever since been possessed by me,
     the said Benjamin Scarlett, and it lyeth at the head of Cow
     House River, bounded on the north with the land of Mr.
     Endicott called Orchard Farm, on the South with the high way
     leading to the salt water, on the West with the road way
     leading to Salem, on the East with the salt water, which
     tract of land was given to me, as aforesaid, during my life,
     and in case I should leave no issue of my body, to give it to
     such of his posterity as I should see cause to bestow it
     upon; Know ye, therefore, that I, the said Benjamin Scarlett,
     for divers considerations me thereunto moving, have given,
     granted, and by these presents do give and grant, assign,
     sett over, and bestow the aforesaid tract of land, with all
     the improvements I have made thereon, both by building,
     fencing, or otherwise, unto Samuel Endicott, second son to
     Zerubabel Endicott deceased, and unto Hannah his wife, to
     have and to hold the said ten acres of land, more or less,
     with all the privileges and appurtenances thereunto
     belonging, unto the said Samuel Endicott and Hannah his
     wife, to his and her own proper use and behoof forever; and
     after their decease I give the said tract of land to their
     son Samuel Endicott. In case he should depart this life
     without issue, then to be given to the next heir of the said
     Samuel and Hannah.--In witness whereof I have hereunto set my
     hand and seal.--Dated the ninth of January one thousand six
     hundred and ninety one.--BENJAMIN SCARLETT, his mark."

It is to be observed, that Governor Endicott had died twenty-six
years, and his son Zerubabel seven years, before the date of the
foregoing deed. No writings had passed between them in reference to
the final disposition Scarlett was conditionally to make of the
estate. There were no living witnesses of the original understanding.
But the old man was true to the sentiments of honor and gratitude. The
master to whom he had been apprenticed in his boyhood had been kind
and generous to him, and he was faithful to the letter and spirit of
his engagement. He evidently made a point to have the language of the
deed as strong as it could be. He did not leave the matter to be
settled by a will, but determined to enjoy, while living, the
satisfaction of being true to his plighted faith. He was known, in his
later years, as "old Ben Scarlett." He did not feel ashamed to call
himself a servant. But humble and unpretending as he was, I feel a
pride in rescuing his name from oblivion. Old Ben Scarlett will for
ever hold his place among nature's nobles,--honest men.

The extent to which Endicott went in improving his lands is shown in
the particular department which gave the name to his original grant.
In 1648, he bought of Captain Trask two hundred and fifty acres of
land, in another locality, giving in exchange five hundred
apple-trees, of three years' growth. Such a number of fruit-trees of
that age, disposable at so early a period, could only be the result of
a great expenditure of labor and money. So many operations going on
under his direction and within his premises made his farm a school, in
which large numbers were trained to every variety of knowledge needed
by an original settler. The subduing of the wilderness; the breaking
of the ground; the building of bridges, stone-walls, "palisadoes,"
houses, and barns; the processes of planting; the introduction of all
suitable articles of culture; the methods best adapted to the
preparation of the rugged soil for production; the rearing of abundant
orchards and bountiful crops; the smoothing and levelling of lands,
and the laying-out of roads,--these were all going at once, and it was
quite desirable for young men to work on his farm, before going out
deeper into the wilderness to make farms for themselves. There were
many besides Grover who availed themselves of the advantage. John
Putnam was a large landholder, and an original grantee; but we find
his youngest son, John, attached to Endicott's establishment, and
working on his farm about the time of his maturity. In a deposition in
court, in a land case of disputed boundaries, August, 1705, "John
Putnam, Sr., of full age, testifieth and saith that--being a retainer
in Governor Endicott's family, about fifty years since, and being
intimately acquainted with the governor himself and with his son, Mr.
Zerubabel Endicott, late of Salem, deceased, who succeeded in his
father's right, and lived and died on the farm called Orchard Farm, in
Salem--the said Governor Endicott did oftentimes tell this deponent,"
&c. The same John Putnam, in a deposition dated 1678, says that he was
then fifty years old, and that, thirty-five years before, he was at
Mr. Endicott's farm, and went out to a certain place called "Vine
Cove," where he found Mr. Endicott; and he testifies to a conversation
that he heard between Mr. Endicott and one of his men, Walter Knight.
I mention these things to show that a lad of fifteen, a son of a
neighbor of large estate in lands, was an intimate visitor at the
Orchard Farm; and that, when he became of age, before entering upon
the work of clearing lands of his own, given by his father, he went as
"a retainer" to work on the governor's farm. He went as a voluntary
laborer, as to a school of agricultural training. This was done on
other farms, first occupied by men who had the means and the
enterprise to carry on large operations. It gave a high character, in
their particular employment, to the first settlers generally.

I cannot leave this subject of Endicott on his farm, without
presenting another picture, drawn from a wilderness scene. In 1678,
Nathaniel Ingersol, then forty-five years of age, in a deposition
sworn to in court, describes an incident that occurred on the eastern
end of the Townsend Bishop farm as laid out on the map, when he was
about eleven years of age. His father, Richard Ingersol, had leased
the farm. It was contiguous to Endicott's land, and controversies of
boundary arose, which subsequently contributed to aggravate the feuds
and passions that were let loose in the fury of the witchcraft
proceedings. Nathaniel Ingersol says,--

     "This deponent testifieth, that, when my father had fenced
     in a parcel of land where the wolf-pits now are, the said
     Governor Endicott came to my father where we were at plough,
     and said to my father he had fenced in some of the said
     Governor's land. My father replied, then he would remove the
     fence. No, said Governor Endicott, let it stand; and, when
     you set up a new fence, we will settle in the bounds."

This statement is worthy of being preserved, as it illustrates the
character of the two men, exhibiting them in a most honorable light.
The gentlemanly bearing of each is quite observable. Ingersol
manifests an instant willingness to repair a wrong, and set the matter
right; Endicott is considerate and obliging on a point where men are
most prone to be obstinate and unyielding,--a conflict of land rights:
both are courteous, and disposed to accommodate. Endicott was governor
of the colony, and a large conterminous landowner; Ingersol was a
husbandman, at work with his boys on land into which their labor had
incorporated value, and with which, for the time being, he was
identified. But Endicott showed no arrogance, and assumed no
authority; Ingersol manifested no resentment or irritation. If a
similar spirit had been everywhere exhibited, the good-will and
harmony of neighborhoods would never have been disturbed, and the
records of courts reduced to less than half their bulk.

To his dying day, John Endicott retained a lively interest in
promoting the welfare of his neighbors in the vicinity of the Orchard
Farm.

Father Gabriel Druillettes was sent by the Governor of Canada, in
1650, to Boston, in a diplomatic character, to treat with the
Government here. He kept a journal, during his visit, from which the
following is an extract: "I went to Salem to speak to the Sieur
Indicatt who speaks and understands French well, and is a good friend
of the nation, and very desirous to have his children entertain this
sentiment. Finding I had no money, he supplied me, and gave me an
invitation to the magistrates' table." Endicott had undoubtedly
received a good education. His natural force of character had been
brought under the influence of the knowledge prevalent in his day, and
invigorated by an experience and aptitude in practical affairs. There
is some evidence that he had, in early life, been a surgeon or
physician.

He was a captain in the military service before leaving England.
Although he was the earliest who bore the title of governor here,
having been deputed to exercise that office by the governor and
company in England, and subsequently elected to that station for a
greater length of time than any other person in our history, had been
colonel of the Essex militia, commandant of the expedition against the
Indians at Block Island, and, for several years, major-general, at the
head of the military forces of the colony, the title of captain was
attached to him, more or less, from beginning to end; and it is a
singular circumstance, that it has adhered to the name to this day.
His descendants early manifested a predilection for maritime life.
During the first half of the present century, many of them were
shipmasters. In our foreign, particularly our East-India, navigation,
the title has clung to the name; so much so, that the story is told,
that, half a century ago, when American ships arrived at Sumatra or
Java, the natives, on approaching or entering the vessels to ascertain
the name of the captain, were accustomed to inquire, "Who is the
Endicott?" The public station, rank, and influence of Governor
Endicott required that he should first be mentioned, in describing the
elements that went to form the character of the original agricultural
population of this region.

The map shows the farm of Emanuel Downing. The lines are substantially
correct, although precise accuracy cannot be claimed for them, as the
points mentioned in this and other cases were marked trees, heaps of
stones, or other perishable or removable objects, and no survey or
plot has come down to us. A collation of conterminous grants or
subsequent conveyances, with references in some of them to permanent
objects, enables us to approximate to a pretty certain conclusion.
This gentleman was one of the most distinguished of the early
New-England colonists. He was a lawyer of the Inner Temple. He
married, in the first instance, a daughter of Sir James Ware, a person
of great eminence in the learned lore of his times. His second wife
was Lucy, sister of Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts, who was born
July 9, 1601. They were married, April 10, 1622. There seems to have
been a very strong attachment between Emanuel Downing and his brother
Winthrop; and they went together, with their whole heart, into the
plan of building up the colony. They devoted to it their fortunes and
lives. Downing is supposed to have arrived at Boston in August, 1638,
with his family. On the 4th of November, he and his wife were admitted
to the Church at Salem. So great had been the value of his services in
behalf of the colony, in defending its interests and watching over its
welfare before leaving England, that he was welcomed with the utmost
cordiality to his new home. His nephew, John Winthrop, Jr., afterwards
Governor of Connecticut, was associated with John Endicott to
administer to him the freeman's oath. The General Court granted him
six hundred acres of land. He was immediately appointed a judge of the
local court in Salem, and, for many years, elected one of its two
deputies to the General Court. In anticipation of his arrival in the
country, the town of Salem, on the 16th of July, granted him five
hundred acres. He afterwards purchased the farm on which he seems to
have lived, for the most part, until he went to England in 1652. The
condition of public affairs, and his own connection with them,
detained him in the mother-country much of the latter part of his
life. While in this colony, he was indefatigable in his exertions to
secure its prosperity. His wealth and time and faculties were
liberally and constantly devoted to this end.

The active part taken by Mr. Downing in the affairs of the settlement
is illustrated in the following extract from the Salem town records:--

     "At a general Town meeting, held the 7th day of the 5th
     month, 1644--ordered that two be appointed every Lord's Day,
     to walk forth in the time of God's worship, to take notice
     of such as either lye about the meeting house, without
     attending to the word and ordinances, or that lye at home or
     in the fields without giving good account thereof, and to
     take the names of such persons, and to present them to the
     magistrates, whereby they may be accordingly proceeded
     against. The names of such as are ordered to this service
     are for the 1st day, Mr. Stileman and Philip Veren Jr.
     2d day, Philip Veren Sr. and Hilliard Veren. 3d day, Mr.
     Batter and Joshua Veren. 4th day, Mr. Johnson and Mr.
     Clark. 5th day, Mr. Downing and Robert Molton Sr. 6th
     day, Robert Molton Jr. and Richard Ingersol. 7th day, John
     Ingersol and Richard Pettingell. 8th day, William Haynes
     and Richard Hutchinson. 9th day, John Putnam and John
     Hathorne. 10th day, Townsend Bishop and Daniel Rea. 11th
     day, John Porter and Jacob Barney."

Each patrol, on concluding its day's service, was to notify the
succeeding one; and they were to start on their rounds, severally,
from "Goodman Porter's near the Meeting House."

The men appointed to this service were all leading characters,
reliable and energetic persons. It was a singular arrangement, and
gives a vivid idea of the state of things at the time. Its design was
probably, not merely that expressed in the vote of the town, but also
to prevent any disorderly conduct on the part of those not attending
public worship, and to give prompt alarm in case of fire or an Indian
assault. The population had not then spread out far into the country;
and the range of exploration did not much extend beyond the settlement
in the town. None but active men, however, could have performed the
duty thoroughly, and in all directions, so as to have kept the whole
community under strict inspection.

Mr. Downing probably expended liberally his fortune and time in
improving his farm, upon which there were, at least, four
dwelling-houses prior to 1661, and large numbers of men employed. He
was a ready contributor to all public objects. His education had been
superior and his attainments in knowledge extensive. He was of an
enlightened spirit, and strove to mitigate the severity of the
procedures against Antinomians and others. He seems to have had an
ingenious and enterprising mind. At a General Court held at Boston,
Sept. 6, 1638, it was voted that, "Whereas Emanuel Downing, Esq., hath
brought over, at his great charges, all things fitting for taking
wild fowl by way of duck-coy, this court, being desirous to encourage
him and others in such designs as tend to the public good," &c.,
orders that liberty shall be given him to set up his duck-coy within
the limits of Salem; and all persons are forbidden to molest him in
his experiments, by "shooting in any gun within half a mile of the
ponds," where, by the regulations of the town, he shall be allowed to
place the decoys. The court afterwards granted to other towns liberty
to set up duck-coys, with similar privileges. What was the particular
structure of the contrivance, and how far it succeeded in operation,
is not known; but the thing shows the spirit of the man. He at once
took hold of his farm with energy, and gathered workmen upon it.
Winthrop in his journal has this entry, Aug. 2, 1645:--

     "Mr. Downing having built a new house at his farm, he being
     gone to England, and his wife and family gone to the church
     meeting on the Lord's day, the chimney took fire and burned
     down the house, and bedding, apparel and household, to the
     value of 200 pounds."

This proves that his family resided on the farm; and it indicates,
that, when he first occupied it, he had only such a house as could
have been seasonably put up at the start, but that a more commodious
one had been erected at his leisure: the expression "having built a
new house" appears to carry this idea. On his return from England, he
undoubtedly built again, and had other houses for his workmen and
tenants; for we find that one of them, in 1648, was allowed to keep an
ordinary, "as Mr. Downing's farm, on the road between Lynn and
Ipswich, was a convenient place" for such an accommodation to
travellers. Public travel to and from those points goes over that same
road to-day. That it was so early laid out is probably owing to the
fact, that such men as Emanuel Downing were on its route, and John
Winthrop, Jr., at Ipswich. Downing called his farm "Groton," in dear
remembrance of his wife's ancestral home in "the old country."

Originally, travel was on a track more interior. The opening of roads
did not begin until after the more immediate and necessary operations
of erecting houses and bringing the land, on the most available spots
near them at the points first settled, under culture. Originally,
communication from farm to farm, through the woods, was by marking the
trees,--sometimes by burning and blackening spots on their sides, and
sometimes by cutting off a piece of the bark. The traveller found his
way step by step, following the trees thus marked, or "blazed," as it
was called whichever method had been adopted. When the branches and
brush were sufficiently cleared away, horses could be used. At places
rendered difficult by large roots, partly above ground, intercepting
the passage, or by rough stones, the rider would dismount, and lead
the horse. From this, it was called a "bridle-path." After the way had
become sufficiently opened for ox-carts or other vehicles to pass, it
would begin to receive the name of a road. On reaching a cleared and
fenced piece of land, the traveller would cross it, opening and
closing gates, or taking down and replacing bars, as the case might
be. There were arrangements among the settlers, and, before long, acts
of the General Court, regulating the matter. This was the origin of
what were called "press-roads," or "farm-roads," or "gate-roads." When
a proprietor concluded it to be for his interest to do so, he would
fence in the road on both sides where it crossed his land, and remove
the gates or bars from each end. Ultimately, the road, if convenient
for long travel, would be fenced in for a great distance, and become a
permanent "public highway." In all these stages of progress, it would
be called a "highway." The fee would remain with the several
proprietors through whose lands it passed; and, if travel should
forsake it for a more eligible route, it would be discontinued, and
the road-track, enclosed in the fields to which it originally
belonged, be obliterated by the plough. Many of the "highways," by
which the farmers passed over each other's lands to get to the
meeting-house or out to public roads, in 1692, have thus disappeared,
while some have hardened into permanent public roads used to this day.
When thus fully and finally established, it became a "town road," and
if leading some distance into the interior, and through other towns,
was called a "country road." The early name of "path" continued some
time in use long after it had got to be worthy of a more pretentious
title. The old "Boston Path," by which the country was originally
penetrated, long retained that name. It ran through the southern and
western part of Salem Village by the Gardners, Popes, Goodales,
Flints, Needhams, Swinnertons, Houltons, and so on towards Ipswich and
Newbury.

On the 30th of September, 1648, Governor Winthrop, writing to his son
John, says "they are well at Salem, and your uncle is now beginning to
distil. Mr. Endicott hath found a copper mine in his own ground. Mr.
Leader hath tried it. The furnace runs eight tons per week, and their
bar iron is as good as Spanish." Whatever may be thought by some of
the logic which infers that "all is well" in Salem, because they are
beginning "to distil;" and however little has, as yet, resulted here
from the discovery of copper-mines, or the manufacture of iron, the
foregoing extract shows the zeal and enthusiasm with which the
wealthier settlers were applying themselves to the development of the
capabilities of the country.

Mr. Downing seems to have resided permanently on his farm, and to have
been identified with the agricultural portion of the community. His
house-lot in the town bounded south on Essex Street, extending from
Newbury to St. Peter's Street. He may not, perhaps, have built upon it
for some time, as it long continued to be called "Downing's Field."
Two of his daughters married sons of Thomas Gardner: Mary married
Samuel; and Ann, Joseph. They came into possession of the "Downing
Field." Mary was the mother of John, the progenitor of a large branch
of the Gardner family. Mr. Downing had another large lot in the town,
which, on the 11th of February, 1641, was sold to John Pickering,
described in the deed as follows: "All that parcel of ground, lying
before the now dwelling-house of the said John Pickering, late in the
occupation of John Endicott, Esq., with all the appurtenances
thereunto belonging, abutting on the east and south on the river
commonly called the South River, and on the west on the land of
William Hathorne, and on the north on the Town Common." The deed is
signed by Lucy Downing, and by Edmund Batter, acting for her husband
in his absence. On the 10th of February, 1644, he indorsed the
transaction as follows: "I do freely agree to the sale of the said
Field in Salem, made by my wife to John Pickering: witness my hand,"
&c. The attesting witnesses were Samuel Sharpe and William Hathorne.
This land was then called "Broad Field." On his estate, thus enlarged,
Pickering, a few years afterwards, built a house, still standing. The
estate has remained, or rather so much of it as was attached to the
homestead, in that family to this day, and is now owned and occupied
by John Pickering, Esq., son of the eminent scholar and philologist of
that name, and grandson of Colonel Timothy Pickering, of Revolutionary
fame,--the trusted friend of Washington.

Emanuel Downing was the father of Sir George Downing, one of the first
class that graduated at Harvard College,--a man of extraordinary
talents and wonderful fortunes. After finishing his collegiate
course, in 1642, he studied divinity, probably under the direction of
Hugh Peters; went to the West Indies, acting as chaplain in the
vessel; preached and received calls to settle in several places; went
on to England; entered the parliamentary service as chaplain to a
regiment; was rapidly drawn into notice, and promoted from point to
point, until he became scoutmaster-general in Cromwell's army. This
office seems to have combined the functions of inspector and
commissary-general, and head of the reconnoitering department. In
1654, he was married to Frances, sister of Viscount Morpeth,
afterwards Earl of Carlisle; thus uniting himself with "the blood of
all the Howards," one of the noblest families in England. The nuptials
were celebrated with great pomp, an epithalamium in Latin, &c. All
this, within eleven years after he took his degree at Harvard, is
surely an extraordinary instance of rising in the world. He was a
member of Parliament for Scotland. Cromwell sent him to France on
diplomatic business, and his correspondence in Latin from that court
was the beginning of a career of great services in that line. He was
soon commissioned ambassador to the Hague, then the great court in
Europe. Thurlow's state papers show with what marvellous vigilance,
activity, and efficiency he conducted, from that centre, the
diplomatic affairs of the commonwealth. At the restoration of the
monarchy, he made the quickest and the loftiest somersault in all
political history. It was done between two days. He saw Charles the
Second at the Hague, on his way to England to resume his crown: and
the man who, up to that moment, had been one of the most zealous
supporters of the commonwealth, came out next morning as an equally
zealous supporter of the king. He accompanied this wonderful exploit
by an act of treachery to three of his old associates,--including
Colonel Oakey, in whose regiment he had served as chaplain,--which
cost them their lives. He was forthwith knighted, and his commission
as ambassador renewed. After a while, he returned to England; went
into Parliament from Morpeth, and ever after the exchequer was in his
hands. By his knowledge, skill, and ability, he enlarged the financial
resources of the country, multiplied its manufactures, and extended
its power and wealth. He was probably the original contriver of the
policy enforced in the celebrated Navigation Act, having suggested it
in Cromwell's time. By that single short act of Parliament, England
became the great naval power of the world; her colonial possessions,
however widely dispersed, were consolidated into one vast fountain of
wealth to the imperial realm; the empire of the seas was fixed on an
immovable basis, and the proud Hollander compelled to take down the
besom from the mast-head of his high-admiral.

Sir George Downing did one thing in favor of the power of the people,
in the British system of government, which may mitigate the resentment
of mankind for his execrable seizure and delivery to the royal
vengeance of Oakey, Corbett, and Barkstead. He introduced into
Parliament and established the principle of Specific Appropriations.
The House of Commons has, ever since, not only held the keys of the
treasury, but the power of controlling expenditures. The fortune of
Sir George, on the failure of issue in the third generation, went to
the foundation of Downing College, in Cambridge, England. It amounted
to one hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling. It is not
improbable, that Downing Street, in London, owes its name to the great
diplomatist.

This remarkable man spent his later youth and opening manhood on Salem
Farms. In his college vacations and intervals of study, he partook,
perhaps, in the labors of the plantation, mingled with the rural
population, and shared in their sports. The crack of his fowling-piece
re-echoed through the wild woods beyond Procter's Corner; he tended
his father's duck-coys at Humphries' Pond, and angled along the clear
brooks. It is an observable circumstance, as illustrating the
transmission of family traits, that the same ingenious activity and
versatility of mind, which led Emanuel Downing, while carrying on the
multifarious operations of opening a large farm in the forest,
presiding in the local court at Salem, and serving year after year in
the General Court as a deputy, to contrive complicated machinery for
taking wild fowl and getting up distilleries, re-appeared in his son,
on the broader field of the manufactures, finances, and foreign
relations of a great nation.

A tract of three hundred acres, next eastward of the Downing farm, was
granted to Thomas Read. He became a freeman in 1634, was a member of
the Salem Church in 1636, received his grant the same year, and was
acknowledged as an inhabitant, May 2, 1637. The farm is now occupied
and owned by the Hon. Richard S. Rogers. It is a beautiful and
commanding situation, and attests the taste of its original
proprietor. Mr. Read seems to have had a passion for military affairs.
In 1636, he was ensign in a regiment composed of men from Saugus,
Ipswich, Newbury, and Salem, of which John Endicott was colonel, and
John Winthrop, Jr., lieutenant-colonel. In 1647, he commanded a
company. During the civil wars in England, he was attracted back to
his native country. He commanded a regiment in 1660, and held his
place after the Restoration. He died about 1663.

Our antiquarians were long at a loss to understand a sentence in one
of Roger Williams's letters to John Winthrop, Jr., in which he says,
"Sir, you were not long since the son of two noble fathers, Mr. John
Winthrop and Mr. Hugh Peters." How John Winthrop, Jr., could be a son
of Hugh Peters was the puzzle. Peters was not the father of either of
Winthrop's two wives; and there was nothing in any family records or
memorials to justify the notion. On the contrary, they absolutely
precluded it. By the labors and acumen of the Hon. James Savage and
Mr. Charles Deane, of Cambridge, who have no superiors in grappling
with such a difficulty, its solution seems, at last, to be reached.
"After long fruitless search," Mr. Savage has expressed a conviction
that Mr. Deane has "acquired the probable explication." The clue was
thus obtained: Mr. Savage says, "This approach to explanation is
gained from 'the Life and Death of Hugh Peters, by William Yonge, Dr.
Med. London. 1663,' a very curious and more scarce tract." The facts
discovered are that Peters taught a free school at Maldon, in Essex;
and that a widow lady with children and an estate of two or three
hundred pounds a year befriended him. She was known as "Mistress
Read." Peters married her. The second wife of John Winthrop, Jr., was
Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel Read, of Essex. By marrying Mrs. Read,
Peters became the step-father of the younger Winthrop's wife; and, by
the usage of that day, he would be called Winthrop's father.

A few additional particulars, in reference to Peters and our Salem
Read, may shed further light on the subject. While a prisoner in the
Tower of London, awaiting the trial which, in a few short days,
consigned him to his fate, Peters wrote "A Dying Father's Last Legacy
to an only Child," and delivered it to his daughter just before his
execution. This is one of the most admirable productions of genius,
wisdom, and affection, anywhere to be found. In it he gives a
condensed history of his life, which enables us to settle some
questions, which have given rise to conflicting statements, and kept
some points in his biography in obscurity. In the first place, the
title proves that he had, at the time of his death, no other child. In
the course of it, he tells his daughter, that, when he was fourteen
years of age, his mother, then a widow, removed with him to Cambridge,
and connected him with the University there. His elder brother had
been sent to Oxford for his education. After residing eight years in
Cambridge, he took his Master's degree, and then went up to London,
where he was "struck with the sense of his sinful estate by a sermon
he heard under Paul's, which was about forty years since, which text
was the _burden of Dumah or Idumea_, and stuck fast. This made me to
go into Essex; and after being quieted by another sermon in that
country, and the love and labors of Mr. Thomas Hooker, I there
preached, there married with a good gentlewoman, till I went to London
to ripen my studies, not intending to preach at all." He then relates
the circumstances which subsequently led him again to engage in
preaching. He is stated to have been born in 1599: his death was in
1660. Putting together these dates and facts, it becomes evident that
he could not have been more than twenty-two years of age when he
married "Mistress Read." The "Last Legacy" shows, not merely in the
manner in which he speaks of her,--"a good gentlewoman,"--but, in its
express terms, that she was not the mother of the "only child" to whom
it was addressed. "Besides your mother," he states that he had had "a
godly wife before." There is no indication that there were children by
the earlier marriage. If there were, they died young. He married, for
his second wife, Deliverance Sheffield, at Boston, in March, 1639.

His first wife, the time of whose death is unknown, had left the
children by her former husband in his hands and under his care. He
evidently cherished the memory of the "good gentlewoman of Essex" with
the tenderest and most sacred affection. She had not only been the
dear wife of his youth, but her property placed him above want. No
wonder that the strongest attachment existed between him and her
children. John Winthrop, Jr., and his wife, called him father, not
merely in conformity with custom, being their step-father in point of
fact, but with the fondness and devotion of actual children. It was on
account of this intimate and endeared connection, and in consideration
of the pecuniary benefit he had derived from his marriage to the
mother of the younger Winthrop's wife, that he made arrangements, in
case he should not return to America, that his Salem property should
go to her and her husband. Having married a second wife, and there
being issue of said marriage, he would not have alienated so
considerable a part of his property from the legal heir without some
good and sufficient reason. The foregoing view of the case explains
the whole. The solution of the mystery which had enveloped Roger
Williams's language is complete. Elizabeth, the daughter of the second
marriage, to whom the "Last Legacy" was addressed, was baptized in the
First Church at Salem, on the 8th of March, 1640. It does not appear,
that, during her subsequent life, there was any intimacy, or even
acquaintance, between her and the Winthrops, as there was no ground
for it, she being in no way connected with them.

May not Thomas Read, of Salem, have been a son of Colonel Read, of
Maldon in Essex, and a brother of the wife of the younger Winthrop?
Peters says, in the "Last Legacy," "Many of my acquaintances, going
for New England, had engaged me to come to them when they sent, which
accordingly I did." Thomas Read came over some time before him; so did
John Winthrop, Jr., and wife. They were the same as children to him.
They sent for him, and he came. After it was ascertained and
determined that Peters should settle in Salem, Read joined the church
here, and became a full inhabitant. Peters located his grant of land
in sight of Read's residence, on the next then unappropriated
territory, at a distance of about two and a half miles. When Read
returned to England, he left his property here in the care of the
Winthrops. Wait Winthrop, as the agent and attorney of his heirs, sold
it to Daniel Eppes. If, as I conjecture, Thomas Read was a son of
Colonel Read, of Essex, his coming here with Peters, and his
connection with the Winthrops, are accounted for. His strong
predilection for military affairs was natural in a son of a colonel of
the English army. It led him back to the mother-country, on the first
sound of the great civil war reaching these shores, and raised him to
the rank he finally attained. The conjecture that he was a brother of
the wife of the younger Winthrop is favored by the fact, that her son,
Fitz John Winthrop, was a captain in Read's regiment, at the time of
the restoration of the Stuarts.

During the short period of the residence of Hugh Peters in America,
professional duties, and the extent to which his great talents were
called upon in ecclesiastical and political affairs, in all parts of
the colony, left him but little opportunity to attend to his
two-hundred-acre grant. It was to the north of the present village of
Danvers Plains, on the eastern side and adjoining to Frost-Fish Brook.
The history of this grant confirms the supposition of his particular
connection with the family of the younger Winthrop. It seems that it
had not been formally laid out by metes and bounds while Peters was
here. Owing to this circumstance, perhaps, it escaped confiscation at
the time of his condemnation and execution. Some years afterwards,
June 4, 1674, a committee of the town laid out the grant "to Mr.
Peters." The record of this transaction says, "The land is in the
possession of John Corwin." Captain John Corwin had married, in May,
1665, Margaret, daughter of John Winthrop, Jr. She survived her
husband, and sold the same land, May 22, 1693, to "Henry Brown, Jr.,
of Salisbury, yeoman." These facts show that this portion of Mr.
Peters's lands did go, according to the agreement when he left
America, to the family of John Winthrop, Jr.

Whether he had erected a house on this grant is not known. From his
characteristic energy, activity, and promptitude, it is probable that
he had begun to clear it. In agriculture, as in every thing else, he
gave a decisive impulse. It is stated that he had a particular design
to attempt the culture of hemp. He introduced many implements of
labor, and started new methods of improvement. He disclosed to the
producer of agricultural growths the idea of raising what the land was
most capable of yielding in abundance, in greater quantities than were
needed for local consumption, and finding for the surplus an outside
market. He is allowed to have introduced the coasting and foreign
trade on an intelligent and organized basis, and to have promoted
ship-building and the export of the products of the forests and the
fields generally to the Southern plantations, the West Indies, and
even more distant points. If he had remained longer in the country,
the farming interests, and the settlers in what was afterwards called
Salem Village, within which his tract was situated, would have felt
his great influence. As it was, he undoubtedly did much to inspire a
zeal for improvement. His town residence was on the south-western
corner of Essex and Washington Street, then known as "Salem Corner,"
where the office of the Horse-railroad Company now is. The lot was a
quarter of an acre. Roger Williams probably had resided there, and
sold to Peters, who was his successor in the ministry of the First
Church, and whose attorney sold it to Benjamin Felton, in 1659. The
range of ground included within what are now Washington, Essex,
Summer, and Chestnut Streets, and extending to the South River, as it
was before any dam or mills had been erected over or across it, was a
beautiful swell of land, with sloping surfaces, intersected by a creek
from near the foot of Chestnut Street to its junction with the South
River under the present grade of Mill Street. To the south of the
corner, occupied successively by Roger Williams and Hugh Peters, Ralph
Fogg, the Lady Deborah Moody, George Corwin, Dr. George Emory, Thomas
Ruck, Samuel Skelton, Endicott, Pickering, Downing, and Hathorne, each
had lots, extending in order to the foot of what is now Phelps Street.
Most, if not all of them, had houses on their lots. Elder Sharp had
what was called "Sharp's Field," bordering on the north side of Essex
Street, extending from Washington to North Streets. His house was at
the north corner of Lynde and Washington Streets. Edmund Batter, Henry
Cook, Dr. Daniel Weld, Stephen Sewall, and Edward Norris, were
afterwards on his land. Hugh Peters also owned the lot, consisting of
a quarter of an acre, on the north-eastern corner of Essex and
Washington Streets, now occupied by what is known as Stearns's
Building, and was preparing to erect a house upon it when he was sent
to England. His attorney sold it, in 1652, to John Orne, the founder
of the family of that name.

The daughter of Mr. Peters came over to America shortly after his
death, bringing with her her mother, who, for many years, had been
subject to derangement. They were kindly received; and some of his
property, particularly a valuable farm in the vicinity of Marblehead,
which the daughter sold to the American ancestor of the Devereux
family, was recovered from the effect of his attainder. She probably
soon went back to England, where she spent her days. Papers on file in
the county court show that Elizabeth Barker, widow, "daughter of Mr.
Hugh Peters," was living, in March, 1702, in good health, at Deptford,
Kent, in the immediate vicinity of London, and had been living there
for about forty years.

In consequence, perhaps, of the intimate connection between Mr. Peters
and the family of John Winthrop, Jr., the name of the latter is to be
added to the cluster of eminent men who, at that time, were drawn to
reside in Salem. He was here, it is quite certain, from 1638 to 1641,
if not for a longer period. There are indications of his presence as
early as March of the former year, when he was appointed with Endicott
to administer the freeman's oath to his uncle Downing. On the 25th of
the next June, he had liberty to set up a salt-house at Royal Neck, on
the east side of Wooleston River. There he erected a dwelling-house
and other buildings, as appears by the depositions of sundry persons
in a land suit about thirty years afterwards, who state that they
worked for him, and were conversant with him there for several years.
His first experiments and enterprises in the salt-manufacture, which
he subsequently conducted on a very extensive scale in Connecticut,
were performed at Royal Neck. His daughter, the widow successively of
Antipas Newman and Zerubabel Endicott, in the suit just mentioned,
recovered possession of that property, comprising forty acres, with
the buildings and improvements. In 1646, John Winthrop, Jr.,
accompanied by a brother of Hugh Peters, Rev. Thomas Peters from
Cornwall in England, began a plantation at Pequot River; and Trumbull,
in his "History of Connecticut," says that "Mr. Thomas Peters was the
first minister of Saybrook." The fortunes and families of Hugh Peters
and John Winthrop, Jr., seem all along to have been linked together.

Downing, Read, and Peters, three of the original planters of Salem
Farms, were drawn back to England and kept there by the engrossing
interest which the wonderful revolution then breaking out in that
kingdom could not but awaken in such minds as theirs. Here and
everywhere, a great check was given to the early progress of the
country by the turn of the tide which carried such men back to
England, and prevented others from coming over. If the Parliament had
not attempted to arrest the usurpations of the crown at that time, and
the Stuarts been suffered to establish an absolute monarchy, the eyes
and hearts of all free spirits would have remained fixed on America,
and a perpetual stream of emigration brought over, for generations and
for ever, thousands upon thousands of such men as came at the
beginning. The effects that would have been thus produced in America
and in England, in accelerating the progress of society here, and
sinking it into debasement there; and thereby upon the fortunes of
mankind the world over, is a subject on which a meditative and
philosophical mind may well be exercised.

But, although these men were lost, others are worthy of being
enumerated, in forming an estimate of the elements that went to make
the character of the people, a chapter in whose history, of awful
import, we are preparing ourselves to explore.

Francis Weston was a leading man at the very beginning. In 1634, with
Roger Conant and John Holgrave, he represented Salem in the first
House of Deputies ever assembled. His land grant was some little
distance to the west of the meeting-house of the village. He must have
been a person of more than ordinary liberality of spirit; for he
discountenanced the intolerance of his age, and kept his mind open to
receive truth and light. He did not conceal his sympathy with those
who suffered for entertaining Antinomian sentiments. He was ordered to
quit the colony in 1638. For the same offence, his wife, who probably
had refused to go, was placed in the stocks "two hours at Boston and
two at Salem, on a lecture day." Weston, having ventured back, five
years afterwards, was put in irons, and imprisoned to hard labor. But,
as he stood to his principles, and there was danger to be apprehended
from his influence, he was again driven out of the colony.

Richard Waterman came over from England in 1629, recommended to
Governor Endicott by the governor and deputy in London. He was a noted
hunter. "His chief employment," says the letter introducing him to
Endicott, "will be to get you good venison." A land grant was assigned
him near Davenport's Hill. But he, too, had a spirit that resisted the
severe and arbitrary policy of the times. He became a dissenter from
the prevalent creed, and sympathized with those who suffered
oppression. In 1664, he was brought before the court, condemned to
imprisonment, and finally banished. Weston and Waterman subsequently
were conspicuous in Rhode-Island affairs. While residing in the
village, the latter probably devoted himself to the opening of his
land, and the pursuit of game through the forests. I find but one
notice of him as connected with public affairs.

For some years, the settlements were necessarily confined to the
shores of bays or coves, and the banks of rivers. There were no
wheel-carriages of any kind, for transportation or travel, until
something like roads could be made; and that was the work of time. A
few horses had been imported; but it was long before they could be
raised to meet the general wants, or come much into use. Every thing
had to be water-borne. The only vehicles were boats or canoes, mostly
the latter. There were two kinds of canoes. Large white-pine logs were
scooped or hollowed out, and wrought into suitable shape, about two
and a half feet in breadth and twenty in length. These were often
quite convenient and serviceable, but not to be compared with the
Indian canoes, which were made of the bark of trees, wrought with
great skill into a beautiful shape. The birch canoe was an admirable
structure, combining elements and principles which modern naval
architecture may well study to imitate. In lightness, rapidity,
freedom and ease of motion, it has not been, and cannot be, surpassed.
Its draft, even when bearing a considerable burden, was so slight,
that it would glide over the shallowest bars. It was strong, durable,
and easily kept in repair. Although dangerous to the highest degree
under an inexperienced and unskilful hand, no vessel has ever been
safer when managed by persons trained to its use. The cool and
quick-sighted Indian could guide it, with his exquisitely moulded
paddle, in perfect security, through whirling rapids and over heavy
seas, around headlands and across bays. The settlers early supplied
themselves with canoes, by which to thread the interior streams, and
cross from shore to shore in the harbors. One great advantage of the
light canoe, before roads were opened through the woods, was, that it
could be unloaded, and borne on the shoulders across the land, at any
point, to another stream or lake, thus cutting off long curves, and
getting from river to river. The lading would be transported in
convenient parcels, the canoe launched, loaded, and again be floated
on its way. Canoes soon came into universal use, particularly in this
neighborhood. Wood, in his "New-England's Prospect," speaking of
Salem, says, "There be more canowes in this town than in all the whole
Patent, every household having a water horse or two." It was so
important for the public safety to have them kept in good condition,
that the town took the matter in hand. The quarterly court records
have the following entry under the date of June 27, 1636:--

     "It was ordered and agreed, that all the canoes of the north
     side of the town shall be brought the next second day, being
     the 4th day of the 5th month, about 9 o'clock,
     A.M., unto the cove of the common landing place of
     the North River, by George Harris his house--And that all
     the canoes of the south side are to be brought before the
     port-house in the South River, at the same time, then and
     there to be viewed by J. Holgrave, P. Palfrey, R. Waterman,
     R. Conant, P. Veren, or the greater number of them. And that
     there shall be no canoe used (upon penalty, of forty
     shillings, to the owner thereof) than such as the said
     surveyors shall allow of and set their mark upon; and if any
     shall refuse or neglect to bring their canoes to the said
     places at the time appointed, they shall pay for said fault
     10 shillings."

The names of the men associated with Waterman prove that he was ranked
among the chief citizens of the town. The austere manners of the age,
among communities like that established here; the exclusion, at that
time, by inexorable laws, of many forms of amusement; and the general
sombre aspect of society, kept down the natural exhilaration of life
to such a degree, that, when the pressure was occasionally removed,
the whole people bounded into the liveliest outbursts of glad
excitement. It was no doubt a gala day. Ceremony, sport, and
festivity, in all their forms, took full effect. The surveyors
performed their functions with the utmost display of authority,
examined the canoes with the gravest scrutiny, and affixed their
marks with all due formality. A light, graceful, and most picturesque
fleet swarmed, from all directions, to the appointed rendezvous. The
harbor glittered with the flashing paddles, and was the scene of swift
races and rival feats of skill, displaying manly strength and agility.
It must have been an aquatic spectacle of rare gayety and beauty, not
surpassed nor equalled in some respects, when, more than a century
afterwards, the "Grand Turk" or the "Essex" frigate was launched, or
when Commodore Forbes, still later, swept into our peaceful waters
with his boat flotilla. It was the first Fourth of July ever
celebrated in America.

Thomas Scruggs was an early inhabitant of Salem; often represented the
town as deputy in the General Court; was one of the judges of the
local court, and always recognized among the rulers of the town. In
January, 1636, he received a grant of three hundred acres on the
south-west limits of its territory. The next month, an exchange took
place, which is thus recorded in the town-book of grants: "It was
ordered, that, whereas Mr. Scruggs had a farm of three hundred acres
beyond Forest River, and that Captain Trask had one of two hundred
acres beyond Bass River, and Captain Trask freely relinquishing his
farm of two hundred acres, it was granted unto Mr. Thomas Scruggs, and
he thereupon freely relinquished his farm of three hundred acres."
This brought Scruggs upon the Salem Farms, between Bass River and the
great pond, Wenham Lake. The real object in making this arrangement
was to advance a project which the leading people of Salem at that
time had much at heart. They were very desirous to have the college
established on the tract relinquished by Scruggs. What would have been
the effect of placing it there, in the immediate neighborhood of the
sea-shore, in full view of the spacious bay, its promontories,
islands, and navigation, is a question on which we may speculate at
our leisure. The effort failed: Captain Trask and Mr. Scruggs had done
all they could to accomplish it, and gave their energies to the
welfare of the community in other directions. From the little that is
recorded of Scruggs, it is quite evident that he was an intelligent
and valuable citizen. The event that brought his career as a public
man to a close proves that his mind was enlightened, liberal, and
independent; that he was in advance of the times in which he lived.
When the bitter and violent persecution of the celebrated Anne
Hutchinson, on account of her Antinomian sentiments, took place, Mr.
Scruggs disapproved and denounced it. He gave his whole influence,
earnestly and openly, against such attempts to suppress freedom of
inquiry and the rights of conscience. He, with others in Salem, was
proscribed, disarmed, and deprived of his public functions. He appears
to have been suffered to remain unmolested on his estate, and died
there in 1654. He had but one child, Rachel; and the name, as derived
from him, became extinct. The inventory of his property is dated on
the 24th of June of that year. The items mentioned in it amount to
£244. 10_s._ 2_d._ Considering the rates of value at that time, it
was a large property. At the same date, an agreement is recorded by
which his widow, Margery, conveys to her son-in-law, John Raymond, all
her real estate, upon these conditions: She to have the use of her
house during her life, the bedding, and other "household stuff;" and
he to pay her five pounds "in hand," twenty pounds per annum, and five
pounds "at the hour of her death." This was an ample provision, in
those times, for her comfort while she lived, and for her funeral
charges. I do not remember to have found this last point arranged for,
in such a form of expression, in any other instance.

William Alford was an early settler. He was a member of the numerous
and wealthy society, or guild, of Skinners, in the city of London, and
probably came here with the view of establishing an extensive trade in
furs. He received accordingly, in 1636, a grant of two hundred acres,
including what was for some time called Alford's Hill, afterwards Long
Hill, now known as Cherry Hill. It is owned and occupied by R.P.
Waters, Esq. Alford sympathized in religious views with his neighbor
Scruggs, and with him was subjected to censure, and disarmed by order
of the General Court. He sold his lands to Henry Herrick, and left the
jurisdiction.

One of the most enlightened, and perhaps most accomplished, men among
the first inhabitants of Salem Village, was Townsend Bishop. He was
admitted a freeman in 1635. The next year, he appears on the list of
members of the Salem Church. He was one of the judges of the local
court, and, almost without intermission from his first coming here, a
deputy to the General Court. In 1645, as his attention had been led to
the subject, he conceived doubts in reference to infant baptism; and
it was noticed that he did not bring forward a child, recently born,
to the rite. Although himself on the bench, and ever before the object
of popular favor and public honors, he was at once brought up, and
handed over for discipline. The next year, he sold his estates, and
probably removed elsewhere. He appears no more in our annals. Where he
went, I have not been able to learn. It is to be hoped that he found
somewhere a more congenial and tolerant abode. It is evident that he
could not breathe in an atmosphere of bigotry; and it was difficult to
find one free from the miasma in those days.

Five of the most valuable of the first settlers of the
village--Weston, Waterman, Scruggs, Alford, and Bishop--were thus
early driven into exile, or subdued to silence, by the stern policy on
which the colony was founded. It is an error to characterize this as
religious bigotry. It was not so much a theological as a political
persecution. Its apparent form was in reference to tenets of faith,
but the policy was deeper than this. Any attempt to make opposition to
the existing administration was treated with equal severity, whatever
might be the subject on which it ventured to display itself.

The men who sought this far-off "nook and corner of the world,"
crossing a tempestuous and dangerous ocean, and landing on the shores
of a wilderness, leaving every thing, however dear and valuable,
behind, came to have a country and a social system for themselves and
of themselves alone. Their resolve was inexorable not to allow the
mother-country, or the whole outside world combined, to interfere with
them. And it was equally inexorable not to suffer dissent or any
discordant element to get foothold among them. Sir Christopher
Gardner's rank and title could not save him: he was not of the sort
they wanted, and they shipped him back. Roger Williams's virtues,
learning, apostolic piety, could not save him; and they drove him into
a wintry wilderness, hunting him beyond their borders. It was not so
much a question whether Baptists, Antinomians, or Quakers were right
or wrong, as a preformed determination not to have any dissentients of
any description among them. They had sacrificed all to find and to
make a country for themselves, and they meant to keep it to
themselves. They had gone out of everybody else's way, and they did
not mean to let anybody else come into their way. They did not
understand the great truth which Hugh Peters preached to Parliament,
"Why," said he, "cannot Christians differ, and yet be friends? All
children should be fed, though they have different faces and shapes:
unity, not uniformity, is the Christian word." They admitted no such
notion as this. They thought uniformity the only basis of unity. They
meant to make and to keep this a country after their own pattern, a
Congregational, Puritan, Cambridge-Platform-man's country. The time
has not yet come when we can lift up clean hands against them. Two
successive chief-magistrates of the United States have opened the door
and signified to one-eighth part of our whole people, that it will be
best for them to walk out. So long as the doctrine is maintained that
this is the white man's country, or any man's, or any class or kind of
men's country, it becomes us to close our lips against denunciation of
the Fathers of New England because they tried to keep the country to
themselves. The sentiment or notion on which they acted, in whatever
form it appears, however high the station from which it emanates, or
however long it lasts in the world, is equally false and detestable in
all its shapes. It is a defiant rebellion against that law which
declares that "all nature's difference is all nature's peace;" that
there can be no harmony without variety of sound, no social unity
without unlimited freedom, and no true liberty where any are deprived
of equal rights; that differences ought to bring men together, rather
than keep them apart; and that the only government that can stand
against the shocks of time, and grow stronger and dearer to all its
people, is one that recognizes no differences of whatever kind among
them. The only consistent or solid foundation on which a republic or a
church can be built, is an absolute level, with no enclosures and no
exclusion.

Townsend Bishop's grant of three hundred acres was made on the 16th of
January, 1636. When he sold it, Oct. 18, 1641, it appears by the deed,
that there were on it edifices, gardens, yards, enclosures, and
meadows. A large force must have been put and kept upon it, from the
first, to have produced such results in so short a time. Orchards had
been planted. The manner in which the grounds were laid out is still
indicated by embankments, with artificial slopes and roadways, which
exhibit the fine taste of the proprietor, and must have required a
large expenditure of money and labor. Although the estate has always
been in the hands of owners competent to take care of it and keep it
in good preservation, none but the original proprietor would have been
likely to have made the outlay apparent on its face, on the plan
adopted. The mansion in which he resided stands to-day. Its front,
facing the south, has apparently been widened, at some remote
intermediate date since its original erection, by a slight extension
on the western end, beyond the porch. It has been otherwise, perhaps,
somewhat altered in the course of time by repairs; but its general
aspect, as exhibited in the frontispiece of this volume, and its
original strongly compacted and imperishable frame, remain. No saw was
used in shaping its timbers; they were all hewn, by the broad-axe, of
the most durable oak: they are massive, and rendered by time as hard
to penetrate almost as iron. The walls and stairway of the cellar, the
entrance to which is seen by the side of the porch, constructed of
such stones as could be gathered on the surface of a new country, bear
the marks of great antiquity. A long, low kitchen, with a stud of
scarcely six feet, extended originally the whole length of the
lean-to, on the north side of the house. The rooms of the main house
were of considerably higher stud. The old roadway, the outlines of
which still remain, approached the house from the east, came up to its
north-east corner, wound round its front, and continued from its
north-west corner, on a track still visible, over a brook and through
the apple-orchard planted by Bishop, to the point where the
burial-ground of the village now is; and so on towards the lands then
occupied by Richard Hutchinson, also to the lands afterwards owned by
Nathaniel Ingersol, towards Beaver Dam, and the first settlements in
that direction and to the westward. In general it may be said, that
the structural proportions and internal arrangements of the house,
taken in its relations to the vestiges and indications on the face of
the grounds, show that it is coeval with the first occupancy of the
farm. But we do not depend, in this case, upon conjectural
considerations, or on mere tradition, which, on such a point, is not
always reliable. It happens to be demonstrated, that this is the
veritable house built and occupied by Townsend Bishop, in 1636, by a
singular and irrefragable chain of specific proof. A protracted land
suit, hereafter to be described, gave rise to a great mass of papers,
which are preserved in the files of the county courts and the State
Department; among them are several plots made by surveyors, and
adduced in evidence by the parties. Not only the locality but a
diagram of the house, as then standing, are given. The spot on which
it stood is shown. Further, it appears, that in the deeds of
transference of the estate, the homestead is specially described as
the house in which Townsend Bishop lived, called "Bishop's Mansion."
This continues to a period subsequent to the style of its
architecture, and within recent tradition and the memory of the
living. In the old Salem Commoner's records, it is called "Bishop's
Cottage," which was the name generally given to dwelling-houses in
those early times. Having, as occasion required, been seasonably
repaired, it is as strong and good a house to-day as can be found. Its
original timbers, if kept dry and well aired, are beyond decay; and it
may stand, a useful, eligible, and comely residence, through a future
as long as the past. It may be doubted whether any dwelling-house now
in use in this country can be carried back, by any thing like a
similar strength of evidence, to an equal antiquity. Its site, in
reference to the surrounding landscape, was well chosen. Here its
hospitable and distinguished first proprietor lived, in the interims
of his public and official service, in peace and tranquillity, until
ferreted out by the intrusive spirit of an intolerant age. Here he
welcomed his neighbors,--Endicott, Downing, Peters, John Winthrop,
Jr., Read, and other kindred spirits.[A]

[Footnote A: Not only the storms of two hundred and thirty years, but
the bolts of heaven, have beat in vain upon this mansion. The view
given of it in the frontispiece is from a sketch taken in winter. The
leafless branches of a tall elm at its western end are represented. At
noon on Saturday, July 28, 1866, during a violent thunder-storm, the
electric fluid seems to have passed down the tree, rending and tearing
some of its branches, and leaving its traces on the trunk. It flashed
into the house. It tore the roof, knocking away one corner, displacing
in patches the mortar that coated the old chimney top and sides,
hacking the edges of the brick-work, splitting off the side of an
extension to the building at the western end, entering a chamber at
that point, where two children were sitting at a window, and throwing
upon the floor, within two or three feet of them, a considerable
portion of the plastered ceiling. It then scattered all through the
apartments. What looked like perforations, as if made by shot or
pistol-balls, were found in many places; but there were no
corresponding marks on the opposite sides of the walls or partitions.
Portions of the paper-hangings were stripped off, and small slivers
ripped up from the floors. It struck the frames of looking-glasses,
cracking off small pieces of the wood, but only in one instance
breaking the mirror. It cut a velvet band by which one was hung; and
it was found on the floor, the mirror downward and unbroken, as if it
had been carefully laid there. In the attic, fragments of the old
gnarled and knotted rafters, of different lengths,--from four or five
feet to mere chips,--were scattered in quantities upon the floor, and
grooves made lengthwise along posts and implements of household use.
Large cracks were left in the wooden casings of some of the doors and
windows. A family of eight persons were seated around the
dinner-table. All were more or less affected. They were deprived for
the time of the use of their feet and ancles; were stunned, paralyzed,
and rendered insensible for a few moments by the shock; and felt the
effects, some of them, for a day or two in their lower limbs. In front
of each person at the table was a tall goblet, which had just been
filled with water. As soon as they were able to notice, they found the
water dripping on all sides to the floor, the whole table-cloth wet,
seven of the goblets entirely empty, the eighth half emptied, and not
one of them thrown over, or in the slightest manner displaced. The
whole house was filled with what seemed, to the sight and smell, to be
smoke; but no combustion, scorch, discoloration, or the least
indication of heat, could be found on any of the objects struck. The
building, in its thirteen rooms, from the garret to the ground-floor,
had been flooded with lightning; but, with all its inmates, escaped
without considerable or permanent injury.]

In the course of a mysterious providence, this venerable mansion was
destined to be rendered memorable by its connection with the darkest
scene in our annals. As that scene cannot otherwise be comprehended in
all the elements that led to it, it is necessary to give the
intermediate history of the Townsend Bishop farm and mansion. In 1641,
Bishop sold it to Henry Chickering, who seems to have been residing
for some time in Salem, and to whom, in January, 1640, a grant of land
had been made by the town. He continued to own it until the 4th of
October, 1648; although he does not appear to have resided on the farm
long, as he soon removed to Dedham, from which place he was deputy to
the General Court in 1642, and several years afterwards. He sold the
farm at the above-mentioned date to Governor Endicott for one hundred
and sixty pounds. In 1653, John Endicott, Jr., the eldest son of the
Governor, married Elizabeth, daughter of Jeremiah Houchins, an eminent
citizen of Boston, who had before resided in Hingham, which place he
represented as deputy for six years. The name was pronounced
"Houkins," and so perhaps was finally spelled "Hawkins." By agreement,
or "articles of marriage contract," Endicott bestowed the farm upon
his son. "Present possession" was given. How long, or how much of the
time, the young couple lived on the estate, is not known. Their
principal residence was in Boston. The General Court, in 1660, granted
John Endicott, Jr., four hundred acres of land on the eastern side of
the upper part of Merrimac River. After the purchase of the farm from
Chickering, the Endicott property covered nearly a thousand acres in
one tract, extending from the arms of the sea to the centre of the
present village of Tapleyville. On the 10th of May, 1662, the Governor
executed a deed, carrying out the engagements of the marriage
contract, giving to his son John, his heirs, and assigns for ever, the
Bishop farm. Governor Endicott died in 1665. A will was found signed
and sealed by him, dated May 2, 1659, in which, referring to the
marriage gift to John, he bequeathes the aforesaid farm to "him and
his heirs," but does not add, "and assigns." Another item of the will
is, "The land I have bequeathed to my two sons, in one place or
another, my will is that the longest liver of them shall enjoy the
whole, except the Lord send them children to inherit it after them."
Unfortunately, there were no witnesses to the will. It was not allowed
in Probate. The matter was carried up to the General Court; and it was
decided Aug. 1, 1665, that the court "do not approve of the instrument
produced in court to be the last will and testament of the late John
Endicott, Esq., governor." In October of the same year, John Endicott,
Jr., petitioned the General Court to act on the settlement of his
father's estate; and the court directs administration to be granted to
"Mrs. Elizabeth Endicott and her two sons, John and Zerubabel," and
that they bring in an inventory to the next county court at Boston,
and to dispose of the same as the law directs. Upon this, the widow
of the Governor, and his son Zerubabel, again appeal to the General
Court; and on the 23d of May, 1666, "after a full hearing of all
parties concerned in the said estate, i.e., the said Mrs. Elizabeth
Endicott and her two sons, Mr. John and Mr. Zerubabel Endicott, Mr.
Jeremiah Houchin being also present in court, and respectively
presenting their pleas and evidences in the case," it was finally
decided and ordered by the court, that the provisions of the document
purporting to be the will of Governor Endicott should be carried into
effect, with these exceptions: that the Bishop or Chickering farm
shall go to his son John "to him, his heirs and assigns for ever;" and
that Elizabeth, the wife of said son John, if she should survive her
husband, shall enjoy during her life all the estate of her husband in
all the other houses and lands mentioned in the instrument purporting
to be his father's will. The court adjudge that this must have been
"the real intent of the aforesaid John Endicott, Esq., deceased, who
had during his life special favor and respect for her." They give the
widow of the Governor "the goods and chattels" of the said John
Endicott, Esq., her late husband, provided that, if "she shall die
seized to the value of more than eighty pounds sterling" thereof, the
surplus shall be divided between her two sons: John to have a double
portion thereof. Finally, they appoint the widow sole administratrix,
and require her to bring in a true inventory to the next court for the
county of Suffolk, and to pay all debts.

John and his father-in-law had it all their own way. The decision of
the court was perhaps correct, according to legal principles; although
it is not so certain that it was, in all respects, in conformity with
the intent of Governor Endicott. Undoubtedly, as the language of the
deed shows, he had made up his mind to give to his son John and "his
assigns" absolute, full, and final possession of the Bishop farm. But
it seems equally certain, that he meant to have the rest of his landed
estate, including the Orchard Farm and the Ipswich-river farm, go
directly and wholly to the survivor, if either of his sons died
without issue. The facts and dates are as follows: His son John was
married in 1653. The Governor's will was made in 1659. It had then
become quite probable that John might not have issue. The will gives
him and his heirs, but not his assigns, the Bishop farm. In the event
of his death without issue, his widow would have her dower and legal
life right in it, but the final heir would be Zerubabel. In 1662, the
Governor, who had, some years before, removed to Boston, where he
resided the remainder of his life, executed a deed, giving to his son
John, "his heirs and assigns," a full and permanent title to the
Bishop farm. This was a variation of the plan for the disposition of
his estate as shown in his will. He probably designed to make a new
will, securing to his natural heirs, so far as his other landed
property was concerned, what he had thus permitted to pass away from
them in the Bishop farm; that is, the full and immediate possession
by the survivor, if either of the sons died without issue. It was a
favorite idea, almost a sacred principle, in those days, to have lands
go in the natural descent. The sentiment is quite apparent in the
tenor of the Governor's will. When he deprived, by his deed to John in
1662, Zerubabel's family of the right to the final possession of the
Bishop farm, it can hardly be doubted that he relied upon the
provisions of his will to secure to them the immediate, complete
possession of all his other lands, without the incumbrance of any
claim of dower or otherwise of John's widow. But the pressure of
public duties prevented his duly executing his will, and putting it
into a new shape, in conformity with the circumstances of the case.
The troubles that followed teach the necessity of the utmost caution
and carefulness in that most difficult and most irremediable of all
business transactions,--the attempt to continue the control of
property, after death, by written instruments.

John Endicott, Jr., died in February, 1668, without issue; leaving his
whole estate to his widow, "her heirs and assigns for ever." His will
is dated Jan. 27, 1668, and was offered to Probate on the 29th of
February, 1668. His widow married, Aug. 31, 1668, the Rev. James
Allen, one of the ministers of the First Church in Boston, whose
previous wife, Hannah Dummer, by whom he received five hundred acres
of land, had died in March, 1668. His Endicott wife died April 5,
1673, leaving the Townsend-Bishop farm and all her other property to
him; and on the 11th of September, of the same year, he married Sarah
Hawlins. By his two preceding wives he received twelve hundred acres
of land. How much he got by the last-mentioned, we have no
information. Besides these matrimonial accumulations, the accounts
seem to indicate that he was rich before.

It may well be imagined, that it could not have been very agreeable to
the family at the Orchard Farm to see this choice and extensive
portion of their estate, which was within full view from their
windows, swept into the hands of utter strangers in so rapid and
extraordinary a manner, by a series of circumstances most distasteful
and provoking. But this was but the beginning of their trouble.

On the 29th of April, 1678, Allen sold the Bishop farm to Francis
Nurse, of the town of Salem, for four hundred pounds. Nurse was an
early settler, and, before this purchase, had lived, for some forty
years, "near Skerry's," on the North River, between the main part of
the settlement in the town of Salem and the ferry to Beverly. He is
described as a "tray-maker." The making of these articles, and similar
objects of domestic use, was an important employment in a new country
remote from foreign supply. He appears to have been a very respectable
person, of great stability and energy of character, whose judgment was
much relied on by his neighbors. No one is mentioned more frequently
as umpire to settle disputes, or arbitrator to adjust conflicting
claims. He was often on committees to determine boundaries or
estimate valuations, or on local juries to lay out highways and
assess damages. The fact that he was willing to encounter the
difficulties connected with such a heavy transaction as the purchase
of the Bishop farm at such a price at his time of life proves that he
had a spirit equal to a bold undertaking. He was then fifty-eight
years of age. His wife Rebecca was fifty-seven years of age. We shall
meet her again.

They had four sons,--Samuel, John, Francis, and Benjamin; and four
daughters,--Rebecca, married to Thomas Preston, Mary to John Tarbell,
Elizabeth to William Russell, and Sarah, who remained unmarried until
after the death of her mother. With this strong force of stalwart sons
and sons-in-law, and their industrious wives, Francis Nurse took hold
of the farm. The terms of the purchase were so judicious and
ingenious, that they are worthy of being related, and show in what
manner energetic and able-bodied men, even if not possessed of
capital, particularly if they could command an effective co-operation
in the labor of their families, obtained possession of valuable landed
estates. The purchase-money was not required to be paid until the
expiration of twenty-one years. In the mean time, a moderate annual
rent was fixed upon; seven pounds for each of the first twelve years,
and ten pounds for each of the remaining nine years. If, at the end of
the time, the amount stipulated had not been paid, or Nurse should
abandon the undertaking, the property was to relapse to Allen.
Disinterested and suitable men, whose appointment was provided for,
were then to estimate the value added to the estate by Nurse during
his occupancy, by the clearing of meadows or erection of buildings or
other permanent improvements, and all of that value over and above one
hundred and fifty pounds was to be paid to him. If any part of the
principal sum should be paid prior to the expiration of twenty-one
years, a proportionate part of the farm was to be relieved of all
obligation to Allen, vest absolutely in Nurse, and be disposable by
him. By these terms, Allen felt authorized to fix a very high price
for the farm, it not being payable until the lapse of a long period of
time. If not paid at all, the property would come back to him, with
one hundred and fifty pounds of value added to it. It was not a bad
bargain for him,--a man of independent means derived from other
sources, and so situated as not to be able to carry on the farm
himself. It was a good investment ahead. To Nurse the terms were most
favorable. He did not have to pay down a dollar at the start. The low
rent required enabled him to apply almost the entire income from the
farm to improvements that would make it more and more productive.
Before half the time had elapsed, a value was created competent to
discharge the whole sum due to Allen. His children severally had good
farms within the bounds of the estate, were able to assume with ease
their respective shares of the obligations of the purchase; and the
property was thus fully secured within the allotted time. Allen gave,
at the beginning, a full deed, in the ordinary form, which was
recorded in this county. Nurse gave a duly executed bond, in which the
foregoing conditions are carefully and clearly defined. That was
recorded in Suffolk County; and nothing, perhaps, was known in the
neighborhood, at the time or ever after, of the terms of the
transaction. When the success of the enterprise was fully secured,
Nurse conveyed to his children the larger half of the farm, reserving
the homestead and a convenient amount of land in his own possession.
The plan of this division shows great fairness and judgment, and was
entirely satisfactory to them all. They were required, by the deeds he
gave them, to maintain a roadway by which they could communicate with
each other and with the old parental home.

Here the venerable couple were living in truly patriarchal style,
occupying the "mansion" of Townsend Bishop, when the witchcraft
delusion occurred. They and their children were all clustered within
the limits of the three-hundred-acre farm. They were one family. The
territory was their own, secured by their united action, and made
commodious, productive, valuable, and beautiful to behold, by their
harmonious, patient, and persevering labor. Each family had a
homestead, and fields and gardens; and children were growing up in
every household. The elder sons and sons-in-law had become men of
influence in the affairs of the church and village. It was a scene of
domestic happiness and prosperity rarely surpassed. The work of life
having been successfully done, it seemed that a peaceful and serene
descent into the vale of years was secured to Francis and Rebecca
Nurse. But far otherwise was the allotment of a dark and inscrutable
providence.

There is some reason to suspect that the prosperity of the Nurses had
awakened envy and jealousy among the neighbors. The very fact that
they were a community of themselves and by themselves, may have
operated prejudicially. To have a man, who, for forty years, had been
known, in the immediate vicinity, as a farmer and mechanic on a small
scale, without any pecuniary means, get possession of such a property,
and spread out his family to such an extent, was inexplicable to all,
and not relished perhaps by some. There seems to have been a
disposition to persist in withholding from him the dignity of a
landholder; and, long after he had distributed his estate among his
descendants, it is mentioned in deeds made by parties that bounded
upon it, as "the farm which Mr. Allen, of Boston, lets to the Nurses."
Not knowing probably any thing about it, they call it, even after
Nurse's death, "Mr. Allen's farm." This, however, was a slight matter.
When Allen sold the farm to Nurse, he bound himself to defend the
title; and he was true to his bond. What was required to be done in
this direction may, perhaps, have exposed the Nurses to animosities
which afterwards took terrible effect against them.

In granting lands originally, neither the General Court nor the town
exercised sufficient care to define boundaries. There does not appear
to have been any well-arranged system, based upon elaborate,
accurate, scientific surveys. Of the dimensions of the area of a
rough, thickly wooded, unfrequented country, the best estimates of the
most practised eyes, and measurements resting on mere exploration or
perambulation, are very unreliable. The consequence was, that, in many
cases, grants were found to overlap each other. This was the case with
the Bishop farm; and soon after Nurse came into possession, and had
begun to operate upon it, a conflict commenced; trespasses were
complained of; suits were instituted; and one of the most memorable
and obstinately contested land-controversies known to our courts took
place. In that controversy Nurse was not formally a principal. The
case was between James Allen and Zerubabel Endicott, or between Allen
and Nathaniel Putnam.

An inspection of the map, at this point, will enable us to understand
the grounds on which the suit was contested. The Orchard Farm was
granted to Endicott, as has been stated, July 3, 1632, by the General
Court. The grant states the bounds on the south and on the north to be
two rivers; on the east, another river, into which they both flow;
and, on the west, the mainland. Where this western line was to strike
the rivers on the north and south is not specified; but the natural
interpretation would seem to be, in the absence of any thing to the
contrary, that it was to strike them at their respective heads. The
evidence of all persons who were conversant with the premises during
the life of the Governor as connected with the farm was unanimous and
conclusive to this point; that is, that he and they always supposed
that the west line was, as drawn on the map, from the head of one
river to the head of the other; that the farm embraced all between
them as far up as the tide set. It was objected, on the other side,
that this made the farm much more than three hundred acres; but as an
offset to that was the fact, that a considerable part of the area was
swamp or marsh, not usually taken into the account in reckoning the
extent of a grant, and the additional fact, that the language of the
General Court in reference to quantity was not precise,--"about" three
hundred acres. At the same date with the grant to Endicott, the
General Court granted two hundred acres to Mr. Skelton, which tract is
given on the map.

As has been stated, the General Court conferred upon the towns the
exclusive right to dispose of the lands within their limits, March 3,
1635. On the 10th of December of that year, the town of Salem granted
to Robert Cole the tract of three hundred acres subsequently purchased
by Emanuel Downing, which is indicated on the map. On the 11th of
January, 1636, the grant of three hundred acres was made to Townsend
Bishop. Its language is unfortunately obscure in some expressions; but
it is clear, that the tract was to be four hundred rods in length, one
hundred and twenty-four rods in width at the western end, and one
hundred and sixteen rods at the eastern. At the north-east corner it
was to meet the water or brook that separated it from the grant to
Skelton; and it was also to "but" upon, or touch, at the eastern end,
the land granted to Endicott by the General Court. After the grant to
Bishop, the town, from time to time, made grants to Stileman of land
north of the Bishop grant. Stileman's grants adjoined Skelton's at the
north-eastern corner of the Bishop farm. That part of Stileman's land
had come into possession of Nathaniel Putnam, and the residue
westwardly, together with the grant to Weston, into the possession of
Hutchinson, Houlton, and Ingersol. Still further west, the town had
made grants to Swinnerton. Their respective locations are given in the
map. The point of difficulty which gave rise to litigation was this:
The Bishop farm was required, by the terms of the grant, to be one
hundred and sixteen rods wide at its eastern end. But there was no
room for it. The requisite width could not be got without encroaching
upon either Putnam or Endicott, or both. As Endicott stood upon an
earlier title than that of Bishop, and from a higher authority, and
Putnam upon a later title from an inferior authority, the court of
trials might have disposed of the matter, at the opening, on that
ground, and Putnam been left to suffer the encroachment. But it did
not so decide; and the case went on. The struggle was between Endicott
to push it north, and thereby save his Orchard Farm, and the land
between it and the Bishop grant, given by the town to his father,
called the Governor's Plain, and Nathaniel Putnam to push it south,
and thereby save the land he had received from his wife's father,
Richard Hutchinson, who had purchased from Stileman. Allen stood on
the defensive against both of them. The Nurses had nothing to do but
to attend to their own business, carrying on their farming operations
up to the limits of their deed, looking to Allen for redress, if, in
the end, the dimensions of their estate should be curtailed. But,
being the occupants, and, until finally ousted, the owners of the
land, if there was any intrusion to be repelled, or violence to be
met, or fighting to be done, they were the ones to do it. They were
equal to the situation.

After various trials in the courts of law in all possible shapes, the
whole subject was carried up to the General Court, where it was
decided, in conformity with the report of a special commission in May,
1679, substantially in favor of Putnam and Allen. Endicott petitioned
for a new hearing. Another commission was appointed; and their report
was accepted in May, 1682. It was more unfavorable to Endicott than
the previous one. He protested against the judgment of the court in
earnest but respectful language, and petitioned for still another
hearing. They again complied with his request, and appointed a day for
once more examining the case; but, when the day came, Nov. 24, 1683,
he was sick in bed, and the case was settled irrevocably against him.

The map gives the lines of the Bishop farm as finally settled by the
General Court. It will be noticed, that it is laid directly across the
Governor's Plain, and runs far into the Orchard Farm "up to the rocks
near Endicott's dwelling-house," or, as it is otherwise stated,
"within a few rods of Guppy's ditch, near to" the said house. It may
be said to have been a necessity, as the original three hundred acres
of the grant to Townsend Bishop had to be made up. It could not go
north; for Houlton and Ingersol stood upon the Weston grant, and
Hutchinson and Nathaniel Putnam stood upon Stileman's grants, to push
it back. It could not go west or south-west, for there Swinnerton
stood to fend off upon his grants; and there, too, was Nathaniel
Putnam, upon his own grant, and lands he had purchased of another
original grantee. It could not be swung round to the south without
jamming up the lands of Felton and others, or pushing them over the
grants, made to Robert Cole--under which Downing had purchased--and to
Thomas Read. All these parties were combined to force it
south-eastwardly over the grounds of Endicott. Nathaniel Putnam was
his most fatal antagonist. He was a man of remarkable energy, of
consummate adroitness, and untiring resources in such a transaction;
and he so managed to press in the bounds of the Bishop farm, at the
north-east, as to gain a valuable strip for himself. With this strong
man against him, acting in combination with the rich and influential
James Allen, minister of the great metropolitan First Church, and
licenser of the press, who brought the whole power of his clerical and
social connections in Boston and throughout the colony to bear upon
the General Court, Zerubabel Endicott had no chance for justice, and
no redress for wrong. In vain he invoked the memory of his father, or
of Winthrop, the grandfather of his wife. His father and both the
Winthrops had long before left the scene: a new generation had risen,
and there was none to help him.

One would have supposed, that the General Court, which had granted the
Orchard Farm to Governor Endicott, would have felt bound, in
self-respect and in honor, to have protected it against any
overlapping grants subsequently made by an inferior authority. Under
the circumstances of the case, it was its duty to have held the
Orchard Farm intact, and made it up to the satisfaction of Allen and
Nurse by a grant elsewhere, or an equitable compensation in money. It
owed so much to the son of Endicott and the grand-daughter of
Winthrop, the first noble Fathers of the colony. Perhaps the court
found its justification in the phraseology of the deed of conveyance
of the Bishop farm from Governor Endicott to his son John. After
reciting or referring to the original town grant to Bishop, and the
deeds from Bishop to Chickering, and from Chickering to himself, the
Governor conveys to his son John all the houses, &c., and every part
and parcel of the land "to the utmost extent thereof, according as is
expressed or included in either of the forecited deeds, or town
grant." It was maintained, and justly, by Allen, that he held all that
was conveyed to John Endicott, Jr. But the Court had no right to
encroach upon the Orchard Farm, which had been granted to the
Governor by them prior to all deeds and to the town grant to Bishop.

Never did that deep and sagacious observation on the mysteries of
human nature, "Men's judgments are a parcel of their fortunes,"
receive a more striking or melancholy illustration than in the case of
Zerubabel Endicott. With his falling fortunes, his judgment and
discretion fell also; his mind, maddened by a sense of wrong, seemed
bent upon exposing itself to new wrongs. Having been broken down by
lawsuits, that had wasted his estate, he seemed to have acquired a
blind passion for them. Having destroyed his peace and embarrassed his
affairs in attempts to resist the adjudications of the Court, he
persisted in struggling against them. He had tried to push the Bishop
grant west, over the land of Nathaniel Putnam in that quarter. The
highest tribunal had settled it against him. But he appeared to be
incapable of realizing the fact. He sent his hired men to cut timber
on that land. They worked there some days, felled a large number of
trees, and hewed them into beams and joists for the frame of a house.
One morning, returning to their work, there was no timber to be found;
logs, framework, and all, were gone. They were carefully piled up a
mile away, by the side of Putnam's dwelling-house, who had sent two
teams, one of four oxen, the other of two oxen and a horse, with an
adequate force of men, and in two loadings had cleaned out the whole.
Endicott of course sued him, and of course was cast.

When the General Court had consented to give him a rehearing of the
case of the Bishop farm, they expressly forbade his making any "strip"
of the land in the mean while. But with the infatuation which seemed
to possess him, and not heeding how fatally it would prejudice his
cause at the impending hearing to violate the order of the Court, he
again sent a gang of men to cut wood on the land in controversy. The
following shows the result:--

     "Hugh Jones, aged 46 years, and Alexius Reinolds, aged 25
     years, testify and say, that we, these deponents, being
     desired by Mr. Zerubabel Endicott to cut up some wood, for
     his winter firewood, accordingly went with our teams, which
     had four oxen and a horse; and there we met with several
     other teams of our neighbors, which were upon the same
     account, that is to say, to help carry up Mr. Endicott some
     wood for his winter firewood, and when we had loaded our
     sleds, Thomas Preston and John Tarbell came in a violent
     manner, and hauled the wood out of our sleds; and Francis
     Nurse, being present, demanded whose men we were. Mr.
     Endicott, being present, answered, they were his men."

These witnesses testify that this "battle of the wilderness" lasted
two days,--Endicott's men cutting the wood and loading the teams, and
Nurse's men pitching it off. The altercations and conflicts that took
place between the parties during those two days may easily be
imagined. Whether there was a final, decisive pitched battle, we are
not informed. Perhaps there was. The woods rang with rough echoes, we
may be well assured. A lawsuit followed; the result could not be in
doubt. Endicott had no right there; he was there in direct violation
of the order of Court. Nurse was in possession, had a right, and was
bound, to keep the land from being stripped.

Shortly after this, Endicott broke down, under the difficulties that
had accumulated around him. On the 24th of November, 1683, as we have
seen, he was "sick in bed." Two days before,--that is, on the 22d of
November,--he had made his will, which was presented in court on the
27th of March, 1684. He was game to the last; for this is an item of
the will:--

     "Whereas my late father, by his last will, bequeathed to me
     his farm called Bishop's or Chickering's farm, I do give the
     said farm to my five sons, to be equally divided among
     them."

The will of his father had been declared invalid on that point, and
others. The whole thing had been conclusively settled for years; but
he never would recognize the fact. It is a singular instance of an
obstinacy of will completely superseding and suppressing the reason
and the judgment. He lost the perception of the actual and real, in
clinging to what he felt to be the right.

Every association and sentiment of his soul had been shocked by the
wrongs he had suffered. He could not walk over his fields, or look
from his windows, without feeling that a property which his father had
given to his brother had, in a manner that he knew would have been as
odious to that father as it was to him, passed into the hands of
strangers, and been used as a wedge on which everybody had conspired
to deal blows, driving it into the centre of his patrimonial acres,
splitting and rending them through and through. He brooded over the
thought, until, whenever his mind was turned to it, his reason was
dethroned, his heart broken, and under its weight he fell into his
grave.

An argument addressed by him to the court and jury, in one of the
innumerable trials of the Bishop-farm case, is among the papers on
file. It appears to be a verbatim report of the speech as it was
delivered at the time, and proves him to have been a man of talents.
It is courteous, gentlemanly, and, I might say, scholarly in its
diction and style, skilful in its statements, and forcible in its
arguments.

In all the earlier trials, the juries uniformly gave verdicts in favor
of Endicott; but Allen carried the cases up to the General Court,
which exercised a final and unrestrained jurisdiction in all matters
referred to it. It usually appointed committees or commissioners to
examine such questions, accepted their reports, and made them binding.
Lands were thus disposed of without the agency, and against the
decisions, of juries. In his arguments addressed to the General Court,
Zerubabel Endicott protested against this jurisdiction, by which his
lands were taken from him "by a committee, in an arbitrary way, being
neither bound nor sworn by law or evidence." He boldly denounced it.

     "To be disseized of my inheritance; to be judged by three or
     four committee-men, who are neither bound to law nor
     evidence,--who are, or may be, mutable in their
     apprehensions, doing one thing to-day, and soon again
     undoing what they did,--I conceive, to be judged in such an
     arbitrary way is repugnant to the fundamental law of England
     contained in Magna Charta, chap. 29, which says no freeman
     shall be disseized of his freehold but by the lawful
     judgment of his peers,--that is to say, by due process of
     law; which was also confirmed by the Petition of Right, by
     Act of Parliament, _tertio Caroli I_. And also such
     arbitrary jurisdiction was exploded in putting down the
     Star-Chamber Court; and the excessive fines imposed upon all
     such actings. See 'English Liberties,' as also the fourth
     and sixth articles against the Earl of Strafford in Baker's
     'Chronicle,' folio 518."

He closes one of his remonstrances thus:--

     "The humble request of your petitioner to the Hon. Gen.
     Court, that, as an Englishman,--as a freeman of this
     jurisdiction; as descended from him who, in his time, sought
     the welfare of this commonwealth,--I may have the benefit
     and protection of the wholesome laws established in this
     jurisdiction: that, in my extreme wrong, I may have liberty
     to seek relief in a way of law, and may not, contrary to
     Magna Charta, be disseized of my freehold by the arbitrary
     act of two or three committee-men; the fundamental law of
     England knowing no such constitution, abhorring such
     administrations: and that the Hon. Court would release your
     petitioner from the injurious effects of the said
     committee's act, and explode so pernicious a precedent."

Zerubabel Endicott was an imprudent and obstinate man, but had the
traits of a generous, ardent, and noble character. He was a physician
by profession. His second wife--the widow, as has been stated, of Rev.
Antipas Newman, of Wenham, and daughter of John Winthrop, Jr.,
governor of Connecticut--survived him. Although he left five sons, the
name, at one time, was borne by a single descendant only, a lad of
seven years of age,--Samuel, a grandson of Zerubabel. On him it hung
suspended, but he saved it. From that boy, those who bear the name in
New England have been derived. We rejoice to believe that they will
preserve it, and keep its honor bright.

Winthrop was recognized as the great leader in the early history of
the Colony. He had a combination of qualities that marked him as a
wise and good man, and gave him precedence. The eminent dignity of his
character was admired and revered by all. No one was more ready to
admit this than Endicott. Never were men placed towards each other in
relations more severely testing their magnanimity, and none ever bore
the test more perfectly. But Endicott was, after all, the most
complete representative man of that generation. He was thoroughly
identified with the people, participating in their virtues and in
their defects. He was a strict religionist, a sturdy Puritan, a firm
administrator of the law; at the same time, there are indications that
he was of a genial spirit. He was personally brave, and officially
intrepid. His administration of the government required nerve, and he
had it. Sometimes the ardor of his temperament put him for a moment
off his guard; but he was quick to acknowledge his error. He was true
to the people, who never faltered in their fidelity to him. The author
of "Wonder-working Providence" described him as "a fit instrument to
begin the wilderness worke, of courage bold undaunted, yet sociable
and of a cheerful spirit." I have presented some instances of his kind
and pleasant relations with his workmen and neighbors. His name will
ever be held in honored remembrance in this vicinity, where his useful
enterprise was appreciated; and his descendants in our day, and to the
present time, have contributed to the prosperity and the adornment of
the community.

It is not unlikely, that hostile feelings towards the Nurses, which
contributed afterwards to serious results, may have been engendered in
this long-continued land quarrel. There is evidence that no such
feeling existed on the part of the Endicotts: but there were many
others interested; for, by testimony at the trials and in outside
discussions, the whole community had become more or less implicated in
the strife. The Nurses, as holding the ground and having to bear the
brunt of defending it in all cases of intrusion, had a difficult
position, and may have made some enemies. At any rate, this
controversy was one of the means of stirring up animosities in the
neighborhood; and an account of it has been deemed necessary, as
contributing to indicate the elements of the awful convulsions which
soon afterwards desolated Salem Village.

When we reach the story, for which this account of the farms of the
village and the population that grew up on them is a preparative, we
shall come back to the Townsend-Bishop grant, and to the house, still
standing, that he built and dwelt in, upon it. It may be well to
pause, and view its interesting history prior to 1692. While occupied
by its original owner, the "mansion," or "cottage," was the scene of
social intercourse among the choicest spirits of the earliest age of
New England. Here Bishop, and, after him, Chickering, entertained
their friends. Here the fine family of Richard Ingersoll was brought
up. Here Governor Endicott projected plans for opening the country;
and the road that passes its entrance-gate was laid out by him. To
this same house, young John Endicott brought his youthful Boston
bride. Here she came again, fifteen years afterwards, as the bride of
the learned and distinguished James Allen, to show him the farm which,
received as a "marriage gift" from her former husband, she had brought
as a "marriage gift" to him. Here the same Allen, in less than six
years afterwards, brought still another bride. In all these various,
and some of them rather rapid, changes, it was, no doubt, often the
resort of distinguished guests, and the place of meeting of many
pleasant companies. During the protracted years of litigation for its
possession, frequent consultations were held within it; and now, for
twelve years, it had been the home of a happy, harmonious, and
prosperous family, exemplifying the industry, energy, and enterprise
of a New England household. A new chapter was destined, as we shall
see, to be opened in its singular and diversified history. But we must
return to the enumeration of the original landholders of the village.

George Corwin came to Salem in 1638. He had large tracts of land in
various places. He lived, a part of his time, on his farm in the
village; is found to have taken an active part in the proceedings of
the people, particularly in military affairs; and was captain of a
company of cavalry. His great mercantile transactions probably led him
to have his residence mostly in the town, first on a lot on Washington
Street, near the corner of Norman Street, where his grandson the
sheriff lived in 1692. In 1660, he bought of Ann, the relict of
Nicholas Woodbury, a lot on Essex Street, next east of the Browne
Block, with a front of about one hundred and fifty feet. Here he built
a fine mansion, in which he lived the remainder of his days. He died
Jan. 6, 1685, leaving an estate inventoried at £5,964. 10_s._
7_d._,--a large fortune for those times. His portrait is preserved by
his descendants, one of whom, the late George A. Ward, describes his
dress as represented in the picture: "A wrought flowing neckcloth, a
sash covered with lace, a coat with short cuffs and reaching half-way
between the wrist and elbow; the skirts in plaits below; an octagon
ring and cane." The last two articles are still preserved. His
inventory mentions "a silver-laced cloth coat, a velvet ditto, a satin
waistcoat embroidered with gold, a trooping scarf and silver hat-band,
golden-topped and embroidered, and a silver-headed cane." His farms in
the vicinity contained fifteen hundred acres. His connections were
distinguished, and his descendants have included many eminent persons.
The name, by male descent, disappeared for a time in this part of the
country; but in the last generation it was restored in the female
descent by an act of the Legislature, and is honorably borne by one of
our most respectable families, who inherit his blood, and cherish the
memorials which time has spared of their first American ancestor.

William Hathorne appears on the church records as early as 1636. He
died in June, 1681, seventy-four years of age. No one in our annals
fills a larger space. As soldier commanding important and difficult
expeditions, as counsel in cases before the courts, as judge on the
bench, and in innumerable other positions requiring talent and
intelligence, he was constantly called to serve the public. He was
distinguished as a public speaker, and is the only person, I believe,
of that period, whose reputation as an orator has come down to us. He
was an Assistant, that is, in the upper branch of the Legislature,
seventeen years. He was a deputy twenty years. When the deputies, who
before sat with the assistants, were separated into a distinct body,
and the House of Representatives thus came into existence, in 1644,
Hathorne was their first Speaker. He occupied the chair, with
intermediate services on the floor from time to time, until raised to
the other House. He was an inhabitant of Salem Village, having his
farm there, and a dwelling-house, in which he resided when his
legislative, military, and other official duties permitted. His son
John, who succeeded him in all his public honors, also lived on his
own farm in the village a great part of the time. The name is
indelibly stamped on the hills and meadows of the region, as it was in
the civil history of that age, and has been in the elegant literature
of the present.

William Trask was one of what are called the "First Planters." He came
over before Endicott, had his residence on Salem Farms, was a most
energetic, enterprising, and useful citizen, and filled a great
variety of public stations. He brought large tracts of land under
culture, planted orchards, and established mills at the head of
tide-water on the North River. He was the military leader of the first
age of the plantations in this neighborhood, was captain of the
train-band from the beginning, and, by his gallantry and energy in
action, commanded the applause of his contemporaries. For his services
in the Pequot Expedition, the General Court gave him and his
associates large grants of land. His obsequies were celebrated, on the
16th of May, 1666, with great military parade; and the people of the
town and the whole surrounding country followed his honored remains to
the grave.

Richard Davenport came to Salem in 1631. His first residence was in
the town; but soon he was led to the Farms. In 1636, he received a
grant of eighty acres; in 1638, of two hundred and twenty acres; and,
in 1642, eighty acres more, to be divided between him and Captain
Lothrop. Besides these, he received several smaller grants of meadow
and salt marsh. Such grants were made only with the view of having
them duly improved; and it cannot be doubted that he was zealously
engaged in agricultural operations. His town residence was on a lot
reaching from Essex Street to the North River. Its front extended from
the grounds now the site of the North Church to North Street. His
house stood at some distance back from Essex Street. This estate was
sold by his administrators, in 1674, to Jonathan Corwin, whose family
occupied it until a very recent period. He left the town in 1643, and
subsequently lived in what was afterwards Salem Village, until the
public service called him away. He sold some of his estates, but
retained others, on the Farms and in the town, to the time of his
death. He continued the superintendence of his country estate, which
seems to have been his family home, to the last. His military career
gave him early distinction, and closed only with his life. In 1634,
the General Court chose him "Ensign to Capt. Trask." He was concerned
with Endicott in cutting out the cross from the king's colors. The
following is from the record of a meeting of the court, Nov. 7, 1634:
"It is ordered that Ensign Davenport shall be sent for by warrant,
with command to bring his colors with him to the next court, as also
any other that hath defaced the said colors." Davenport did not seem
anxious to cover up his agency in this matter; for, when he offered
his next child to baptism, he signified to the assembly that he was
determined to commemorate and perpetuate the memory of the
transaction, by having her christened "True Cross." It was necessary
to make a show of punishing Endicott and Davenport on this occasion,
to prevent trouble from the home government. Soon after, we find the
General Court heaping honors upon Davenport, and finally, in 1639,
making him a grant of one hundred and fifty acres of land, specially
noticing his services in the Pequot War, which appear to have elicited
general applause. In some desperate encounters with the savages,
seventeen arrows were shot "into his coat of mail," and he was wounded
in unprotected parts of his person. He was twice deputy to the General
Court. In 1644, the General Court organized an elaborate system of
external defence, the whole based upon Castle Island, now Fort
Independence, in Boston Harbor. From that point, hostile invasion by a
naval force was to be repelled. Every vessel, on entering, was to
report to the castle, be examined and subject to the orders of the
commandant. It became the military headquarters of the colony, the
protection and oversight of whose commerce were intrusted to the
officer in command. This was the highest military station and trust in
the gift of the Government. It was assigned to Richard Davenport; and
he held it for twenty-one years, to the moment of his death. The
country reposed in confidence upon his watchful fidelity. He put and
kept the castle in an efficient condition. In 1659, as evidence of
their satisfaction and approval of his official conduct, the General
Court made him a grant of five hundred acres of land laid out in
Lancaster. On the 15th of July, 1665, he was killed by lightning, at
his post. The records of the General Court speak of "the solemn stroke
of thunder that took away Captain Davenport." The whole country
mourned the loss of the veteran soldier; and the Court granted his
family an additional tract of one hundred acres of land on the
Merrimac River. He was in his sixtieth year at the time of his death.
Of the company required to be raised in Salem for the Block-Island
Expedition, in 1636, the three commissioned officers were furnished
from the Farms,--Trask, Davenport, and Read. They were soldiers by
nature and instinct, and to the end. The volleys of devoted, faithful,
and mourning comrades were fired over their graves, with no great
interval of time. United in early service, separated by the course of
their lives, they were united again in death.

Thomas Lothrop originally lived in the town, between Collins Cove and
the North River. He became a member of the First Church in Salem, and
was admitted a freeman in 1634. He soon removed to the Farms; and his
name appears among the rate-payers at the formation of the village
parish. For many years he was deputy from Salem to the General Court;
and after Beverly was set off, as his residence at the time was on
that side of the line, he was always in the General Court, as deputy
from the new town, when his other public employments permitted. No man
was ever more identified with the history of the Salem Farms. He
contributed to form the structure of its society, and the character of
its population, by all that a wise and good man could do. During his
whole life in America, he was more or less engaged in the military
service, in arduous, difficult, and dangerous positions and
operations; acting sometimes against Indians, and sometimes against
the French, or, as was usually the case, against them both combined.
He was occasionally sent to distant posts; commanding expeditions to
the eastward as far as Acadia. He was at one time in charge of a force
at Port Royal, now Annapolis, Nova Scotia. Increase Mather calls him a
"godly and courageous commander." When the last decisive struggle with
King Philip was approaching, and aid was needed from the eastern part
of the colony to rescue the settlements on the Connecticut River from
utter destruction, the "Flower of Essex" was summoned to the field. It
was a choice body of efficient men, "all culled out of the towns
belonging to this county," numbering about one hundred men. Lothrop,
of course, was their captain. In August, 1675, they were on the ground
at Hadley, the place of rendezvous. On the 26th of that month, Captain
Lothrop, with his company, and Captain Beers, of Watertown, with his,
after a vigorous pursuit, attacked the Indians in a swamp, about ten
miles from Hatfield, at the foot of Sugar-Loaf Hill. Ten were killed
on the side of the English, and twenty-six on the side of the Indians,
who were driven from the swamp, and scattered in their flight; to
fall, as was their custom, upon detached settlements; and continuing
to waste and destroy, by fire and sword, with hatchet,
scalping-knife, torch, and gun. On the 18th of September, Lothrop,
with his company, started from Deerfield, to convoy a train of
eighteen wagons, loaded with grain, and furniture of the inhabitants
seeking refuge from danger, with teamsters and others. Moseley, with
his men, remained behind, to scout the woods, and give notice of the
approach of Indians; but the stealthy savages succeeded in effecting a
complete surprise, and fell upon Lothrop as his wagons were crossing a
stream. They poured in a destructive fire from the woods, in all
directions. They were seven to one. A perfect carnage ensued. Lothrop
fell early in the unequal fight, and only seven or eight of his whole
party were left to tell the story of the fatal scene. The locality of
this disastrous and sanguinary tragedy has ever since been known as
"Bloody Brook." In the list of those who perished by bullet, tomahawk,
or arrow, on that fearful morning, we read the names of many village
neighbors of the brave and lamented commander,--Thomas Bayley, Edward
Trask, Josiah Dodge, Peter Woodbury, Joseph Balch, Thomas Buckley,
Joseph King, Robert Wilson, and James Tufts. One of Lothrop's
sergeants, who was among the slain, Thomas Smith, then of Newbury,
originated in the village. His family had grants of land, including
the hill called by their name.

Captain Lothrop was as remarkable for the benevolence of his spirit
and the tenderness of his nature as for his wisdom in council, energy
in command, or gallantry in battle. Indeed, his character in private
life was so beautiful and lovable, that I cannot refrain from leading
you into the recesses of his domestic circle. It presents a picture of
rare attractiveness. He had no children. His wife was a kind and
amiable person. They longed for objects upon which to gratify the
yearnings of their affectionate hearts. He had a large estate. His
character became known to the neighbors and the country people around.
If there was an occurrence calling for commiseration anywhere in the
vicinity, it was managed to bring it to his notice. Orphan children
were received into his household, and brought up with parental care
and tenderness. Many were, in this way, the objects of his charity and
affections. Persons especially, who were in any degree connected with
his wife's family, naturally conceived the desire to have him adopt
their children. This was the case particularly with those who were in
straitened circumstances. Others, knowing his disposition, would bring
tales of distress and destitution to his ears. Some, perhaps, turned
out to be unworthy of his goodness. In one instance, at least, where
he had taken a child into his family in its infancy, touched by
appeals made to his compassion by the parents, brought it up
carefully, watched over its education, and become attached to it, when
it had reached an age to be serviceable, the parents claimed and
insisted on their right to it, and took it away, much against his
will. But the good man's benevolence was not impaired, nor the stream
of his affectionate charities checked, by the misconduct or
ingratitude of his wards or of their friends. His plan was to do all
the good in his power to the children thus brought into his family, to
prepare them for usefulness, and start them favorably in life. In the
case of boys, he would get them apprenticed to worthy people in useful
callings. At the time of his death, there were two grown-up members of
his family, who appear to have been foisted upon his care in their
earliest childhood. But there was no blame to be attached to them in
the premises; and they were regarded by him with much affection. There
were no relations of his own in this country in need of charitable aid
or without adequate parental protection; and it was not strange that
several of his wife's connections should have availed themselves of
the benefit of his generous disposition. She herself gives a very
interesting account of an instance of this sort, in a deposition found
wrapped up among some old papers in the county court-house. The object
of the statement was to explain how a connection of hers became
domesticated in the family.

     "When the child's mother was dead, my husband being with me
     at my cousin's burial, and seeing our friends in so sad a
     condition, the poor babe having lost its mother, and the
     woman that nursed it being fallen sick, I then did say to
     some of my friends, that, if my husband would give me leave,
     I could be very willing to take my cousin's little one for a
     while, till he could better dispose of it; whereupon the
     child's father did move it to my husband. My dear husband,
     considering my weakness, and the incumbrance I had in the
     family, was pleased to return this answer,--that he did not
     see how it was possible for his wife to undergo such a
     burden. The next day there came a friend to our house, a
     woman which gave suck, and she understanding how the poor
     babe was left, being intreated, was willing to take it to
     nurse, and forthwith it was brought to her: but it had not
     been with her three weeks before it pleased the Lord to
     visit that nurse with sickness also; and the nurse's mother
     came to me desiring I would take the child from her
     daughter, and then my dear husband, observing the providence
     of God, was freely willing to receive her into his house."

At the time when this addition was made to his family, there was
certainly already in it another of his wife's connections, who had
been brought there when an infant in a manner perhaps equally
singular, and who had grown up to maturity. The particular
"incumbrance," however, spoken of by her, related to another matter.
She was an only daughter. Her father had died many years before, at
quite an advanced age. Her mother, who was sickly and infirm as well
as aged, was taken immediately into her family, and remained under her
roof until her death. In her weak and helpless condition, much care
and exertion were thrown upon her daughter. The only objection the
captain seemed to have to increasing the burden of the household, by
receiving into it this additional child with its nurse, resulted from
conjugal tenderness and considerateness. It must be confessed that
there are some indications of well-arranged management in the
foregoing account. The friend who happened to call at the house the
"next day," and who was able to supply what the "poor babe" needed,
certainly came very opportunely; and there was altogether a remarkable
concurrence and sequence of circumstances. But all that he saw was a
case of suffering, helpless innocence, and an opportunity for
benevolence and charity; and in these, with a true theology, he read
"a providence of God." That child continued, to the hour when he took
his last farewell of his family, beneath his roof, and was an object
of affectionate care, and in her amiable qualities a source of
happiness to him and his good wife. It is stated that the children,
thus from time to time domesticated in the family, called him father,
and that he addressed them as his children. While they were infants,
he was "a tender nursing father" to them. When fondling them in his
arms, in the presence of his wife, he would solemnly take notice of
the providence of God that had "disposed of them from one place to
another" until they had been brought to him; and "would present them
in his desires to God, and implore a blessing upon them."

The picture presented in the foregoing details is worth rescuing from
oblivion. Such instances of actual life, exhibited in the most private
spheres, constitute a branch of history more valuable, in some
respects, than the public acts of official dignitaries. History has
been too exclusively confined, in its materials, to the movements of
states and of armies. It ought to paint the portraits of individual
men and women in their common lives; it ought to lead us into the
interior of society, and introduce us to the family circles and home
experiences of the past. It cannot but do us good to know Thomas
Lothrop, not only as an early counsellor among the legislators of the
colony, and as having immortalized by his blood a memorable field of
battle and slaughter, but as the centre of a happy and virtuous
household on a New England farm. He made that home happy by his
benignant virtue. Although denied the blessing of children of his own,
his fireside was enlivened with the prattle and gayeties of the young.
Joy and hope and growth were within his walls. He was not a parent;
but his heart was kept warm with parental affections. He had a home
where dear ones waited for him, and rushed out to meet and cling round
him with loving arms, and welcome him with merry voices, when he
returned from the sessions of the General Court, or from campaigns
against the French and Indians.

Besides these offices of beneficence in the domestic sphere, we find
traces, in the local records, of constant usefulness and kindness
among his rural neighbors. He was called, on all occasions, to advise
and assist. As a judicious friend, he was relied upon and sought at
the bedside of the sick and dying, and in families bereaved of their
head. His name appears as a witness to wills, appraiser of estates,
trustee and guardian of the young. He was the friend of all. I know
not where to find a more perfect union of the hero and the Christian;
of all that is manly and chivalrous with all that is tender,
benevolent, and devout.

Somewhere about the year 1650, after he had been married a
considerable time, he revisited his native country. A sister, Ellen,
had, in the mean while, grown up from early childhood; and he found
her all that a fond brother could have hoped for. With much
persuasion, he besought his mother to allow her to return with him to
America. He stated that he had no children; that he would be a father
to her, and watch over and care for her as for his own child. At
length the mother yielded, and committed her daughter to his custody,
not without great reluctance, trusting to his fraternal affection and
plighted promise. He brought her over with him to his American home.
She was worthy of his love, and he was true to his sacred and precious
trust.

Ellen Lothrop became the wife of Ezekiel Cheever, the great
schoolmaster; and I should consider myself false to all good learning,
if I allowed the name of this famous old man to slip by, without
pausing to pay homage to it. His record, as a teacher of a Latin
Grammar School, is unrivalled. Twelve years at New Haven, eleven at
Ipswich, nine at Charlestown, and more than thirty-eight at
Boston,--more than seventy in all,--may it not be safely said that he
was one of the very greatest benefactors of America? With Elijah
Corlett, who taught a similar school at Cambridge for more than forty
years, he bridged over the wide chasm between the education brought
with them by the fathers from the old country, and the education that
was reared in the new. They fed and kept alive the lamp of learning
through the dark age of our history. All the scholars raised here were
trained by them. One of Cotton Mather's most characteristic
productions is the tribute to his venerated master. It flows from a
heart warm with gratitude. "Although he had usefully spent his life
among children, yet he was not become twice a child," but held his
faculties to the last. "In this great work of bringing our sons to be
men, he was my master seven and thirty years ago, was master to my
betters no less than seventy years ago; so long ago, that I must even
mention my father's tutor for one of them. He was a Christian of the
old fashion,--an old New England Christian; and I may tell you, that
was as venerable a sight, as the world, since the days of primitive
Christianity, has ever looked upon. He lived, as a master, the term
which has been, for above three thousand years, assigned for the life
of a man." Mather celebrated his praises in a poetical effusion:--

    "He lived, and to vast age no illness knew,
    Till Time's scythe, waiting for him, rusty grew.
    He lived and wrought; his labors were immense,
    But ne'er declined to preterperfect tense.

           *       *      *       *       *

    'Tis Corlett's pains, and Cheever's, we must own,
    That thou, New England, art not Scythia grown."

To our early schoolmasters, as Mather says, and the later too, I may
add, it is owing, that the whole country did not become another
Scythia.

Ezekiel Cheever was in this country as early as 1637. He was then in
New Haven, sharing in the work of the first settlement of that colony,
teaching school as his ordinary employment, but sometimes preaching,
and in other ways helping to lay the foundations of church and
commonwealth. While there, he had a family of several children. The
first-born, Samuel, became the minister of Marblehead. In 1650, he was
keeping a school at Ipswich. About this time, he lost his wife. On the
18th of November, 1652, he married Ellen, the sister whom Captain
Lothrop had brought with him from England. They had several children;
one of them, Thomas, was ordained first at Malden, and afterwards at
Chelsea. The old schoolmaster died on the 21st of August, 1708, aged
ninety-three years and seven months. His son Thomas reached the same
age. Samuel, the minister at Marblehead, was eighty-five years old at
his death. The name of Ezekiel, jr., appears on the rate-list of the
village parish as late as 1731, so that he must have reached the age
of at least seventy-seven years.

The antiquarians have been sorely perplexed in determining the
relationship of the Cheevers and Reas, as they appear to be connected
together as heirs of the Lothrop property, in an order of the General
Court of the 11th of June, 1681.

The facts are these: Captain Lothrop married Bethia, daughter of
Daniel Rea. He died without issue, and had made no will. As he was
killed in battle, his widow undertook to set up a nuncupative will. A
snow-storm, on the day appointed to act upon the matter, so blocked up
the roads, that neither Ezekiel Cheever nor his son Thomas, who had
charge of his mother's rights, could get to Salem; and the court
granted administration to the widow. The Cheevers demanded a
rehearing: it was granted; and quite an interesting and pertinacious
law-suit arose, which was finally carried up to the General Court, who
decided it in 1681. The widow does not appear to have been actuated by
merely selfish motives, but sought to divert a portion of the landed
estate from the only legal heir, Ellen, the wife of Ezekiel Cheever,
to other parties, in favor of whom her feelings were much enlisted.
There is no indication of any unfriendliness between her and her
"sister Cheever."

Lothrop's wife had become much attached to one of her connections, who
had been brought into the family. Her husband, having been fond of
children, had often expressed great affection for those of her
brother, Joshua Rea. He had also sometimes, in expressing his interest
in the Beverly Church, evinced a disposition to leave to it "his ten
acre lot and his house upon the same," as a parsonage. Perhaps, if he
had not been suddenly called away, he might have done something,
particularly for the latter object. It appeared in evidence, from her
statements and from others, that he had been importuned to make a
will, and that it was much on his mind, particularly when recovering
from a long and dangerous sickness the winter before his death; but he
never could be brought to do it. There was no evidence that he had
ever absolutely determined on any thing positively or specifically.
His widow, who seems to have been a perfectly honest and truthful
woman, testified to a conversation that passed between them on the
subject, as they were riding "together towards Wenham, the last
spring, in the week before the Court of election." In passing by
particular pieces of property owned by him, he indulged in some
speculations as to what disposal he should make of this or that
pasture or plain or woodland. But she did not represent that his
expressions were absolute and determinate, but rather indicative of
the then inclination of his mind. In another part of her statement,
she said, "I did desire him to make his will, which, when he was sick,
I did more than once or twice; and his answer to me was, that he did
look upon it as that which was very requisite and fit should be done.
But, dear wife, thou hast no cause to be troubled; if I should die and
not make a will, it would be never the worse for thee; thyself would
have the more." It is not difficult to understand the case as it
probably stood in the mind of Captain Lothrop. Whenever the subject of
making a will, and doing kind things for the Beverly parish, and the
individuals in whose behalf his wife was so anxious, was brought up,
he felt the force, as he expressed it, "of the duty which God required
of a master of a family to set his house in order;" and he was no
doubt strongly moved, and sometimes almost resolved, to gratify her
wishes: but he remembered the solemn promise he had made to his
mother, as he parted from her for ever, and received his sister from
her hands, and every sentiment of honor, and of filial and fraternal
love, restrained him; and his mind settled into a conviction that it
was his duty to allow his sister the benefit of the final inheritance
of his property. As the particular persons to whom his wife wished him
to make bequests were her relatives, and the law would give her an
ample allowance in the use, for life, of his large landed property,
she would be able to provide for them after his death, as he had been
in the habit of doing.

The General Court took a just view of the case, and decided that she
should have the whole movable estate for her own "use and dispose,"
and the "use and benefit" for life of the houses and lands, "making no
strip nor waste;" after her death, the same to go to Ellen, the wife
of Ezekiel Cheever. The widow was to pay all debts due from the
estate, and also twenty pounds to the children of her brother, Joshua
Rea. The Court seemed to think, that, if any expectations had been
excited in that quarter, she was fully as responsible for it as her
late husband; and, as the Cheevers were to get nothing, while she
lived, out of the estate, the Court required her to pay the sum just
named to her nephews and nieces. They ordered Ezekiel Cheever to pay
five pounds as costs for their hearing the case, which he did on the
spot.

It may be mentioned, by the way, that the widow of Captain Lothrop was
married again within eight months of his death; but that was quite
usual in those days. She and her new husband concluded that it would
be troublesome to take care of Captain Lothrop's several farms. They
preferred to live in the town. She was probably over sixty years of
age. The conclusion of the whole matter was, that, in consideration of
sixty pounds paid down, they surrendered all claim whatever to the
"houseing and lands" left by Captain Lothrop, to Cheever and his wife.
They conveyed them "free and clear of and from all debts owing from
the estate of said Lothrop, and gifts or bequests pretended to be made
by him, or by any ways or means to be had, claimed, or challenged
therefrom by any person or persons whomsoever." The relict of Captain
Lothrop died in 1688.

Ezekiel Cheever and his wife, having thus become possessed of all her
brother's real estate, conveyed the lands belonging to it in Salem
Village to their son, Ezekiel Cheever, Jr. He had, for some years,
been living in the town of Salem, carrying on the business of a
tailor. He was a member of the First Church, and appears to have been
a respectable person. His dwelling-house stood on the lot in
Washington Street occupied by the late Robert Brookhouse. He sold it
to the Rev. Nicholas Noyes, on the 14th of April, 1684, removed to the
village, took possession of the Lothrop farm, and was there in time to
bear a share in the witchcraft delusion.

In 1636, a grant of land was made to Thomas Gardner of one hundred
acres. He came to this country as early as 1624, and resided at Cape
Ann. Subsequently he removed to Salem, and, with his wife, was
admitted to the church. He was deputy to the General Court in 1637.
His grant was in the western part of the township, and embraced land
included within the limits of Salem Village. The name still remains on
the same territory. His sons became proprietors of several additional
tracts in the neighborhood. One of them, Joseph, is connected, in the
most conspicuous and interesting manner, with our military history.

The destruction of Captain Lothrop and his company, on the 18th of
September, filled the country with grief and consternation; and, as
the year 1675 drew towards a close, the conviction became general,
that the crisis of the fate of the colonies was near at hand. The
Indians were carrying all before them. Philip was spreading
conflagration, devastation, and slaughter around the borders, and
striking sudden and deadly blows into the heart of the country. It was
evident that he was consolidating the Indian power into irresistible
strength. Among papers on file in the State House is a letter
addressed to the governor and council, dated at Mendon, Oct. 1, 1675,
from Lieutenant Phinehas Upham, of Malden. In command of a company,
acting under Captain Gorham of Barnstable, who had also a company of
his own, he had been on a scout for Indians beyond Mendon, which was a
frontier town. Their route had been over a sweep of territory then an
almost unbroken wilderness, embracing the present sites of Grafton,
Worcester, Oxford, and Dudley. The result of the exploration is thus
given: "Now, seeing that in all our marches we find no Indians, we
verily think that they are drawn together into great bodies far remote
from these parts." From other scouting parties, it became evident that
this opinion was correct, and that the Indians were collecting stores
and assembling their warriors somewhere, to fall upon the colonies at
the first opening of spring. Further information made it certain, that
their place of gathering was in the Narragansett country, in the
south-westerly part of the colony of Rhode Island. There was no
alternative but, as a last effort, to strike the enemy at that point,
with the utmost available force. A thousand men were raised, 527 by
Massachusetts, 315 by Connecticut, and 158 by Plymouth. Massachusetts
organized a company of cavalry and six companies of foot soldiers,
Connecticut five and Plymouth two companies of foot. All were placed
under the command of Governor Winslow, of Plymouth. The winter had set
in earlier than usual; much snow had fallen, and the weather was
extremely cold. The seven companies of Massachusetts, under the
command of Major Samuel Appleton of Ipswich, started on their march,
Dec. 10. On the evening of the 12th, having effected a junction with
the Plymouth companies, they reached the rendezvous, on the north side
of Wickford Hill, in North Kingston, R.I. On the 13th, Winslow
commenced his move upon the enemy. On the 18th, the Connecticut
troops joined him. His army was complete; the enemy was known to be
near, and all haste made to reach him. The snow was deep. The
Narragansetts were intrenched on a somewhat elevated piece of ground
of five or six acres in area, surrounded by a swamp, within the limits
of the present town of South Kingston. The Indian camp was strongly
fortified by a double row of palisades, about a rod apart, and also by
a thick hedge. There was but a single entrance known to our troops,
which could only be reached, one at a time, over a slanting log or
felled tree, slippery from frost and falling snow, about six feet
above a ditch. There were other passages, known only to the Indians,
by which they could steal out, a few at a time, and get a shot at our
people in the flank and rear. Many of our men were cut off in this
way. The allied forces had expected to pass the night, previous to
reaching the hostile camp, at a garrison about fifteen miles distant
from that point; but the Indians had destroyed the buildings, and
slaughtered the occupants, seventeen in number, two days before. Here
the troops passed the night, unsheltered from the bitter weather. The
next day, Dec. 19, was Sunday; but their provisions were exhausted,
and the supply they had expected to find had been destroyed with the
garrison-house. There could be no delay. They recommenced their march,
at half-past five o'clock in the morning, through the deep snow, which
continued falling all day, and reached the borders of what was
described, by a writer well acquainted with it, as "a hideous swamp."
Fortunately, the early and long-continued extreme cold weather of that
winter had rendered it more passable than it otherwise would have
been. But the ground was rough, and very difficult to traverse. They
were chilled and worn by their long march, following winding paths
through thick woods, across gullies, and over hills and fields. It was
between one and two o'clock in the afternoon, and the short winter day
was wearing away. Winslow saw the position at a glance, and, by the
promptness of his decision, proved himself a great captain. He ordered
an instant assault. The Massachusetts troops were in the van; the
Plymouth, with the commander-in-chief, in the centre; the Connecticut,
in the rear. The Indians had erected a block-house near the entrance,
filled with sharp-shooters, who also lined the palisades. The men
rushed on, although it was into the jaws of death, under an unerring
fire. The block-house told them where the entrance was. The companies
of Moseley and Davenport led the way. Moseley succeeded in passing
through. Davenport fell beneath three fatal shots, just within the
entrance. Isaac Johnson, captain of the Roxbury company, was killed
while on the log. But death had no terrors to that army. The centre
and rear divisions pressed up to support the front and fill the gaps;
and all equally shared the glory of the hour. Enough survived the
terrible passage to bring the Indians to a hand-to-hand fight within
the fort. After a desperate struggle of nearly three hours, the
savages were driven from their stronghold; and, with the setting of
that sun, their power was broken. Philip's fortunes had received a
decided overthrow, and the colonies were saved. In all military
history, there is not a more daring exploit. Never, on any field, has
more heroic prowess been displayed. By the best computations, the
Indian loss was at least one thousand, including the large numbers who
perished from cold, as they scattered in their flight without shelter,
food, or place of refuge. Of the colonial force, over eighty were
killed, and one hundred and fifty wounded. Three of the Massachusetts
captains--Johnson, Gardner, and Davenport--were killed on the spot.
Three of the Connecticut captains--John Gallop, Samuel Marshall, and
Robert Seely--also fell in the fight. Captain William Bradford, of
Plymouth, was wounded by a musket-ball, which he carried in his body
to his grave. Captain John Gorham, also of the Plymouth colony, was
shortly after carried off by a fever, occasioned by the
over-exhaustion of the march and the battle. Lieutenant Phinehas
Upham, of Johnson's company, was mortally wounded. Great value appears
to have been attached to the services of this officer. In the hurried
preparation for the campaign, Captain Johnson had nominated his
brother as his lieutenant. The General Court overruled the
appointment. Johnson cheerfully acquiesced, and, in a paper addressed
to the Court, assured them that he "most readily submitted to their
choice of Lieutenant Upham." This single passage is an imperishable
eulogium upon the characters of the two brave men who gave their
lives to the country on that fatal but glorious day.

Captain Gardner's company was raised in this neighborhood. Joseph
Peirce and Samuel Pikeworth of Salem, and Mark Bachelder of Wenham,
were killed before entering the fort. Abraham Switchell of Marblehead,
Joseph Soames of Cape Ann, and Robert Andrews of Topsfield, were
killed at the fort. Charles Knight, Thomas Flint, and Joseph Houlton,
Jr., of Salem Village; Nicholas Hakins and John Farrington, of Lynn;
Robert Cox, of Marblehead; Eben Baker and Joseph Abbot, of Andover;
Edward Harding, of Cape Ann; and Christopher Read, of Beverly,--were
wounded. An account of the death of Captain Gardner, in detail, has
been preserved. The famous warrior, and final conqueror of King
Philip, Benjamin Church, was in the fight as a volunteer, rendered
efficient service, and was wounded. His "History of King Philip's War"
is reprinted, by John Kimball Wiggin, as one of his series of elegant
editions of rare and valuable early colonial publications entitled
"Library of New England History." In the second number, Part I. of
Church's history is edited by Henry Martyn Dexter. Church's account of
what came within his observation in this fight, with the notes of the
learned editor, is the most valuable source of information we have in
reference to it. He says, that, in the heat of the battle, he came
across Gardner, "amidst the wigwams in the east end of the fort,
making towards him; but, on a sudden, while they were looking each
other in the face, Captain Gardner settled down." He instantly went to
him. The blood was running over his cheek. Church lifted up his cap,
calling him by name. "Gardner looked up in his face, but spoke not a
word, being mortally shot through the head." The widow of Captain
Gardner (Ann, sister of Sir George Downing) became the successor of
Ann Dudley, the celebrated poetess of her day, by marrying Governor
Bradstreet, in 1680. She died in 1713.

There is a curious parallelism between the first and the last great
victory over the Indian power in the history of America. An interval
of one hundred and sixty one years separates them. On the 19th of
December, 1836,--the anniversary of the day when Winslow stormed the
Narragansett fort,--Colonel Taylor received his orders to pursue the
Florida Indians. It was a last attempt to subdue them. They had long
baffled and defied the whole power of the United States. Every general
in the army had laid down his laurels in inglorious and utter failure.
He started on the 20th, with an army of about one thousand men. On the
25th, he found himself on the edge of a swamp, impassable by artillery
or horses. On the opposite side were the Indian warriors, ready to
deal destruction, if he should attempt to cross the swamp. He had the
same question to decide which Winslow had; and he decided it in the
same way, with equal promptness. The struggle lasted about the same
time; and the loss, in proportion to the numbers engaged, was about
the same. The results were alike permanently decisive. Okee-cho-bee
stands by the side of Narragansett, and the names of Josiah Winslow
and Zachary Taylor are imperishably inscribed together on the tablets
of military glory.

Dr. Palfrey says that Captain Nathaniel Davenport was a son of
"Davenport of the Pequot War." He was born in Salem, and brought up in
the village. His name, with those of his brave father, and his
associate in youth and in death Joseph Gardner, belongs to our local
annals. They were both the idols of their men. Davenport was dressed,
when he fell, in a "full buff suit," and was probably thought by the
Indians to be the commander-in-chief. On receiving his triple wound,
he called his lieutenant, Edward Tyng, to him, gave him his gun in
charge, delivered over to him the command of his company, and died.

There has been some uncertainty on the point whether Nathaniel
Davenport was a son of Richard, the commandant at the castle. The fact
that he was associated with William Stoughton, and Stephen Minot whose
wife was a daughter of Richard Davenport, as an administrator of the
estate of the latter, has been regarded as rendering it probable. Dr.
Palfrey's unhesitating statement to that effect is, of itself, enough
to settle the question. There is, moreover, a document on file which
proves that he is correct. Nathaniel's widow had some difficulty in
settling his estate, and applied to the General Court for its
interposition. Quite a mass of papers belong to the case. Among them
is a bill of expenses incurred by her in connection with his funeral
charges, such as, "twenty-one rings to relatives," and to those "who
took care to bring him off slain, eight pounds;" and "for mourning for
my mother Davenport, sisters Minot and Elliot, and myself, sixteen
pounds." This latter item is decisive, as we know that two of Richard
Davenport's daughters married persons of those names. It is a
circumstance of singular interest, as showing by how slight an
accident--for it is a mere accident--important questions of history
are sometimes determinable. This item, so far as I have been able to
find, is the only absolute evidence we have to the point that Richard
was the father of Nathaniel Davenport; and it would not have been in
existence, had not questions arisen in the settlement of the estate of
the latter requiring the action of the General Court. The record of
baptisms in the First Church at Salem, prior to 1636, is lost. The
names of Richard Davenport's children, baptized subsequent to that
date, are in the records of the Salem or Boston churches. As Nathaniel
is understood to have been one of the earliest born, the record of his
baptism was probably in the lost part of the Salem book.

It may be thought surprising, that so little appears to have been
known concerning an officer of his rank and parentage, and whose death
has rendered his name so memorable. To account for it, I must recur to
the history of the Narragansett expedition. No military organization
was ever more rapidly effected, or more thoroughly and promptly
executed its work. The commissioners of the three united colonies were
satisfied that the Indian rendezvous at Narragansett, where their
forces and stores were being collected and their resources
concentrated, must be struck at without a moment's delay; that the
blow must be swift and decisive; that it must be struck then, in the
depth of winter; that, if deferred to the spring, all would be lost;
that, if the Indian power was allowed to remain and to gather strength
until the next season, nothing could save the settlements from
destruction. Early in November, they formed their plan, and put the
machinery for summoning all their utmost resources into instant
action. On the 30th of November, the officers appointed for the
purpose made return, that they had impressed the required number in
the several counties and towns, fitted them out with arms, ammunition,
clothes, and all necessary equipments; that the men were on the
ground, ready to go forward. There was no time for recruiting, or
raising bounties, or substitute brokerage; no time for electioneering
to get commissions. The rank and file were ready: they had been
brought in by a process that gave no time for canvassing for offices.
A summons had been left at the house of every drafted man, to report
himself the next morning. If any one failed to appear, some other
member of the family, brother or father, had to take his place. The
organizing and officering of this force must be done instanter. All
depended upon suitable officers being selected. A company was waiting
at Boston for a captain, and a captain must be found. Some one in
authority happened to think of Nathaniel Davenport. His childhood and
youth had been passed at Salem Village and on Castle Island: on
reaching maturity, he had removed to New York, and been there for
years in commercial pursuits. A short time before, he had returned to
Boston, and engaged in business there. His father had been dead since
1665, and not many persons knew him,--only, perhaps, a few of his
early associates, and the old friends of his father: but they knew,
that, from his birth to his manhood, he had breathed a military
atmosphere,--was a soldier, by inheritance, of the school of Lothrop,
Read, and Trask; and it was determined at once to hunt him up. He was
serving at Court; taken out of the jury-box in a pending trial; and
placed at the head of the company. The accurate historian of Boston,
Samuel G. Drake, says, "Captain Davenport's men were extremely grieved
at the death of their leader; he having, by his courteous carriage,
much attached them to himself, although he was a stranger to most of
them when he was appointed their captain. On which occasion he made 'a
very civil speech,' and allowed them to choose their sergeants
themselves." He had no time to settle his accounts, arrange his
affairs, or confer with any one, but led his company at once to the
rendezvous. These circumstances, perhaps, partially explain why so
little seems to have been known of him in Boston, or to local
writers.

Besides Captains Gardner and Davenport and the men whose names have
been mentioned as killed or wounded, there were in the Narragansett
fight the following from Salem Village and its farming neighborhood:
John Dodge, William Dodge, William Raymond, Thomas Raymond, John
Raymond, Joseph Herrick, Thomas Putnam, Jr., Thomas Abbey, Robert
Leach, and Peter Prescott. There may have been others: no full roll is
on record. The foregoing are gathered from partial returns
miscellaneously collected in the files at the State House. The Dodges
(sometimes the name is written Dodds, which appears, I think, to have
been its original form), and the Raymonds (sometimes written Rayment),
were, from the first, conspicuous in military affairs. A few words
explanatory of their relation to the village may be here properly
given.

On the 25th of January, 1635, the town of Salem voted to William
Trask, John Woodbury, Roger Conant, Peter Palfrey, and John Balch, a
tract of land, as follows: "Two hundred acres apiece together lying,
being at the head of Bass River, one hundred and twenty-four poles in
breadth, and so running northerly to the river by the great pond side,
and so in breadth, making up the full quantity of a thousand acres."
These men were original settlers, having been in the country for some
time before Endicott's arrival. This circumstance gave to them and
others the distinguishing title of "old planters." The grant of a
thousand acres, comprising the five farms above mentioned, was always
known as "the Old Planters' Farms." The first proprietors of them,
and their immediate successors, appear to have arranged and managed
them in concert,--to have had homesteads near together between the
head of Bass River and the neighborhood of the "horse bridge," where
the meeting-house of the Second Congregational Society of Beverly, or
of the "Precinct of Salem and Beverly" now stands. Their woodlands and
pasture lands were further to the north and east. An inspection of the
map will give an idea of the general locality of the "Old Planters'
Farms" in the aggregate--above the head of Bass River, extending
northerly towards "the river," as the Ipswich River was called, and
easterly to the "great pond," that is, Wenham Lake. Conant, Woodbury,
and Balch occupied their lands at once. I have stated how Trask's
portion of the grant went into the hands of Scruggs, and then of John
Raymond. Palfrey is thought never to have occupied his portion. He
sold it to William Dodge, the founder of the family of that name,
known by way of eminence as "Farmer Dodge," whose wife was a daughter
of Conant. A portion of the grant assigned to Conant was sold by one
of his descendants to John Chipman, who, on the 28th of December,
1715, was ordained as the first minister of the "Second Beverly
Society." He was the grandfather of Ward Chipman, Judge of the Supreme
Court, and for some time President, of the Province of New Brunswick,
and whose son of the same name was chief-justice of that court. He was
also grandfather of the wife of the great merchant, William Gray,
whose family has contributed such invaluable service to the
literature, legislation, judicial learning, and general welfare of the
country. The Rev. Mr. Chipman was the ancestor of many other
distinguished persons. The house in which he lived is still standing,
near the site of the church in which he preached. It is occupied by
his descendants, bearing his name, and, although much time-worn, has
the marks of having been a structure of a very superior order for that
day. The venerable mansion stands back from the road, on a smooth and
beautiful lawn, bordered by a solid stone wall of even lines and
surfaces. In these respects it well compares with any country
residence upon which taste, skill, and wealth have, in more recent
times, been bestowed.

The dividing line between Beverly and Salem Village, as seen on the
map, finally agreed upon in 1703, ran through the "Old Planters'
Farms," particularly the portions belonging to the Dodges, Raymonds,
and Woodbury. It went through "Captain John Dodge's dwelling-house,
six foot to the eastward of his brick chimney as it now stands." At
the time of the witchcraft delusion, the Raymonds and Dodges mostly
belonged to the Salem Village parish and church. They continued on the
rate-list, and connected with the proceedings entered on the
record-books, until the meeting-house at the "horse bridge" was opened
for worship, in 1715, when they transferred their relations to the
"Precinct of Salem and Beverly."

When Sir William Phipps got up his expedition against Quebec, in
1690, William Raymond raised a company from the neighborhood; and so
deep was the impression made upon the public mind by his ability and
courage, and so long did it remain in vivid remembrance, that, in
1735, the General Court granted a township of land, six miles square,
"to Captain William Raymond, and the officers and soldiers" under his
command, and "to their heirs," for their distinguished services in the
"Canada Expedition." The grant was laid out on the Merrimack, but,
being found within the bounds of New Hampshire, a tract of equivalent
value was substituted for it on the Saco River. Among the men who
served in this expedition was Eleazer, a son of Captain John Putnam,
who afterwards, for many years, was one of the deacons of the Salem
Village Church.

The short, rapid, sharp, and sanguinary campaign against the
Narragansetts seems to have tried to the utmost, not only the courage
and spirit of the men, but the powers of human endurance. The
constitutions of many were permanently impaired. As much fatigue and
suffering were crowded into that short month as the physical forces of
strong men could bear. We find such entries as this in the
town-books:--"Salem, 1683. Samuel Beadle, who lost his health in the
Narragansett Expedition, is allowed to take the place of Mr. Stephens
as an innkeeper." A petition, dated in 1685, is among the papers in
the State House, signed by men from Lynn, the Village, Beverly,
Reading, and Hingham, praying for a grant of land, for their services
and sufferings in that expedition. The petition was granted. The
following extract from it tells the story: "We think we have reason to
fear our days may be much shortened by our hard service in the war,
from the pains and aches of our bodies, that we feel in our bones and
sinews, and lameness thereby taking hold of us much, especially in the
spring and fall."

While there is "reason to fear" that the days of many were shortened,
there were some so tough as to survive the strain, and bid defiance to
aches and pains, and almost to time itself. In a list of fourteen who
went from Beverly, six, including Thomas Raymond and Lott, a
descendant of Roger Conant, were alive in 1735!

The grants of land made to these gallant men and their heirs amounted
in all, and ultimately, to seven distinct tracts, called "Narragansett
Townships." They were made in fulfilment of an express public promise
to that effect. It is stated in an official document, that
"proclamation was made to them, when mustered on Dedham Plain" on the
9th of December, just as they took up their march, "that, if they
played the man, took the fort, and drove the enemy out of the
Narragansett country, which was their great seat, they should have a
gratuity in land, besides their wages." The same document, which is in
the form of a message from the House of Representatives to the Council
of the Province of Massachusetts, dated Jan. 10, 1732, goes on to say,
"And as the condition has been performed, certainly the promise, in
all equity and justice, ought to be fulfilled. And if we consider the
difficulties these brave men went through in storming the fort in the
depth of winter, and the pinching wants they afterwards underwent in
pursuing the Indians that escaped, through a hideous wilderness, known
throughout New England to this day by the name of the _hungry march_;
and if we further consider, that, until this brave though small army
thus played the man, the whole country was filled with distress and
fear, and we trembled in this capital, Boston itself; and that to the
goodness of God to this army we owe our fathers' and our own safety
and estates,"--therefore they urge the full discharge of the
obligations of public justice and gratitude. They did not urge in
vain. The grants were made on a scale, that finally was liberal and
honorable to the government.

I have dwelt at this great length on the Narragansett campaign and
fight, partly because the details have not been kept as familiar to
the memory of the people as they deserve, but chiefly because they
demonstrate the military genius of the community with whose character
our subject requires us to be fully acquainted. The enthusiasm of the
troops, when Winslow gave the order for the assault, was so great,
that they rushed over the swamp with an eagerness that could not be
restrained, struggling as in a race to see who could first reach the
log that led into the fiery mouth of the fort. A Salem villager, John
Raymond, was the winner. He passed through, survived the ordeal, and
came unharmed out of the terrible fight. He was twenty-seven years of
age. He signed his name to a petition to the General Court, in 1685,
as having gone in the expedition from Salem Village, and as then
living there. Some years afterwards, he removed to Middleborough,
joined the church in that place in 1722, and died in 1725. The fact
that his last years were spent there has led to the supposition that
he went from Middleborough to the Narragansett fight; but no men were
drafted into that army from Middleborough. It was not a town at the
time, but was organized some years afterwards. It had no inhabitants
then. Philip had destroyed what few houses had been there, and
slaughtered or dispersed their occupants.

Thus far our attention has been directed to that portion of the
population of Salem Village drawn there by the original policy of the
company in London to attract persons of superior social position,
wealth, and education to take up tracts of land, and lead the way into
the interior. It operated to give a high character to the early
agriculture of the country, and facilitate the settling of the lands.
Without taking into view the means they had to make the necessary
outlays in constructing bridges and roads, and introducing costly
implements of husbandry and tasteful improvements, but looking solely
at the social, intellectual, and moral influence they exerted, it must
be acknowledged that the benefit derived from them was incalculable.
They gave a powerful impulse to the farming interest, and introduced a
high tone to the spirit of the community. They were early on the
ground, and remained more or less through the period of the first
generation. Their impress was long seen in the manners and character
of the people. There was surely a goodly proportion of such men among
the first settlers of this neighborhood.

I come now to another class drawn along with and after the
preceding,--the permanent, substantial yeomanry with no capital but
their sturdy industry, doing hard work with their strong arms, and
striking the roots of the settlement down deep into the soil by mixing
their own labor with it. A glance at the map will be useful, at this
point, showing the general direction by which the farming population
advanced to the interior. All between the North and Cow House Rivers
was, as now, called North Fields, and is still for the most part a
farming territory. All north of Cow House River, westwardly to Reading
and eastwardly to the sea, was originally known as the "Farms" or
"Salem Farms." When the First Beverly Parish was set off in 1667, it
took from the "Farms" all east of Bass River. As Topsfield and other
townships were established, they were more or less encroached upon.
The "Farmers" as they were called, although unorganized, regarded
themselves as one community, having a common interest. The tide of
settlement flowed up the rivers and brooks, sought out the meadows,
and was drawn into the valleys among the hills.

John Porter, called "Farmer Porter," came with his sons from Hingham,
and bought up lands to the north of Duck or Crane River. His family
before long held among them more land, it is probable, than any other.
He served many years as deputy in the General Court, first from
Hingham and then from Salem. He is spoken of in the colonial records
of Massachusetts as "of good repute for piety, integrity, and estate."
The Barneys, Leaches, and others went eastwardly towards Bass River.
The Putnams followed up Beaver Brook to Beaver Dam, and spread out
towards the north and west; while Richard Hutchinson turned southerly
to the interval between Whipple and Hathorne Hills, bought the
Stileman grant, and cleared the beautiful meadows where the old
village meeting-house afterwards stood. He was a vigorous and
intelligent agriculturist, and a man of character. He died in 1681, at
eighty years of age, leaving a large and well-improved estate. His
will has this item: I give "five acres of land to Black Peter, my
servant." He had given fine farms to his children severally, many
years before his death. His second wife, who survived him, had no
children. He had come by her into possession of a valuable addition to
his estate. After distributing his property, and providing legacies
for children and grandchildren, his will left it to the option of his
widow to spend the residue of her days either in the family of his son
Joseph, or elsewhere; if she should prefer to live elsewhere, then she
should receive back, in her own right, all the property she had
originally owned; if she continued to live to her death in Joseph's
family, then her property was to go to him and his heirs. This, I
think, shows that he was as sagacious as he was just.

Richard Ingersoll came from Bedfordshire in England in 1629, bringing
letters of recommendation from Matthew Cradock to Governor Endicott.
After living awhile in town, a tract of land of eighty acres was
granted to him, on the east side of Wooleston River, opposite the site
of Danversport, at a place called, after him, Ingersoll's Point. He
there proceeded to clear and break ground, plant corn, fence in his
land, and make other improvements. He also carried on a fishery.
Subsequently he leased the Townsend Bishop farm, where he lived
several years. He died in 1644. Not long before his death, he
purchased, jointly with his son-in-law Haynes, the Weston grant. His
half of it he bequeathed to his son Nathaniel. He was evidently a man
of real dignity and worth, enjoying the friendship of the best men of
his day. Governor Endicott and Townsend Bishop were with him in his
last sickness, and witnesses to his will. His widow married John
Knight of Newbury. In a legal instrument filed among the papers
connected with a case of land title, dated twenty-seven years after
her first husband's death, she expresses in very striking language the
tender affection and respect with which she still cherished his
memory.

William Haynes married Sarah, daughter of Richard Ingersoll, and
occupied his half of the Weston grant. In company with his brother,
Richard Haynes, he had before bought of Townsend Bishop five hundred
and forty acres, covering a considerable part of the northern end of
the village territory. They sold one-third part of it to Abraham Page.
Page sold to Simon Bradstreet, and John Porter bought all the three
parts from the Hayneses and Bradstreet. It long constituted a portion
of the great landed property of the Porter family. These facts show
that William Haynes was a person of means; and the manner in which he
is uniformly spoken of proves that he was regarded with singular
respect and esteem. He died about 1650, and his son Thomas became
subsequently a leading man in the village.

There has been uncertainty where William Haynes came from, or to what
family of the name he belonged. Among the papers of the Ingersoll
family, it has recently been found that he is mentioned as "brother to
Lieutenant-Governor Haynes." There seems to be no other person to whom
this language can refer than John Haynes, who, after being Governor of
Massachusetts, removed to Connecticut where he was governor and
deputy-governor, in alternate years, to the day of his death. John
Haynes, as Winthrop informs us, was a gentleman of "great estate." His
property in England is stated to have yielded a thousand pounds per
annum. Dr. Palfrey says he was "a man of family as well as fortune;
and the dignified and courteous manners, which testified to the care
bestowed on his early nurture, won popularity by their graciousness,
at the same time that they diffused a refining influence by their
example." If William of the village was brother to John of
Connecticut, the fact that he and his brother Richard could make such
large purchases of lands, and the remarkable respect manifested
towards him, are well accounted for. The Ingersoll family traditions
and entries would seem to be the highest authority on such a point.

Job Swinnerton was a brother of John who for many years was the
principal physician in the town of Salem. He had several grants of
land, and was a worthy, peaceable, unobtrusive citizen. He seems to
have kept out of the heat of the various contentions that occurred in
the village; and, although his influence was sometimes decisively put
forth, he evidently did nothing to aggravate them. He died April 11,
1689, over eighty-eight years of age. He had a large family, and his
descendants continue the name in the village to this day. Daniel Rea
came originally to Plymouth, and in 1630 bought a dwelling-house,
garden, and "all the privileges thereunto belonging," in that town. In
1632 he removed to Salem, and at once became a leading man in the
management of town affairs. He had a grant of one hundred and sixty
acres, which he occupied and cultivated till his death in 1662. He had
but two children: one, the wife of Captain Lothrop; the other, Joshua
Rea, became the founder of a large family who acted conspicuously in
the affairs of the village for several generations. Jacob Barney was
an original grantee, and for several years a deputy. His son of the
same name became a large landholder, and, on the 5th of April, 1692,
at the very moment when the witchcraft delusion was at its height,
gave two acres conveniently situated for the erection of a
schoolhouse. He conveyed it to inhabitants of the neighborhood to be
used for that purpose, mentioning them severally by name. I give the
list, as it shows who were the principal people thereabouts at the
time: "Mr. Israel Porter; Sergeant John Leach; Cornet Nathaniel
Howard, Sr.; Corporal Joseph Herrick, Sr.; Benjamin Porter; Joshua
Rea, Sr.; Thomas Raymond, Sr.; Edward Bishop, _secundus_; John Trask,
Jr.; John Creesy; Joshua Rea, Jr.; John Rea; John Flint, Sr." Lawrence
Leach received a grant of one hundred acres; and others of the same
name and family had similar evidence that they were regarded as
valuable accessions to the population. William Dodge and Richard
Raymond had grants of sixty acres each; Humphrey and William Woodbury
had forty each. The families of Leach, Raymond, Dodge, and Woodbury,
still remain in the community of which their ancestors were the
founders. John Sibley had a grant of fifty acres. Robert Goodell was a
grantee, and became a large landholder.

The descendants of the two last-named persons are very numerous, and
have maintained the respectability of their family names. They are
each, at this day, represented by gentlemen whose enthusiastic
interest in our antiquities is proved by their invaluable labors and
acquisitions in the interesting departments of genealogy and local
history,--John L. Sibley, Librarian of Harvard University; and Abner
C. Goodell, Register of Probate for the County of Essex.

Besides Townsend Bishop, there were two other persons of that name
among the original inhabitants of Salem. They do not appear to have
been related to him or to each other. Richard Bishop, whose wife
Dulcibell had died Aug. 6, 1658, married the widow Galt, July 22,
1660. He died Dec. 30, 1674.

Edward Bishop was in Salem in 1639, and became a member of the church
in 1645. In 1660 he was one of the constables of Salem, an original
member of the Beverly Church in 1667, and died in January, 1695. He
was an early settler on the Farms; his lands were on both sides of
Bass River, the parcels on the west side being above and below the
Ipswich road. His own residence was on the Beverly side; and he was
not usually connected with the concerns of the village. His name
appears but once in the witchcraft proceedings, and then in favor of
an accused person.

Edward Bishop, commonly called "the sawyer," from the tenor of
conveyances of land, dates, and other evidences, appears to have been
a son of the preceding. In his earlier life, he was somewhat notable
for irregularities and aberrations of conduct. With his wife Hannah,
he was fined by the local court, in 1653, for depredating upon the
premises of his neighbors. During the subsequent period of his
history, he bore the character of an industrious and reputable
person. At some time previous to 1680, he married Bridget, widow of
Thomas Oliver. On the 9th of March, 1693, he married Elizabeth Cash.
He lived originally in Beverly; afterwards, at different times, on the
land belonging to his father in Salem Village,--the estate he occupied
being on both sides of the Ipswich road. His last years were passed in
the town of Salem. He died in 1705. His daughter Hannah, born in 1646,
became the wife of Captain William Raymond, one of the founders of the
numerous family of that name.

Edward Bishop, son of the preceding, called, for distinction,
"husbandman," was born in 1648. He married Sarah, daughter of William
Wilds, of Ipswich. He was a respectable person, and lived in the
village on an estate also occupied by "the sawyer." His house was west
of the avenue leading to Cherry Hill. In 1703 he removed to Rehoboth.

Edward Bishop, the eldest of his sons, married Susanna, daughter of
John Putnam, and in 1713 removed to that part of Ipswich now Hamilton.
Prior to 1695, these four Edward Bishops were all living; and the
youngest had a wife and children. All will be found connected with our
story, the second and third prominently. The fourth owed his safety,
perhaps, to the influential connections of his wife.

The first notice we have of Bray Wilkins is in the Massachusetts
colonial records, Sept. 6, 1638, when he was authorized to set up a
house and keep a ferry at Neponset River, and have "a penny a person."
On the 5th of November, 1639, the General Court accepted a report
made by William Hathorne and Richard Davenport, commissioners
appointed for the purpose, and, in accordance therewith, laid out a
farm for Richard Bellingham, who had been deputy-governor, was then an
assistant, and afterwards governor, "on the head of Salem, to the
north-west of the town; there being in it a hill, and an Indian
plantation, and a pond." This nice little farm included seven hundred
acres, and "about one hundred or one hundred and fifty acres of
meadow" beside. The next thing we hear about the matter is a petition
to the General Court, May 22, 1661, of "Bray Wilkins and John Gingle,
humbly desiring that the farm called by the name of Will's Hill, which
this Court granted to the worshipful Richard Bellingham, Esq., and
they purchased of him, may be laid to, and appointed to belong to,
Salem; being nigh its lands, and the petitioners of its society." The
Court granted the request. It seems that, about a year before, on the
9th of March, "Bray Wilkins, husbandman, and John Gingle, tailor, both
of Lynn," had bought the Bellingham farm for two hundred and fifty
pounds, of which they paid at the time twenty-five pounds, and
mortgaged it back for the residue. The twenty-five pounds was paid as
follows: twenty-four pounds in a ton of bar-iron, and one pound in
money. Wilkins had, some time before, removed from Neponset, and
perhaps had been working in one of the iron-manufactories then in
operation at Lynn. When the balance of his wages over his expenses
enabled him, with the aid of Gingle, to raise a ton of iron and scrape
together twenty shillings, they entered upon their bold undertaking.
He had not a dollar in his pocket; but he had what was better than
dollars,--industrious habits, a resolute will, a strong constitution,
an iron frame, and six stout sons. After a while, he took into the
work, in addition to his own effective family force, two trusty
kinsmen, Aaron Way and William Ireland, conveying to them good farms
out of his seven hundred acres. He enlarged his farm, from time to
time, by new purchases, so as to more than make up for what he sold to
Way and Ireland. In 1676 the mortgage was fully discharged. He and his
sons bought out the heirs of Gingle, and the work was done. They held,
free from debt, in one tract, a territory about two miles in length on
the Reading line. Each member of the family had a house, barns,
orchards, gardens, meadows, upland, and woodland; and the homestead of
the old patriarch was in the midst of them, the enterprise of his
laborious life crowned with complete success. The innumerable family
of the name, scattered all over the country, has largely, if not
wholly, been derived from this source. Bray Wilkins, and the members
of his household in all its branches, were always on hand at parish
meetings in Salem Village. Over a distance, as their route must have
been, of five miles, they came, in all seasons and all weathers, by
the roughest roads, and, in the earlier period, where there were no
roads at all, through the woods, fording streams, to meeting on the
Lord's Day. He continued vigorous, hale, and active to the last; and
died, as he truly characterizes himself in his will, "an ancient,"
Jan. 1, 1702, at the age of ninety-two.

This was the way in which the large grants made to wealthy and eminent
persons, governors, deputy-governors, and assistants, came into the
possession and under the productive labor of a yeomanry who made good
their title to the soil by the force of their characters and the
strength of their muscles. One of the terms of Wilkins's purchase was,
that, if he found and wrought minerals on the land, he was to pay to
Bellingham or his heirs a royalty of ten pounds per annum. Believing
that the best mine to be found in land is the crops that can be raised
from it, he never tried to find any other.

Bray Wilkins will appear to have shared in the witchcraft delusion,
and been very unhappily connected with it; but he lived to behold its
termination, and to participate in the restoration of reason. The
minister of the parish at the time of his death, the Rev. Joseph
Green, kept a diary which has been preserved. He thus speaks of the
old man: "He lived to a good old age, and saw his children's children,
and their children, and peace upon our little Israel."

It is rather curious to notice such indications as the mineral clause
in Wilkins's deed affords of the prevalent expectation, at the
beginning of settlements in this region, that valuable minerals would
be found in it. What makes it worthy of particular inquiry is, that
they were found and wrought for some time, but that no one thinks of
looking after them now. Simon Bradstreet, Daniel Dennison, and John
Putnam put up and carried on together, upon a large scale, iron-works,
in 1674, at Rowley Village, now Boxford. Samuel and Nathan Leonard
were employed to construct them, and carried them on by contract.
These iron-works were long regarded as a promising enterprise and
valuable investment. The Leonards were probably of the same family
that, at Raynham and the neighborhood, engaged in this business to a
great extent, and for a long period, making it a source of wealth and
the foundation of eminent families. We know that the business was
carried on extensively in Lynn, and that Governor Endicott was quite
sure that he had found copper on his Orchard Farm. Who knows but that
modern science and more searching methods of detection may yet
discover the hidden treasures of which the fathers caught a glimpse,
and their enterprises be revived and conducted with permanent energy
and success?

In 1669, Joseph Houlton testified, that, when he was about twenty
years of age, in 1641, he was "a servant to Richard Ingersoll," and
worked on his land at Ingersoll's Point. About the year 1652, he
married Sarah, daughter of Richard Ingersoll, and widow of William
Haynes. By her he had five sons and two daughters, who lived to
maturity. He gave to each of them a farm; and their houses were in his
near neighborhood. The sons were respectable and substantial
citizens, and persons of just views and amiable sentiments. The father
was one of the honored heads of the village, and lived to a good old
age. He died May 30, 1705. From him, it is probable, all of the name
in this country have sprung. It will be for ever preserved in the
public annals and on the geographical face of the country. Samuel
Houlton, great-grandson of the original Joseph, was a representative
of Massachusetts for ten years in the old Congress of the
Confederation, for a time presiding over its deliberations. He was
also a member of the first Congress under the Constitution, and
subsequently, for a very long period, Judge of Probate for the county
of Essex. He was a true patriot and wise legislator; enjoyed to an
extraordinary degree the confidence and love of the people; had a
commanding person and a noble and venerable aspect; and was always
conspicuous by the dignity and courtesy of his manners. He was a
physician by profession; but his whole life was spent in the public
service. He was in both branches of the Legislature of the State, also
in the Executive Council. He was major of the Essex regiment at the
opening of the Revolution; was a member of the Committee of Safety,
and of every convention for the framing of the Government; and, for
more than thirty years, a judge of the Court of Common Pleas. He died,
where he was born and had his home for the greater part of his life,
in Salem Village, Jan. 2, 1816, in the seventy-eighth year of his age.

In 1724 a petition was presented to the Legislature, commencing as
follows: "Whereas Salem is a most ancient town of Massachusetts
Province, and very much straitened for land," the petitioners pray for
a grant in the western part of the province. The petition was allowed
on condition that one lot be reserved for the first settled minister,
one for the ministry, and one for a school. Each grantee was required
to give a bond of twenty-five pounds to be on the spot; have a house
of seven feet stud and eighteen square at least, seven acres of
English hay ready to be mowed, and help to build a meeting-house and
settle a minister, within five years. A grandson of Joseph Houlton, of
the same name, led the company that emigrated to the assigned
location. The first result was the town of New Salem, in Franklin
County, incorporated in 1753; named in honor of the old town from
which their leading founder had come. But the people were not
satisfied with having merely a school. They must have an academy. They
went to work with a will, and an academy was established and
incorporated in 1795. This was the second result. The academy did not
flourish to an extent to suit their views, and they beset the
Legislature to grant them a township of land in the woods of Maine to
enable them to endow it. They carried their point, and in 1797
obtained the grant. The effort had been great, and great was the
rejoicing at its successful issue. But, as bad luck would have it,
just at that time land could not be sold at any price. The grant
became worthless; and deep and bitter was the disappointment of the
people of New Salem. The doom of the academy seemed to be settled,
and its days numbered and finished. But there were men in New Salem
who were determined that the academy should be saved. They met in
consultation, and, under the lead of still another Joseph Houlton, of
the same descent, fixed their purpose. They sold or mortgaged their
farms, which more than half a century of labor had rendered
productive, and which every association and every sentiment rendered
dear to them. With the money thus raised they bought the granted
tract, paying a good price for it. The preservation and endowment of
the academy were thus secured; but all benefit from it to themselves
or their descendants was wholly relinquished. It was the only way in
which the academy could be saved. Some must make the sacrifice, and
they made it. They packed up bag and baggage; sold off all they could
not carry; gathered their families together; bid farewell to the
scenes of their birth and childhood, the homes of their life, and the
fruits of their labor; and started in wagons and carts on the journey
to Boston. Their location was hundreds of miles distant, far down in
the eastern wilderness, and inaccessible from the extremes of
settlement at that time on the Penobscot. As the only alternative,
they embarked in a coasting-vessel; went down the Bay of Fundy to St.
John, N.B.; took a river-sloop up to Fredericton,--a hundred miles;
got up the river as they could, in barges or canoes, eighty miles
further to Woodstock; and there, turning to the left, struck into the
forest, until they reached their location. The third result of this
emigration, in successive generations and stages, from Salem Farms, is
to be seen to-day in a handsome and flourishing village, interspersed
and surrounded with well-cultivated fields,--the shire town of the
county of Aroostook, in the State of Maine; which bears the name of
the leader of this disinterested, self-sacrificing, and noble company.
Three times was it the lot of this one family to encounter and conquer
the difficulties, endure and triumph over the privations, and carry
through the herculean labors, of subduing a rugged wilderness, and
bringing it into the domain of civilization,--at Salem Village, New
Salem, and Houlton. It would be difficult to find, in all our history,
a story that more strikingly than this illustrates the elements of the
glory and strength of New England,--zeal for education,--enterprise
invigorated by difficulties,--and prowess equal to all emergencies.

John Burton came early to Salem by way of Barbadoes. He combined the
pursuits of a farmer and a tanner. He was a sturdy old Englishman,
who, while probably holding the theological sentiments that prevailed
in his day, abhorred the spirit of persecution, and was unwilling to
live where it was allowed to bear sway. He does not appear to have
been a Quaker, but sympathized with all who suffered wrong. In 1658,
he went off in their company to Rhode Island, sharing their
banishment. But his conscience would not let him rest in voluntary
flight. He came back in 1661, to bear his testimony against
oppression. He was brought before the Court, as an abettor and
shelterer of Quakers. He told the justices that they were robbers and
destroyers of the widows and fatherless, that their priests divined
for money, and that their worship was not the worship of God. They
commanded him to keep silent. He commanded them to keep silent. They
thought it best to bring the colloquy to a close by ordering him to
the stocks. They finally concluded, upon the whole, to let him alone;
and he remained here the rest of his life. His descendants are through
a daughter (who married William Osborne) and his son Isaac. They are
numerous, under both names. Isaac was an active and respectable
citizen of the village, and a farmer of enterprise and energy. He
carried on, under a lease, Governor Endicott's farm of over five
hundred acres on Ipswich River, and had lands of his own. In
subsequent generations, this family branched off in various directions
to Connecticut, Vermont, and elsewhere. One detachment of them went to
Wilton, N.H., where the family still remains on the original
homestead. The late Warren Burton, who was born in Wilton,--a graduate
of Harvard College in the class of 1821, and well known for his
invaluable services in the cause of education, philanthropy, and
letters,--was a direct descendant of John Burton, and as true to the
rights of conscience as the old tanner, who bearded the lion of
persecution in the day of his utmost wrath, and in his very den.

Henry Herrick, who, as has been stated, purchased the Cherry-Hill farm
of Alford, was the fifth son of Sir William Herrick, of Beau Manor
Park, in the parish of Loughborough, in the county of Leicester,
England. He came first to Virginia, and then to Salem. He was
accompanied to America by another emigrant from Loughborough, named
Cleaveland. Herrick became a member of the First Church at Salem in
1629, and his wife Edith about the same time. Their fifth son, Joseph,
baptized Aug. 6, 1645, owned and occupied Cherry Hill in 1692. He
married Sarah, daughter of Richard Leach, Feb. 7, 1667. He was a man
of great firmness and dignity of character, and, in addition to the
care and management of his large farm, was engaged in foreign
commerce. As he bore the title of Governor, he had probably been at
some time in command of a military post or district, or perhaps of a
West-India colony. His descendants are numerous, and have occupied
distinguished stations, often exhibiting a transmitted military stamp.
Joseph Herrick was in the Narragansett fight. It illustrates the state
of things at that time, that this eminent citizen, a large landholder,
engaged in prosperous mercantile affairs, and who had been abroad,
was, in 1692, when forty-seven years of age, a corporal in the village
company. He was the acting constable of the place, and, as such,
concerned in the early proceedings connected with the witchcraft
prosecutions. For a while he was under the influence of the delusion;
but his strong and enlightened mind soon led him out of it. He was one
of the petitioners in behalf of an accused person, when intercession,
by any for any, was highly dangerous; and he was a leader in the party
that rose against the fanaticism, and vindicated the characters of its
victims. He inherited a repugnance to oppression, and sympathy for the
persecuted. His father and mother appear, by a record of Court, to
have been fined "for aiding and comforting an excommunicated person,
contrary to order."

William Nichols, in 1651, bought two hundred acres, which had been
granted to Henry Bartholomew, partly in the village, but mostly beyond
the "six-mile extent," and consequently set off to Topsfield. He had
several other lots of land. He distributed nearly all his real estate,
during his lifetime, to his son John; his adopted son, Isaac Burton;
his daughters, the wives of Thomas Wilkins and Thomas Cave; and his
grand-daughter, the wife of Humphrey Case. His only son John had
several sons, and from them the name has been widely dispersed. In a
deposition dated May 14, 1694, William Nichols declares himself "aged
upwards of one hundred years." As his will was offered for Probate
Feb. 24, 1696, he must have been one hundred and two years of age at
his death.

William Cantlebury was a large landholder, having purchased
three-quarters of the Corwin grant. He died June 1, 1663. His name
died with him, as he had no male issue. His property went to his
daughters, who were represented, in 1692, under the names of Small,
Sibley, and Buxton. The Flints, Popes, Uptons, Princes, Phillipses,
Needhams, and Walcotts, had valuable farms, and appear, from the
records and documents, to have been respectable, energetic, and
intelligent people. Daniel Andrew was one of the strong men of the
village; had been a deputy to the General Court, and acted a prominent
part before and after the witchcraft convulsion. But the great family
of the village--greater in numbers and in aggregate wealth than any
other, and eminently conspicuous on both sides in the witchcraft
proceedings--remains to be mentioned.

John Putnam had a grant of one hundred acres, Jan. 20, 1641. With his
wife Priscilla, he came from Buckinghamshire, England, and was
probably about fifty years of age on his arrival in this country. He
was a man of great energy and industry, and acquired a large estate.
He died in 1662, leaving three sons,--Thomas, born in 1616; Nathaniel,
in 1620; and John, in 1628. For a more convenient classification, I
shall, in speaking of this family, refer, not to the original John at
all, but to the sons as its three heads.

Thomas, the eldest, inherited a double share of his father's lands. He
was of age when he came to America, and had received a good education.
He appears to have settled, in the first instance, in Lynn, where for
several years he acted as a magistrate, holding local courts, by
appointment of the General Court. Upon removing to Salem, he was
chosen, as the town-records show, to the office of constable. This was
considered at that time as quite a distinguished position, carrying
with it a high authority, covering the whole executive local
administration. Thomas Putnam was the first clerk of Salem Village,
and acted prominently in military, ecclesiastical, and municipal
affairs. He seems to have been a person of a quieter temperament than
his younger brothers, and led a somewhat less stirring life.
Possessing a large property by inheritance, he was not quite so active
in increasing it; but, enjoying the society and friendship of the
leading men, lived a more retired life. At the same time, he was
always ready to serve the community if called for, as he often was,
when occasion arose for the aid of his superior intelligence and
personal influence. He married first, while in Lynn, Ann, daughter of
Edward Holyoke, great-grandfather of the President of Harvard College
of that name whose son, the venerable centenarian, Dr. Edward Augustus
Holyoke, is remembered as a true Christian philosopher by the
generation still lingering on the stage. Having lost his wife on the
1st of September, 1665, he married, on the 14th of November, 1666,
Mary, widow of Nathaniel Veren; coming, through her, into possession
of property in Jamaica and Barbadoes, in which places Veren had
resided, more or less, in the prosecution of commercial business. His
homestead, as shown on the map, was occupied by his widow in 1692,
and, after her death, by her son Joseph, the father of General Israel
Putnam. He had also a town residence on the north side of Essex
Street, extending back to the North River. Its front on Essex Street
embraced the western part of the grounds now occupied by the North
Church, and extended to a point beyond the head of Cambridge Street.
He left the eastern half of this property to his son Thomas, and the
western half to his son Joseph. To his son Edward he left another
estate in the town, on the western side of St. Peter's Street, to the
north of Federal Street.

Thomas Putnam died on the 5th of May, 1686. He left large estates in
the village to each of his children, and a valuable piece of meadow
land, of fifteen acres, to a faithful servant.

Nathaniel Putnam married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Hutchinson,
and, besides what he received from his father, came, through his wife,
into possession of seventy-five acres. On that tract he built his
house and passed his life. The property has remained uninterruptedly
in his family. One of them, the late Judge Samuel Putnam, of the
Supreme Court of Massachusetts, enjoyed it as a country residence, and
it is still held by his children. Nathaniel Putnam was a deputy to the
General Court, and constantly connected with all the interests of the
community. He had great business activity and ability, and was a
person of extraordinary powers of mind, of great energy and skill in
the management of affairs, and of singular sagacity, acumen, and
quickness of perception. He died July 23, 1700, leaving a numerous
family and a large estate.

John Putnam had the same indefatigable activity as Nathaniel. He was
often deputy to the General Court, and accumulated a very great landed
property. He married Rebecca Prince, step-daughter of John Gedney, and
died on the 7th of April, 1710. He was buried with military honors. He
left a large family of sons and daughters. We shall often meet him in
our narrative, and gather the materials, as we go along, to form an
opinion of his character. The earliest rate-list in the parish record
book is for 1681. At that time the three brothers were all living; the
aggregate sum assessed upon ninety-four names was two hundred pounds.
The rate of Thomas was £10. 6_s._ 3_d._; that of Nathaniel, £9.
10_s._; that of John, £8. No other person paid as much as either of
them.

These brothers, as well as many others of the large landholders in the
village, adopted the practice of giving to their sons and sons-in-law,
outright, by deed, good farms, as soon as they became heads of
families; so that, as the fathers advanced in life, their own estates
were gradually diminished; and, when unable any longer to take an
active part in managing their lands, they divided up their whole
remaining real estate, making careful contracts with their children
for an adequate maintenance, to the extent of their personal wants and
comfort. Joseph Houlton did this: so did the widow Margery Scruggs,
old William Nichols, Francis Nurse, and many others. In his last
years, John Putnam was on the rate-list for five shillings only, while
all his sons and daughters were assessed severally in large sums. In
this way they had the satisfaction of making their children
independent, and of seeing them take their places among the heads of
the community.

Where this practice was followed, there were few quarrels in families
over the graves of parents, and controversies seldom arose about the
provisions of wills. In some cases no wills were needed to be made. It
is apparent, that, in many respects, this was a wise and good
practice. It was, moreover, a strictly just one. As the sons were
growing to an adult age, they added, by their labors, to the value of
lands,--inserted a property into them that was truly their own; and
their title was duly recognized. In a new country, land has but little
value in itself; the value is imparted by the labor that clears it and
prepares it to yield its products. In 1686, Nathaniel Putnam testified
that for more than forty years he had lived in the village, and that
in the early part of that time unimproved land brought only a shilling
an acre, while a cow was worth five pounds. In 1672, the rate of
taxation on unimproved land was a half penny per acre, and, for land
on which labor had been expended, a penny per acre. In 1685 it was
taxed at the rates of three shillings for a hundred acres of wild
land, and one penny an acre for "land within fence." The relative
value of improved land constantly increased with the length of time it
had been under culture. It may be said that labor added two-thirds to
the value of land, and that he who by the sweat of his brow added
those two-thirds, to that extent owned the land. An industrious young
man went out into his father's woods, cut down the trees, cleared the
ground, fenced it in, and prepared it for cultivation. All that was
thus added to its value was his creation, and he its rightful owner.
The right was recognized, and full possession given him, by deed, as
soon as he had opened a farm, and built a house, and brought a wife
into it.

The effect of this was to anchor a family, from generation to
generation, fast to its ancestral acres. It strengthened the ties that
bound them to their native fields. Its moral effect was beyond
calculation. When a young man was thus enabled to start in life on an
independent footing, it made a man of him while he was young. It
invested him with the dignity of a citizen by making him feel his
share of responsibility for the security and welfare of society. It
gave scope for enterprise, and inspiration to industry, at home. It
led to early marriages, under circumstances that justified them.
Joseph Putnam, the youngest son of Thomas, at the age of twenty years
and seven months, took as his bride Elizabeth, daughter of Israel
Porter, and grand-daughter of William Hathorne, when she was sixteen
years and six months old. We shall see what a valuable citizen he
became; and she was worthy of him. A large and noble family of
children grew up to honor them, one of the youngest of whom was Israel
Putnam, of illustrious Revolutionary fame.

Though there were descendants of this family in every company of
emigrants that went forth from Salem Village, in all directions, in
every generation, to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Maine, and
all parts of the New England, Middle, Western, and Pacific States,
there is about as large a proportionate representation of the name
within the precincts of Salem Village to-day, as there ever was. Fifty
Putnams are at present voters in Danvers, on a list of eight hundred
names,--one-sixteenth of the whole number. The rate-schedule of 1712
shows almost precisely the same proportion.

Edward Putnam, whom we shall meet again, was baptized July 4, 1654.
After serving as deacon of the church from its organization, a period
of forty years, he resigned on account of advancing age; and in 1733,
as he was entering on his eightieth year, gave this account of his
family: "From the three brothers proceeded twelve males; from these
twelve males, forty males; and from these forty males, eighty-two
males: there were none of the name of Putnam in New England but those
from this family." With respect to their situation in life, he
remarks: "I can say with the Psalmist, I have been young, and now am
old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor their seed
begging bread except of God, who provides for all. For God hath given
to the generation of my fathers a generous portion, neither poverty
nor riches." When the infirmities of age prevented his longer
partaking in the worship of the Lord's Day, this good old man
relinquished his residence near the church, and removed to his
original homestead, in the neighborhood of his children, which had
then been included in the new town of Middleton. His will is dated
March 11, 1731. It was offered in Probate, April 11, 1748. After
making every reasonable deduction, in view of his share of
responsibility for the earlier proceedings in the witchcraft
prosecutions, we may participate in the affection and veneration with
which this amiable and gentle-hearted man was regarded by his
contemporaries.

The provisions of his will contain items which so strikingly
illustrate his character, and give us such an insight of the domestic
life of the times, that a few of them will be presented. According to
the prevalent custom, he had given good farms to his several children
when they became heads of families. In his will, he distributes the
residue of his real estate among them with carefulness and an equal
hand, describing the metes and bounds of the various tracts with great
minuteness, so as to prevent all questions of controversy among them.
He gives legacies in money to his daughters, ten pounds each; and, to
his grand-daughters, five pounds each. To one of his five sons, he
gives his "cross-cut saw." This was used to saw large logs crosswise,
having two handles worked by two persons, and distinguished from the
"pit saw," which was used to saw logs lengthwise. All his other tools
were to be divided among his sons, to one of whom he also gives his
cane; to another, his "Great Bible;" to another, "Mr. Jeremiah
Burroughs's Works;" to another, "Mr. Flavel's Works;" and, to the
other, his "girdle and sword." To one of them he gives his desk, and
"that box wherein are so many writings;" to another, his "share in the
iron-works;" and to another, his share "in the great timber chain."
This, with other evidence, shows that there was a boom, and
arrangements on a large scale for the lumbering business, at that
time, on Ipswich River. The provisions for his wife were very
considerate, exact, and minute, so as to prevent all possibility of
there being any difficulty in reference to her rights, or of her ever
suffering want or neglect. He gives to her, absolutely and for her own
disposal, the residue of his books and all his "movable estate" in the
house and out of it, including all "cattle, sheep, swine," the whole
stock of the homestead farm, agricultural implements, and carriages.
He makes it the duty of one of his sons to furnish her with all the
"firewood" she may want, with ten bushels of corn-meal, two bushels of
English meal, four bushels of ground malt, four barrels of good
cider,--he to find the barrels--as many apples "as she shall see
cause," and nine or ten score weight of good pork, annually: he was to
"keep for her two cows, winter and summer," and generally to provide
all "things needful." The will specifies, apartment by apartment, from
cellar to garret, one-half of the house, to be for her accommodation,
use, and exclusive control, and half of the garden. The sons were to
pay, in specified proportions, all his funeral charges. One of the
sons was to pay her forthwith four pounds in money; and they were
severally to deliver to her annually, in proportions expressly
stated, ten pounds for pocket money. When the relative value of money
at that time is considered, and the other particulars above named
taken into account, it will be allowed that he was faithful and wise
in caring for the wife of his youth and the companion of his long
life. There is no better criterion of the good sense and good feeling
of a person than his last will and testament. The result of a quite
extensive examination is a conviction that the application of this
test to the early inhabitants of Salem Village is most creditable to
them, particularly in the tender but judicious and effectual manner in
which the rights, comfort, independence, and security of their wives
were provided for.

In the third generation, the three Putnam families began to give their
sons to the general service of the country in conspicuous public
stations, and in the professional walks of life. Their names appear on
the page of history and in the catalogues of colleges. Major-General
Israel Putnam was a grandson of the first Thomas. On the 14th of May,
1718, Archelaus, a grandson of John, and son of James, died at
Cambridge, while an undergraduate. Benjamin, a son of Nathaniel, in
his will, presented for Probate, April 25, 1715, says, "I give my son
Daniel one hundred and fifty pounds for his learning." Daniel lived
and died in the ministry, at North Reading. His name heads the list of
more than thirty--all, it is probable, of this family--in the last
Triennial Catalogue of Harvard University.

The brightest name in the annals of Salem Village, though frequently
referred to, has not yet been presented for your contemplation. I
shall hold it up and keep it in your view by a somewhat detailed
description, not only because it is necessary to a full understanding
of our subject, but because it is good to gaze upon a life of virtue;
to pause while beholding a portrait beaming with beneficence, and
radiant with all excellent, beautiful, and attractive affections.

Nathaniel Ingersoll was about eleven years old at the death of his
father. His mother married John Knights, of Newbury, who became the
head of her household, and continued to carry on the Townsend Bishop
farm for several years. Governor Endicott, the friend and neighbor of
Richard Ingersoll, took Nathaniel, while still a lad, into his family.
In a deposition made in Court, June 24, 1701, Nathaniel Ingersoll
says, "I went to live with Governor Endicott as his servant four
years, on the Orchard Farm." At that time, the term "servant" had no
derogatory sense connected with it. It merely implied the relations
between an employer and the employed, without the least tint of the
feeling which we associate with the condition of servility. Here was a
youth, who, by his father's will, was the owner of a valuable estate
of seventy-five acres in the immediate neighborhood, voluntarily
seeking the privilege of entering the service of his father's friend,
because he thereby would be better qualified, when old enough, to
enter upon his own estate. Governor Endicott's political duties were
not then regarded as requiring him to live in Boston; and his usual
residence was at the Orchard Farm, where he was making improvements
and conducting agricultural operations upon so large a scale that it
was the best school of instruction anywhere to be found for a young
person intending to make that his pursuit in life. Young John Putnam,
as has been stated, was there for the same purpose, under similar
circumstances.

Having built a house and barn, and provided the necessary stock and
materials, Nathaniel Ingersoll went upon his farm when about nineteen
years of age. Soon after, probably, he married Hannah Collins of Lynn,
who, during their long lives, proved a worthy helpmeet. His house was
on a larger scale than was usual at that time. One of its rooms is
spoken of as very large; and the uses to which his establishment was
put, from time to time, prove that it must have had capacious
apartments. Its site is shown on the map. The road from Salem to
Andover passed it, not at an angle as now, but by a curve. The present
parsonage of Danvers Centre stands on the lot. But Ingersoll's house
was a little in the rear of the site occupied by the present
parsonage. It faced south. In front was an open space, or lawn, called
Ingersoll's Common. Here he lived nearly seventy years. During that
long period, his doors were ever open to hospitality and benevolence.
His house was the centre of good neighborhood and of all movements for
the public welfare. His latch-string was always out for friend or
stranger. In a military sense, and every other sense, it was the
head-quarters of the village. On his land, a few rods to the
north-east, stood the block-house where watch was kept against Indian
attacks. There a sentinel was posted day and night, under his
supervision. The spot was central to the several farming settlements;
and all meetings of every kind took place there. To accommodate the
public, he was licensed to keep a victualling-house; also to sell beer
and cider by the quart "on the Lord's Day." This last provision was
for the benefit of those who came great distances to meeting, and had
to find refreshment somewhere between the services. To meet the
occasions arising out of this business, he probably had a separate
building. Indeed, the evidence, in the language used in reference to
it, is quite decisive that there was an "ordinary," distinct from the
dwelling-house. The location was thought to render such an
establishment necessary, and his character secured its orderly
maintenance.

Travellers through the country stopped at "Nathaniel Ingersoll's
corner." The earliest path or roadway to and from the eastern
settlements went by it. Here Increase and Cotton Mather, and all
magistrates and ministers, were entertained. Here the wants of the
poor and unfortunate were made known, and all men came for counsel and
advice. From the first, even when he had not reached the age of
maturity, he commanded to a singular extent the confidence and respect
of all men. The influence of his bearing and character, thus early
established, was never lost or abated, or disturbed for a moment
during his long life. He was the umpire to settle all differences, but
never made an enemy by his decisions. Although of moderate estate,
compared with some of his neighbors, they all treated him with a
deference greater than they sometimes paid to each other. It was his
lot to be mixed up with innumerable controversies, to be in the very
centre of the most vehement and frightful social convulsions, and to
act decisively in some of them; but it is most marvellous to witness
how uniform and universal was the consideration in which he was held.
These statements are justified abundantly by evidence in records and
documents.

When village business was to be transacted, or consultation of any
kind had, the house of Deacon Ingersoll was designated, as a matter of
course, for the place of meeting. Whether it was an ecclesiastical or
a military gathering, a prayer-meeting or a train-band drill, it was
there. Before they had a meeting-house, it cannot be doubted, they met
for worship in his large room. We find it recorded, that, after the
meeting-house was built, if from the bitterness of the weather, or any
other cause, it was too uncomfortable to remain in, they would adjourn
to Deacon Ingersoll's. Such a free use of a particular person's
premises sometimes engenders a familiarity that runs into license, and
is apt to breed contempt. Not so at all in his case. There was a
native-born dignity, an honest manliness and pervading integrity
about him, that were appreciated by all persons at all times. When
wrong was meditated, his admonition was received with respectful
consideration; when it had been committed, his rebuke awakened no
resentment. The fact, that he was acknowledged and felt by all to be a
perfectly just man, is apparent through the whole course of his action
in all the affairs of life. His uprightness, freedom from unworthy
prejudice, and clear and transparent conscientiousness, appear in all
documents, depositions, and records that proceeded from him. He was
often called to give evidence in land causes and other trials at law;
and his testimony is always straightforward, fair, and lucid. You can
tell from the style, temper, or tone of other witnesses, which side of
the controversy they espoused, but not from his. In the great and
protracted conflict in the courts, relating to the Townsend Bishop
farm, he and all his most intimate connections and relatives were
parties of adverse interest; but Zerubabel Endicott paid homage, and
left it on record, to the truthfulness and uprightness of the
testimony and the fairness of the course of Nathaniel Ingersoll. We
shall meet other illustrations to the same effect in the course of our
narrative.

Although it is anticipating the course of events, it may be well to
trace the outlines of the life of this man to its distant close.
Partaking of the general views of his age, he participated in the
proceedings that led to the witchcraft prosecutions. He believed in
what was regarded as decisive evidence against the accused, and acted
accordingly. But no one ever felt that there was any vindictiveness in
his course.

He lived to see the storm that desolated his beloved village pass
away, and to enjoy the restoration of reason, peace, and good-will
among a people who had so long been torn by strife, and subjected to
untold horrors,--horrors that have never yet been fully described, and
which I despair of being able adequately to depict. He did all that a
good and true man could do to eradicate the causes of the mischief. He
participated in the exercises of a day of Thanksgiving, set apart for
the purpose, in 1700, to express the devout and contrite gratitude of
the people to a merciful God for deliverance from the errors and
passions that had overwhelmed them with such awful judgments. The
removal of Mr. Parris having been effected, Joseph Green was settled
near the close of the year 1697. He was a wise and prudent man. By
kind, cautious, and well-timed measures, he gradually succeeded in
extracting every root of bitterness, healing all the breaches, and
restoring harmony to a long-distracted people. In this work, Deacon
Ingersoll and his good associate, Edward Putnam, aided him to the
utmost. When, by their united counsels and labors, the difficult work
was about accomplished, Mr. Green was taken to his reward, in 1715.
Greatly was he lamented; but Nathaniel Ingersoll had realized all his
best wishes at last. The prayers he had poured forth for fifty years
had been answered. He had seen the completed service of a pastor who
had fulfilled his highest estimate of what a Christian minister
should be. He lived to witness and share in the warm and unanimous
welcome of Peter Clark to a useful, honored, happy ministry which
lasted more than half a century. The ordination of Mr. Clark, which
took place on the 8th of June, 1717, was made the occasion of
demonstrating the complete re-establishment of social harmony and
Christian love throughout that entire community. The storms of strife
had commenced with the settlement of the first minister, more than
forty years before: they had increased in violence, until, at the
witchcraft delusion, they swept in a tornado every thing to ruin. The
clouds had been slowly dispersed, and the angry waves smoothed down,
by Mr. Green's benignant ministry. The long, and yet unbroken, "era of
good feeling" was fully inaugurated. It was a day of great rejoicing.
Old men and matrons, young men and maidens, met together in happy
union. Tradition says that they carried their grateful festivities to
the highest point allowable by the proprieties of that period. Having
witnessed this scene, and beheld the church and village of his
affections start on a new and sure career of peace and prosperity, the
Good Parishioner folded his mantle and departed from sight. He died in
1719, in his eighty-fifth year. He was truly the "Man of Ross." The
celebrated portrait, which poetry has drawn under this name, was from
an actual example in real life, not more shining than his. He left no
issue; but his brothers were the founders of a family widely
diffused, many members of which have, in every subsequent age,
contributed to the honor of the name. Innumerable branches have spread
out from the same stock under other names. The children of the late
Dr. Nathaniel Bowditch, through both father and mother, have descended
from a brother of Nathaniel Ingersoll.

Citations and extracts from documents on file will justify all I have
said of this man.

His wife was a spirit kindred to his own. Their only child, a
daughter, died when quite young. Their hearts demanded an object on
which to exercise parental affection, and to give opportunity for
benevolent care, within their own household; and they induced their
neighbor, Joseph Hutchinson, who had several sons, to give one of them
to be theirs by adoption. When this child had grown to manhood, a deed
was recorded in the Essex Registry, Oct. 2, 1691, of which this is the
purport:--

     "Benjamin Hutchinson, being an infant when he was given to
     us by his parents, we have brought him up as our own child;
     and he, the said Benjamin, living with us as an obedient
     son, until he came of one and twenty years of age, he then
     marrying from us, I, the said Nathaniel Ingersoll, and
     Hannah, my wife, on these considerations, do, upon the
     marriage of our adopted son, Benjamin Hutchinson, give and
     bequeath to him, his heirs and assigns for ever, this deed
     of gift of ten acres of upland, and also three acres of
     meadow," &c.

When Mr. Parris was settled, it occurred to Deacon Ingersoll, that it
would be very convenient for him to have a certain piece of ground
between the parsonage land and the Andover road; and he gave him a
deed, from which the following is an extract. It is dated Jan. 2,
1689.

     "To all Christian people to whom this present writing shall
     come, Nathaniel Ingersoll, of Salem Village, in the county
     of Essex, sendeth greeting. Know ye, that the said Nathaniel
     Ingersoll, husbandman, and Hannah, his wife, for and in
     consideration of the love, respect, and honor which they
     justly bear unto the public worship of the true and only
     God, and therefore for the encouragement of their
     well-beloved pastor, the Rev. Samuel Parris, who hath lately
     taken that office amongst them, and also for and in
     consideration of a very small sum of money to them in hand
     paid, with which they do acknowledge themselves fully
     contented and satisfied, do grant to said Samuel Parris and
     Elizabeth, his wife, for life, and then to the children of
     said Samuel and Elizabeth Parris, four and a half acres of
     land, adjoining upon the home field of the said Nathaniel
     Ingersoll; the three acres on the south alienated by gift,
     and the remainder by sale."

There was a fine young orchard on the land.

Joseph Houlton had conveyed to the parish a lot for the use of the
ministry, attached to the parsonage house. A question having arisen in
consequence of a lost deed, or some other imagined defect in the
Houlton title, whether the land originally belonged to him or to
Nathaniel Ingersoll, the latter disposed of it at once by an
instrument recorded in the Essex Registry, of which the following is
the substance:--

     "Nathaniel Ingersoll to the Trustees of Salem Village
     Ministry land, for divers good causes and considerations me
     thereunto moving, but more especially for the true love and
     desire I have to the peace and welfare of Salem Village
     wherein I dwell, I hereby release, &c., all my right and
     title to five acres described in my brother Houlton's deed
     of sale," &c.

In the same Registry, the following extract is found, in a deed dated
Jan. 28, 1708:--

     "For the desire I have that children may be educated in
     Salem Village, I freely give four poles square of land to
     Rev. Joseph Green, to have and to hold the same, not for his
     own particular use, but for the setting a schoolhouse upon,
     and the encouragement of a school in this place."

The Essex Registry has a deed dated Jan. 6, 1714, of which the
following is the substance:--

     "For the good affection that I bear unto Deacon Edward
     Putnam, and the desire that I have of his comfortable
     attendance upon the public worship of God, I have freely
     given unto him, the said Deacon Edward Putnam, of Salem
     aforesaid, for him and his heirs for ever, a piece of land,
     bounded northerly upon the land of Joseph Green, next to his
     orchard gate, westerly on the highway, and southerly and
     easterly on my land."

Deacon Putnam was, at this time, sixty years of age. His homestead was
at some distance; and it was often difficult for him to get to
meeting. Ingersoll had always enjoyed the convenience of having only a
few rods to go to the place of worship; and he desired to have his
beloved colleague enjoy the same privilege. Besides, he longed to have
him near. The proffer was probably accepted. We find that
church-meetings were held at the house of Deacon Putnam, which would
not probably so often have been the case, had he remained on his farm;
and we know that there were two dwelling-houses, some time afterwards,
on the Ingersoll lot. It was a pleasant arrangement: the two deacons
and the minister being thus brought close together, and reaching each
other through Ingersoll's garden and the minister's orchard. Of the
personal friendship, attachment, and genial affection between the two
good old deacons, the foregoing extract is a pleasing illustration.

Nathaniel Ingersoll's property was never very large; and, as he had
enjoyed the luxury, all his life long, of benevolence and beneficence,
there was no great amount to be left after suitably providing for his
wife. But there was enough to enable him to express the family
affection to which he was always true, and to give a parting assurance
of his devotion to the church and people of the village. By his will,
certain legacies were required to be paid by the residuary legatee and
final heir within a reasonable time specified in the document. It
bears date July 8, 1709, and was offered for Probate, Feb. 17, 1719.
It begins thus:--

     "In the name of God, Amen. I, Nathaniel Ingersoll, of Salem,
     in the county of Essex, in the Province of Massachutetts
     [Transcriber's note: so in original] Bay, in New England,
     being through God's mercy in good health of body and of
     perfect memory, but not knowing how soon my great change
     may come, do make this my last will, in manner and form
     following: First, I give up my soul to God, in and through
     Jesus Christ my Redeemer, when he shall please to call for
     it, hoping for a glorious resurrection, in and through his
     merits; and my body to decent burial, at the discretion of
     my executors; and, as for the worldly estate God hath been
     pleased to give me, I dispose of it in the manner
     following," &c.

He gives a small sum of money, varying from thirty shillings to four
pounds, to each and every nephew and niece then living, twenty-two in
number. He provides for an annuity of twenty shillings a year for a
sister, the only remaining member of his own immediate family, to be
paid into the hands of the daughter who took care of her. Not being
able to leave a large amount to any, he preferred to express his love
for all. There were two items in the will which may be specially
preserved from oblivion.

     "I give to the church in Salem Village the sum of fifty
     shillings in money, for the more adorning the Lord's Table,
     to be laid out in some silver cup, at the discretion of the
     Pastor, Deacons, and my overseers."--"After my wife's
     decease, I give to Benjamin (my adopted son) who was very
     dutiful to me, while he lived with me, and helpful to me
     since he has gone from me, all the remaining part of my
     whole estate, both real and personal,--excepting a small
     parcel of land of about two acres, that lyeth between Mrs.
     Walcots and George Wyotts by the highway, which I give to
     the inhabitants of Salem Village, for a training place for
     ever."

The bonds required of the executors by the Probate Court were to the
amount of two hundred pounds only, showing that his movable or
personal estate was a very moderate one. There is a feature in the
will, which is, I think, worthy of being mentioned, as evincing the
excellent judgment and practical wisdom of this man.

     "I give to Hannah, my well-beloved wife, the use and
     improvement of my whole estate during her natural life: and
     my will is, that, if my wife should marry again, he that she
     so marrieth, before she marry, shall give sufficient
     security to my overseers not to make strip or waste upon any
     of my estate; and, if he do not become so bound, I give
     one-half of my whole estate to Benjamin Hutchinson, at the
     time of my wife's marriage."

He did not cut her off entirely, as is sometimes attempted to be done,
in the event of a second marriage, but secured her and the estate
against suffering in case she took that step. He adopted an effectual
method to prevent any one from seeking to marry her for the purpose of
getting the benefit of her whole income and a comfortable
establishment upon his property without providing for its
preservation; and, if she should be so improvident as to marry again
without having his conditions complied with, he took care that she
should not thereby expose to injury or loss more than one-half of his
estate. Ingenuity is much exercised in making wills, particularly in
reference to the rights, interests, and security of wives. It is
worthy of consideration, whether, all things considered, Nathaniel
Ingersoll's plan is not about as skilful and just as any that has been
devised.

We shall meet this man again in the course of our story. I trust to
your good feeling in vindication of the space I have given to his
biography; being strongly impressed with a conviction, that you will
agree with me,--taking into view the influence he constantly exerted,
his steadfast integrity and honor, his personal dignity and public
spirit,--that the life of this citizen of a retired rural community,
this plain "husbandman," is itself a monument to his memory more truly
glorious than many which have been reared to perpetuate the names of
men whom the world has called great. The "training place" has been
carefully preserved. Occupying a central point, by the side of the
principal street, this pretty lawn is a fitting memorial of the Father
of the village. In its proper character, as a training-field, it is
invested with an interest not elsewhere surpassed, if equalled. Within
its enclosure the elements of the military art have been imparted to a
greater number of persons distinguished in their day, and who have
left an imperishable glory behind them as the defenders of the
country, a brave yeomanry in arms, than on any other spot. It was
probably used as a training field at the first settlement of the
village. From the slaughter of Bloody Brook, the storming of the
Narragansett Fort, and all the early Indian wars; from the Heights of
Abraham, Lake George, Lexington, Bunker Hill, Brandywine, Pea Ridge,
and a hundred other battle-fields, a lustre is reflected back upon
this village parade-ground. It is associated with all the military
traditions of the country, down to the late Rebellion. Lothrop,
Davenport, Gardners, Dodges, Raymonds, Putnams, Porters, Hutchinsons,
Herricks, Flints, and others, who here taught or learned the manual
and drill, are names inscribed on the rolls of history for deeds of
heroism and prowess.

There was the usual diversity and variety of character among the
people of the village. John Procter originally lived in Ipswich, where
he, as well as his father before him, had a farm of considerable
value. In 1666, or about that time, he removed to Salem, and carried
on the Downing farm, which had before been leased to the Flints. After
a while, Procter purchased a part of it. If a conclusion can be drawn
from the prevalent type of his posterity of our day, he was a man of
herculean frame. There is, I think, a tradition to this effect. At any
rate, his character was of that stamp. He had great native force and
energy. He was bold in his spirit and in his language,--an upright
man, no doubt, as the whole tone of the memorials of him indicate, but
free and imprudent in speech, impulsive in feeling, and sometimes rash
in action. He was liable from this cause, as we shall see, to get into
contention and give offence. There was Jeremiah Watts, a
representative of a class of men existing in every community where the
intellect is stimulated and idiosyncrasies allowed to develop
themselves. By occupation he was a dish-turner, but by temperament an
enthusiast, a zealot, and an agitator. He was not satisfied with
things as they were, nor willing to give time an opportunity to
improve them. He took hold of the horns of the altar with daring
hands. He denounced the Church and the world,--undertook to overturn
every thing, and to put all on a new foundation. He entered on a
crusade against what he called "pulpit preaching," whereby particular
persons, called ministers, "may deliver what they please, and none
must object; and this we must pay largely for; our bread must be taken
out of our mouths, to maintain the beast's mark; and be wholly
deprived of our Christian privileges. This is the time of Antichrist's
reign, and he must reign this time: now are the witnesses slain, and
the leaders in churches are these slayers. But I see plainly that it
is a vain thing to debate about these things with our fellow-brethren;
for they are all for lording it, and trampling under foot." This man
imagined that he "was singled out alone to give his testimony for
Christ, discovering Antichrist's marks." "If any," he cried out, "will
be faithful for Christ, they must witness against Antichrist, which is
self-love, and lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. The
witnesses are now slain, but shortly they will rise again," &c. He
tried to get up "private Christian meetings," to run an opposition to
"pulpit preaching." After going about from house to house, declaiming
in this style, denouncing all who would not fall in with his notions
and act with him, and not succeeding in overthrowing things in
general, he hit upon a new expedient. As his neighbors had wit enough
to let him alone, and did not suffer themselves to be tempted to
resort to the civil power to make him keep quiet, he did it himself.
He instituted proceedings against the ministers and churches, on the
charge, that, by taking the rule into their own hands, they were
supplanting the magistrates and usurping the civil power. This was not
in itself a bad move; but the Court wisely declined to engage in the
proceedings. They neither prosecuted the case nor him, but let the
whole go by. They adhered severely to the do-nothing policy. What a
world of mischief would have been avoided, if all courts, everywhere,
at all times, had shown an equal wisdom! Watts was allowed to vex the
village, torment the minister, and perplex those who listened to him
by the ingenuity and ability with which he urged his views. He
continued his brawling declamations until he was tired; but, not being
noticed by ministers or magistrates, no great harm was done, and he
probably subsided into a quiet and respectable citizen.

The prominent place Giles Corey is to occupy in the scene before us
renders an account of him particularly necessary. It is not easy to
describe him. He was a very singular person. His manner of life and
general bearing and conversation were so disregardful, in many
particulars, of the conventional proprieties of his day, that it is
not safe to receive implicitly the statements made by his
contemporaries. By his peculiarities of some sort, he got a bad name.
In the Book of Records of the First Church in Salem, where his public
profession of religion is recorded, he is spoken of as a man of eighty
years of age, and of a "scandalous life," but who made a confession of
his sins satisfactory to that body. It cannot be denied that he was
regarded in this light by some; but there is no reason to believe,
that, in referring to the sinfulness of his past life, the old man
meant more than was usually understood by such language on such
occasions. He was often charged with criminal acts; but in every
instance the charge was proved to be either wholly unfounded or
greatly exaggerated. He had a good many contentions and rough
passages; but they were the natural consequences, when a bold and
strong man was put upon the defensive, or drawn to the offensive, by
the habit of inconsiderate aspersion into which some of his neighbors
had been led, and the bad repute put upon him by scandal-mongers. He
was evidently an industrious, hard-working man. He was a person of
some means, a holder of considerable property in lands and other
forms. Deeds are often found on record from and to him. He owned
meadows near Ipswich River. His homestead, during the last thirty
years of his life, was a farm of more than a hundred acres of very
valuable land, which has been in the possession of the family, now
owning it, for a hundred years. The present proprietor, Mr. Benjamin
Taylor, some twenty years ago, ploughed up the site of Corey's
dwelling-house; the vestiges of the cellar being then quite visible.
It was near the crossing of the Salem and Lowell, and Georgetown and
Boston Railroads, about three hundred feet to the west of the
crossing, and close to the track of the former road, on its south
side. The spot is surrounded by beautiful fields; and their aspect
shows that it must have been, in all respects, an eligible estate.
What is now known as "the Curtis Field" is a part of Corey's farm.

Giles Corey lived previously, for some time, in the town of Salem. He
sold his house there in 1659. The contract with a carpenter for
building his farmhouse is preserved. It was stipulated to be erected
"where he shall appoint." While the carpenter was getting out the
materials, he selected and bought the farm, on which he lived ever
afterwards. The house was to be "twenty feet in length, fifteen in
breadth, and eight feet stud." Nothing strikes us more, as strange and
unaccountable, than the small size of houses in those days. One would
have thought, that, where wood was so plenty and near at hand, and
land of no account, they would have built larger houses. In a letter,
dated Nov. 16, 1646, from Governor Winthrop to his son John, of
Connecticut, he gives an account "of a tempest (than which I never
observed a greater);" and mentions that the roof of "Lady Moody's
house, at Salem," with all of the chimney above it, was blown off in
two parts, and "carried six or eight rods. Ten persons lay under it,
and knew not of it till they arose in the morning." The house had a
flat roof, was of one story, and nine feet in height! Lady Deborah
Moody was a person of high position, a connection of Sir Henry Vane,
and a woman of property. She bought Mr. Humphreys' great plantation.
But, like Townsend Bishop, she was dealt with, and compelled to quit
the colony, on account of her doubts about infant baptism. Winthrop
calls her a "wise and anciently religious woman." She went to Long
Island, where her influence was so important, that Governor Stuyvesant
consulted her in his administration, and conceded to her the
nomination of magistrates. It seems very strange that such a lady
should have had a house only nine feet high. The early houses were
built either as temporary structures or with a view to enlargement.
Perhaps Lady Moody intended to add a story to hers. They were
low-studded for warmth. The farm-houses generally were designed to be
increased in length, when convenience required. The chimney was very
large, placed at one end, and so constructed, that, on the extension
of the building, fire-places could be opened into it on the new end. A
building of twenty feet was prepared to become one of forty feet in
width or length, as the case might be; and then the chimney would be
in the middle of it.

As has been intimated, Corey was in bad repute. Either he was a
lawless man, or much misunderstood. I am inclined to the latter
opinion. He belonged to that class of persons, instances of which we
occasionally meet, who care little about the opinions or the talk of
others. On one occasion, he was going into town with a cartload of
wood. He met Anthony Needham, in company with John Procter whose
house he had just passed. Procter accosted him thus: "How now, Giles,
wilt thou never leave thy old trade? Thou hast got some of my wood
here upon thy cart." Corey answered, "True, I did take two or three
sticks to lay behind the cart to ease the oxen, because they bore too
hard." This shows the free way in which Procter bantered with Corey,
and the slight account the latter made of it. But the thing before
long got to be too serious to be trifled with. It became the fashion
to charge all sorts of offences against Corey; and, whatever any one
lost or mislaid, he was considered as having abstracted it. The gossip
against him was quite unrestrained, and created a bitter and angry
feeling in the neighborhood. In the winter of 1676, a man named
Goodell, who had been working on Corey's farm, was carried home to his
friends by Corey's wife, in a feeble state of health, and died soon
after. It was whispered about, and before long openly asserted, that
he had come to his death in consequence of having been violently
beaten by Corey, who was accordingly arrested and brought to trial for
killing the man. There was a great excitement against him. He probably
had punished the man severely for some alleged misconduct; and it was
charged that the castigation had been so unmerciful and excessive as
to have broken down his constitution and caused his death. There was
conflicting evidence going to show that the man had been beaten, for
some misconduct, after he had returned to his family. It was a
circumstance in favor of Corey, that his wife had taken the invalid
to his home; and there was no evidence of any ill feeling between her
and the sick man during a stop they made at Procter's house on their
way. The death, too, it was supposed by some, might have resulted from
ordinary disease, and not from whipping, either at Corey's or at home.
The result was, that, notwithstanding the prejudice against Corey, he
was discharged on paying a fine; showing that the Court did not
consider it a very serious offence. We shall hear of this affair
again.

In the year 1678, there was a suit at law between Corey and a man
named John Gloyd, a laborer on his farm, on a question of wages. The
case was, by agreement of the parties, passed out of court into the
hands of arbitrators mutually chosen. John Procter was one of the
arbitrators, and, as it would seem, chosen as the friend of Gloyd:
Nathaniel Putnam and Edmund Bridges were the others; one of them
chosen by Corey, and the other mutually agreed upon. They brought in
their award. Its precise character is not stated; but the
circumstances indicate that it was favorable to Gloyd. The conduct of
Corey on this occasion shows, that, though a rough man perhaps, and
liable, from his peculiar ways, to be harshly spoken of, he had, after
all, a generous, forgiving, and genial nature. Nathaniel Putnam and
Edmund Bridges state, that, when they brought in their award, "it was
greatly to the satisfaction of the parties concerned; and Giles Corey
did manifest as much satisfaction, and gave as many thanks to every
one of us, as ever we heard; and Goodman Corey did manifest, to our
observation, as much satisfaction to John Procter as he did to the
rest of the arbitrators." Captain Moore, being by when the award was
brought in, says, "I did see and take notice of the abundance of love
manifested from Corey to Procter, and from Procter to Corey: for they
drank wine together; and Procter paid for part, and Corey for part."

This remarkable overflow of affection between these two men is
rendered interesting, not merely by the collisions into which, before
and after, their impulsive and imprudent natures brought them, but by
the part they were destined to enact in an impending tragedy, which
was to bring them to a fearful end in a manner and on a scene that
will arrest the notice of all ages, and attest to their strong
characters and heroic spirit. The passage has a unique interest, and
is worthy of a painter.

It happened unfortunately, that, a few days after the loving embraces
of these hardy men, Procter's house took fire. According to their
habit, some of the neighbors at once started the idea, that Corey had
set fire to it because of the award of the arbitrators, of whom
Procter was one. Under the excitement of the conflagration, with his
usual rashness, and forgetting the pledges of reconciliation that had
just passed between them, Procter fell in with the accusation, and
Corey was brought to trial. It appeared, in evidence, that John Phelps
and Thomas Fuller, who lived on the western borders of the village,
near Ipswich River, coming along the road towards Procter's Corner
about two hours before daylight, on the way probably to Salem market,
saw his roof on fire, gave the alarm, and stopped to help put it out.
Thomas Gould and Thomas Flint thought it must be the work of an
incendiary, or of "an evil hand," as they expressed it, from the place
where it took and the hour when it occurred. On the other hand, it was
testified by James Poland and Caleb and Jane Moore, that they heard
John Procter say that his boy carried a lamp and set the fire by
accident. This was said by him, probably before the idea of Corey's
agency in the matter had been put into his head. The prisoner proved
an _alibi_ by the most conclusive evidence, which is so curious, as
giving an insight of a farmer's life at that time, and of Corey's
domestic condition, that it may well be inserted.

Abraham Walcot testifies, that, "Tuesday night last was a week, I
lodged at Giles Corey's house, which night John Procter's house was
damaged by fire; and Giles Corey went to bed before nine o'clock, and
rose about sunrise again, and could not have gone out of the house but
I should have heard him; and it must have been impossible that he
should have gone to Procter's house that night; for he cannot in a
long time go afoot, and, for his horse-kind, they were all in the
woods. And further testifieth, that said Corey came home very weary
from work, and went to bed the rather." His wife testified that he was
in bed from nine o'clock until sunrise.

John Parker, one of Corey's four sons-in-law, testified as follows: "I
being at work with my father, Goodman Corey, the day Goodman Procter's
house was on fire. I going home with my father the night before, he
complained that he was very weary, and said he would go to bed. I did,
on our way going, ask him whether or no he would eat his supper: my
father answered me again, no, he could not eat any thing that night;
and so went to bed, and so I left him abed. And, the next morning, my
father came to me about sun-rising, and asked me to go with Abraham
Walcot to fetch a load of hay; and my father said he would try whether
or not he could cart up a load of peas. I do also testify that he had
no horse-kind near at home at that time."

John Gloyd, the hired man, with whom he had the lawsuit that had been
settled a day or two before by arbitrators, testified, in
corroboration of Parker, and to show that the latter could not have
had any thing to do with the fire, that he slept in the same room with
said Parker that night, and that he came to bed between nine and ten
o'clock in the evening, and never rose until the break of day. Gloyd's
wife testified to the same effect. There turned out to be no evidence
against Corey whatever, but abundant proof of his innocence. The
hard-working, "weary" old man was triumphantly acquitted. He thought,
however, from this high-handed and utterly groundless attempt to wrong
and ruin him, and from calumnious general statements that had been
made against him in the course of the trial, that it was time to put
a stop to the malignant and mischievous slanders which had been
current in the neighborhood. He instituted prosecutions of Procter and
others for defamation, and recovered against them all. After this, we
hear no more of him until he experienced religion and was received
into the First Church. Whether he and Procter became reconciled again
is not known. Probably they did; for they seem to have had points of
attraction, and each of them traits of kind-heartedness and
generosity, under a rather rough exterior. The manner in which they
bore themselves in their last hours is a matter of history, and stamps
them both with true manliness.

The incidents which have now been related, and the peculiar traits of
this man, are perhaps sufficient to account for the fact, that he was
spoken of as a person of "a scandalous" life. He had afforded food for
scandal; and it is not surprising, that, in a rural community, where
but few topics for talk occur beyond the village boundaries, all
should have participated, more or less, in criticising his ways, and
that the various difficulties into which he had been drawn, and the
charges against him, should have made him the object of much
prejudice. His wife Martha was also a noticeable character. She was a
professor of religion, a member of the village church, and found her
chief happiness in attendance upon public worship and in private
devotions. Much of her time--indeed, all that she could rescue from
the labors of the household--was spent in prayer. She was a woman of
spirit and pluck, as we shall see.

Another notability of the village was Bridget Bishop. In 1666--then
the widow Wasselbe--she was married to Thomas Oliver. After his death,
she became the wife of Edward Bishop, who is spoken of as a "sawyer."
This term did not describe the same occupation then to which it is
almost wholly applied now. Firewood, in those days, was not, as a
general thing, sawed, but chopped. The sawyer got out boards and
joists, beams, and timber of all kinds, from logs; and before mills
were constructed, or where they were not conveniently accessible, it
was an indispensable employment, and held a high rank among the
departments of useful industry. It was in constant requisition in
shipyards. It was a manly form of labor, requiring a considerable
outlay of apparatus, and developing finely the whole muscular
organization. The implement employed, beside the ordinary tools, such
as wedges, beetles, the broad-axe, chains, and crowbar, was a strong
steel cutting-plate, of great breadth, with large teeth, highly
polished and thoroughly wrought, some eight or ten feet in length,
with a double handle, crossing the plate at each end at a right angle.
It was worked by two men, and called a "pit-saw," because sometimes
the man at the lower handle stood in a deep pit, dug for the purpose,
and called a "saw-pit." But, among the early settlers, the usual
method was to make a frame of strong timbers. The log to be sawed was
raised by slings, or slid up an inclined plane, and placed upon
cross-beams. Above it, a scaffolding was made on which one man stood;
the other stood on the ground below. They each held the saw by both
hands, and worked in unison. The log was pushed along by handspikes as
they reached the cross-timbers, and wedges were used to keep the cleft
open, that the saw might work free. So important was this business
considered, that, from time to time, the General Court regulated by
law the rates of pay to the sawyer. If a farmer had suitable
woodlands, he provided in many cases a saw-frame or saw-pit of his
own, got out his logs, and worked them into boards or square timber
for sale. This was a profitable business.

Edward Bishop had resided, for some seven years previous to the
witchcraft delusion, within the limits of Salem, near the Beverly
line. His wife Bridget was a singular character, not easily described.
She kept a house of refreshment for travellers, and a shovel-board for
the entertainment of her guests, and generally seems to have
countenanced amusements and gayeties to an extent that exposed her to
some scandal. She is described as wearing "a black cap and a black
hat, and a red paragon bodice," bordered and looped with different
colors. This would appear to have been rather a showy costume for the
times. Her freedom from the austerity of Puritan manners, and
disregard of conventional decorum in her conversation and conduct,
brought her into disrepute; and the tongue of gossip was generally
loosened against her. She was charged with witchcraft, and actually
brought to trial on the charge, in 1680, but was acquitted; the
popular mind not being quite ripe for such proceedings as took place
twelve years afterwards. She still continued to brave public
sentiment, lived on in the same free and easy style, paying no regard
to the scowls of the sanctimonious or the foolish tittle-tattle of the
superstitious. She kept her house of entertainment, shovel-board, and
other appurtenances. Sometimes, however, she resented the calumnies
circulated about her being a witch, in a manner that made it to be
felt that it was best to let her alone. A man called one day at the
house of Samuel Shattuck, where there was a sick child. He was a
stranger to the inmates of the family, and evidently had come to the
place to make trouble for Bridget Bishop. He pretended great pity for
the child, and said, among other things, in an oracular way, "We are
all born, some to one thing, and some to another." The mother asked
him what he thought her poor, suffering child was born to. He replied,
"He is born to be bewitched, and is bewitched: you have a neighbor,
that lives not far off, who is a witch." The good woman does not
appear to have entertained any suspicion of the kind; but the man
insisted on the truth of what he had affirmed. He succeeded in
exciting her feelings on the subject, and, by vague insinuations and
general descriptions of the witch, led her mind to fix upon Bridget
Bishop. He said he should go and see her, and that he could bring her
out as the afflicter of her child. She consented to let another of
her boys go with him, and show the way. They proceeded to the house,
and knocked at the door. Bridget opened it, and asked what he would
have: he said a pot of cider. There was something in the manner of the
man which satisfied her that he had come with mischievous intent. She
ordered him off, seized a spade that happened to be near, drove him
out of her porch, and chased him from her premises. When he and the
boy got back, they bore marks of the bad luck of the adventure. Such
things had perhaps happened before, and it was found that whoever
provoked her resentment was very likely to come off second best from
the encounter; yet Bridget was a member of Mr. Hale's Church in
Beverly, and retained her standing in full fellowship there. It must
have been thought, by the pastor and members of that church, that no
charge seriously affecting her moral or Christian character was justly
imputable to her.

The traveller of to-day, in passing over Crane-river Bridge,
approaching the present village of "The Plains," near the eastern end
of the Townsend Bishop or Nurse farm, will notice a roadway by the
side of the bridge descending through the brook and going up to rejoin
the main road on the other side. Such turnouts are frequent by the
side of bridges over small streams. They are refreshing and useful,
cooling the feet and cleansing the fetlocks of horses, and washing the
wheels of carriages. One afternoon, Edward Bishop, with his wife
behind him on a pillion, was riding home from Salem. Two women,
mounted in the same way, joined them; and they chatted together
pleasantly as their horses ambled along. When they came to the bridge,
Bishop, probably merely for the fun of the thing, dashed down into the
brook, instead of going over the bridge, to the great consternation
and against the vehement remonstrances of his wife, who berated him
soundly for his reckless disregard of her safety. They got through
without accident; and the four jogged on together until the Bishops
turned up to their house, and the other two kept on to their home in
Beverly. But all the way from the bridge, until they parted company,
Bishop was finding great fault with his wife, saying that he should
not have been sorry if any mishap had occurred. She did not say much
after her first fright and resentment were over; but he kept on
talking very freely about her, and using some pretty hard language.
This affair, which perhaps is not without a parallel in the occasional
experiences of married life, was, with other things of an equally
trivial and irrelevant character, brought to bear fatally against her
at her trial on the charge of witchcraft, between seven and eight
years afterward.

I can find no evidence against the moral character of this woman. One
person, at least, who participated largely in getting up accusations
against her, acknowledged, in a death-bed repentance, the wrong she
had done. Mr. Hale, the minister of the Beverly congregation, states,
in a deposition, that a certain woman, "being in full communion in our
church, came to me to desire that Goodwife Bishop, her neighbor, wife
of Edward Bishop, Jr., might not be permitted to receive the Lord's
Supper in our church till she had given her satisfaction for some
offences that were against her; namely, because the said Bishop did
entertain people in her house at unseasonable hours in the night, to
keep drinking and playing at shovel-board, whereby discord did arise
in other families, and young people were in danger to be corrupted;
that she knew these things, and had once gone into the house, and,
finding some at shovel-board, had taken the pieces they played with
and thrown them into the fire, and had reproved the said Bishop for
promoting such disorders, but received no satisfaction from her about
it." According to Mr. Hale's statement, the night after this complaint
was brought to him, the woman was found to be distracted. "She
continuing some time distracted, we sought the Lord by fasting and
prayer." After a while, the woman recovered her senses, and, as Mr.
Hale says he understood, expressed a suspicion "that she had been
bewitched by Bishop's wife." He declares that he did not, at the time,
countenance the idea, "hoping better of Goody Bishop." He says
further, that he "inquired of Margaret King, who kept at or near the
house," what she had observed concerning the woman who had been
distracted. "She told me that she was much given to reading and
searching the prophecies of Scripture." At length the woman appeared
to have entirely recovered, went to Goody Bishop, gave satisfaction
for what she had said and done against her, and they became friends
again. Mr. Hale goes on to say, "I was oft praying with and
counselling of her before her death." She earnestly desired that
"Edward Bishop might be sent for, that she might make friends with
him. I asked her if she had wronged Edward Bishop. She said, not that
she knew of, unless it were in taking his shovel-board pieces, when
people were at play with them, and throwing them into the fire; and,
if she did evil in it, she was very sorry for it, and desired he would
be friends with her, or forgive her. This was the very day before she
died." That night her distemper returned, and, in a paroxysm of
insanity, she destroyed herself.

It is evident, from his own account, that Mr. Hale did not then fall
in with, or countenance at all, any unfavorable impressions against
Bridget Bishop; and that the poor diseased woman, when entirely free
from her malady, repented bitterly of what she had done and said of
Goodman Bishop and his wife, and heartily desired their forgiveness.
So far as the facts stated by Mr. Hale of his own knowledge go, they
prove that Bridget Bishop was the victim of gross misrepresentation.
Five years afterwards, as we shall see, Mr. Hale gave a very different
version of the affair, and one which it is extremely difficult to
reconcile with his own former deliberate convictions at the time when
the circumstances occurred.

As it is my object to bring before you every thing that may help to
explain the particular occurrences embraced in the account I am to
give of the witchcraft prosecutions, two other persons must be
mentioned before concluding this branch of my subject,--George Jacobs,
Sr., and his son George Jacobs, Jr. They each had given offence to
some persons, and suffered that sort of notoriety which led to the
selection of victims, although both were persons of respectability.
The father owned and had lived for about a half-century on a farm in
North Fields, on the banks of Endicott River, a little to the eastward
of the bridge at the iron-foundery. He was a person of good estate and
an estimable man; but it was his misfortune to have an impulsive
nature and quick passions. In June, 1677, he was prosecuted and fined
for striking a man who had incensed him. George Jacobs, Jr., his only
son, at a court held Nov. 7, 1674, was prosecuted, "found blamable,
and ordered to pay costs of court." His offence and defence are
embraced in his deposition on the occasion.

     "GEORGE JACOBS'S ANSWER TO NATHANIEL PUTNAM'S
     COMPLAINT.--That I did follow some horses in our enclosure on
     the Royal Side, where they were trespassing upon us; that the
     end of my following them was to take them; but, rather than
     they would be taken, they took the water, and I did follow
     them no further; but straightway they turned ashore, and I
     did run to take them as they came out of the water, but could
     not: and I can truly take my oath that since that time I did
     never follow any horses or mares; and I hope my own oath will
     clear me."

The result of his attempt to drive off the horses was, that several
valuable animals were drowned. Their owner, Nathaniel Putnam, brought
an action; but he could not recover damages. The horses were evidently
trespassing, and the Court did not seem to regard Jacobs's conduct as
a heinous matter. It is not to be supposed, that Nathaniel Putnam
harbored sentiments of revenge or resentment for eighteen years, or
had any hand in prosecuting Jacobs in 1692. There is every indication
that he did not sympathize in the violent passions which raged on that
occasion, although he was much under the power of the delusion. But
the affair of drowning the horses was probably for a long time a topic
of gossip, and may have given to the author of the catastrophe a
notoriety which nearly cost him his life.

The account that has been given of the elements of the population of
the Salem Farms or Village, shows that, while there were the usual
varieties entering into the composition of all communities, it is
wholly inadmissible to suppose that the witchcraft delusion took place
there because it was the scene of greater ignorance or stupidity or
barbarism than prevailed elsewhere. This will be made more apparent
still by some general views of the state of society and manners. The
people of a remote age are in general only regarded as they are seen
through prominent occurrences and public movements. These constitute
the ordinary materials of history. Dynasties, reigns of kings, armies,
legislative proceedings, large ecclesiastical synods, dogmatic creeds,
and the like, are, as a general thing, about all we know of the past.
Portraits of individuals appear here and there; but, separated from
the ordinary life of the times, they cannot be fairly or fully
appreciated. The public life of the past is but the outline, or, more
strictly speaking, the mere skeleton, of humanity. To fill up the
outline, to clothe the skeleton with elastic nerves and warm flesh,
and quicken it with a vital circulation, we must get at the domestic,
social, familiar, and ordinary experience of individuals and private
persons; we must obtain a view of the popular customs and the daily
routine of life. In this way only can history fulfil its office in
making the past present.

The people of the early colonial settlements had a private and
interior life, as much as we have now, and the people of all ages and
countries have had. It is common to regard them in no other light than
as a severe, sombre, and pleasure-abhorring generation. It was not so
with them altogether. They had the same nature that we have. It was
not all gloom and severity. They had their recreations, amusements,
gayeties, and frolics. Youth was as buoyant with hope and gladness,
love as warm and tender, mirth as natural to innocence, wit as
sprightly, then as now. There was as much poetry and romance: the
merry laugh enlivened the newly opened fields, and rang through the
bordering woods as loud, jocund, and unrestrained as in these older
and more crowded settlements. It is true that their theology was
austere, and their polity, in Church and State, stern; but, in their
modes of life, there were some features which gave peculiar
opportunity to exercise and gratify a love of social excitement of a
pleasurable kind. Let me mention some of the customs having a tendency
in this direction, that prevailed in the early settlements of New
England.

Whenever a young man had made his clearing in the forest, got out the
frame of his house, and selected a helpmeet to dwell with him in it,
there was "a raising." On an appointed day, the neighbors far and near
assembled; all together put their shoulders to the work; and, before
the shadows of night enveloped the scene, the house was up, and
covered from sill to ridgepole. The same was done if the house of a
neighbor had been destroyed by fire. In this case, often the timbers,
joists, and boards were contributed as well as the labor. These were
made the occasions of general merriment, in which all ages and both
sexes participated. Then there were the "huskings." After the barns
were filled with hay and grain, and the corn was ripe, at "harvest
home," gatherings would be seen on the bright autumnal afternoons of
successive days, in the neighborhood of the different farmhouses. The
sheaves would be taken from the shocks and brought up from the fields,
the golden leaves and milky tassels stripped from the full ear, and
the crib filled to the brim. These were scenes of unalloyed enjoyment
and unrestrained gayety.

At that time were prevalent, in rural neighborhoods, other recreations
promotive of social hilarity to the highest degree. As a wintry
evening drew on, the wide, deep fireplace--equalling in width nearly
the whole of one side of the room, and so deep that benches were
permanently attached to the jambs, on which two or more could
comfortably sit--was duly prepared. A huge log, of a diameter equal to
that of "the mast of some great admiral," six feet perhaps in length,
was worked in by handspikes to its place as the "back-log;" a smaller
one, as "back-stick," placed over it; the great andirons duly
adjusted, and the wood piled on artistically--for there was an art in
building a wood-fire. The kindlings were placed on top of the whole;
never by an experienced hand below. More than the light of day, from
dazzling chandeliers or the magic tongues of flaming gas-burners,
blazes through the halls of modern luxury and splendor; but the lights
and shadows from a glowing, old-fashioned, New-England country
fireplace created a scene as enlivening, exhilarating, and genial as
has ever been witnessed, and cannot be surpassed. Assembled neighbors
in a single evening accomplished what would have been the work of a
family for months. The corn and the nuts were all shelled; the young
birch was stripped down in thin strands, and brooms enough made for a
year's service in house and barn; and various other useful offices
rendered. The sound of busy hands and nimble fingers was lost in
commingling happy voices. Fun and jest, joy and love, ruled the hour.
The whole affair was followed by "Blind-man's Buff" or some other
sport. After the "old folks" had considerately retired, who knows but
that the sons and daughters of Puritans sometimes wound up with a
dance? There were sleigh-rides, and the woods rang with the happy
laugh and jingling bells. The vehicles used on these occasions were,
prior to 1700, more properly called "sleds." Our modern "sleigh" had
not then been introduced. As the spring came on, logs would be
hollowed or scooped out and placed near the feet of sugar maples, a
slanting incision made a foot or two above them in the trunks of the
trees, a slip of shingle inserted, and the delicious sap would trickle
down into the troughs. When the proper time came, tents or booths made
of evergreen boughs would be erected in the woods, great kettles hung
over blazing fires, and a whole neighborhood camp out for several days
and nights, until the work was accomplished, and the flavory syrup or
solid cakes of sugar brought out.

These were some of the recreations of the country people in the early
settlements of New England; continuing, perhaps, in frontier towns to
this day. They constituted forms of enjoyment which cannot exist in
cities or older communities; and possessed a charm, in the memory of
all who ever participated in them, greater, far greater, than society
in any later stage can possess.

The principal method of travelling in those days was on horseback. It
afforded many special opportunities for social enjoyment. Women as
well as men were trained to it. The people of the village were all at
home in the saddle. The daughters of Joseph Putnam, sisters of Israel,
were celebrated as equestrians. Tradition relates adventurous feats of
theirs in this line, equal to that which constitutes a part of the
history of their famous brother. There were, perhaps, several games of
skill or chance practised more or less, even in those days, in this
neighborhood. The only one that seems to have been openly allowed, of
which we have any evidence, was shovel-board. This game, now supposed
to be out of use, is referred to by Shakespeare, and was quite common
in England as well as in this country. A board about two and a half
feet wide and twenty feet long was placed three feet above the floor,
somewhat like a billiard-table, though not with so wide a surface,
precisely level and perfectly smooth, covered with a sprinkling of
fine sand. It was provided with weights or balls, called "pieces,"
flattened on one end. The game consisted in shoving them as far as
possible, without going over the end. A trough surrounded the table to
catch the pieces if they fell. Richard Grant White, from whom this
account of the game has been derived, says that "it required great
accuracy of eye, and steadiness of hand, much more than ten-pins." He
states that, when a boy, he saw it played by "brawny" men, in
Brooklyn, N.Y., and that the pieces then used were of brass. It is
probable that the "pieces" used on Bridget Bishop's shovel-board were
made of some heavy wood, as they were thrown into the fire for the
purpose of destroying them. The fact that a game like this was
suffered to be openly played in Salem Village is quite remarkable,
and shows that some license was left for such amusements.

The records and files of the local courts show, that, notwithstanding
the austere gravity and strictness of manners and morals usually
ascribed to our New-England ancestors, occasional irregularities
occurred in the early settlements, which would be considered high
misdemeanors in our day. The following deposition was given "on oath
before the Court," Feb. 26, 1651. Edward Norris was the son of the
minister of the First Church; had been for more than ten years, and
continued to be for twenty years after, schoolmaster of the town; and,
by his character as well as office, commanded the highest respect.
John Kitchen, in 1655, was chosen "searcher and sealer of leather."
Giles Corey had not yet purchased his farm, but lived on his town-lot,
extending from Essex Street, near its western extremity, to the North
River. They were severally persons of good estate.

     "THE TESTIMONY OF GILES COREY.--Mr. Edward Norris
     and I were going towards the brickkiln: John Kitchen, going
     with us, fell a nipping and pinching of us. And, when we
     came back again, John Kitchen struck up Mr. Edward Norris
     his heels and mine, and fell upon me, and catched me by the
     throat, and held me so long till he had almost stopped my
     breath. And I said unto John Kitchen, 'This is not good
     jesting.' And John Kitchen replied, 'This is nothing: I do
     owe you more than this of old: this is not half of that
     which you shall have afterwards.' After this, he went into
     his house, and he took stinking water and threw upon us, and
     took me and thrust me out of doors, and I went my ways. And
     John Kitchen followed me half-way up the lane, or
     thereabouts. Perceiving him to follow me, I went to go over
     the rails. He took me again, and threw me down off the
     rails, and fell a beating of me until I was all bloody. And,
     Thomas Bishop being present, I desired him to bear witness
     of what he saw. Upon my words, he let me rise. As soon as I
     was up, he fell a beating of me again.

     "Testified on oath before the Court, 26th Feb., 1651.

     "HENRY BARTHOLOMEW, _Clerk_."

This was indeed an extraordinary outburst of lawless violence, and
gives a singular insight of the state of society. Such an occurrence
in our day would create astonishment. The organized power of the
community to suppress vicious and rude passions was probably never
brought to bear with greater rigidness than in our Puritan villages;
but it did not fully accomplish its end. Behind and beneath the solemn
and formal exterior, there was, after all, perhaps as much
irregularity of life as now. The nature of man had not been subdued.
The people had their quarrels and fights, and their frolics and
merriments, in defiance of the restraints of authority. Violations of
local and general laws were not infrequent; and flowed, as ever since,
from intemperance, in as large a measure. Kitchen, in this instance,
acted as if under the influence of liquor. His behavior, in tripping
up the heels and throwing dirty water upon the person of the
schoolmaster of the town, the dignity of whose social position is
indicated by the title of "Mr.;" and in giving to Corey such a
persistent and gratuitous pommelling,--bears the aspect of a drunken
delirium. The latter seems not to have supposed, for some time, that
he was in earnest, but to have looked upon his conduct as rough play,
which was carried rather too far. Poor Corey was often getting before
the town Court as accused or accuser. He was, to the end, the victim
of ill-usage, either given or taken. Though not a bad-natured man, he
was almost always in trouble. The tenor of his long life was as
eccentric and unruly as the manner of his death was strange and
horrible.

There was what may be called an institution in the rural parishes of
the early times, still existing to some extent perhaps in country
places, which must not be omitted in an enumeration of controlling
influences. The people lived on farms, at some distance from each
other, and almost all at great distances from the meeting-house. Local
and parental authority, church discipline, public opinion, enforced
attendance upon the regular religious services. Fashion, habit, and
choice concurred in bringing all to meeting on the Lord's Day. It was
impossible for many to return home during the intermission between the
services of the forenoon and afternoon. The effect was, that the whole
community were thrown and kept together every week for several hours,
during which they could not avoid social intercourse. It was a more
effective institution than the town-meeting; for it occurred oftener,
and included women and children. In pleasant weather, they would
perhaps gather together in knots at eligible places, or stroll off in
companies to the shades of the neighboring woods. In bad weather, they
would remain in the meeting-house, or congregate at Deacon Ingersoll's
ordinary, or in the great rooms of his dwelling-house. As a whole,
this practice must have produced important results upon the character
of the people. In the absence of newspapers, or of much intercourse
with remote places, the day was made the occasion for hearing and
telling all the news. It provided for the circulation of ideas, good
and bad. It widened the sphere of influence of the wiser and better
sort, and gave opportunity for mischievous people to do much harm. It
was a sort of central bazaar, open every week, where all the varieties
of local gossip could be interchanged and circulated far and wide. Of
the aggregate character of the effects thus produced, I do not propose
to strike the balance. It was undoubtedly an effective instrumentality
in moulding the population of the country, developing the elements of
society, quickening and rendering more vigorous the action of the
people in masses, and elucidating the phenomena of their history. It
answers my purpose, at present, to suggest, that, if any popular
delusion or fanaticism arose, the means of giving it a rapid
diffusion, and of intensifying its power, were in this way provided.

In the early settlement of the country, the pursuit of game in the
forests, rivers, and lakes, was necessary as a means of subsistence,
and has always been important in that view. A war against beasts and
birds of prey was also required to be incessantly kept up. The methods
adopted for these ends were various and ingenious, often requiring
courage and skill, and in most instances conducted in companies. Deer
and moose were sometimes caged by surrounding them, or trapped; but
the gun was chiefly relied upon in their pursuit. There were various
methods for catching the smaller animals. One of the sports of boyhood
was to spring the rabbits or hares. A sapling, or young tree, was bent
down and fastened to a stick slid into notches cut in trees, on each
side of the path of the animal. The rabbit is wont to race through the
woods at great speed, and along established tracks, which,
particularly after snow has fallen, are clearly traceable. To the
cross-stick, thus placed above the path, one end of a strong
horse-hair was tied. The other end was in a slip-knot, with a noose
just large enough, and hanging at the height, to receive the head of
the rabbit. Not seeing the noose, and rushing along the path, the
rabbit would jerk the cross-stick out of the notches. The tree would
bound back to its original upright direction, and the rabbit remain
swinging aloft, until, at the break of day, the boys would rejoice in
the success of their stratagem. Pigeons in clouds frequented the
country in their seasons, and acres upon acres of the forests bowed
beneath their weight. They were taken by nets, dozens at a time, or
brought down in great numbers by shot-guns. The marshalled hosts of
wild geese made their noisy flights over the land in the spring and
fall, traversing a space spanning the continent north and south. They
were brought down by the gun, on the wing, or surprised while resting
in their long route or stopped by storms, around secluded ponds or
swamps. Ducks and other aquatic birds were abundant on the rivers and
marshes, and pursued in canoes along the bays and seashores.
Salt-water fish were within reach in the neighboring ocean; while an
unfailing supply of fresh-water fish was yielded by Wenham Lake,
Wilkins's Pond, and the running streams.

The bear was a formidable prowler around the settlements, killing
young cattle, making havoc in the sheepfold, and depredating upon the
barn and farm yard. He was a dangerous antagonist, of immense strength
in his arms and claws. Sometimes he was reached effectually by the
gun, but the trap was mainly relied upon to secure him. His skin made
him a valuable prize, and he supplied other beneficial uses. The
earliest and rudest method of trapping a bear was as follows: A place
was selected in the woods, where two large fallen and mouldering trees
were side by side within two or three feet of each other. The space
between them would be roofed over by throwing branches and boughs
across them, and closed up at one end. The other end would be left
open. A gun was placed inside, heavily loaded, the muzzle towards the
open end; to the trigger a cord was fastened running along by the
barrel of the gun, passing over a cross-bar, and hanging down directly
before the muzzle, baited with a piece of fresh meat. The bear,
ranging in the woods at night, would be attracted by the smell of
meat, and come snuffing around. At the open end, he would see the
bait, rush in, seize it between his jaws, pull the cord, discharge the
gun, and his head and breast be torn to pieces. The men engaged in the
enterprise would remain awake in some neighboring house, waiting and
listening, with the extremest interest, for the report of the gun to
announce their success. At the break of day, they would gather to the
spot, and participate in the profit of the capture. After a while,
iron or steel traps were introduced. They would be skilfully baited
and set, and fastened to a tree by a chain. The whole was covered over
with light soil and leaves. The bear would make for the bait. The
weight of his paw would spring the trap. The iron-teeth would hold him
fast till the morning. In his suffering and exasperation, it would
require considerable effort to despatch him. In catching bears, as
well as foxes, much skill and art were needed. They were each very
wary and cautious; and, where iron was used in the traps, some scent
was necessary to disguise the smell of the metal. All appearance of
having been disturbed had to be removed from the ground. Trapping
became quite a science, and was a pursuit of much importance.

Wolves were perhaps the most destructive of the beasts of prey.
Although not so large or strong as bears, they were far more fierce
and rapacious. Bears could be tamed, but wolves not. Bears were not
dangerous, unless provoked, or suffering from hunger, or alarmed for
the safety of their young. It was thought that kind treatment would
awaken strong attachment in them, but wolves were always snarling and
ferocious. They roamed mostly in packs, and would kill sheep, lambs,
and poultry long after hunger was appeased. The farmers regarded them
as their great enemy. A long and deep trench would be dug, lined with
slippery logs, from which the bark had been taken, standing upright,
and touching each other. The trench was covered by a slight framework,
upon which leaves and dirt were scattered, to make the surface appear
like the surrounding territory. Some savory bait would be placed over
it. The wolves, rushing on, would break through. Not being able to
ascend the sides, they would be found alive, the next morning, at the
bottom. These were called "wolf-pits." It was no easy matter to
dispose of or despatch the furious animals, and the wolf-pits were
often the scenes of much excitement. There was another class of
animals,--divided into different species, mostly according to their
size,--smaller but fiercer than wolves, of extraordinary strength and
activity, called wild-cats, catamounts, or loup-cerviers, pronounced
by the farmers lucifees. These were only taken by the gun. It was
considered a useful public service, and no inconsiderable feat, to
kill them.

Some of the laborious employments, at that time, were especially
promotive of social influence; for instance, the making and mending
highways. This was secured by a tax, annually levied in town-meeting.
The work was placed under the care and direction of surveyors,
annually chosen. A small part of this tax, however, was paid in money.
Most of it was "worked out." At convenient seasons, when there was a
respite from the ordinary farm work, the men of a neighborhood would
come together, in greater or less numbers, at a designated time and
place, with their oxen and implements. Working in unison, they would
work merrily and with energy; and, as the tough roots and deeply
bedded rocks gave way to the pickaxe, crowbar, and chain, and rough
places became smooth, the wilderness would echo back their voices of
gratulation, and a spirit of animating rivalry stimulate their toils.
Many other operations were carried on, such as getting up hay from the
salt-marshes and building stone-walls, by neighbors working in
companies.

Particular circumstances in the history of the population of Salem
Village contributed to keep up a condition of general intelligence,
which served, to some degree, as a substitute for an organized system
of education. Indeed, any thing like regular schools was rendered
impossible by the then-existing circumstances. Clearings had made a
very inconsiderable encroachment on the wilderness. There were here
and there farmhouses, with deep forests between. It was long before
easily traversable roads could be made. A schoolhouse placed
permanently on any particular spot would be within the reach of but
very few. Farmers most competent to the work, who had enjoyed the
advantages of some degree of education, and could manage to set apart
any time for the purpose, were, in some instances, prevailed upon to
receive such children as were within reaching distance as pupils in
their own houses, to be instructed by them at stated times and for a
limited period. Daniel Andrew rendered this service occasionally. At
one period, we find them practising the plan of a movable school and
schoolmaster. He would be stationed in the houses of particular
persons, with whom the arrangement could be made, a month at a time,
in the different quarters of the village, from Will's Hill to Bass
River. Of course, there was a great lack of elementary education. For
a considerable time, it was reduced to a very low point; and there
were heads of families,--men who had good farms, and possessed the
confidence and respect of their neighbors,--who appear not to have
been able to write.

It is difficult, however, to come to a definite estimate on this
subject, as the singular fact is discovered, that some persons, who
could write, occasionally preferred to "make their mark." Ann Putnam,
in executing her will, made her mark; but her confession, with her own
proper written signature, is spread out in the Church-book. Francis
Nurse very frequently used his peculiar mark, representing, perhaps,
some implement of his original mechanical trade; but, on other
occasions, he wrote out his name in a good, round hand. The same was
the case with Bray Wilkins. We can hardly reach any decisive
conclusions as to the intelligence or education of the people of that
day from their handwriting, or construction of sentences, much less
from their spelling. Their forms of speech were very different from
ours in many respects. What, at first view, we might be apt to call
errors of ignorance, were perhaps conformity to good usage at the
time. Their use of verbs is different from ours, particularly in the
subjunctive mood, and in conjugation generally. They did not follow
our rule in reference to number. When the nominative was a plural
noun, or several nouns, they often employ the connected verb in the
singular number, and _vice versâ_. They were inclined to make
construction conform to the sense, rather than to the letter. It is
not certain that their usage, in this particular, is wholly
indefensible. Cicero, in his fifth oration against Verres, couples
_rem_ with _futurum_. This was looked upon by some editors as an
error, and they altered the text accordingly; but Aulus Gelius, in his
"Attic Nights," maintains that it is the true reading, and, in view of
the sense of the passage, a legitimate and elegant use of language. He
cites instances, in Latin and Greek authors of the highest standard,
of a similar usage.

Nothing, or scarcely any thing, can be inferred from spelling. It was
wholly unsettled among the best-educated men, and in the practice of
the same person. In Winthrop's "Journal," he spells the name of his
distinguished friend--the governor of both Massachusetts and
Connecticut--sometimes Haynes, and sometimes Haines. The _r_ is
generally dropped from his own signature, or, if not intentionally
dropped, is quite lost in one or the other of the contiguous letters.
It is a curious circumstance, that the name "Winthrop" is spelled
differently by our governor, his wife, and his son, the governor of
Connecticut; each varying from either of the other two. George
Burroughs, a graduate of Harvard College, wrote his own name sometimes
with, and sometimes without, the _s_. In our General-court records,
the name of the first Captain Davenport is spelled in at least four
different ways. The Putnams sometimes wrote their name Putman. The
name of the Nurses was often written Nourse, and sometimes Nurs.

Unable to come to any reliable conclusions in reference to the general
intelligence of the people of Salem Village from their orthography,
etymology, syntax, or chirography, compared with their contemporaries,
I can only say, that, in examining the records and papers which have
come down to us, the wonder to me is that they expressed themselves so
well. I do not hesitate to say, that, in the various controversies in
which they were involved, prior to and immediately after the
witchcraft delusion, there is a pervading appearance of uncommon
appreciation of the questions at issue, and substantial evidence that
there was a solid substratum of good sense among them.

Their manners appear to have been remarkably courteous and respectful,
showing the effect still remaining upon their style of intercourse and
personal bearing, of the society and example of the great number of
eminent, enlightened, and accomplished men and families that had
resided or mingled with them during all the early period of their
history. In their deportment to each other, there was that sort of
decorum which indicates good breeding. They paid honor to gray hairs,
and assigned to age the first rank in seating the congregation,--a
matter to which, before the introduction of pews as a particular
property, they gave the greatest consideration. The "seating" was to
continue for a year; and a committee of persons who would command the
greatest confidence was regularly appointed to report on the delicate
and difficult subject. Their report, signed by them severally, was
entered in full in the parish record-book. The invariable rule was,
first, age; then, office; last, rates. The chief seats were given to
old men and women of respectable characters, without regard to their
circumstances in life or position in society. Then came the families
of the minister and deacons, the parish committee and clerk, the
constable of the village, magistrates, and military officers. These
were preferred, because all offices were then honorable, and held, if
they were called to them, by the principal people. Last came
rates,--that is, property. The richest man in the parish, if not
holding office, or old enough to be counted among the aged, would take
his place with the residue of the congregation. The manner in which
parents were spoken of on all occasions is quite observable, not only
in written documents, but ordinary conversation,--always with tender
respectfulness. In almost all cases, the expressions used are "my
honored father" or "my honored mother," and this by persons in the
humblest and most inferior positions in life. The terms "Goodman" and
"Goodwife" were applied to the heads of families. The latter word was
abbreviated to "Goody," but not at all, as our dictionaries have it,
as a "low term of civility." It was applied to the most honored
matrons, such as the wife of Deacon Ingersoll. It was a term of
respect; conveying, perhaps, an affectionate sentiment, but not in the
slightest degree disrespectful, derogatory, or belittling. Surely no
better terms were ever used to characterize a worthy person. "Goodman"
comprehends all that can be ascribed to a citizen of mature years in
the way of commendation; and the whole catalogue of pretentious titles
ever given by flatterers or courtiers to a married lady cannot, all
combined, convey a higher encomium than the term "Goodwife." How much
more expressive, courteous to the persons to whom they are applied,
and consistent with the self-respect of the person using them, than
"Mr." and "Mrs."! A more than questionable taste and a foolish pride
have led us to adopt these terms because they were originally
applicable to the gentry or to magistrates, and to abandon the good
old words which had a meaning truly polite to others, and not
degrading to ourselves!

A patriarchal authority and dignity was recognized in families. The
oldest member was often called, by way of distinction, "Landlord,"
merely on account of his seniority, without reference particularly to
the extent of his domain or the value of his acres. After the death
of Thomas Putnam, in 1686, his brother Nathaniel had the title; after
him, the surviving brother, Captain John; after him, it fell to the
next generation, and Benjamin, a son of Nathaniel, became "Landlord
Putnam." It was so with other families.

The liberal and judicious policy, before described, of giving estates
to children on their marriage, with the maintenance of parental
authority in the household, produced the desired effect upon the
character of the people. It was almost a matter of course, that, on
reaching mature years, young men and women would own the covenant, and
become members of the church. The general tone of society was
undoubtedly favorable to the moral and religious welfare of the
younger portion of the community. Some exceptions occurred, but few in
number. One case, however, in which there was a flagrant violation of
filial duty, may not be omitted in this connection; for it belongs to
the public history of the country.

John Porter, Jr., the eldest son of the founder of that most
respectable family, about thirty years of age, appears to have been a
very wicked and incorrigible person. His abusive treatment of his
parents reached a point where it became necessary, in the last resort,
to appeal to the protection of the law. After various proceedings, he
was finally sentenced to stand on the ladder of the gallows with a
rope around his neck for an hour; to be severely whipped; committed to
the House of Correction; kept closely at work on prison diet, not to
be released until so ordered by the Court of Assistants or the General
Court; and to pay "a fine to the country of two hundred pounds." It is
stated, that, if the mother of the culprit "had not been overmoved by
her tender affections to forbear appearing against him, the Court must
necessarily have proceeded with him as a capital offender, according
to our law being grounded upon and expressed in the Word of God, in
Deut. xxi. 18 to 21. See Capital Laws, p. 9, § 14." Some time
afterward, the General Court, upon his petition, granted him a release
from imprisonment, on condition of his immediate departure from this
jurisdiction; first giving a bond of two hundred pounds not to return
without leave of the General Court or Court of Assistants.

In 1664, four commissioners, Colonel Richard Nichols, Sir Robert Carr,
George Cartwright, and Samuel Maverick, Esqs., were sent over by
Charles II. "to hear and determine complaints and appeals in all
causes, as well military as criminal and civil." There had always been
a powerful influence at work in the English Court adverse to New
England. It had been thus far successfully baffled by the admirable
diplomacy of the colonial government and agents. All conflicts of
authority had been prevented from coming to a head by a skilful policy
of "protracting and avoiding." But the restoration of the Stuarts
boded no good to the liberties of the colonies; and the arrival of
these commissioners with their sweeping authority was regarded as
designed to deal the long-deferred fatal blow at chartered rights.
They began with a high hand. The General Court did not quail before
them, but stood ready to take advantage of the first false step of the
commissioners; and they did not have long to wait.

Porter had taken refuge in Rhode Island. When the commissioners
visited that colony, he appealed to them for redress against the
Massachusetts General Court. They were inconsiderate enough to espouse
his cause, and issued a proclamation giving him protection to return
to Boston to have his case tried before them. The General Court at
once took issue with them, and changed their attitude from the
defensive to the offensive; denounced their proceedings; spread upon
the official records a full account, in the plainest language, of
Porter's outrages upon his parents, exhibiting it in details that
could not but shock every sentiment of humanity and decency; holding
up the commissioners as the abettors and protectors of criminality of
the deepest dye; and planting themselves fair and square against them
on the merits of Porter's case. The commissioners tried to explain and
extricate themselves; but they could not escape from the toils in
which, through rashness, they had become entangled. The General Court
made a public declaration charging the commissioners with "obstructing
the sentence of justice passed against that notorious offender," and
with sheltering and countenancing "his rebellion against his natural
parents;" with violating a court of justice, discharging a whole
country "from their oaths whereby they had sworn obedience to His
Majesty's authority according to the Constitution of his Royal
Charter;" and with attempting to overthrow the rights of the colony
under the charter by bringing in a military force to overawe and
suppress the civil authorities. They denounced them as guilty of a
perversion of their trust, and as having committed a breach upon the
dignity of the crown, by pursuing a course "derogatory to His
Majesty's authority here established," and "repugnant to His Majesty's
princely and gracious intention in betrusting them with such a
commission." The Court held the vantage-ground, and the commissioners
were unable to dislodge them. The end of the matter was, that the
power of the commissioners was completely broken down. They
ingloriously gave up the contest, and went home to England.

The instance of John Porter, Jr., to which such extraordinary
publicity and prominence were given by the circumstances now related,
does not bear against what I have said of the general prevalence, in
the rural community of Salem Village, of parental authority and filial
duty, as he was early withdrawn from it to pursuits that led him into
totally different spheres of life. He had been engaged in trade, and
exposed to vicious influences in foreign ports. In voyages to
"Barbadoes, and so for England, he had prodigally wasted and riotously
expended about four hundred pounds." Besides this, he had run himself,
by his vicious courses, into debts which his father had to pay in
order to release him from prison abroad. He came back the desperate
character described by the General Court. His punishment was severe,
but absolutely necessary, in the judgment of the whole community, for
the safety of his parents and the preservation of domestic and public
order.

Although living in humble dwellings on plain fare, working with their
hands for daily bread, clad in rude garments, and practising a frugal
economy, there was a certain style of things about the people I am
describing unlike what is ordinarily associated with our ideas of
them. The men wore swords or rapiers as a part of their daily apparel.
Their wives had domestic servants. Every farmer had his hired
laborers, and many of them had slaves. The relation of servitude,
however, differed from that on Southern plantations in many respects.
The slaves, without any formal manumission, easily obtained their
freedom, and often became landholders. The courteous decorum acquired
from the example of the eminent men among the first planters long
continued to mark the manners of this people; and its vestiges remain
to the present day. It strikingly appeared in the latter half of the
last and the earlier period of this century in the persons of Judge
Samuel Houlton, Colonel Israel Hutchinson, General Moses Porter, and
the late Judge Samuel Putnam.

The wise forethought of the company in London, at the outset of its
operations, in providing for all that was needful to the establishment
and welfare of the colony, has already been described. It was most
strikingly illustrated in the careful selection of the first
emigrants. Men were sought out who were experienced and skilful in the
various mechanic arts. In the early population of Salem Farms, every
species of handicraft was represented. When the number was less than a
hundred householders, there were weavers, spinners, potters, joiners,
housewrights, wheelwrights, brickmakers and masons, blacksmiths,
coopers, painters, tailors, cordwainers, glovers, tanners, millers,
maltsters, skinners, sawyers, tray-makers, and dish-turners. Every
absolute want was provided for. These trades and callings were carried
on in connection with agricultural employments, and their continuance
kept carefully in view by the heads of the principal families. John
Putnam not only gave large farms to each of his sons, but he trained
them severally to some mechanical art. One was a weaver, another a
bricklayer, &c. The farmer was also a mechanic, and every description
of useful labor held in equal honor.

Another marked feature of this people was their military spirit. They
were kept in a state of universal and thorough organization to protect
themselves from Indian hostilities, or to respond, on any occasion, at
a moment's warning, to the call of the country. The sentinel at the
watch-house was ever on the alert. Authority was early obtained from
the General Court to form a foot company. All adults of every
description, including men much beyond middle life,--every one, in
fact, who could carry a musket, belonged to it. Its officers were the
fathers of the village. Every title of rank, from corporal to captain,
once obtained, was worn ever after through life. Jonathan Walcot, a
citizen of the highest respectability, who had married as a second
wife Deliverance a daughter of Thomas Putnam, and was one of the
deacons of the parish, was its captain. Nathaniel Ingersoll, the other
deacon, is spoken of from time to time as corporal, then sergeant, and
finally lieutenant. He served with that commission till late in life,
and was always, after attaining that rank, known as either Lieutenant
or Deacon Ingersoll. The eldest son of Thomas Putnam, a leading member
of the church, a man of large property, and the clerk of the parish,
was one of the sergeants, always known as such. In our narrative, with
which he will be found in most unfortunate connection, I shall speak
of him by that title. It will distinguish him from his father. This
"company" had frequent drills, probably from the first, in the field
left by will afterwards for that purpose by Nathaniel Ingersoll.
Often, no doubt, it paraded on the open grounds around the
meeting-house, or in the fields of Joseph Hutchinson after the harvest
had been gathered. It marched and countermarched along the neighboring
roads. It was almost as much thought of as the "church," officered by
the same persons, and composed of the same men. It was a common
practice, at the close of a parade, before "breaking line," for the
captain to give notices of prayer, church, or parish meetings. Such
men as Richard Leach, Thomas Fuller, and Nathaniel Putnam, esteemed it
an honor to bear titles in this company; and held them ever after
through life with pride, whether corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, or
captain.

A company of troopers was early formed, made up from the village and
neighboring settlements. In the colonial records, under date of Oct.
8, 1662, we find the following: "Mr. George Corwin for captain, Mr.
Thomas Putnam for lieutenant, Mr. Walter Price for cornet, being
presented to this Court as so chosen by the troopers of Salem, Lynn,
&c., the Court allows and approves thereof." The inventory of Captain
Corwin, before cited, indicates the stylish uniform he wore as captain
of the troopers. Each of the officers was a wealthy man; and it cannot
be doubted that a parade of the company was a dashing affair. The
lapse of time having thinned their ranks and removed their officers, a
vigorous and successful attempt was made in October, 1678, to revive
the company. Thirty-six men, belonging, as they say, "to the reserve
of Salem old troop," and very desirous "of being serviceable to God
and the country," petition the General Court to re-organize them as a
troop of horse, and to issue the necessary commissions. They request
the appointment of William Brown, Jr., as captain, and Corporal John
Putnam as lieutenant. The petition was granted, and the commissions
issued. Among the signers of this petition are Anthony Needham, Peter
and Ezekiel Cheever, Thomas Flint, Thomas and Benjamin Wilkins,
Thomas and Jacob Fuller, John Procter, William Osborne, Thomas Putnam,
Jr., and others of the Farms. The officers named were men of property
and energy; and the company of troopers was kept up ever afterwards,
until all danger from Indians or other foes had passed away.

It is very observable how the military spirit with which this rural
community was so early imbued has descended through all generations.
Israel Putnam, the famous Revolutionary hero, a son of Joseph who was
a younger brother of Sergeant Thomas and Deacon Edward Putnam, was
born in the village. His brother David, much older than himself, who
flourished in the period anterior to the Revolution, was a celebrated
cavalry officer. Colonel Timothy Pickering used to mention, among the
recollections of his boyhood, that David Putnam "rode the best horse
in the province." General Rufus Putnam, a grandson of Deacon Edward,
was a distinguished brigadier in the army of the Revolution. There are
few officers of that army whose names are more honored than his by
encomiums from the pen of Washington: and praise from him was praise
indeed, for it was, like all his other judgments, the result of
careful and discriminating observation. In a letter to the President
of Congress, dated "At camp above Trenton Falls, Dec. 20, 1776," he
speaks of the fact, that, owing to a neglect on the part of the
Government to place the Engineer Department upon a proper footing,
"Colonel Putnam, who was at the head of it, has quitted, and taken a
regiment in the State of Massachusetts." He expresses the opinion,
that Putnam's qualifications as a military engineer were superior to
those of any other man within his knowledge, far superior to those of
the foreign officers whom he had seen. In a letter to the same, dated
"Pompton Plains," July 12, 1777, speaking of General Schuyler's army,
he says, "Colonel Putnam, I imagine, will be with him before this, as
his regiment is a part of Nixon's Brigade, who will answer every
purpose he can possibly have for an engineer at this crisis." The high
opinion of Washington took effect in his promotion as
brigadier-general. At the end of the war, he returned to civil life,
but was soon called back and re-commissioned as brigadier-general.
Washington felt the need of him. In a letter to General Knox,
Secretary of War, dated Aug. 13, 1792, he says, "General Putnam merits
thanks, in my opinion, for his plan, and the sentiments he has
delivered on what he conceives to be a proper mode of carrying on the
war against the hostile nations of Indians; and I wish he would
continue to furnish them without reserve in future." During
Washington's administration of the government under the Constitution,
Rufus Putnam held the office of Surveyor-General of the United States.
In addition to his military reputation, he will be for ever memorable
as the first settler of Marietta, and founder of the State of Ohio.

Israel Hutchinson was born in 1727. In 1757 he was one of a
scouting-party under the command of his neighbor, Captain Israel
Herrick, that penetrated through the wilderness in Maine in perilous
Indian warfare. He fought at Ticonderoga and Lake George, and was with
Wolfe when he scaled the Heights of Abraham. On the morning of the
19th of April, 1775, he led a company of minute-men, who met and
fought the British in their bloody retreat from Lexington. He was
prominently concerned during the siege of Boston; and, on its
evacuation, took command at Fort Hill. He was afterwards in command at
Forts Lee and Washington. Throughout the war, he, like both the
Putnams, had the confidence of his commander-in-chief. For twenty-one
years, he was elected to one or the other branch of the Legislature,
or to the Council. He was distinguished for the courtesy of his
manners and the dignity of his address. Colonel Enoch Putnam was also
at the battle of Lexington, and served with honor through the
Revolutionary War, as did also Captain Jeremiah Putnam, both of them
descendants of John. Captain Samuel Flint was among the bravest of the
brave at Lexington, exciting universal admiration by his intrepidity;
and fell at the head of his company at Stillwater, Oct. 7, 1777.

Intelligence of the marching of the British towards Lexington, on the
19th of April, 1775, reached the lower part of Danvers about nine
o'clock that morning. With a rapidity that is perfectly marvellous,
when we consider the distances from each other over which the
inhabitants were scattered, five companies, fully organized and
equipped,--each of them containing men of the village,--rushed to the
field in time to meet the retreating enemy at West Cambridge. It was a
rally and a march without precedent, and never yet surpassed. The day
was extremely sultry for the season; and the distance traversed by
many of the men from the village, before they got into that fight,
could not have been less than twenty miles. Seven belonging to Danvers
companies were killed, and others wounded. A larger offering was made
that day at the baptismal sacrifice to American liberty by Danvers
than by any other town except Lexington; and no town represented in
the scene was more remote. Of the men who fell on this occasion, the
following appear to have been of the village: Samuel Cook, Benjamin
Daland, and Perley Putnam,--the last a descendant of John. Their
bodies were brought home, and buried with appropriate honors; two
companies from Salem, and military detachments from Newburyport,
Amesbury, and Salisbury participating in the ceremonies, and giving
the soldier's tribute to their glory, by volleys over their closing
graves.

Moses Porter, when eighteen years of age, attracted attention by his
heroic courage and indomitable pluck at Bunker Hill. He was in an
artillery company, and would not quit his gun when almost every other
man had fallen. His country never allowed him to quit it afterwards.
From that day, he bore a commission in the army of the United States.
He was retained on every peace establishment, always in the
artillery, and at the head of that arm of the service for a great
length of time, and until the day of his death. He was in the battle
of Brandywine, and wounded in a subsequent fight on the banks of the
Delaware. He was with Wayne in his campaign against the Western
Indians, and won his share of the glory that crowned it in the final
bloody and decisive conflict. He was at the head of the artillery when
the war of 1812 took place, in active service on the Niagara frontier,
and on the 10th of September, 1813, brevetted "for distinguished
services." He commanded at Norfolk, in Virginia, in 1814, and received
great credit for the ability and vigilance with which he held that
most vital point of the coast defence. At successive periods after the
war, he was at the head of each of the geographical military divisions
of the country. He died at Cambridge, Mass., in 1822, while in command
of the Eastern Department, near the scene of his youthful glory,
forty-seven years before. No man who fought at Bunker Hill remained so
long a soldier of the United States. No man had so extended a record,
and it was bright with honor from the beginning to the end. His
pre-eminent reputation, as a disciplinarian and artillerist of the
highest class, was uniformly maintained. He added to the sterner
qualities required by professional duty a polished urbanity of
manners, and a dignified and commanding aspect and bearing. His ashes
rest beneath the sod of his ancestral acres in Salem Village.

When the great war for the suppression of the Southern Rebellion came
on, and the life of the Union was at stake, the same old spirit was
found unabated. A descendant of the family of Raymonds, emulating the
example of his ancestors, rallied his company to the front. At the end
of the war, Lieutenant-Colonel John W. Raymond brought back, in
command, the remnant of his veteran regiment, with its tattered
banners; two of his predecessors in that commission having fallen in
battle. The youthful patriot, William Lowell Putnam, who fell at
Ball's Bluff on the 21st of October, 1861, was a direct descendant of
Nathaniel Putnam. It is an interesting circumstance, that the names of
men who trained in the foot company and with the troopers on the
fields and roads about the village meeting-house two hundred years ago
have re-appeared in the persons of their descendants, in the highest
lines of service and with unsurpassed distinction, in the three great
wars of America,--Major-General Israel, and Brigadier-General Rufus,
Putnam, in the War of the Revolution; Brigadier-General Moses Porter,
in the War of 1812; and Major-General Granville M. Dodge, in the War
of the Rebellion. The last-named is a descendant of a hero of the
Narragansett fight, and was born and educated in Salem Village.

Several lawsuits, particularly in land cases, have been referred to.
They indicate, perhaps, to some extent the ingredients that aggravated
the terrible scenes we are preparing to contemplate. They served to
keep up the general intelligence of the community through a period
necessarily destitute of such means of information as we enjoy.
Attendance upon courts of law, serving on juries, having to give
testimony at trials, are indeed in themselves no unimportant part in
the education of a people. Principles and questions of great moment
are forced upon general attention, and become topics of discussion in
places of gathering and at private firesides. Of this material of
intelligence, the people of the village had their full share. It was
their fate to have their minds, and more or less their passions,
stirred up by special local controversies thrust upon them. As a
religious society, they had difficult points of disagreement with the
mother-church, and the town of Salem. While they were supporting a
minister and trying to build a meeting-house for themselves, attempts
were made to tax them to support the minister and build a new
meeting-house in the town. There was a natural reluctance to part with
them, and it was long before an arrangement could be made. The great
distance of many of the farmers from the town prevented their
exercising what they deemed their rightful influence in municipal
affairs. They felt, that, in many respects, their interests were not
identical, and in some absolutely at variance. These topics were much
discussed, and with considerable feeling at times on both sides. The
papers which remain relating to the subject show that the farmers
understood it in all its bearings, and maintained their cause with
clearness of perception and forcibleness of argument and expression.
At one time, they were very desirous to be set off as a distinct
town, but this could not be allowed; and, finally, a sort of
compromise was effected. A partial separation--a
semi-municipality--was agreed upon. Salem Village was the result.

In 1670, a petition, with twenty signers, was presented to the town to
be set off as a parish, and be allowed to provide a minister for
themselves. In March, 1672, the town granted the request; and, in
October following, the General Court approved of the project, and gave
it legal effect. The line agreed upon by the town and the village is
substantially defined by the vote of the former, which was as follows:
"All farmers that now are, or hereafter shall be, willing to join
together for providing a minister among themselves, whose habitations
are above Ipswich Highway, from the horse bridge to the wooden bridge,
at the hither end of Mr. Endicott's Plain, and from thence on a west
line, shall have liberty to have a minister by themselves; and when
they shall provide and pay him in a maintenance, that then they shall
be discharged from their part of Salem ministers' maintenance," &c.
The "horse bridge" was across Bass River. The "wooden bridge" was at
the head of Cow-House or Endicott River. Ipswich highway runs along
from one of these points to the other. The south line, beyond the
wooden bridge, is seen on the map. All to the north of this line, and
of Ipswich highway between the bridges, to the bounds of Beverly and
Wenham on the east; Topsfield, Rowley Village,--since Boxford, and
Andover on the north; and Reading and Lynn on the west,--was the
Village. Middleton, incorporated afterwards, absorbed a large part of
its western portion; but, at the time of the witchcraft delusion, the
Village was bounded as above described, and as in the map. There was a
specific arrangement fixing the point of time when the farmers were to
become exempt from all charges in aid of the mother-church; that is,
as soon as they had provided for the support of a minister and the
erection of a meeting-house of their own. It was further stipulated,
that the villagers should not form a church until a minister was
ordained; and that they should not settle a minister permanently
without the approval of the old church, and its consent to proceed to
an ordination. This latter restriction was perhaps the cause of all
the subsequent troubles.

Owing, as has been stated in another connection, to erroneous notions
about the topography of the country; the incompetency perhaps, in some
cases, of surveyors; and the want of due care in the General Court and
the towns to have boundaries clearly defined,--uncertainties and
conflicting claims arose in various portions of the colony, but
nowhere to a greater extent than here. The village became involved in
controversies about boundaries with each one of its neighbors;
producing, at times, much exasperation. The documents drawn forth on
these questions, as they appear in the record-book of the village, are
written with ability, and show that there were men among them who knew
how to express and enforce their views. The plain, lucid,
well-considered style of Nathaniel Ingersoll's depositions on the
court-files, in numerous cases, render it not improbable that his pen
was put in requisition. Sergeant Thomas Putnam, the parish recorder,
as he was sometimes entitled, was a good writer. His chirography,
although not handsome, is singularly uniform, full, open, and clear,
so easily legible that it is a refreshment to meet with it; and his
sentences are well-constructed, simple, condensed, and to the purpose.
His words do their office in conveying his meaning. No public body
ever had a better clerk. Somehow or other, he and others, brought up
in the woods, had contrived to acquire considerable efficiency in the
use of the pen. Perhaps, a few who, like him, had parents able to
afford it, had been sent to Ipswich or Charlestown to enjoy the
privilege of what Cotton Mather calls "the Cheverian education."

The southern boundary of the village was intended to run due west from
the Ipswich road to Lynn, and was accordingly spoken of as "on a west
line." As originally established, it was defined by an enumeration of
a variety of objects such as trees of different kinds and sizes, as
running through the lands of John Felton, Nathaniel Putnam, and
Anthony Needham, to "a dry stump standing at the corner of Widow
Pope's cow-pen, leaving her house and the saw-mill within the farmer's
range," and so on to "the top of the hill by the highway side near
Berry Pond." From the changeable conditions of some of the objects,
and a diversity of methods adopted by surveyors,--many of them being
unacquainted with, or making no allowance for, the variation of the
compass,--controversies arose with the mother-town: and some
proprietors, like the Gardners, were left in doubt how the line
affected them; and there was, in consequence, much disquietude. The
line was not accurately run until 1700.

It is observable, that the "saw-mill" is still in operation on the
same spot. The "cow-pen," then on the south side of the mill, was,
more than a century ago, removed to the north side, where it has
remained ever since. This estate has interesting reminiscences. It was
an original grant in January, 1640, to Edward Norris, at the time of
his settlement as pastor of the First Church in Salem. He sold to
Eleanor Trussler in 1654. It then went into the possession of Henry
Phelps, who sold to Joseph Pope in 1664. His widow, Gertrude, owned it
in 1672. In 1793, Eleazer Pope sold to Nathaniel Ropes, son of Judge
Ropes, of Salem. His heirs sold it back to the Phelpses; and it is now
in the possession of the Rev. Willard Spaulding, of Salem. Originally
given as an ordination present to a minister of the old town, it has,
after the lapse of two hundred and twenty-six years, come round into
the hands of another. The house in which the Popes lived one hundred
and twenty-nine years, and the families that succeeded them for above
half a century more,--a venerable and picturesque specimen of the
rural architecture, in its best form, of the earliest times,--has,
within the last ten years, given place to a new one on the same spot.
In that old house, besides unnumbered and unknown instances of the
same sort, Israel Putnam conducted his courtship; and there, on the
19th of July, 1739, he was married to Hannah, daughter of Joseph Pope.

Contests for what they deemed their rights with the old church and the
border towns and their own town, as in the case just mentioned,
undoubtedly produced a bad effect upon the temper of the people, by
occasional expenses that consumed their substance, and incidents that
sowed the seeds of personal animosities; preparing the way for that
dreadful convulsion which was near at hand. At the very time when the
witchcraft frenzy broke out, they were in the crisis of an
exasperating conflict with Topsfield, occasioned by a wrong done them
by the General Court. This requires to be explained, as it can be, by
a collation of facts of record.

On the 3d of March, 1636, the General Court passed an order that the
bounds of Salem, Ipswich, and Newbury, should extend six miles into
the country. It was afterwards defined to mean that "the six-mile
extent," as it was called, should be measured from the meeting-houses
of the respective towns. On the 5th of November, 1639, the General
Court passed an order in these words: "Whereas the inhabitants of
Salem have agreed to plant a village near the river that runs to
Ipswich, it is ordered that all the land near their bounds between
Salem and the said river, not belonging to any other town or person by
any former grant, shall belong to the said village." On the strength
of this order, the farmers in that part of Salem pushed settlements
out beyond the "six-mile extent," over the ground thus pledged to
them; cleared off the forests, built houses, brought the land under
culture, erected bridges, made roads, and fulfilled their part of the
contract by preparing to establish their village. Four years after the
General Court had thus pledged to "inhabitants of Salem" the
privileges of a village organization on the lands between "Salem and
the said river," they authorized some inhabitants of Ipswich, who had
gone there, to establish the village on the territory, independent of
the Salem men. This was an unjustifiable and flagrant violation of the
stipulated agreement on the part of the General Court; because it
appears by their own records, that Salem farmers had promptly
fulfilled the condition on their part by going directly upon the
ground, and getting farms under way there before 1643. This careless
and indefensible procedure by the General Court was the cause of
interminable trouble and strife on the tract between Salem bounds and
the river, introduced the elements of discord, and gave a color of
legal justification to a conflict of authority between Salem and
Ipswich men. It sowed the seeds of animosities which aggravated the
scenes that occurred in Salem Village in 1692. In 1658, the General
Court passed an order creating the town of Topsfield, including the
larger part of these lands within its limits. No heed was paid to the
remonstrances, against these proceedings, of the Salem farmers, who
found themselves, without their consent, permanently bereft of the
benefit that had been promised them, cut off from all connection with
the town of Salem, to which they originally belonged, and put in the
outskirts of another town. It was a clear case of wrong, and ought to
have been rectified. But public bodies are more reluctant even than
individuals to acknowledge themselves in fault. The people of Salem
Village joined in earnest protests against the acts of the General
Court. The old town of Salem declared by a public vote, that they had
always regarded the lands in controversy as belonging to the village
which, under the plighted faith of the General Court, their
inhabitants had been forming. But it was all in vain. Neither remedy
nor reparation could be obtained. The struggle against this injustice
lasted until some time after the witchcraft occurrences had
terminated, and was finally brought to a close by an order of the
Court, that the people on the territory might maintain parish
relations with Salem Village or with Topsfield, at their individual
option. Entire satisfaction was never realized until, in 1728, they
were incorporated, in accordance with their petition, into a township,
under the name of Middleton, with parts of Topsfield, Boxford, and
Andover added. During a period of half a century, this grievance
remained unadjusted. The proceedings on the part of the village in its
public action, as shown in the records, were conducted with skill,
ability, and firmness. But the collisions that occurred between
particular parties were violent and bitter. Salem settlers were called
to pay parish and town rates to Topsfield, but refused to do it.
Constables and tax-collectors were defied. Topsfield went so far as to
claim not only unoccupied lands, but lands within fence, with houses
on them, and families within them, and orchards and growing fields
around them, as part of its "commons;" and it disputed the titles
given by Salem. Of course, the question went, in various forms, into
the county courts; but sometimes, there is reason to believe, it came
to a rougher arbitrament, in the depths of the woods, between man and
man.

John Putnam had gone out and settled lands between the "six-mile
extent" of Salem and Ipswich River. Some of his sons had gone with
him. They had two dwelling-houses, cultivated meadows, orchards, &c.
Isaac Burton says, that, one day, when near John Nichols's house, he
heard a tree fall in the woods; and that he went to see who was
chopping there. It seems that Jacob Towne and John How, Topsfield men,
had come in defiance of John Putnam, and cut down a tree before his
face. As they were two to one, Putnam had to swallow the insult; but
he was not the man to let it rest so. He went out shortly after,
accompanied by an adequate force of sons and nephews, and proceeded to
fell the trees. The sound of the axes reached the ears of the
Topsfield men; and Isaac Easty, Sr., John Easty, John Towne, and
Joseph Towne, Jr., undertook to put a stop to the operation. On
reaching the spot, they warned Putnam against cutting timber. He
replied, "The timber now and here cut down has been felled by me and
my orders;" and he proceeded to say, "I will keep cutting and carrying
away from this land until next March." They asked him, "What, by
violence?" He answered, "Aye, by violence. You may sue me: you know
where I dwell;" and, turning to his company, he said, "Fall on." The
Putnams were evidently the stronger party; and the Topsfield men,
counting forces, concluded, in their turn, that discretion, at that
time, was the better part of valor. Such scenes occurred on the
disputed ground for a whole generation. It is not wonderful that all
sorts of animosities were kindled. The fact will be borne in mind,
that Isaac Easty and son, with John Towne and son, constituted the
Topsfield force on this occasion.

It cannot be doubted, that these controversies with the surrounding
towns, the mother-church, and the General Court itself, gradually
engendered a very bad state of feeling. The people were deeply
impressed with a conviction that they had been wronged all around and
all the way through. They felt that the whole world was against them;
and when, by a train of mischievous influences, hell itself seemed to
be let loose upon them, it is not strange that they were driven to
distraction.

We come, at last, to that chapter in the history of Salem Village
which will lead us directly to the witchcraft delusion. Its religious
organization was somewhat peculiar; and, although instituted by a
particular arrangement made by the General Court, was, in one or two
features, a complete departure from the ecclesiastical polity
elsewhere rigidly enforced. It was a congregation forbidden, for the
time being, to have a church. It was a society for religious worship,
administered, not by professors of religion or by persons regarded at
all in a religious light, but by householders. The people of the
village liked it, perhaps, all the better for this; and they took hold
of it with a will. Joseph Houlton gave to the parish five and a half
acres of land, in the centre of the village, for the use of the
minister. A parsonage-house was built, "forty-two feet in length,
twenty feet broad, thirteen-feet stud, four chimneys, and no
gable-ends." It was the custom to have a leanto attached to their
houses, generally on the northern side; and one was finally added to
the parsonage. There was a garden within the enclosure. Joseph
Hutchinson gave an acre out of his broad meadow as a site for the
meeting-house and it was erected; "thirty-four feet in length,
twenty-eight feet broad, and sixteen feet between joints." Two end
galleries were added, and a "canopy" placed over the pulpit. The
mother-church, having about the same time built a new meeting-house,
voted to give "the farmers their old pulpit and deacons' seats," which
were brought up and duly installed. In the course of these
proceedings, some slight differences arose among them about matters of
detail, but not more than is usual in such cases. In order to
despatch at once all that may be required to be said about the
meeting-houses of the village, it may be allowable here to mention,
that the original building did not survive the century. In 1700,
partly because the growth of the society began to require it, but
mainly, no doubt, to escape from the painful associations which had
become connected with it, a new meeting-house was built on another
site. The old one was dismantled of all its removable parts, and the
site reverted to Joseph Hutchinson. It is supposed that he removed the
frame to the other side of the road, and converted it into a barn; and
that it was used as such until, in the memory of old persons now
living, it mouldered, crumbled into powder-post, and sunk to the
ground. It stood, after being converted into a barn, on the south side
of the road, nearly in front of Joseph Hutchinson's homestead.
Hutchinson's dwelling-house was probably some distance further down in
the field, where the remains of an old cellar are still to be seen.
Nathaniel Ingersoll gave the land for the new meeting-house. The
records contain the vote, that it "shall stand upon Watch-House Hill,
before Deacon Ingersoll's door." The meeting-houses of the society
have stood there ever since. At that time, it was an elevated spot,
probably covered with the original forest; for the work of clearing,
levelling, and preparing it for occupancy was so considerable as to
require a special provision. The labor and expense of the operation
were put on that portion of the congregation brought nearer to the
meeting-house by the change of the site.

In urging their petition to be set off as an independent parish,
distinct from the First Church in Salem, the people of the village
declared, that, if they could not have a ministry established among
them, they would soon "become worse than the heathen around them."
Little did they foresee the immediate, long-continued, and terrible
effects that were to follow the boon thus prayed for. The
establishment of the ministry among them was not merely an opening of
Pandora's box: it was emptying and shaking it over their heads. It led
them to a condition of bitterness and violence, of confusion and
convulsion, of horror and misery, of cruelty and outrage, worse than
heathen ever experienced or savages inflicted.

James Bayley of Newbury, born Sept. 12, 1650, a graduate of Harvard
College in the class of 1669, was employed to preach at the village.
In October, 1671, he transferred his relations from the church in
Newbury to the First Church in Salem. It seems that several persons of
considerable influence in the village were dissatisfied with the
manner in which he had been brought forward, and became prejudiced
against him. The disaffection was not removed, but suffered to take
deep root in their minds. The parish soon became the scene of one of
those violent and heated dissensions to which religious societies are
sometimes liable. The unhappy strife was aggravated from day to day,
until it spread alienation and acrimony throughout the village. A
majority of the people were all along in favor of Bayley; but the
minority were implacable. His engagement to preach was renewed from
year to year. At length, the controversy waxed so warm that some
definite action became necessary. On the 10th of March, 1679, both
parties applied to the mother-church for advice. A paper was presented
by his opponents, with sixteen, and another from his friends, with
thirty-nine signers. There was still another, also in his favor,
signed by ten persons living near, but not within the village line.
Although the number of his opponents was so much less than of his
friends, they included persons, such as Nathaniel Putnam and Bray
Wilkins, of large estates and families, and much general influence;
and it is evident that the First Church was not inclined wholly to
disregard them. The record of that church says, "There was much
agitation on both sides, and divers things were spoken of by the
brethren; but the business being long, and many of the brethren gone,
we could not make a church act of advice in the case; therefore it was
left to another time." At a meeting on the 22d of April, the Salem
Church advised the minority "to submit to the generality for the
present;" but, when a church should be formed there, "then they might
choose him or any other." This advice does not appear to have
satisfied either party; and the quarrel went on with renewed vehemence
on both sides. At length, it reached such a pitch that it became
necessary to carry it up to the General Court. The whole affair was
investigated by that body, and all the papers that had passed in
relation to it were adduced. They are quite voluminous, and on file in
the office of the Secretary of State, in Boston. These interesting and
curious documents illustrate the energy of action of both parties; and
give, it is probable, the best picture anywhere to be found of a
first-rate parish controversy of the olden times.

The General Court came down upon the case with a strong hand. They
decided in favor of Bayley, whom they pronounced "orthodox, and
competently able, and of a blameless and self-denying conversation;"
and they "do order, that Mr. Bayley be continued and settled the
minister of that place, and that he be allowed sixty pounds per annum
for his maintenance, one-third part thereof in money, the other
two-thirds in provisions of all sorts such as a family needs, at equal
prices, and fuel for his family's occasions; this sum to be paid by
the inhabitants of that place." This was thirteen pounds a year more
than Bayley's friends had ever voted for him. To make the matter sure,
the General Court required the parish to choose three or five men
among themselves to apportion every man's share of the tax to secure
the sixty pounds: and, if any difficulty should occur in getting men
among themselves to perform this duty, they appointed to act, in that
event, Mr. Batter, Captain Jonathan Corwin, and Captain Price, of the
old parish of Salem, to make the rate; and gave ample power to the
constable of the village or the marshal of the county, to enforce the
collection of it, by distress and attachment, if any should neglect or
refuse to pay the sum assessed upon him. To make it still more certain
that Mr. Bayley should get his money, they ordered "that all the rate
is to be paid in for the use of the ministry unto two persons chosen
by the householders to supply the place of deacons for the time, who
are to reckon with the people, and to deliver the same to the said
minister or to his order." The arrangement as to the agency of deacons
was "to continue until the Court shall take further order, or that
there be a church of Christ orderly gathered and approved in that
place." This procedure of the Court was a pretty high-handed stretch
of power even for those days; and giving the appointment of officers,
with the title and character of deacons to mere householders, and
where there was no church or organized body of professed believers,
was in absolute conflict with the whole tenor and spirit of the
ecclesiastical system then in force and rigidly maintained elsewhere
throughout the colony. The Court seems itself to have been alarmed at
the extent to which it had gone in forcing Mr. Bayley upon the people
of Salem Village, and fell back, in conclusion, upon the following
proviso: "This order shall continue for one year only from the last of
September last past." The date of the order was the 15th of October,
1679. It had less than a year to run. In fact, the order, after all,
before it comes to the end, is diluted into a mere recommendation of
Mr. Bayley. "In the mean while, all parties," it is hoped, will
"endeavor an agreement in him or some other meet person for a minister
among them;" but the General Court takes care to wind up by demanding
"five pounds for hearing the case, the whole number of villagers
equally to bear their proportion thereof."

While the power thus incautiously conceded to householders was duly
noted, the apparently formidable action of the Court did not in the
least alarm the opposition, or in the slightest degree abate their
zeal. The householders continued, as before, to manage all affairs
relating to the ministry in general meetings of the inhabitants. They
proceeded at once to elect their two deacons. "Corporal Nathaniel
Ingersoll" was one of them; and he continued to hold the office, in
parish and in church, for forty years.

As no attention was paid to the order of the General Court, so far as
it attempted to fasten Mr. Bayley upon the parish; as the church in
Salem would not take the responsibility of recommending his ordination
in the face of such an opposition; and as it was out of the question
to think of reconciling or reducing it, Mr. Bayley concluded to retire
from the conflict and quit the field; and his ministry in the village
came to an end. As evidence that the heat of this protracted
controversy had not consumed all just and considerate sentiments in
the minds of the people, I present the substance of a deed found in
the Essex Registry. It will be noticed, that the most conspicuous of
Mr. Bayley's opponents, Nathaniel Putnam, is one of the parties to the
instrument.

"Thomas Putnam, Sr., Nathaniel Putnam, Sr., Thomas Fuller, Sr., John
Putnam, Sr., and Joseph Hutchinson, Sr. Deed of gift to Mr. James
Bayley. Whereas, Mr. James Bayley, minister of the gospel, now
resident of Salem Village, hath been in the exercise of his gifts by
preaching amongst us several years, having had a call thereunto by the
inhabitants of the place; and at the said Mr. Bayley's first coming
amongst us, we above-named put the said Bayley in possession of a
suitable accommodation of land and meadow, for his more comfortable
subsistence amongst us. But the providence of God having so ordered
it, that the said Mr. Bayley doth not continue amongst us in the work
of the ministry, yet, considering the premises, and as a testimony of
our good affection to the said Mr. Bayley, and as full satisfaction of
all demands of us or any of us, of land relating to the premises, do
by these presents fully grant, &c., to said Bayley" twenty-eight acres
of upland, and thirteen acres of meadow in all. The several lots are
described in the deed, and constitute a very valuable property. The
instrument bears date May 6, 1680. Mr. Bayley's residence is indicated
on the map. The land on which it stood belonged to the part
contributed by Nathaniel Putnam, with some acres in front of it
contributed by Joseph Hutchinson. He continued to own and occasionally
occupy his property in the village for some years after the witchcraft
transactions. He left the ministry, and prepared himself for the
profession of medicine, which he practised in Roxbury. He died on the
17th of January, 1707.

It is not very easy to ascertain from the parish records, or from the
mass of papers in the State-house files, the precise grounds of the
obstinate controversy in reference to him. It is evident that it began
in consequence of some alleged irregularity in the proceedings that
led to his first engagement to preach at the village. There are
intimations, that, in the tone and style of his preaching, he did not
quite come up to the mark required by some. The objection does not
seem to have been against his talents or learning, but, rather, that
he did not take hold with sufficient vehemence, or handle with
sufficient zeal and warmth, points then engrossing attention. One or
two expressions in the papers which proceeded from his opponents seem
to hint that he had not the degree of strictness or severity in his
aspect or ways thought necessary in a minister. Papers in the files of
the County Court bring to light, perhaps, precisely the shape in which
the charges against him had currency. On the 4th of April, 1679,
complaint was made by Thomas and John Putnam, Srs., Daniel Andrew, and
Nathaniel Ingersoll, against Henry Kenny "for slandering our minister,
Mr. Bayley, by reporting that he doth not perform family duties in his
family." This was an expression then in use for "family prayers." One
young woman testified as follows: "Being at Mr. Bayley's house three
weeks together, I never heard Mr. Bayley read a chapter, nor expound
on any part of the Scripture, which was a great grief to me." On the
other hand, three men and one woman depose thus: "Having, for a year,
some more, some less, since Mr. Bayley's coming to Salem Farms, lived
at his house, we testify to our knowledge, that he hath continually
performed family duties, morning and evening, unless sickness or some
other unavoidable providence hath prevented." Two of the above
witnesses depose more specifically as follows: "We testify,--one of us
being a boarder at Mr. Bayley's house, at times, for two or three
years, and the other having lived there about a year and a
quarter,--that Mr. Bayley did not only constantly perform family
prayers twice a day, except some unusual providence at any time
prevented, but also did sometimes read the Scriptures and other
profitable books, and also repeat his own sermons in his family that
he preached upon the Lord's Days; always endeavoring to keep good
order in his family, carrying himself exemplarily therein." The
evidence against Bayley was afterwards found to be unworthy of credit,
and was wholly overborne at the time by unimpeachable testimony in his
favor. The conclusion seems to be safe, from all the papers and
proceedings, that Mr. Bayley was, as the General Court had pronounced
him, "of a blameless conversation." A letter from him to his people,
relating to the disaffection of some, and expressing a willingness to
relinquish his position, if the interests of the society would thereby
be promoted, is among the papers. It is creditable to his
understanding, temper, and character.

The opposition to Mr. Bayley laid the train for all the disastrous and
terrible scenes that followed. His wife was Mary Carr, of Salisbury.
Her family, besides land in that town, owned the large island in the
Merrimack, just above Newburyport, called still by their name, and
occupied by their descendants to this day. Mrs. Bayley brought with
her to the village a younger sister, Ann, who, when scarcely sixteen
years of age,--on the 25th of November, 1678,--married Sergeant Thomas
Putnam. The Carrs were evidently well-educated young women; and there
is every indication that Ann was possessed of qualities which gave her
much influence in private circles. Her husband was the eldest son of
the richest man in the village, had the most powerful and extensive
connections, was a member of the company of troopers, had been in the
Narragansett fight, and, as his records show, was a well-educated
person. Marriage with him brought his wife into the centre of the
great Putnam family; and, her sister Bayley being the wife of the
minister, a powerful combination was secured to his support. The
opposition so obstinately made to his settlement, appearing to his
friends, as it does to us, so unreasonable, if not perverse,
engendered a very bitter resentment, which spread from house to house.
Every thing served to aggravate it. The disregard, by the opposition,
of the advice of the old church to agree to his ordination, and of the
strong endorsement of him by the General Court; and the failure of
either of those bodies to take the responsibility of proceeding to his
ordination,--made the dissatisfaction and disappointment of his
friends intense. His connection by marriage with such a wide-spread
influence, and the harmony and happiness of social life, made his
settlement so very desirable that his friends could not account for
the resistance made to it. His amiable character, which had been shown
to be proof against slander; and his domestic bereavements in the loss
of his wife and three children,--made him dear to his friends. More
than three to one earnestly, persistently, from year to year, begged
that he might be ordained; but what was regarded as an unworthy
faction was permitted to succeed in preventing it. All these things
sunk deep into the heart of the wife of Sergeant Thomas Putnam. She
was a woman of an excitable temperament, and, by her talents, zeal,
and personal qualities, wrought all within her influence into the
highest state of exasperation. This must be borne in mind when we
reach the details of our story. It is the key to all that followed.

The friends of Bayley, while they yielded to his determination to
withdraw from his disagreeable position, never relinquished the hope
to get him back, but renewed a struggle to that end, whenever a
vacancy occurred in the village ministry. With that object in view,
they were unwise and unjust enough to cherish aversion to every one
who succeeded him, and thus kept alive the fatal elements of division.
But it is due to him to say, that he does not appear to have been at
all responsible for the course of his friends. Although retaining his
property in the village, and often residing there, there is no
indication that he had a hand in subsequent proceedings, or was in the
slightest degree connected with the troubles that afterwards arose.
Arts were used to inveigle him into the witchcraft prosecutions: his
resentments, if he had any, were invoked; but in vain. He resisted
attempts, which were made with more effect upon one of his successors,
to rouse his passions against parties accused. He kept himself free
from the whole affair. His name nowhere appears as complainant,
witness, or actor in any shape. He was, so far as the evidence goes, a
peaceable, prudent, kind, and good man; and if the people of Salem
Village had been wise enough, or been permitted, to settle him, the
world might never have known that such a place existed.

George Burroughs, in November, 1680, was engaged to preach at Salem
Village. He is supposed to have been born in Scituate; but his origin
is as uncertain as his history was sad, and his end tragical. He was a
graduate of Harvard College in the class of 1670. What little is known
of him shows that he was a man of ability and integrity. Papers on
file in the State House prove, that, in the district of Maine, where
he lived and preached before and after his settlement at the village,
he was regarded with confidence by his neighbors, and looked up to as
a friend and counsellor. Certain incidents are related, which prove
that he was self-denying, generous, and public-spirited, laboring in
humility and with zeal in the midst of great privations, sharing the
exposures of his people to Indian violence, and experiencing all the
sufferings of an unprotected outpost. In 1676, while preaching at
Casco,--now Portland,--the entire settlement was broken up by an
Indian assault. Thirty-two of the inhabitants were killed or carried
into captivity. Mr. Burroughs escaped to an island in the bay, from
which he was rescued by timely aid from the mainland. He wrote an
account of the catastrophe, communicated by Brian Pendleton to the
Governor and Council at Boston. In 1683 he was again at Casco; and,
again driven off by the Indians in 1690, transferred his labors to
Wells. A grant of one hundred and fifty acres of land was made to him,
included in the site of the present city of Portland. As population
began to thicken near the spot, the town applied to him to relinquish
a part of it, other lands to be given him in exchange. In their
account of the transaction, they state, that, in answer to their
application, Mr. Burroughs said they were welcome to it; that he
freely gave it back, "not desiring any land anywhere else, nor any
thing else in consideration thereof."

In a vote passed at a meeting of Salem Village parish, Feb. 10, 1681,
it was agreed that Mr. Burroughs should receive £93. 6_s._ 8_d._ per
annum for three years, and £60 per annum afterwards. I suppose that he
had no money or property of any kind. The parsonage was out of repair;
and the larger sum for the first three years, amounting to £100, in
three instalments, was to be given him as an outfit in housekeeping.
Immediately upon coming to the village to reside, he encountered the
hostility of those persons who, as the special friends of Mr. Bayley,
allowed their prejudices to be concentrated upon his innocent
successor. The unhappy animosities arising from this source entirely
demoralized the Society, and, besides making it otherwise very
uncomfortable to a minister, led to a neglect and derangement of all
financial affairs. In September, 1681, Mr. Burroughs's wife died, and
he had to run in debt for her funeral expenses. Rates were not
collected, and his salary was in arrears. In making the contract with
the parish, he had taken care to add, at the end of the articles,
these words, "All is to be understood so long as I have gospel
encouragement." It is not improbable that there was a lack of sympathy
between him and the ministers in this part of the country. He
concluded that no benefit would accrue from calling a council to put
things into order; and, as he was in despair of remedying the evils
that had become fastened upon the village, he concluded to give up the
idea of getting a settlement of his accounts, abandoned his claims
altogether, and removed from the village.

At the April term of Court in Ipswich, 1683, a committee of the parish
petitioned for relief, stating that Mr. Burroughs had left them, and
that they had been without services in their meeting-house for four
sabbaths. They pray the Court, that "they be pleased to write to Mr.
Burroughs, requiring him to attend an orderly hearing and clearing up
the case," and "to come to account" with them. The Court accordingly
directed a meeting of the inhabitants to be held, and wrote to Mr.
Burroughs to attend it. When the day came, the Court sent a letter to
be read at the meeting, directing the parties to "reckon," and settle
their accounts. What transpired at this curious meeting is best given
by presenting the documents on file in a case that went into Court.
They show the proceedings that interrupted the "reckoning" at the
meeting in a most extraordinary manner:--

     [COUNTY COURT, June, 1683.--Lieutenant John Putnam
     _versus_ Mr. George Burroughs. Action of debt for two
     gallons of Canary wine, and cloth, &c., bought of Mr. Gedney
     on John Putnam's account, for the funeral of Mrs.
     Burroughs.]

     "_Deposition_.

     "We, whose names are underwritten, testify and say, that at
     a public meeting of the people of Salem Farms, April 24,
     1683, we heard a letter read, which letter was sent from the
     Court. After the said letter was read, Mr. Burroughs came
     in. After the said Burroughs had been a while in, he asked
     'whether they took up with the advice of the Court, given in
     the letter, or whether they rejected it.' The moderator made
     answer, 'Yes, we take up with it;' and not a man
     contradicted it to any of our hearing. After this was
     passed, was a discourse of settling accounts between the
     said Burroughs and the inhabitants, and issuing things in
     peace, and parting in love, as they came together in love.
     Further, we say that the second, third, and fourth days of
     the following week were agreed upon by Mr. Burroughs and
     the people to be the days for every man to come in and to
     reckon with the said Burroughs; and so they adjourned the
     meeting to the last of the aforesaid three days, in the
     afternoon, then to make up the whole account in public.

     "We further testify and say, that, May the second, 1683, Mr.
     Burroughs and the inhabitants met at the meeting-house to
     make up accounts in public, according to their agreement the
     meeting before; and, just as the said Burroughs began to
     give in his accounts, the marshal came in, and, after a
     while, went up to John Putnam, Sr., and whispered to him,
     and said Putnam said to him, 'You know what you have to do:
     do your office.' Then the marshal came to Mr. Burroughs, and
     said, 'Sir, I have a writing to read to you.' Then he read
     the attachment, and demanded goods. Mr. Burroughs answered,
     'that he had no goods to show, and that he was now reckoning
     with the inhabitants, for we know not yet who is in debt,
     but there was his body.' As we were ready to go out of the
     meeting-house, Mr. Burroughs said, 'Well, what will you do
     with me?' Then the marshal went to John Putnam, Sr., and
     said to him, 'What shall I do?' The said Putnam replied,
     'You know your business.' And then the said Putnam went to
     his brother, Thomas Putnam, and pulled him by the coat; and
     they went out of the house together, and presently came in
     again. Then said John Putnam, 'Marshal, take your prisoner,
     and have him up to the ordinary,--that is a public
     house,--and secure him till the morning.'

     (Signed) "NATHANIEL INGERSOLL, aged about fifty.
               SAMUEL SIBLEY, aged about twenty-four.

     "To the first of these, I, John Putnam, Jr., testify, being
     at the meeting."

The above document illustrates the general position of the Putnam
family through all the troubles of the Salem Village parish. Thomas
and John were the heads of two of its branches, and participated in
the proceedings against Burroughs. Nathaniel generally was on the
other side in the course of the various controversies which finally
culminated in the witchcraft delusion. His son, John Putnam, Jr., on
this occasion, was a witness friendly to Mr. Burroughs. Nathaniel
Ingersoll does not appear to have been a partisan on either side. His
sympathies, generally, were with the friends of Bayley; but, on this
occasion, his sense of justice led him to take the lead in behalf of
Burroughs. Other depositions are as follows:--

     "THE TESTIMONY OF THOMAS HAYNES, aged thirty-two
     years or thereabouts.--Testifieth and saith, that, at a
     meeting of the inhabitants of Salem Farms, May the second,
     1683, after the marshal had read John Putnam's attachment to
     Mr. Burroughs, then Mr. Burroughs asked Putnam 'what money
     it was he attached him for.' John Putnam answered, 'For five
     pounds and odd money at Shippen's at Boston, and for
     thirteen shillings at his father Gedney's, and for
     twenty-four shillings at Mrs. Darby's;' that then Nathaniel
     Ingersoll stood up, and said, 'Lieutenant, I wonder that you
     attach Mr. Burroughs for the money at Darby's and your
     father Gedney's, when, to my knowledge, you and Mr.
     Burroughs have reckoned and balanced accounts two or three
     times since, as you say, it was due, and you never made any
     mention of it when you reckoned with Mr. Burroughs.' John
     Putnam answered, 'It is true, and I own it.' Samuel Sibley,
     aged twenty-four years or thereabouts, testifieth to all
     above written."

     "THE TESTIMONY OF NATHANIEL INGERSOLL, _aged,
     &c._--Testifieth, that I heard Mr. Burroughs ask Lieutenant
     John Putnam to give him a bill to Mr. Shippen. The said
     Putnam asked the said Burroughs how much he would take up at
     Mr. Shippen's. Mr. Burroughs said it might be five pounds;
     but, after the said Burroughs had considered a little, he
     said to the said Putnam, 'It may be it might come to more:'
     therefore he would have him give him a bill to the value of
     five or six pounds,--when Putnam answered, it was all one to
     him. Then the said Putnam went and writ it, and read it to
     Mr. Burroughs, and said to him that it should go for part of
     the £33. 6_s._ 8_d._ for which he had given a bill to him in
     behalf of the inhabitants. I, Hannah Ingersoll, aged
     forty-six years or thereabouts, testify the same."

It seems by the foregoing, that Mr. Burroughs had presented a bill, of
the amount just mentioned, to John Putnam, who, as chairman of the
committee the preceding year, represented the inhabitants; and it was
deliberately and formally agreed, that the sum borrowed of Putnam by
Burroughs should "go for part of it." The records of the parish show,
that, on the 24th of May,--three weeks after this meeting "for
reckoning,"--a vote was passed to raise, by a rate, "fifteen pounds
for Mr. Burroughs for the last quarter of a year he preached with us."
At a meeting in December of the same year, a rate was ordered, to pay
the debts of the parish, amounting to £52. 1_s._ 1_d._ On the 22d of
the ensuing February, the parish voted to raise "fifteen pounds for
Mr. Burroughs." The record of a meeting in April, 1684, contains an
order, left on the book, with Mr. Burroughs's proper signature,
authorizing Lieutenant Thomas Putnam to receive of the committee "what
is due to me from the inhabitants of Salem Farms." Thus it is evident,
that, at the very day when the ruthless proceedings above described
took place, a considerable balance was due to Mr. Burroughs, after all
claims from all quarters had been "reckoned." The return of the
marshal, made to the Court, was as follows:--

     "I have attached the body of George Burroughs he tendered to
     me,--for he said he had no pay,--and taken bonds to the
     value of fourteen pounds money, and read this to him.

     Per me,

     HENRY SKERRY, _Marshal_."

The bond is as follows. I give the names of the signers. The persons
who interposed to rescue a persecuted man from unjust imprisonment
deserve to be held in honored remembrance.

     "We whose names are underwritten do bind ourselves jointly
     and severally to Henry Skerry, Marshal of Salem, our heirs,
     executors, and administrators, in the sum of fourteen pounds
     money, that George Burroughs shall appear at the next court
     at Salem, to answer to Lieutenant John Putnam, according to
     the summons of this attachment, and to abide the order of
     the court therein, and not to depart without license; as
     witness our hands this 2d of May, 1683.

     "GEORGE BURROUGHS.
     NATHANIEL INGERSOLL.
     JOHN BUXTON.
     THOMAS HAYNES.
     SAMUEL SIBLEY.
     WILLIAM SIBLEY.
     WILLIAM IRELAND, JR."

The case was withdrawn, and Burroughs was glad to get away. He
preferred the Indians at Casco Bay to the people here. When we
consider, that a committee of the parish petitioned the Court to have
such a meeting of the inhabitants; that it was held, by an order of
Court, in compliance with said petition; that Burroughs came back to
the village to attend it; that the meeting agreed, in answer to an
inquiry from him to that effect, to conform to the order of the Court
in making it the occasion of a full and final "reckoning" between
them; that they spent two days and a half in bringing in and sifting
all claims on either side; and that, when, at the time agreed
upon,--the afternoon of the third day,--the whole body of the
inhabitants had come together to ratify and give effect to the
"reckoning," the marshal came in with a writ, and, evidently in
violation of his feelings, was forced by John Putnam to arrest
Burroughs, thereby breaking up the proceedings asked for by the parish
and ordered by the Court, for a debt which he did not owe,--it must be
allowed, that it was one of the most audacious and abominable outrages
ever committed.

The scene presented in these documents is perhaps as vivid, and brings
the actual life before us as strikingly, as any thing that has come
down to us from that day. We can see, as though we were looking in at
the door, the spectacle presented in the old meeting-house: the
farmers gathered from their remote and widely scattered plantations,
some possibly coming in travelling family-vehicles,--although it is
quite uncertain whether there were any at that time among the
farmers; some in companies on farm-carts; many on foot; but the
greater number on horseback, in their picturesque costume of homespun
or moose-skin, with cowl-shaped hoods, or hats with a brim, narrow in
front, but broad and slouching behind, hanging over the shoulders.
Every man was belted and sworded. They did not wear weapons merely for
show. There was half a score of men in that assembly who were in the
Narragansett fight; and some bore on their persons scars from that
bloody scene of desperate heroism. Every man, it is probable, had come
to the meeting with his firelock on his shoulder, to defend himself
and companions against Indians lurking in the thick woods through
which they had to pass. Their countenances bespoke the passions to
which they had been wrought up by their fierce parish
quarrels,--rugged, severe, and earnest. We can see the grim bearing of
the cavalry lieutenant, John Putnam, and of his elder brother and
predecessor in commission. Marshal Skerry, with his badges of office,
is reluctant to execute its functions upon a persecuted and penniless
minister; but, in accordance with the stern demands of the inexorable
prosecutors, is faithful still to his painful duty. The minister is
the central object in the picture,--a small, dark-complexioned man,
the amazed but calm and patient victim of an animosity in which he had
no part, and for which he was in no wise responsible. The unresisting
dignity of his bearing is quite observable. "We are now reckoning; we
know not yet who is in debt. I have no pay; but here is my body."
Perhaps, in that unconspicuous frame, and through that humble garb,
the sinewy nerves and muscles of steel, the compact and concentrated
forces, that were the marvel of his times, and finally cost him his
life, were apparent in his movements and attitudes. It may be, that
the sufferings and exposures of his previous life had left upon his
swarthy features a stamp of care and melancholy, foreshadowing the
greater wrongs and trials in store for him. But the chief figure in
the group is the just man who rose and rebuked the harsh and
reprehensible procedure of the powerful landholder, neighbor and
friend though he was. The manner in which the arbitrary trooper bowed
to the rebuke, if it does not mitigate our resentment of his conduct,
illustrates the extraordinary influence of Nathaniel Ingersoll's
character, and demonstrates the deference in which all men held him.

There are in this affair other points worthy of notice, as showing the
effects of their bitter feuds in rendering them insensible to every
appeal of charity or humanity. Their minds had become so soured, and
their sense of what was right so impaired, that they neglected and
refused to fulfil their most ordinary obligations to each other, and
to themselves as a society. Rates were not collected, and contracts
were not complied with. The minister and his family were left without
the necessaries of life. They were compelled to borrow even their
clothing, articles of which constituted a part of the debt for which
he was arrested in such a public and unfeeling manner. A young woman
testifies that she lived with Mr. Burroughs about two years, and says:
"My mistress did tell me that she had some serge of John Putnam's
wife, to make Mary a coat; and also some fustian of his wife, to make
my mistress a pair of sleeves." The principal items in the account
were for articles required at the death of his wife, by the usages of
that day on funeral occasions. Surely it was an outrage upon human
nature to spring a suit at law and have a writ served on him, and take
him as a prisoner, on such an occasion, under such circumstances, on
an alleged debt incurred by such a bereavement, when poverty and
necessity had left him no alternative. The whole procedure receives
the stamp, not only of cruelty, but of infamy, from the fact, which
Nathaniel Ingersoll compelled Putnam to acknowledge before the whole
congregation, that the account had been settled and the debt paid long
before.

John Putnam, although a hard and stern man, had many traits of dignity
and respectability in his character. That he could have done this
thing, in this way, proves the extent to which prejudice and passion
may carry one, particularly where party spirit consumes individual
reason and conscience. At this point it is well to consider a piece of
testimony brought against Burroughs nine years afterwards. There was
no propriety or sense in giving it when it was adduced. It was, in
truth, an outrage to have introduced such testimony in a case where
Burroughs was on trial for witchcraft; and it was allowed, only to
prejudice and mislead the minds of a jury and of the public. But it is
proper to be taken into view, in forming a just estimate, with an
impartial aim, of his general character. The document is found in a
promiscuous bundle of witchcraft papers.

     "THE DEPOSITION OF JOHN PUTNAM AND REBECCA HIS
     WIFE.--Testifieth and saith, that, in the year 1680, Mr.
     Burroughs lived in our house nine months. There being a great
     difference betwixt said Burroughs and his wife, the
     difference was so great that they did desire us, the
     deponents, to come into their room to hear their difference.
     The controversy that was betwixt them was, that the aforesaid
     Burroughs did require his wife to give him a written
     covenant, under her hand and seal, that she would never
     reveal his secrets. Our answer was, that they had once made a
     covenant we did conceive did bind each other to keep their
     lawful secrets. And further saith, that, all the time that
     said Burroughs did live at our house, he was a very harsh and
     sharp man to his wife; notwithstanding, to our observation,
     she was a very good and dutiful wife to him."

The first observation that occurs in examining this piece of testimony
is, that the answer made by Putnam and his wife was excellent, and,
like every thing from him, shows that he was a man of strong common
sense, and had a forcible and effectual way of expressing himself. The
next thing to be considered is, that Mr. Burroughs probably
discovered, soon after coming to the village, into what a hornets'
nest he had got,--every one tattling about and backbiting each other.
His innocent and unsuspicious wife may have indulged a little in what
is considered the amiable proclivity of her sex, and have let fall, in
tea-table talk, what cavillers and mischief-makers were on hand to
take up; and he may have found it both necessary and difficult to
teach her caution and reserve. He saw, more perhaps than she did, the
danger of getting involved in the personal acrimonies with which the
whole community was poisoned. Her unguarded carelessness might get
herself and him into trouble, and vitally impair their happiness and
his usefulness. The only other point to be remarked upon is the
general charge against Mr. Burroughs's temper and disposition. It may
be that he became so disgusted with the state of things as to have
shown some acerbity in his manners, but such a supposition is not in
harmony with what little is known of him from other sources; and John
Putnam's conduct at the meeting described proves that his mind was
fully perverted, and bereft as it were of all moral rectitude of
judgment, in reference to Mr. Burroughs. We must part with Mr.
Burroughs for the present. We shall meet him again, where the powers
of malignity will be more shamelessly let loose upon him, and prevail
to his destruction.

He was succeeded in the ministry at Salem Village by a character of a
totally different class. Deodat Lawson is first heard of in this
country, according to Mr. Savage, at Martha's Vineyard in 1671. He
took the freeman's oath at Boston in 1680, and continued to have his
residence there. It was not until after much negotiation and
considerable importunity, that he was prevailed upon to enter into an
engagement to preach at the Village. He began his ministry early in
1684, as appears by the parish record of a meeting Feb. 22, 1684:
"Voted that Joseph Herrick, Jonathan Putnam, and Goodman Cloyse are
desired to take care for to get a boat for the removing of Mr.
Lawson's goods." Votes, about this time, were passed to repair the
parsonage, and the fences around the ministry land; thus putting
things in readiness to receive him. It does not appear that he became
particularly entangled in the conflicts which had so long disturbed
the Village, although, while the mother-church signified its readiness
to approve of his ordination, and some movement was made in the
Village to that end, it was found impossible to bring the hostile
parties sufficiently into co-operation to allow of any thing being
definitely accomplished. Fortunately for Mr. Lawson, the spirit of
strife found other objects upon which to expend its energies for the
time being. Some persons brought forward complaints, that the records
of the parish had not been correctly kept (this was before Sergeant
Thomas Putnam had been charged with that trust); that votes which had
passed in "Mr. Bayley's days" and in "Mr. Burroughs's days" had not
been truly recorded, or recorded at all; and that what had never been
passed had been entered as votes. A great agitation arose on this
subject, and many meetings were held. Some demanded that the spurious
votes should be expunged; others, that the omitted votes should be
inserted. Then there was an excited disputation about the ministry
lands, and the validity or sufficiency of their title to them. Joseph
Houlton had given them; but he had nothing to do with raising the
question, and did all he could to suppress it. Some person had
discovered that William Haynes, to whom Houlton had succeeded by the
right of his wife, had omitted to get his deed of purchase recorded,
and the original could not be found. Disputes also arose about the use
of the grounds around the meeting-house. These, added to the conflicts
with the "Topsfield men," and matters not fully adjusted with the town
of Salem, created and kept up a violent fermentation, in which all
were miscellaneously involved. In the midst of this confusion, the
matter of ordaining Mr. Lawson was put into the warrant for a meeting
to be held on the 10th of December, 1686. But it was found impossible
to recall the people from their divisions, and no favorable action
could be had.

At length, all attempts to settle their difficulties among themselves
were abandoned; and they called for help from outside. At a legally
warned meeting on the 17th of January, 1687, the inhabitants made
choice of "Captain John Putnam" (he had been promoted in the military
line since the affair in the meeting-house with Mr. Burroughs),
"Lieutenant Jonathan Walcot, Ensign Thomas Flint, and Corporal Joseph
Herrick, for to transact with Joseph Hutchinson, Job Swinnerton,
Joseph Porter, and Daniel Andrew about their grievances relating to
the public affairs of this place; and, if they cannot agree among
themselves, that then they shall refer their differences to the
Honored Major Gedney and John Hathorne, Esqs., and to the reverend
elders of the Salem Church, for a full determination of those
differences." Of course, it was impossible to settle the matter among
themselves, and the referees were called in. William Brown, Jr., Esq.,
was added to them. They were all of the old town, and men of the
highest consideration. Their judgment in the case is a well-drawn and
interesting document, and shows the view which near neighbors took of
the distractions in the village. The following passage will exhibit
the purport and spirit of it:--

     "_Loving Brethren, Friends and Neighbors_,--Upon serious
     consideration of, and mature deliberation upon, what hath
     been offered to us about your calling and transacting in
     order to the settling and ordaining the Rev. Mr. Deodat
     Lawson, and the grievances offered by some to obstruct and
     impede that proceeding, our sense of the matter is
     this,--first, that the affair of calling and transacting in
     order to the settling and ordaining the Reverend Mr. Lawson
     hath not been so inoffensively managed as might have
     been,--at least, not in all the parts and passages of it;
     second, that the grievances offered by some amongst you are
     not in themselves of sufficient weight to obstruct so great
     a work, and that they have not been improved so peaceably
     and orderly as Christian prudence and self-denial doth
     direct; third, to our grief, we observe such uncharitable
     expressions and uncomely reflections tossed to and fro as
     look like the effects of settled prejudice and resolved
     animosity, though we are much rather willing to account them
     the product of weakness than wilfulness: however, we must
     needs say, that, come whence they will, they have a tendency
     to make such a gap as we fear, if not timely prevented, will
     let out peace and order, and let in confusion and every evil
     work."

They then proceed to give some good advice to "prevent contention and
trouble for the future, that it may not devour for ever, and that, if
the Lord please, you may be happier henceforth than to make one
another miserable; and not make your place uncomfortable to your
present, and undesirable to any other, minister, and the ministry
itself in a great measure unprofitable: and that you may not bring
impositions on yourselves by convincing all about you that you cannot,
or will not, use your liberty as becomes the gospel." Their advice is,
"that you desist, at present, from urging the ordination of the Rev.
Mr. Lawson, till your spirits are better quieted and composed." They
give some judicious suggestions about various matters that had been
the occasion of difficulty among them, especially to help them get
their records put into good shape, and kept so for the future; and
wind up in the following excellent, and in some of the clauses rather
emphatic and pithy, expressions:--

     "Finally, we think peace cheap, if it may be procured by
     complying with the aforementioned particulars, which are
     few, fair, and easy; and that they will hardly pass for
     lovers of peace, truth, ministry, and order, in the day of
     the Lord, that shall so lean to their own understanding and
     will that they shall refuse such easy methods for the
     obtaining of them. And, if peace and agreement amongst you
     be once comfortably obtained, we advise you with all
     convenient speed to go on with your intended ordination; and
     so we shall follow our advice with our prayers. But, if our
     advice be rejected, we wish you better, and hearts to follow
     it; and only add, if you will unreasonably trouble
     yourselves, we pray you not any further to trouble us. We
     leave all to the blessing of God, the wonderful Counsellor,
     and your own serious consideration: praying you to read and
     consider the whole, and then act as God shall direct you.
     Farewell."

     [Salem, Feb. 14, 1687. Signed by the five referees,--John
     Higginson and Nicholas Noyes (the elders of the old church),
     and the three gentlemen before named.]

At a meeting of the inhabitants of the Village on the 18th of
February, it was voted that "we do accept of and embrace the advice of
the honored and reverend gentlemen of Salem, sent to us under their
hands, and order that it shall be entered on our book of records." But
they took care further to vote, that they accepted it "in general, and
not in parts." In accordance with the advice of the referees, they
brought up, considered anew, and put to question, every entry in their
past records about the genuineness and validity of which any division
of opinion existed. Some entries that had been complained of and given
offence as incorrect were voted out, and others were confirmed by
being adopted on a new vote. A new book of records was prepared, to
conform to these decisions, which, having been submitted for
examination to leading persons, appointed for the purpose at a legal
meeting representing both parties, and approved by them, was adopted
and sanctioned at a subsequent meeting also called for the purpose.

In accordance with the same advice "that the old book of records be
kept in being," it was ordered by the meeting to leave the votes that
had, by the foregoing proceedings, been rendered null and void, to
"lie in the old book of records as they are." From the new book of
records we learn that "some votes are left out that passed in Mr.
Bayley's days, and some that passed in Mr. Burroughs's days,"
particularly all the votes but one that passed at a meeting held on
the fifth day of June, 1683, the very time that Mr. Burroughs was
under bonds in the action of debt brought by John Putnam. The new
record specifies some few, but not all, of the votes that were
rescinded because it was adjudged that they had not rightfully passed,
or been correctly stated. Unfortunately, the old book, after all, has
not been "kept in being;" and much that would have exhibited more
fully and clearly the unhappy early history of the parish is for ever
lost. If the records that have been suffered to remain present the
picture I have endeavored faithfully to draw, how much darker might
have been its shades had we been permitted to behold what the parties
concerned concurred in thinking too bad to be left to view!

The attempt to expunge records is always indefensible, besides being
in itself irrational and absurd. It may cover up the details of wrong
and folly; but it leaves an unlimited range to the most unfriendly
conjecture. We are compelled to imagine what we ought to be allowed to
know; and, in many particulars, our fancies may be worse than the
facts. But later times, and public bodies of greater pretensions than
"the inhabitants of Salem Village," have attempted, and succeeded in
perpetrating, this outrage upon history. In trying to conceal their
errors, men have sometimes destroyed the means of their vindication.
This may be the case with the story that is to be told of "Salem
Witchcraft." It has been the case in reference to wider fields of
history. The Parliamentary journals and other public records of the
period of the Commonwealth and the Protectorate were suppressed by the
infatuated stupidity of the Government of the Restoration. They
foolishly imagined that they were hiding the shame, while they were
obscuring the glory, of their country. Every Englishman, every
intelligent man, now knows, that, during that very period, all that
has made England great was done. The seeds of her naval and maritime
prosperity were planted: and she was pushed at once by wise measures
of policy, internal and external; by legislation developing her
resources and invigorating the power of her people; by a decisive and
comprehensive diplomacy that commanded the respect of foreign courts,
and secured to her a controlling influence upon the traffic of the
world; by developments of her military genius under the greatest of
all the great generals of modern times; and by naval achievements that
snatched into her hands the balancing trident of the seas,--to the
place she still holds (how much longer she may hold it remains to be
seen) as the leading power of the world. If she has to relinquish that
position, it will only be to a power that is true to the spirit, and
is not ashamed of the name, of a republic. The nation that fully
develops the policy which pervaded the records of the English
Commonwealth will be the leader of the world. The suppression of those
records has not suppressed the spirit of popular liberty, or the
progress of mankind in the path of reform, freedom, equal rights, and
a true civilization. It has only cast a shadow, which can never wholly
be dispelled, over what otherwise would have been the brightest page
in the annals of a great people. We depend for our knowledge of the
steps by which England then made a most wonderful stride to prosperity
and power, not upon official and authoritative records, but upon the
desultory and sometimes merely gossiping memoirs of particular
persons, and such other miscellaneous materials as can be picked up.
The only consequence of an attempt to extinguish the memory of
republicans, radicals, reformers, and regicides has been, that the
history of England's true glory can never be adequately written.

The referees used the following language touching the point of the
ordination of Mr. Lawson: "If more than a mere major part should not
consent to it, we should be loath to advise our brethren to proceed."
This, in connection with the other sentence I have quoted from their
communication recommending them "to desist at present" from urging it,
was fatal to the immediate movement in his favor; and, not seeing any
prospect of their "spirits becoming better quieted and composed," and
weary of the attempt to bring them to any comfortable degree of
unanimity, Mr. Lawson threw up his connection with them, and removed
back to Boston. We shall meet him again; but it is well to despatch at
this point what is to be said of his character and history.

It is evident that Deodat Lawson had received the best education of
his day. It is not easy to account for his not having left a more
distinguished mark in Old or New England. He had much learning and
great talents. Of his power in getting up pulpit performances in the
highest style of eloquence, of which that period afforded remarkable
specimens, I shall have occasion to speak. Among his other
attainments, he was, what cannot be said of learned and professional
men generally now any more than then, an admirable penman. The village
parish adopted the practice at the beginning, when paying the salaries
of its ministers from time to time, instead of taking receipts on
detached and loose pieces of paper, of having them write them out in
their own hand on the pages of the record-book, with their signatures.
It is a luxury, in looking over the old volume, to come upon the
receipts of Deodat Lawson, in his plain, round hand. A specimen is
given among the autographs. His chirography is easy, free, graceful,
clear, and clean. It unites with wonderful taste the highest degrees
of simplicity and ornament. Each style is used, and both are blended,
as occasion required. During his ministry, the trouble about the old
record-book occurred. The first four pages of the new book are in his
handwriting. The ink has somewhat faded; the paper has become
discolored, and, around the margins and at the bottom of the leaves,
lamentably worn and broken. The first page exhibits Lawson's
penmanship in its various styles. It is artistically executed in
several sizes of letters, appropriate to the position of the clauses
and the import and weight of the matter. In each there is an elegant
combination of ornament and simplicity. His chirography was often had
in requisition; and papers, evidently from his pen, are on file in
various cases, occurring in court at the time, in which his friends
were interested.

The first four ministers of the village parish were excellent penmen.
Bayley's hand is more like the modern style than the rest. Burroughs's
is as legible as print, uniform in its character, open and upright.
The specimen among the autographs is from the record referred to at
the top of page 262. As it was written at the bottom of a page in the
record-book, where there was hardly sufficient room, it had to be in a
slanting line. I give it just as it there appears. Parris wrote three
different hands, all perfectly easy to read. The larger kind was used
when signing his name to important papers, or in brief entries of
record. The specimen I give is from a receipt in the parish-book,
which Thomas Putnam, as clerk, made oath in court, that Parris wrote
and signed in his presence. His notes of examinations of persons
charged with witchcraft by the committing magistrate, many of which
are preserved, are in his smallest hand, very minute, but always
legible. In his church-records he uses sometimes a medium hand, and
sometimes the smallest. The autographs of Townsend Bishop and Thomas
Putnam show the handwriting that seems to have prevailed among
well-educated people in England at the time of the first settlement of
this country. There was often a profusion of flourishes that obscured
the letters. The initial capitals were quite complicated and very
curious. The signature of Thomas Putnam, Jr., exhibits his excellent
handwriting.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

I have adduced these facts and given these illustrations to show,
that, in this branch of education,--the value and desirableness of
which cannot be overrated,--it is at least an open question, whether
we have much ground to boast of being in advance of the first
generations of our ancestors in America. The early ministers of the
Salem Village parish certainly compare, in this particular, favorably
with ministers and professional men, and recording officers generally
in public bodies of all kinds, in later times.

Sergeant Thomas Putnam did not act as clerk of the parish from April,
1687, to April, 1694. A few entries are made by his hand; but the
record, very meagre and fragmentary, is for the most part made by
others. This is much to be regretted, as the interval covers the very
period of our history. His time, probably, was taken up, and his mind
wholly engrossed, by an unhappy family difficulty, in which, during
that period, he was involved. Thomas Putnam Sr. died, as has been
stated, in 1686. It was thought, by the children of his first wife,
that the influence of the second wife had been unduly exercised over
him, in his last years, so as to induce him to make a will giving to
her, and her only child by him, Joseph, a very unfair proportion of
his estate. It was felt by them to be so unjust that they attempted to
break the will. The management of the case was confided to Sergeant
Thomas Putnam, as the eldest son of the family; and the affair, it may
be supposed, absorbed his thoughts to such a degree as to render it
necessary for him to abandon his services as clerk of the parish. The
attempt to set aside the will failed. The circumstances connected with
the subject disturbed very seriously--perhaps permanently--the
happiness of the whole family, and may have contributed to create the
morbid excitement which afterwards was so fearfully displayed by the
wife of the younger Thomas.

While Mr. Lawson was at the village, he lost his wife and daughter. In
1690, he was again married, to Deborah Allen. He was settled
afterwards over the Second Society in Scituate,--it is singular that
our local histories do not tell us when, but that we get all we know
on the point from a sentence written by the pen on a leaf of one of
the two folio volumes of John Quick's "Synodicon in Gallia Reformata,"
in the possession of a gentleman in this country, Henry M. Dexter, who
says it is evidently Quick's autograph. It is in these words: "For my
reverend and dear brother, Mr. Lawson, minister of the gospel, and
pastor of the church of Scituate, in the province of Massachusetts in
New England; from the publisher, John Quick, _honoris et amoris ergo_,
Aug. 6, 1693." In 1696, Mr. Lawson went over to England, merely for a
short visit, as his people supposed. They heard from him no more. He
never asked a dismission, or communicated with them in any way. In
1698, an ecclesiastical council declared them free to settle another
minister, which they did in due time. He was, no doubt, alive and in
London when, in 1704, his famous Salem Village sermon was reprinted
there. But this is the last glimpse we have of him. An inscrutable
mystery covers the rest of his history. His manner of leaving the
Scituate parish shows him to have been an eccentric person, leaves an
unfavorable impression of his character, and is as inexplicable as the
only other reference to him that has thus far been found. Calamy, in
his "Continuation of the Account of Ejected Ministers," published in
1727, has a notice of Thomas Lawson, whom he describes as minister of
Denton in the county of Norfolk, educated at Katherine Hall in
Cambridge, and afterwards chosen "to a fellowship in St. John's. He
was a man of parts, but had no good utterance. He was the father of
the unhappy Mr. Deodat Lawson, who came hither from New England." With
all his abilities, learning, and eloquence, he disappears, after the
re-publication of his Salem Village sermon in London, in the dark,
impenetrable cloud of this expression, "the unhappy Mr. Deodat
Lawson." Of the melancholy fate implied in the language of Calamy, I
have not been able to obtain the slightest information.

The troubles that covered the whole period, since the beginning of Mr.
Bayley's ministry, had led to the neglect and derangement of the
entire organization of the Village, and resulted in the loss of what
little opportunities for education might otherwise have been provided.
So great was this evil regarded, that the old town felt it necessary
to interpose; and we find it voted Jan. 24, 1682, that "Lieutenant
John Putnam is desired, and is hereby empowered, to take care that the
law relating to the catechising of children and youth be duly attended
at the Village." He is also "desired to have a diligent care that all
the families do carefully and constantly attend the due education of
their children and youth according to law." We cannot but feel that
the man who was ready to fight the "Topsfield men" in the woods--who,
when they asked him, "What, by violence?" answered, with axe in hand,
"Ay, by violence," and who figured in the manner described in the
scene with Mr. Burroughs--was a singular person to intrust with the
charge of "catechising the children and youth." But those were queer
times, and he was a queer character. He had always been a
church-member; and, to the day of his death, church and prayer
meetings were more frequently held at his house than in any other. He
was a rough man, but he was no hypocrite. He was in the front of every
encounter; but he was tolerant, too, of difference of opinion. When,
at one time, the contests of the Village were at their height, and two
committees were raised representing the two conflicting parties, he
was at the head of one, and his eldest son (Jonathan) of the other.
Their opposition does not seem to have alienated them. While I have
found it necessary to hold him up, in some of his actions, for
condemnation, there were many good points about him; although he was
not the sort of man that would be likely, in our times, to be selected
to execute the functions of a Sunday-school teacher.

During all this period, there was a variety of minor controversies
among themselves, causing greater or less disturbance. Joseph
Hutchinson, who had given a site out of his homestead-grounds for the
meeting-house, had no patience with their perpetual wranglings. He
fenced up his lands around the meeting-house lot, leaving them an
entrance on the end towards the road. They went to court about it, and
he was called to account by the usual process of law. The plain, gruff
old farmer, who seems all along to have been a man of strong sense and
decided character, filed an answer, which is unsurpassed for bluntness
of expression. It has no language of ceremony, but goes to the point
at once. It has a general interest as showing, to how late a period
the inhabitants of this neighborhood were exposed to Indian attacks,
and what means of defence were resorted to by the Village worshippers.
The document manifests the contempt in which he held the complainants,
and it was all the satisfaction they got.

     "Joseph Hutchinson his answer is as followeth:--

     "First, as to the covenant they spoke of, I conceive it is
     neither known of by me nor them, as will appear by records
     from the farmer's book.

     "Second, I conceive they have no cause to complain of me for
     fencing in my own land; for I am sure I fenced in none of
     theirs. I wish they would not pull down my fences. I am
     loath to complain, though I have just cause.

     "Third, for blocking up the meeting-house, it was they did
     it, and not I, in the time of the Indian wars; and they made
     Salem pay for it. I wish they would bring me my rocks they
     took to do it with; for I want them to make fence with.

     "Thus, hoping this honored Court will see that there was no
     just cause to complain against me, and their cause will
     appear unjust in that they would in an unjust way take away
     my land, I trust I shall have relief; so I rest, your
     Honor's servant,

     JOSEPH HUTCHINSON."

     [Nov. 27, 1686.]

The next minister of Salem Village brought matters to a crisis. Samuel
Parris is stated to have been a son of Thomas Parris, of London, and
was born in 1653. He was, for a time, a member of Harvard College, but
did not finish the academic course, being drawn to a commercial life.
He was engaged in the West-India business, and probably lived at
Barbadoes. After a while, he abandoned commerce, and prepared himself
for the ministry. There was at this time, and long subsequently, a
very particular mercantile connection between Salem and Barbadoes. The
former husband of the wife of Thomas Putnam, Sr.,--Nathaniel
Veren,--as has been stated, had property in that island, and was more
or less acquainted with its people. Perhaps it was through this
channel that the thoughts of the people of the Village were turned
towards Mr. Parris. From a deposition made by him a few years
afterwards in a suit at law between him and his parishioners, we learn
some interesting facts relating to the negotiations that led to his
settlement.

It appears from his statement that a committee, consisting of "Captain
John Putnam, Mr. Joshua Rea, Sr., and Francis Nurse," was appointed,
on the 15th of November, 1688, to treat with him "about taking
ministerial office." On the 25th of November, "after the services in
the afternoon, the audience was stayed, and, by a general vote,
requested Mr. Parris to take office." He hung back for a while, and
exercised the skill and adroitness acquired in his mercantile life in
making as sharp a bargain as he could.

At that time, there appeared to be a degree of harmony among the
people, such as they had never known before. There was a disposition
on all sides to come together, and avail themselves of the occasion
of settling a new minister, to bury their past animosities, and
forget their grievances; and there is every reason to believe, if Mr.
Parris had promptly closed with their terms, he might have enjoyed a
peaceful ministry, and a happy oblivion have covered for ever his name
and the history of the village. But he withheld response to the call.
The people were impatient, and felt that the golden opportunity might
be lost, and the old feuds revive. On the 10th of December, another
committee was raised, consisting of Lieutenant Nathaniel Putnam,
Sergeant Fuller, Mr. Joshua Rea, Sr., and Sergeant Ingersoll, as
"messengers, to know whether Mr. Parris would accept of office." His
answer was, "the work was weighty; they should know in due time." They
were thus kept in suspense during the whole winter, getting no reply
from him. On the 29th of April, 1689, "Deacons Nathaniel Ingersoll and
Edward Putnam, Daniel Rea, Thomas Fuller, Jr., and John Tarbell, came
to Mr. Parris from the meeting-house," where there had been a general
meeting of the inhabitants, and said, "Being the aged men had had the
matter of Mr. Parris's settlement so long in hand, and effected
nothing, they were desirous to try what the younger could do." Deacon
Ingersoll was about fifty-five years of age; but his spirit and
character kept him in sympathy with the progressive impulses of
younger men. Deacon Putnam was thirty-four years of age. Daniel Rea
was the son of Joshua; Thomas Fuller, Jr., the son of Sergeant Fuller;
and John Tarbell, the son-in-law of Francis Nurse.

This is the first appearance, I believe, in our history, of that
notorious and most pretentious personage who has figured so largely in
all our affairs ever since, "Young America." The sequel shows, that,
in this instance at least, no benefit arose from discarding the
caution and experience of years. The "younger men" were determined to
"go ahead." They said they were desirous of a speedy answer. Finding
them in a temper to "finish the thing up," at any rate, and seeing
that they were ambitious to get the credit of "effecting something,"
and, for that end, predisposed to come to his terms, he disclosed
them. They had offered him a salary of sixty pounds per annum,--one
third in money, the rest in provisions, at certain specified rates. He
agreed to accept the call on the foregoing terms, with certain
additional conditions thus described by himself: "First, when money
shall be more plenteous, the money part to be paid me shall
accordingly be increased. Second, though corn or like provisions
should arise to a higher price than you have set, yet, for my own
family use, I shall have what is needful at the price now stated, and
so if it fall lower. Third, the whole sixty pounds to be only from our
inhabitants that are dwelling in our bounds, proportionable to what
lands they have within the same. Fourth, no provision to be brought in
without first asking whether needed, and myself to make choice of
what, unless the person is unable to pay in any sort but one. Fifth,
firewood to be given in yearly, freely. Sixth, two men to be chosen
yearly to see that due payments be made. Seventh, contributions each
sabbath in papers; and only such as are in papers, and dwelling within
our bounds, to be accounted a part of the sixty pounds. Eighth, as God
shall please to bless the place so as to be able to rise higher than
the sixty pounds, that then a proportionable increase be made. If God
shall please, for our sins, to diminish the substance of said place, I
will endeavor accordingly to bear such losses, by proportionable
abatements of such as shall reasonably desire it."

A contribution-box was either handed around by the deacons, before the
congregation was dismissed, or attached permanently near the porch or
door. Rate-payers would inclose their money in papers, with their
names, and drop them in. When the box was opened, the sums inclosed
would be entered to their credit on the rate-schedule. There was
always a considerable number of stated worshippers in the congregation
who lived without the bounds of the village, and often transient
visitors or strangers happened to be at meeting. It was a point that
had not been determined, whether moneys collected from the above
descriptions of persons should go into the general treasury of the
parish, to be used in meeting their contract to pay the minister's
salary, or be kept as a separate surplus.

The terms, as thus described by Mr. Parris, show that he had profited
by his experience in trade, and knew how to make a shrewd bargain. It
was quite certain that a farming community in a new country, with
fields continually reclaimed from the wilderness and added to
culture, would increase in substance: if so, his annual stipend would
increase. If the place should decline, he was to abate the tax of
individuals, if desired by them personally, so far as he should judge
their petition to that effect reasonable. If "strangers' money," or
contributions from "outsiders," were not to go to make up his sixty
pounds, it was quite probable that it would come into his pocket as an
extra allowance, or perquisite.

He says that the committee accepted these terms, and agreed to them,
expressing their belief that the people also would. No record appears
on the parish-books of the appointment of this committee of the
"younger men," or of the action of the society on their report, or of
any report having been made at that time. In the mean while, Mr.
Parris continued to preach and act as the minister of the society
until his ordination, near the close of the year. There was a meeting
on the 21st of May; but the record consists of but a single
entry,--the appointment of a committee "as overseers for the year
ensuing, to take care of our meeting-house and other public charges,
and to make return according to law." The next entry is of a general
meeting of the inhabitants, on the 18th of June, 1689. The choice of
the regular standing committee for the year is recorded. Immediately
following this entry, are these words:--

     "At the same meeting,--the 18th of June, 1689,--it was
     agreed and voted by general concurrence, that, for Mr.
     Parris, his encouragement and settlement in the work of the
     ministry amongst us, we will give him sixty six pounds for
     his yearly salary,--one-third paid in money, the other
     two-third parts for provisions, &c.; and Mr. Parris to find
     himself firewood, and Mr. Parris to keep the ministry-house
     in good repair; and that Mr. Parris shall also have the use
     of the ministry-pasture, and the inhabitants to keep the
     fence in repair; and that we will keep up our contributions,
     and our inhabitants to put their money in papers, and this
     to continue so long as Mr. Parris continues in the work of
     the ministry amongst us, and all productions to be good and
     merchantable. And, if it please God to bless the
     inhabitants, we shall be willing to give more; and to
     expect, that if God shall diminish the estates of the
     people, that then Mr. Parris do abate of his salary
     according to proportion."

Comparing this record with the account given by Mr. Parris of the
eight conditions upon which he agreed, in conference with the
committee of the "younger" sort, on the 29th of April, to accept the
call of the parish, the difference is not very essential. The matter
of firewood was arranged, according to his account, by mutual
agreement, they to add six pounds to his salary, and he to find his
own wood. The rates of "the inhabitants" were to be paid "in papers."
The only point of difference, touching this matter, is that the record
is silent about contributions by outsiders and strangers; whereas he
says it was agreed, on the 29th of April, that they should not go
towards making up his salary. The idea of his salary rising with the
growth and sinking with the decline of the society is expressed in the
record substantially as it is by him, only it is made exact; and, in
case of a decline in the means of the people, a corresponding decline
is to be in the aggregate of his salary, and not by abatements made by
him in individual cases. The variations are nearly, if not quite, all
unimportant in their nature, and such as a regard to mutual
convenience would suggest. Yet there was something in the above record
which highly exasperated Mr. Parris.

In his deposition he states, that, at a meeting held on the 17th of
May, of which there is no record in the parish book, he was sent for
and was present. He says that there was "much agitation" at the
meeting. He says that objection was made by the people to two of his
"eight" conditions, the fifth and seventh. But there is nothing in the
record of the 18th of June in conflict with what he says was finally
agreed upon, except the disposition that should be made of "strangers'
money." The question then recurs, What was the cause of the "much
agitation" at that meeting? What was it in the language of that record
which always so excited Mr. Parris's wrath?

I am inclined to think that the offensive words were those which
require "Mr. Parris to keep the ministry house in good repair," and
that he "shall also have the use of the ministry pasture;" and this
was not objectionable as involving any expense upon him, but solely
because the language employed precluded the supposition that the
parish had countenanced the idea of ever conveying the parsonage and
parsonage lands to him in his own right and absolutely. This was an
object which he evidently had in view from the first, and to which he
clung to the last. It is to be feared, that some of the members of the
"Young-America" committee, in their heedless and inconsiderate
eagerness to "effect" something, to settle Mr. Parris forthwith, and
thereby prove how much more competent they were than "the aged men" to
transact a weighty business, had encouraged Mr. Parris to think that
his favorite object could be accomplished. Upon a little inquiry,
however, they discovered that it could not be done; but that the house
and land were secured by the original deeds of conveyance, and by
irreversible agreements and conditions, to the use of the ministry,
for the time being and for ever. So far as the committee or any of its
members had favored this idea in their conference with Mr. Parris,
they had taken a position from which they had to retreat. They had
compromised themselves and the parish. For this reason, perhaps, they
made no report; and no mention of their agency appears on the records.
How far Deacon Ingersoll was misled by his younger associates on this
occasion, I know not; but he was not a man to break a promise if he
could keep it, no matter how much to his own loss. He recognized his
responsibility as chairman of the unfortunate committee, and retrieved
the mistake they had made, by giving to Mr. Parris, by deed, a lot of
land adjoining the parsonage property, and in value equal to the whole
of it. The date of that conveyance, immediately after Mr. Parris's
ordination, corroborates the conjecture that it was made to
compensate Mr. Parris for the failure of his expectation to get
possession of the ministry property. It ought to have been received by
him as an equivalent, and have soothed his angry disappointment; but
it did not. He had indulged the belief, that he had effected a bargain
with the parish, at his settlement, which had made him the owner, in
fee simple, of the parish property; and when he found that the record
of the terms of his settlement, in the parish-book, absolutely
precluded that idea, his exasperation was great, and no reparation
Deacon Ingersoll or any one else could make was suffered to appease
it. The following deposition, made in court some years afterwards,
gives an account of a scene in the meeting-house after Parris's
ordination:--

     "IPSWICH COURT, 1697.--Parris _versus_ Inhabitants
     of Salem Village.

     "We the undersigned testify and say, that, a considerable
     time after Mr. Parris his ordination, there was a meeting of
     the inhabitants of Salem Village at the usual place of
     meeting; and the occasion of the meeting was concerning Mr.
     Parris, and several persons were at that meeting, that had
     not, before this meeting, joined with the people in calling
     or agreeing with Mr. Parris; and the said persons desired
     that those things that concerned Mr. Parris and the people
     might be read, and accordingly it was. And the entry, that
     some call a salary, being read, there arose a difference
     among the people, the occasion of which was finding an entry
     in the book of the Village records, relating to Mr. Parris
     his maintenance, which was dated the 18th of June, 1689;
     and, the entry being read to the people, some replied that
     they believed that Mr. Parris would not comply with that
     entry; whereupon one said it was best to send for Mr. Parris
     to resolve the question. Accordingly, he was sent for. He
     coming to the people, this entry of the 18th of June, 1689,
     was read to Mr. Parris. His answer was as follows: 'He never
     heard or knew any thing of it, neither could or would he
     take up with it, or any part of it;' and further he said,
     'They were knaves and cheaters that entered it.' And
     Lieutenant Nathaniel Putnam, being moderator of that
     meeting, replied to Mr. Parris, and said, 'Sir, then there
     is only proposals on both sides, and no agreement between
     you and the people.' And Mr. Parris answered and said, 'No
     more, there is not; for I am free from the people, and the
     people free from me:' and so the meeting broke up. And we
     further testify, that there hath not been any agreement made
     with Mr. Parris, that we knew of or ever heard of,--never
     since.

     "JOSEPH PORTER.
     DANIEL ANDREW.
     JOSEPH PUTNAM.

     "Sworn in Court, at Ipswich, April 13, 1697, by all three.

     Attest, STEPHEN SEWALL, _Clerk_."

The answer which Mr. Parris made to Nathaniel Putnam's inquiry
probably settled the question in the suit then pending, and led to the
final release of the parish from him. It is hard to find any point of
difference between his own account of the conditions he himself made,
and the record of the parish-book, of sufficient importance to account
for the storm of passion into which the reading of the latter drove
him, except in the language which I have suggested as the probable
occasion of his wrath. Unfortunately for him, there is evidence quite
corroborative of this suggestion.

The parish-book has the following record:--

     "At a general meeting of the inhabitants of Salem Village,
     Oct. 10, 1689, it was agreed and voted, that the vote, in
     our book of record of 1681, that lays, as some say, an
     entailment upon our ministry house and land, is hereby made
     void and of no effect; one man only dissenting.

     "It was voted and agreed by a general concurrence, that we
     will give to Mr. Parris our ministry house and barn, and two
     acres of land next adjoining to the house; and that Mr.
     Parris take office amongst us, and live and die in the work
     of the ministry among us; and, if Mr. Parris or his heirs do
     sell the house and land, that the people may have the first
     refusal of it, by giving as much as other men will. A
     committee was chosen to lay out the land, and make a
     conveyance of the house and land, and to make the conveyance
     in the name and in the behalf of the inhabitants unto Mr.
     Parris and his heirs."

The record of these votes is not signed by the clerk, and there is no
evidence that the meeting was legally warned. It does not appear in
whose custody the book then was. But, however the entry got in, it
proves that Parris's friends were determined to gratify his all but
insane purpose to get possession of what he ought to have known it was
impossible for the parish to give, or for him or his heirs to hold. It
was indeed a miserable commencement of his ministry, to introduce
such a strife with a people who really seem to have had an earnest
desire to receive him with united hearts, and make his settlement and
ministry the harbinger of a better day. But he alienated many of them,
at the very start, by his sharp practice in negotiating about the
pecuniary details of his agreement with the parish. When, after all
their care to prevent it, it became known that somehow or other a vote
had got upon the records, conveying to him outright their ministerial
property, there was great indignation; and a determined effort was
made to recover what they declared to be "a fraudulent conveying-away"
of the property of the society.

A more violent conflict than any before was let loose upon that
devoted people. The old passions were rekindled. Men ranged themselves
as the friends and opponents of Mr. Parris in bitter antagonism. Rates
were not collected; the meeting-house went into dilapidation;
complaints were made to the County Court; orders were issued to
collect rates, but they were disregarded; and all was confusion,
disorder, and contention.

A church was organized in connection with the village parish, and Mr.
Parris ordained on Monday, Nov. 19, 1689. The covenant adopted was the
"confession of faith owned and consented unto by the elders and
messengers of the churches assembled at Boston, New England, May 12,
1680." In the library of the Connecticut Historical Society, there is
a manuscript volume of sermons and abstracts of sermons preached by
Mr. Parris between November, 1689, and May, 1694. It begins with his
ordination sermon, which has this prefix: "My poor and weak ordination
sermon, at the embodying of a church at Salem Village on the 19th of
the ninth month, 1689, the Rev. Mr. Nicholas Noyes embodying of us;
who also ordained my most unworthy self pastor, and, together with the
Rev. Mr. Samuel Phillips and the Rev. Mr. John Hale, imposed
hands,--the same Mr. Phillips giving me the right hand of fellowship
with beautiful loveliness and humility." The text is from Josh. v. 9:
"And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the
reproach of Egypt from off you."

The first entry in the church-records, after the covenant and the
names of the members, is the following: "Nov. 24, 1689.--Sab: day.
Brother Nathaniel Ingersoll chosen, by a general vote of the brethren,
to officiate in the place of a deacon for a time."

Mr. Parris commenced his administration by showing that he meant to
exercise the disciplinary powers intrusted to him, as pastor of a
church, with a high hand, and without much regard to persons or
circumstances. Ezekiel Cheever had been a member of the mother-church
in Salem twenty years before, was one of the founders of the parish
church, and appears to have been a worthy and amiable person,
occupying and owning the farm of his uncle, Captain Lothrop. On the
sudden illness of a member of his family, being "in distress for a
horse," none of his own being available at the time, he rushed, in
his hurry and alarm, to the stable of a neighbor, took one of his
horses, "without leave or asking of it," and rode, post haste, for a
doctor. One would have thought that an affair of this sort, in such an
exigency, might have been left to neighborly explanation or
adjustment. But Mr. Parris regarded it as giving a good opportunity
for an exercise of power that would strike the terrors of discipline
home upon the whole community. About five or six weeks after the
occurrence, Cheever was dealt with in the manner thus described by Mr.
Parris, in his church-record, dated "Sab: 30 March, 1690." He was
"called forth to give satisfaction to the offended church, as also the
last sabbath he was called forth for the same purpose; but then he
failed in giving satisfaction, by reason of somewhat mincing in the
latter part of his confession, which, in the former, he had more
ingenuously acknowledged: but this day, the church received
satisfaction, as was testified by their holding-up of their hands;
and, after the whole, a word of caution by the pastor was dropped upon
the offender in particular, and upon us all in general."

Mr. Parris was evidently inclined to magnify the importance of the
church, and to get it into such a state of subserviency to his
authority, that he could wield it effectually as a weapon in his fight
with the congregation. With this view, he endeavored to render the
action of the church as dignified and imposing as possible; to enlarge
and expand its ceremonial proceedings, and make it the theatre for the
exercise of his authority as its head and ruler. This feature of his
policy was so strikingly illustrated in the course he took in
reference to the deacons, that I must present it as recorded by him in
the church-book. It is worth preserving as a curiosity in
ecclesiastical administration.

Nathaniel Ingersoll had been a professor of religion almost as long as
Mr. Parris had lived. He was eminently a Christian man, of
acknowledged piety, and beloved and revered by all. He had been the
patron, benefactor, and guardian of the parish and all its interests
from its formation. He had long held the title of deacon, and
exercised the functions of that office so far as they could be
exercised previous to the organization of a church. He had been the
almoner of the charities of the people, and their adviser and
religious friend in all things. He was approaching the boundaries of
advanced years, and already recognized among the fathers of the
community. It would have seemed no more than what all might have
expected, to have had him recognized as a deacon of the church, in
full standing, at the first. It was, no doubt, what all did expect.
But no: he must be put upon probation. He was chosen deacon "for the
present" in November, 1689. Mr. Parris kept the matter of confirmation
hanging in his own hands for a year and a half. The appointment of the
other deacon was kept suspended for a full year. On the 30th of
November, 1690, there is the following entry:--

     "This evening, after the public service was over, the church
     was, by the pastor, desired to stay, and then by him Brother
     Edward Putnam was propounded as a meet person for to be
     chosen as another deacon. The issue whereof was, that, it
     being now an excessive cold day, some did propose that
     another season might be pitched upon for discourse thereof.
     Whereupon the pastor mentioned the next fourth day, at two
     of the clock, at the pastor's house, for further discourse
     thereof; to which the church agreed by not dissenting."

The record of the proceedings on the "next fourth day" is as
follows:--

     "3 December, 1690.--This afternoon, at a church meeting
     appointed the last sabbath, Brother Edward Putnam was again
     propounded to the church for choice to office in the place
     of a deacon to join with, and be assistant to, Brother
     Ingersoll in the service, and in order to said Putnam's
     ordination in the office, upon his well approving himself
     therein. Some proposed that two might be nominated to the
     church, out of which the church to choose one. But arguments
     satisfactory were produced against that way. Some also moved
     for a choice by papers; but that way also was disapproved by
     the arguments of the pastor and some others. In fine, the
     pastor put it to vote (there appearing not the least
     exception from any, unless a modest and humble exception of
     the person himself, once and again), and it was carried in
     the affirmative by a universal vote, _nemine non
     suffragante_.

     "Afterwards, the pastor addressed himself to the elected
     brother, and, in the name of the church, desired his answer,
     who replied to this purpose:--

     'Seeing, sir, you say the voice of God's people is the voice
     of God, desiring your prayers and the prayers of the church
     for divine assistance therein, I do accept of the call.'"

When we consider that Edward Putnam was, at Mr. Parris's ordination
more than a year before, and had been for some time previous to that
event, Ingersoll's associate deacon, and that there probably never was
any other person spoken or thought of than these two for deacons, it
is evident that it was Mr. Parris's policy to make a great matter of
the affair, and produce a general feeling of the weighty importance of
church action in the premises. But this was only the beginning of the
long-drawn ceremonial solemnities by which the occasion was magnified.

     "Sab: day, 7 December, 1690.--After the evening public
     service was over, several things needful were transacted;
     viz.:--

     "1. The pastor acquainted those of the church that were
     ignorant of it, that Brother Edward Putnam was chosen deacon
     the last church meeting.

     "2. He also generally admonished those of the brethren that
     were absent at that time, of their disorderliness therein,
     telling them that such, the apostle bids, should be noted or
     marked (2 Thess. iii. 6-16); that is, with a church mark,--a
     mark in a disciplinary way; and therefore begged amendment
     for the future in that point and to that purpose.

     "3. He propounded whether they so far were satisfied in
     Brother Ingersoll's service as to call him to settlement in
     the deaconship by ordination, or had aught against it. But
     no brother made personal exception. Therefore, it being put
     to vote, it was carried in the affirmative by a plurality,
     if not universality.

     "4. The Lord's Table, not being provided for with aught else
     but two pewter tankards, the pastor propounded and desired
     that the next sacrament-day, which is to be the 21st
     instant, there be a more open and liberal contribution by
     the communicants, that so the deacons may have wherewith to
     furnish the said table decently; which was consented to."

The last clause, "which was consented to," is in a smaller hand than
the rest of the record. It was written by Mr. Parris, but apparently
some time afterwards, and with fainter ink. There is reason to suppose
that nothing was accomplished at that time in the way of getting rid
of the "pewter tankards." The farmers were too hard pressed by taxes
imposed by the province, and by the weight of local assessments, to
listen to fanciful appeals. They probably continued for some time, and
perhaps until after receiving Deacon Ingersoll's legacy, in 1720, to
get along as they were. They did not believe, that, in order to
approach the presence, and partake of the memorials, of the Saviour,
it was necessary to bring vessels of silver or gold. In their
circumstances, gathered in their humble rustic edifice for worship,
they did not feel that, in the sight of the Lord, costly furniture
would add to the adornment of his table.

Nearly six months after Putnam's election, Mr. Parris brought up the
matter again at a meeting of the church, on the 31st of May, 1691, and
made a speech relating to it, which he entered on the records thus:--

     "The pastor spoke to the brethren to this purpose, viz.:--

     "BRETHREN,--The ordination of Brother Ingersoll has
     already been voted a good while since, and I thought to have
     consummated the affair a good time since, but have been put
     by, by diversity of occurrents; and, seeing it is so long
     since, I think it needless to make two works of one, and
     therefore intend the ordination of Brother Putnam together
     with Brother Ingersoll in the deaconship, if you continue in
     the same mind as when you elected him: therefore, if you are
     so, let a vote manifest it. Voted by all, or at least the
     most. I observed none that voted not."

At last the mighty work was accomplished. Deacon Ingersoll had been on
probation for eighteen months from the date of his election, which
took place five days after Mr. Parris's ordination. His final
induction to office was observed with great formality, and in the
presence of the whole congregation. Mr. Parris enters the order of
performances in the church records as follows:--

     "Sab: 28 June, 1691.--After the afternoon sermon upon 1 Tim.
     iii. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, as the brethren had renewed their
     call of Brother Ingersoll to the office of a deacon, and he
     himself had declared his acceptance, the pastor proceeded to
     ordain him, using the form following:

     "BELOVED BROTHER, God having called you to the
     office of a deacon by the choice of the brethren and your
     own acceptance, and that call being now to be consummated
     according to the primitive pattern, 6 Acts 6, by prayer and
     imposition of hands,--

     "We do, therefore, by this solemnity, declare your
     investiture into that office, solemnly charging you in the
     name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of his Church, who
     walks in the midst of his golden candlesticks, with eyes as
     of a flame of fire, exactly observing the demeanor of all in
     his house, both officers and members, that you labor so to
     carry it, as to evidence you are sanctified by grace,
     qualified for this work, and to grow in those
     qualifications; behaving of yourself gravely, sincerely,
     temperately, with due care for the government of your own
     house, holding the mystery of the faith in a pure
     conscience; that as they in this office are called 'helps,'
     so you be helpful in your place and capacity, doing what is
     your part for the promoting of the work of Christ here. We
     do charge you, that, whatever you do in this office, you do
     it faithfully, giving with simplicity, showing mercy with
     cheerfulness. Look on it, brother, as matter of care, and
     likewise of encouragement, that both the office itself and
     also your being set up in it is of God, who, being waited
     upon, will be with you, and accept you therein, assisting
     you to use the office of a deacon well, so as that you may
     be blameless, purchasing to yourself a good degree and great
     boldness in the faith.

     "NOTE.--That Brother Putnam was not yet willing to
     be ordained, but desired further considering time, between
     him and I and Brother Ingersoll, in private discourse the
     week before the ordination above said."

"Brother Putnam" probably partook of the general wonder what all this
appearance of difficulty and delay, under the peculiar circumstances
of the case, meant; and being, as the record truly says, a modest and
humble man, he naturally shrank from the formidable ceremoniousness
and pretentious parade with which Mr. Parris surrounded the
transaction. At any rate, he hesitated long before he was willing to
encounter it. It is probable that he positively refused to have his
induction to the office heralded with such solemn pomp. There is no
mention of his public ordination, which Mr. Parris would not have
omitted to record, had any such scene occurred. All we know is that he
was recognized as deacon forthwith, and held the office for forty
years.

The disposition of Mr. Parris to make use of his office, as the head
of the church, to multiply occasions for the exercise of his
influence, and to gain control over the minds of the brethren, is
apparent throughout his records. He raised objections in order to show
how he could remove them, and started difficulties about matters which
had not before been brought into question. In the beginning of his
ministry, he manifested this propensity. At a church meeting at John
Putnam's house, Feb. 20, 1690, less than three months after his
ordination, he threw open the whole question of baptism for discussion
among the brethren. There is no reason to suppose that their attention
had been drawn to it before. He propounded the question to the plain,
practical husbandmen, "Who are the proper subjects of baptism?" He
laid down the true doctrine, as he regarded it, in this answer,
"Covenant-professing believers and their infant seed." He put the
answer to vote, and none voted against it. He then proceeded with
another question, "How far may we account such seed infant seed, and
so to be baptized?" Here he had got beyond their depth, and, as some
of them thought, his own too; for there was only a "major vote" in
favor of his answer: "two or three, I think not four, dissented."
There was some danger of getting into divisions by introducing such
questions; but he managed to avoid it, so far as his church was
concerned. He worked them up to the highest confidence in his learning
and wisdom, and gained complete ascendency over them. He aggrandized
their sense of importance, and accomplished his object in securing
their support in his controversies with his congregation. The
brethren, after a while, became his devoted body-guard, and the church
a fortress of defence and assault. There is reason, however, to
believe, that the points he raised on the subject of baptism led to
perplexities, in some minds, which long continued to disturb them.
While showing off his learning, and displaying his capacity to dispose
of the deep questions of theology, he let fall seeds of division and
doubt that ripened into contention in subsequent generations. The only
ripple on the surface of the Village Church during its long record of
peace, since the close of his disastrous ministry, was occasioned by
differing opinions on this subject. It required all the wisdom of his
successors to quiet them. From time to time, formulas had to be
constructed, half-way covenants of varying expressions to be framed,
to meet and dispose of the difficulties thus gratuitously raised by
him.

The following passages from his record-book show how he made much of a
matter which any other pastor would have quietly arranged without
calling for the intervention of church or congregation: they are also
interesting as a picture of the times:--

     "Sab: 9 Aug. 1691.--After all public worship was over, and
     the church stayed on purpose, I proposed to the church
     whether they were free to admit to baptism, upon occasion,
     such as were not at present free to come up to full
     communion. I told them there was a young woman, by name Han:
     Wilkins, the daughter of our Brother Thomas Wilkins, who
     much desired to be baptized, but yet did not dare to come to
     the Lord's Supper. If they had nothing against it, I should
     take their silence for consent, and in due time acquaint
     them with what she had offered me to my satisfaction, and
     proceed accordingly."

No answer was made _pro_ or _con_, and so the church was dismissed.

     "Sab: 23 Aug. 1691.--Hannah Wilkins, aged about twenty-one
     years, was called forth, and her relation read in the full
     assembly, and then it was propounded to the church, that, if
     they had just exceptions, or, on the other hand, had any
     thing farther to encourage, they had opportunity and liberty
     to speak. None said any thing but Brother Bray Wilkins (Han:
     grandfather), who said, that, for all he knew, such a
     relation as had been given and a conversation suitable (as
     he judged hers to be) was enough to enjoy full communion.
     None else saying any thing, it was put to vote whether they
     were so well satisfied as to receive this young woman into
     membership, and therefore initiate her therein by baptism.
     It was voted fully. Whereupon the covenant was given to her
     as if she had entered into full communion. And the pastor
     told her, in the name of the church, that we would expect
     and wait for her rising higher, and therefore advised her to
     attend all means conscientiously for that end.

     "After all, I pronounced her a member of this church, and
     then baptized her.

     "28 August, 1691.--This day, Sister Hannah Wilkins aforesaid
     came to me, and spake to this like effect, following:--

     "Before I was baptized (you know, sir), I was desirous of
     communion at the Lord's Table, but not yet; I was afraid of
     going so far: but since my baptism I find my desires growing
     to the Lord's Table, and I am afraid to turn my back upon
     that ordinance, or to refuse to partake thereof. And that
     which moves me now to desire full communion, which I was
     afraid of before, is that of Thomas, 20 John 26, &c., where
     he, being absent from the disciples, though but once, lost a
     sight of Christ, and got more hardness of heart, or increase
     of unbelief. And also those words of Ananias to Paul after
     his conversion, 22 Acts 16, 'And now why tarriest thou?
     Arise,' &c. So I am afraid of tarrying. The present time is
     only mine. And God having, beyond my deserts, graciously
     opened a door, I look upon it my duty to make present
     improvement of it.

     "Sab: and Sacrament Day, 30 Aug. 1691.--Sister Han:
     Wilkins's motion (before the celebration of the Lord's
     Supper was begun) was mentioned or propounded to the church,
     and what she said to me (before hinted) read to them, and
     then their vote was called for, to answer her desire if they
     saw good; whereupon the church voted in the affirmative
     plentifully."

The foregoing passages illustrate Mr. Parris's propensity to magnify
the operations of the church, and to bring its movements as
conspicuously and as often as possible before the eyes of the people.
It is evident that the humble and timid scruples of this interesting
and intelligent young woman might have been met and removed by
personal conference with her pastor. As her old grandfather seemed to
think, there was no difficulty in the case whatever. The reflections
of a few days made the path plain before her. But Mr. Parris paraded
the matter on three sabbaths before the church, and on one of them at
least before the congregation. He called her to come forth, and stand
out in the presence of the "full assembly." As the result of the
ordeal, she owned the covenant; the church voted her in, as to full
communion; and the pastor pronounced her a member of the church, and
baptized her as such. Her sensible conversation with him the next
Friday was evidently intended for the satisfaction of him and others,
as explaining her appearance at the next communion. But another
opportunity was offered to make a display of the case, and he could
not resist the temptation. He desired to create an impression by
reading what she had said to him in his study, before the church, if
not before the whole congregation. To give a show of propriety in
bringing it forward again, he felt that some action must be had upon
it; hence the vote. Accordingly, Hannah Wilkins appears by the record
to have been twice, on two successive Lord's Days, voted "plentifully"
into the Salem Village Church, when there was no occasion for such an
extraordinary repetition, as everybody from the first welcomed her
into it with the cordial confidence she merited. I have spread out
this proceeding to your view, not altogether from its intrinsic
interest, but because, perhaps, it affords the key to interpret the
course of this ill-starred man in his wrangles with his congregation,
and his terrible prominency in the awful scenes of the witchcraft
delusion. He seemed to have had a love of excitement that was
irrepressible, an all but insane passion for getting up a scene. When
we come to the details of our story, it will be for a charitable
judgment to determine whether this trait of his nature may not be
regarded as the cause of all the woes in which he involved others and
became involved himself.

The church records are, in one respect, in singular contrast with the
parish records. The latter are often silent in reference to matters of
interest at the time, which might without impropriety have been
entered in them. They are confined strictly to votes and proceedings
in legal meetings, or what purport to have been meetings legally
called; and we look in vain for comments or notices relating to
outside matters. Except when kept by Sergeant Thomas Putnam, they are
defective and imperfect. The church records, while made by Mr. Parris,
are full of side remarks, and touches of criticism concerning whatever
was going on. This makes them particularly interesting and valuable
now. They are composed in their author's clear, natural, and sprightly
style; and, although for the most part in an exceedingly small hand,
are legible with perfect ease, and give us a transcript, not only of
the formal doings of the church, but of the writer's mind and feelings
about matters and things in general. We gather from them by far the
greater part of all we know relating to his quarrel with his
congregation.

This subject constantly engrossed his thoughts. He was continually
introducing, at church meetings, complaints against the conduct of the
parish committee, and enlarging upon the wrongs he was suffering at
their hands. He took occasion on Lecture days, if not in ordinary
discourses on the Lord's Day, to give all possible circulation and
publicity to his grievances. The effect of this was, instead of
bringing his people into subjection and carrying his points against
them, to aggravate their alienation. His manner of dealing with the
difficulties of the situation into which they had been brought was
harsh and exasperating, and utterly injudicious, imprudent, and
mischievous in all its bearings, producing a condition of things truly
scandalous. His notions and methods, acquired in his mercantile life;
his haggling with the people about the terms of his salary; and his
general manner and tone, particularly so far as they had been formed
by residence in West-India slave Islands,--were thoroughly
distasteful, and entirely repugnant, to the feelings, notions, ideas,
and spirit of the farmers of Salem Village. At their meetings, they
showed a continually increasing strength of opposition to him, and
were careful to appoint committees who could not be brought under his
influence, and would stand firm against all outside pressure.

It is quite apparent, that Mr. Parris employed his church, and the
ministerial offices generally, as engines to operate against his
opponents; and sometimes rather unscrupulously, as a collocation of
dates and entries shows. A meeting of the parish was warned to be held
Oct. 16, 1691. It was important to bring his machinery to bear upon
the feelings of the people, so as to strengthen the hands of his
friends at that meeting. The following entry is in the church-book,
dated 8th October, 1691: "Being my Lecture-day, after public service
was ended, I was so bare of firewood, that I was forced publicly to
desire the inhabitants to take care that I might be provided for;
telling them, that, had it not been for Mr. Corwin (who had bought
wood, being then at my house), I should hardly have any to burn."
According to his own account, as we have seen, it had been arranged,
by mutual agreement, that he was to provide his own firewood, six
pounds per annum having been added to his salary for that purpose. He
selected that item as one of the necessaries of which he was in want,
probably because, as the winter was approaching, it would be the best
point on which to appeal to the public sympathies, and get up a
clamor against his opponents.

The parish meeting was duly held on the 16th of October. Mr. Parris's
speech, at the preceding Lecture-day, about "firewood," was found not
to have produced the desired effect. The majority against him was as
strong as ever. A committee made up of his opponents was elected. A
motion to instruct them to make a rate was rejected, and a warrant
ordered to be forthwith issued for a special meeting of the
inhabitants, to examine into all the circumstances connected with the
settlement of Mr. Parris, and to ascertain whether the meetings which
had acted therein were legally called, and by what means the right and
title of the parish to its ministry house and lands had been brought
into question. This was pressing matters to an issue. Mr. Parris saw
it, and determined to meet it in advance. He resorted to his church,
as usual, to execute his plan, as the following entries on the
record-book show:--

     "1 Nov. 1691.--The pastor desired the brethren to meet at my
     house, on to-morrow, an hour and half before sundown.

     "2 Nov. 1691.--After sunset, about seventeen of the brethren
     met; to whom, after prayer, I spoke to this effect:
     Brethren, I have not much to trouble you with now; but you
     know what committee, the last town-meeting here, were
     chosen; and what they have done, or intend to do; it may be
     better than I. But, you see, I have hardly any wood to
     burn. I need say no more, but leave the matter to your
     serious and godly consideration.

     "In fine, after some discourse to and fro, the church voted
     that Captain Putnam and the two deacons should go, as
     messengers from the church, to the committee, to desire them
     to make a rate for the minister, and to take care of
     necessary supplies for him; and that said messengers should
     make their return to the church the next tenth day, an hour
     before sunset, at the minister's house, where they would
     expect it.

     "10 Nov. 1691.--The messengers abovesaid came with their
     return, as appointed; which was, that the committee did not
     see good to take notice of their message, without they had
     some letter to show under the church's and pastor's hand.
     But, at this last church meeting, besides the three
     messengers, but three other brethren did appear,--namely,
     Brother Thomas Putnam, Thomas Wilkins, and Peter
     Prescot,--which slight and neglect of other brethren did not
     a little trouble me, as I expressed myself. But I told these
     brethren I expected the church should be more mindful of me
     than other people, and their way was plain before them, &c.

     "Sab: 15 Nov. 1691.--The church were desired to meet at
     Brother Nathaniel Putnam's, the next 18th instant, at twelve
     o'clock, to spend some time in prayer, and seeking God's
     presence with us, the next Lord's Day, at his table, as has
     been usual with us, some time before the sacrament.

     "18 Nov. 1691.--After some time spent, as above said, at
     this church meeting, the pastor desired the brethren to
     stay, forasmuch as he had somewhat to offer to them, which
     was to this purpose; viz.: Brethren, several church
     meetings have been occasionally warned, and sometimes the
     appearance of the brethren is but small to what it might be
     expected, and particularly the case mentioned 10th instant.
     I told them I did not desire to warn meetings unnecessarily,
     and, therefore, when I did, I prayed them they would
     regularly attend them.

     "Furthermore, I told them I had scarce wood enough to burn
     till the morrow, and prayed that some care might be taken.
     In fine, after discourses passed, these following votes were
     made unanimously, namely:--

     "1. That it was needful that complaint should be made to the
     next honored County Court, to sit at Salem, the next third
     day of the week, against the neglects of the present
     committee.

     "2. That the said complaint should be drawn up, which was
     immediately done by one of the brethren, and consented to.

     "3. That our brethren, Nathaniel Putnam, Thomas Putnam, and
     Thomas Wilkins, should sign said complaint in behalf of the
     church.

     "4. Last, That our brethren, Captain John Putnam and the two
     deacons, should be improved to present the said complaint to
     the said Court.

     "In the mean time, the pastor desired the brethren that care
     might be taken that he might not be destitute of wood."

The record proceeds to give several other votes, the object of which
was to arrange the details of the manner in which the business was to
be put into court. There we leave it for the present, and there it
remained for nearly seven years. Mr. Parris probably got the start of
his opponents, in being first to invoke the law. This is what he meant
when he told his church "that their way was plain before them." If
extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances had not intervened, the
case would more speedily have been disposed of, and we cannot doubt
what would have been its issue. Whatever might be the bias or
prejudice of the courts, or however they might have attempted to
enforce their first decisions, there can be no question, that, in such
a contest, the people would have finally prevailed. The committee were
men competent to carry the parish through. A religious society, with
such feelings between them and their minister, after all that had
happened, and the just grounds given them of dissatisfaction and
resentment, could not always, or long, have been kept under such an
infliction.

In the immediately preceding entries, there are some points that
illustrate the policy on which Mr. Parris acted, and exhibit the skill
and vigilance of his management. The motive that led him to harp so
constantly upon "firewood" is obvious. It was to create a sympathy in
his behalf, and bring opprobrium upon his opponents. But it cannot
stand the test of scrutiny: for it had been expressly agreed, as I
have said, that he should find his own fuel; and it cannot be supposed
that his friends, if he then had any real ones, surrounded, as they
were, with forests of their own, within sight of the parsonage, would
have allowed him to suffer from this cause. There is indication that
the "brethren of the church" were getting lukewarm, as their
non-attendance at important meetings led Mr. Parris to fear. At any
rate, he felt it necessary to administer some rather significant
rebukes to them. The meeting for prayer, preparatory to the ensuing
communion service, was very adroitly converted into a business
consultation to inaugurate a lawsuit. But the most characteristic
thing, in this part of the church-book, is a marginal entry, against
the first paragraph of the record of the 2d November, 1691. It is in
these words:--

     "The town-meeting, about or at 16th October last. Jos:
     Porter, Jos: Hutchinson, Jos: Putnam, Dan: Andrew, Francis
     Nurse."

These were the committee appointed at the meeting. Their names, thus
abbreviated, are given, and not a syllable added. But the manner, the
then state of things, and their relation to the controversy, give a
deep import and intense bitterness to this entry. He knew the men, and
in their names read the handwriting on the wall.

But a turn was soon given to the current that was bearing Mr. Parris
down. A power was evoked--whether he raised it designedly, or whether
it merely happened to appear on the scene, we cannot certainly say;
but it came into action just at the nick of time--which instantly
reversed the position of the parties, and clothed him with a terrible
strength, enabling him to crush his opponents beneath his feet. In a
few short months, he was the arbiter of life and death of all the
people of the village and the country. "Jos: Porter and Jos:
Hutchinson" escaped. The power of destruction broke down before it
became strong enough to reach them perhaps. "Jos: Putnam" was kept for
six months in the constant peril of his life. During all that time, he
and his family were armed, and kept watch. "Dan: Andrew" saved himself
from the gallows by flight to a foreign land. The unutterable woes
brought upon the family of "Francis Nurse" remain to be related.

The witchcraft delusion at Salem Village, in 1692, has attracted
universal attention, constitutes a permanent chapter in the world's
history, and demands a full exposition, and, if possible, a true
solution. Being convinced that it cannot be correctly interpreted
without a thorough knowledge of the people among whom it appeared, I
have felt it indispensable, before opening its scenes to view, or
treating the subject of demonology, of which it was an outgrowth, in
the first place to prepare myself, and those who accompany me in its
examination and discussion, to fully comprehend it, by traversing the
ground over which we have now passed. By a thorough history of Salem
Village from its origin to the period of our story, by calling its
founders and their children and successors into life before you by
personal, private, domestic, and local details, gleaned from old
records and documents, I have tried to place you at the standpoint
from which the entire occurrence can be intelligibly contemplated. We
can in no other way get a true view of a passage of history than by
looking at the men who acted in it, as they really were. We must
understand their characters, enter into their life, see with their
eyes, feel with their hearts, and be enveloped, as it were, with their
associations, sentiments, beliefs, and principles of action. In this
way only can we bring the past into our presence, comprehend its
elements, fathom its depths, read its meaning, or receive its lessons.

I am confident you will agree with me, that it was not because the
people of Salem Village were more ignorant, stupid, or weak-minded
than the people of other places, that the delusion made its appearance
or held its sway among them. This is a vital point to the just
consideration of the subject. I do not mean justice to them so much as
to ourselves and all who wish to understand, and be benefited by
understanding, the subject. There never was a community composed
originally of better materials, or better trained in all good usages.
Although the generations subsequent to the first had not enjoyed, to
any considerable extent, the advantages of education, the
circumstances of their experience had kept their faculties in the
fullest exercise. They were an energetic and intelligent people. Their
moral condition, social intercourse, manners, and personal bearing,
were excellent. The lesson of the catastrophe impending over them, at
the point to which we have arrived, can only be truly and fully
received, for the warning of all coming time, by having correct views
on this point. The delusion that brought ruin upon them was not the
result of any essential inferiority in their moral or intellectual
condition. What we call their ignorance was the received philosophy
and wisdom of the day, accepted generally by the great scholars of
that and previous ages, preached from the pulpits, taught in the
universities, recognized in law and in medicine as well as theology,
and carried out in the proceedings of public tribunals and legislative
assemblies.

The history of the planting, settlement, and progress of Salem
Village, to 1692, has now been given. We know, so far as existing
materials within reach enable us to know, what sort of a population
occupied the place at the date of our story. Their descent, breeding,
and experiences have been related. They were, at least, equal in
intelligence to any of the people of their day. They were strenuous in
action, trained to earnestness and zeal, accustomed to become deeply
engaged in whatever interested them, and to take strong hold of the
ideas and sentiments they received. It becomes necessary, therefore,
in the next place, to ascertain what their ideas were in reference to
witchcraft, diabolical agency, and supernaturalism generally. I shall
proceed accordingly to give the condition of opinion, at that time, on
the subject of demonology.



PART SECOND.



WITCHCRAFT.


Demonology, as a general term, may be employed, for convenience, to
include a whole class of ideas--which, under different names and a
vast variety of conceptions, have come through all ages, and prevailed
among all races of mankind--relating to the supposed agency of
supernatural, invisible, and spiritual beings in terrestrial affairs.
As necessarily applicable to evil spirits, particularly to the
arch-enemy and supreme adversary of God and man under the name of
Satan or the Devil, the term does not appear to have been used in
ancient times. Professed communications with supernatural beings were
not originally stamped with a diabolical character, but, like some
alleged to be had in our day, were regarded as innocent, and even
creditable. Men sought to hold intercourse with spirits belonging to
the unseen world, as some persons do now; assuming that they were
worthy of confidence, and that responses from them were valuable and
desirable. This was the case under the reign of classical mythology,
and of heathen superstition in general. Those individuals who were
supposed to be conversant with demons were looked upon by the
credulous multitude as a highly privileged class; and they arrogated
the credit of being raised to a higher sphere of knowledge than the
rest of mankind.

It is one of the most remarkable peculiarities of the Hebrew polity,
that it denounced such pretended communications as criminal, and
subjected the practice to the highest penalties. It was assumed to be
dangerous; the welfare of individuals and of society requiring that
such pretensions and practices should be abandoned. The observation
and experience of mankind have justified this view. In the first ages
of Christianity, it was believed that the Divine Being alone was to be
sought in prayer for light and guidance by the human soul. Gradually,
as the dark ages began to settle upon Christendom, the doctrine of the
Devil as the head and ruler of a world of demons, and as able to hold
communications with mortals, to interfere in their affairs, and to
exercise more or less control over the laws and phenomena of nature,
began to become prevalent. It was believed that human beings could
enter into alliance with the Prince of the power of the air; become
his confederates; join in a league with him and wicked spirits
subordinate to him, in undermining the Gospel and overthrowing the
Church; and conspire and co-operate in rebellion against God. This,
of course, was regarded as the most flagrant of crimes, and
constituted the real character of the sin denominated "witchcraft."

As the fullest, most memorable, and, by the notice it has ever since
attracted throughout the world, the pre-eminent instance and
demonstration of this supposed iniquity was in the crisis that took
place in Salem Village in 1692, it justly claims a place in history.
The community in which it occurred has been fully described, in its
moral, social, and intellectual condition, so far as the materials I
have been enabled to obtain have rendered possible. It has, I believe,
been made to appear, that, in their training, experience, and traits
of character, they were well adapted to give full effect to any
excitement, or earnest action of any kind, that could be got up among
them,--a people of great energy, courage, and resolution, well
prepared to carry out to its natural and legitimate results any
movement, and follow established convictions fearlessly to logical
conclusions. The experiment of bringing supernaturalism to operate in
human affairs, to become a ground of action in society, and to
interfere in the relations of life and the dealings of men with each
other, was as well tried upon this people as it ever could or can be
anywhere.

All that remains to be brought to view, before entering upon the
details of the narrative, is to give a just and adequate idea of the
form and shape in which the general subject of supernaturalism, in its
aspect as demonology, lay in the minds of men here at that time. To
do this, I must give a sketch, as condensed and brief as I can make
it, of the formation and progress of opinions and notions touching the
subject, until they reached their full demonstration and final
explosion, in this neighborhood, at Salem Village, near the close of
the seventeenth century.

No person who looks around him on the scene in which he is placed,
reflects upon the infinite wonders of creation, and meditates upon the
equal wonders of his own mind, can be at a loss respecting the sources
and causes of superstition. Let him transport himself back to the
condition of a primitive and unlettered people, before whom the world
appears in all its original and sublime mystery. Science has not
lifted to their eyes the curtain behind which the secret operations of
nature are carried on. They observe the tides rise and fall, but know
not the attractive law that regulates their movements; they
contemplate the procession of the seasons, without any conception of
the principles and causes that determine and produce their changes;
they witness the storm as it rises in its wrath; they listen with awe
to the thunder-peal, and gaze with startling terror upon the lightning
as it flashes from within the bosom of the black cloud, and are
utterly ignorant to what power to attribute the dreadful phenomena;
they look upward to the face of the sky, and see the myriad starry
hosts that glitter there, and all is to them a mighty maze of dazzling
confusion. It is for their fancy to explain, interpret, and fill up
the brilliant and magnificent scene.

The imagination was the faculty the exercise of which was chiefly
called for in such a state as this. Before science had traced the
operations and unfolded the secrets of nature, man was living in a
world full of marvel and mystery. His curiosity was attracted to every
object within the reach of his senses; and, in the absence of
knowledge, it was imagination alone that could make answer to its
inquiries. It is natural to suppose that he would be led to attribute
all the movements and operations of the external world which did not
appear to be occasioned by the exercise of his own power, or the power
of any other animal, to the agency of supernatural beings. We may also
conclude, that his belief would not be likely to fix upon the notion
of a single overruling Being. Although revelation and science have
disclosed to us a beautiful and entire unity and harmony in the
creation, the phenomena of the external world would probably impress
the unenlightened and unphilosophic observer with the belief that
there was a diversity in the powers which caused them. He would
imagine the agency of a being of an amiable and beneficent spirit in
the bright sunshine, the fresh breeze, and the mild moonlight; and his
fancy would suggest to his fears, that a dark, severe, and terrible
being was in the ascendant during a day overshadowed by frowning
clouds, or a night black with the storm and torn by the tempest.

By the aid of such reflections as these, we are easily conducted to a
satisfactory and sufficient explanation of the origin of the mythology
and fabulous superstitions of all ancient and primitive nations. From
this the progress is plain, obvious, and immediate to the pretensions
of magicians, diviners, sorcerers, conjurers, oracles, soothsayers,
augurs, and the whole catalogue of those persons who professed to hold
intercourse with higher and spiritual powers. There are several
classes into which they may be divided.

There were those who, to acquire an influence over the people,
pretended to possess the confidence, and enjoy the friendship and
counsel, of some one or more deities. Such was Numa, the early
lawgiver of the Roman State. In order to induce the people to adopt
the regulations, institutions, and religious rites he proposed, he
made them believe that he had access to a divinity, and received all
his plans and ideas as a communication from on high.

Persons who, in consequence of their superior acquirements, were
enabled to excel others in any pursuit, or who could foresee and avail
themselves of events in the natural world, were liable, without any
intention to deceive, to be classed under some of these denominations.
For instance, a Roman farmer, Furius Cresinus, surpassed all his
neighbors in the skill and success with which he managed his
agricultural affairs. He was accordingly accused of using magic arts
in the operations of his farm. So far were his neighbors carried by
their feelings of envy and jealousy, that they explained the fact of
his being able to derive more produce from a small lot of land than
they could from large ones, by charging him with attracting and
drawing off the productions of their fields into his own by the
employment of certain mysterious charms. For his defence, as we are
informed by Pliny, he produced his strong and well-constructed
ploughs, his light and convenient spades, and his sun-burnt daughters,
and pointing to them exclaimed: "Here are my charms; this is my magic;
these only are the witchcraft I have used." Zoroaster, the great
philosopher and astronomer of the ancient East, was charged with
divination and magic, merely, it is probable, because he possessed
uncommon acquirements.

There were persons who had acquired an extraordinary amount of natural
knowledge, and, for the sake of being regarded with wonder and awe by
the people, pretended to obtain their superior endowments from
supernatural beings. They affected the name and character of
sorcerers, diviners, and soothsayers. It is easy to conceive of the
early existence and the great influence of such impostors. Patient
observation, and often mere accident, would suggest discoveries of the
existence and operation of natural causes in producing phenomena
before ascribed to superhuman agency. The knowledge thus acquired
would be cautiously concealed, and cunningly used, to create
astonishment and win admiration. Its fortunate possessors were enabled
to secure the confidence, obedience, and even reverence, of the
benighted and deceived people.

Every one, indeed, who could discover a secret of nature, and keep it
secret, was able to impose himself on the world as being allied with
supernatural powers. Hence arose the whole host of diviners,
astrologers, soothsayers, and oracles. After having once acquired
possession of the credulous faith of the people, they could impose
upon them almost without limit.

Those who pretended to hold this kind of intercourse with divinity
became, as a natural consequence, the priests of the nation,
constituted a distinct and regular profession, and perpetuated their
body by the admission of new members, to whom they explained their
arts, and communicated their knowledge. While they were continually
discovering and applying the secret principles and laws of nature, and
the people were kept in utter ignorance and darkness, it is no wonder
that they reached a great and unparalleled degree of power over the
mass of the population. In this manner we account for the origin, and
trace the history, of the Chaldean priests in Assyria, the Bramins of
India, the Magi of Persia, the Oracles of Greece, the Augurs of Italy,
the Druids of Britain, and the Pow-wows, Prophets, or "Medicins," as
they sometimes called them, among our Indians.

It is probable that the witches mentioned in the Scriptures were of
this description. Neither in sacred nor profane ancient history do we
find what was understood in the days of our ancestors by witchcraft,
which meant a formal and actual compact with the great Prince of evil
beings. The sorcery of antiquity consisted in pretending to possess
certain mysterious charms, and to do by their means, or by the
co-operation of superhuman spirits, without any reference to their
character as evil or good beings, what transcends the action of mere
natural powers.

The witch of Endor, for instance, was a conjurer and necromancer,
rather than a witch. By referring to the 28th chapter of 1 Samuel,
where the interview between her and Saul is related, you will find no
ground for the opinion that the being from whom she pretended to
receive her mysterious power was Satan. Saul, as the ruler of a people
who were under the special government, and enjoyed the peculiar
protection of the true God, had forbidden, under the sanction of the
highest penalties, the exercise of the arts of divination and sorcery
within his jurisdiction. Some time after this, the unfortunate monarch
was overtaken by trouble and distress. His enemies had risen up, and
were gathered in fearful strength around him. His "heart greatly
trembled," a dark and gloomy presentiment came over his spirit, and
his bosom was convulsed by an agony of solicitude. He turned toward
his God for light and strength. He applied for relief to the priests
of the altar, and to the prophets of the Most High; but his prayers
were unanswered, and his efforts vain. In his sorrow and apprehension,
he appealed to a woman who was reputed to have supernatural powers,
and to hold communion with spiritual beings; thus violating his own
law, and departing from duty and fidelity to his God. He begged her
to recall Samuel to life, that he might be comforted and instructed by
him. She pretended to comply with his request; but, before she could
commence her usual mysterious operations, Samuel arose! and the
forlorn, wretched, and heart-broken king listened to his tremendous
doom, as it was uttered by the spirit of the departed prophet.

I have alluded particularly to the witch of Endor, because she will
serve to illustrate the sorcery or divination of antiquity. She was
probably possessed of some secret knowledge of natural properties; was
skilful in the use of her arts and pretended charms; had, perhaps, the
peculiar powers of a ventriloquist; and, by successful imposture, had
acquired an uncommon degree of notoriety, and the entire confidence of
the public. She professed to be in alliance with supernatural beings,
and, by their assistance, to raise the dead.

This passage has afforded a topic for a great deal of discussion among
interpreters. It seems to me, on the face of the narrative, to suggest
the following view of the transaction: The woman was an impostor. When
she summoned the spirit of Samuel, instead of the results of her magic
lantern, or of whatever contrivances she may have had, by the
immediate agency of the Almighty the spirit of Samuel really rose, to
the consternation and horror of the pretended necromancer. The writer
appears to have indicated this as the proper interpretation of the
scene, by saying, "that, when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a
loud voice;" thus giving evidence of alarm and surprise totally
different from the deportment of such pretenders on such occasions:
they used rather to exhibit joy at the success of their arts, and a
proud composure and dignified complacency in the control they were
believed to exercise over the spirits that appeared to have obeyed
their call. Sir Walter Scott took this view of the transaction. His
opinion, it is true, would be considered more important in any other
department than that of biblical interpretation: on all questions,
however, connected with the spiritual world of fancy and with its
history, he must be allowed to speak, if not with the authority, at
least with the tone of a master. This wonderful author, in the
infinite profusion and variety of his productions, published a volume
upon Demonology and Witchcraft: it is, of course, entertaining and
instructive to all who are curious to know the capacity and to
appreciate the operations of the human imagination.

It will be regarded by intelligent and judicious persons as a
circumstance of importance in reference to the view now given of the
transaction in which the witch of Endor acts the leading part, that
Hugh Farmer, beyond all question the most learned, discreet, and
profound writer on such subjects, is inclined to throw the weight of
his authority in its favor. His ample and elaborate discussion of the
question is to be seen in his work on Miracles, chap. iv. sec. 2.

Among the heathen nations of antiquity, the art of divination
consisted, to a great degree, in the magical use of mysterious
charms. Many plants were considered as possessed of wonderful virtues,
and there was scarcely a limit to the supposed power of those persons
who knew how to use and apply them skilfully. Virgil, in his eighth
eclogue, thus speaks of this species of sorcery:--

    "These herbs did Moeris give to me
      And poisons pluckt at Pontus;
    For there they grow and multiplie
      And do not so amongst us:
    With these she made herselfe become
      A wolfe, and hid hir in the wood;
    She fetcht up souls out of their toome,
      Removing corne from where it stood."

In the fourth Æneid, the lovesick Tyrian queen is thus made to
describe the magic which was then believed to be practised:--

    "Rejoice," she said: "instructed from above,
    My lover I shall gain, or lose my love;
    Nigh rising Atlas, next the falling sun
    Long tracts of Ethiopian climates run:
    There a Massylian priestess I have found,
    Honored for age, for magic arts renowned:
    The Hesperian temple was her trusted care;
    'Twas she supplied the wakeful dragon's fare;
    She, poppy-seeds in honey taught to steep,
    Reclaimed his rage, and soothed him into sleep;
    She watched the golden fruit. Her charms unbind
    The chains of love, or fix them on the mind;
    She stops the torrent, leaves the channel dry,
    Repels the stars, and backward bears the sky.
    The yawning earth rebellows to her call,
    Pale ghosts ascend, and mountain ashes fall."

Tibullus, in the second elegy of his first book, gives the following
account of the powers ascribed to a magician:--

    "She plucks each star out of his throne,
      And turneth back the raging waves;
    With charms she makes the earth to cone,
      And raiseth souls out of their graves;
    She burns men's bones as with a fire,
      And pulleth down the lights of Heaven,
    And makes it snow at her desire
      E'en in the midst of summer season."

These views continued to hold undisturbed dominion over the people
during a long succession of centuries. As the twilight of the dark
ages began to settle upon Christendom, superstition, that
night-blooming plant, extended itself rapidly, and in all directions,
over the surface of the world. While every thing else drooped and
withered, it struck deeper its roots, spread wider its branches, and
brought forth more abundantly its fruit. The unnumbered fables of
Greek and Roman mythology, the arts of augury and divination, the
visions of oriental romance, the fanciful and attenuated theories of
the later philosophy, the abstract and spiritual doctrines of
Platonism, and all the grosser and wilder conceptions of the northern
conquerors of the Roman Empire, became mingled together in the faith
of the inhabitants of the European kingdoms. From this multifarious
combination, the infinitely diversified popular superstitions of the
modern nations have sprung.

We first begin to trace the clear outlines of the doctrine of
witchcraft not far from the commencement of the Christian era. It
presupposes the belief of the Devil. I shall not enter upon the
question, whether the Scriptures, properly interpreted, require the
belief of the existence of such a being. Directing our attention
solely to profane sources of information, we discover the heathen
origin of the belief of the existence of the Devil in the ancient
systems of oriental philosophy. Early observers of nature in the East
were led to the conclusion, that the world was a divided empire, ruled
by the alternate or simultaneous energy of two great antagonist
principles or beings, one perfectly good, and the other perfectly bad.
It was for a long time, and perhaps is at this day, a prevalent faith
among Christians, that the Bible teaches a similar doctrine; that it
presents, to our adoration and obedience, a being of infinite
perfections in the Deity; and to our abhorrence and our fears, a being
infinitely wicked, and of great power, in the Devil.

It is obvious, that, when the entire enginery of supernaturalism was
organized in adaptation to the idea of the Devil, and demonology
became synonymous with diabolism, the credulity and superstition of
mankind would give a wide extension to that form of belief. It soon
occupied a large space in the theories of religion and the fancies of
the people, and got to be a leading element in the life of society. It
made its impress on the forms of speech, and many of the phrases to
which it gave rise still remain in familiar use. It figured in the
rituals of religion, in the paraphernalia of public shows, and in
fireside tales. It afforded leading characters to the drama in the
miracle plays and the moral plays, as they were called, at successive
periods. It offered a ready weapon to satire, and also to defamation.
Gerbert, a native of France, who was elevated to the pontificate about
the close of the tenth century, under the name of Sylvester II., is
eulogized by Mosheim as the first great restorer of science and
literature. He was a person of an extensive and sublime genius, of
wonderful attainments in learning, particularly mathematics, geometry,
and arithmetic. He broke the profound sleep of the dark ages, and
awakened the torpid intellect of the European nations. His efforts in
this direction roused the apprehensions and resentment of the monks;
and they circulated, after Gerbert's death, and made the ignorant
masses believe the story, that he had obtained his rapid promotion in
the Church by the practice of the black art, which he disguised under
the show of learning; that he secured the Archbishopric of Ravenna by
bribery and corruption; and that, finally, he made a bargain with
Satan, promising him his soul after death, on condition that he
(Satan) should put forth his great influence over the cardinals in
such a manner as would secure his election to the throne of St. Peter.
The arrangement was carried into successful operation. Sylvester, the
monks averred, consulted the Devil through the medium of a brazen head
during his whole reign, and enjoyed his faithful friendship and
unwavering patronage. But, when His Holiness came to die, he
endeavored to defraud Satan of his rightful claim to his soul, by
repenting, and acknowledging his sin. This illustrates the way in
which the popular idea of the Devil was used to awaken ridicule and
gratify malignity.

The natural and ultimate effect of the diffusion of Christianity was
to overthrow, or rather to revolutionize, the whole system of
incantation and sorcery.

In heathen countries, as in the East at present and with those among
us who profess to hold communications with spirits, no reproach or
sentiment of disapprobation, as has already been observed, was
necessarily connected with the arts of divination; for the
supernatural beings with whom intercourse was alleged to be had were
not, with a few exceptions, regarded as evil beings. The persons who
were thought to be skilful in their use were, on the contrary, held in
great esteem, and looked upon with reverence. Magicians and
philosophers were convertible and synonymous terms. Learned and
scientific men were induced to encourage, and turn to their own
advantage, the popular credulity that ascribed their extraordinary
skill to their connection with spiritual and divine beings. At length,
however, they found themselves placed in a very uncomfortable
predicament by the prevalence of the new theology. It was exceedingly
difficult to dispel the delusion, and correct the error they had
previously found it for their interest to perpetuate in the minds of
the community. They could not convince them that their knowledge was
acquired from natural sources, or their operations conducted solely
by the aid of natural causes and laws. The people would not surrender
the belief, that the results of scientific experiments, and the
accuracy of predictions of physical phenomena, were secured by the
assistance of supernatural beings.

As the doctrines of the gospel gradually undermined the popular belief
in other spiritual beings inferior to the Deity, and were at the same
time supposed to teach the existence and extensively diffused energy
of an almost infinite and omnipotent agent of evil, it was exceedingly
natural, nay, it necessarily followed, that the credulity and
superstition which had led to the supposition of an alliance between
philosophers and spiritual beings should settle down into a full
conviction that the Devil was the being with whom they were thus
confederated. The consequence was that they were charged with
witchcraft, and many fell victims to the general prejudice and
abhorrence occasioned by the imputation. The influence of this state
of things was soon seen: it was one of the most effectual causes of
the rapid diffusion of knowledge in modern times. Philosophers and men
of science became as anxious to explain and publish their discoveries
as they had been in former ages to conceal and cover them with
mystery. The following instances will be sufficient to illustrate the
correctness of these views.

In the thirteenth century, Roger Bacon was charged with witchcraft on
account of his discoveries in optics, chemistry, and astronomy; and,
although he did what he could to circulate and explain his own
acquirements, he could not escape a papal denunciation, and two long
and painful imprisonments. In 1305, Arnold de Villa Nova, a learned
physician and philosopher, was burned at Padua, by order of
inquisitors, on the charge of witchcraft. He was eighty years of age.
Ten years afterwards, Peter Apon, also of Padua, who had made
extraordinary progress in knowledge, was accused of the same crime,
and condemned to death, but expired previous to the time appointed for
his execution.

I will now present a brief sketch of the most noticeable facts
relating to the subject in Europe and Great Britain previous to the
close of the seventeenth century. Some writers have computed that
thirty thousand persons were executed for this supposed crime, within
one hundred and fifty years. It will of course be in my power to
mention only a few instances.

In 1484, Pope Innocent the Eighth issued a bull encouraging and
requiring the arrest and punishment of persons suspected of
witchcraft. From this moment, the prosecutions became frequent and the
victims numerous in every country. The very next year, forty-one aged
females were consigned to the flames in one nation; and, not long
after, a hundred were burned by one inquisition in the devoted valleys
of Piedmont; forty-eight were burned in Ravensburg in five years; and,
in the year 1515, five hundred were burned at Geneva in three months!
One writer declares that "almost an infinite number" were burned for
witchcraft in France,--a thousand in a single diocese! These
sanguinary and horrible transactions were promoted and sanctioned by
theological hatred and rancor. It was soon perceived that there was no
kind of difficulty in clearing the Church of heretics by hanging or
burning them all as witches! The imputation of witchcraft could be
fixed upon any one with the greatest facility. In the earlier part of
the fifteenth century, the Earl of Bedford, having taken the
celebrated Joan of Arc prisoner, put her to death on this charge. She
had been almost adored by the people rescued by her romantic valor,
and was universally known among them by the venerable title of "Holy
Maid of God;" but no difficulty was experienced in procuring evidence
enough to lead her to the stake as a servant and confederate of Satan!
Luther was just beginning his attack upon the papal power, and he was
instantly accused of being in confederacy with the Devil.

In 1534, Elizabeth Barton, "the Maid of Kent," was executed for
witchcraft in England, together with seven men who had been
confederate with her. In 1541 the Earl of Hungerford was beheaded for
inquiring of a witch how long Henry VIII. would live. In 1549 it was
made the duty of bishops, by Archbishop Cranmer's articles of
visitation, to inquire of their clergy, whether "they know of any that
use charms, sorcery, enchantments, witchcraft, soothsaying, or any
like craft invented by the Devil." In 1563 the King of Sweden carried
four witches with him, as a part of his armament, to aid him in his
wars with the Danes. In 1576, seventeen or eighteen were condemned in
Essex, in England. A single judge or inquisitor, Remigius, condemned
and burned nine hundred within fifteen years, from 1580 to 1595, in
the single district of Lorraine; and as many more fled out of the
country; whole villages were depopulated, and fifteen persons
destroyed themselves rather than submit to the torture which, under
the administration of this successor of Draco and rival of Jeffries,
was the first step taken in the trial of an accused person. The
application of the rack and other instruments of torment, in the
examination of prisoners, was recommended by him in a work on
witchcraft. He observes that "scarcely any one was known to be brought
to repentance and confession but by these means"!

The most eminent persons of the sixteenth century were believers in
the popular superstition respecting the existence of compacts between
Satan and human beings, and in the notions associated with it. The
excellent Melancthon was an interpreter of dreams and caster of
nativities. Luther was a strenuous supporter of the doctrine of
witchcraft, and seems to have seriously believed that he had had
frequent interviews with the arch-enemy himself, and had disputed with
him on points of theology, face to face. In his "Table-Talk," he gives
the following account of his intimacy with the Devil: speaking of his
confinement in the Castle of Wartburg, he says, "Among other things
they brought me hazel-nuts, which I put into a box, and sometimes I
used to crack and eat of them. In the night-times, my gentleman, the
Devil, came and got the nuts out of the box, and cracked them against
one of the bedposts, making a very great noise and rumbling about my
bed; but I regarded him nothing at all: when afterwards I began to
slumber, then he kept such a racket and rumbling upon the chamber
stairs, as if many empty barrels and hogsheads had been tumbled down."
Kepler, whose name is immortalized by being associated with the laws
he discovered that regulate the orbits of the heavenly bodies, was a
zealous advocate of astrology; and his great predecessor and master,
the Prince of Astronomers, as he is called, Tycho Brahe, kept an idiot
in his presence, fed him from his own table, with his own hand, and
listened to his incoherent, unmeaning, and fatuous expressions as to a
revelation from the spiritual world.

The following is the language addressed to Queen Elizabeth by Bishop
Jewell. He was one of the most learned persons of his age, and is to
this day regarded as the mighty champion of the Church of England, and
of the cause of the Reformation in Great Britain. He was the terrible
foe of Roman-Catholic superstition. "It may please Your Grace," says
he, "to understand that witches and sorcerers within these four last
years are marvellously increased within Your Grace's realm; Your
Grace's subjects pine away even unto the death; their color fadeth,
their flesh rotteth, their speech is benumbed, their senses are
bereft. I pray God," continues the courtly preacher, "they never
practise further than upon the subject." The petition of the polite
prelate appears to have been answered. The virgin queen resisted
inexorably the arts of all charmers, and is thought never to have been
bewitched in her life.

It is probable that Spenser, in his "Faërie Queen," has described with
accuracy the witch of the sixteenth century in the following beautiful
lines:--

      "There, in a gloomy hollow glen, she found
      A little cottage built of sticks and weedes,
      In homely wise, and wald with sods around,
      In which a witch did dwell in loathly weedes
      And wilful want, all careless of her needes;
      So choosing solitarie to abide
      Far from all neighbors, that her devilish deedes
      And hellish arts from people she might hide,
    And hurt far off unknowne whomever she envide."

So prone were some to indulge in the contemplation of the agency of
the Devil and his myrmidons, that they strained, violated, and
perverted the language of Scripture to make it speak of them. Thus
they insisted that the word "Philistines" meant confederates and
subjects of the Devil, and accordingly interpreted the expression, "I
will deliver you into the hands of the Philistines," thus, "I will
deliver you into the hands of demons."

I cannot describe the extent to which the superstition we are
reviewing was carried about the close of the sixteenth century in
stronger language than the following, from a candid and learned French
Roman-Catholic historian: "So great folly," says he, "did then
oppress the miserable world, that Christians believed greater
absurdities than could ever be imposed upon the heathens."

       *       *       *       *       *

We have now arrived at the commencement of the seventeenth century,
within which the prosecutions for witchcraft took place in Salem. To
show the opinions of the clergy of the English Church at this time, I
will quote the following curious canon, made by the convocation in
1603:--

"That no minister or ministers, without license and direction of the
bishop, under his hand and seal obtained, attempt, upon any pretence
whatsoever, either of possession or obsession, by fasting and prayer,
to cast out any devil or devils, under pain of the imputation of
imposture or cozenage, and deposition from the ministry." In the same
year, licenses were actually granted, as required above, by the Bishop
of Chester; and several ministers were duly authorized by him to cast
out devils!

During this whole century, there were trials and executions for
witchcraft in all civilized countries. More than two hundred were
hanged in England, thousands were burned in Scotland, and still larger
numbers in various parts of Europe.

Edward Fairfax, the poet, was one of the most accomplished men in
England. He is celebrated as the translator of Tasso's "Jerusalem
Delivered," in allusion to which work Collins thus speaks of him:--

    "How have I sate, while piped the pensive wind,
      To hear thy harp, by British Fairfax strung,
    Prevailing poet, whose undoubting mind
      Believed the magic wonders that he sung."

This same Fairfax prosecuted six of his neighbors for bewitching his
children. The trials took place about the time the first pilgrims came
to America.

In 1634, Urbain Grandier, a very learned and eminent French minister,
rendered himself odious to the bigoted nuns of Loudun, by his
moderation towards heretics. Secretly instigated, as has been
supposed, by Cardinal Richelieu, against whom he had written a satire,
they pretended to be bewitched by him, and procured his prosecution:
he was tortured upon the rack until he swooned, and then was burned at
the stake. In 1640, Dr. Lamb, of London, was murdered in the streets
of that city by the mob, on suspicion of witchcraft. Several were
hanged in England, only a few years before the proceedings commenced
in Salem. Some were tried by water ordeal, and drowned in the process,
in Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, and Northamptonshire, at the very
time the executions were going on here; and a considerable number of
capital punishments took place in various parts of Great Britain, some
years after the prosecution had ceased in America.

The trials and executions in England and Scotland were attended by
circumstances as painful, as barbarous, and in all respects as
disgraceful, as those occurring in Salem. Every species of torture
seems to have been resorted to: the principles of reason, justice,
and humanity were set at defiance, and the whole body of the people
kept in a state of the most fierce excitement against the sufferers.
Indeed, there is nothing more distressing in the contemplation of
these sanguinary proceedings than the spirit of deliberate and
unmitigated cruelty with which they were conducted. No symptoms of
pity, compassion, or sympathy, appear to have been manifested by the
judges or the community. The following account of the expenses
attending the execution of two persons convicted of witchcraft in
Scotland, shows in what a cool, business-like style the affair was
managed:--

"For ten loads of coal, to burn them            £3   6   8
For a tar barrel                                 0  14   0
For towes                                        0   6   0
For hurden to be jumps for them                  3  10   0
For making of them                               0   8   0
For one to go to Finmouth for the Laird to sit
  upon their assize as judge                     0   6   0
For the executioner for his pains                8  14   0
For his expenses here                            0  16   4"

The brutalizing effects of capital punishments are clearly seen in
these, as in all other instances. They gradually impart a feeling of
indifference to the value of human life, or to the idea of cutting it
off by the hand of violence, to all who become accustomed to the
spectacle. In various ways they exercise influences upon the tone and
temper of society, which cannot but be regarded with regret by the
citizen, the legislator, the moralist, the philanthropist, and the
Christian.

Sinclair, in his work called "Satan's Invisible World Discovered,"
gives the following affecting declaration made by one of the
confessing witches, as she was on her way to the stake:--

     "Now all you that see me this day know that I am now to die
     as a witch by my own confession; and I free all men,
     especially the ministers and magistrates, of the guilt of my
     blood; I take it wholly upon myself, my blood be upon my own
     head: and, as I must make answer to the God of heaven
     presently, I declare I am as free of witchcraft as any
     child; but, being delated by a malicious woman, and put in
     prison under the name of a witch, disowned by my husband and
     friends, and seeing no ground of hope of my coming out of
     prison, or ever coming in credit again, through the
     temptation of the Devil, I made up that confession on
     purpose to destroy my own life, being weary of it, and
     choosing rather to die than live."

Sir George Mackenzie says that he went to examine some women who had
confessed, and that one of them, who was a silly creature, told him,
"under secresie," "that she had not confessed because she was guilty,
but, being a poor creature, who wrought for her meat, and being
defamed for a witch, she knew she would starve, for no person
thereafter would either give her meat or lodging, and that all men
would beat her, and hound dogs at her, and that therefore she desired
to be out of the world." Whereupon she wept most bitterly, and, upon
her knees, called God to witness to what she said.

A wretch, named Matthew Hopkins, rendered himself infamously
conspicuous in the prosecutions for witchcraft that took place in the
counties of Essex, Sussex, Norfolk, and Huntingdon, in England, in the
years 1645 and 1646. The title he assumed indicates the part he acted:
it was "Witch-finder-general." He travelled from place to place; his
expenses were paid; and he required, in addition, regular fees for the
discovery of a witch. Besides pricking the body to find the
witch-mark, he compelled the wretched and decrepit victims of his
cruel practices to sit in a painful posture, on an elevated stool,
with their limbs crossed; and, if they persevered in refusing to
confess, he would prolong their torture, in some cases, to more than
twenty-four hours. He would prevent their going to sleep, and drag
them about barefoot over the rough ground, thus overcoming them with
extreme weariness and pain: but his favorite method was to tie the
thumb of the right hand close to the great toe of the left foot, and
draw them through a river or pond; if they floated, as they would be
likely to do, while their heavier limbs were thus sustained and
upborne by the rope, it was considered as conclusive proof of their
guilt. This monster was encouraged and sanctioned by the government;
and he procured the death, in one year and in one county, of more than
three times as many as suffered in Salem during the whole delusion.
He and his exploits are referred to in the following lines, from that
storehouse of good sense and keen wit, Butler's "Hudibras:"--

    "Hath not this present Parliament
    A leiger to the Devil sent,
    Fully empowered to treat about
    Finding revolted witches out?
    And has he not within a year
    Hanged threescore of them in one shire?"

The infatuated people looked upon this Hopkins with admiration and
astonishment, and could only account for his success by the
supposition, which, we are told, was generally entertained, that he
had stolen the memorandum-book in which Satan had recorded the names
of all the persons in England who were in league with him!

The most melancholy circumstance connected with the history of this
creature is, that Richard Baxter and Edmund Calamy--names dear and
venerable in the estimation of all virtuous and pious men--were
deceived and deluded by him: they countenanced his conduct, followed
him in his movements, and aided him in his proceedings.

At length, however, some gentlemen, shocked at the cruelty and
suspicious of the integrity of Hopkins, seized him, tied his thumbs
and toes together, threw him into a pond, and dragged him about to
their hearts' content. They were fully satisfied with the result of
the experiment. It was found that he did not sink. He stood condemned
on his own principles; and thus the country was rescued from the
power of the malicious impostor.

Among the persons whose death Hopkins procured, was a venerable,
gray-headed clergyman, named Lewis. He was of the Church of England,
had been the minister of a congregation for more than half a century,
and was over eighty years of age. His infirm frame was subjected to
the customary tests, even to the trial by water ordeal: he was
compelled to walk almost incessantly for several days and nights,
until, in the exhaustion of his nature, he yielded assent to a
confession that was adduced against him in Court; which, however, he
disowned and denied there and at all times, from the moment of release
from the torments, by which it had been extorted, to his last breath.
As he was about to die the death of a felon, he knew that the rites of
sepulture, according to the forms of his denomination, would be denied
to his remains. The aged sufferer, it is related, read his own funeral
service while on the scaffold. Solemn, sublime, and affecting as are
passages of this portion of the ritual of the Church, surely it was
never performed under circumstances so well suited to impress with awe
and tenderness as when uttered by the calumniated, oppressed, and
dying old man. Baxter had been tried for sedition, on the ground that
one of his publications contained a reflection upon Episcopacy, and
was imprisoned for two years. It is a striking and melancholy
illustration of the moral infirmity of human nature, that the author
of the "Saints' Everlasting Rest," and the "Call to the Unconverted,"
permitted such a vengeful feeling against the Establishment to enter
his breast, that he took pleasure, and almost exulted, in relating the
fate of this innocent and aged clergyman, whom he denominates, in
derision, a "Reading Parson."

Baxter's writings are pervaded by his belief in all sorts of
supernatural things. In the "Saints' Everlasting Rest," he declares
his conviction of the reality and authenticity of stories of ghosts,
apparitions, haunted houses, &c. He placed full faith in a tale,
current among the people of his day, of the "dispossession of the
Devil out of many persons together in a room in Lancashire, at the
prayer of some godly ministers." In his "Dying Thoughts," he says, "I
have had many convincing proofs of witches, the contracts they have
made with devils, and the power which they have received from them;"
and he seems to have credited the most absurd fables ever invented on
the subject by ignorance, folly, or fraud.

The case to which he refers, as one of the "dispossession of devils,"
may be found in a tract published in London in 1697, entitled, "The
Surey Demoniac; or, an Account of Satan's strange and dreadful
actings, in and about the body of Richard Dugdale, of Surey, near
Whalley, in Lancashire. And how he was dispossessed by God's blessing
on the Fastings and Prayers of divers Ministers and People. The matter
of fact attested by the oaths of several creditable persons, before
some of his Majestie's Justices of the Peace in the said county." The
"London Monthly Repository" (vol. v., 1810) describes the affair as
follows: "These dreadful actings of Satan continued above a year;
during which there was a desperate struggle between him and nine
ministers of the gospel, who had undertaken to cast him out, and, for
that purpose, successively relieved each other in their daily combats
with him: while Satan tried all his arts to baffle their attempts,
insulting them with scoffs and raillery, puzzling them sometimes with
Greek and Latin, and threatening them with the effects of his
vengeance, till he was finally vanquished and put to flight by the
persevering prayers and fastings of the said ministers."

No name in English history is regarded with more respect and
admiration, by wise and virtuous men, than that of Sir Matthew Hale.
His character was almost venerated by our ancestors; and it has been
thought that it was the influence of his authority, more than any
thing else, that prevailed upon them to pursue the course they adopted
in the prosecutions at Salem. This great and good man presided, as
Lord Chief Baron, at the trial of two females,--Amy Dunny and Rose
Cullender,--at Bury St. Edmunds, in Suffolk, in the year 1664. They
were convicted and executed.

Baxter relates the following circumstance as having occurred at this
trial: "A godly minister, yet living, sitting by to see one of the
girls (who appeared as a witness against the prisoners) in her fits,
suddenly felt a force pull one of the hooks from his breeches; and,
while he looked with wonder at what was become of it, the tormented
girl vomited it up out of her mouth."

To give an idea of the nature of the testimony upon which the
principal stress was laid by the government, I will extract the
following passages from the report of the trial: "Robert Sherringham
testified that the axle-tree of his cart, happening, in passing, to
break some part of Rose Cullender's house, in her anger at it, she
vehemently threatened him his horses should suffer for it; and, within
a short time, all his four horses died; after which he sustained many
other losses, in the sudden dying of his cattle. He was also taken
with a lameness in his limbs, and so far vexed with lice of an
extraordinary number and bigness, that no art could hinder the
swarming of them, till he burned up two suits of apparel."--"Margaret
Arnold testified that Amy Dunny afflicted her children: they (the
children), she said, would see mice running round the house, and, when
they caught them and threw them into the fire, they would screech out
like rats."--"A thing like a bee flew at the face of the younger
child; the child fell into a fit, and at last vomited up a two-penny
nail, with a broad head, affirming that the bee brought this nail, and
forced it into her mouth."--"She one day caught an invisible mouse,
and, throwing it into the fire, it flashed like to gunpowder. None
besides the child saw the mouse, but every one saw the flash!"

In this instance we perceive the influence of prejudice in perverting
evidence. The circumstance that the mouse was invisible to all eyes
but those of the child ought to have satisfied the Court and jury that
she was either under the power of a delusion or practising an
imposture. But, as they were predisposed to find something
supernatural in the transaction, their minds seized upon the pretended
invisibility of the mouse as conclusive proof of diabolical agency.

Many persons who were present expressed the opinion, that the issue of
the trial would have been favorable to the prisoners, had it not been
for the following circumstance: Sir Thomas Browne, a physician,
philosopher, and scholar of unrivalled celebrity at that time,
happened to be upon the spot; and it was the universal wish that he
should be called to the stand, and his opinion be obtained on the
general subject of witchcraft. An enthusiastic contemporary admirer of
Sir Thomas Browne thus describes him: "The horizon of his
understanding was much larger than the hemisphere of the world: all
that was visible in the heavens he comprehended so well, that few that
are under them knew so much; and of the earth he had such a minute and
exact geographical knowledge as if he had been by Divine Providence
ordained surveyor-general of the whole terrestrial globe and its
products, minerals, plants, and animals." His memory is stated to have
been inferior only to that of Seneca or Scaliger; and he was reputed
master of seven languages. Dr. Johnson, who has written his biography,
sums up his character in the following terms: "But it is not on the
praises of others, but on his own writings, that he is to depend for
the esteem of posterity, of which he will not easily be deprived,
while learning shall have any reverence among men: for there is no
science in which he does not discover some skill; and scarce any kind
of knowledge, profane or sacred, abstruse or elegant, which he does
not appear to have cultivated with success."

Sir Thomas Browne was considered by those of his own generation to
have made great advances beyond the wisdom of his age. He claimed the
character of a reformer, and gave to his principal publication the
title of an "Enquiry into Vulgar Errors." So bold and free were his
speculations, that he was looked upon invidiously by many as a daring
innovator, and did not escape the denunciatory imputation of heresy.
Nothing could be more unjust, however, than this latter charge. He was
a most ardent and zealous believer in the doctrines of the Established
Church. He declares "that he assumes the honorable style of a
Christian," not because "it is the religion of his country," but
because, "having in his riper years and confirmed judgment seen and
examined all, he finds himself obliged, by the principles of grace and
the law of his own reason, to embrace no other name but this." He
exults and "blesses himself, that he lived not in the days of
miracles, when faith had been thrust upon him, but enjoys that greater
blessing pronounced to all that believed, and saw not:" nay, he goes
so far as to say, that they only had the advantage "of a bold and
noble faith, who lived before the coming of the Saviour, and, upon
obscure prophecies and mystical types, could raise a belief." The fact
that such a man was accused of infidelity is an affecting proof of the
injustice that is sometimes done by the judgment of contemporaries.

This prodigy of learning and philosophy went into Court, took the
stand, and declared his opinion in favor of the reality of witchcraft,
entered into a particular discussion of the subject before the jury,
threw the whole weight of his great name into the wavering scales of
justice, and the poor women were convicted. The authority of Sir
Thomas Browne, added to the other evidence, perplexed Sir Matthew
Hale. A reporter of the trial says, "that it made this great and good
man doubtful; but he was in such fears, and proceeded with such
caution, that he would not so much as sum up the evidence, but left it
to the jury with prayers, 'that the great God of heaven would direct
their hearts in that weighty matter.'"

The result of this important trial established decisively the
interpretation of English law; and the printed report of it was used
as an authoritative text-book in the Court at Salem.

The celebrated Robert Boyle flourished in the latter half of the
seventeenth century. He is allowed by all to have done much towards
the introduction of an improved philosophy, and the promotion of
experimental science. But he could not entirely shake off the
superstition of his age.

A small city in Burgundy, called Mascon, was famous in the annals of
witchcraft. In a work called "The Theatre of God's Judgments,"
published, in London, by Thomas Beard in 1612, there is the following
passage: "It was a very lamentable spectacle that chanced to the
Governor of Mascon, a magician, whom the Devil snatched up in
dinner-while, and hoisted aloft, carrying him three times about the
town of Mascon, in the presence of many beholders, to whom he cried in
this manner, 'Help, help, my friends!' so that the whole town stood
amazed thereat; yea, and the remembrance of this strange accident
sticketh at this day fast in the minds of all the inhabitants of this
country." A malicious and bigoted monk, who discharged the office of
chief legend-maker to the Benedictine Abbey, in the vicinity of
Mascon, fabricated this ridiculous story for the purpose of bringing
the Governor into disrepute. An account of another diabolical
visitation, suggested, it is probable, by the one just described, was
issued from the press, under the title of "The Devil of Mascon,"
during the lifetime of Boyle, who gave his sanction to the work,
promoted its version into English, and, as late as 1678, publicly
declared his belief of the supernatural transaction it related.

The subject of demonology, in all its forms and phases, embracing
witchcraft, held a more commanding place throughout Europe, in the
literature of the centuries immediately preceding the eighteenth, than
any other. Works of the highest pretension, elaborate, learned,
voluminous, and exhausting, were published, by the authority of
governments and universities, to expound it. It was regarded as
occupying the most eminent department of jurisprudence, as well as of
science and theology.

Raphael De La Torre and Adam Tanner published treatises establishing
the right and duty of ecclesiastical tribunals to punish all who
practised or dealt with the arts of demonology. In 1484, Sprenger came
out with his famous book, "Malleus Maleficarum;" or, the "Hammer of
Witches." Paul Layman, in 1629, issued an elaborate work on "Judicial
Processes against Sorcerers and Witches." The following is the title
of a bulky volume of some seven hundred pages: "Demonology, or Natural
Magic or demoniacal, lawful and unlawful, also open or secret, by the
intervention and invocation of a Demon," published in 1612. It
consists of four books, treating of the crime of witchcraft, and its
punishment in the ordinary tribunals and the Inquisitorial office. Its
author was Don Francisco Torreblanca Villalpando, of Cordova, Advocate
Royal in the courts of Grenada. It was republished in 1623, by command
of Philip III. of Spain, on the recommendation of the Fiscal General,
and with the sanction of the Royal Council and the Holy Inquisition.
This work may be considered as establishing and defining the
doctrines, in reference to witchcraft, prevailing in all Catholic
countries. It was indorsed by royal, judicial, academical, and
ecclesiastical approval; is replete with extraordinary erudition,
arranged in the most scientific form, embracing in a methodical
classification all the minutest details of the subject, and codifying
it into a complete system of law. There was no particular in all the
proceedings and all the doctrines brought out at the trials in Salem,
which did not find ample justification and support in this work of
Catholic, imperial, and European authority.

But perhaps the writer of the greatest influence on this subject in
England and America, during the whole of the seventeenth century, was
William Perkins, "the learned, pious, and painful preacher of God's
Word, at St. Andrew's, in Cambridge," where he died, in 1602, aged
forty-four years. He was quite a voluminous author; and many of his
works were translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish.
Fuller, in "The Holy State," selects him as the impersonation of the
qualities requisite to "the Faithful Minister." In his glowing
eulogium upon his learning and talents, he says:--

     "He would pronounce the word _damne_ with such an emphasis
     as left a doleful echo in his auditors' ears a good while
     after. And, when catechist of Christ's College, in
     expounding the Commandments, applied them so home,--able
     almost to make his hearers' hearts fall down, and hairs to
     stand upright. But, in his older age, he altered his voice,
     and remitted much of his former rigidness, often professing
     that to preach mercy was that proper office of the ministers
     of the gospel."--"Our Perkins brought the schools into the
     pulpit, and, unshelling their controversies out of their
     hard school-terms, made thereof plain and wholesome meat for
     his people; for he had a capacious head, with angles
     winding, and roomy enough to lodge all controversial
     intricacies."--"He had a rare felicity in speedy reading of
     books; so that, as it were, riding post through an author,
     he took strict notice of all passages. Perusing books so
     speedily, one would think he read nothing; so accurately,
     one would think he read all."

An octavo volume, written by this great scholar and divine, was
published at Cambridge in England, under the title, "Discourse of the
Damned Art of Witchcraft." It went through several editions, and had a
wide and permanent circulation.

This work, the character of which is sufficiently indicated in its
emphatic title, was the great authority on the subject with our
fathers; and Mr. Parris had a copy of it in his possession when the
proceedings in reference to witchcraft began at Salem Village.

John Gaule published an octavo volume in London, in 1646, entitled,
"Select Cases of Conscience concerning Witches and Witchcraft." He is
one of the most exact writers on the subject, and arranges witches in
the following classes: "1. The diviner, gypsy, or fortune-telling
witch; 2. The astrologian, star-gazing, planetary, prognosticating
witch; 3. The chanting, canting, or calculating witch, who works by
signs and numbers; 4. The venefical, or poisoning witch; 5. The
exorcist, or conjuring witch; 6. The gastronomic witch; 7. The
magical, speculative, sciential, or arted witch; 8. The necromancer."

Besides innumerable writers of this class, who spread out the
scholastic learning on the subject, and presented it in a logical and
theological form, there were others who treated it in a more popular
style, and invested it with the charms of elegant literature. Henry
Hallywell published an octavo in London, in 1681, in which, while the
main doctrines of witchcraft as then almost universally received are
enforced, an attempt was made to divest it of some of its most
repulsive and terrible features. He gives the following account of the
means by which a person may place himself beyond the reach of the
power of witchcraft:--

     "It is possible for the soul to arise to such a height, and
     become so divine, that no witchcraft or evil demons can have
     any power upon the body. When the bodily life is too far
     invigorated and awakened, and draws the intellect, the
     flower and summity of the soul, into a conspiration with it,
     then are we subject and obnoxious to magical assaults. For
     magic or sorcery, being founded only in this lower or
     mundane spirit, he that makes it his business to be freed
     and released from all its blandishments and flattering
     devocations, and endeavors wholly to withdraw himself from
     the love of corporeity and too near a sympathy with the
     frail flesh, he, by it, enkindles such a divine principle as
     lifts him above the fate of this inferior world, and adorns
     his mind with such an awful majesty that beats back all
     enchantments, and makes the infernal fiends tremble at his
     presence, hating those vigorous beams of light which are so
     contrary and repugnant to their dark natures."

The mind of this beautiful writer found encouragement and security in
the midst of the diabolical spirits, with whom he believed the world
to be infested, in the following views and speculations:--

     "For there is a chain of government that runs down from God,
     the Supreme Monarch, whose bright and piercing eyes look
     through all that he has made, to the lowest degree of the
     creation; and there are presidential angels of empires and
     kingdoms, and such as under them have the tutelage of
     private families; and, lastly, every man's particular
     guardian genius. Nor is the inanimate or material world left
     to blind chance or fortune; but there are, likewise, mighty
     and potent spirits, to whom is committed the guidance and
     care of the fluctuating and uncertain motions of it, and by
     their ministry, fire and vapor, storms and tempests, snow
     and hail, heat and cold, are all kept within such bounds and
     limits as are most serviceable to the ends of Providence.
     They take care of the variety of seasons, and superintend
     the tillage and fruits of the earth; upon which account,
     Origen calls them _invisible_ husbandmen. So that, all
     affairs and things being under the inspection and government
     of these incorporeal beings, the power of the dark kingdom
     and its agents is under a strict confinement and restraint;
     and they cannot bring a general mischief upon the world
     without a special permission of a superior Providence."

Spenser has the same imagery and sentiment:--

    "How oft do they their silver bowers leave,
    To come to succor us, that succor want?
    How oft do they with golden pinions cleave
    The flitting skies, like flying pursuivant,
    Against foul fiends to aid us militant?
    They for us fight, they watch and duly ward,
    And their bright squadrons round about us plant,
    And all for love and nothing for reward:
    Oh! why should heavenly God to man have such regard?"

While there can be no doubt that the superstitious opinions we have
been reviewing were diffused generally among the great body of the
people of all ranks and conditions, it would be unjust to truth not to
mention that there were some persons who looked upon them as empty
fables and vain imaginations. Error has never yet made a complete and
universal conquest. In the darkest ages and most benighted regions, it
has been found impossible utterly to extinguish the light of reason.
There always have been some in whose souls the torch of truth has been
kept burning with vestal watchfulness: we can discern its glimmer here
and there through the deepest night that has yet settled upon the
earth. In the midst of the most extravagant superstition, there have
been individuals who have disowned the popular belief, and considered
it a mark of wisdom and true philosophy to discard the idle fancies
and absurd schemes of faith that possessed the minds of the great mass
of their contemporaries. This was the case with Horace, as appears
from lines thus quite freely but effectively translated:--

    "These dreams and terrors magical,
    These miracles and witches,
    Night-walking spirites or Thessal bugs,
    Esteeme them not two rushes."

The intellect of Seneca also rose above the reach of the popular
credulity with respect to the agency of supernatural beings and the
efficacy of mysterious charms.

If we could but obtain access to the secret thoughts of the wisest
philosophers and of the men of genius of antiquity, we should probably
find that many of them were superior to the superstitions of their
times. Even in the thick darkness of the dark ages, there were minds
too powerful to be kept in chains by error and delusion.

Henry Cornelius Agrippa, who was born in the latter part of the
fifteenth century, was, perhaps, the greatest philosopher and scholar
of his period. In early life, he was very much devoted to the science
of magic, and was a strenuous supporter of demonology and witchcraft.
In the course of his studies and meditations, he was led to a change
of views on these subjects, and did all that he could to warn others
from putting confidence in such vain, frivolous, and absurd
superstitions as then possessed the world. The consequence was, that
he was denounced and prosecuted as a conjurer, and charged with having
written against magic and witchcraft, in order the more securely to
shelter himself from the suspicion of practising them. As an instance
of the calumnies that were heaped upon him, I would mention that
Paulus Jovius asserted that "Cornelius Agrippa went always accompanied
with an evil spirit in the similitude of a black dog;" and that, when
the time of his death drew near, "he took off the enchanted collar
from the dog's neck, and sent him away with these terms, 'Get thee
hence, thou cursed beast, which hast utterly destroyed me:' neither
was the dog ever seen after." Butler, in his "Hudibras," has not
neglected to celebrate this remarkable connection between Satan and
the man of learning:--

    "Agrippa kept a Stygian pug
    I' th' garb and habit of a dog,
    That was his tutor; and the cur
    Read to th' occult philosopher."

John Wierus wrote an elaborate, learned, and judicious book, in which
he treated at large of magic, sorcery, and witchcraft, and did all
that scholarship, talent, and philosophy could do to undermine and
subvert the whole system of the prevailing popular superstition. But
he fared no better than his predecessor, patron, and master, Agrippa;
for, like him, he was accused of having attempted to persuade the
world that there was no reality in supernatural charms and diabolical
confederacies, in order that he might devote himself to them without
suspicion or molestation, and was borne down by the bigotry and
fanaticism of his times.

King James merely gave utterance to the general sentiment, and
pronounced the verdict of popular opinion, in the following extract
from the preface to his "Demonologie:" "Wierus, a German physician,
sets out a public apologie for all these crafts-folkes, whereby,
procuring for them impunitie, he plainly bewrays himself to have been
of that profession."

In 1584, a quarto volume was published in London, the work of Reginald
Scott, a learned English gentleman, whose title sufficiently indicates
its import, "The Discovery of Witchcraft, wherein the lewde dealing
of witches and witchmongers is notably detected; the knavery of
conjurers, the impiety of inchanters, the folly of soothsayers, the
impudent falsehood of cozeners, the infidelity of atheists, the
pestilent practices of pythonists, the curiosities of figure-casters,
the vanity of dreamers, the beggarly art of alcumstrie, the
abomination of idolatrie, the horrible art of poisoning, the virtue
and power of natural magic, and all the conveniencies of legerdemaine
and juggling, are discovered, &c."

In 1599, Samuel Harsnett, Archbishop of York, wrote a work, published
in London, to expose certain persons who pretended to have the power
of casting out devils, and detecting their "deceitful trade." This
writer was among the first to bring the power of bold satire and open
denunciation to bear against the superstitions of demonology. He thus
describes the motives and the methods of such impostors:--

     "Out of these," saith he, "is shaped us the true idea of a
     witch,--an old, weather-beaten crone, having her chin and
     her knees meeting for age, walking like a bow, leaning on a
     staff; hollow-eyed, untoothed, furrowed on her face, having
     her limbs trembling with the palsy, going mumbling in the
     streets; one that hath forgotten her Pater-noster, and yet
     hath a shrewd tongue to call a drab a drab. If she hath
     learned of an old wife, in a chimney-end, Pax, Max, Fax, for
     a spell, or can say Sir John Grantham's curse for the
     miller's eels, 'All ye that have stolen the miller's eels,
     Laudate dominum de coelis: and all they that have consented
     thereto, Benedicamus domino:' why then, beware! look about
     you, my neighbors. If any of you have a sheep sick of the
     giddies, or a hog of the mumps, or a horse of the staggers,
     or a knavish boy of the school, or an idle girl of the
     wheel, or a young drab of the sullens, and hath not fat
     enough for her porridge, or butter enough for her bread, and
     she hath a little help of the epilepsy or cramp, to teach
     her to roll her eyes, wry her mouth, gnash her teeth,
     startle with her body, hold her arms and hands stiff, &c.;
     and then, when an old Mother Nobs hath by chance called her
     an idle young housewife, or bid the Devil scratch her, then
     no doubt but Mother Nobs is the witch, and the young girl is
     owl blasted, &c. They that have their brains baited and
     their fancies distempered with the imaginations and
     apprehensions of witches, conjurers, and fairies, and all
     that lymphatic chimera, I find to be marshalled in one of
     these five ranks: children, fools, women, cowards, sick or
     black melancholic discomposed wits."

In 1669, a work was published in London with the following title: "The
Question of Witchcraft Debated; or, a Discourse against their Opinions
that affirm Witches." It is a work of great merit, and would do honor
to a scholar and logician of the present day. The author was John
Wagstaffe, of Oxford University: he is described as a crooked,
shrivelled, little man, of a most despicable appearance. This
circumstance, together with his writings against the popular belief in
witchcraft, led his academical associates to accuse him, some of them
in sport, but others with grave suspicion, of being a wizard. Wood,
the historian of Oxford, says that "he died in a manner distracted,
occasioned by a deep conceit of his own parts, and by a continual
bibbing of strong and high-tasted liquors." But poor Wagstaffe was
assailed by something more than private raillery and slander. His
heretical sentiments exposed him to the battery of the host of writers
who will always be found ready to advocate a prevailing opinion. But
Wagstaffe was not left entirely alone to defend the cause of reason
and truth. He had one most zealous advocate and ardent admirer in the
author of a work on "The Doctrine of Devils," published in 1676. This
writer sums up a panegyric upon Wagstaffe's performance, by
pronouncing it "a judicious book, that contains more good reason, true
religion, and right Christianity, than all those lumps and cartloads
of luggage that hath been fardled up by all the faggeters of
demonologistical winter-tales, and witchcraftical legendaries, since
they first began to foul clean paper."

Dr. Balthasar Bekker, of Amsterdam, who was equally eminent in
astronomy, philosophy, and theology, published in 1691 a learned and
powerful work, called "The World Bewitched," in which he openly
assailed the doctrines of witchcraft and of the Devil, and anticipated
many of the views and arguments presented in Farmer's excellent
publications. As a reward for his exertions to enlighten his
fellow-creatures, he was turned out of the ministry, and assaulted by
nearly all the writers of his age.

Dr. Bekker was one of the ablest and boldest writers of his day, and
did much to advance the cause of natural science, scriptural
interpretation, and the principles of enlightened Christianity. In
1680 he published an "Inquiry concerning Comets," rescuing them from
the realm of superstition, placing them within the natural physical
laws, and exploding the then-received opinion, that, in any way, they
are the presages or forerunners of evil. His "Exposition on the
Prophet Daniel" gives proof of his learning and judgment. His great
merits were recognized by John Locke and Richard Bentley. In the
preface to his "World Bewitched," he says, that it grieved him to see
the great honors, powers, and miracles which are ascribed to the
Devil. "It has come to that pass," to use his own language, "that men
think it piety and godliness to ascribe a great many wonders to the
Devil, and impiety and heresy, if a man will not believe that the
Devil can do what a thousand persons say he does. It is now reckoned
godliness, if a man who fears God fear also the Devil. If he be not
afraid of the Devil, he passes for an atheist, who does not believe in
God, because he cannot think that there are two gods, the one good,
the other bad. But these, I think, with much more reason, may be
called ditheists. For my part, if, on account of my opinion, they will
give me a new name, let them call me a monotheist, a believer of but
one God." The work struck down the whole system of demonology and
witchcraft, by proving that there never was really such a thing as
sorcery or possession, and that devils have no influence over human
affairs or the persons of men. It is not surprising that it raised a
great clamor. The wonder is that it did not cost him his life. It is
probable that his protection was the confidence the people had in his
character and learning. Attempts were made to diminish that
confidence, and bring him into odium, by levelling against him every
form of abuse. A medal was struck, and extensively circulated,
representing the Devil, clothed like a minister or priest, riding on
an ass. The device was so arranged as to excite ridicule and
abhorrence, in the vulgar mind, against Bekker. But it was found
impossible to turn the popular feeling, which had set in his favor;
and his persecutors and defamers were completely baffled. He was
followed, soon after, by the learned Thomasius, whose writings against
demonology produced a decided effect upon the convictions of the age.

While Bekker, and the other writers of his class, endeavored to
overthrow the superstitious practices and fancies then prevalent
respecting demonology and communications with spiritual beings, they
so far acceded to the popular theology as to maintain the doctrine of
the personality of the Devil. They believed in the existence of the
arch-fiend, but denied his agency in human affairs. They held that he
was kept confined "to bottomless perdition, there to dwell--

    "In adamantine chains and penal fire."

Sir Robert Filmer, in 1680, published "An Advertisement to the jurymen
of England, touching Witches," in which he criticised and condemned
many of the opinions and methods then countenanced on the subject.

But Bekker, Thomasius, and Filmer appeared too late to operate upon
the prevalent opinions of Europe or America prior to the witchcraft
delusion of 1692. The productions of the other writers, in the same
direction, to whom I have referred, probably had a very limited
circulation, and made at the time but little impression. Error is
seldom overthrown by mere reasoning. It yields only to the logic of
events. No power of learning or wit could have rooted the witchcraft
superstitions out of the minds of men. Nothing short of a
demonstration of their deformities, follies, and horrors, such as here
was held up to the view of the world, could have given their
death-blow. This was the final cause of Salem Witchcraft, and makes it
one of the great landmarks in the world's history.

A full and just view of the position and obligations of the persons
who took part in the transactions at Salem requires a previous
knowledge of the principles and the state of the law, as it was then
in force and understood by the courts, and all concerned in judicial
proceedings. Although the ancients did not regard pretended
intercourse between magicians and enchanters and spiritual beings as
necessarily or always criminal, we find that they enacted laws against
the abuse of the power supposed to result from the connection. The old
Roman code of the Twelve Tables contained the following prohibition:
"That they should not bewitch the fruits of the earth, nor use any
charms, to draw their neighbor's corn into their own fields." There
were several special edicts on the subject during the existence of
the Roman State. In the early Christian councils, sorcery was
frequently made the object of denunciation. At Laodicea, for instance,
in the year 364, it was voted to excommunicate any clergymen who were
magicians, enchanters, astrologers, or mathematicians! The Bull of
Pope Innocent VIII., near the close of the fifteenth century, has
already been mentioned.

Dr. Turner, in his history of the Anglo-Saxons, says that they had
laws against sorcerers and witches, but that they did not punish them
with death. There was an English statute against witchcraft, in the
reign of Henry VIII., and another in that of Elizabeth.

Up to this time, however, the legislation of parliament on the subject
was merciful and judicious: for it did not attach to the guilt of
witchcraft the punishment of death, unless it had been used to destroy
life; that is, unless it had become murder.

On the demise of Elizabeth, James of Scotland ascended the throne. His
pedantic and eccentric character is well known. He had an early and
decided inclination towards abstruse or mysterious speculations.
Before he had reached his twentieth year, he undertook to accomplish
what only the most sanguine and profound theologians have ever dared
to attempt: he expounded the Book of Revelation. When he was about
twenty-five years of age, he published a work on the "Doctrine of
Devils and Witchcraft." Not long after, he succeeded to the British
crown. It may easily be imagined that the subject of demonology soon
became a fashionable and prevailing topic of conversation in the royal
saloons and throughout the nation. It served as a medium through which
obsequious courtiers could convey their flattery to the ears of their
accomplished and learned sovereign. His Majesty's book was reprinted
and extensively circulated. It was of course praised and recommended
in all quarters.

The parliament, actuated by a base desire to compliment the vain and
superstitious king, enacted a new and much more severe statute against
witchcraft, in the very first year of his reign. It was under this law
that so many persons here and in England were deprived of their lives.
The blood of hundreds of innocent persons was thus unrighteously shed.
It was a fearful price which these servile lawgivers paid for the
favor of their prince.

But this was not the only mischief brought about by courtly deference
to the prejudices of King James. It was under his direction that our
present translation of the Scriptures was made. To please His Royal
Majesty, and to strengthen the arguments in his work on demonology,
the word "witch" was used to represent expressions in the original
Hebrew, that conveyed an entirely different idea; and it was freely
inserted in the headings of the chapters.[B] A person having "a
familiar spirit" was a favorite description of a witch in the king's
book. The translators, forgetful of their high and solemn function,
endeavored to establish this definition by inserting it into their
version. Accordingly, they introduced it in several places; in the
eleventh verse of the eighteenth chapter of Deuteronomy, for instance,
"a consulter with familiar spirits." There is no word in the Hebrew
which corresponds with "familiar." And this is the important, the
essential word in the definition. It conveys the idea of alliance,
stated connection, confederacy, or compact, which is characteristic
and distinctive of a witch. The expression in the original signifies
"a consulter with spirits,"--especially, as was the case with the
"Witch of Endor," a consulter with departed spirits. It was a shocking
perversion of the word of God, for the purpose of flattering a frail
and mortal sovereign! King James lived to see and acknowledge the
error of his early opinions, and he would gladly have counteracted
their bad effect; but it is easier to make laws and translations than
it is to alter and amend them.

[Footnote B: For a thorough discussion of the several Hebrew words
that relate to Divination and Magic, see Wierus de Præstigiis, L. 2,
c. 1.]

While the law of the land required the capital punishment of witches,
no blame ought to be attached to judges and jurors for discharging
their respective duties in carrying it into execution. It will not do
for us to assert, that they ought to have refused, let the
consequences to themselves have been what they would, to sanction and
give effect to such inhuman and unreasonable enactments. We cannot
consistently take this ground; for there is nothing more certain than
that, with their notions, our ancestors had at least as good reasons
to advance in favor of punishing witchcraft with death, as we have for
punishing any crime whatsoever in the same awful and summary manner.
We appeal, in defence of our capital punishments, to the text of
Moses, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed."
The apologist of our fathers, for carrying into effect the law making
witchcraft a capital offence, tells us in reply, in the first place,
that this passage is not of the nature of a precept, but merely of an
admonition; that it does not enjoin any particular method of
proceeding, but simply describes the natural consequences of cruel and
contentious conduct; and that it amounts only to this: that
quarrelsome, violent, and bloodthirsty persons will be apt to meet the
same fate they bring upon others; that the duellist will be likely to
fall in private combat, the ambitious conqueror to perish, and the
warlike nation to be destroyed, on the field of battle. If this is not
considered by us a sufficient and satisfactory answer, he advances to
our own ground, points to the same text where we place our defence,
and puts his finger on the following plain and authoritative precept:
"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." Indeed we must acknowledge,
that the capital punishment of witches is as strongly supported and
fortified by the Scriptures of the Old Testament--at least, as they
appear in our present version--as the capital punishment of any crime
whatever.

If we adopt another line of argument, and say that it is necessary to
punish some particular crimes with death, in order to maintain the
security of society, or hold up an impressive warning to others, here
also we find that our opponent has full as much to offer in defence of
our fathers as can be offered in our own defence. He describes to us
the tremendous and infernal power which was universally believed by
them to be possessed by a witch; a power which, as it was not derived
from a natural source, could not easily be held in check by natural
restraints: neither chains nor dungeons could bind it down or confine
it. You might load the witch with irons, you might bury her in the
lowest cell of a feudal prison, and still it was believed that she
could send forth her imps or her spectre to ravage the fields, and
blight the meadows, and throw the elements into confusion, and torture
the bodies, and craze the minds, of any who might be the objects of
her malice.

Shakspeare, in the description which he puts into the mouth of Macbeth
of the supernatural energy of witchcraft, does not surpass, if he does
justice to, the prevailing belief on the subject:--

    "I conjure you, by that which you profess,
    (Howe'er you came to know it) answer me,--
    Though you untie the winds, and let them fight
    Against the churches; though the yesty waves
    Confound and swallow navigation up;
    Though bladed corn be lodged, and trees blown down;
    Though castles topple on their warders' heads;
    Though palaces and pyramids do slope
    Their heads to their foundations; though the treasure
    Of nature's germins tumble all together,
    Even till destruction sicken,--answer me
    To what I ask you."

There was indeed an almost infinite power to do mischief associated
with a disposition to do it. No human strength could strip the witch
of these mighty energies while she lived; nothing but death could
destroy them. There was, as our ancestors considered, incontestable
evidence, that she had put them forth to the injury, loss, and perhaps
death, of others.

Can it be wondered at, that, under such circumstances, the law
connecting capital punishment with the guilt of witchcraft was
resorted to as the only means to protect society, and warn others from
entering into the dark, wicked, and malignant compact?

It is not probable that even King James's Parliament would have been
willing to go to the length of Selden in his "Table-Talk," who takes
this ground in defence of the capital punishment of witches. "The law
against witches does not prove there be any, but it punishes the
malice of those people that use such means to take away men's lives.
If one should profess, that, by turning his hat thrice and crying
'Buzz,' he could take away a man's life (though in truth he could do
no such thing), yet this were a just law made by the State, that
whoever should turn his hat thrice and cry 'Buzz,' with an intention
to take away a man's life, shall be put to death."

There are other considerations that deserve to be weighed before a
final judgment should be made up respecting the conduct of our fathers
in the witchcraft delusion. Among these is the condition of physical
science in their day. But little knowledge of the laws of nature was
possessed, and that little was confined to a few. The world was still,
to the mass of the people, almost as full of mystery in its physical
departments as it was to its first inhabitants. Politics, poetry,
rhetoric, ethics, and history had been cultivated to a great extent in
previous ages; but the philosophy of the natural and material world
was almost unknown. Astronomy, chemistry, optics, pneumatics, and even
geography, were involved in the general darkness and error. Some of
our most important sciences, such as electricity, date their origin
from a later period.

This remarkable tardiness in the progress of physical science for some
time after the era of the revival of learning is to be accounted for
by referring to the erroneous methods of reasoning and observation
then prevalent in the world. A false logic was adopted in the schools
of learning and philosophy. The great instrument for the discovery and
investigation of truth was the syllogism, the most absurd contrivance
of the human mind; an argumentative process whose conclusion is
contained in the premises; a method of proof, in the first step of
which the matter to be proved is taken for granted.[C] In a word, the
whole system of philosophy was made up of hypotheses, and the only
foundation of science was laid in conjecture. The imagination, called
necessarily into extraordinary action, in the absence of scientific
certainty, was still further exercised in vain attempts to discover,
unassisted by observation and experiment, the elements and first
principles of nature. It had reached a monstrous growth about the time
to which we are referring. Indeed it may be said, that all the
intellectual productions of modern times, from the seventeenth century
back to the dark ages, were works of imagination. The bulkiest and
most voluminous writings that proceeded from the cloisters or the
universities, even the metaphysical disquisitions of the Nominalists
and Realists, and the boundless subtleties of the contending schools
of the "Divine Doctors," Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus, fall under
this description. Dull, dreary, unintelligible, and interminable as
they are, they are still in reality works of fancy. They are the
offspring, almost exclusively, of the imaginative faculty. It ought
not to create surprise, to find that this faculty predominated in the
minds and characters of our ancestors, and developed itself to an
extent beyond our conception, when we reflect that it was almost the
only one called into exercise, and that it was the leading element of
every branch of literature and philosophy.

[Footnote C: The syllogism was originally designed to serve as a
_method of determining the arrangement and classification of truth
already shown_; and, when employed for this purpose, was of great
value and excellence. It was its perverted application to the
_discovery_ of truth which rendered utterly worthless so large a part
of the learning and philosophy of the middle ages. The reader will
perceive, that it is to the syllogism, as thus misapplied and
misunderstood by the schoolmen, not as designed and used by Aristotle,
that the remarks in the text are intended to apply.]

It is true, that, in the earlier part of the seventeenth century, Lord
Bacon made his sublime discoveries in the department of physical
science. By disclosing the true method of investigation and reasoning
on such subjects, he may be said to have found, or rather to have
invented, the key that unlocked the hitherto unopened halls of nature.
He introduced man to the secret chambers of the universe, and placed
in his hand the thread by which he has been conducted to the
magnificent results of modern science, and will undoubtedly be led on
to results still more magnificent in times to come. But it was not for
human nature to pass in a moment from darkness to light. The
transition was slow and gradual: a long twilight intervened before the
sun shed its clear and full radiance upon the world.

The great discoverer himself refused to admit, or was unable to
discern, some of the truths his system had revealed. Bacon was
numbered among the opponents of the Copernican or true system of
astronomy to the day of his death; so also was Sir Thomas Browne, the
great philosopher already described, and who flourished during the
latter half of the same century. Indeed, it may be said, that, at the
time of the witchcraft delusion, the ancient empire of darkness which
had oppressed and crushed the world of science had hardly been shaken.
The great and triumphant progress of modern discovery had scarcely
begun.

I shall now proceed to illustrate these views of the state of science
in the world at that time by presenting a few instances. The
slightest examination of the accounts which remain of occurrences
deemed supernatural by our ancestors will satisfy any one that they
were brought about by causes entirely natural, although unknown to
them. For instance, the following circumstances are related by the
Rev. James Pierpont, pastor of a church in New Haven, in a letter to
Cotton Mather, and published by him in his "Magnalia:"[D]--

In the year 1646, a new ship, containing a valuable cargo, and having
several distinguished persons on board as passengers, put to sea from
New Haven in the month of January, bound to England. The vessels that
came over the ensuing spring brought no tidings of her arrival in the
mother-country. The pious colonists were earnest and instant in their
prayers that intelligence might be received of the missing vessel. In
the month of June, 1648, "a great thunder-storm arose out of the
north-west; after which (the hemisphere being serene), about an hour
before sunset, a ship of like dimensions with the aforesaid, with her
canvas and colors abroad (although the wind was northerly), appeared
in the air, coming up from the harbor's mouth, which lies southward
from the town,--seemingly with her sails filled under a fresh gale,
holding her course north, and continuing under observation, sailing
against the wind for the space of half an hour." The phantom-ship was
borne along, until, to the excited imaginations of the spectators, she
seemed to have approached so near that they could throw a stone into
her. Her main-topmast then disappeared, then her mizzen-topmast; then
her masts were entirely carried away; and, finally, her hull fell off,
and vanished from sight,--leaving a dull and smoke-colored cloud,
which soon dissolved, and the whole atmosphere became clear. All
affirmed that the airy vision was a precise copy and image of the
missing vessel, and that it was sent to announce and describe her
fate. They considered it the spectre of the lost ship; and the Rev.
Mr. Davenport declared in public, "that God had condescended, for the
quieting their afflicted spirits, this extraordinary account of his
sovereign disposal of those for whom so many fervent prayers were made
continually."

[Footnote D: The manner in which Dr. Mather brings forward this affair
shows how loose and inaccurate he was in his description of events. It
also illustrates the tendency of the times to exaggerate, or to paint
in the highest colors, whatever was susceptible of being represented
as miraculous. There is no reason, however, to doubt that the facts
took place substantially as described in the text. The reader is
referred, on this as on all points connected with our early history,
to Mr. Savage's instructive, elaborate, and entertaining edition of
Winthrop's "New England."]

The results of modern science enable us to explain the mysterious
appearance. It is probable that some Dutch vessel, proceeding slowly,
quietly, and unconsciously on her voyage from Amsterdam to the New
Netherlands, happened at the time to be passing through the Sound. At
the moment the apparition was seen in the sky, she was so near, that
her reflected image was painted or delineated, to the eyes of the
observers, on the clouds, by laws of optics now generally well known,
before her actual outlines could be discerned by them on the horizon.
As the sun sunk behind the western hills, and his rays were gradually
withdrawn, the visionary ship slowly disappeared; and the approach of
night effectually concealed the vessel as she continued her course
along the Sound.

The optical illusions that present themselves on the sea-shore, by
which distant objects are raised to view, the opposite capes and
islands made to loom up, lifted above the line of the apparent
circumference of the earth, and thrown into every variety of shape
which the imagination can conceive, are among the most beautiful
phenomena of nature; and they impress the mind with the idea of
enchantment and mystery, more perhaps than any others: but they have
received a complete solution from modern discovery.

It should be observed, that the optical principles which explain these
phenomena have recently afforded a foundation for the science, or
rather art, of nauscopy; and there are persons in some places,--in the
Isle of France, as I have been told,--whose calling and profession is
to ascertain and predict the approach of vessels, by their reflection
in the atmosphere and on the clouds, long before they are visible to
the eye, or through the glass.

The following opinion prevailed at the time of our narrative. The
discoveries in electricity, itself a recent science, have rendered it
impossible for us to contemplate it without ridicule. But it was the
sober opinion of the age. "A great man has noted it," says a learned
writer, "that thunders break oftener on churches than any other
houses, because demons have a peculiar spite at houses that are set
apart for the peculiar service of God."

Every thing that was strange or remarkable--every thing at all out of
the usual course, every thing that was not clear and plain--was
attributed to supernatural interposition. Indeed, our fathers lived,
as they thought, continually in the midst of miracles; and felt
themselves surrounded, at all times, in all scenes, with innumerable
invisible beings. The beautiful verse of Milton describes their
faith:--

    "Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
    Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep."

What was to him, however, a momentary vision of the imagination, was
to them like a perpetual perception of the senses: it was a practical
belief, an everyday common sentiment, an all-pervading feeling. But
these supernatural beings very frequently were believed to have become
visible to our superstitious ancestors. The instances, indeed, were
not rare, of individuals having seen the Devil himself with their
mortal eyes. They may well be brought to notice, as illustrating the
ideas which then prevailed, and had an immediate, practical effect on
the conduct of men, in reference to the power, presence, and action of
the Devil in human affairs. This, in fact, is necessary, that we may
understand the narrative we are preparing to contemplate of
transactions based wholly on those ideas.

The following passage is extracted from a letter written to Increase
Mather by the Rev. John Higginson:--

     "The godly Mr. Sharp, who was ruling elder of the church of
     Salem almost thirty years after, related it of himself,
     that, being bred up to learning till he was eighteen years
     old, and then taken off, and put to be an apprentice to a
     draper in London, he yet notwithstanding continued a strong
     inclination and eager affection to books, with a curiosity
     of hearkening after and reading of the strangest and oddest
     books he could get, spending much of his time that way to
     the neglect of his business. At one time, there came a man
     into the shop, and brought a book with him, and said to him,
     'Here is a book for you, keep this till I call for it
     again;' and so went away. Mr. Sharp, after his wonted
     bookish manner, was eagerly affected to look into that book,
     and read it, which he did: but, as he read in it, he was
     seized on by a strange kind of horror, both of body and
     mind, the hair of his head standing up; and, finding these
     effects several times, he acquainted his master with it,
     who, observing the same effects, they concluded it was a
     conjuring book, and resolved to burn it, which they did. He
     that brought it in the shape of a man never coming to call
     for it, they concluded it was the Devil. He, taking this as
     a solemn warning from God to take heed what books he read,
     was much taken off from his former bookishness; confining
     himself to reading the Bible, and other known good books of
     divinity, which were profitable to his soul."

Kircher relates the following anecdote, with a full belief of its
truth: He had a friend who was zealously and perseveringly devoted to
the study of alchemy. At one time, while he was intent upon his
operations, a gentleman entered his laboratory, and kindly offered to
assist him. In a few moments, a large mass of the purest gold was
brought forth from the crucible. The gentleman then took his hat, and
went out: before leaving the apartment, however, he wrote a recipe for
making the precious article. The grateful and admiring mortal
continued his operations, according to the directions of his visitor;
but the charm was lost: he could not succeed, and was at last
completely ruined by his costly and fruitless experiments. Both he and
his friend Kircher were fully persuaded that the mysterious
stranger-visitor was the Devil.

Baxter has recorded a curious interview between Satan and Mr. White,
of Dorchester, assessor to the Westminster Assembly:--

"The Devil, in a light night, stood by his bedside. The assessor
looked a while, whether he would say or do any thing, and then said,
'If thou hast nothing to do, I have;' and so turned himself to sleep."
Dr. Hibbert is of opinion, that the Rev. Mr. White treated his satanic
majesty, on this occasion, with "a cool contempt, to which he had not
often been accustomed."

Indeed, there is nothing more curious or instructive, in the history
of that period, than the light which it sheds upon the influence of
the belief of the personal existence and operations of the Devil, when
that belief is carried out fully into its practical effects. The
Christian doctrine had relapsed into a system almost identical with
Manicheism. Wierus thus describes Satan, as he was regarded in the
prevalent theology: "He possesses great courage, incredible cunning,
superhuman wisdom, the most acute penetration, consummate prudence, an
incomparable skill in veiling the most pernicious artifices under a
specious disguise, and a malicious and infinite hatred towards the
human race, implacable and incurable." Milton merely responded to the
popular sentiment in making Satan a character of lofty dignity, and in
placing him on an elevation not "less than archangel ruined."
Hallywell, in his work on witchcraft, declares that "that mighty angel
of darkness is not foolishly nor idly to be scoffed at or blasphemed.
The Devil," says he, "may properly be looked upon as a dignity, though
his glory be pale and wan, and those once bright and orient colors
faded and darkened in his robes; and the Scriptures represent him as a
prince, though it be of devils." Although our fathers cannot be
charged with having regarded the Devil in this respectful and
deferential light, it must be acknowledged that they gave him a
conspicuous and distinguished--we might almost say a dignified--agency
in the affairs of life and the government of the world: they were
prone to confess, if not to revere, his presence, in all scenes and at
all times. He occupied a wide space, not merely in their theology and
philosophy, but in their daily and familiar thoughts.[E]

[Footnote E: It is much to be regretted, that Farmer, after having
written with such admirable success upon the temptation, the
demoniacs, miracles, and the worship of human spirits, did not live to
accomplish his original design, by giving the world a complete
discussion and elucidation of the Scripture doctrine of the Devil.]

Cotton Mather, in one of his sermons, carries home this peculiar
belief to the consciences of his hearers, in a manner that could not
have failed to quicken and startle the most dull and drowsy among
them.

     "No place," says he, "that I know of, has got such a spell
     upon it as will always keep the Devil out. The
     meeting-house, wherein we assemble for the worship of God,
     is filled with many holy people and many holy concerns
     continually; but, if our eyes were so refined as the servant
     of the prophet had his of old, I suppose we should now see a
     throng of devils in this very place. The apostle has
     intimated that angels come in among us: there are angels, it
     seems, that hark how I preach, and how you hear, at this
     hour. And our own sad experience is enough to intimate that
     the devils are likewise rendezvousing here. It is reported
     in Job i. 5, 'When the sons of God came to present
     themselves before the Lord, Satan came also among them.'
     When we are in our church assemblies, oh, how many devils,
     do you imagine, crowd in among us! There is a devil that
     rocks one to sleep. There is a devil that makes another to
     be thinking of, he scarcely knows what himself. And there is
     a devil that makes another to be pleasing himself with
     wanton and wicked speculations. It is also possible, that we
     have our closets or our studies gloriously perfumed with
     devotions every day; but, alas! can we shut the Devil out of
     them? No: let us go where we will, we shall still find a
     devil nigh unto us. Only when we come to heaven, we shall be
     out of his reach for ever."

It is very remarkable, that such a train of thought as this did not
suggest to the mind of Dr. Mather the true doctrine of the Bible
respecting the Devil. One would have supposed, that, in carrying out
the mode of speaking of him as a person to this extent, it would have
occurred to him, that it might be that the scriptural expressions of a
similar kind were also mere personifications of moral and abstract
ideas. In describing the inattention, irreverence, and unholy
reflections of his hearers as the operations of the Devil, it is
wonderful that his eyes were not opened to discern the import of our
Saviour's interpretation of the Parable of the Tares, in which he
declares, that he understands by the Devil whatever obstructs the
growth of virtue and piety in the soul, the causes that efface good
impressions and give a wrong inclination to the thoughts and
affections, such as "the cares of this world" or "the deceitfulness of
riches." By these are the tares planted, and by these is their growth
promoted. "The enemy that sowed them is the Devil."

Satan was regarded as the foe and opposer of all improvement in
knowledge and civilization. The same writer thus quaintly expresses
this opinion: He "has hindered mankind, for many ages, from hitting
those useful inventions which yet were so obvious and facile that it
is everybody's wonder that they were not sooner hit upon. The bemisted
world must jog on for thousands of years without the knowledge of the
loadstone, till a Neapolitan stumbled upon it about three hundred
years ago. Nor must the world be blessed with such a matchless engine
of learning and virtue as that of printing, till about the middle of
the fifteenth century. Nor could one old man, all over the face of the
whole earth, have the benefit of such a little, though most needful,
thing as a pair of spectacles, till a Dutchman, a little while ago,
accommodated us. Indeed, as the Devil does begrudge us all manner of
good, so he does annoy us with all manner of woe." In one of his
sermons, Cotton Mather claimed for himself and his clerical brethren
the honor of being particularly obnoxious to the malice of the Evil
One. "The ministers of God," says he, "are more dogged by the Devil
than other persons are."

Without a knowledge of this sentiment, the witchcraft delusion of our
fathers cannot be understood. They were under an impression, that the
Devil, having failed to prevent the progress of knowledge in Europe,
had abandoned his efforts to obstruct it effectually there; had
withdrawn into the American wilderness, intending here to make a final
stand; and had resolved to retain an undiminished empire over the
whole continent and his pagan allies, the native inhabitants. Our
fathers accounted for the extraordinary descent and incursions of the
Evil One among them, in 1692, on the supposition that it was a
desperate effort to prevent them from bringing civilization and
Christianity within his favorite retreat; and their souls were fired
with the glorious thought, that, by carrying on the war with vigor
against him and his confederates, the witches, they would become
chosen and honored instruments in the hand of God for breaking down
and abolishing the last stronghold on the earth of the kingdom of
darkness.

That this opinion was not merely a conceit of their vanity, or an
overweening estimate of their local importance, but a calm, deliberate
conviction entertained by others as well as themselves, can be shown
by abundant evidence from the literature of that period. I will quote
a single illustration of the form in which this thought occupied their
minds. The subject is worthy of being thoroughly appreciated, as it
affords the key that opens to view the motives and sentiments which
gave the mighty impetus to the witchcraft prosecution here in New
England.

Joseph Mede, B.D., Fellow of Christ's College, in Cambridge, England,
died in 1638, at the age of fifty-three years. He was perhaps, all
things considered, the most profound scholar of his times. His
writings give evidence of a brilliant genius and an enlightened
spirit. They were held in the highest esteem by his contemporaries of
all denominations, and in all parts of Europe. He was a Churchman; but
had, to a remarkable degree, the confidence of nonconformists. He
entertained, as will appear by what follows, in the boldest form, the
then prevalent opinions concerning diabolical agency and influence;
but, at the same time, was singularly free from some of the worst
traits of superstition and bigotry. His intimacy with the learned Dr.
William Ames, and the general tone and tendency of his writings,
naturally made him an authority with Protestants, particularly the
Pilgrims and Puritans of New England. His posthumous writings,
published in 1652, are exceedingly interesting. They contain fragments
found among his papers, brief discussions of points of criticism,
philosophy, and theology, and a varied correspondence on such subjects
with eminent men of his day. Among his principal correspondents was
Dr. William Twiss, himself a person of much ingenious learning, and
whom John Norton, as we are told by Cotton Mather, "loved and admired"
above all men of that age. The following passages between them
illustrate the point before us.

In a letter dated March 2, 1634, Twiss writes thus:--

     "Now, I beseech you, let me know what your opinion is of our
     English plantations in the New World. Heretofore, I have
     wondered in my thoughts at the providence of God concerning
     that world; not discovered till this Old World of ours is
     almost at an end; and then no footsteps found of the
     knowledge of the true God, much less of Christ; and then
     considering our English plantations of late, and the opinion
     of many grave divines concerning the gospel's fleeting
     westward. Sometimes I have had such thoughts, Why may not
     _that_ be the place of the _New Jerusalem_? But you have
     handsomely and fully cleared me from such odd conceits. But
     what, I pray? Shall our English there degenerate, and join
     themselves with Gog and Magog? We have heard lately divers
     ways, that our people there have no hope of the conversion
     of the natives. And, the very week after I received your
     last letter, I saw a letter, written from New England,
     discoursing of an impossibility of subsisting there; and
     seems to prefer the confession of God's truth in any
     condition here in Old England, rather than run over to enjoy
     their liberty there; yea, and that the gospel is like to be
     more dear in New England than in Old. And, lastly, unless
     they be exceeding careful, and God wonderfully merciful,
     they are like to lose that life and zeal for God and his
     truth in New England which they enjoyed in Old; as whereof
     they have already woful experience, and many there feel it
     to their smart."

Mr. Mede's answer was as follows:--

     "Concerning our plantations in the American world, I wish
     them as well as anybody; though I differ from them far, both
     in other things, and on the grounds they go upon. And though
     there be but little hope of the general conversion of those
     natives or any considerable part of that continent, yet I
     suppose it may be a work pleasing to Almighty God and our
     blessed Saviour to affront the Devil with the sound of the
     gospel and the cross of Christ, in those places where he had
     thought to have reigned securely, and out of the din
     thereof; and, though we make no Christians there, yet to
     bring some thither to disturb and vex him, where he reigned
     without check.

     "For that I may reveal my conceit further, though perhaps I
     cannot prove it, yet I think thus,--that those countries
     were first inhabited since our Saviour and his apostles'
     times, and not before; yea, perhaps, some ages after, there
     being no signs or footsteps found among them, or any
     monuments of older habitation, as there is with us.

     "That the Devil, being impatient of the sound of the gospel
     and cross of Christ, in every part of this Old World, so
     that he could in no place be quiet for it; and foreseeing
     that he was like to lose all here; so he thought to provide
     himself of a seed over which he might reign securely, and in
     a place _ubi nec Pelopidarum facta neque nomen audiret_.
     That, accordingly, he drew a colony out of some of those
     barbarous nations dwelling upon the Northern Ocean (whither
     the sound of Christ had not yet come), and promising them by
     some oracle to show them a country far better than their own
     (which he might soon do), pleasant and large, where never
     man yet inhabited; he conducted them over those desert lands
     and islands (of which there are many in that sea) by the way
     of the north into America, which none would ever have gone,
     had they not first been assured there was a passage that way
     into a more desirable country. Namely, as when the world
     apostatized from the worship of the true God, God called
     Abraham out of Chaldee into the land of Canaan, of him to
     raise a seed to preserve a light unto his name: so the
     Devil, when he saw the world apostatizing from him, laid the
     foundations of a new kingdom, by deducting this colony from
     the north into America, where they have increased since into
     an innumerable multitude. And where did the Devil ever reign
     more absolutely, and without control, since mankind first
     fell under his clutches?

     "And here it is to be noted, that the story of the Mexican
     kingdom (which was not founded above four hundred years
     before ours came thither) relates, out of their own
     memorials and traditions, that they came to that place from
     the _north_, whence their god, _Vitziliputzli_, led them,
     going in an ark before them: and, after divers years' travel
     and many stations (like enough after some generations), they
     came to the place which the sign he had given them at their
     first setting-forth pointed out; where they were to finish
     their travels, build themselves a _city_, and their god a
     _temple_, which is the place where Mexico was built. Now, if
     the Devil were God's ape in _this_, why might he not be
     likewise in bringing the first colony of men into that world
     out of ours? namely, by oracle, as God did Abraham out of
     Chaldee, whereto I before resembled it.

     "But see the hand of Divine Providence. When the offspring
     of these _runagates_ from the sound of Christ's gospel had
     now replenished that other world, and began to flourish in
     those two kingdoms of Peru and Mexico, Christ our Lord sends
     his mastives, the Spaniards, to hunt them out, and worry
     them; which they did in so hideous a manner, as the like
     thereunto scarce ever was done since the sons of Noah came
     out of the ark. What an affront to the Devil was this, where
     he had thought to have reigned securely, and been for ever
     concealed from the knowledge of the followers of Christ!

     "Yet the Devil perhaps is _less grieved_ for the loss of his
     servants by the _destroying_ of them, than he would be to
     lose them by the _saving_ of them; by which latter way, I
     doubt the Spaniards have despoiled him but of a few. What,
     then, if Christ our Lord will give him his _second affront_
     with better Christians, which may be more grievous to him
     than the former? And, if Christ shall set him up a light in
     this manner to dazzle and torment the Devil at his own home,
     I hope they (viz., the Americans) shall not so far
     degenerate (not all of them) as to come into that army of
     Gog and Magog against the kingdom of Christ, but be
     translated thither before the Devil be loosed; if not,
     presently after his tying up."

Dr. Twiss, in a reply to the above, dated April 6, 1635, thanks Mede
for his letter, which he says he read "with recreation and delight;"
and, particularly in reference to the "peopling of the New World," he
affirms that there is "more in this letter of yours than formerly I
have been acquainted with. Your conceit thereabouts, if I have any
judgment, is grave and ponderous."

This correspondence, while it serves as a specimen of the style of
Mede, is a remarkable instance of the power of a sagacious intellect
to penetrate through the darkness of theoretical and fanciful errors,
and behold the truth that lies behind and beyond. The whole
superstructure of the Devil, his oracles, and his schemes of policy
and dominion, covers, in this brief familiar epistle, what is, I
suppose, the theory most accredited at this day of the origin and
traduction of the aboriginal races of America, proceeding from the
nearest portions of the ancient continent on the North, and advancing
down over the vast spaces towards Central and South America. The
letter also foreshadows the decisive conflict which is here to be
waged between the elements of freedom and slavery, between social and
political systems that will rescue and exalt humanity, and those which
depress and degrade it. In the phraseology of that age, it was to be
determined whether--the Old World, in the language of Twiss, "being
almost at an end"--a "light" should be "set up" here to usher in the
"kingdom of Christ," or America also be for ever given over to the
"army of Gog and Magog."

Our fathers were justified in feeling that this was the sense of their
responsibility entertained by all learned men and true Christians in
the Old World; and they were ready to meet and discharge it faithfully
and manfully. They were told, and they believed, that it had fallen to
their lot to be the champions of the cross of Christ against the power
of the Devil. They felt, as I have said, that they were fighting him
in his last stronghold, and they were determined to "tie him up" for
ever.

This is the true and just explanation of their general policy of
administration, in other matters, as well as in the witchcraft
prosecutions.

The conclusion to which we are brought, by a review of the seventeenth
century up to the period when the prosecutions took place here, is,
that the witchcraft delusion pervaded the whole civilized world and
every profession and department of society. It received the sanction
of all the learned and distinguished English judges who flourished
within the century, from Sir Edward Coke to Sir Matthew Hale. It was
countenanced by the greatest philosophers and physicians, and was
embraced by men of the highest genius and accomplishments, even by
Lord Bacon himself. It was established by the convocation of bishops,
and preached by the clergy. Dr. Henry More, of Christ's College,
Cambridge, in addition to his admirable poetical and philosophical
works, wrote volumes to defend it. It was considered as worthy of the
study of the most cultivated and liberal minds to discover and
distinguish "a true witch by proper trials and symptoms." The
excellent Dr. Calamy has already been mentioned in this connection;
and Richard Baxter wrote his work entitled "The Certainty of the World
of Spirits," for the special purpose of confirming and diffusing the
belief. He kept up a correspondence with Cotton Mather, and with his
father, Increase Mather, through the medium of which he stimulated and
encouraged them in their proceedings against supposed witches in
Boston and elsewhere. The divines of that day seem to have persuaded
themselves into the belief that the doctrines of demonology were
essential to the gospel, and that the rejection of them was equivalent
to infidelity. A writer in one of our modern journals, in speaking of
the prosecutions for witchcraft, happily and justly observes, "It was
truly hazardous to oppose those judicial murders. If any one ventured
to do so, the Catholics burned him as a heretic, and the Protestants
had a vehement longing to hang him for an atheist." The writings of
Dr. More, of Baxter, Glanvil, Perkins, and others, had been
circulating for a long time in New England before the trials began at
Salem. It was such a review of the history of opinion as we have now
made, which led Dr. Bentley to declare that "the agency of invisible
beings, if not a part of every religion, is not contrary to any one.
It may be found in all ages, and in the most remote countries. It is
then no just subject for our admiration, that a belief so alarming to
our fears, so natural to our prejudices, and so easily abused by
superstition, should obtain among our fathers, when it had not been
rejected in the ages of philosophy, letters, and even revelation."

The works on demonology, the legal proceedings in prosecutions, and
the phraseology of the people, gave more or less definite form to
certain prominent points which may be summarily noticed. Several terms
and expressions were employed to characterize persons supposed to be
conversant with supernatural and magic art; such as diviner,
enchanter, charmer, conjurer, necromancer, fortune-teller, soothsayer,
augur, and sorcerer. These words are sometimes used as more or less
synonymous, although, strictly speaking, they have meanings quite
distinct. But none of them convey the idea attached to the name of
witch. It was sometimes especially used to signify a female, while
wizard was exclusively applied to a male. The distinction was not,
however, often attempted to be made; the former title being
prevailingly applied to either sex. A witch was regarded as a person
who had made an actual, deliberate, formal compact with Satan, by
which it was agreed that she should become his faithful subject, and
do all in her power to aid him in his rebellion against God and his
warfare against the gospel and church of Christ; and, in consideration
of such allegiance and service, Satan, on his part, agreed to exercise
his supernatural powers in her favor, and communicate to her those
powers, in a greater or less degree, as she proved herself an
efficient and devoted supporter of his cause. Thus, a witch was
considered as a person who had transferred allegiance and worship from
God to the Devil.

The existence of this compact was supposed to confer great additional
power on the Devil, as well as on his new subject; for the doctrine
seems to have prevailed, that, for him to act with effect upon men,
the intervention, instrumentality, and co-operation of human beings
was necessary; and almost unlimited potency was ascribed to the
combined exertions of Satan and those persons in league with him. A
witch was believed to have the power, through her compact with the
Devil, of afflicting, distressing, and rending whomsoever she would.
She could cause them to pine away, throw them into the most frightful
convulsions, choke, bruise, pierce, and craze them, subjecting them to
every description of pain, disease, and torture, and even to death
itself. She was believed to possess the faculty of being present, in
her shape or apparition, at a different place, at any distance
whatever, from that which her actual body occupied. Indeed, an
indefinite amount of supernatural ability, and a boundless freedom and
variety of methods for its exercise, were supposed to result from the
diabolical compact. Those upon whom she thus exercised her malignant
and mysterious energies were said to be bewitched.

Beside these infernal powers, the alliance with Satan was believed to
confer knowledge such as no other mortal possessed. The witch could
perform the same wonders, in giving information of the things that
belong to the invisible world, which is alleged in our day, by
spirit-rappers, to be received through mediums. She could read inmost
thoughts, suggest ideas to the minds of the absent, throw temptations
in the path of those whom she desired to delude and destroy, bring up
the spirits of the departed, and hear from them the secrets of their
lives and of their deaths, and their experiences in the scenes of
being on which they entered at their departure from this.

When we consider that these opinions were not merely prevalent among
the common people, but sanctioned by learning and philosophy, science
and jurisprudence; that they possessed an authority, which but few
ventured to question and had been firmly established by the
convictions of centuries,--none can be surprised at the alarm it
created, when the belief became current, that there were those in the
community, and even in the churches, who had actually entered into
this dark confederacy against God and heaven, religion and virtue; and
that individuals were beginning to suffer from their diabolical power.
It cannot be considered strange, that men looked with more than common
horror upon persons against whom what was regarded as overwhelming
evidence was borne of having engaged in this conspiracy with all that
was evil, and this treason against all that was good.

Elaborate works, scientific, philosophical, and judicial in their
pretensions and reputation,--to some of which reference has been
made,--defined and particularized the various forms of evidence by
which the crime of confederacy with Satan could be proved.

It was believed that the Devil affixed his mark to the bodies of those
in alliance with him, and that the point where this mark was made
became callous and dead. The law provided, specifically, the means of
detecting and identifying this sign. It required that the prisoner
should be subjected to the scrutiny of a jury of the same sex, who
would make a minute inspection of the body, shaving the head and
handling every part. They would pierce it with pins; and if, as might
have been expected, particularly in aged persons, any spot could be
found insensible to the torture, or any excrescence, induration, or
fixed discoloration, it was looked upon as visible evidence and
demonstration of guilt. A physician or "chirurgeon" was required to be
present at these examinations. In conducting them, there was liability
to great roughness and unfeeling recklessness of treatment; and the
whole procedure was barbarous and shocking to every just and delicate
sensibility. There is reason to believe, that, in the trials here,
there was more considerateness, humanity, and regard to a sense of
decent propriety, than in similar proceedings in other countries, so
far as this branch of the investigation is regarded.

Another accredited field of evidence, recognized in the books and in
legal proceedings, was as follows: It was believed, that, when witches
found it inconvenient from any cause to execute their infernal designs
upon those whom they wished to afflict by going to them in their
natural human persons, they transformed themselves into the likeness
of some animal,--a dog, hog, cat, rat, mouse, or toad;
birds--particularly yellow birds--were often imagined to perform this
service, as representing witches or the Devil. They also had imps
under their control. These imps were generally supposed to bear the
resemblance of some small insect,--such as a fly or a spider. The
latter animal was prevailingly considered as most likely to act in
this character. The accused person was closely watched, in order that
the spider imp might be seen when it approached to obtain its
nourishment, as it was thought to do, from the witchmark on the body
of the culprit. Within the cells of a prison, spiders were, of course,
often seen. Whenever one made its appearance, the guard attacked it
with all the zeal and vehemence with which it was natural and proper
to assault an agent of the Wicked One. If the spider was killed in the
encounter, it was considered as an innocent animal, and all suspicion
was removed from its character as the diabolical confederate of the
prisoner; but if it escaped into a crack or crevice of the apartment,
as spiders often do when assailed, all doubt of its guilty connection
with the person accused of witchcraft was removed: it was set down as,
beyond question or cavil, her veritable imp; and the evidence of her
confederacy with Satan was thenceforward regarded as complete. The
books of law and other learned writings, as well as the practice of
courts in the old countries, recognized this doctrine of
transformation into the shapes of animals, and the employment of imps.
Where judicial tribunals countenanced the popular credulity in
maintaining these ideas, there was no security for innocence, and no
escape from wrong. No matter how clear and certain the evidence
adduced, that an accused individual, at the time alleged, was absent
from the specified place; no matter how far distant, whether twenty or
a thousand miles, it availed him nothing; for it was charged that he
was present, and acted through his agent or imp. This notion was
further enlarged by the establishment of the additional doctrine, that
a witch could be present, and act with demoniac power upon her
victims, anywhere, at all times, and at any distance, without the
instrumental agency of any other animal or being, in her spirit,
spectre, or apparition. When the person on trial was accused of having
tortured or strangled or pinched or bruised another, it did not break
the force of the accusation to bring hundreds of witnesses to prove
that he was, at the very time, in another remote place or country; for
it was alleged that he was present in the spectral shape in which
Satan enabled his spirit to be and to act any and every where at once.
It was impossible to disprove the charge, and the last defence of
innocence was swept away.

If any thing strange or remarkable could be discovered in the persons,
histories, or deportment of accused persons, the usage of the
tribunals, and the books of authority on the subject, allowed it to be
brought in evidence against them. If any thing they had forewarned,
or even conjectured, happened to come to pass, any careless speech had
been verified by events, any extraordinary knowledge had been
manifested, or any marvellous feats of strength or agility been
displayed, they were brought up with decisive and fatal effect.

A witch was believed to have the power of operating upon her victims,
at any distance, by the instrumentality of puppets. She would procure
or make an object like a doll, or a figure of some animal,--any little
bunch of cloth or bundle of rags would answer the purpose. She would
will the puppet to represent the person whom she proposed to torment
or afflict; and then whatever she did to the puppet would be suffered
by the party it represented at any distance, however remote. A pin
stuck into the puppet would pierce the flesh of the person whom she
wished to afflict, and produce the appropriate sensations of pain. So
would a pinch, or a blow, or any kind of violence. When any one was
arrested on the charge of witchcraft, a search was immediately made
for puppets from garret to cellar; and if any thing could be found
that might possibly be imagined to possess that character,--any
remnant of flannel or linen wrapped up, the foot of an old stocking,
or a cushion of any kind, particularly if there were any pins in
it,--it was considered as weighty and quite decisive evidence against
the accused party.

A writer, in a recent number of the "North-American Review," on the
superstitions of the American Indians, makes the following
statement:--

     "The sorcerer, by charms, magic songs, magic feats, and the
     beating of his drum, had power over the spirits, and those
     occult influences inherent in animals and inanimate things.
     He could call to him the souls of his enemies. They appeared
     before him in the form of stones. He chopped and bruised
     them with his hatchet; blood and flesh issued forth; and the
     intended victim, however distant, languished and died. Like
     the sorcerer of the middle ages, he made images of those he
     wished to destroy, and, muttering incantations, punctured
     them with an awl; whereupon the persons represented sickened
     and pined away."

It was a received opinion, accredited and acted upon in courts, that a
person in confederacy with the Evil One could not weep. Those accused
of this crime, both in Europe and America, were, in many instances, of
an age and condition which rendered it impossible for them, however
innocent, to escape the effect of this test. A decrepit, emaciated
person, shrivelled and desiccated by age, was placed at the bar: and
if she could not weep on the spot; if, in consequence of her withered
frame, her amazement and indignation at the false and malignant
charges by which she was circumvented, her exhausted sensibility, her
sullen despair, the hopeless horror of her situation, or, from what
often was found to be the effect of the treatment such persons
received, a high-toned consciousness of innocence, and a brave
defiance and stern condemnation of her maligners and persecutors; if,
from any cause, the fountain of tears was closed or dried up,--their
failure to come forth at the bidding of her defamers was regarded as a
sure and irrefragable proof of her guilt.

King James explains the circumstance, that witches could not weep, in
rather a curious manner:--

     "For as, in a secret murther, if the dead carkasse bee at
     any time thereafter handled by the murtherer it will gush
     out of bloud, as if the bloud were crying to the heaven for
     revenge of the murtherer, God having appointed that secret
     supernaturall signe for triall of that secret unnaturall
     crime; so it appeares that God hath appointed (for a
     supernaturall signe of the monstrous impietie of witches),
     that the water shall refuse to receive them in her bosome
     that have shaken off them the sacred water of baptisme, and
     wilfully refused the benefite thereof: no, not so much as
     their eyes are able to shed teares (threaten and torture
     them as ye please), while first they repent (God not
     permitting them to dissemble their obstinacie in so horrible
     a crime), albeit the woman kind especially be able otherwise
     to shed teares at every light occasion when they will,--yea,
     although it were dissemblingly like the crocodiles."

Reginald Scott, in introducing a Romish form of adjuration, makes the
following excellent remarks on the trial by tears:--

     "But alas that teares should be thought sufficient to excuse
     or condemn in so great a cause, and so weightie a triall! I
     am sure that the worst sort of the children of Israel wept
     bitterlie; yea, if there were any witches at all in Israel,
     they wept. For it is written, that all the children of
     Israel wept. Finallie, if there be any witches in hell, I am
     sure they weepe; for there is weeping and wailing and
     gnashing of teeth. But God knoweth many an honest matron
     cannot sometimes in the heaviness of her heart shed teares;
     the which oftentimes are more readie and common with crafty
     queans and strumpets than with sober women. For we read of
     two kinds of teares in a woman's eie; the one of true
     greefe, and the other of deceipt. And it is written, that
     'Dediscere flere foeminam est mendacium;' which argueth that
     they lie, which saie that wicked women cannot weepe. But let
     these tormentors take heed, that the teares in this case
     which runne down the widowe's cheeks, with their crie,
     spoken of by Jesus Sirach, be not heard above. But, lo, what
     learned, godlie and lawful meanes these Popish Inquisitors
     have invented for the triall of true or false teares:--

     'I conjure thee, by the amorous tears which Jesus Christ,
     our Saviour, shed upon the crosse for the salvation of the
     world; and by the most earnest and burning teares of his
     mother, the most glorious Virgine Marie, sprinkled upon his
     wounds late in the evening; and by all the teares which
     everie saint and elect vessell of God hath poured out heere
     in the world, and from whose eies he hath wiped awaie all
     teares,--that, if thou be without fault, thou maist poure
     downe teares aboundantlie; and, if thou be guiltie, that
     thou weep in no wise. In the name of the Father, of the
     Sonne, and of the Holie Ghost. Amen.'

     "The more you conjure, the lesse she weepeth."

A distinction was made between black and white witches. The former
were those who had leagued with Satan for the purpose of doing injury
to others, while the latter class was composed of such persons as had
resorted to the arts and charms of divination and sorcery in order to
protect themselves and others from diabolical influence. They were
both considered as highly, if not equally, criminal. Fuller, in his
"Profane State," thus speaks of them: "Better is it to lap one's
pottage like a dog, than to eat it mannerly, with a spoon of the
Devil's giving. Black witches hurt and do mischief; but, in deeds of
darkness, there is no difference of colors. The white and the black
are both guilty alike in compounding with the Devil." White witches
pretended to extract their power from the mysterious virtues of
certain plants. The following form of charmed words was used in
plucking them:--

    "Hail to thee, holy herb,
      Growing in the ground;
    On the Mount of Calvarie,
      First wert thou found;
    Thou art good for many a grief,
      And healest many a wound:
    In the name of sweet Jesu,
      I lift thee from the ground."

Then there was the evidence of ocular fascination. The accused and the
accusers were brought into the presence of the examining magistrate,
and the supposed witch was ordered to look upon the afflicted persons;
instantly upon coming within the glance of her eye, they would scream
out, and fall down as in a fit. It was thought that an invisible and
impalpable fluid darted from the eye of the witch, and penetrated the
brain of the bewitched. By bringing the witch so near that she could
touch the afflicted persons with her hand, the malignant fluid was
attracted back into her hand, and the sufferers recovered their
senses. It is singular to notice the curious resemblance between this
opinion--the joint product of superstition and imposture--and the
results to which modern science has led us in the discoveries of
galvanism and animal electricity. The doctrine of fascination
maintained its hold upon the public credulity for a long time, and
gave occasion to the phrase, still in familiar use among us, of
"looking upon a person with an evil eye." Its advocates claimed, in
its defence, the authority of the Cartesian philosophy; but it cannot
be considered, in an age of science and reason, as having any better
support than the rural superstition of Virgil's simple shepherd, who
thus complains of the condition of his emaciated flock:--

                     "They look so thin,
    Their bones are barely covered with their skin.
    What magic has bewitched the woolly dams?
    And what ill eyes beheld the tender lambs?"

Witchcraft, in all ages and countries, was recognized as a reality,
just as much as any of the facts of nature, or incidents to which
mankind is liable. By the laws of all nations, Catholic and Protestant
alike, in the old country and in the new, it was treated as a capital
offence, and classed with murder and other highest crimes, although
regarded as of a deeper dye and blacker character than them all.
Indictments and trials of persons accused of it were not, therefore,
considered as of any special interest, or as differing in any
essential particulars from proceedings against any other description
of offenders. There had been many such proceedings in the American
colonies,--more, perhaps, than have come to our knowledge,--previous
to 1692. They were not looked upon as sufficiently extraordinary to be
transferred, from the oblivion sweeping like a perpetual deluge over
the vast multitude of human experiences, to the ark of history, which
rescues only a select few. The following are the principal facts of
this class of which we have information:--

William Penn presided, in his judicial character, at the trial of two
Swedish women for witchcraft; the grand jury, acting under
instructions from him, having found bills against them. They were
saved, not in consequence of any peculiar reluctance to proceed
against them arising out of the nature of the alleged crime, but only
from some technical defect in the indictment. If it had not been for
this accidental circumstance, as the annalist of Philadelphia
suggests, scenes similar to those subsequently occurring in Salem
Village might have darkened the history of the Quakers, Swedes,
Germans, and Dutch, who dwelt in the City of Brotherly Love and the
adjacent colonies. There had been trials and executions for witchcraft
in other parts of New England, and excitements had obtained more or
less currency in reference to the assaults of the powers of darkness
upon human affairs. These incidents prepared the way for the delusion
in Salem, and provided elements to form its character. They must not,
therefore, be wholly overlooked. But the memorials for their
elucidation are very defective. Hutchinson's "History of
Massachusetts" is, perhaps, the most valuable authority on the
subject. He enjoyed an advantage over any other writer, before, since,
or hereafter, so far as relates to the witchcraft proceedings in 1692;
for he had access to all the records and documents connected with it,
a great part of which have subsequently been lost or destroyed. His
treatment of that particular topic is more satisfactory than can
elsewhere be found. But of incidents of the sort that preceded it, his
information appears to have been very slight and unreliable. It is a
singular fact, that we know more of the history of the first century
of New England than was known by the most enlightened persons of the
intermediate century. There was no regular organized newspaper press,
the commemorative age had not begun, and none seem to have been fully
aware of the importance of putting events on record. The publication,
but a few years since, of the colonial journals of the first
half-century of Massachusetts; researches by innumerable hands among
papers on file in public offices; the printing of town-histories, and
the collections made by historical and genealogical societies,--have
rescued from oblivion, and redeemed from error, many points of the
greatest interest and importance.

Winthrop, in his "Journal," gives an account of the execution of
Margaret Jones, of Charlestown, who had been tried and condemned by
the Court of Assistants. The charges against her were, that she had a
malignant touch, so that many persons,--"men, women, and
children,"--on coming in contact with her, were "taken with deafness,
vomiting, or other violent pains or sickness;" that she practised
physic, and her medicines, "being such things as (by her own
confession) were harmless, as aniseed, liquors, &c., yet had
extraordinary violent effects;" and that they found on her body, "upon
a forced search," the witchmarks, particularly "a teat, as fresh if it
had been newly sucked." Other ridiculous allegations were made against
her. As for the effects of the touch, it is obvious that they could be
easily simulated by evil-disposed persons. The whole substance of her
offence seems to have been, that she was very successful in the use of
simple prescriptions for the cure of diseases. Her practice was
charged as "against the ordinary course, and beyond the apprehension
of all physicians and surgeons." A bitter animosity was, accordingly,
raised against her. She treated her accusers and defamers with
indignant resentment. "Her behavior at her trial," says Winthrop, "was
very intemperate, lying notoriously, and railing upon the jury and
witnesses, &c.; and, in the like distemper, she died." We shall find
that the bold assertion of innocence, and indignant denunciations of
the persecutors and defamers who had destroyed their reputations and
pursued them to the death, by persons tried and executed for
witchcraft, in 1692, were regarded by some, as they were by Winthrop,
as proofs of ill-temper and falsehood. The Governor closes his
statement about Margaret Jones, by relating what he regarded as a
demonstration of her guilt: "The same day and hour she was executed,
there was a very great tempest at Connecticut, which blew down many
trees, &c." The records of the General Court contain no express notice
of this case. Perhaps it is referred to in the following paragraph,
under date of May 13, 1648:--

     "This Court, being desirous that the same course which hath
     been taken in England for the discovery of witches, by
     watching, may also be taken here, with the witch now in
     question, and therefore do order that a strict watch be set
     about her every night, and that her husband be confined to a
     private room, and watched also."

Margaret Jones was executed in Boston on the 15th of June. Hutchinson
refers to the statement made by Johnson, in the "Wonder-working
Providence," that "more than one or two in Springfield, in 1645, were
suspected of witchcraft; that much diligence was used, both for the
finding them and for the Lord's assisting them against their witchery;
yet have they, as is supposed, bewitched not a few persons, among whom
two of the reverend elder's children." Johnson's loose and
immethodical narrative covers the period from 1645 till toward the end
of 1651; and Hutchinson was probably misled in supposing that the
Springfield cases occurred as early as 1645. The Massachusetts
colonial records, under the date of May 8, 1651, have this entry:--

     "The Court, understanding that Mary Parsons, now in prison,
     accused for a witch, is likely, through weakness, to die
     before trial, if it be deferred, do order, that, on the
     morrow, by eight o'clock in the morning, she be brought
     before and tried by the General Court, the rather that Mr.
     Pinchon may be present to give his testimony in the case."

Mr. Pinchon was probably able to stay a few days longer. She was not
brought to trial before the Court until the 13th, under which date is
the following:--

     "Mary Parsons, wife of Hugh Parsons, of Springfield, being
     committed to prison for suspicion of witchcraft, as also for
     murdering her own child, was this day called forth, and
     indicted for witchcraft. 'By the name of Mary Parsons, you
     are here, before the General Court, charged, in the name of
     this Commonwealth, that, not having the fear of God before
     your eyes nor in your heart, being seduced by the Devil, and
     yielding to his malicious motion, about the end of February
     last, at Springfield, to have familiarity, or consulted
     with, a familiar spirit, making a covenant with him; and
     have used divers devilish practices by witchcraft, to the
     hurt of the persons of Martha and Rebecca Moxon, against the
     word of God and the laws of this jurisdiction, long since
     made and published.' To which indictment she pleaded 'Not
     guilty.' All evidences brought in against her being heard
     and examined, the Court found the evidences were not
     sufficient to prove her a witch, and therefore she was
     cleared in that respect.

     "At the same time, she was indicted for murdering her child.
     'By the name of Mary Parsons, you are here, before the
     General Court, charged, in the name of this Commonwealth,
     that, not having the fear of God before your eyes nor in
     your heart, being seduced by the Devil, and yielding to his
     instigations and the wickedness of your own heart, about the
     beginning of March last, in Springfield, in or near your own
     house, did wilfully and most wickedly murder your own child,
     against the word of God and the laws of this jurisdiction,
     long since made and published.' To which she acknowledged
     herself guilty.

     "The Court, finding her guilty of murder by her own
     confession, &c., proceeded to judgment: 'You shall be
     carried from this place to the place from whence you came,
     and from thence to the place of execution, and there hang
     till you be dead.'"

Under the same date--May 13--is an order of the Court appointing a day
of humiliation "throughout our jurisdiction in all the churches," in
consideration, among other things, of the extent to which "Satan
prevails amongst us in respect of witchcrafts."

The colonial records, under date of May 31, 1652, recite the facts,
that Hugh Parsons, of Springfield, had been tried before the Court of
Assistants--held at Boston, May 12, 1652--for witchcraft; that the
case was transferred to a "jury of trials," which found him guilty.
The magistrates not consenting to the verdict of the jury, the case
came legally to the General Court, which body decided that "he was not
legally guilty of witchcraft, and so not to die by law."

When these citations are collated and examined, and it is remembered
that Mr. Moxon was the "reverend elder" of the church at Springfield,
it cannot be doubted that the case of the Parsonses is that referred
to by Johnson in the "Wonder-working Providence," and that Hutchinson
was in error as to the date. We are left in doubt as to the fate of
Mary Parsons. There is a marginal entry on the records, to the effect
that she was reprieved to the 29th of May. Neither Johnson nor
Hutchinson seem to have thought that the sentence was ever carried
into effect. It clearly never ought to have been. The woman was in a
weak and dying condition, her mind was probably broken down,--the
victim of that peculiar kind of mania--partaking of the character of a
religious fanaticism and perversion of ideas--that has often led to
child-murder.

These instances show, that, at that time, the General Court exercised
consideration and discrimination in the treatment of questions of this
kind brought before it.

Hutchinson, on the authority of Hale, says that a woman at Dorchester,
and another at Cambridge, were executed, not far from this time, for
witchcraft; and that they asserted their innocence with their dying
breath. He also says, that, in 1650, "a poor wretch,--Mary
Oliver,--probably weary of her life from the general reputation of
being a witch, after long examination, was brought to a confession of
her guilt; but I do not find that she was executed."

In 1656, a very remarkable case occurred. William Hibbins was a
merchant in Boston, and one of the most prominent and honored citizens
of Massachusetts. He was admitted a freeman in 1640; was deputy in
the General Court in that and the following year; was elected an
assistant for twelve successive years,--from 1643 to 1654; represented
the Colony, for a time, as its agent in England, and received the
thanks of the General Court for his valuable service there. No one
appears to have had more influence, or to have enjoyed more honorable
distinction, during his long legislative career. He died in 1654.
Hutchinson says, in the text of his first and second volumes, that his
widow was tried, condemned, and hanged as a witch in 1655, although he
corrects the error in a note to the passage in the first volume. The
following is the statement of the case in the Massachusetts colonial
records, under the date of May 14, 1656:--

     "The magistrates not receiving the verdict of the jury in
     Mrs. Hibbins her case, having been on trial for witchcraft,
     it came and fell, of course, to the General Court. Mrs. Ann
     Hibbins was called forth, appeared at the bar, the
     indictment against her was read; to which she answered, 'Not
     guilty,' and was willing to be tried by God and this Court.
     The evidence against her was read, the parties witnessing
     being present, her answers considered on; and the whole
     Court, being met together, by their vote, determined that
     Mrs. Ann Hibbins is guilty of witchcraft, according to the
     bill of indictment found against her by the jury of life and
     death. The Governor, in open Court, pronounced sentence
     accordingly; declaring she was to go from the bar to the
     place from whence she came, and from thence to the place of
     execution, and there to hang till she was dead.

     "It is ordered, that warrant shall issue out from the
     secretary to the marshal general, for the execution of Mrs.
     Hibbins, on the fifth day next come fortnight, presently
     after the lecture at Boston, being the 19th of June next;
     the marshal general taking with him a sufficient guard."

Mrs. Hibbins is stated to have been a sister of Richard Bellingham, at
that very time deputy-governor, and always regarded as one of the
chief men in the country. Strange to say, very little notice appears
to have been taken of this event, beyond the immediate locality; but
what little has come down to us indicates that it was a case of
outrageous folly and barbarity, justly reflecting infamy upon the
community at the time. Hutchinson, who wrote a hundred years after the
event, and evidently had no other foundation for his opinion than
vague conjectural tradition, gives the following explanation of the
proceedings against her: "Losses, in the latter part of her husband's
life, had reduced his estate, and increased the natural crabbedness of
his wife's temper, which made her turbulent and quarrelsome, and
brought her under church censures, and at length rendered her so
odious to her neighbors as to cause some of them to accuse her of
witchcraft."

While this is hardly worthy of being considered a sufficient
explanation of the matter,--it being beyond belief, that, even at that
time, a person could be condemned and executed merely on account of a
"crabbed temper,"--it is not consistent with the facts, as made known
to us from the record-offices. She could not have been so reduced in
circumstances as to produce such extraordinary effects upon her
character, for she left a good estate. The truth is, that the tongue
of slander was let loose upon her, and the calumnies circulated by
reckless gossip became so magnified and exaggerated, and assumed such
proportions, as enabled her vilifiers to bring her under the censure
of the church, and that emboldened them to cry out against her as a
witch. Hutchinson expresses the opinion that she was the victim of
popular clamor. But that alone, without some pretence or show of
evidence, could not have brought the General Court, in reversal of the
judgment of the magistrates, to condemn to death a person of such a
high social position.

The only clue we have to the kind of evidence bearing upon the charge
of witchcraft that brought this recently bereaved widow to so cruel
and shameful a death, is in a letter, written by a clergyman in
Jamaica to Increase Mather in 1684, in which he says, "You may
remember what I have sometimes told you your famous Mr. Norton once
said at his own table,--before Mr. Wilson, the pastor, elder Penn, and
myself and wife, &c., who had the honor to be his guests,--that one of
your magistrate's wives, as I remember, was hanged for a witch only
for having more wit than her neighbors. It was his very expression;
she having, as he explained it, unhappily guessed that two of her
persecutors, whom she saw talking in the street, were talking of her,
which, proving true, cost her her life, notwithstanding all he could
do to the contrary, as he himself told us." Nothing was more natural
than for her to suppose, knowing the parties, witnessing their
manner, considering their active co-operation in getting up the
excitement against her, which was then the all-engrossing topic, that
they were talking about her. But, in the blind infatuation of the
time, it was considered proof positive of her being possessed, by the
aid of the Devil, of supernatural insight,--precisely as, forty years
afterwards, such evidence was brought to bear, with telling effect,
against George Burroughs.--The body of this unfortunate lady was
searched for witchmarks, and her trunks and premises rummaged for
puppets.

It is quite evident that means were used to get up a violent popular
excitement against her, which became so formidable as to silence every
voice that dared to speak in her favor. Joshua Scottow, a citizen of
great respectability and a selectman, ventured to give evidence in her
favor, counter, in its bearings, to some testimony against her; and he
was dealt with very severely, and compelled to write an humble apology
to the Court, to disavow all friendly interest in Mrs. Hibbins, and to
pray "that the sword of justice may be drawn forth against all
wickedness." He says, "I am cordially sorry that any thing from me,
either by word or writing, should give offence to the honored Court,
my dear brethren in the church, or any others."

Hutchinson states that there were, however, some persons then in
Boston, who denounced the proceedings against Mrs. Hibbins, and
regarded her, not merely as a persecuted woman, but as "a saint;" that
a deep feeling of resentment against her persecutors long remained in
their minds; and that they afterwards "observed solemn marks of
Providence set upon those who were very forward to condemn her." It is
evident that the Court of Magistrates were opposed to her conviction,
and that Mr. Norton did what he could to save her. He was one of the
four "great Johns," who were the first ministers of the church in
Boston; and it is remarkable, as showing the violence of the people
against her, that even his influence was of no avail in her favor. But
she had other friends, as appears from her will, which, after all, is
the only source of reliable information we have respecting her
character. It is dated May 27, 1656, a few days after she received the
sentence of death. In it she names, as overseers and administrators of
her estate, "Captain Thomas Clarke, Lieutenant Edward Hutchinson,
Lieutenant William Hudson, Ensign Joshua Scottow, and Cornet Peter
Oliver." In a codicil, she says, "I do earnestly desire my loving
friends, Captain Johnson and Mr. Edward Rawson, to be added to the
rest of the gentlemen mentioned as overseers of my will." It can
hardly be doubted, that these persons--and they were all leading
citizens--were known by her to be among her friends.

The whole tone and manner of these instruments give evidence, that she
had a mind capable of rising above the power of wrong, suffering, and
death itself. They show a spirit calm and serene. The disposition of
her property indicates good sense, good feeling, and business
faculties suitable to the occasion. In the body of the will, there is
not a word, a syllable, or a turn of expression, that refers to, or is
in the slightest degree colored by, her peculiar situation. In the
codicil, dated June 16, there is this sentence: "My desire is, that
all my overseers would be pleased to show so much respect unto my dead
corpse as to cause it to be decently interred, and, if it may be, near
my late husband."

When married to Mr. Hibbins, she was a widow, named Moore. There were
no children by her last marriage,--certainly none living at the time
of her death. There were three sons by her former marriage,--John,
Joseph, and Jonathan. These were all in England; but the youngest,
hearing of her situation, embarked for America. When she wrote the
codicil,--three days before her execution,--she added, at the end,
having apparently just heard of his coming, "I give my son Jonathan
twenty pounds, over and above what I have already given him, towards
his pains and charge in coming to see me, which shall be first paid
out of my estate." There is reason to cherish the belief that he
reached her in the short interval between the date of the codicil and
her death, from the tenor of the following postscript, written and
signed on the morning of her execution: "My further mind and will is,
out of my sense of the more than ordinary affection and pains of my
son Jonathan in the times of my distress, I give him, as a further
legacy, ten pounds." The will was proved in Court, July 2, 1656. The
will and codicil speak of her "farms at Muddy River;" and of chests
and a desk, in which were valuables of such importance that she took
especial pains to intrust the keys of them to Edward Rawson, in a
provision of the codicil. The estate was inventoried at £344. 14_s._,
which was a considerable property in those days, as money was then
valued.

Hutchinson mentions a case of witchcraft in Hartford, in 1662, where
some women were accused, and, after being proceeded against until they
were confounded and bewildered, one of them made the most preposterous
confessions, which ought to have satisfied every one that her reason
was overthrown; three of them were condemned, and one,
certainly,--probably all,--executed. In 1669, he says that Susanna
Martin, of Salisbury,--whom we shall meet again,--was bound over to
the Court on the same charge, "but escaped at that time." Another case
is mentioned by him as having occurred, in 1671, at Groton, in which
the party confessed, and thereby avoided condemnation. In 1673, a case
occurred at Hampton; but the jury, although, as they said, there was
strong ground of suspicion, returned a verdict of "Not guilty;" the
evidence not being deemed quite sufficient. There were several other
cases, about this time, in which some persons were severely handled in
consequence of being reputed witches; and others suffered, as they
imagined, "under an evil hand."

In this immediate neighborhood, there had been several attempts,
previous to the delusion at Salem Village in 1692, to get up
witchcraft prosecutions, but without much success. The people of this
county had not become sufficiently infected with the fanaticism of the
times to proceed to extremities.

In September, 1652, the following presentment was made by the grand
jury:--

     "We present John Bradstreet, of Rowley, for suspicion of
     having familiarity with the Devil. He said he read in a book
     of magic, and that he heard a voice asking him what work he
     had for him. He answered, 'Go make a bridge of sand over the
     sea; go make a ladder of sand up to heaven, and go to God,
     and come down no more.'

     "Witness hereof, FRANCIS PARAT and his wife, of Rowley.
     "Witness, WILLIAM BARTHOLOMEW, of Ipswich."

On the 28th of that month, the jury at Ipswich, "upon examination of
the case, found he had told a lie, which was a second, being convicted
once before. The Court sets a fine of twenty shillings, or else to be
whipped."

Bradstreet was probably in the habit of romancing, and it was wisely
concluded not to take a more serious view of his offences.

In 1658, a singular case of this kind occurred in Essex County. The
following papers relating to it illustrate the sentiments and forms of
thought prevalent at that time, and give an insight of the state of
society in some particulars:--

     _"To the Honored Court to be holden at Ipswich, this twelfth
     month, '58 or '59._

     "HONORED GENTLEMEN,--Whereas divers of esteem with
     us, and as we hear in other places also, have for some time
     suffered losses in their estates, and some affliction in
     their bodies also,--which, as they suppose, doth not arise
     from any natural cause, or any neglect in themselves, but
     rather from some ill-disposed person,--that, upon
     differences had betwixt themselves and one John Godfrey,
     resident at Andover or elsewhere at his pleasure, we whose
     names are underwritten do make bold to sue by way of request
     to this honored court, that you, in your wisdom, will be
     pleased, if you see cause for it, to call him in question,
     and to hear, at present or at some after sessions, what may
     be said in this respect.

     "JAMES DAVIS, Sr., in the behalf of his son EPHRAIM DAVIS.
      JOHN HASELDIN, and JANE his wife.
      ABRAHAM WHITAKER, for his ox and other things.
      EPHRAIM DAVIS, in the behalf of himself."

The petitioners mention in brief some instances in confirmation of
their complaint. There are several depositions. That of Charles Browne
and wife says:--

     "About six or seven years since, in the meeting-house of
     Rowley, being in the gallery in the first seat, there was
     one in the second seat which he doth, to his best
     remembrance, think and believe it was John Godfrey. This
     deponent did see him, yawning, open his mouth; and, while he
     so yawned, this deponent did see a small teat under his
     tongue. And, further, this deponent saith that John Godfrey
     was in this deponent's house about three years since.
     Speaking about the power of witches, he the said Godfrey
     spoke, that, if witches were not kindly entertained, the
     Devil will appear unto them, and ask them if they were
     grieved or vexed with anybody, and ask them what he should
     do for them; and, if they would not give them beer or
     victuals, they might let all the beer run out of the cellar;
     and, if they looked steadfastly upon any creature, it would
     die; and, if it were hard to some witches to take away life,
     either of man or beast, yet, when they once begin it, then
     it is easy to them."

The depositions in this case are presented as they are in the
originals on file, leaving in blank such words or parts of words as
have been worn off. They are given in full.

     "THE DEPOSITION OF ISABEL HOLDRED, who testifieth
     that John Godfree came to the house of Henry Blazdall, where
     her husband and herself were, and demanded a debt of her
     husband, and said a warrant was out, and Goodman Lord was
     suddenly to come. John Godfree asked if we would not pay
     him. The deponent answered, 'Yes, to-night or to-morrow, if
     we had it; for I believe we shall not ... we are in thy
     debt.' John Godfree answered, 'That is a bitter word;' ...
     said, 'I must begin, and must send Goodman Lord.' The
     deponent answered, '... when thou wilt. I fear thee not, nor
     all the devils in hell!' And, further, this deponent
     testifieth, that, two days after this, she was taken with
     those strange fits, with which she was tormented a fortnight
     together, night and day. And several apparitions appeared to
     the deponent in the night. The first night, a humble-bee,
     the next night a bear, appeared, which grinned the teeth and
     shook the claw: 'Thou sayest thou art not afraid. Thou
     thinkest Harry Blazdall's house will save thee.' The
     deponent answered, 'I hope the Lord Jesus Christ will save
     me.' The apparition then spake: 'Thou sayst thou art not
     afraid of all the devils in hell; but I will have thy
     heart's blood within a few hours!' The next was the
     apparition of a great snake, at which the deponent was
     exceedingly affrighted, and skipt to Nathan Gold, who was in
     the opposite chimney-corner, and caught hold of the hair of
     his head; and her speech was taken away for the space of
     half an hour. The next night appeared a great horse; and,
     Thomas Hayne being there, the deponent told him of it, and
     showed him where. The said Tho. Hayne took a stick, and
     struck at the place where the apparition was; and his stroke
     glanced by the side of it, and it went under the table. And
     he went to strike again; then the apparition fled to the ...
     and made it shake, and went away. And, about a week after,
     the deponent ... son were at the door of Nathan Gold, and
     heard a rushing on the ... The deponent said to her son,
     'Yonder is a beast.' He answered, ''Tis one of Goodman
     Cobbye's black oxen;' and it came toward them, and came
     within ... yards of them. The deponent her heart began to
     ache, for it seemed to have great eyes; and spoke to the
     boy, 'Let's go in.' But suddenly the ox beat her up against
     the wall, and struck her down; and she was much hurt by it,
     not being able to rise up. But some others carried me into
     the house, all my face being bloody, being much bruised. The
     boy was much affrighted a long time after; and, for the
     space of two hours, he was in a sweat that one might have
     washed hands on his hair. Further this deponent affirmeth,
     that she hath been often troubled with ... black cat
     sometimes appearing in the house, and sometimes in the night
     ... bed, and lay on her, and sometimes stroking her face.
     The cat seemed ... thrice as big as an ordinary cat."

     "THOMAS HAYNE testifieth, that, being with Goodwife
     Holdridge, she told me that she saw a great horse, and
     showed me where it stood. I then took a stick, and struck on
     the place, but felt nothing; and I heard the door shake, and
     Good. H. said it was gone out at the door. Immediately
     after, she was taken with extremity of fear and pain, so
     that she presently fell into a sweat, and I thought she
     would swoon. She trembled and shook like a leaf.

     "THOMAS HAYNE."

     "NATHAN GOULD being with Goodwife Holgreg one
     night, there appeared a great snake, as she said, with open
     mouth; and she, being weak,--hardly able to go alone,--yet
     then ran and laid hold of Nathan Gould by the head, and
     could not speak for the space of half an hour.

     "NATHAN GOULD."

     "WILLIAM OSGOOD testifieth, that, in the yeare '40,
     in the month of August,--he being then building a barn for
     Mr. Spencer,--John Godfree being then Mr. Spencer's
     herdsman, he on an evening came to the frame, where divers
     men were at work, and said that he had gotten a new master
     against the time he had done keeping cows. The said William
     Osgood asked him who it was. He answered, he knew not. He
     again asked him where he dwelt. He answered, he knew not. He
     asked him what his name was. He answered, he knew not. He
     then said to him, 'How, then, wilt thou go to him when thy
     time is out?' He said, 'The man will come and fetch me
     then.' I asked him, 'Hast thou made an absolute bargain?' He
     answered that a covenant was made, and he had set his hand
     to it. He then asked of him whether he had not a counter
     covenant. Godfree answered, 'No.' W.O. said, 'What a mad
     fellow art thou to make a covenant in this manner!' He said,
     'He's an honest man.'--'How knowest thou?' said W.O. J.
     Godfree answered. 'He looks like one.' W.O. then answered,
     'I am persuaded thou hast made a covenant with the Devil.'
     He then skipped about, and said, 'I profess, I profess!'

     WILLIAM OSGOOD."

The proceedings against Godfrey were carried up to other tribunals, as
appears by a record of the County Court at Salem, 28th of June,
1659:--

     "John Godfrey stands bound in one hundred pound bond to the
     treasurer of this county for his appearance at a General
     Court, or Court of Assistants, when he shall be legally
     summonsed thereunto."

What action, if any, was had by either of these high courts, I have
found no information. But he must have come off unscathed; for, soon
after, he commenced actions in the County Court for defamation against
his accusers; with the following results:--

     "John Godfery plt. agst. Will. Simonds & Sam.ll his son
     dfts. in an action of slander that the said Sam.ll son to
     Will. Simons, hath don him in his name, Charging him to be a
     witch, the jury find for the plt. 2d damage & cost of Court
     29sh., yet notwithstanding doe conceiue, that by the
     testmonyes he is rendred suspicious."

     "John Godfery plt. agst. Jonathan Singletary defendt. in an
     action of Slander & Defamation for calling him witch & said
     is this witch on this side Boston Gallows yet, the
     attachm.t & other evidences were read, committed to the
     Jury & are on file. The Jury found for the plt. a publique
     acknowledgmt, at Haverhill within a month that he hath done
     the plt. wrong in his words or 10sh damage & costs of Court
     £2-16-0."

In the trial of the case between Godfrey and Singletary, the latter
attempted to prove the truth of his allegations against the former, by
giving the following piece of testimony, which, while it failed to
convince the jury, is worth preserving, from the inherent interest of
some of its details:--

     "Date the fourteenth the twelfth month, '62.--THE DEPOSITION
     OF JONATHAN SINGLETARY, aged about 23, who testifieth that I,
     being in the prison at Ipswich this night last past between
     nine and ten of the clock at night, after the bell had rung,
     I being set in a corner of the prison, upon a sudden I heard
     a great noise as if many cats had been climbing up the prison
     walls, and skipping into the house at the windows, and
     jumping about the chamber; and a noise as if boards' ends or
     stools had been thrown about, and men walking in the
     chambers, and a crackling and shaking as if the house would
     have fallen upon me. I seeing this, and considering what I
     knew by a young man that kept at my house last Indian
     Harvest, and, upon some difference with John Godfre, he was
     presently several nights in a strange manner troubled, and
     complaining as he did, and upon consideration of this and
     other things that I knew by him, I was at present something
     affrighted; yet considering what I had lately heard made out
     by Mr. Mitchel at Cambridge, that there is more good in God
     than there is evil in sin, and that although God is the
     greatest good, and sin the greatest evil, yet the first Being
     of evil cannot weane the scales or overpower the first Being
     of good: so considering that the author of good was of
     greater power than the author of evil, God was pleased of his
     goodness to keep me from being out of measure frighted. So
     this noise abovesaid held as I suppose about a quarter of an
     hour, and then ceased: and presently I heard the bolt of the
     door shoot or go back as perfectly, to my thinking, as I did
     the next morning when the keeper came to unlock it; and I
     could not see the door open, but I saw John Godfre stand
     within the door and said, 'Jonathan, Jonathan.' So I, looking
     on him, said, 'What have you to do with me?' He said, 'I come
     to see you: are you weary of your place yet?' I answered, 'I
     take no delight in being here, but I will be out as soon as I
     can.' He said, 'If you will pay me in corn, you shall come
     out.' I answered, 'No: if that had been my intent, I would
     have paid the marshal, and never have come hither.' He,
     knocking of his fist at me in a kind of a threatening way,
     said he would make me weary of my part, and so went away, I
     knew not how nor which way; and, as I was walking about in
     the prison, I tripped upon a stone with my heel, and took it
     up in my hand, thinking that if he came again I would strike
     at him. So, as I was walking about, he called at the window,
     'Jonathan,' said he, 'if you will pay me corn, I will give
     you two years day, and we will come to an agreement;' I
     answered him saying, 'Why do you come dissembling and playing
     the Devil's part here? Your nature is nothing but envy and
     malice, which you will vent, though to your own loss; and you
     seek peace with no man.'--'I do not dissemble,' said he: 'I
     will give you my hand upon it, I am in earnest.' So he put
     his hand in at the window, and I took hold of it with my left
     hand, and pulled him to me; and with the stone in my right
     hand I thought I struck him, and went to recover my hand to
     strike again, and his hand was gone, and I would have struck,
     but there was nothing to strike: and how he went away I know
     not; for I could neither feel when his hand went out of
     mine, nor see which way he went."

It can hardly be doubted, that Singletary's story was the result of
the workings of an excited imagination, in wild and frightful dreams
under the spasms of nightmare. We shall meet similar phenomena, when
we come to the testimony in the trials of 1692.

Godfrey was a most eccentric character. He courted and challenged the
imputation of witchcraft, and took delight in playing upon the
credulity of his neighbors, enjoying the exhibition of their
amazement, horror, and consternation. He was a person of much
notoriety, had more lawsuits, it is probable, than any other man in
the colony, and in one instance came under the criminal jurisdiction
for familiarity with other than immaterial spirits; for we find, by
the record of Sept. 25, 1666, that John Godfrey was "fined for being
drunk."

I have allowed so much space to the foregoing documents, because they
show the fancies which, fermenting in the public mind, and inflamed by
the prevalent literature, theology, and philosophy, came to a head
thirty years afterwards; and because they prove that in 1660 a
conviction for witchcraft could not be obtained in this county. The
evidence against none of the convicts in 1692, throwing out of view
the statements and actings of the "afflicted children," was half so
strong as that against Godfrey. Short work would have been made with
him then.

There is one particularly interesting item in Singletary's
deposition. It illustrates the value of good preaching. This young
man, in his gloomy prison, and overwhelmed with the terrors of
superstition, found consolation, courage, and strength in what he
remembered of a sermon, to which he had happened to listen, from
"Matchless Mitchel." It was indeed good doctrine; and it is to be
lamented that it was not carried out to its logical conclusions, and
constantly enforced by the divines of that and subsequent times.

In November, 1669, there was a prosecution of "Goody Burt," a widow,
concerning whom the most marvellous stories were told. The principal
witness against her was Philip Reed, a physician, who on oath declared
his belief that "no natural cause" could produce such effects as were
wrought by Goody Burt upon persons whom she afflicted. Her range of
operations seems to have been confined to Marblehead, Lynn, Salem, and
the vicinity: as nothing more was ever heard of the case, another
evidence is afforded, that an Essex jury, notwithstanding this
positive opinion of a doctor, was not ready to convict on the charge
of witchcraft. This same Philip Reed tried very hard to prosecute
proceedings, eleven years afterwards, against Margaret Gifford as a
witch. But she failed to appear, and no effort is recorded as having
been made to apprehend her.

In 1673, Eunice Cole, of Hampton, was tried before a county court, at
Salisbury, on the charge of witchcraft; and she was committed to jail,
in Boston, for further proceedings. She was subsequently indicted by
the Grand Jury for the Massachusetts jurisdiction for "familiarity
with the Devil." The Court of Assistants found that there was "just
ground of vehement suspicion of her having had familiarity with the
Devil," and got rid of the case by ordering her "to depart from and
abide out of this jurisdiction."

At a County Court, held at Salem, Nov. 24, 1674, a case was brought
up, of which the following is all we know:--

     "Christopher Browne having reported that he had been
     treating or discoursing with one whom he apprehended to be
     the Devil, which came like a gentleman, in order to his
     binding himself to be a servant to him, upon his
     examination, his discourse seeming inconsistent with truth,
     &c., the Court, giving him good counsel and caution, for the
     present dismiss him."

It would have been well if the action of this Court had been followed
as an authoritative precedent.

In the year 1679, the house of William Morse, of Newbury, was, for
more than two months, infested in a most strange and vexatious manner.
The affair was brought into court, where it played a conspicuous part,
and was near reaching a tragical conclusion. The history of the
proceedings in reference to it is very curious.

Mr. John Woodbridge, of Newbury, had been for some time an associate
county judge, and was commissioned to administer oaths and join
persons in marriage. The following is a record of what occurred
before him, sitting as a magistrate, and as a commissioner to
adjudicate in small, local causes, and hold examinations in matters
that went to higher courts:--

     "Dec. 3, 1679.--Caleb Powell, being complained of for
     suspicion of working with the Devil to the molesting of
     William Morse and his family, was by warrant directed to the
     constable brought in by him. The accusation and testimonies
     were read, and the complaint respited till the Monday
     following.

     "Dec. 8, 1679.--Caleb Powell appeared according to order,
     and further testimony produced against him by William Morse,
     which being read and considered, it was determined that the
     said William Morse should prosecute the case against said
     Powell at the County Court to be held at Ipswich the last
     Tuesday in March ensuing; and, in order hereunto, William
     Morse acknowledgeth himself indebted to the Treasurer of the
     County of Essex the full sum of twenty pounds. The condition
     of this obligation is, that the said William Morse shall
     prosecute his complaint against Caleb Powell at that Court.

     "Caleb Powell was delivered as a prisoner to the constable
     till he could find security of twenty pounds for the
     answering of the said complaint, or else he was to be
     carried to prison.

     "JO: WOODBRIDGE, _Commissioner_."

Powell was accordingly brought before the Court at Ipswich, March 30,
1680, under an indictment for witchcraft. Before giving the substance
of the evidence adduced on this occasion, it will be well to mention
the manner in which he got into the case as a principal. He was a
mate of a vessel. While at home, between voyages, he happened to hear
of the wonderful occurrences at Mr. Morse's house. His curiosity was
awakened, and he was also actuated by feelings of commiseration for
the family under the torments and terrors with which they were said to
be afflicted. Determined to see what it all meant, and to put a stop
to it if he could, he went to the house, and soon became satisfied
that a roguish grandchild was the cause of all the trouble. He
prevailed upon the old grandparents to let him take off the boy.
Immediately upon his removal, the difficulty ceased.

New-England navigators, at that time and long afterwards, sailed
almost wholly by the stars; and Powell probably had often related his
own skill, which, as mate of a vessel, he would have been likely to
acquire, in calculating his position, rate of sailing, and distances,
on the boundless and trackless ocean, by his knowledge and
observations of the heavenly bodies. He had said, perhaps, that, by
gazing among the stars, he could, at any hour of the night, however
long or far he had been tossed and driven on the ocean, tell exactly
where his vessel was. Hence the charge of being an astrologist.
Probably, like other sailors, Powell may have indulged in "long yarns"
to the country people, of the wonders he had seen, "some in one
country, and some in another." It is not unlikely, that, in foreign
ports, he had witnessed exhibitions of necromancy and mesmerism,
which, in various forms and under different names, have always been
practised. Possibly he may have boasted to be a medium himself, a
scholar and adept in the mystic art, able to read and divine "the
workings of spirits." At any rate, when it became known, that, at a
glance, he attributed to the boy the cause of the mischief, and that
it ceased on his taking him away from the house, the opinion became
settled that he was a wizard. He was arrested forthwith, and brought
to trial, as has been stated, for witchcraft. His astronomy,
astrology, and spiritualism brought him in peril of his life.

     "THE TESTIMONY OF WILLIAM MORSE: which saith,
     together with his wife, aged both about sixty-five years:
     that, Thursday night, being the twenty-seventh day of
     November, we heard a great noise without, round the house,
     of knocking the boards of the house, and, as we conceived,
     throwing of stones against the house. Whereupon myself and
     wife looked out and saw nobody, and the boy all this time
     with us; but we had stones and sticks thrown at us, that we
     were forced to retire into the house again. Afterwards we
     went to bed, and the boy with us; and then the like noise
     was upon the roof of the house.

     "2. The same night about midnight, the door being locked
     when we went to bed, we heard a great hog in the house grunt
     and make a noise, as we thought willing to get out; and,
     that we might not be disturbed in our sleep, I rose to let
     him out, and I found a hog in the house and the door
     unlocked: the door was firmly locked when we went to bed.

     "3. The next morning, a stick of links hanging in the
     chimney, they were thrown out of their place, and we hanged
     them up again, and they were thrown down again, and some
     into the fire.

     "4. The night following, I had a great awl lying in the
     window, the which awl we saw fall down out of the chimney
     into the ashes by the fire.

     "5. After this, I bid the boy put the same awl into the
     cupboard, which we saw done, and the door shut to: this same
     awl came presently down the chimney again in our sight, and
     I took it up myself. Again, the same night, we saw a little
     Indian basket, that was in the loft before, come down the
     chimney again. And I took the same basket, and put a piece
     of brick into it, and the basket with the brick was gone,
     and came down again the third time with the brick in it, and
     went up again the fourth time, and came down again without
     the brick; and the brick came down again a little after.

     "6. The next day, being Saturday, stones, sticks, and pieces
     of bricks came down, so that we could not quietly dress our
     breakfast; and sticks of fire also came down at the same
     time.

     "7. That day in the afternoon, my thread four times taken
     away, and came down the chimney; again, my awl and gimlet,
     wanting, came down the chimney; again, my leather, taken
     away, came down the chimney; again, my nails, being in the
     cover of a firkin, taken away, came down the chimney. Again,
     the same night, the door being locked, a little before day,
     hearing a hog in the house, I rose, and saw the hog to be
     mine: I let him out.

     "8. The next day being sabbath-day, many stones and sticks
     and pieces of bricks came down the chimney: on the Monday,
     Mr. Richardson and my brother being there, the frame of my
     cowhouse they saw very firm. I sent my boy out to scare the
     fowls from my hog's meat: he went to the cowhouse, and it
     fell down, my boy crying with the hurt of the fall. In the
     afternoon, the pots hanging over the fire did dash so
     vehemently one against the other, we set down one that they
     might not dash to pieces. I saw the andiron leap into the
     pot, and dance and leap out, and again leap in and dance and
     leap out again, and leap on a table and there abide, and my
     wife saw the andiron on the table: also I saw the pot turn
     itself over, and throw down all the water. Again, we saw a
     tray with wool leap up and down, and throw the wool out, and
     so many times, and saw nobody meddle with it. Again, a tub
     his hoop fly off of itself and the tub turn over, and nobody
     near it. Again, the woollen wheel turned upside down, and
     stood up on its end, and a spade set on it; Steph.
     Greenleafe saw it, and myself and my wife. Again, my
     rope-tools fell down upon the ground before my boy could
     take them, being sent for them; and the same thing of nails
     tumbled down from the loft into the ground, and nobody near.
     Again, my wife and boy making the bed, the chest did open
     and shut: the bed-clothes could not be made to lie on the
     bed, but fly off again.

     "Again, Caleb Powell came in, and, being affected to see our
     trouble, did promise me and my wife, that, if we would be
     willing to let him keep the boy, we should see ourselves
     that we should be never disturbed while he was gone with
     him: he had the boy, and had been quiet ever since.

     "THO. ROGERS and GEORGE HARDY, being at
     William Morse his house, affirm that the earth in the
     chimney-corner moved, and scattered on them; that Tho.
     Rogers was hit with somewhat, Hardy with an iron ladle as is
     supposed. Somewhat hit William Morse a great blow, but it
     was so swift that they could not certainly tell what it was;
     but, looking down after they heard the noise, they saw a
     shoe. The boy was in the corner at the first, afterwards in
     the house.

     "Mr. RICHARDSON on Saturday testifieth that a board
     flew against his chair, and he heard a noise in another
     room, which he supposed in all reason to be diabolical.

     "JOHN DOLE saw a pine stick of candlewood to fall
     down, a stone, a firebrand; and these things he saw not what
     way they came, till they fell down by him.

     "The same affirmed by John Tucker: the boy was in one
     corner, whom they saw and observed all the while, and saw no
     motion in him.

     "ELIZABETH TITCOMB affirmeth that Powell said that
     he could find the witch by his learning, if he had another
     scholar with him: this she saith were his expressions, to
     the best of her memory.

     "JO. TUCKER affirmeth that Powell said to him, he
     saw the boy throw the shoe while he was at prayer.

     "JO. EMERSON affirmeth that Powell said he was
     brought up under Norwood; and it was judged by the people
     there, that Norwood studied the black art.

     "A FURTHER TESTIMONY OF WILLIAM MORSE AND HIS WIFE.--We saw a
     keeler of bread turn over against me, and struck me, not any
     being near it, and so overturned. I saw a chair standing in
     the house, and not anybody near: it did often bow towards me,
     and so rise up again. My wife also being in the chamber, the
     chamber-door did violently fly together, not anybody being
     near it. My wife, going to make a bed, it did move to and
     fro, not anybody being near it. I also saw an iron wedge and
     spade was flying out of the chamber on my wife, and did not
     strike her. My wife going into the cellar, a drum, standing
     in the house, did roll over the door of the cellar; and,
     being taken up again, the door did violently fly down again.
     My barn-doors four times unpinned, I know not how. I, going
     to shut my barn-door, looking for the pin,--the boy being
     with me, as I did judge,--the pin, coming down out of the
     air, did fall down near to me. Again, Caleb Powell came in,
     as beforesaid, and, seeing our spirits very low by the sense
     of our great affliction, began to bemoan our condition, and
     said that he was troubled for our afflictions, and said that
     he had eyed this boy, and drawed near to us with great
     compassion: 'Poor old man, poor old woman! this boy is the
     occasion of your grief; for he hath done these things, and
     hath caused his good old grandmother to be counted a witch.'
     'Then,' said I, 'how can all these things be done by him?'
     Said he, 'Although he may not have done all, yet most of
     them; for this boy is a young rogue, a vile rogue: I have
     watched him, and see him do things as to come up and down.'
     Caleb Powell also said he had understanding in astrology and
     astronomy, and knew the working of spirits, some in one
     country, and some in another; and, looking on the boy, said,
     'You young rogue, to begin so soon. Goodman Morse, if you be
     willing to let me have this boy, I will undertake you shall
     be free from any trouble of this kind while he is with me.' I
     was very unwilling at the first, and my wife; but, by often
     urging me, till he told me whither, and what employment and
     company, he should go, I did consent to it, and this was
     before Jo. Badger came; and we have been freed from any
     trouble of this kind ever since that promise, made on Monday
     night last, to this time, being Friday in the afternoon. Then
     we heard a great noise in the other room, oftentimes, but,
     looking after it, could not see any thing; but, afterwards
     looking into the room, we saw a board hanged to the press.
     Then we, being by the fire, sitting in a chair, my chair
     often would not stand still, but ready to throw me backward
     oftentimes. Afterward, my cap almost taken off my head three
     times. Again, a great blow on my poll, and my cat did leap
     from me into the chimney corner. Presently after, this cat
     was thrown at my wife. We saw the cat to be ours: we put her
     out of the house, and shut the door. Presently, the cat was
     throwed into the house. We went to go to bed. Suddenly,--my
     wife being with me in bed, the lamp-light by our side,--my
     cat again throwed at us five times, jumping away presently
     into the floor; and, one of those times, a red waistcoat
     throwed on the bed, and the cat wrapped up in it. Again, the
     lamp, standing by us on the chest, we said it should stand
     and burn out; but presently was beaten down, and all the oil
     shed, and we left in the dark. Again, a great voice, a great
     while, very dreadful. Again, in the morning, a great stone,
     being six-pound weight, did remove from place to place,--we
     saw it,--two spoons throwed off the table, and presently the
     table throwed down. And, being minded to write, my inkhorn
     was hid from me, which I found, covered with a rag, and my
     pen quite gone. I made a new pen; and, while I was writing,
     one ear of corn hit me in the face, and fire, sticks, and
     stones throwed at me, and my pen brought to me. While I was
     writing with my new pen, my inkhorn taken away: and, not
     knowing how to write any more, we looked under the table, and
     there found him; and so I was able to write again. Again, my
     wife her hat taken from her head, sitting by the fire by me,
     the table almost thrown down. Again, my spectacles thrown
     from the table, and thrown almost into the fire by me, and my
     wife and the boy. Again, my book of all my accounts thrown
     into the fire, and had been burnt presently, if I had not
     taken it up. Again, boards taken off a tub, and set upright
     by themselves; and my paper, do what I could, hardly keep it
     while I was writing this relation, and things thrown at me
     while a-writing. Presently, before I could dry my writing, a
     mormouth hat rubbed along it; but I held so fast that it did
     blot but some of it. My wife and I, being much afraid that I
     should not preserve it for public use, did think best to lay
     it in the Bible, and it lay safe that night. Again, the next,
     I would lay it there again; but, in the morning, it was not
     there to be found, the bag hanged down empty; but, after, was
     found in a box alone. Again, while I was writing this
     morning, I was forced to forbear writing any more, I was so
     disturbed with so many things constantly thrown at me.

     "This relation brought in Dec. 8.

     "I, ANTHONY MORSE, occasionally being at my brother
     Morse's house, my brother showed me a piece of a brick which
     had several times come down the chimney. I sitting in the
     corner, I took the piece of brick in my hand. Within a
     little space of time, the piece of brick was gone from me, I
     knew not by what means. Quickly after, the piece of brick
     came down the chimney. Also, in the chimney-corner I saw a
     hammer on the ground: there being no person near the hammer,
     it was suddenly gone, by what means I know not. But, within
     a little space after, the hammer came down the chimney. And,
     within a little space of time after that, came a piece of
     wood down the chimney, about a foot long; and, within a
     little after that, came down a firebrand, the fire being
     out. This was about ten days ago.

     "JOHN BADGER affirmeth, that, being at William
     Morse his house, and heard Caleb Powell say that he thought
     by astrology, and I think he said by astronomy too, with it,
     he could find out whether or no there were diabolical means
     used about the said Morse his trouble, and that the said
     Caleb said he thought to try to find it out.

     "THE DEPOSITION OF MARY TUCKER, aged about
     twenty.--She remembered that Caleb Powell came into her
     house, and said to this purpose: That he, coming to William
     Morse his house, and the old man, being at prayer, he
     thought not fit to go in, but looked in at the window; and
     he said he had broken the enchantment; for he saw the boy
     play tricks while he was at prayer, and mentioned some, and,
     among the rest, that he saw him to fling the shoe at the
     said Morse's head.

     "Taken on oath, March 29, 1680, before me,

     "JO: WOODBRIDGE, _Commissioner_.

     "Mary Richardson confirmed the truth of the above written
     testimony, on oath, at the same time."

There seem to have been several hearings before Commissioner
Woodbridge. The boy had returned to his grandparents before the last
deposition of William Morse, and his audacious operations were
persisted in to the last. The final decision of the Court was as
follows:--

     "Upon the hearing the complaint brought to this Court
     against Caleb Powell for suspicion of working by the Devil
     to the molesting of the family of William Morse of Newbury,
     though this court cannot find any evident ground of
     proceeding further against the said Caleb Powell, yet we
     determine that he hath given such ground of suspicion of his
     so dealing that we cannot so acquit him, but that he justly
     deserves to bear his own share and the costs of the
     prosecution of the complaint.

     "Referred to Mr. Woodbridge to examine and determine the
     charges."

The entry of this sentence, in the records of the County Court, is as
follows; the clerk strangely mistaking the name of the party:--

     "The Court held at Ipswich, the 30th of March, 1680.

     "In the case of Abell Powell, though the Court do not see
     sufficient to charge further, yet find so much suspicion as
     that he pay the charges. The ordering of the charges left to
     Mr. Jo: Woodbridge."

The matter of Powell's connection with the affair being thus disposed
of, and no one seeming to entertain his idea of the guilt of the boy,
the next step was to fasten suspicion upon the good old grandmother;
and a general outcry was raised against her. Her arrest and
condemnation were clamored for. But the result of Powell's trial, and
all preceding cases, showed that an Essex jury could not yet be relied
on for a conviction in witchcraft cases; and it was resolved to
institute proceedings in a more favorable quarter. The Grand Jury
returned a bill of indictment against her to the Court of Assistants,
sitting in Boston. This was the highest tribunal in the country,
subject only to the General Court, and embracing the whole colony in
its jurisdiction. The following is the substance of the record of the
case:--

At a Court of Assistants, on adjournment, held at Boston, on the 20th
of May, 1680.

The Grand Jury having presented Elizabeth Morse, wife of William
Morse, she was tried and convicted of the crime of witchcraft. The
Governor, on the 27th of May, "after the lecture," in the First
Church of Boston, pronounced the sentence of death upon her. On the
1st of June, the Governor and Assistants voted to reprieve her "until
the next session of the Court in Boston." At the said next session,
the reprieval was still further continued. This seems to have produced
much dissatisfaction, as is shown by the following extract from the
records of the House of Deputies:--

     "The Deputies, on perusal of the Acts of the Honored Court
     of Assistants, relating to the woman condemned for
     witchcraft, do not understand the reason why the sentence,
     given against her by said Court, is not executed: and the
     second reprieval seems to us beyond what the law will allow,
     and do therefore judge meet to declare ourselves against it,
     with reference to the concurrence of the honored magistrates
     hereto.

     WILLIAM TORREY, _Clerk_."

The action of the magistrates, on this reference, is recorded as
follows:--

     "3d of November, 1680.--Not consented to by magistrates.

     EDWARD RAWSON, Secretary."

The evidence against Mrs. Morse was frivolous to the last degree,
without any of the force and effect given to support the prosecutions
in Salem, twelve years afterwards, by the astounding confessions of
the accused, and the splendid acting of the "afflicted children;" yet
she was tried and condemned in Boston, and sentenced there on
"Lecture-day." The representatives of the people, in the House of
Deputies, cried out against her reprieve. She was saved by the
courage and wisdom of Governor Bradstreet, subsequently a resident of
Salem, where his ashes rest. He was living here, at the age of ninety
years, during the witchcraft prosecutions in 1692; but, old as he was,
he made known his entire disapprobation of them. It is safe to say,
that, if he had not been superseded by the arrival of Sir William
Phipps as governor under the new charter, they would never have taken
place. Notwithstanding all this,--in spite of the remonstrances, at
the time, of Brattle, and afterwards of Hutchinson,--Boston and other
towns (earlier, if not equally, committed to such proceedings) have,
by a sort of general conspiracy, joined the rest of the world in
trying to throw and fasten the whole responsibility and disgrace of
witchcraft prosecutions upon Salem.

Things continued in the condition just described,--Mrs. Morse in jail
under sentence of death; that sentence suspended by reprieves from the
Governor, from time to time, until the next year, when her husband, in
her behalf and in her name, presented an earnest and touching petition
"to the honored Governor, Deputy-governor, Magistrates, and Deputies
now assembled in Court, May the 18th, 1681," that her case might be
concluded, one way or another. After referring to her condemnation,
and to her attestation of innocence, she says, "By the mercy of God,
and the goodness of the honored Governor, I am reprieved." She begs
the Court to "hearken to her cry, a poor prisoner." She places herself
at the foot of the tribunal of the General Court: "I now stand humbly
praying your justice in hearing my case, and to determine therein as
the Lord shall direct. I do not understand law, nor do I know how to
lay my case before you as I ought; for want of which I humbly beg of
your honors that my request may not be rejected." The House of
Deputies, on the 24th of May, voted to give her a new trial. But the
magistrates refused to concur in the vote; and so the matter stood,
for how long a time there are, I believe, no means of knowing.
Finally, however, she was released from prison, and allowed to return
to her own house. This we learn from a publication made by Mr. Hale,
of Beverly, in 1697. It seems, that, after getting her out of prison
and restored to her home, to use Mr. Hale's words, "her husband, who
was esteemed a sincere and understanding Christian by those that knew
him, desired some neighbor ministers, of whom I was one, to discourse
his wife, which we did; and her discourse was very Christian, and
still pleaded her innocence as to that which was laid to her charge."
From Mr. Hale's language, it may be inferred that she had not been
pardoned or discharged, but still lay under sentence of death, after
her removal to her own house: for he and his brethren did not "esteem
it prudence to pass any definite sentence upon one under her
circumstances;" but they ventured to say that they were "inclined to
the more charitable side." Mr. Hale states, that, "in her last
sickness, she was in much trouble and darkness of spirit, which
occasioned a judicious friend to examine her strictly, whether she
had been guilty of witchcraft; but she said _no_, but the ground of
her trouble was some impatient and passionate speeches and actions of
hers while in prison, upon the account of her suffering wrongfully,
whereby she had provoked the Lord by putting contempt upon his Word.
And, in fine, she sought her pardon and comfort from God in Christ;
and died, so far as I understand, praying to and relying upon God in
Christ for salvation."

The cases of Margaret Jones, Ann Hibbins, and Elizabeth Morse
illustrate strikingly and fully the history and condition of the
public mind in New England, and the world over, in reference to
witchcraft in the seventeenth century. They show that there was
nothing unprecedented, unusual, or eminently shocking, after all, in
what I am about to relate as occurring in Salem, in 1692. The only
real offence proved upon Margaret Jones was that she was a successful
practitioner of medicine, using only simple remedies. Ann Hibbins was
the victim of the slanderous gossip of a prejudiced neighborhood; all
our actual knowledge of her being her Will, which proves that she was
a person of much more than ordinary dignity of mind, which was kept
unruffled and serene in the bitterest trials and most outrageous
wrongs which it is possible for folly and "man's inhumanity to man" to
bring upon us in this life. Elizabeth Morse appears to have been one
of the best of Christian women. The accusations against them, as a
whole, cover nearly the whole ground upon which the subsequent
prosecutions in Salem rested. John Winthrop passed sentence upon
Margaret Jones, John Endicott upon Ann Hibbins, and Simon Bradstreet
upon Elizabeth Morse. The last-named governor performed the office as
an unavoidable act of official duty, and prevented the execution of
the sentence by the courageous use of his prerogative, in defiance of
public clamor and the wrath of the representatives of the whole people
of the colony. These facts sufficiently show, that the proceedings
afterwards had in Salem accorded with those in like cases, of that and
preceding generations; and were sanctioned by the all but universal
sentiments of mankind and a uniform chain of precedents.

The trial of Bridget Bishop, in 1680, before the County Court at
Salem, for witchcraft, and her acquittal, have already been mentioned
in the account of Salem Village, in the First Part.

In 1688, an Irish woman, named Glover, was executed in Boston for
bewitching four children belonging to the family of a Mr. Goodwin. She
was a Roman Catholic, represented to have been quite an ignorant
person, and seems, moreover, from the accounts given of her, to have
been crazy. The oldest of the children was only about thirteen years
of age. The most experienced physicians pronounced them bewitched.
Their conduct, as it is related by Cotton Mather, was indeed very
extraordinary. At one time they would bark like dogs, and then again
they would purr like cats. "Yea," says he, "they would fly like
geese, and be carried with an incredible swiftness, having but just
their toes now and then upon the ground, sometimes not once in twenty
feet, and their arms waved like the wings of a bird."

One of the children seems to have had a genius scarcely inferior to
that of Master Burke himself: there was no part nor passion she could
not enact. She would complain that the old Irish woman had tied an
invisible noose round her neck, and was choking her; and her
complexion and features would instantly assume the various hues and
violent distortions natural to a person in such a predicament. She
would declare that an invisible chain was fastened to one of her
limbs, and would limp about precisely as though it were really the
case. She would say that she was in an oven; the perspiration would
drop from her face, and she would exhibit every appearance of being
roasted: then she would cry out that cold water was thrown upon her,
and her whole frame would shiver and shake. She pretended that the
evil spirit came to her in the shape of an invisible horse; and she
would canter, gallop, trot, and amble round the rooms and entries in
such admirable imitation, that an observer could hardly believe that a
horse was not beneath her, and bearing her about. She would go up
stairs with exactly such a toss and bound as a person on horseback
would exhibit.

After some time, Cotton Mather took her into his own family, to see
whether he could not exorcise her. His account of her conduct, while
there, is highly amusing for its credulous simplicity. The cunning and
ingenious child seems to have taken great delight in perplexing and
playing off her tricks upon the learned man. Once he wished to say
something in her presence, to a third person, which he did not intend
she should understand. He accordingly spoke in Latin. But she had
penetration enough to conjecture what he had said: he was amazed. He
then tried Greek: she was equally successful. He next spoke in Hebrew:
she instantly detected the meaning. At last he resorted to the Indian
language, and that she pretended not to know. He drew the conclusion
that the evil being with whom she was in compact was acquainted
familiarly with the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, but not with the Indian
tongue.

It is curious to notice how adroitly she fell into the line of his
prejudices. He handed her a book written by a Quaker, to which sect it
is well known he was violently opposed: she would read it off with
great ease, rapidity, and pleasure. A book written against the Quakers
she could not read at all. She could read Popish books, but could not
decipher a syllable of the Assembly's Catechism. Dr. Mather was
earnestly opposed to the order and liturgy of the Church of England.
The artful little girl worked with great success upon this prejudice.
She pretended to be very fond of the Book of Common Prayer, and called
it her Bible. It would relieve her of her sufferings, in a moment, to
put it into her hands. While she could not read a word of the
Scriptures in the Bible, she could read them very easily in the
Prayer-book; but she could not read the Lord's Prayer even in this her
favorite volume. All these things went far to strengthen the
conviction of Dr. Mather that she was in league with the Devil; for
this was the only explanation that could be given to satisfy his mind
of her partiality to the productions of Quakers, Catholics, and
Episcopalians, and her aversion to the Bible and the Catechism.

She exhibited the most exquisite ingenuity in beguiling Dr. Mather by
the force of a charm, the power of which he could not resist for a
moment,--flattery. He thus describes, with a complacency but thinly
concealed under the veil of affected modesty, the part she played, in
order to give the impression--which it was the great object of his
ambition to make upon the public mind--that the Devil stood in special
fear of his presence:--

     "There then stood open the study of one belonging to the
     family, into which, entering, she stood immediately on her
     feet, and cried out, 'They are gone! they are gone! They say
     that they cannot,--God won't let 'em come here!' adding a
     reason for it which the owner of the study thought more kind
     than true; and she presently and perfectly came to herself,
     so that her whole discourse and carriage was altered into
     the greatest measure of sobriety."

Upon quitting the study, "the demons" would instantly again take hold
of her. Mather continues the statement, by saying that some persons,
wishing to try the experiment, had her brought "up into the study;"
but he says that she at once became--

     "so strangely distorted, that it was an extreme difficulty
     to drag her up stairs. The demons would pull her out of the
     people's hands, and make her heavier than, perhaps, three of
     herself. With incredible toil (though she kept screaming,
     'They say I must not go in'), she was pulled in; where she
     was no sooner got, but she could stand on her feet, and,
     with altered note, say, 'Now I am well.' She would be faint
     at first, and say 'she felt something to go out of her' (the
     noises whereof we sometimes heard like those of a mouse);
     but, in a minute or two, she could apply herself to
     devotion. To satisfy some strangers, the experiment was,
     divers times, with the same success, repeated, until my
     lothness to have any thing done like making a charm of a
     room, caused me to forbid the repetition of it."

Even in her most riotous proceedings, she kept her eye fixed upon the
doctor's weak point. When he called the family to prayers, she would
whistle and sing and yell to drown his voice, would strike him with
her fist, and try to kick him. But her hand or foot would always
recoil when within an inch or two of his body; thus giving the idea
that there was a sort of invisible coat of mail, of heavenly temper,
and proof against the assaults of the Devil, around his sacred person!
After a while, Dr. Mather concluded to prepare an account of these
extraordinary circumstances, wherewithal to entertain his congregation
in a sermon. She seemed to be quite displeased at the thought of his
making public the doings of her master, the Evil One, attempted to
prevent his writing the intended sermon, and disturbed and interrupted
him in all manner of ways. For instance, she once knocked at his study
door, and said that "there was somebody down stairs that would be glad
to see him." He dropped his pen, and went down. Upon entering the
room, he found nobody there but the family. The next time he met her,
he undertook to chide her for having told him a falsehood. She denied
that she had told a falsehood. "Didn't you say," said he, "that there
was somebody down stairs that would be glad to see me?"--"Well," she
replied, with inimitable pertness, "is not Mrs. Mather always glad to
see you?"

She even went much farther than this in persecuting the good man while
he was writing his sermon: she threw large books at his head. But he
struggled manfully against these buffetings of Satan, as he considered
her conduct to be, finished the sermon, related all these
circumstances in it, preached, and published it. Richard Baxter wrote
the preface to an edition printed in London, in which he declares that
he who will not be convinced by all the evidence Dr. Mather presents
that the child was bewitched "must be a very obdurate Sadducee." It is
so obvious, that, in this whole affair, Cotton Mather was grossly
deceived and audaciously imposed upon by the most consummate and
precocious cunning, that it needs no comment. I have given this
particular account of it, because there is reason to believe that it
originated the delusion in Salem. It occurred only four years before.
Dr. Mather's account of the transaction filled the whole country; and
it is probable that the children in Mr. Parris's family undertook to
re-enact it.

There is nothing in the annals of the histrionic art more illustrative
of the infinite versatility of the human faculties, both physical and
mental, and of the amazing extent to which cunning, ingenuity,
contrivance, quickness of invention, and presence of mind can be
cultivated, even in very young persons, than such cases as this just
related. It seems, at first, incredible that a mere child could carry
on such a complex piece of fraud and imposture as that enacted by the
little girl whose achievements have been immortalized by the famous
author of the "Magnalia." Many other instances, however, are found
recorded in the history of the delusion we are discussing.

That of the grandchild of William and Elizabeth Morse, in Newbury, was
nearly as marvellous, and perfectly successful in deceiving the whole
country except Caleb Powell; and he got into much trouble in
consequence of seeing through it. A similar instance of juvenile
imposture is related as having occurred at Amsterdam in 1560. Twenty
or thirty boys pretended to be suddenly seized with a kind of rage and
fury, were cast upon the ground, and tormented with great agony. These
fits were intermittent; and, when they had passed off, their subjects
did not seem to be conscious of what had taken place. While they
lasted, the boys threw up, apparently from their stomachs, large
quantities of needles, pins, thimbles, pieces of cloth, fragments of
pots and kettles, bits of glass, locks of hair, and a variety of other
articles. There was no doubt, at the time, that they were suffering
under the influence of the Devil; and multitudes crowded round them,
and gazed upon them with wonder and horror.

The details of the cases in Newbury and Charlestown were dressed up by
Cotton Mather and other writers in the strongest colors that credulous
superstition and the peculiar views of that age on the subject of
demonology could employ. They were almost universally received as
proof that Satan had commenced an onslaught, such as had never before
been known, upon the Church and the world! They appear to us as simply
absurd, and the result of precocious knavery; not so to the people of
that generation. They were looked upon as fearful demonstrations of
diabolical power, and preludes to the coming of Satan, with his
infernal confederates, to overwhelm the land. The imaginations of all
were excited, and their apprehensions morbidly aroused. The very air
was filled with rumors, fancies, and fears. The ministers sounded the
alarm from their pulpits. The magistrates sharpened the sword of
justice. The deputy-governor of the colony, Danforth, began to arrest
suspected persons months before proceedings commenced, or were thought
of, in Salem Village. It was believed that evil spirits had been seen,
by men's bodily eyes, in a neighboring town. They glided over the
fields, hovered around the houses, appeared, vanished, and
re-appeared on the outskirts of the woods, in the vicinity of
Gloucester. Their movements were observed by several of the
inhabitants; and the whole population of the Cape was kept in a state
of agitation and alarm, in consequence of the mysterious phenomena,
for three weeks. The inhabitants retired to the garrison, and put
themselves in a state of defence against the diabolical besiegers.
Sixty men were despatched from Ipswich, in military array, to
re-enforce the garrison, and several valiant sallies were made from
its walls. Much powder was expended, but no corporeal or incorporeal
blood was shed. An account of these events was drawn up by the Rev.
John Emerson, then the minister of the first parish in Gloucester,
from which the facts now mentioned have been selected. It is very
minute and particular. The appearance and dress of the supernatural
enemies are described. They wore white waistcoats, blue shirts, and
white breeches, and had bushy heads of black hair. Mr. Emerson
concludes his account by expressing the hope that "all rational
persons will be satisfied that Gloucester was not alarmed last summer
for above a fortnight together by real French and Indians, but that
the Devil and his agents were the cause of all the molestation which
at this time befell the town."

These wonderful things took place at Cape Ann, about the time that the
great conflict between the Devil and his confederates on the one hand,
and the ministers and magistrates on the other, at Salem Village, was
reaching its height. It is said that it was regarded by the most
considerate persons, at the time, as an artful contrivance of the
Devil to create a diversion of the attention of the pious colonists
from his operations through the witches in Salem, and, by dividing and
distracting their forces, to obtain an advantage over them in the war
he was waging against their churches and their religion.

       *       *       *       *       *

We are now ready to enter upon the story of Salem witchcraft. We have
endeavored to become acquainted with the people who acted conspicuous
parts in the drama, and to understand their character; and have tried
to collect, and bring into appreciating view, the opinions and
theories, the habits of thought, the associations of mind, the
passions, impulses, and fantasies that guided, moulded, and controlled
their conduct. The law, literature, and theology of the age, as they
bore on the subject, have been brought before us. The last great
display of the effects of the doctrines of demonology, of the belief
of the agency of invisible, irresponsible beings, whether fallen
angels or departed spirits, upon the actions of men and human affairs,
is now to open before us. The final results of superstitions and
fables and fancies, accumulating through the ages, are to be exhibited
in a transaction, an actual demonstration in real life. They are to
present an exemplification that will at once fully display their
power, and deal their death-blow.

Without the least purpose or wish to cover up or extenuate the
follies, excesses, or outrages I am about to describe, into which the
community suffered itself to be led in the witchcraft proceedings of
1692,--with a desire, on the contrary, to make the lesson then given
of the mischief resulting from misguided enthusiasm, and which will
always result when popular excitement is allowed to wield the
organized powers of society, as impressive as facts and truth will
justify,--I feel bound to say, in advance, that there are some
considerations which we must keep before us, while reviewing the
incidents of the transaction. The theological, legal, and
philosophical doctrines and the popular beliefs, on which it was
founded, have, as I have shown, led, in other countries and periods,
to similar, and often vastly more shameful, cruel, and destructive
results. But there was something in the affair, as it was developed
here, that has arrested the notice of mankind, and clothed it with an
inherent interest, beyond all other events of the kind that have
elsewhere or ever occurred.

The moral force engendered in the civilization planted on these
shores, and pervading the whole body of society, supplied a mightier
momentum, as it does to this day, and ever will, to the movement of
the people, acting in a mass and as a unit, than can anywhere else be
found. A population, invigorated by hardy enterprise, and the constant
exercise of all the faculties of freedom, and actuated throughout by
individual energy of character, must be mightier in motion than any
other people. Such a population multiplies tenfold its physical
forces, by the addition of moral and intellectual energies. The men
of the day and scene we are now to contemplate, however deluded, to
whatever extremities carried, were controlled by fixed, absolute,
sharply defined, and, in themselves, great ideas. They believed in
God. They also believed in the Devil. They bowed in an adoration that
penetrated their inmost souls, before the one as a being of infinite
holiness: they regarded the other as a being of an all but infinite
power of evil. They feared and worshipped God. They hated and defied
the Devil. They believed that Satan was waging war against Jehovah,
and that the conflict was for the dominion of the world, for the
establishment or the overthrow of the Church of Christ. The battle,
they fully believed, could have no other issue than the salvation or
the ruin of the souls of men. This was not, with them, a mere
technical, verbal creed. It was a deep-seated conviction, held
earnestly with a clear and distinct apprehension of its import, by
every individual mind. For this warfare, they put on the whole armor
of faith, rallied to the banner of the Most High, and met Satan face
to face. In this one great idea, a stern, determined, unflinching,
all-sacrificing people concentrated their strength. No wonder that the
conflict reached a magnitude which made it observable to the whole
country and all countries at the time, and will make it memorable
throughout all time. Those engaged in it, with this sentiment
absorbing their very souls, passed, for the time, out of the realm of
all other sentiments, and were insensible to all other
considerations. The nearer and dearer the relatives, the higher and
more conspicuous the persons, who, in their belief, were in league
with the Devil, the more profound the abhorrence of their crime, and
the determination to cut off and destroy them utterly. They believed
that Satan had, once before, "against the throne and monarchy of God,
raised impious war and battle proud;" and that for this he had been
cast out from "heaven, with all his host of rebel angels;" that he,
with his army of subordinate wicked spirits, was making a desperate
effort to retrieve his lost estate, by a renewed rebellion against
God; and they were determined to drive him, and all his confederates,
for ever from the confines of the earth. The humble hamlet of Salem
Village was felt to be the great and final battle-ground. However wild
and absurd this idea is now regarded, it was then sincerely and
thoroughly entertained, and must be taken into the account, in coming
to a just estimate of the character of the transaction, and of those
engaged in it.

One other thought is to be borne in mind, as we pass through the
scenes that are to be spread before us. The theology of Christendom,
at that time, so far as it relates to the power and agency of Satan
and demonology in general,--and this is the only point of view on
which I ever refer to theology in this discussion,--and the whole
fabric of popular superstitions founded upon it, had reached their
culmination. The beginning, middle, and close of the seventeenth
century, witnessed the greatest display of those superstitions, and
prepared the way for their final explosion. As the hour of their
dissolution was at hand, and they were doomed to vanish before the
light of science and education, to pass from the realm of supposed
reality into that of acknowledged fiction, it seems to have been
ordered that they should leave monuments behind them, from which their
character, elements, and features, and their terrible influence, might
be read and studied in all subsequent ages.

The ideas in reference to the agency and designs of the great enemy of
God and man, and all his subordinate hosts, witches, fairies, ghosts,
"gorgons and hydras, and chimeras dire," "apparitions, signs, and
prodigies," by which the minds of men had so long been filled, and
their fearful imaginations exercised, as they took their flight,
imprinted themselves, for perpetual remembrance, in productions which,
more than any works of mere human genius, are sure to live for ever.
They left their forms crystallized, with imperishable lineaments, in
the greatest of dramas and the greatest of epics. The plays of
Shakespeare, as the century opened, and the verse of Milton in its
central period, are their record and their picture.

But there was another shape and aspect in which it was pre-eminently
important to have their memory preserved; and that was their
application to life, their influence upon the conduct of men, the
action of tribunals, and the movements of society, and, in general,
their effects, when allowed full operation, upon human happiness and
welfare. This want was supplied, as the century terminated, by the
tragedy in real life, whose scenes are now to be presented in
WITCHCRAFT AT SALEM VILLAGE.

However strange it seems, it is quite worthy of observation, that the
actors in that tragedy, the "afflicted children," and other witnesses,
in their various statements and operations, embraced about the whole
circle of popular superstition. How those young country girls, some of
them mere children, most of them wholly illiterate, could have become
familiar with such fancies, to such an extent, is truly surprising.
They acted out, and brought to bear with tremendous effect, almost all
that can be found in the literature of that day, and the period
preceding it, relating to such subjects. Images and visions which had
been portrayed in tales of romance, and given interest to the pages of
poetry, will be made by them, as we shall see, to throng the woods,
flit through the air, and hover over the heads of a terrified court.
The ghosts of murdered wives and children will play their parts with a
vividness of representation and artistic skill of expression that have
hardly been surpassed in scenic representations on the stage. In the
Salem-witchcraft proceedings, the superstition of the middle ages was
embodied in real action. All its extravagances, absurdities, and
monstrosities appear in their application to human experience. We see
what the effect has been, and must be, when the affairs of life, in
courts of law and the relations of society, or the conduct or feelings
of individuals, are suffered to be under the control of fanciful or
mystical notions. When a whole people abandons the solid ground of
common sense, overleaps the boundaries of human knowledge, gives
itself up to wild reveries, and lets loose its passions without
restraint, it presents a spectacle more terrific to behold, and
becomes more destructive and disastrous, than any convulsion of mere
material nature; than tornado, conflagration, or earthquake.


END OF VOL. I.



AMERICAN CLASSICS


SALEM WITCHCRAFT

_With an Account of Salem Village and A History of Opinions on
Witchcraft and Kindred Subjects_


CHARLES W. UPHAM


_Volume II_


FREDERICK UNGAR PUBLISHING CO.

_New York_

_Fourth Printing, 1969_
_Printed in the United States of America_
Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 59-10887


[Illustration: THE PHILIP ENGLISH HOUSE.--VOL. II., 142.]

[Illustration: Witch Hill. 1866.]



PART THIRD.

WITCHCRAFT AT SALEM VILLAGE.


We left Mr. Parris in the early part of November, 1691, at the crisis
of his controversy with the inhabitants of Salem Village, under
circumstances which seemed to indicate that its termination was near
at hand. The opposition to him had assumed a form which made it quite
probable that it would succeed in dislodging him from his position.
But the end was not yet. Events were ripening that were to give him a
new and fearful strength, and open a scene in which he was to act a
part destined to attract the notice of the world, and become a
permanent portion of human history. The doctrines of demonology had
produced their full effect upon the minds of men, and every thing was
ready for a final display of their power. The story of the Goodwin
children, as told by Cotton Mather, was known and read in all the
dwellings of the land, and filled the imaginations of a credulous age.
Deputy-governor Danforth had begun the work of arrests; and persons
charged with witchcraft, belonging to neighboring towns, were already
in prison.

Mr. Parris appears to have had in his family several slaves, probably
brought by him from the West Indies. One of them, whom he calls, in
his church-record book, "my negro lad," had died, a year or two
before, at the age of nineteen. Two of them were man and wife. The
former was always known by the name of "John Indian;" the latter was
called "Tituba." These two persons may have originated the "Salem
witchcraft." They are spoken of as having come from New Spain, as it
was then called,--that is, the Spanish West Indies, and the adjacent
mainlands of Central and South America,--and, in all probability,
contributed, from the wild and strange superstitions prevalent among
their native tribes, materials which, added to the commonly received
notions on such subjects, heightened the infatuation of the times, and
inflamed still more the imaginations of the credulous. Persons
conversant with the Indians of Mexico, and on both sides of the
Isthmus, discern many similarities in their systems of demonology with
ideas and practices developed here.

Mr. Parris's former residence in the neighborhood of the Spanish Main,
and the prominent part taken by his Indian slaves in originating the
proceedings at the village, may account for some of the features of
the transaction.

During the winter of 1691 and 1692, a circle of young girls had been
formed, who were in the habit of meeting at Mr. Parris's house for the
purpose of practising palmistry, and other arts of fortune-telling,
and of becoming experts in the wonders of necromancy, magic, and
spiritualism. It consisted, besides the Indian servants, mainly of the
following persons:--

Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. Parris, was nine years of age. She seems to
have performed a leading part in the first stages of the affair, and
must have been a child of remarkable precocity. It is a noticeable
fact, that her father early removed her from the scene. She was sent
to the town, where she remained in the family of Stephen Sewall, until
the proceedings at the village were brought to a close. Abigail
Williams, a niece of Mr. Parris, and a member of his household, was
eleven years of age. She acted conspicuously in the witchcraft
prosecutions from beginning to end. Ann Putnam, daughter of Sergeant
Thomas Putnam, the parish clerk or recorder, was twelve years of age.
The character and social position of her parents gave her a prominence
which an extraordinary development of the imaginative faculty, and of
mental powers generally, enabled her to hold throughout. This young
girl is perhaps entitled to be regarded as, in many respects, the
leading agent in all the mischief that followed. Mary Walcot was
seventeen years of age. Her father was Jonathan Walcot (vol. i. p.
225). His first wife, Mary Sibley, to whom he was married in 1664, had
died in 1683. She was the mother of Mary. It is a singular fact, and
indicates the estimation in which Captain Walcot was held, that,
although not a church-member, he filled the office of deacon of the
parish for several years before the formation of the church. Mercy
Lewis was also seventeen years of age. When quite young, she was, for
a time, in the family of the Rev. George Burroughs: and, in 1692, was
living as a servant in the family of Thomas Putnam; although,
occasionally, she seems to have lived, in the same capacity, with that
of John Putnam, Jr., the constable of the village. He was a son of
Nathaniel, and resided in the neighborhood of Thomas and Deacon Edward
Putnam. Mercy Lewis performed a leading part in the proceedings, had
great energy of purpose and capacity of management, and became
responsible for much of the crime and horror connected with them.
Elizabeth Hubbard, seventeen years of age, who also occupies a bad
eminence in the scene, was a niece of Mrs. Dr. Griggs, and lived in
her family. Elizabeth Booth and Susannah Sheldon, each eighteen years
of age, belonged to families in the neighborhood. Mary Warren, twenty
years of age, was a servant in the family of John Procter; and Sarah
Churchill, of the same age, was a servant in that of George Jacobs,
Sr. These two last were actuated, it is too apparent, by malicious
feelings towards the families in which they resided, and contributed
largely to the horrible tragedy. The facts to be exhibited will enable
every one who carefully considers them, to form an estimate, for
himself, of the respective character and conduct of these young
persons. It is almost beyond belief that they were wholly actuated by
deliberate and cold-blooded malignity. Their crime would, in that
view, have been without a parallel in monstrosity of wickedness, and
beyond what can be imagined of the guiltiest and most depraved
natures. For myself, I am unable to determine how much may be
attributed to credulity, hallucination, and the delirium of
excitement, or to deliberate malice and falsehood. There is too much
evidence of guile and conspiracy to attribute all their actions and
declarations to delusion; and their conduct throughout was stamped
with a bold assurance and audacious bearing. With one or two slight
and momentary exceptions, there was a total absence of compunction or
commiseration, and a reckless disregard of the agonies and destruction
they were scattering around them. They present a subject that justly
claims, and will for ever task, the examination of those who are most
competent to fathom the mysteries of the human soul, sound its depths,
and measure the extent to which it is liable to become wicked and
devilish. It will be seen that other persons were drawn to act with
these "afflicted children," as they were called, some from contagious
delusion, and some, as was quite well proved, from a false,
mischievous, and malignant spirit.

Besides the above-mentioned persons, there were three married women,
rather under middle life, who acted with the afflicted children,--Mrs.
Ann Putnam, the mother of the child of that name; Mrs. Pope; and a
woman, named Bibber, who appears to have lived at Wenham. Another
married woman,--spoken of as "ancient,"--named Goodell, had also been
in the habit of attending their meetings; but she is not named in any
of the documents on file, and was probably withdrawn, at an early
period, from participating in the transaction.

In the course of the winter, they became quite skilful and expert in
the arts they were learning, and gradually began to display their
attainments to the admiration and amazement of beholders. At first,
they made no charges against any person, but confined themselves to
strange actions, exclamations, and contortions. They would creep into
holes, and under benches and chairs, put themselves into odd and
unnatural postures, make wild and antic gestures, and utter incoherent
and unintelligible sounds. They would be seized with spasms, drop
insensible to the floor, or writhe in agony, suffering dreadful
tortures, and uttering loud and piercing outcries. The attention of
the families in which they held their meetings was called to their
extraordinary condition and proceedings; and the whole neighborhood
and surrounding country soon were filled with the story of the strange
and unaccountable sufferings of the "afflicted girls." No explanation
could be given, and their condition became worse and worse. The
physician of the village, Dr. Griggs, was called in, a consultation
had, and the opinion finally and gravely given, that the afflicted
children were bewitched. It was quite common in those days for the
faculty to dispose of difficult cases by this resort. When their
remedies were baffled, and their skill at fault, the patient was said
to be "under an evil hand." In all cases, the sage conclusion was
received by nurses, and elderly women called in on such occasions, if
the symptoms were out of the common course, or did not yield to the
prescriptions these persons were in the habit of applying. Very soon,
the whole community became excited and alarmed to the highest degree.
All other topics were forgotten. The only thing spoken or thought of
was the terrible condition of the afflicted children in Mr. Parris's
house, or wherever, from time to time, the girls assembled. They were
the objects of universal compassion and wonder. The people flocked
from all quarters to witness their sufferings, and gaze with awe upon
their convulsions. Becoming objects of such notice, they were
stimulated to vary and expand the manifestations of the extraordinary
influence that was upon them. They extended their operations beyond
the houses of Mr. Parris, and the families to which they belonged, to
public places; and their fits, exclamations, and outcries disturbed
the exercises of prayer meetings, and the ordinary services of the
congregation. On one occasion, on the Lord's Day, March 20th, when the
singing of the psalm previous to the sermon was concluded, before the
person preaching--Mr. Lawson--could come forward, Abigail Williams
cried out, "Now stand up, and name your text." When he had read it, in
a loud and insolent voice she exclaimed, "It's a long text." In the
midst of the discourse, Mrs. Pope broke in, "Now, there is enough of
that." In the afternoon of the same day, while referring to the
doctrine he had been expounding in the preceding service, Abigail
Williams rudely ejaculated, "I know no doctrine you had. If you did
name one, I have forgot it." An aged member of the church was present,
against whom a warrant on the charge of witchcraft had been procured
the day before. Being apprised of the proceeding, Abigail Williams
spoke aloud, during the service, calling by name the person about to
be apprehended, "Look where she sits upon the beam, sucking her
yellow-bird betwixt her fingers." Ann Putnam, joining in, exclaimed,
"There is a yellow-bird sitting on the minister's hat, as it hangs on
the pin in the pulpit." Mr. Lawson remarks, with much simplicity, that
these things, occurring "in the time of public worship, did something
interrupt me in my first prayer, being so unusual." But he braced
himself up to the emergency, and went on with the service. There is no
intimation that Mr. Parris rebuked his niece for her disorderly
behavior. As at several other times, the people sitting near Ann
Putnam had to lay hold of her to prevent her proceeding to greater
extremities, and wholly breaking up the meeting. The girls were
supposed to be under an irresistible and supernatural impulse; and,
instead of being severely punished, were looked upon with mingled
pity, terror, and awe, and made objects of the greatest attention. Of
course, where members of the minister's family were countenanced in
such proceedings, during the exercises of public worship, on the
Lord's Day, in the meeting-house, it was not strange that people in
general yielded to the excitement. But all did not. Several members of
the family of Francis Nurse, Peter Cloyse and wife, and Joseph Putnam,
expressed their disapprobation of such doings being allowed, and
absented themselves from meeting. Perhaps others took the same course;
but whoever did were marked, as the sequel will show.

In the mean while the excitement was worked up to the highest pitch.
The families to which several of the "afflicted children" belonged
were led to apply themselves to fasting and prayer, on which occasions
the neighbors, under the guidance of the minister, would assemble, and
unite in invocations to the Divine Being to interpose and deliver them
from the snares and dominion of Satan. The "afflicted children" who
might be present would not, as a general thing, interrupt the prayers
while in progress, but would break out with their wild outcries and
convulsive spasms in the intervals of the service. In due time, Mr.
Parris sent for the neighboring ministers to assemble at his house,
and unite with him in devoting a day to solemn religious services and
earnest supplications to the throne of Mercy for rescue from the power
of the great enemy of souls. The ministers spent the day in Mr.
Parris's house, and the children performed their feats before their
eyes. The reverend gentlemen were astounded at what they saw, fully
corroborated the opinion of Dr. Griggs, and formally declared their
belief that the Evil One had commenced his operations with a bolder
front and on a broader scale than ever before in this or any other
country.

This judgment of the ministers was quickly made known everywhere; and,
if doubt remained in any mind, it was suppressed by the irresistible
power of an overwhelming public conviction. Individuals were lost in
the universal fanaticism. Society was dissolved into a wild and
excited crowd. Men and women left their fields, their houses, their
labors and employments, to witness the awful unveiling of the demoniac
power, and to behold the workings of Satan himself upon the victims of
his wrath.

It must be borne in mind, that it was then an established doctrine in
theology, philosophy, and law, that the Devil could not operate upon
mortals, or mortal affairs, except through the intermediate
instrumentality of human beings in confederacy with him, that is,
witches or wizards. The question, of course, in all minds and on all
tongues, was, "Who are the agents of the Devil in afflicting these
girls? There must be some among us thus acting, and who are they?" For
some time the girls held back from mentioning names; or, if they did,
it was prevented from being divulged to the public. In the mean time,
the excitement spread and deepened. At length the people had become so
thoroughly prepared for the work, that it was concluded to begin
operations in earnest. The continued pressure upon the "afflicted
children," the earnest and importunate inquiry, on all sides, "Who is
it that bewitches you?" opened their lips in response, and they began
to select and bring forward their victims. One after another, they
cried out "Good," "Osburn," "Tituba." On the 29th of February, 1692,
warrants were duly issued against those persons. It is observable,
that the complainants who procured the warrants in these cases were
Joseph Hutchinson, Edward Putnam, Thomas Putnam, and Thomas Preston.
This fact shows how nearly unanimous, at this time, was the conviction
that the sufferings of the girls were the result of witchcraft. Joseph
Hutchinson was a firm-minded man, of strong common sense, and from his
general character and ways of thinking and acting, one of the last
persons liable to be carried away by a popular enthusiasm, and was
found among the earliest rescued from it. Thomas Preston was a
son-in-law of Francis Nurse.

As all was ripe for the development of the plot, extraordinary means
were taken to give publicity, notoriety, and effect to the first
examinations. On the 1st of March the two leading magistrates of the
neighborhood, men of great note and influence, whose fathers had been
among the chief founders of the settlement, and who were
Assistants,--that is, members of the highest legislative and judicial
body in the colony, combining with the functions of a senate those of
a court of last resort with most comprehensive jurisdiction,--John
Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin, entered the village, in imposing array,
escorted by the marshal, constables, and their aids, with all the
trappings of their offices; reined up at Nathaniel Ingersoll's
corner, and dismounted at his door. The whole population of the
neighborhood, apprised of the occasion, was gathered on the lawn, or
came flocking along the roads. The crowd was so great that it was
necessary to adjourn to the meeting-house, which was filled at once by
a multitude excited to the highest pitch of indignation and abhorrence
towards the prisoners, and of curiosity to witness the novel and
imposing spectacle and proceedings. The magistrates took seats in
front of the pulpit, facing the assembly; a long table or raised
platform being placed before them; and it was announced, that they
were ready to enter upon the examination. On bringing in and
delivering over the accused parties, the officers who had executed the
warrants stated that they "had made diligent search for images and
such like, but could find none." After prayer, Constable George Locker
produced the body of Sarah Good; and Constable Joseph Herrick, the
bodies of Sarah Osburn, and Tituba Mr. Parris's Indian woman. The
evidence seems to indicate, that, on these occasions, the prisoners
were placed on the platform, to keep them from the contact of the
general crowd, and that all might see them.

Sarah Good was first examined, the other two being removed from the
house for the time. In complaining of her, and bringing her forward
first, the prosecutors showed that they were well advised. There was a
general readiness to receive the charge against her, as she was
evidently the object of much prejudice in the neighborhood. Her
husband, who was a weak, ignorant, and dependent person, had become
alienated from her. The family were very poor; and she and her
children had sometimes been without a house to shelter them, and left
to wander from door to door for relief. Whether justly or not, she
appears to have been subject to general obloquy. Probably there was no
one in the country around, against whom popular suspicion could have
been more readily directed, or in whose favor and defence less
interest could be awakened. She was a forlorn, friendless, and
forsaken creature, broken down by wretchedness of condition and
ill-repute. The following are the minutes of her examination, as found
among the files:--

     "_The Examination of Sarah Good before the Worshipful Esqrs.
     John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin._

     "Sarah Good, what evil spirit have you familiarity
     with?--None.

     "Have you made no contracts with the Devil?--No.

     "Why do you hurt these children?--I do not hurt them. I
     scorn it.

     "Who do you employ then to do it?--I employ nobody.

     "What creature do you employ then?--No creature: but I am
     falsely accused.

     "Why did you go away muttering from Mr. Parris his house?--I
     did not mutter, but I thanked him for what he gave my child.

     "Have you made no contract with the Devil?--No.

     "Hathorne desired the children all of them to look upon her,
     and see if this were the person that hurt them; and so they
     all did look upon her, and said this was one of the persons
     that did torment them. Presently they were all tormented.

     "Sarah Good, do you not see now what you have done? Why do
     you not tell us the truth? Why do you thus torment these
     poor children?--I do not torment them.

     "Who do you employ then?--I employ nobody. I scorn it.

     "How came they thus tormented?--What do I know? You bring
     others here, and now you charge me with it.

     "Why, who was it?--I do not know but it was some you brought
     into the meeting-house with you.

     "We brought you into the meeting-house.--But you brought in
     two more.

     "Who was it, then, that tormented the children?--It was
     Osburn.

     "What is it you say when you go muttering away from persons'
     houses?--If I must tell, I will tell.

     "Do tell us then.--If I must tell, I will tell: it is the
     Commandments. I may say my Commandments, I hope.

     "What Commandment is it?--If I must tell you, I will tell:
     it is a psalm.

     "What psalm?

     "(After a long time she muttered over some part of a psalm.)

     "Who do you serve?--I serve God.

     "What God do you serve?--The God that made heaven and earth
     (though she was not willing to mention the word 'God'). Her
     answers were in a very wicked, spiteful manner, reflecting
     and retorting against the authority with base and abusive
     words; and many lies she was taken in. It was here said that
     her husband had said that he was afraid that she either was
     a witch or would be one very quickly. The worshipful Mr.
     Hathorne, asked him his reason why he said so of her,
     whether he had ever seen any thing by her. He answered 'No,
     not in this nature; but it was her bad carriage to him: and
     indeed,' said he, 'I may say with tears, that she is an
     enemy to all good.'"

The foregoing is in the handwriting of Ezekiel Cheever. The following
is in that of John Hathorne:--

     "Salem Village, March the 1st, 1692.--Sarah Good, upon
     examination, denied the matter of fact (viz.) that she ever
     used any witchcraft, or hurt the abovesaid children, or any
     of them.

     "The abovenamed children, being all present, positively
     accused her of hurting of them sundry times within this two
     months, and also that morning. Sarah Good denied that she
     had been at their houses in said time or near them, or had
     done them any hurt. All the abovesaid children then present
     accused her face to face; upon which they were all
     dreadfully tortured and tormented for a short space of time;
     and, the affliction and tortures being over, they charged
     said Sarah Good again that she had then so tortured them,
     and came to them and did it, although she was personally
     then kept at a considerable distance from them.

     "Sarah Good being asked if that she did not then hurt them,
     who did it; and the children being again tortured, she
     looked upon them, and said that it was one of them we
     brought into the house with us. We asked her who it was: she
     then answered, and said it was Sarah Osburn, and Sarah
     Osburn was then under custody, and not in the house; and the
     children, being quickly after recovered out of their fit,
     said that it was Sarah Good and also Sarah Osburn that then
     did hurt and torment or afflict them, although both of them
     at the same time at a distance or remote from them
     personally. There were also sundry other questions put to
     her, and answers given thereunto by her according as is also
     given in."

It will be noticed that the examination was conducted in the form of
questions put by the magistrate, Hathorne, based upon a foregone
conclusion of the prisoner's guilt, and expressive of a conviction,
all along on his part, that the evidence of "the afflicted" against
her amounted to, and was, absolute demonstration. It will also be
noticed, that, severe as was the opinion of her husband in reference
to her general conduct, he could not be made to say that he had ever
noticed any thing in her of the nature of witchcraft. The torments the
girls affected to experience in looking at her must have produced an
overwhelming effect on the crowd, as they did on the magistrate, and
even on the poor, amazed creature herself. She did not seem to doubt
the reality of their sufferings. In this, and in all cases, it must be
remembered that the account of the examination comes to us from those
who were under the wildest excitement against the prisoners; that no
counsel was allowed them; that, if any thing was suffered to be said
in their defence by others, it has failed to reach us; that the
accused persons were wholly unaccustomed to such scenes and exposures,
unsuspicious of the perils of a cross-examination, or of an
inquisition conducted with a design to entrap and ensnare; and that
what they did say was liable to be misunderstood, as well as
misrepresented. We cannot hear their story. All we know is from
parties prejudiced, to the highest degree, against them. Sarah Good
was an unfortunate and miserable woman in her circumstances and
condition: but, from all that appears on the record, making due
allowance for the credulity, extravagance, prejudice, folly, or
malignity of the witnesses; giving full effect to every thing that can
claim the character of substantial force alleged against her, it is
undeniable, that there was not, beyond the afflicted girls, a particle
of evidence to sustain the charge on which she was arraigned; and
that, in the worst aspect of her case, she was an object for
compassion, rather than punishment. Altogether, the proceedings
against her, which terminated with her execution, were cruel and
shameful to the highest degree.

On the conclusion of her examination, she was removed from the
meeting-house, and Sarah Osburn brought in. Her selection, as one of
the persons to be first cried out upon, was judicious. The public mind
was prepared to believe the charge against her. Her original name was
Sarah Warren. She was married, April 5, 1662, to Robert Prince, who
belonged to a leading family, and owned a valuable farm. He died
early, leaving her with two young children, James and Joseph.

In the early colonial period, it was the custom for persons who
desired to come from the old country to America, but had not the means
to defray the expenses of the passage, to let or sell themselves, for
a greater or less length of time, to individuals residing here who
needed their service. The practice continued down to the present
century. Emigrants who thus sold themselves for a period of years were
called "redemptioners." Alexander Osburn came over from Ireland in
this character. The widow of Robert Prince bought out the residue of
his time from the person to whom he was thus under contract, for
fifteen pounds, and employed him to carry on her farm. After a while,
she married him. This, it is probable, gave rise to some criticism;
and, as her boys grew up, became more and more disagreeable to them.
The marriage, as was natural, led to unhappy results. In 1720, after
Osburn had been dead some years, a curious case was brought into
court, in which the sons of Robert Prince testified that Osburn
treated their mother and them with great cruelty and barbarity. They
had become of age before their mother's death, and had signed their
names to a deed conveying away land belonging to their patrimony. The
object of the suit was to invalidate the conveyance by proving that
they were compelled by Osburn to sign the deed, he using threats and
violence upon them at the time. There was an extraordinary conflict of
testimony in the trial; some witnesses strongly corroborating the
accusations of the Princes, and some equally strong in vindication of
the character of Osburn. It was shown, that, in the opinion of several
of his neighbors, he was an industrious, respectable, and worthy
person. It is difficult to determine the precise merits of the case.
After the death of his wife, Osburn married Ruth, a daughter of
William Cantlebury, and widow of William Sibley. She was a woman of
unquestioned excellence of character, and of a large landed estate.
Osburn was her third husband, the first having been Thomas Small.
After her marriage to Osburn, he and she joined the church, and were
reputable persons in all respects. He was well regarded as a citizen,
and often on the parish committee. Neither he nor the widow Sibley
appear to have been implicated in the witchcraft proceedings in any
other particular than that he testified that his then wife Sarah had
not been for some time at meeting. There is no indication that this
was volunteer testimony. He and his wife Ruth were among the firmest
opponents of Mr. Parris. There is no mention of his having had
children by either of his American wives. His son John, who probably
came with him to the country, was an inhabitant of the Village; and
his name is on the rate-list, for the last time, in 1718, his father
having died some years before. The Osborne family, in this part of the
country, does not appear to have sprung from this source.

Without attempting to decide where, or in what proportions, the blame
is to be laid, the fact is evident, that the marriage of the widow
Sarah Prince to Alexander Osburn was an unhappy one. Her mind became
depressed, if not distracted. For some time, she had been bedridden.
Of course, as she had occupied a respectable social position, and was
a woman of property, her case naturally gave rise to scandal. Rumor
was busy and gossip rife in reference to her; and it was quite natural
that she should have been suggested for the accusing girls to pitch
upon. The following is an account of her examination by the
magistrates, in the handwriting of John Hathorne:--

     "Sarah Osburne, upon examination, denied the matter of fact,
     viz., that she ever understood or used any witchcraft, or
     hurt any of the abovesaid children.

     "The children above named, being all personally present,
     accused her face to face; which, being done, they were all
     hurt, afflicted, and tortured very much; which, being over,
     and they out of their fits, they said that said Sarah
     Osburne did then come to them, and hurt them, Sarah Osburne
     being then kept at a distance personally from them. Sarah
     Osburne was asked why she then hurt them. She denied it. It
     being asked of her how she could so pinch and hurt them, and
     yet she be at that distance personally from them, she
     answered she did not then hurt them, nor ever did. She was
     asked who, then, did it, or who she employed to do it. She
     answered she did not know that the Devil goes about in her
     likeness to do any hurt. Sarah Osburne, being told that
     Sarah Good, one of her companions, had, upon examination,
     accused her, she, notwithstanding, denied the same,
     according to her examination, which is more at large given
     in, as therein will appear."

The following is in the handwriting of Ezekiel Cheever:--

     "_Sarah Osburn her Examination._

     "What evil spirit have you familiarity with?--None.

     "Have you made no contract with the Devil?--No: I never saw
     the Devil in my life.

     "Why do you hurt these children?--I do not hurt them.

     "Who do you employ, then, to hurt them?--I employ nobody.

     "What familiarity have you with Sarah Good?--None: I have
     not seen her these two years.

     "Where did you see her then?--One day, agoing to town.

     "What communications had you with her?--I had none, only
     'How do you do?' or so. I do not know her by name.

     "What did you call her, then?

     "(Osburn made a stand at that; at last, said she called her
     Sarah.)

     "Sarah Good saith that it was you that hurt the children.--I
     do not know that the Devil goes about in my likeness to do
     any hurt.

     "Mr. Hathorne desired all the children to stand up, and look
     upon her, and see if they did know her, which they all did;
     and every one of them said that this was one of the women
     that did afflict them, and that they had constantly seen her
     in the very habit that she was now in. Three evidences
     declared that she said this morning, that she was more like
     to be bewitched than that she was a witch. Mr. Hathorne
     asked her what made her say so. She answered that she was
     frighted one time in her sleep, and either saw, or dreamed
     that she saw, a thing like an Indian all black, which did
     pinch her in her neck, and pulled her by the back part of
     her head to the door of the house.

     "Did you never see any thing else?--No.

     "(It was said by some in the meeting-house, that she had
     said that she would never believe that lying spirit any
     more.)

     "What lying spirit is this? Hath the Devil ever deceived
     you, and been false to you?--I do not know the Devil. I
     never did see him.

     "What lying spirit was it, then?--It was a voice that I
     thought I heard.

     "What did it propound to you?--That I should go no more to
     meeting; but I said I would, and did go the next
     sabbath-day.

     "Were you never tempted further?--No.

     "Why did you yield thus far to the Devil as never to go to
     meeting since?--Alas! I have been sick, and not able to go.

     "Her husband and others said that she had not been at
     meeting three years and two months."

The foregoing illustrates the unfairness practised by the examining
magistrate. He took for granted, as we shall find to have been the
case in all instances, the guilt of the prisoner, and endeavored to
entangle her by leading questions, thus involving her in
contradiction. By the force of his own assumptions, he had compelled
Sarah Good to admit the reality of the sufferings of the girls, and
that they must be caused by some one. The amount of what she had said
was, that, if caused by one or the other of them, "then it must be
Osburn," for she was sure of her own innocence. This expression, to
which she was driven in self-exculpation, was perverted by the
reporter, Ezekiel Cheever, and by the magistrate, into an indirect
confession and a direct accusation of Osburn. In the absence of Good,
the magistrate told Osburn that Good had confessed and accused her.
This was a misrepresentation of one, and a false and fraudulent trick
upon the other. Considering the feeble condition of Sarah Osburn
generally, the snares by which she was beset, the distressing and
bewildering circumstances in which she was placed, and the infirm
state of her reason, as evidenced in her statement of what she saw, or
dreamed that she saw and heard,--not having a clear idea which,--her
answers, as reported by the prosecutors, show that her broken and
disordered mind was essentially truthful and innocent.

Sarah Osburn was removed from the meeting-house, and Tituba brought in
and examined, as follows:--

     "Tituba, what evil spirit have you familiarity with?--None.

     "Why do you hurt these children?--I do not hurt them.

     "Who is it then?--The Devil, for aught I know.

     "Did you never see the Devil?--The Devil came to me, and bid
     me serve him.

     "Who have you seen?--Four women sometimes hurt the children.

     "Who were they?--Goody Osburn and Sarah Good, and I do not
     know who the others were. Sarah Good and Osburn would have
     me hurt the children, but I would not.

     "(She further saith there was a tall man of Boston that she
     did see.)

     "When did you see them?--Last night, at Boston.

     "What did they say to you?--They said, 'Hurt the children.'

     "And did you hurt them?--No: there is four women and one
     man, they hurt the children, and then they lay all upon me;
     and they tell me, if I will not hurt the children, they will
     hurt me.

     "But did you not hurt them?--Yes; but I will hurt them no
     more.

     "Are you not sorry that you did hurt them?--Yes.

     "And why, then, do you hurt them?--They say, 'Hurt children,
     or we will do worse to you.'

     "What have you seen?--A man come to me, and say, 'Serve me.'

     "What service?--Hurt the children: and last night there was
     an appearance that said, 'Kill the children;' and, if I
     would not go on hurting the children, they would do worse to
     me.

     "What is this appearance you see?--Sometimes it is like a
     hog, and sometimes like a great dog.

     "(This appearance she saith she did see four times.)

     "What did it say to you?--The black dog said, 'Serve me;'
     but I said, 'I am afraid.' He said, if I did not, he would
     do worse to me.

     "What did you say to it?--I will serve you no longer. Then
     he said he would hurt me; and then he looks like a man, and
     threatens to hurt me. (She said that this man had a
     yellow-bird that kept with him.) And he told me he had more
     pretty things that he would give me, if I would serve him.

     "What were these pretty things?--He did not show me them.

     "What else have you seen?--Two cats; a red cat, and a black
     cat.

     "What did they say to you?--They said, 'Serve me.'

     "When did you see them?--Last night; and they said, 'Serve
     me;' but I said I would not.

     "What service?--She said, hurt the children.

     "Did you not pinch Elizabeth Hubbard this morning?--The man
     brought her to me, and made pinch her.

     "Why did you go to Thomas Putnam's last night, and hurt his
     child?--They pull and haul me, and make go.

     "And what would they have you do?--Kill her with a knife.

     "(Lieutenant Fuller and others said at this time, when the
     child saw these persons, and was tormented by them, that she
     did complain of a knife,--that they would have her cut her
     head off with a knife.)

     "How did you go?--We ride upon sticks, and are there
     presently.

     "Do you go through the trees or over them?--We see nothing,
     but are there presently.

     "Why did you not tell your master?--I was afraid: they said
     they would cut off my head if I told.

     "Would you not have hurt others, if you could?--They said
     they would hurt others, but they could not.

     "What attendants hath Sarah Good?--A yellow-bird, and she
     would have given me one.

     "What meat did she give it?--It did suck her between her
     fingers.

     "Did you not hurt Mr. Curren's child?--Goody Good and Goody
     Osburn told that they did hurt Mr. Curren's child, and would
     have had me hurt him too; but I did not.

     "What hath Sarah Osburn?--Yesterday she had a thing with a
     head like a woman, with two legs and wings.

     "(Abigail Williams, that lives with her uncle Mr. Parris,
     said that she did see the same creature, and it turned into
     the shape of Goodie Osburn.)

     "What else have you seen with Osburn?--Another thing, hairy:
     it goes upright like a man, it hath only two legs.

     "Did you not see Sarah Good upon Elizabeth Hubbard, last
     Saturday?--I did see her set a wolf upon her to afflict her.

     "(The persons with this maid did say that she did complain
     of a wolf. She further said that she saw a cat with Good at
     another time.)

     "What clothes doth the man go in?--He goes in black clothes;
     a tall man, with white hair, I think.

     "How doth the woman go?--In a white hood, and a black hood
     with a top-knot.

     "Do you see who it is that torments these children
     now?--Yes: it is Goody Good; she hurts them in her own
     shape.

     "Who is it that hurts them now?--I am blind now: I cannot
     see.

     "Written by EZEKIEL CHEEVER.

     "SALEM VILLAGE, March the 1st, 1692."

Another report of Tituba's examination has been preserved, and may be
found in the second volume of the collection edited by Samuel G.
Drake, entitled the "Witchcraft Delusion in New England." It is in the
handwriting of Jonathan Corwin, very full and minute, and shows that
the Indian woman was familiar with all the ridiculous and monstrous
fancies then prevalent. The details of her statement cover nearly the
whole ground of them. While indicating, in most respects, a mind at
the lowest level of general intelligence, they give evidence of
cunning and wariness in the highest degree. This document is also
valuable, as it affords information about particulars, incidentally
mentioned and thus rescued from oblivion, which serve to bring back
the life of the past. Tituba describes the dresses of some of the
witches: "A black silk hood, with a white silk hood under it, with
top-knots." One of them wore "a serge coat, with a white cap." The
Devil appeared "in black clothes sometimes, sometimes serge coat of
other color." She speaks of the "lean-to chamber" in the parsonage,
and describes an aërial night ride "up" to Thomas Putnam's. "How did
you go? What did you ride upon?" asked the wondering magistrate. "I
ride upon a stick, or pole, and Good and Osburn behind me: we ride
taking hold of one another; don't know how we go, for I saw no trees
nor path, but was presently there when we were up." In both reports,
Tituba describes, quite graphically, the likenesses in which the Devil
appeared to his confederates; but Corwin gives the details more fully
than Cheever. What the latter reports of the appearances in which the
Devil accompanied Osburn, the former amplifies. "The thing with two
legs and wings, and a face like a woman," "turns" into a full woman.
The "hairy thing" becomes "a thing all over hairy, all the face hairy,
and a long nose, and I don't know how to tell how the face looks; is
about two or three feet high, and goeth upright like a man; and, last
night, it stood before the fire in Mr. Parris's hall."

It is quite evident that the part played by the Indian woman on this
occasion was pre-arranged. She had, from the first, been concerned
with the circle of girls in their necromantic operations; and her
statements show the materials out of which their ridiculous and
monstrous stories were constructed. She said that there were four who
"hurt the children." Upon being pressed by the magistrate to tell who
they were, she named Osburn and Good, but did "not know who the others
were." Two others were marked; but it was not thought best to bring
them out until these three examinations had first been made to tell
upon the public mind. Tituba had been apprised of Elizabeth Hubbard's
story, that she had been "pinched" that morning; and, as well as
"Lieutenant Fuller and others," had heard of the delirious exclamation
of Thomas Putnam's sick child during the night. "Abigail Williams,
that lives with her uncle Parris," had communicated to the Indian
slave the story of "the woman with two legs and wings." In fact, she
had been fully admitted to their councils, and made acquainted with
all the stories they were to tell. But, when it became necessary to
avoid specifications touching parties whose names it had been decided
not to divulge at that stage of the business, the wily old servant
escapes further interrogation, "I am blind now: I cannot see."

Proceedings connected with these examinations were continued several
days. The result appears, in the handwriting of John Hathorne, as
follows:--

     "Salem Village, March 1, 1691/2.--Tituba, an Indian woman,
     brought before us by Constable Jos. Herrick, of Salem, upon
     suspicion of witchcraft by her committed, according to the
     complaint of Jos. Hutchinson and Thomas Putnam, &c., of
     Salem Village, as appears per warrant granted, Salem, 29th
     February, 1691/2. Tituba, upon examination, and after some
     denial, acknowledged the matter of fact, as, according to
     her examination given in, more fully will appear, and who
     also charged Sarah Good and Sarah Osburn with the same.

     "Salem Village, March the 1st, 1691/2.--Sarah Good, Sarah
     Osburn, and Tituba, an Indian woman, all of Salem Village,
     being this day brought before us, upon suspicion of
     witchcraft, &c., by them and every one of them committed;
     Tituba, an Indian woman, acknowledging the matter of fact,
     and Sarah Osburn and Sarah Good denying the same before us;
     but there appearing, in all their examinations, sufficient
     ground to secure them all. And, in order to further
     examination, they were all _per mittimus_ sent to the jails
     in the county of Essex.

     "Salem, March 2.--Sarah Osburn again examined, and also
     Tituba, as will appear in their examinations given in.
     Tituba again acknowledged the fact, and also accused the
     other two.

     "Salem, March 3.--Sarah Osburn, and Tituba, Indian, again
     examined. The examination now given in. Tituba again said
     the same.

     "Salem, March 5.--Sarah Good and Tituba again examined; and,
     in their examination, Tituba acknowledged the same she did
     formerly, and accused the other two above said.

     [Illustration: [signatures]]

     "Salem, March the 7th, 1691/2.--Sarah Good, Sarah Osburn,
     and Tituba, an Indian woman, all sent to the jail in Boston,
     according to their _mittimuses_, then sent to their
     Majesties' jail-keeper."

It will be noticed that the magistrates did not venture to put into
this their final record, what they had unfairly tried to make Sarah
Osborn believe, that Sarah Good had been a witness against her. The
jail at Ipswich was at a distance of at least ten miles from the
village meeting-house, by any road that could then have been
travelled. The transference of the prisoners day after day must have
been very fatiguing to a sick woman like Sarah Osburn. Sarah Good
seems to have been able to bear it. Samuel Braybrook, an assistant
constable, having charge of her, says, that, on the way to Ipswich,
she "leaped off her horse three times;" that she "railed against the
magistrates, and endeavored to kill herself." He further testified,
that, at the very time she was performing these feats, Thomas Putnam's
daughter, "at her father's house, declared the same." As Braybrook was
many miles from Thomas Putnam's house, at the moment when his
wonderful daughter exercised this miraculous extent of vision, it
would have been more satisfactory to have had some other testimony to
the fact. I mention this to show of what stuff the evidence in these
cases was made, and the credulity with which every thing was
swallowed. The prisoners were put to examination each day.

Osburn and Good steadily maintained their innocence. Tituba all along
declared herself guilty, and accused the other two of having been
with her in confederacy with the Devil. Mr. Parris made the following
deposition, in relation to these examinations, to which he
subsequently swore in Court, at the trial of Sarah Good:--

     "THE DEPOSITION OF SAM: PARRIS, aged about thirty and nine
     years.--Testifieth and saith, that Elizabeth Parris, Jr., and
     Abigail Williams, and Ann Putnam, Jr., and Elizabeth Hubbard,
     were most grievously and several times tortured during the
     examination of Sarah Good, Sarah Osburn, and Tituba, Indian,
     before the magistrates at Salem Village, 1 March, 1692. And
     the said Tituba being the last of the above said that was
     examined, they, the above said afflicted persons, were
     grievously distressed until the said Indian began to confess,
     and then they were immediately all quiet the rest of the said
     Indian woman's examination. Also Thomas Putnam, aged about
     forty years, and Ezekiel Cheever, aged about thirty and six
     years, testify to the whole of the above said; and all the
     three deponents aforesaid further testify, that, after the
     said Indian began to confess, she was herself very much
     afflicted, and in the face of authority at the same time, and
     openly charged the abovesaid Good and Osburn as the persons
     that afflicted her, the aforesaid Indian."

By comparing these depositions with the other documents I have
presented, it will be seen how admirably the whole affair was
arranged, so far as concerned the part played by Tituba. She commences
her testimony by declaring her innocence. The afflicted children are
instantly thrown into torments, which, however, subside as soon as
she begins to confess. Immediately after commencing her confession,
and as she proceeds in it, she herself becomes tormented "in the face
of authority," before the eyes of the magistrates and the awestruck
crowd. Her power to afflict ceases as she breaks loose from her
compact with the Devil, who sends some unseen confederate, not then
brought to light, to wreak his vengeance upon her for having
confessed. Tituba, as well as the girls, showed herself an adept in
the arts taught in the circle.

All we know of Sarah Osburn beyond this date are the following items
in the Boston jailer's bill "against the country," dated May 29, 1692:
"To chains for Sarah Good and Sarah Osburn, 14 shillings:" "To the
keeping of Sarah Osburn, from the 7th of March to the 10th of May,
when she died, being nine weeks and two days, £1. 3_s._ 5_d._"

The only further information we have of Tituba is from Calef, who
says, "The account she since gives of it is, that her master did beat
her, and otherwise abuse her, to make her confess and accuse (such as
he called) her sister-witches; and that whatsoever she said by way of
confessing or accusing others was the effect of such usage: her master
refused to pay her fees, unless she would stand to what she had said.
Calef further states that she laid in jail until finally "sold for her
fees." The jailer's charge for her "diet in prison for a year and a
month" appears in a shape that corroborates Calef's statements, which
were prepared for publication in 1697, and printed in London in 1700.
Although zealously devoted to the work of exposing the enormities
connected with the witchcraft prosecutions, there is no ground to
dispute the veracity of Calef as to matters of fact. What he says of
the declarations of Tituba, subsequent to her examination, is quite
consistent with a critical analysis of the details of the record of
that examination. It can hardly be doubted, whatever the amount of
severity employed to make her act the part assigned her, that she was
used as an instrument to give effect to the delusion.

Now let us consider the state of things that had been brought about in
the village, and in the surrounding country, at the close of the first
week in March, 1692. The terrible sufferings of the girls in Mr.
Parris's family and of their associates, for the two preceding months,
had become known far and wide. A universal sympathy was awakened in
their behalf; and a sentiment of horror sunk deep into all hearts, at
the dread demonstration of the diabolical rage in their afflicted and
tortured persons. A few, very few, distrusted; but the great majority,
ninety-nine in a hundred of all the people, were completely swept into
the torrent. Nathaniel Putnam and Nathaniel Ingersoll were entirely
deluded, and continued so to the end. Even Joseph Hutchinson was, for
a while, carried away. The physicians had all given their opinion that
the girls were suffering from an "evil hand." The neighboring
ministers, after a day's fasting and prayer, and a scrutinizing
inspection of the condition of the afflicted children, had given it,
as the result of their most solemn judgment, that it was a case of
witchcraft. Persons from the neighboring towns had come to the place,
and with their own eyes received demonstration of the same fact. Mr.
Parris made it the topic of his public prayers and preaching. The
girls, Sunday after Sunday, were under the malign influence, to the
disturbance and affrightment of the congregation. In all companies, in
all families, all the day long, the sufferings and distraction
occurring in the houses of Mr. Parris, Thomas Putnam, and others, and
in the meeting-house, were topics of excited conversation; and every
voice was loud in demanding, every mind earnest to ascertain, who were
the persons, in confederacy with the Devil, thus torturing, pinching,
convulsing, and bringing to the last extremities of mortal agony,
these afflicted girls. Every one felt, that, if the guilty authors of
the mischief could not be discovered, and put out of the way, no one
was safe for a moment. At length, when the girls cried out upon Good,
Osburn, and Tituba, there was a general sense of satisfaction and
relief. It was thought that Satan's power might be checked. The
selection of the first victims was well made. They were just the kind
of persons whom the public prejudice and credulity were prepared to
suspect and condemn. Their examination was looked for with the utmost
interest, and all flocked to witness the proceedings.

In considering the state of mind of the people, as they crowded into
and around the old meeting-house, we can have no difficulty in
realizing the tremendous effects of what there occurred. It was felt
that then, on that spot, the most momentous crisis in the world's
history had come. A crime, in comparison with which all other crimes
sink out of notice, was being notoriously and defiantly committed in
their midst. The great enemy of God and man was let loose among them.
What had filled the hearts of mankind for ages, the world over, with
dread apprehension, was come to pass; and in that village the great
battle, on whose issue the preservation of the kingdom of the Lord on
the earth was suspended, had begun. Indeed, no language, no imagery,
no conception of ours, can adequately express the feeling of awful and
terrible solemnity with which all were overwhelmed. No body of men
ever convened in a more highly wrought state of excitement than
pervaded that assembly, when the magistrates entered, in all their
stern authority, and the scene opened on the 1st of March, 1692. A
minister, probably Mr. Parris, began, according to the custom of the
times, with prayer. From what we know of his skill and talent in
meeting such occasions, it may well be supposed that his language and
manner heightened still more the passions of the hour. The marshal, of
tall and imposing stature and aspect, accompanied by his constables,
brought in the prisoners. Sarah Good, a poverty-stricken, wandering,
and wretched victim of ill-fortune and ill-usage, was put to the bar.
Every effort was made by the examining magistrate, aided by the
officious interference of the marshal, or other deluded or
evil-disposed persons,--who, like him, were permitted to interpose
with charges or abusive expressions,--to overawe and confound, involve
in contradictions, and mislead the poor creature, and force her to
confess herself guilty and accuse others. In due time, the "afflicted
children" were brought in; and a scene ensued, such as no person in
that crowd or in that generation had ever witnessed before.
Immediately on being confronted with the prisoner, and meeting her
eye, they fell, as if struck dead, to the floor; or screeched in
agony; or went into fearful spasms or convulsive fits; or cried out
that they were pricked with pins, pinched, or throttled by invisible
hands. They were severally brought up to the prisoner, and, upon
touching her person, instantly became calm, quiet, and fully restored
to their senses. With one voice they all declared that Sarah Good had
thus tormented them, by her power as a witch in league with the Devil.
The truth of this charge, in the effect produced by the malign
influence proceeding from her, was thus visible to all eyes. All saw,
too, how instantly upon touching her the diabolical effect ceased; the
malignant fluid passing back, like an electric stream, into the body
of the witch. The spectacle was repeated once and again, the acting
perfect, and the delusion consummated. The magistrates and all present
considered the guilt of the prisoner demonstrated, and regarded her as
wilfully and wickedly obstinate in not at once confessing what her
eyes, as well as theirs, saw. Her refusal to confess was considered as
the highest proof of her guilt. They passed judgment against her,
committed her to the marshal, who hurried her to prison, bound her
with cords, and loaded her with irons; for it was thought that no
ordinary fastenings could hold a witch. Similar proceedings, with
suitable variations, were had with Sarah Osburn and Tituba. The
confession of the last-named, the immediate relief thereafter of the
afflicted children, and the dreadful torments which Tituba herself
experienced, on the spot, from the unseen hand of the Devil wreaking
vengeance upon her, put the finishing touch to the delusion. The
excitement was kept up, and spread far and wide, by the officers and
magistrates riding in cavalcade, day after day, to and from the town
and village; and by the constables, with their assistants, carrying
their manacled prisoners from jail to jail in Ipswich, Salem, and
Boston.

The point was now reached when the accusers could safely strike at
higher game. But time was taken to mature arrangements. Great
curiosity was felt to know who the other two were whom Tituba saw in
connection with Good and Osburn in their hellish operations. The girls
continued to suffer torments and fall in fits, and were constantly
urged by large numbers of people, going from house to house to witness
their sufferings, to reveal who the witches were that still afflicted
them. When all was prepared, they began to cry out, with more or less
distinctness; at first, in significant but general descriptions, and
at last calling names. The next victim was also well chosen. An
account has been given, in the First Part, of the notoriety which
circumstances had attached to Giles Corey. In 1691 he became a member
of the church, being then (Vol. I. p. 182) eighty years of age. Four
daughters, all probably by his first wife Margaret, the only children
of whom there is any mention, were married to John Moulton, John
Parker, and Henry Crosby, of Salem, and William Cleaves, of Beverly.
On the 11th of April, 1664, Corey was married to Mary Britt, who died,
as appears by the inscription on her gravestone in the old Salem
burial-ground, Aug. 27, 1684. Martha was his third wife. Her age is
unknown. It was entered on the record of the village church, at the
time of her admission to it, April 27, 1690; but the figures are worn
away from the edge of the page. She was a very intelligent and devout
person.

When the proceedings relating to witchcraft began, she did not approve
of them, and expressed her want of faith in the "afflicted children."
She discountenanced the whole affair, and would not follow the
multitude to the examinations; but was said to have spoken freely of
the course of the magistrates, saying that their eyes were blinded,
and that she could open them. It seemed to her clear that they were
violating common sense and the Word of God, and she was confident that
she could convince them of their errors. Instead of falling into the
delusion, she applied herself with renewed earnestness to keep her own
mind under the influence of prayer, and spent more time in devotion
than ever before. Her husband, however, was completely carried away by
the prevalent fanaticism, believed all he heard, and frequented the
examinations and the exhibitions of the afflicted children. This
disagreement became quite serious. Her preferring to stay at home,
shunning the proceedings, and expressing her disapprobation of what
was going on, caused an estrangement between them. Her peculiar course
created comment, in which he and two of his sons-in-law took part.
Some strong expressions were used by him, because she acted so
strangely at variance with everybody else. Her spending so much time
on her knees in devotion was looked upon as a matter of suspicion. It
was said that she tried to prevent him from following up the
examinations, and went so far as to remove the saddle from the horse
brought up to convey him to some meeting at the village connected with
the witchcraft excitement. Angry words, uttered by him, were heard and
repeated. As she was a woman of notable piety, a professor of
religion, and a member of the church, it was evident that her case, if
she were proceeded against, would still more heighten the panic, and
convulse the public mind. It would give ground for an idea which the
managers of the affair desired to circulate, that the Devil had
succeeded in making inroads into the very heart of the church, and was
bringing into confederacy with him aged and eminent church-members,
who, under color of their profession, threatened to extend his
influence to the overthrow of all religion. It was, indeed,
established in the popular sentiments, as a sign and mark of the
Devil's coming, that many professing godliness would join his
standard.

For a day or two, it was whispered round that persons in great repute
for piety were in the diabolical confederacy, and about to be
unmasked. The name of Martha Corey, whose open opposition to the
proceedings had become known, was passed among the girls in an
under-breath, and caught from one to another among those managing the
affair. On the 12th of March, Edward Putnam and Ezekiel Cheever,
having heard Ann Putnam declare that Goody Corey did often appear to
her, and torture her by pinching and otherwise, thought it their duty
to go to her, and see what she would say to this complaint; "she being
in church covenant with us." They mounted their horses about "the
middle of the afternoon," and first went to the house of Thomas Putnam
to see his daughter Ann, to learn from her what clothes Goody Corey
appeared to her in, in order to judge whether she might not have been
mistaken in the person. The girl told them, that Goody Corey, knowing
that they contemplated making this visit, had just appeared in spirit
to her, but had blinded her so that she could not tell what clothes
she wore. Highly wrought upon by the extraordinary statement of the
girl, which they received with perfect credulity, the two brethren
remounted, and pursued their way. Goody Corey had heard that her name
had been bandied about by the accusing girls: she also knew that it
was one of their arts to pretend to see the clothes people were
wearing at the time their spectres appeared to them. This required,
indeed, no great amount of necromancy; as it is not probable that
there was much variety in the costume of farmer's wives, at that time,
while about their ordinary domestic engagements.

They found her alone in her house. As soon as they commenced
conversation, "in a smiling manner she said, 'I know what you are come
for; you are come to talk with me about being a witch, but I am none:
I cannot help people's talking of me.'" Edward Putnam acknowledged
that their visit was in consequence of complaints made against her by
the afflicted children. She inquired whether they had undertaken to
describe the clothes she then wore. They answered that they had not,
and proceeded to repeat what Ann Putnam had said to them about her
blinding her so that she could not see her clothes. At this she
smiled, no doubt at Ann's cunning artifice to escape having to say
what dress she then had on. She declared to the two brethren, that
"she did not think that there were any witches." After considerable
talk, in which they did not get much to further their purpose, they
took their leave. The account of this interview, given by Putnam and
Cheever, indicates that Martha Corey was a sensible, enlightened, and
sprightly woman, perfectly free from the delusion of the day,
courteous in her manners and bearing, and a Christian, well grounded
in Scripture.

The two brethren returned forthwith to Thomas Putnam's house. Ann
told them that Goody Corey had not troubled her, nor her spectre
appeared, in their absence. She was not inclined to afford them an
opportunity to apply the test of the dress. Both the women showed
great acuteness and caution. As Corey expected the visit, and had
heard that the girls pretended to be able to say what dress persons
were wearing, she probably had attired herself in an unusual way on
the occasion, to put them at fault, and expose the falseness of their
claims to preternatural knowledge; and Ann Putnam--her sagacity
suggesting the risk she was running in the matter of Corey's
dress--took refuge in the pretence of blindness. The brethren were too
much under delusion to see through the sharp practice of both of them,
but considered the fact of Corey's inquiring of them whether Ann
described her dress, as, under the circumstances, proof positive
against the former.

Wishing to make assurance doubly sure, and to fasten the charge upon
Martha Corey, the managers of the affair sent for her to come to the
house of Thomas Putnam two days after this conference. Edward Putnam
was present, and testified that his niece Ann, immediately upon the
entrance of Goodwife Corey, experienced the most dreadful convulsions
and tortures and distinctly and positively declared that Corey was the
author of her sufferings. This was regarded as conclusive evidence;
and, on the 19th of March, a warrant was issued for her arrest. She
was brought to the house of Nathaniel Ingersoll, on Monday the 21st;
and the following is the account of her examination, in the
handwriting of Mr. Parris. The proceedings took place in the
meeting-house at the village. They were introduced by a prayer from
the Rev. Nicholas Noyes. On some of these occasions Mr. Hale and
perhaps others, but usually Mr. Noyes or Mr. Parris officiated. We may
suppose, from what we know of their general deportment in connection
with these scenes, that their performances, under the cover of a
devotional exercise, expressed and enforced a decided prejudgment of
the case in hand against the prisoners, and partook of the character
of indictments as much as of prayers.

     "_The Examination of Martha Corey._

     "Mr. HATHORNE: You are now in the hands of
     authority. Tell me, now, why you hurt these persons.--I do
     not.

     "Who doth?--Pray, give me leave to go to prayer.

     "(This request was made sundry times.)

     "We do not send for you to go to prayer; but tell me why you
     hurt these.--I am an innocent person. I never had to do with
     witchcraft since I was born. I am a gospel woman.

     "Do not you see these complain of you?--The Lord open the
     eyes of the magistrates and ministers: the Lord show his
     power to discover the guilty.

     "Tell us who hurts these children.--I do not know.

     "If you be guilty of this fact, do you think you can hide
     it?--The Lord knows.

     "Well, tell us what you know of this matter.--Why, I am a
     gospel woman; and do you think I can have to do with
     witchcraft too?

     "How could you tell, then, that the child was bid to
     observe what clothes you wore, when some came to speak with
     you?

     "(Cheever interrupted her, and bid her not begin with a lie;
     and so Edward Putnam declared the matter.)

     "Mr. HATHORNE: Who told you that?--He said the
     child said.

     "CHEEVER: You speak falsely.

     "(Then Edward Putnam read again.)

     "Mr. HATHORNE: Why did you ask if the child told
     what clothes you wore?--My husband told me the others told.

     "Who told you about the clothes? Why did you ask that
     question?--Because I heard the children told what clothes
     the others wore.

     "Goodman Corey, did you tell her?

     "(The old man denied that he told her so.)

     "Did you not say your husband told you so?

     "(No answer.)

     "Who hurts these children? Now look upon them.--I cannot
     help it.

     "Did you not say you would tell the truth why you asked that
     question? how came you to the knowledge?--I did but ask.

     "You dare thus to lie in all this assembly. You are now
     before authority. I expect the truth: you promised it. Speak
     now, and tell who told you what clothes.--Nobody.

     "How came you to know that the children would be examined
     what clothes you wore?--Because I thought the child was
     wiser than anybody if she knew.

     "Give an answer: you said your husband told you.--He told me
     the children said I afflicted them.

     "How do you know what they came for? Answer me this truly:
     will you say how you came to know what they came for?--I
     had heard speech that the children said I troubled them, and
     I thought that they might come to examine.

     "But how did you know it?--I thought they did.

     "Did not you say you would tell the truth? who told you what
     they came for?--Nobody.

     "How did you know?--I did think so.

     "But you said you knew so.

     "(CHILDREN: There is a man whispering in her ear.)

     "HATHORNE continued: What did he say to you?--We
     must not believe all that these distracted children say.

     "Cannot you tell what that man whispered?--I saw nobody.

     "But did not you hear?--No.

     "(Here was extreme agony of all the afflicted.)

     "If you expect mercy of God, you must look for it in God's
     way, by confession. Do you think to find mercy by
     aggravating your sins?--A true thing.

     "Look for it, then, in God's way.--So I do.

     "Give glory to God and confess, then.--But I cannot confess.

     "Do not you see how these afflicted do charge you?--We must
     not believe distracted persons.

     "Who do you improve to hurt them?--I improved none.

     "Did not you say our eyes were blinded, you would open
     them?--Yes, to accuse the innocent.

     "(Then Crosby gave in evidence.)

     "Why cannot the girl stand before you?--I do not know.

     "What did you mean by that?--I saw them fall down.

     "It seems to be an insulting speech, as if they could not
     stand before you.--They cannot stand before others.

     "But you said they cannot stand before you. Tell me what
     was that turning upon the spit by you?--You believe the
     children that are distracted. I saw no spit.

     "Here are more than two that accuse you for witchcraft. What
     do you say?--I am innocent.

     "(Then Mr. Hathorne read further of Crosby's evidence.)

     "What did you mean by that,--the Devil could not stand
     before you?

     "(She denied it. Three or four sober witnesses confirmed
     it.)

     "What can I do? Many rise up against me.

     "Why, confess.--So I would, if I were guilty.

     "Here are sober persons. What do you say to them? You are a
     gospel woman; will you lie?

     "(Abigail cried out, 'Next sabbath is sacrament-day; but she
     shall not come there.')

     "I do not care.

     "You charge these children with distraction: it is a note of
     distraction when persons vary in a minute; but these fix
     upon you. This is not the manner of distraction.--When all
     are against me, what can I help it?

     "Now tell me the truth, will you? Why did you say that the
     magistrates' and ministers' eyes were blinded, you would
     open them?

     "(She laughed, and denied it.)

     "Now tell us how we shall know who doth hurt these, if you
     do not?--Can an innocent person be guilty?

     "Do you deny these words?--Yes.

     "Tell us who hurts these. We came to be a terror to
     evil-doers. You say you would open our eyes, we are
     blind.--If you say I am a witch.

     "You said you would show us.

     "(She denied it.)

     "Why do you not now show us?--I cannot tell: I do not know.

     "What did you strike the maid at Mr. Tho. Putnam's with?--I
     never struck her in my life.

     "There are two that saw you strike her with an iron rod.--I
     had no hand in it.

     "Who had? Do you believe these children are bewitched?--They
     may, for aught I know: I have no hand in it.

     "You say you are no witch. Maybe you mean you never
     covenanted with the Devil. Did you never deal with any
     familiar?--No, never.

     "What bird was that the children spoke of?

     "(Then witnesses spoke: What bird was it?)

     "I know no bird.

     "It may be you have engaged you will not confess; but God
     knows.--So he doth.

     "Do you believe you shall go unpunished?--I have nothing to
     do with witchcraft.

     "Why was you not willing your husband should come to the
     former session here?--But he came, for all.

     "Did not you take the saddle off?--I did not know what it
     was for.

     "Did you not know what it was for?--I did not know that it
     would be to any benefit.

     "(Somebody said that she would not have them help to find
     out witches.)

     "Did you not say you would open our eyes? Why do you not?--I
     never thought of a witch.

     "Is it a laughing matter to see these afflicted persons?

     "(She denied it. Several prove it.)

     "Ye are all against me, and I cannot help it.

     "Do not you believe there are witches in the country?--I do
     not know that there is any.

     "Do not you know that Tituba confessed it?--I did not hear
     her speak.

     "I find you will own nothing without several witnesses, and
     yet you will deny for all.

     "(It was noted, when she bit her lip, several of the
     afflicted were bitten. When she was urged upon it that she
     bit her lip, saith she, What harm is there in it?)

     "(Mr. NOYES: I believe it is apparent she
     practiseth witchcraft in the congregation: there is no need
     of images.)

     "What do you say to all these things that are apparent?--If
     you will all go hang me, how can I help it?

     "Were you to serve the Devil ten years? Tell how many.

     "(She laughed. The children cried there was a yellow-bird
     with her. When Mr. Hathorne asked her about it, she laughed.
     When her hands were at liberty, the afflicted persons were
     pinched.)

     "Why do not you tell how the Devil comes in your shape, and
     hurts these? You said you would.--How can I know how?

     "Why did you say you would show us?

     "(She laughed again.)

     "What book is that you would have these children write
     in?--What book? Where should I have a book? I showed them
     none, nor have none, nor brought none.

     "(The afflicted cried out there was a man whispering in her
     ears.)

     "What book did you carry to Mary Walcot?--I carried none. If
     the Devil appears in my shape--

     "(Then Needham said that Parker, some time ago, thought this
     woman was a witch.)

     "Who is your God?--The God that made me.

     "What is his name?--Jehovah.

     "Do you know any other name?--God Almighty.

     "Doth _he_ tell you, that you pray to, that _he_ is God
     Almighty?--Who do I worship but the God that made [me]?

     "How many gods are there?--One.

     "How many persons?--Three.

     "Cannot you say, So there is one God in three blessed
     persons?

     [The answer is destroyed, being written in the fold of the
     paper, and wholly worn off.]

     "Do not you see these children and women are rational and
     sober as their neighbors, when your hands are fastened?

     "(Immediately they were seized with fits: and the
     standers-by said she was squeezing her fingers, her hands
     being eased by them that held them on purpose for trial.

     "Quickly after, the marshal said, 'She hath bit her lip;'
     and immediately the afflicted were in an uproar.)

     "[Tell] why you hurt these, or who doth?

     "(She denieth any hand in it.)

     "Why did you say, if you were a witch, you should have no
     pardon?--Because I am a ---- woman."

     "Salem Village, March the 21st, 1692.--The Reverend Mr.
     Samuel Parris, being desired to take, in writing, the
     examination of Martha Corey, hath returned it, as aforesaid.

     "Upon hearing the aforesaid, and seeing what we did then
     see, together with the charges of the persons then present,
     we committed Martha Corey, the wife of Giles Corey, of Salem
     Farms, unto the gaol in Salem, as _per mittimus_ then given
     out."

     [Illustration: [signatures]]

The foregoing is a full copy of the original document. One of Giles
Corey's daughters, Deliverance, had married, June 5, 1683, Henry
Crosby, who lived on land conveyed to him by her father in the
immediate neighborhood. He was the person whose written testimony was
read by the magistrate. Its purport seems to have been to prove that
Martha Corey had said that the accusing girls could not stand before
her, and that the Devil could not stand before her. She had,
undoubtedly, great confidence in her own innocence, and in the power
of truth and prayer, to silence false accusers, and expressed herself
in the forcible language which Parris's report of the examination
shows that she was well able to use. It is almost amusing to see how
the pride of the magistrates was touched, and their wrath kindled, by
what she was reported to have said, "that the magistrates' and
ministers' eyes were blinded, and that she would open them." It
rankled in Hathorne's breast: he returns to it again and again, and
works himself up to a higher degree of resentment on each recurrence.
Mr. Noyes's ire was roused, and he, too, put in a stroke. It will be
noticed, that she avoided a contradiction of her husband, and could
not be brought to give the names of persons from whom she had received
information. "If you will all go hang me, how can I help it?" "Ye are
all against me." "What can I do, when many rise up against me?" "When
all are against me, what can I [say to] help it?" Situated as she was,
all that she could do was to give them no advantage, or opportunity to
ensnare her, and to avoid compromising others; and it must be allowed
that she showed much presence and firmness of mind. Her request, made
at the opening of the examination, and at "sundry times," to "go to
prayer," somewhat confounded them. She probably was led to make and
urge the request particularly in consequence of the tenor of Mr.
Noyes's prayer at the opening. She felt that it was no more than fair
that there should be a prayer on her side, as well as on the other. It
might well be feared, that, if allowed to offer a prayer, coming from
a person in her situation, an aged professor, and one accustomed to
express herself in devotional exercises, it might produce a deep
impression upon the whole assembly. To refuse such a request had a
hard look; but, as the magistrates saw, it never would have done to
have permitted it. It would have reversed the position of all
concerned. The latter part of the examination has the appearance that
she was suspected to be unsound on a particular article of the
prevalent creed. It is much to be regretted that the abrasion of the
paper at the folding has obliterated her last answer to this part of
the inquisition. It is singular that Mr. Parris has left the blank in
her final answer. Probably she used her customary expression, "I am a
gospel woman." The writing, at this point, is very clear and distinct;
and a vacant space is left, just as it is given above.

The fact that Martha Corey was known to be an eminently religious
person, and very much given to acts of devotion, constituted a serious
obstacle, no doubt, in the way of the prosecutors. Parris's record of
the examination shows how they managed to get over it. They gave the
impression that her frequent and long prayers were addressed to the
Devil.

The disagreement between her and her husband, touching the witchcraft
prosecutions, brought him into a very uncomfortable predicament. With
his characteristic imprudence of speech, he had probably expressed
himself strongly against her unbelief in the sufferings of the girls
and her refusal to attend the exhibitions of their tortures, or the
examination of persons accused. He was, unquestionably, highly shocked
and incensed at her open repudiation of the whole doctrine of
witchcraft. Although he had become, in his old age, a professor and a
fervently religious man, perhaps he fell back, in his resentment of
her course, into his life-long rough phrases, and said that she acted
as though the Devil was in her. He might have said that she prayed
like a witch. Being entirely carried away by the delusion, he had his
own marvellous stories to tell about his cattle's being bewitched,
&c. His talk, undoubtedly, came to the ears of the prosecutors; and
they seem to have taken steps to induce him to come forward as a
witness against her. The following document is among the papers:--

     "The evidence of Giles Corey testifieth and saith, that last
     Saturday, in the evening, sitting by the fire, my wife asked
     me to go to bed. I told her I would go to prayer; and, when
     I went to prayer, I could not utter my desires with any
     sense, nor open my mouth to speak.

     "My wife did perceive it, and came towards me, and said she
     was coming to me.

     "After this, in a little space, I did, according to my
     measure, attend the duty.

     "Some time last week, I fetched an ox, well, out of the
     woods about noon: and, he laying down in the yard, I went to
     raise him to yoke him; but he could not rise, but dragged
     his hinder parts, as if he had been hip-shot. But after did
     rise.

     "I had a cat sometimes last week strangely taken on the
     sudden, and did make me think she would have died presently.
     My wife bid me knock her in the head, but I did not; and
     since, she is well.

     "Another time, going to duties, I was interrupted for a
     space; but afterward I was helped according to my poor
     measure. My wife hath been wont to sit up after I went to
     bed: and I have perceived her to kneel down on the hearth,
     as if she were at prayer, but heard nothing.

     "_At the examination of Sarah_ Good and others, my wife was
     willing

     "March 24, 1692."

The foregoing document does not express the idea that he thought his
wife was a witch. He states what he observed, and what happened to him
and to his cattle. He evidently supposed they were bewitched, and that
he was obstructed, in going to prayer, in a strange manner; but he
does not, in terms, charge it upon her. It gives an interesting
insight of the innermost domestic life of the period, in a farmhouse,
and exhibits striking touches of the character and ways of these two
old people. It illustrates the state of the imagination prevailing
among those who were carried away by the delusion. If an ox had a
sprained muscle, or a cat a fit of indigestion, it was thought to be
the work of an evil hand. Poor old Giles had come late to a religious
life, and, it is to be feared, was a novice in prayer. It is no wonder
that he was not an adept in "uttering his desires," and experienced
occasionally some difficulty in arranging and expressing his
devotional sentiments.

There is something very singular in the appearance of the foregoing
deposition. Purporting to be a piece of testimony, it was not given in
the usual and regular way. It does not indicate before whom it was
made. It is not attested in the ordinary manner; apparently, was not
sworn to in the presence of persons authorized to act in such cases;
was never offered in court or anywhere. It is a disconnected paper
found among the remnants of the miscellaneous collection in the
clerk's office, and is evidently an unfinished document; the words in
Italics, at the close, being erased by a line running through them.

It is probable that the parties who tried to get the old man to
testify against his wife discovered that they could not draw any thing
from him to answer their designs, but that there was danger that his
evidence would be favorable to her, and gave up the attempt to use him
on the occasion. The fact that he would not lend himself to their
purposes perhaps led to resentment on their part, which may explain
the subsequent proceedings against him.

The document, in its chirography, suggests the idea that it was
written by Mr. Noyes, which is not improbable, as Corey was a member
of his congregation and church. Noyes was deeply implicated in the
prosecutions, and violent in driving them on. The handwriting of the
original papers reveals the agency of those who were the most busy in
procuring evidence against persons accused. That of Thomas Putnam
occurs in very many instances. But Mr. Parris was, beyond all others,
the busiest and most active prosecutor. The depositions of the child
Abigail Williams, his niece and a member of his family, were written
by him, as also a great number of others. He took down most of the
examinations, put in a deposition of his own whenever he could, and
was always ready to indorse those of others.

It will be remembered, that, when Tituba was put through her
examination, she said "four women sometimes hurt the children." She
named Good and Osburn, but pretended to have been blinded as to the
others. Martha Corey was, in due time, as we have seen, brought out.
The fourth was the venerable head of a large and prominent family, and
a member of the mother-church in Salem. She had never transferred her
relations to the village church, with which, however, she had
generally worshipped, and probably communed. Being one of the chief
matrons of the place, she was seated in the meeting-house with ladies
of similar age and standing, occupying the same bench or compartment
with the widow of Thomas Putnam, Sr. The women were seated separately
from the men; and the only rule applied among them was eminence in
years and respectability.

It has always been considered strange and unaccountable, that a person
of such acknowledged worth as Rebecca Nurse, of infirm health and
advanced years, should have been selected among the early victims of
the witchcraft prosecutions. Jealousies and prejudices, such as often
infest rural neighborhoods, may have been engendered, in minds open to
such influences, by the prosperity and growing influence of her
family. It may be that animosities kindled by the long and violent
land controversy, with which many parties had been incidentally
connected, lingered in some breasts. There are decided indications,
that the passions awakened by the angry contest between the village
and "Topsfield men," and which the collisions of a half-century had
all along exasperated and hardened, may have been concentrated against
the Nurses. Isaac Easty, whose wife was a sister of Rebecca Nurse, and
the Townes, who were her brothers or near kinsmen, were the leaders
of the Topsfield men. It is a significant circumstance, in this
connection, that to one of the most vehement resolutions passed at
meetings of the inhabitants of the village, against the claims of
Topsfield, Samuel Nurse, her eldest son, and Thomas Preston, her
eldest son-in-law, entered their protest on the record; and, on
another similar occasion, her husband Francis Nurse, her son Samuel,
and two of her sons-in-law, Preston and Tarbell, took the same course.
So far as the family sided with Topsfield in that controversy, it
naturally exposed them to the ill-will of the people of the village.
An analysis of the names and residences of the persons proceeded
against, throughout the prosecutions, will show to what an extent
hostile motives were supplied from this quarter. The families of
Wildes, How, Hobbs, Towne, Easty, and others who were "cried out" upon
by the afflicted children, occupied lands claimed by parties adverse
to the village. What, more than all these causes, was sufficient to
create a feeling against the Nurses, is the fact that they were
opposed to the party which had existed from the beginning in the
parish composed originally of the friends of Bayley. To crown the
whole, when the excitement occasioned by the extraordinary doings in
Mr. Parris's family began to display itself, and the "afflicted
children" were brought into notice, the members of this family, with
the exception, for a time, of Thomas Preston, discountenanced the
whole thing. They absented themselves from meeting, on account of the
disturbances and disorders the girls were allowed to make during the
services of worship, in the congregation, on the Lord's Day.
Unfriendly remarks, from whatever cause, made in the hearing of the
girls, provided subjects for them to act upon. Some persons behind
them, suggesting names in this way, whether carelessly or with
malicious intent, were guilty of all the misery that was created and
blood that was shed.

It became a topic of rumor, that Rebecca Nurse was soon to be brought
out. It reached the ears of her friends, and the following document
comes in at this point:--

     "We whose names are underwritten being desired to go to
     Goodman Nurse his house, to speak with his wife, and to tell
     her that several of the afflicted persons mentioned her; and
     accordingly we went, and we found her in a weak and low
     condition in body as she told us, and had been sick almost a
     week. And we asked how it was otherwise with her: and she
     said she blessed God for it, she had more of his presence in
     this sickness than sometime she have had, but not so much as
     she desired; but she would, with the apostle, press forward
     to the mark; and many other places of Scripture to the like
     purpose. And then, of her own accord, she began to speak of
     the affliction that was amongst them, and in particular of
     Mr. Parris his family, and how she was grieved for them,
     though she had not been to see them, by reason of fits that
     she formerly used to have; for people said it was awful to
     behold: but she pitied them with all her heart, and went to
     God for them. But she said she heard that there was persons
     spoke of that were as innocent as she was, she believed;
     and, after much to this purpose, we told her we heard that
     she was spoken of also. 'Well,' she said, 'if it be so, the
     will of the Lord be done:' she sat still a while, being as
     it were amazed; and then she said, 'Well, as to this thing I
     am as innocent as the child unborn; but surely,' she said,
     'what sin hath God found out in me unrepented of, that he
     should lay such an affliction upon me in my old age?' and,
     according to our best observation, we could not discern that
     she knew what we came for before we told her.

     ISRAEL PORTER,
     ELIZABETH PORTER.

     "To the substance of what is above, we, if called thereto,
     are ready to testify on oath.

     DANIEL ANDREW,
     PETER CLOYSE."

Elizabeth Porter, who joins her husband in making this statement, was
a sister of John Hathorne, the examining magistrate, and the
mother-in-law of Joseph Putnam, who was among the very few that
condemned the proceedings from the first. She stood, therefore,
between the two parties. The character of each of the signers and
indorsers of this interesting paper is sufficient proof that its
statements are truthful. It cannot but excite the most affecting
sensibilities in every breast. This venerable lady, whose conversation
and bearing were so truly saint-like, was an invalid of extremely
delicate condition and appearance, the mother of a large family,
embracing sons, daughters, grandchildren, and one or more
great-grandchildren. She was a woman of piety, and simplicity of
heart. In all probability, she shared in the popular belief on the
subject of witchcraft, and supposed that the sufferings of the
children were real, and that they were afflicted by an "evil hand." At
the very time that she was sorrowfully sympathizing with them and Mr.
Parris's family, and praying for them, they were circulating
suspicions against her, and maturing their plans for her destruction.

Rebecca Nurse was a daughter of William Towne, of Yarmouth, Norfolk
County, England, where she was baptized, Feb. 21, 1621. Her sister
Mary, who married Isaac Easty, was baptized at the same place, Aug.
24, 1634. The records of the First Church at Salem, Sept. 3, 1648,
give the baptism of "Joseph and Sarah, children of Sister Towne."
Sarah was at that time seven years of age. She became the wife of
Edmund Bridges, and afterwards of Peter Cloyse.

On the 23d of March, a warrant was issued, on complaint of Edward
Putnam, and Jonathan, son of John Putnam, for the arrest of "Rebecca,
wife of Francis Nurse;" and the next morning, at eight o'clock, she
was brought to the house of Nathaniel Ingersoll, in the custody of
George Herrick, the marshal of Essex. There were several distinct
indictments, four of which, for having practised "certain detestable
arts called witchcraft" upon Ann Putnam, Mary Walcot, Elizabeth
Hubbard, and Abigail Williams, are preserved. The examination took
place forthwith at the meeting-house. The age, character, connections,
and appearance of the prisoner, made the occasion one of the extremest
interest. Hathorne, the magistrate, began the proceedings by
addressing one of the afflicted: "What do you say? Have you seen this
woman hurt you?" The answer was, "Yes, she beat me this morning."
Hathorne, addressing another of the afflicted, said, "Abigail, have
you been hurt by this woman?" Abigail answered, "Yes." At that point,
Ann Putnam fell into a grievous fit, and, while in her spasms, cried
out that it was Rebecca Nurse who was thus afflicting her. As soon as
Ann's fit was over, and order restored, Hathorne said, "Goody Nurse,
here are two, Ann Putnam the child, and Abigail Williams, complain of
your hurting them. What do you say to it?" The prisoner replied, "I
can say, before my eternal Father, I am innocent, and God will clear
my innocency." Hathorne, apparently touched for the moment by her
language and bearing, said, "Here is never a one in the assembly but
desires it; but, if you be guilty, pray God discover you." Henry
Kenney rose up from the body of the assembly to speak. Hathorne
permitted the interruption, and said, "Goodman Kenney, what do you
say?" Then Kenney complained of the prisoner, "and further said, since
this Nurse came into the house, he was seized twice with an amazed
condition." Hathorne, addressing the prisoner, said, "Not only these,
but the wife of Mr. Thomas Putnam, accuseth you by credible
information, and that both of tempting her to iniquity and of greatly
hurting her." The prisoner again affirmed her innocence, and said, in
answer to the charge of having hurt these persons, that "she had not
been able to get out of doors these eight or nine days." Hathorne
then called upon Edward Putnam, who, as the record says, "gave in his
relate," which undoubtedly was a statement of his having seen the
afflicted in their sufferings, and heard them accuse Rebecca Nurse as
their tormentor. Hathorne said, "Is this true, Goody Nurse?" She
denied that she had ever hurt them or any one else in her life.
Hathorne repeated, "You see these accuse you: is it true?" She
answered, "No." He again put the question, "Are you an innocent person
relating to this witchcraft?" It seems, from his manner, that he was
beginning really to doubt whether she might not be innocent; and
perhaps the feeling of the multitude was yielding in her favor.

Here Thomas Putnam's wife cried out, "Did you not bring the black man
with you? Did you not bid me tempt God, and die? How oft have you eat
and drank your own damnation?" This sudden outbreak, from such a
source, accompanied with the wild and apparently supernatural energy
and uncontrollable vehemence with which the words were uttered, roused
the multitude to the utmost pitch of horror; and the prisoner seems to
have been shocked at the dreadful exhibition of madness in the woman
and in the assembly. Releasing her hands from confinement, she spread
them out towards heaven, and exclaimed, "O Lord, help me!" Instantly,
the whole company of the afflicted children "were grievously vexed."
After a while, the tumult subsided, and Hathorne again addressed her,
"Do you not see what a solemn condition these are in? When your hands
are loosed, the persons are afflicted." Then Mary Walcot and Elizabeth
Hubbard came forward, and accused her. Hathorne again addressed her,
"Here are these two grown persons now accuse. What say you? Do not you
see these afflicted persons, and hear them accuse you?" She answered,
"The Lord knows I have not hurt them. I am an innocent person."
Hathorne continued, "It is very awful to all to see these agonies, and
you, an old professor, thus charged with contracting with the Devil by
the effects of it, and yet to see you stand with dry eyes where there
are so many wet." She answered, "You do not know my heart." Hathorne,
"You would do well, if you are guilty, to confess, and give glory to
God."--"I am as clear as the child unborn." Hathorne continued, "What
uncertainty there may be in apparitions, I know not: yet this with me
strikes hard upon you, that you are, at this very present, charged
with familiar spirits,--this is your bodily person they speak to; they
say now they see these familiar spirits come to your bodily person.
Now, what do you say to that?"--"I have none, sir."--"If you have,
confess, and give glory to God. I pray God clear you, if you be
innocent, and, if you are guilty, discover you; and therefore give me
an upright answer. Have you any familiarity with these spirits?"--"No:
I have none but with God alone." It looks as if again the magistrate
began to open his mind to a fair view of the case. He seems to have
sought satisfaction in reference to all the charges that had been
made against her. She was suffering from infirmities of body, the
result not only of age, but of the burdens of life often pressing down
the physical frame, particularly of those who have borne large
families of children. The magistrate had heard some malignant gossip
of this kind, and he asked, "How came you sick? for there is an odd
discourse of that in the mouths of many." She replied that she
suffered from weakness of stomach. He inquired, more specifically,
"Have you no wounds?" Her answer was, that her ailments and
weaknesses, all her bodily infirmities, were the natural effects of
what she had experienced in a long life. "I have none but old
age."--"You do know whether you are guilty, and have familiarity with
the Devil; and now, when you are here present, to see such a thing as
these testify,--a black man whispering in your ear, and birds about
you,--what do you say to it?"--"It is all false: I am
clear."--"Possibly, you may apprehend you are no witch; but have you
not been led aside by temptations that way?"--"I have not." At this
point, it almost seems that Hathorne was yielding to the moral effect
of the evidence she bore in her deportment and language, the impress
of conscious innocence in her countenance, and the manifestation of
true Christian purity and integrity in her whole manner and bearing.
Instead of pressing her with further interrogatories, he gave way to
an expression, in the form of a soliloquy or ejaculation, "What a sad
thing is it, that a church-member here, and now another of Salem,
should thus be accused and charged!" Upon hearing this rather
ambiguous expression of the magistrate, Mrs. Pope fell into a grievous
fit.

Mrs. Pope was the wife of Joseph Pope, living with his mother, the
widow Gertrude Pope, on the farm shown on the map. She had followed up
the meetings of the circle, been a constant witness of the sufferings
of the "afflicted children," and attended all the public examinations,
until her nervous system was excited beyond restraint, and for a while
she went into fits and her imagination was bewildered. She acted with
the accusers, and participated in their sufferings. On some occasions,
her conduct was wild and extravagant to the highest degree. At the
examination of Martha Corey, she was conspicuous for the violence of
her actions. In the midst of the proceedings, and in the presence of
the magistrates and hundreds of people, she threw her muff at the
prisoner; and, that missing, pulled off her shoe, and, more successful
this time, hit her square on the head. Hers seems, however, to have
been a case of mere delusion, amounting to temporary insanity. That it
was not deliberate and cold-blooded imposture is rendered probable by
the fact, that she was rescued from the hallucination, and, with her
husband, among the foremost to deplore and denounce the whole affair.
But, when a woman of her position acted in this manner, on such an
occasion, and then went into convulsions, and the whole company of
afflicted persons joined in, the confusion, tumult, and frightfulness
of the scene can hardly be imagined, certainly it cannot be described
in words.

Quiet being restored, Hathorne proceeded: "Tell us, have you not had
visible appearances, more than what is common in nature?"--"I have
none, nor never had in my life."--"Do you think these suffer voluntary
or involuntary?"--"I cannot tell."--"That is strange: every one can
judge."--"I must be silent."--"They accuse you of hurting them; and,
if you think it is not unwillingly, but by design, you must look upon
them as murderers."--"I cannot tell what to think of it." This answer
was considered as very aspersive in its bearing upon the witnesses,
and she was charged with having called them murderers. Being hard of
hearing, she did not always take in the whole import of questions put
to her. She denied that she said she thought them murderers; all she
said, and that she stood to to the last, was that she could not tell
what to make of their conduct. Finally, Hathorne put this question,
and called for an answer, "Do you think these suffer against their
wills or not?" She answered, "I do not think these suffer against
their wills." To this point she was not afraid or unwilling to go, in
giving an opinion of the conduct of the accusing girls. Infirm, half
deaf, cross-questioned, circumvented, surrounded with folly, uproar,
and outrage, as she was, they could not intimidate her to say less, or
entrap her to say more.

Then another line of criminating questions was started by the
magistrate: "Why did you never visit these afflicted
persons?"--"Because I was afraid I should have fits too." On every
motion of her body, "fits followed upon the complainants, abundantly
and very frequently." As soon as order was again restored, Hathorne,
being, as he always was, wholly convinced of the reality of the
sufferings of the "afflicted children," addressed her thus, "Is it not
an unaccountable case, that, when you are examined, these persons are
afflicted?" Seeing that he and the whole assembly put faith in the
accusers, her only reply was, "I have got nobody to look to but God."
As she uttered these words, she naturally attempted to raise her
hands, whereupon "the afflicted persons were seized with violent fits
of torture." After silence was again restored, the magistrate pressed
his questions still closer. "Do you believe these afflicted persons
are bewitched?" She answered, "I do think they are." It will be
noticed that there was this difference between Rebecca Nurse and
Martha Corey: The latter was an utter heretic on the point of the
popular faith respecting witchcraft; she did not believe that there
were any witches, and she looked upon the declarations and actions of
the "afflicted children" as the ravings of "distracted persons." The
former seems to have held the opinions of the day, and had no
disbelief in witchcraft: she was willing to admit that the children
were bewitched; but she knew her own innocence, and nothing could move
her from the consciousness of it. Mr. Hathorne continued, "When this
witchcraft came upon the stage, there was no suspicion of Tituba, Mr.
Parris's Indian woman. She professed much love to that child,--Betty
Parris; but it was her apparition did the mischief: and why should not
you also be guilty, for your apparition doth hurt also?" Her answer
was, "Would you have me belie myself?" Weary, probably, of the
protracted proceedings, her head drooped on one side; and forthwith
the necks of the afflicted children were bent in the same way. This
new demonstration of the diabolical power that proceeded from her
filled the house with increased awe, and spread horrible conviction of
her guilt through all minds. Elizabeth Hubbard's neck was fixed in
that direction, and could not be moved. Abigail Williams cried out,
"Set up Goody Nurse's head, the maid's neck will be broke." Whereupon,
some persons held the prisoner's head up, and "Aaron Way observed that
Betty Hubbard's was immediately righted." To consummate the effect of
the whole proceeding, Mr. Parris, by direction of the magistrates,
"read what he had in characters taken from Mr. Thomas Putnam's wife in
her fits." We shall come to the matter thus introduced by Mr. Parris,
at a future stage of the story. It is sufficient here to say, that it
contained the most positive and minute declarations that the
apparition of Rebecca Nurse had appeared to her, on several occasions,
and horribly tortured her. After hearing Parris's statement, Hathorne
asked the prisoner, "What do you think of this?" Her reply was, "I
cannot help it: the Devil may appear in my shape." It may be
mentioned, that Mrs. Ann Putnam was present during this examination,
and, in the course of it, went into the most dreadful bodily agony,
charging it on Rebecca Nurse. Her sufferings were so violent, and held
on so long, that the magistrates gave permission to her husband to
carry her out of the meeting-house, to free her from the malignant
presence of the prisoner. The record of the examination closes thus:--

     "Salem Village, March 24th, 1691/2.--The Reverend Mr. Samuel
     Parris, being desired to take in writing the examination of
     Rebecca Nurse, hath returned it as aforesaid.

     "Upon hearing the aforesaid, and seeing what we then did
     see, together with the charges of the persons then present,
     we committed Rebecca Nurse, the wife of Francis Nurse of
     Salem Village, unto Her Majesty's jail in Salem, as _per
     mittimus_ then given out, in order to further examination."

     [Illustration: [signatures]]

The presence of Ann Putnam, the mother, on this occasion; the
statement from her, read by Mr. Parris; and the terrible sufferings
she exhibited, produced, no doubt, a deep effect upon the magistrates
and all present. Her social position and personal appearance
undoubtedly contributed to heighten it. For two months, her house had
been the constant scene of the extraordinary actings of the circle of
girls of which her daughter and maid-servant were the leading
spirits. Her mind had been absorbed in the mysteries of spiritualism.
The marvels of necromancy and magic had been kept perpetually before
it. She had been living in the invisible world, with a constant sense
of supernaturalism surrounding her. Unconsciously, perhaps, the
passions, prejudices, irritations, and animosities, to which she had
been subject, became mixed with the vagaries of an excited
imagination; and, laid open to the inroads of delusion as her mind had
long been by perpetual tamperings with spiritual ideas and phantoms,
she may have lost the balance of reason and sanity. This, added to a
morbid sensibility, probably gave a deep intensity to her voice,
action, and countenance. The effect upon the excited multitude must
have been very great. Although she lived to realize the utter
falseness of all her statements, her monstrous fictions were felt by
her, at the time, to be a reality.

In concluding his report of this examination, Mr. Parris says, "By
reason of great noises by the afflicted and many speakers, many things
are pretermitted." He was probably quite willing to avoid telling the
whole story of the disgraceful and shocking scenes enacted in the
meeting-house that day. Deodat Lawson was present during the earlier
part of the proceedings. He says that Mr. Hale began with prayer; that
the prisoner "pleaded her innocency with earnestness;" that, at the
opening, some of the girls, Mary Walcot among them, declared that the
prisoner had never hurt them. Presently, however, Mary Walcot screamed
out that she was bitten, and charged it upon Rebecca Nurse. The marks
of teeth were produced on her wrist. Lawson says, "It was so disposed
that I had not leisure to attend the whole time of examination." The
meaning is, I suppose, that he desired to withdraw into the
neighboring fields to con over his manuscript, and make himself more
able to perform with effect the part he was to act that afternoon.
"There was once," he says, "such an hideous screech and noise (which I
heard as I walked at a little distance from the meeting-house) as did
amaze me; and some that were within told me the whole assembly was
struck with consternation, and they were afraid that those that sat
next to them were under the influence of witchcraft." The whole
congregation was in an uproar, every one afflicted by and affrighting
every other, amid a universal outcry of terror and horror.

As it was a part of the policy of the managers of the business to
utterly overwhelm the influence of all natural sentiment in the
community, they coupled with this proceeding against a venerable and
infirm great-grandmother, another of the same kind against a little
child. Immediately after the examination of Rebecca Nurse was
concluded, Dorcas, a daughter of Sarah Good, was brought before the
magistrates. She was between four and five years old. Lawson says,
"The child looked hale and well as other children." A warrant had been
issued for her apprehension, the day before, on complaint of Edward
and Jonathan Putnam. Herrick the marshal, who was a man that magnified
his office, and of much personal pride, did not, perhaps, fancy the
idea of bringing up such a little prisoner; and he deputized the
operation to Samuel Braybrook, who, the next morning, made return, in
due form, that "he had taken the body of Dorcas Good," and sent her to
the house of Nathaniel Ingersoll, where she was in custody. It seems
that Braybrook did not like the job, and passed the handling of the
child over to still another. Whoever performed the service probably
brought her in his arms, or on a pillion. The little thing could not
have walked the distance from Benjamin Putnam's farm. When led in to
be examined, Ann Putnam, Mary Walcot, and Mercy Lewis, all charged her
with biting, pinching, and almost choking them. The two former went
through their usual evolutions in the presence of the awe and terror
stricken magistrates and multitude. They showed the marks of her
little teeth on their arms; and the pins with which she pricked them
were found on their bodies, precisely where, in their shrieks, they
had averred that she was piercing them. The evidence was considered
overwhelming; and Dorcas was, _per mittimus_, committed to the jail,
where she joined her mother. By the bill of the Boston jailer, it
appears that they both were confined there: as they were too poor to
provide for themselves, "the country" was charged with ten shillings
for "two blankets for Sarah Good's child." The mother, we know, was
kept in chains; the child was probably chained too. Extraordinary
fastenings, as has been stated, were thought necessary to hold a
witch.

There was no longer any doubt, in the mass of the community, that the
Devil had effected a lodgement at Salem Village. Church-members,
persons of all social positions, of the highest repute and profession
of piety, eminent for visible manifestations of devotion, and of every
age, had joined his standard, and become his active allies and
confederates.

The effect of these two examinations was unquestionably very great in
spreading consternation and bewilderment far and wide; but they were
only the prelude to the work, to that end, arranged for the day. The
public mind was worked to red heat, and now was the moment to strike
the blow that would fix an impression deep and irremovable upon it. It
was Thursday, Lecture-day; and the public services usual on the
occasion were to be held at the meeting-house.

Deodat Lawson had arrived at the village on the 19th of March, and
lodged at Deacon Ingersoll's. The fact at once became known; and Mary
Walcot immediately went to the deacon's to see him. She had a fit on
the spot, which filled Lawson with amazement and horror. His turn of
mind led him to be interested in such an excitement; and he had become
additionally and specially exercised by learning that the afflicted
persons had intimated that the deaths of his wife and daughter, which
occurred during his ministry at the village, had been brought about by
the diabolical agency of the persons then beginning to be unmasked,
and brought to justice. He was prepared to listen to the hints thus
thrown out, and was ready to push the prosecutions on with an
earnestness in which resentment and rage were mingled with the
blindest credulity. After Mary Walcot had given him a specimen of what
the girls were suffering, he walked over, early in the evening, to Mr.
Parris's house; and there Abigail Williams went into the craziest
manifestations, throwing firebrands about the house in the presence of
her uncle, rushing to the back of the chimney as though she would fly
up through its wide flue, and performing many wonderful works. The
next day being Sunday, he preached; and the services were interrupted,
in the manner already described, by the outbreaks of the afflicted,
under diabolic influence. The next day, he attended the examination of
Martha Corey. On Wednesday, the 23d, he went up to Thomas Putnam's, as
he says, "on purpose to see his wife." He "found her lying on the bed,
having had a sore fit a little before: her husband and she both
desired me to pray with her while she was sensible, which I did,
though the apparition said I should not go to prayer. At the first
beginning, she attended; but, after a little time, was taken with a
fit, yet continued silent, and seemed to be asleep." She had
represented herself as being in conflict with the shape, or spectre,
of a witch, which, she told Lawson, said he should not pray on the
occasion. But he courageously ventured on the work. At the conclusion
of the prayer, "her husband, going to her, found her in a fit. He took
her off the bed to sit her on his knees; but at first she was so stiff
she could not be bended, but she afterwards sat down." Then she went
into that state of supernatural vision and exaltation in which she was
accustomed to utter the wildest strains, in fervid, extravagant, but
solemn and melancholy, rhapsodies: she disputed with the spectre about
a text of Scripture, and then poured forth the most terrible
denunciations upon it for tormenting and tempting her. She was
evidently a very intellectual and imaginative woman, and was perfectly
versed in all the imagery and lofty diction supplied by the prophetic
and poetic parts of Scripture. Again she was seized with a terrible
fit, that lasted "near half an hour." At times, her mouth was drawn on
one side and her body strained. At last she broke forth, and
succeeded, after many violent struggles against the spectre and many
convulsions of her frame, in saying what part of the Bible Lawson was
to read aloud, in order to relieve her. "It is," she said, "the third
chapter of the Revelation."--"I did," says Lawson, "something scruple
the reading it." He was loath to be engaged in an affair of that kind
in which the Devil was an actor. At length he overcame his scruples,
and the effect was decisive. "Before I had near read through the first
verse, she opened her eyes, and was well." Bewildered and amazed, he
went back to Parris's house, and they talked over the awful
manifestations of Satan's power. The next morning, he attended the
examination of Rebecca Nurse, retiring from it, at an early hour, to
complete his preparation for the service that had been arranged for
him that afternoon.

I say arranged, because the facts in this case prove long-concerted
arrangement. He was to preach a sermon that day. Word must have been
sent to him weeks before. After reaching the village, every hour had
been occupied in exciting spectacles and engrossing experiences,
filling his mind with the fanatical enthusiasm requisite to give force
and fire to the delivery of the discourse. He could not possibly have
written it after coming to the place. He must have brought it in his
pocket. It is a thoroughly elaborated and carefully constructed
performance, requiring long and patient application to compose it, and
exhausting all the resources of theological research and reference,
and of artistic skill and finish. It is adapted to the details of an
occasion which was prepared to meet it. Not only the sermon but the
audience were the result of arrangement carefully made in the stages
of preparation and in the elements comprised in it. The preceding
steps had all been seasonably and appositely taken, so that, when the
regular lecture afternoon came, Lawson would have his voluminous
discourse ready, and a congregation be in waiting to hear it, with
minds suitably wrought upon by the preceding incidents of the day, to
be thoroughly and permanently impressed by it. The occasion had been
heralded by a train of circumstances drawing everybody to the spot.
The magistrates were already there, some of them by virtue of the
necessity of official presence in the earlier part of the day, and
others came in from the neighborhood; the ministers gathered from the
towns in the vicinity; men and women came from all quarters, flocking
along the highways and the by-ways, large numbers on horseback, and
crowds on foot. Probably the village meeting-house, and the grounds
around it, presented a spectacle such as never was exhibited
elsewhere. Awe, dread, earnestness, a stern but wild fanaticism, were
stamped on all countenances, and stirred the heaving multitude to its
depths, and in all its movements and utterances. It is impossible to
imagine a combination of circumstances that could give greater
advantage and power to a speaker, and Lawson was equal to the
situation. No discourse was ever more equal, or better adapted, to its
occasion. It was irresistible in its power, and carried the public
mind as by storm.

The text is Zechariah, iii. 2: "And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord
rebuke thee, O Satan! even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke
thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" After an allusion
to the rebellion of Satan, and his fall from heaven with his "accursed
legions," and after representing them as filled "with envy and malice
against all mankind," seeking "by all ways and means to work their
ruin and destruction for ever, opposing to the utmost all persons and
things appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ as means or instruments of
their comfort here or salvation hereafter," he proceeds, in the manner
of those days, to open his text and spread out his subject, all along
exhibiting great ability, skill, and power, showing learning in his
illustrations, drawing aptly and abundantly from the Scriptures, and,
at the right points, rising to high strains of eloquence in diction
and imagery.

He describes, at great length and with abundant instances ingeniously
selected from sacred and profane literature, the marvellous power with
which Satan is enabled to operate upon mankind. He says,--

     "He is a spirit, and hence strikes at the spiritual part,
     the most excellent (constituent) part of man. Primarily
     disturbing and interrupting the animal and vital spirits, he
     maliciously operates upon the more common powers of the soul
     by strange and frightful representations to the fancy or
     imagination; and, by violent tortures of the body, often
     threatening to extinguish life, as hath been observed in
     those that are afflicted amongst us. And not only so, but he
     vents his malice in diabolical operations on the more
     sublime and distinguishing faculties of the rational soul,
     raising mists of darkness and ignorance in the
     understanding.... Sometimes he brings distress upon the
     bodies of men, by malignant operations in, and diabolical
     impressions on, the spirituous principle or vehicle of life
     and motion.... There are certainly some lower operations of
     Satan (whereof there are sundry examples among us), which
     the bodies and souls of men and women are liable unto. And
     whosoever hath carefully observed those things must needs be
     convinced, that the motions of the persons afflicted, both
     as to the manner and as to the violence of them, are the
     mere effects of diabolical malice and operations, and that
     it cannot rationally be imagined to proceed from any other
     cause whatever.... Satan exerts his malice mediately by
     employing some of mankind and other creatures, and he
     frequently useth other persons or things, that his designs
     may be the more undiscernible. Thus he used the serpent in
     the first temptation (Gen. iii. 1). Hence he contracts and
     indents with witches and wizards, that they shall be the
     instruments by whom he may more secretly affect and afflict
     the bodies and minds of others; and, if he can prevail upon
     those that make a visible profession, it may be the better
     covert unto his diabolical enterprise, and may the more
     readily pervert others to consenting unto his subjection. So
     far as we can look into those hellish mysteries, and guess
     at the administration of that kingdom of darkness, we may
     learn that witches make witches by persuading one the other
     to subscribe to a book or articles, &c.; and the Devil,
     having them in his subjection, by their consent, he will use
     their bodies and minds, shapes and representations, to
     affright and afflict others at his pleasure, for the
     propagation of his infernal kingdom, and accomplishing his
     devised mischiefs to the souls, bodies, and lives of the
     children of men, yea, and of the children of God too, so far
     as permitted and is possible.... He insinuates into the
     society of the adopted children of God, in their most solemn
     approaches to him, in sacred ordinances, endeavoring to look
     so like the true saints and ministers of Christ, that, if it
     were possible, he would deceive the very elect (Matt. xxiv.
     24) by his subtilty: for it is certain he never works more
     like the Prince of darkness than when he looks most like an
     angel of light; and, when he most pretends to holiness, he
     then doth most secretly, and by consequence most surely,
     undermine it, and those that most excel in the exercise
     thereof."

The following is a specimen of the style in which he stirred up the
people:--

     "The application of this doctrine to ourselves remains now
     to be attended. Let it be for solemn warning and awakening
     to all of us that are before the Lord at this time, and to
     all others of this whole people, who shall come to the
     knowledge of these direful operations of Satan, which the
     holy God hath permitted in the midst of us.

     "The Lord doth terrible things amongst us, by lengthening
     the chain of the roaring lion in an extraordinary manner, so
     that the Devil is come down in great wrath (Rev. xii. 12),
     endeavoring to set up his kingdom, and, by racking torments
     on the bodies, and affrightening representations to the
     minds of many amongst us, to force and fright them to become
     his subjects. I may well say, then, in the words of the
     prophet (Mic. vi. 9), 'The Lord's voice crieth to the city,'
     and to the country also, with an unusual and amazing
     loudness. Surely, it warns us to awaken out of all sleep, of
     security or stupidity, to arise, and take our Bibles, turn
     to, and learn that lesson, not by rote only, but by heart. 1
     Pet. v. 8: 'Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary
     the Devil goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom amongst
     you he may distress, delude, and devour.'... Awake, awake
     then, I beseech you, and remain no longer under the dominion
     of that prince of cruelty and malice, whose tyrannical fury
     we see thus exerted against the bodies and minds of these
     afflicted persons!... This warning is directed to all manner
     of persons, according to their condition of life, both in
     civil and sacred order; both high and low, rich and poor,
     old and young, bond and free. Oh, let the observation of
     these amazing dispensations of God's unusual and strange
     Providence quicken us to our duty, at such a time as this,
     in our respective places and stations, relations and
     capacities! The great God hath done such things amongst us
     as do make the ears of those that hear them to tingle (Jer.
     xix. 3); and serious souls are at a loss to what these
     things may grow, and what we shall find to be the end of
     this dreadful visitation, in the permission whereof the
     provoked God as a lion hath roared, who can but fear? the
     Lord hath spoken, who can but prophesy? (Amos iii. 8.) The
     loud trumpet of God, in this thundering providence, is blown
     in the city, and the echo of it heard through the country,
     surely then the people must and ought to be afraid (Amos
     iii. 6).... You are therefore to be deeply humbled, and sit
     in the dust, considering the signal hand of God in singling
     out this place, this poor village, for the first seat of
     Satan's tyranny, and to make it (as 'twere) the rendezvous
     of devils, where they muster their infernal forces;
     appearing to the afflicted as coming armed to carry on their
     malicious designs against the bodies, and, if God in mercy
     prevent not, against the souls, of many in this place.... Be
     humbled also that so many members of this church of the Lord
     Jesus Christ should be under the influences of Satan's
     malice in these his operations; some as the objects of his
     tyranny on their bodies to that degree of distress which
     none can be sensible of but those that see and feel it, who
     are in the mean time also sorely distressed in their minds
     by frightful representations made by the devils unto them.
     Other professors and visible members of this church are
     under the awful accusations and imputations of being the
     instruments of Satan in his mischievous actings. It cannot
     but be matter of deep humiliation, to such as are innocent,
     that the righteous and holy God should permit them to be
     named in such pernicious and unheard-of practices, and not
     only so, but that he who cannot but do right should suffer
     the stain of suspected guilt to be, as it were, rubbed on
     and soaked in by many sore and amazing circumstances. And
     it is a matter of soul-abasement to all that are in the bond
     of God's holy covenant in this place, that Satan's seat
     should be amongst them, where he attempts to set up his
     kingdom in opposition to Christ's kingdom, and to take some
     of the visible subjects of our Lord Jesus, and use at least
     their shapes and appearances, instrumentally, to afflict and
     torture other visible subjects of the same kingdom. Surely
     his design is that Christ's kingdom may be divided against
     itself, that, being thereby weakened, he may the better take
     opportunity to set up his own accursed powers and dominions.
     It calls aloud then to all in this place in the name of the
     blessed Jesus, and words of his holy apostle (1 Peter v. 6),
     'Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God.'

     "It is matter of terror, amazement, and astonishment, to all
     such wretched souls (if there be any here in the
     congregation; and God, of his infinite mercy, grant that
     none of you may ever be found such!) as have given up their
     names and souls to the Devil; who by covenant, explicit or
     implicit, have bound themselves to be his slaves and
     drudges, consenting to be instruments in whose shapes he may
     torment and afflict their fellow-creatures (even of their
     own kind) to the amazing and astonishing of the standers-by.
     I would hope I might have spared this use, but I desire (by
     divine assistance) to declare the whole counsel of God; and
     if it come not as conviction where it is so, it may serve
     for warning, that it may never be so. For it is a most
     dreadful thing to consider that any should change the
     service of God for the service of the Devil, the worship of
     the blessed God for the worship of the cursed enemy of God
     and man. But, oh! (which is yet a thousand times worse) how
     shall I name it? if any that are in the visible covenant of
     God should break that covenant, and make a league with
     Satan; if any that have sat down and eat at Christ's Table,
     should so lift up their heel against him as to have
     fellowship at the table of devils, and (as it hath been
     represented to some of the afflicted) eat of the bread and
     drink of the wine that Satan hath mingled. Surely, if this
     be so, the poet is in the right, "Audax omnia perpeti. Gens
     humana ruit per vetitum nefas:" audacious mortals are grown
     to a fearful height of impiety; and we must cry out in
     Scripture language, and that emphatical apostrophe of the
     Prophet Jeremy (chap. ii. 12), 'Be astonished, O ye heavens,
     at this, and be horribly afraid: be ye very desolate, saith
     the Lord.'... If you are in covenant with the Devil, the
     intercession of the blessed Jesus is against you. His prayer
     is for the subduing of Satan's power and kingdom, and the
     utter confounding of all his instruments. If it be so, then
     the great God is set against you. The omnipotent Jehovah,
     one God in three Persons; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in
     their several distinct operations and all their divine
     attributes,--are engaged against you. Therefore KNOW
     YE that are guilty of such monstrous iniquity, that He
     that made you will not save you, and that He that formed you
     will show you no favor (Isa. xxvii. 11). Be assured, that,
     although you should now evade the condemnation of man's
     judgment, and escape a violent death by the hand of justice;
     yet, unless God shall give you repentance (which we heartily
     pray for), there is a day coming when the secrets of all
     hearts shall be revealed by Jesus Christ (Rom. ii. 16).
     Then, then, your sin will find you out; and you shall be
     punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of
     the Lord, and doomed to those endless, easeless, and
     remediless torments prepared for the Devil and his angels
     (Matt. xxv. 41).... If you have been guilty of such
     impiety, the prayers of the people of God are against you on
     that account. It is their duty to pray daily, that Satan's
     kingdom may be suppressed, weakened, brought down, and at
     last totally destroyed; hence that all abettors, subjects,
     defenders, and promoters thereof, may be utterly crushed and
     confounded. They are constrained to suppress that kindness
     and compassion that in their sacred addresses they once bare
     unto you (as those of their own kind, and framed out of the
     same mould), praying with one consent, as the royal prophet
     did against his malicious enemies, the instruments of Satan
     (Ps. cix. 6), 'Set thou a wicked man over him, and let Satan
     stand at his right hand' (i.e.), to withstand all that is
     for his good, and promote all that is for his hurt; and
     (verse 7) 'When he is judged, let him be condemned, and let
     his prayer become sin.'

     "Be we exhorted and directed to exercise true spiritual
     sympathy with, and compassion towards, those poor, afflicted
     persons that are by divine permission under the direful
     influence of Satan's malice. There is a divine precept
     enjoining the practice of such duty: Heb. xiii. 3, 'Remember
     them that suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the
     body.' Let us, then, be deeply sensible, and, as the elect
     of God, put on bowels of mercy towards those in misery (Col.
     iii. 12). Oh, pity, pity them! for the hand of the Lord hath
     touched them, and the malice of devils hath fallen upon
     them.

     "Let us be sure to take unto us and put on the whole armor
     of God, and every piece of it; let none be wanting. Let us
     labor to be in the exercise and practice of the whole
     company of sanctifying graces and religious duties. This
     important duty is pressed, and the particular pieces of that
     armor recited Eph. vi. 11 and 13 to 18. Satan is
     representing his infernal forces; and the devils seem to
     come armed, mustering amongst us. I am this day commanded to
     call and cry an alarm unto you: ARM, ARM, ARM!
     handle your arms, see that you are fixed and in a readiness,
     as faithful soldiers under the Captain of our salvation,
     that, by the shield of faith, ye and we all may resist the
     fiery darts of the wicked; and may be faithful unto death in
     our spiritual warfare; so shall we assuredly receive the
     crown of life (Rev. ii. 10). Let us admit no parley, give no
     quarter: let none of Satan's forces or furies be more
     vigilant to hurt us than we are to resist and repress them,
     in the name, and by the spirit, grace, and strength of our
     Lord Jesus Christ. Let us ply the throne of grace, in the
     name and merit of our Blessed Mediator, taking all possible
     opportunities, public, private, and secret, to pour out our
     supplications to the God of our salvation. Prayer is the
     most proper and potent antidote against the old Serpent's
     venomous operations. When legions of devils do come down
     among us, multitudes of prayers should go up to God. Satan,
     the worst of all our enemies, is called in Scripture a
     dragon, to note his malice; a serpent, to note his subtilty;
     a lion, to note his strength. But none of all these can
     stand before prayer. The most inveterate malice (as that of
     Haman) sinks under the prayer of Esther (chap. iv. 16). The
     deepest policy (the counsel of Achitophel) withers before
     the prayer of David (2 Sam. xv. 31); and the vastest army
     (an host of a thousand thousand Ethiopians) ran away, like
     so many cowards, before the prayer of Asa (2 Chron. xiv. 9
     to 15).

     "What therefore I say unto one I say unto all, in this
     important case, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.

     "To our honored magistrates, here present this day, to
     inquire into these things, give me leave, much honored, to
     offer one word to your consideration. Do all that in you
     lies to check and rebuke Satan; endeavoring, by all ways and
     means that are according to the rule of God, to discover his
     instruments in these horrid operations. You are concerned in
     the civil government of this people, being invested with
     power by their Sacred Majesties, under this glorious Jesus
     (the King and Governor of his church), for the supporting of
     Christ's kingdom against all oppositions of Satan's kingdom
     and his instruments. Being ordained of God to such a station
     (Rom. xiii. 1), we entreat you, bear not the sword in vain,
     as ver. 4; but approve yourselves a terror of and punishment
     to evil-doers, and a praise to them that do well (1 Peter
     ii. 14); ever remembering that ye judge not for men, but for
     the Lord (2 Chron. xix. 6); and, as his promise is, so our
     prayer shall be for you, without ceasing, that he would be
     with you in the judgment, as he that can and will direct,
     assist, and reward you. Follow the example of the upright
     Job (chap. xxix. 16): Be a father to the poor; to these poor
     afflicted persons, in pitiful and painful endeavors to help
     them; and the cause that seems to be so dark, as you know
     not how to determine it, do your utmost, in the use of all
     regular means, to search it out.

     "There is comfort in considering that the Lord Jesus, the
     Captain of our salvation, hath already overcome the Devil.
     Christ, that blessed seed of the woman, hath given this
     cursed old serpent called the Devil and Satan a mortal and
     incurable bruise on the head (Gen. iii. 15). He was too much
     for him in a single conflict (Matt. iv.). He opposed his
     power and kingdom in the possessed. He suffered not the
     devils to speak, because they knew him (Mark i. 34). He
     completed his victory by his death on the cross, and
     destroyed his dominion (Heb. ii. 14), that through death he
     might destroy death, and him that had the powers of death,
     that is the Devil; and by and after his resurrection made
     show openly unto the world, that he had spoiled
     principalities and powers, triumphing over them (Col. ii.
     15). Hence, if we are by faith united to him, his victory is
     an earnest and prelibation of our conquest at last. All
     Satan's strugglings now are but those of a conquered enemy.
     It is no small comfort to consider, that Job's exercise of
     patience had its beginning from the Devil; but we have seen
     the end to be from the Lord (James v. 11). That we also may
     find by experience the same blessed issue of our present
     distresses by Satan's malice, let us repent of every sin
     that hath been committed, and labor to practise every duty
     which hath been neglected. Then we shall assuredly and
     speedily find that the kingly power of our Lord and Saviour
     shall be magnified, in delivering his poor sheep and lambs
     out of the jaws and paws of the roaring lion."

[Illustration: _Eng'd at J. Andrews's by R. Babson._

WILLIAM STOUGHTON.]

These extended extracts are given from Lawson's discourse, partly to
enable every one to estimate the effect it must have produced, under
the circumstances of the occasion, but mainly because they present a
living picture of the sentiments, notions, modes of thinking and
reasoning, and convictions, then prevalent. No description given by a
person looking back from our point of view, not having experienced the
delusions of that age, no matter who might attempt the task, could
adequately paint the scene. The foregoing extracts show better, I
think, than any documents that have come down to us, how the subject
lay in the minds of men at that time. They bring before us directly,
without the intervention of any secondary agency, the thoughts,
associations, sentiments, of that generation, in breathing reality.
They carry us back to the hour and to the spot. Deodat Lawson rises
from his unknown grave, comes forth from the impenetrable cloud which
enveloped the closing scenes of his mortal career, and we listen to
his voice, as it spoke to the multitudes that gathered in and around
the meeting-house in Salem Village, on Lecture-day, March 24, 1692. He
lays bare his whole mind to our immediate inspection. In and through
him, we behold the mind and heart, the forms of language and thought,
the feelings and passions, of the people of that day. We mingle with
the crowd that hang upon his lips; we behold their countenances,
discern the passions that glowed upon their features, and enter into
the excitement that moved and tossed them like a tempest. We are thus
prepared, as we could be in no other way, to comprehend our story.

The sermon answered its end. It re-enforced the powers that had begun
their work. It spread out the whole doctrine of witchcraft in a
methodical, elaborate, and most impressive form. It justified and
commended every thing that had been done, and every thing that
remained to be done; every step in the proceedings; every process in
the examinations; every kind of accusation and evidence that had been
adduced; every phase of the popular belief, however wild and
monstrous; every pretension of the afflicted children to
preternatural experiences and communications, and every tale of
apparitions of departed spirits and the ghosts of murdered men, women,
and children, which, engendered in morbid and maniac imaginations, had
been employed to fill him and others with horror, inspire revenge, and
drive on the general delirium. And it fortified every point by the law
and the testimony, by passages and scraps of Scripture, studiously and
skilfully culled out, and ingeniously applied. It gave form to what
had been vague, and authority to what had floated in blind and
baseless dreams of fancy. It crystallized the disordered vagaries,
that had been seething in turbulent confusion in the public mind, into
a fixed, organized, and permanent shape.

Its publication was forthwith called for. The manuscript was submitted
to Increase and Cotton Mather of the North, James Allen and John
Bailey of the First, Samuel Willard of the Old South, churches in
Boston, and Charles Morton of the church in Charlestown. It was
printed with a strong, unqualified indorsement of approval, signed by
the names severally of these the most eminent divines of the country.
The discourse was dedicated to the "worshipful and worthily honored
Bartholomew Gedney, John Hathorne, Jonathan Corwin, Esqrs., together
with the reverend Mr. John Higginson, pastor, and Mr. Nicholas Noyes,
teacher, of the Church of Christ at Salem," with a preface, addressed
to all his "Christian friends and acquaintance, the inhabitants of
Salem Village." It was republished in London in 1704, under the
immediate direction of its author. The subject is described as
"Christ's Fidelity, the only Shield against Satan's Malignity;" and
the titlepage is enforced by passages of Scripture (Rev. xii. 12, and
Rom. xvi. 20). The interest of the volume is highly increased by an
appendix, giving the substance of notes taken by Lawson on the spot,
during the examinations and trials. They are invaluable, as proceeding
from a chief actor in the scenes, who was wholly carried away by the
delusion. They describe, in marvellous colors, the wonderful
manifestations of diabolical agency in, upon, and through the
afflicted children; resembling, in many respects, reports of spiritual
communications prevalent in our day, although not quite coming up to
them. These statements, and the preface to the discourse, are given in
the Appendix to this volume. In a much briefer form, it was printed by
Benjamin Harris, at Boston, in 1692; and soon after by John Dunton, in
London.

Before dismissing Mr. Lawson's famous sermon, our attention is
demanded to a remarkable paragraph in it. His strong faculties could
not be wholly bereft of reason; and he had sense enough left to see,
what does not appear to have occurred to others, that there might be a
re-action in the popular passions, and that some might be called to
account by an indignant public, if not before a stern tribunal of
justice, for the course of cruelty and outrage they were pursuing,
with so high a hand, against accused persons. He was not entirely
satisfied that the appeal he made in his discourse to the people to
suppress and crush out all vestiges of human feeling, and to stifle
compassion and pity in their breasts, would prevail. He foresaw that
the friends and families of innocent and murdered victims might one
day call for vengeance; and he attempts to provide, beforehand, a
defence that is truly ingenious:--

     "Give no place to the Devil by rash censuring of others,
     without sufficient grounds, or false accusing any willingly.
     This is indeed to be like the Devil, who hath the title,
     [Greek: Diabolos], in the Greek, because he is the
     calumniator or false accuser. Hence, when we read of such
     accusers in the latter days, they are, in the original,
     called [Greek: Diaboloi], _calumniatores_ (2 Tim. iii. 3).
     It is a time of temptation amongst you, such as never was
     before: let me entreat you not to be lavish or severe in
     reflecting on the malice or envy of your neighbors, by whom
     any of you have been accused, lest, whilst you falsely
     charge one another,--viz., the relations of the afflicted
     and relations of the accused,--the grand accuser (who loves
     to fish in troubled waters) should take advantage upon you.
     Look at sin, the procuring cause; God in justice, the
     sovereign efficient; and Satan, the enemy, the principal
     instrument, both in afflicting some and accusing others.
     And, if innocent persons be suspected, it is to be ascribed
     to God's pleasure, supremely permitting, and Satan's malice
     subordinately troubling, by representation of such to the
     afflicting of others, even of such as have, all the while,
     we have reason to believe (especially some of them), no kind
     of ill-will or disrespect unto those that have been
     complained of by them. This giving place to the Devil avoid;
     for it will have uncomfortable and pernicious influence
     upon the affairs of this place, by letting out peace, and
     bringing in confusion and every evil work, which we heartily
     pray God, in mercy, to prevent."

This artifice of statement, speciously covered,--while it outrages
every sentiment of natural justice, and breaks every bond of social
responsibility,--is found, upon close inspection, to be a shocking
imputation against the divine administration. It represents the Deity,
under the phrases "sovereign efficient" and "supremely permitting" in
a view which affords equal shelter to every other class of criminals,
even of the deepest dye, as well as those who were ready and eager to
bring upon their neighbors the charge of confederacy with Satan.

The next Sunday--March 27--was the regular communion-day of the
village church; and Mr. Parris prepared duly to improve the occasion
to advance the movement then so strongly under way, and to deepen
still more the impression made by the events of the week, especially
by Mr. Lawson's sermon. He accordingly composed an elaborate and
effective discourse of his own; and a scene was arranged to follow the
regular service, which could not but produce important results. An
unexpected occurrence--a part not in the programme--took place, which
created a sensation for the moment; but it tended, upon the whole, to
heighten the public excitement, and, without much disturbing the
order, only precipitated a little the progress of events.

It may well be supposed, that the congregation assembled that day with
minds awfully solemnized, and altogether in a condition to be deeply
affected by the services. A respectable person always prominently
noticeable for her devout participation in the worship of the
sanctuary, and a member of the church, had, on Monday, after a public
examination, been committed to prison, and was there in irons, waiting
to be tried for her life for the blackest of crimes,--a confederacy
with the enemy of the souls of men, the archtraitor and rebel against
the throne of God. On Thursday, another venerable, and ever before
considered pious, matron of a large and influential family, a
participant in their worship, and a member of the mother-church, had
been consigned to the same fate, to be tried for the same horrible
crime. A little child had been proved to have also joined in the
infernal league. No one could tell to what extent Satan had lengthened
his chain, or who, whether old or young, were in league with him.
Every soul was still alive to the impressions made by Mr. Lawson's
great discourse, and by the throngs of excited people, including
magistrates and ministers, that had been gathered in the village.

The character and spirit of Mr. Parris's sermon are indicated in a
prefatory note in the manuscript, "occasioned by dreadful witchcraft
broke out here a few weeks past; and one member of this church, and
another of Salem, upon public examination by civil authority,
vehemently suspected for she-witches." The running title is, "Christ
knows how many devils there are in his church, and who they are;" and
the text is John vi. 70, 71, "Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen
you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot, the
son of Simon; for he it was that should betray him, being one of the
twelve."

Peter Cloyse was born May 27, 1639. He came to Salem from York, in
Maine, and was one of the original members of the village church. He
appears to have been a person of the greatest respectability and
strength of character. He married Sarah, sister of Rebecca Nurse, and
widow of Edmund Bridges. She was admitted to the village church, Jan.
12, 1690, being then about forty-eight years of age. It may well be
supposed that she and her family were overwhelmed with affliction and
horror by the proceedings against her sister. But, as she and her
husband were both communicants, and it was sacrament-day, it was
thought best for them to summon resolution to attend the service.
After much persuasion, she was induced to go. She was a very sensitive
person, and it must have required a great effort of fortitude. Her
mind was undoubtedly much harrowed by the allusions made to the events
of the week; and, when Mr. Parris announced his text, and opened his
discourse in the spirit his language indicates, she could bear it no
longer, but rose, and left the meeting. A fresh wind blowing at the
time caused the door to slam after her. The congregation was probably
startled; but Parris was not long embarrassed by the interruption,
and she was attended to in due season. At the close of the service,
the following scene occurred. I give it as Parris describes it in his
church-record book:--

     "After the common auditory was dismissed, and before the
     church's communion at the Lord's Table, the following
     testimony against the error of our Sister Mary Sibley, who
     had given direction to my Indian man in an unwarrantable way
     to find out witches, was read by the pastor:--

     "It is altogether undeniable that our great and blessed God,
     for wise and holy ends, hath suffered many persons, in
     several families, of this little village, to be grievously
     vexed and tortured in body, and to be deeply tempted, to the
     endangering of the destruction of their souls; and all these
     amazing feats (well known to many of us) to be done by
     witchcraft and diabolical operations. It is also well known,
     that, when these calamities first began, which was in my own
     family, the affliction was several weeks before such hellish
     operations as witchcraft were suspected. Nay, it was not
     brought 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;
     since which, apparitions have been plenty, and exceeding
     much mischief hath followed. But, by these means (it seems),
     the Devil hath been raised amongst us, and his rage is
     vehement and terrible; and, when he shall be silenced, the
     Lord only knows. But now that this our sister should be
     instrumental to such distress is a great grief to myself,
     and our godly honored and reverend neighbors, who have had
     the knowledge of it. Nevertheless, I do truly hope and
     believe, that this our sister doth truly fear the Lord; and
     I am well satisfied from her, that, what she did, she did it
     ignorantly, from what she had heard of this nature from
     other ignorant or worse persons. Yet we are in duty bound to
     protest against such actions, as being indeed a going to the
     Devil for help against the Devil: we having no such
     directions from nature, or God's word, it must therefore be,
     and is, accounted, by godly Protestants who write or speak
     of such matters, as diabolical; and therefore calls this our
     sister to deep humiliation for what she has done, and all of
     us to be watchful against Satan's wiles and devices.

     "Therefore, as we, in duty as a church of Christ, are deeply
     bound to protest against it, as most directly contrary to
     the gospel, yet, inasmuch as this our sister did it in
     ignorance as she professeth and we believe, we can continue
     her in our holy fellowship, upon her serious promise of
     future better advisedness and caution, and acknowledging
     that she is indeed sorrowful for her rashness herein.

     "Brethren, if this be your mind, that this iniquity should
     be thus borne witness against, manifest it by your usual
     sign of lifting up your hands.--The brethren voted
     generally, or universally: none made any exceptions.

     "Sister Sibley, if you are convinced that you herein did
     sinfully, and are sorry for it, let us hear it from your own
     mouth.--She did manifest to satisfaction her error and grief
     for it.

     "Brethren, if herein you have received satisfaction, testify
     it by lifting up your hands.--A general vote passed; no
     exception made.

     "NOTE.--25th March, 1692. I discoursed said sister in my
     study about her grand error aforesaid, and also then read to
     her what I had written as above to be read to the church;
     and said Sister Sibley assented to the same with tears and
     sorrowful confession."

This proceeding was of more importance than appears, perhaps, at first
view. It was one of Mr. Parris's most skilful moves. The course,
pursued by the "afflicted" persons had, thus far, in reference to
those engaged in the prosecutions, been in the right direction. But it
was manifest, after the exhibitions they had given, that they wielded
a fearful power, too fearful to be left without control. They could
cry out upon whomsoever they pleased; and against their accusations,
armed as they were with the power to fix the charge of guilt upon any
one by giving ocular demonstration that he or she was the author of
their sufferings, there could be no defence. They might turn, at any
moment, and cry out upon Parris or Lawson, or either or both of the
deacons. Nothing could withstand the evidence of their fits,
convulsions, and tortures. It was necessary to have and keep them
under safe control, and, to this end, to prevent any outsiders, or any
injudicious or intermeddling people, from holding intimacy with them.
Parris saw this, and, with his characteristic boldness of action and
fertility of resources, at once put a stop to all trouble, and closed
the door against danger, from this quarter.

Samuel Sibley was a member of the church, and a near neighbor of Mr.
Parris. He was about thirty-six years of age. His wife Mary was
thirty-two years of age, and also a member of the church. They were
persons of respectable standing and good repute. Nothing is known to
her disadvantage, but her foolish connection with the mystical
operations going on in Mr. Parris's family; and of this she was
heartily ashamed. Her penitent sensibility is quite touchingly
described by Mr. Parris. It is true that what she had done was a
trifle in comparison with what was going on every day in the families
of Mr. Parris and Thomas Putnam: but she had acted "rashly," without
"advisedness" from the right quarter, under the lead of "ignorant
persons;" and therefore it was necessary to make a great ado about it,
and hold her up as a warning to prevent other persons from meddling in
such matters. Her husband was an uncle of Mary Walcot, one of the
afflicted children; and it was particularly important to keep their
relatives, and members of their immediate families, from taking any
part or action in connection with them, except under due
"advisedness," and the direction of persons learned in such deep
matters. The family connections of the Sibleys were extensive, and a
blow struck at that point would be felt everywhere. The procedure was
undoubtedly effectual. After Mary Sibley had been thus awfully rebuked
and distressingly exposed for dealing with "John Indian," it is not
likely that any one else ever ventured to intermeddle with the
"afflicted," or have any connection, except as outside spectators,
with the marvellous phenomena of "diabolical operations." It will be
noticed, that, while Mr. Parris thus waved the sword of disciplinary
vengeance against any who should dare to intrude upon the forbidden
ground, he occupied it himself without disguise, and maintained his
hold upon it. He asserts the reality of the "amazing feats" practised
by diabolical power in their midst, and enforces in the strongest
language the then prevalent views and pending proceedings.

The operations of the week, including the solemn censure of Mary
Sibley, had all worked favorably for the prosecutors and managers of
the business. The magistrates, ministers, and whole body of the
people, had become committed; the accusing girls had proved themselves
apt and competent to their work; the public reason was prostrated, and
natural sensibility stunned. All resisting forces were powerless, and
all collateral dangers avoided and provided against. The movement was
fully in hand. The next step was maturely considered, and, as we shall
see, skilfully taken.

It is to be observed, that there was, at this time, a break in the
regular government of Massachusetts. In the spring of 1689, the people
had risen, seized the royal governor, Sir Edmund Andros, and put him
in prison. They summoned their old charter governor, Simon Bradstreet,
then living in Salem, eighty-seven years of age, to the chair of
state; called the assistants of 1686 back to their seats, who provided
for an election of representatives by the people of the towns; and the
government thus created conducted affairs until the arrival of Sir
William Phipps, in May, 1692, when Massachusetts ceased to be a
colony, and was thenceforth, until 1774, a royal province. During
these three years, from May, 1689, to May, 1692, the government was
based upon an uprising of the people. It was a period of pure and
absolute independence of the crown or parliament of England. Although
Bradstreet's faculties were unimpaired and his spirit true and firm,
his age prevented his doing much more than to give his loved and
venerated name to the daring movement, and to the official service, of
the people. The executive functions were, for the most part, exercised
by the deputy-governor, Thomas Danforth, who was a person of great
ability and public spirit. Unfortunately, at this time he was
zealously in favor of the witchcraft prosecutions. Bradstreet was
throughout opposed to them. Had time held off its hand, and his
physical energies not been impaired, he would undoubtedly have
resisted and prevented them. Danforth, it is said by Brattle, came to
disapprove of them finally: but he began them by arrests in other
towns, months before any thing of the kind was thought of in Salem
Village; and he contributed, prominently, to give destructive and
wide-spread power, in an early stage of its development, to the
witchcraft delusion here.

After the lapse of a week, preparations were completed to renew
operations, and a higher and more commanding character given to them.
On Monday, April 4, Captain Jonathan Walcot and Lieutenant Nathaniel
Ingersoll went to the town, and, "for themselves and several of their
neighbors," exhibited to the assistants residing there, John Hathorne
and Jonathan Corwin, complaints against "Sarah Cloyse, the wife of
Peter Cloyse of Salem Village, and Elizabeth Procter of Salem Farms,
for high suspicion of sundry acts of witchcraft." There the plan of
proceedings in reference to the above-said parties was agreed upon. It
was the result of consultation; communications probably passing with
the deputy-governor in Boston, or at his residence in Cambridge. On
the 8th of April, warrants were duly issued, ordering the marshal to
bring in the prisoners "on Monday morning next, being the eleventh day
of this instant April, about eleven of the clock, in the public
meeting-house in the town." It had been arranged, that the examination
should not be, as before, in the ordinary way, before the two local
magistrates, but, in an extraordinary way, before the highest tribunal
in the colony, or a representation of it. For a preliminary hearing,
with a view merely to commitment for trial, this surely may justly be
characterized as an extraordinary, wholly irregular, and, in all
points of view, reprehensible procedure. When the day came, the
meeting-house, which was much more capacious than that at the village,
was crowded; and the old town filled with excited throngs. Upon
opening proceedings, lo and behold, instead of the two magistrates,
the government of the colony was present, in the highest character it
then had as "a council"! The record says,--

     "Salem, April 11, 1692.--At a Council held at Salem, and
     present Thomas Danforth, Esq., deputy-governor; James
     Russell, John Hathorne, Isaac Addington, Major Samuel
     Appleton, Captain Samuel Sewall, Jonathan Corwin, Esquires."

Russell was of Charlestown, Addington and Sewall of Boston, and
Appleton of Ipswich. Mr. Parris, "being desired and appointed to write
the examination, did take the same, and also read it before the
council in public." This document has not come down to us; but
Hutchinson had access to it, and the substance of it is preserved in
his "History of Massachusetts."

The marshal (Herrick) brought in Sarah Cloyse and Elizabeth Procter,
and delivered them "before the honorable council:" and the examination
was begun.

The deputy-governor first called to the stand John Indian, and plied
him, as was the course pursued on all these occasions, with leading
questions:--

     "John, who hurt you?--Goody Procter first, and then Goody
     Cloyse.

     "What did she do to you?--She brought the book to me.

     "John, tell the truth: who hurts you? Have you been
     hurt?--The first was a gentlewoman I saw.

     "Who next?--Goody Cloyse.

     "But who hurt you next?--Goody Procter.

     "What did she do to you?--She choked me, and brought the
     book.

     "How oft did she come to torment you?--A good many times,
     she and Goody Cloyse.

     "Do they come to you in the night, as well as the day?--They
     come most in the day.

     "Who?--Goody Cloyse and Goody Procter.

     "Where did she take hold of you?--Upon my throat, to stop my
     breath.

     "Do you know Goody Cloyse and Goody Procter?--Yes: here is
     Goody Cloyse."

We may well suppose that these two respectable women must have been
filled with indignation, shocked, and amazed at the statements made by
the Indian, following the leading interrogatories of the Court. Sarah
Cloyse broke out, "When did I hurt thee?" He answered, "A great many
times." She exclaimed, "Oh, you are a grievous liar!" The Court
proceeded with their questions:--

     "What did this Goody Cloyse do to you?--She pinched and bit
     me till the blood came.

     "How long since this woman came and hurt you?--Yesterday, at
     meeting.

     "At any time before?--Yes: a great many times."

Having drawn out John Indian, the Court turned to the other afflicted
ones:--

     "Mary Walcot, who hurts you?--Goody Cloyse.

     "What did she do to you?--She hurt me.

     "Did she bring the book?--Yes.

     "What was you to do with it?--To touch it, and be well.

     "(Then she fell into a fit.)"

This put a stop to the examination for a time; but it was generally
quite easy to bring witnesses out of a fit, and restore entire
calmness of mind. All that was necessary was to lift them up, and
carry them to the accused person, the touch of any part of whose body
would, in an instant, relieve the sufferer. This having been done, the
examination proceeded:--

     "Doth she come alone?--Sometimes alone, and sometimes in
     company with Goody Nurse and Goody Corey, and a great many I
     do not know.

     "(Then she fell into a fit again.)"

She was, probably, restored in the same way as before; but, her part
being finished for that stage of the proceeding, another of the
afflicted children took the stand:--

     "Abigail Williams, did you see a company at Mr. Parris's
     house eat and drink?--Yes, sir: that was in the sacrament."

I would call attention to the form of the foregoing questions.
Hutchinson says that "Mr. Parris was over-officious: most of the
examinations, although in the presence of one or more magistrates,
were taken by him." He put the questions. They show, on this occasion,
a minute knowledge beforehand of what the witnesses are to say, which
it cannot be supposed Danforth, Russell, Addington, Appleton, and
Sewall, strangers, as they were, to the place and the details of the
affair, could have had. The examination proceeded:--

     "How many were there?--About forty, and Goody Cloyse and
     Goody Good were their deacons.

     "What was it?--They said it was our blood, and they had it
     twice that day."

The interrogator again turned to Mary Walcot, and inquired,--

     "Have you seen a white man?--Yes, sir: a great many times.

     "What sort of a man was he?--A fine grave man; and, when he
     came, he made all the witches to tremble.

     "(Abigail Williams confirmed the same, and that they had
     such a sight at Deacon Ingersoll's.)

     "Who was at Deacon Ingersoll's then?--Goody Cloyse, Goody
     Nurse, Goody Corey, and Goody Good.

     "(Then Sarah Cloyse asked for water, and sat down, as one
     seized with a dying, fainting fit; and several of the
     afflicted fell into fits, and some of them cried out, 'Oh!
     her spirit has gone to prison to her sister Nurse.')"

The audacious lying of the witnesses; the horrid monstrousness of
their charges against Sarah Cloyse, of having bitten the flesh of the
Indian brute, and drank herself and distributed to others, as deacon,
at an infernal sacrament, the blood of the wicked creatures making
these foul and devilish declarations, known by her to be utterly and
wickedly false; and the fact that they were believed by the deputy,
the council, and the assembly,--were more than she could bear. Her
soul sickened at such unimaginable depravity and wrong; her nervous
system gave way; she fainted, and sunk to the floor. The manner in
which the girls turned the incident against her shows how they were
hardened to all human feeling, and the cunning art which, on all
occasions, characterized their proceedings. That such an insolent
interruption and disturbance, on their part, was permitted, without
rebuke from the Court, is a perpetual dishonor to every member of it.
The scene exhibited at this moment, in the meeting-house, is worthy of
an attempt to imagine. The most terrible sensation was naturally
produced, by the swooning of the prisoner, the loudly uttered and
savage mockery of the girls, and their going simultaneously into fits,
screaming at the top of their voices, twisting into all possible
attitudes, stiffened as in death, or gasping with convulsive spasms of
agony, and crying out, at intervals, "There is the black man
whispering in Cloyse's ear," "There is a yellow-bird flying round her
head." John Indian, on such occasions, used to confine his
achievements to tumbling, and rolling his ugly body about the floor.
The deepest commiseration was felt by all for the "afflicted," and men
and women rushed to hold and soothe them. There was, no doubt, much
loud screeching, and some miscellaneous faintings, through the whole
crowd. At length, by bringing the sufferers into contact with Goody
Cloyse, the diabolical fluid passed back into her, they were all
relieved, and the examination was resumed. Elizabeth Procter was now
brought forward.

In the account given, in the First Part, of the population of Salem
Village and the contiguous farms, her husband, John Procter, was
introduced to our acquaintance. From what we then saw of him, we are
well assured that he would not shrink from the protection and defence
of his wife. He accompanied her from her arrest to her arraignment,
and stood by her side, a strong, brave, and resolute guardian, trying
to support her under the terrible trials of her situation, and ready
to comfort and aid her to the extent of his power, disregardful of all
consequences to himself. The examination proceeded:--

     "Elizabeth Procter, you understand whereof you are charged;
     viz., to be guilty of sundry acts of witchcraft. What say
     you to it? Speak the truth; and so you that are afflicted,
     you must speak the truth, as you will answer it before God
     another day. Mary Walcot, doth this woman hurt you?--I never
     saw her so as to be hurt by her.

     "Mercy Lewis, does she hurt you?

     "(Her mouth was stopped.)

     "Ann Putnam, does she hurt you?

     "(She could not speak.)

     "Abigail Williams, does she hurt you?

     "(Her hand was thrust in her own mouth.)

     "John, does she hurt you?--This is the woman that came in
     her shift, and choked me.

     "Did she ever bring the book?--Yes, sir.

     "What to do?--To write.

     "What? this woman?--Yes, sir.

     "Are you sure of it?--Yes, sir.

     "(Again Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam were spoke to by the
     Court; but neither of them could make any answer, by reason
     of dumbness or other fits.)

     "What do you say, Goody Procter, to these things?--I take
     God in heaven to be my witness, that I know nothing of it,
     no more than the child unborn.

     "Ann Putnam, doth this woman hurt you?--Yes, sir: a great
     many times.

     "(Then the accused looked upon them, and they fell into
     fits.)

     "She does not bring the book to you, does she?--Yes, sir,
     often; and saith she hath made her maid set her hand to it.

     "Abigail Williams, does this woman hurt you?--Yes, sir,
     often.

     "Does she bring the book to you?--Yes.

     "What would she have you do with it?--To write in it, and I
     shall be well."

Turning to the accused, Abigail said, "Did not you tell me that your
maid had written?" Goody Procter seems to have been utterly amazed at
the conduct and charges of the girls. She knew, of course, that what
they said was false; but perhaps she thought them crazy, and therefore
objects of pity and compassion, and felt disposed to treat them
kindly, and see whether they could not be recalled to their senses,
and restored to their better nature: for Parris, in his account, says
that at this point she answered the question thus put to her by
Abigail thus: "Dear child, it is not so. There is another judgment,
dear child." But kindness was thrown away upon them; for Parris says
that immediately "Abigail and Ann had fits." After coming out of them,
"they cried out, 'Look you! there is Goody Procter upon the beam.'"
Instantly, as we may well suppose, the whole audience looked where
they pointed. Their manner gave assurance that they saw her "on the
beam," among the rafters of the meeting-house; but she was invisible
to all other eyes. The people, no doubt, were filled with amazement at
such supernaturalism. But John Procter, her husband, did not believe a
word of it: and it is not to be doubted that he expressed his
indignation at the nonsense and the outrage in his usual bold, strong,
and unguarded language, which brought down the vengeance of the girls
at once on his own head; for Parris, in his report, goes on to say:--

     "(By and by, both of them cried out of Goodman Procter
     himself, and said he was a wizard. Immediately, many if not
     all of the bewitched had grievous fits.)

     "Ann Putnam, who hurt you?--Goodman Procter, and his wife
     too.

     "(Afterwards, some of the afflicted cried, 'There is Procter
     going to take up Mrs. Pope's feet!' and her feet were
     immediately taken up.)

     "What do you say, Goodman Procter, to these things?--I know
     not. I am innocent.

     "(Abigail Williams cried out, 'There is Goodman Procter
     going to Mrs. Pope!' and immediately said Pope fell into a
     fit.)"

At this point, the deputy, or some member of the Court interposed, if
I interpret rightly Parris's report, which is here obscurely
expressed, inasmuch as he does not say who spoke; but the import of
the words indicates that they proceeded from some member of the Court,
who was perfectly deceived:--

     "You see, the Devil will deceive you: the children could see
     what you was going to do before the woman was hurt. I would
     advise you to repentance, for the Devil is bringing you out.

     "(Abigail Williams cried out again, 'There is Goodman
     Procter going to hurt Goody Bibber!' and immediately Goody
     Bibber fell into a fit. There was the like of Mary Walcot,
     and divers others. Benjamin Gould gave in his testimony,
     that he had seen Goodman Corey and his wife, Procter and his
     wife, Goody Cloyse, Goody Nurse, and Goody Griggs in his
     chamber last Thursday night. Elizabeth Hubbard was in a
     trance during the whole examination. During the examination
     of Elizabeth Procter, Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam both
     made offer to strike at said Procter; but, when Abigail's
     hand came near, it opened,--whereas it was made up into a
     fist before,--and came down exceeding lightly as it drew
     near to said Procter, and at length, with open and extended
     fingers, touched Procter's hood very lightly. Immediately,
     Abigail cried out, her fingers, her fingers, her fingers
     burned; and Ann Putnam took on most grievously of her head,
     and sunk down.)"

Hutchinson, after giving Parris's account of this examination,
expresses himself thus: "No wonder the whole country was in a
consternation, when persons of sober lives and unblemished characters
were committed to prison upon such sort of evidence. Nobody was safe."
All things considered, it may perhaps be said, that, filled as the
witchcraft proceedings were throughout with folly and outrage, there
was nothing worse than this examination, conducted by the
deputy-governor and council, on the 11th of April, 1692, in the great
meeting-house of the First Church in Salem. It must have been a scene
of the wildest disorder, particularly in the latter part of it. No
wonder that the people in general were deluded, when the most learned
councillors of the colony countenanced, participated in, and gave
effect to, such disorderly procedures in a house of worship, in the
presence of a high judicial tribunal, and of the then supreme
government of the colony!

Benjamin Gould gave his volunteer testimony without "advisedness," and
quite incontinently. He brought out Goodman Corey before the managers
were quite ready to fall upon him; and he antedated, by a considerable
length of time, any such imputation upon Goody Griggs. It was well for
Elizabeth Hubbard to have been in a trance, so that she could not hear
the mention of her aunt's name. The council seems to have adjourned to
the next day, at the same place, when Mr. Parris "gave further
information against said John Procter," which, unfortunately, has not
come down to us. The result was, that Sarah Cloyse, John Procter, and
Elizabeth his wife, were all committed for trial, and, with Rebecca
Nurse, Martha Corey, and Dorcas Good, were sent to the jail in Boston,
in the custody of Marshal Herrick.

The proceedings of the 11th and 12th of April produced a great effect
in driving on the general infatuation. Judge Sewall, who was present
as one of the council, in his diary at this date, says, "Went to
Salem, where, in the meeting-house, the persons accused of witchcraft
were examined; was a very great assembly; 'twas awful to see how the
afflicted persons were agitated." In the margin is written,
apparently some time afterwards, the interjection "_Væ!_" thrice
repeated,--"Alas, alas, alas!" What perfectly deluded him and
Danforth, and everybody else, were the exhibitions made by the
"afflicted children." This is the grand phenomenon of the witchcraft
proceedings here in 1692. It, and it alone, carried them through.
Those girls, by long practice in "the circle," and day by day, before
astonished and wondering neighbors gathered to witness their
distresses, and especially on the more public occasions of the
examinations, had acquired consummate boldness and tact. In simulation
of passions, sufferings, and physical affections; in sleight of hand,
and in the management of voice and feature and attitude,--no
necromancers have surpassed them. There has seldom been better acting
in a theatre than they displayed in the presence of the astonished and
horror-stricken rulers, magistrates, ministers, judges, jurors,
spectators, and prisoners. No one seems to have dreamed that their
actings and sufferings could have been the result of cunning or
imposture. Deodat Lawson was a man of talents, had seen much of the
world, and was by no means a simpleton, recluse, or novice; but he was
wholly deluded by them. The prisoners, although conscious of their own
innocence, were utterly confounded by the acting of the girls. The
austere principles of that generation forbade, with the utmost
severity, all theatrical shows and performances. But at Salem Village
and the old town, in the respective meeting-houses, and at Deacon
Nathaniel Ingersoll's, some of the best playing ever got up in this
country was practised; and patronized, for weeks and months, at the
very centre and heart of Puritanism, by "the most straitest sect" of
that solemn order of men. Pastors, deacons, church-members, doctors of
divinity, college professors, officers of state, crowded, day after
day, to behold feats which have never been surpassed on the boards of
any theatre; which rivalled the most memorable achievements of
pantomimists, thaumaturgists, and stage-players; and made considerable
approaches towards the best performances of ancient sorcerers and
magicians, or modern jugglers and mesmerizers.

The meeting of the council at Salem, on the 11th of April, 1692,
changed in one sense the whole character of the transaction. Before,
it had been a Salem affair. After this, it was a Massachusetts affair.
The colonial government at Boston had obtruded itself upon the ground,
and, of its own will and seeking, irregularly, and without call or
justification, had taken the whole thing out of the hands of the local
authorities into its own management. Neither the town nor the village
of Salem is responsible, as a principal actor, for what subsequently
took place. To that meeting of the deputy-governor and his associates
in the colonial administration, at an early period of the transaction,
the calamities, outrages, and shame that followed must in justice be
ascribed. Had it not taken place, the delusion, as in former instances
and other places here and in the mother-country, would have remained
within its original local limits, and soon disappeared. That meeting,
and the proceedings then had, gave to the fanaticism the momentum that
drove it on, and extended its destructive influence far and wide.

The next step in the proceedings is one of the most remarkable
features in the case. It is, in some points of view, more suggestive
of suspicion, that there was, behind the whole, a skilful and cunning
management, ingeniously contriving schemes to mislead the public mind,
than almost any other part of the transaction. Mary Warren, as has
been said, was a servant in the family of John Procter. She was a
member of the "circle" that had so long met at Mr. Parris's house or
Thomas Putnam's. She was a constant attendant at its meetings, and a
leading spirit among the girls. She did not take an open part against
her master or mistress at their examination, although she acted with
avidity and malignity against them as an accusing witness at their
trials, two months afterwards. It is to be noticed, that Ann Putnam
and Abigail Williams, at the examination of Elizabeth Procter, April
11, accused her of having induced or compelled "her maid to set her
hand to the book."

On the 18th of April, warrants were got out against Giles Corey and
Mary Warren, both of Salem Farms; Abigail Hobbs, daughter of William
Hobbs, of Topsfield; and Bridget Bishop, wife of Edward Bishop, of
Salem,--to be brought in the next forenoon, at about eight o'clock, at
the house of Lieutenant Nathaniel Ingersoll, of Salem Village. How
Mary Warren became transformed from an accuser to an accused, from an
afflicted person to an afflicter, is the question. It is not easy to
fathom the conduct of these girls. They appear to have acted upon a
plan deliberately formed, and to have had an understanding with each
other. At the same time, occasionally, they had or pretended to have a
falling-out, and came into contradiction. This was perhaps a mere
blind, to prevent the suspicion of collusion. The accounts given of
Mary Warren seem to render it quite certain that she acted with
deliberate cunning, and was a guilty conspirator with the other
accusers in carrying on the plot from the beginning. No doubt, it
frequently occurred to those concerned in it, that suspicions might
possibly get into currency that they were acting a part in concert. It
was necessary, by all means, to guard against such an idea. This may
be the key to interpret the arrest and proceedings against Mary
Warren. If it is, the affair, it must be confessed, was managed with
great shrewdness and skill. She conducted the stratagem most
dexterously. All at once she fell away from the circle, and began to
talk against the "afflicted children," and went so far as to say, that
they "did but dissemble." Immediately, they cried out upon her,
charged her with witchcraft, and had her apprehended. After being
carried to prison, she spoke in strong language against the
proceedings. Four persons of unquestionable truthfulness, in prison
with her, on the same charge, prepared a deposition to this effect:
"We heard Mary Warren several times say that the magistrates might as
well examine Keysar's daughter that had been distracted many years,
and take notice of what she said, as well as any of the afflicted
persons. 'For,' said Mary Warren, 'when I was afflicted, I thought I
saw the apparitions of a hundred persons;' for she said her head was
distempered that she could not tell what she said. And the said Mary
told us, that, when she was well again, she could not say that she saw
any of the apparitions at the time aforesaid." I will now give the
substance of her examination, which commenced on the 19th of April.
Mr. Parris was, as usual, requested to take minutes of the
proceedings, which have been preserved:--

     "_Examination of Mary Warren, at a Court held at Salem
     Village, by John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin, Esqrs._

     "(As soon as she was coming towards the bar, the afflicted
     fell into fits.)

     "Mary Warren, you stand here charged with sundry acts of
     witchcraft. What do you say for yourself? Are you guilty or
     not?--I am innocent.

     "Hath she hurt you? (Speaking to the sufferers.)

     "(Some were dumb. Betty Hubbard testified against her, and
     then said Hubbard fell into a violent fit.)

     "You were, a little while ago, an afflicted person; now you
     are an afflicter. How comes this to pass?--I look up to God,
     and take it to be a great mercy of God.

     "What! do you take it to be a great mercy to afflict others?

     "(Now they were all but John Indian grievously afflicted,
     and Mrs. Pope also, who was not afflicted before hitherto
     this day; and, after a few moments, John Indian fell into a
     violent fit also.)"

"Well, here" (Mr. Parris, the reporter, goes on to say) "was one that
just now was a tormenter in her apparition, and she owns that she had
made a league with the Devil." The marvel was, that, having before
been a sufferer, as one of the afflicted accusers, she had then, at
that moment, appeared in the opposite character, and owned herself to
have become a confederate with the Evil One. Having established this
conviction in the minds of the magistrates and spectators, the point
was reached at which she completed the delusion by appearing to break
away from her bondage to Satan, assume the functions of a confessing
and abjuring witch, and retake her place, with tenfold effect, among
the accusing witnesses. The manner in which she rescued herself from
the power of Satan exhibits a specimen of acting seldom surpassed. The
account proceeds thus:--

     "Now Mary Warren fell into a fit, and some of the afflicted
     cried out that she was going to confess; but Goody Corey,
     and Procter and his wife, came in, _in their apparition_,
     and struck her down, and said she should tell nothing."

What is given here in _Italics_, as an "_apparition_," was of course
based upon the declarations of the accusing witnesses. It was an art
they often practised in offering their testimony. They would cry out,
that the Devil, generally in the shape of a black man, appeared to
them at the time, whispering in the ear of the accused, or sitting on
the beams of the meeting-house in which the examinations were
generally conducted. On this occasion, they declared that three of the
persons, then in jail in some other place, came in their apparitions,
forbade Mary Warren's confession, and struck her down. To give full
effect to their statement, she went through the process of tumbling
down. Although nothing was seen by any other person present, the
deception was perfect. The Rev. Mr. Parris wrote it all down as having
actually occurred. His record of the transaction goes on as follows:--

     "Mary Warren continued a good space in a fit, that she did
     neither see nor hear nor speak.

     "Afterwards she started up, and said, 'I will speak,' and
     cried out, 'Oh, I am sorry for it, I am sorry for it!' and
     wringed her hands, and fell a little while into a fit again,
     and then came to speak, but immediately her teeth were set;
     and then she fell into a violent fit, and cried out, 'O
     Lord, help me! O good Lord, save me!'

     "And then afterwards cried again, 'I will tell, I will
     tell!' and then fell into a dead fit again.

     "And afterwards cried, 'I will tell, they did, they did,
     they did;' and then fell into a violent fit again.

     "After a little recovery, she cried, 'I will tell, I will
     tell. They brought me to it;' and then fell into a fit
     again, which fits continuing, she was ordered to be led out,
     and the next to be brought in, viz., Bridget Bishop.

     "Some time afterwards, she was called in again, but
     immediately taken with fits for a while.

     "'Have you signed the Devil's book?--No.'

     "'Have you not touched it?--No.'

     "Then she fell into fits again, and was sent forth for air.

     "After a considerable space of time, she was brought in
     again, but could not give account of things by reason of
     fits, and so sent forth.

     "Mary Warren called in afterwards in private, before
     magistrates and ministers.

     "She said, 'I shall not speak a word: but I will, I will
     speak, Satan! She saith she will kill me. Oh! she saith she
     owes me a spite, and will claw me off. Avoid Satan, for the
     name of God, avoid!' and then fell into fits again, and
     cried, 'Will ye? I will prevent ye, in the name of God.'"

The magistrate inquired earnestly:--

     "'Tell us how far have you yielded?'

     "A fit interrupts her again.

     "'What did they say you should do, and you should be well?'

     "Then her lips were bit, so that she could not speak: so she
     was sent away."

Mr. Parris, the reporter of the case, adds:--

     "Note that not one of the sufferers was afflicted during her
     examination, after once she began to confess, though they
     were tormented before."

She was subsequently examined in the prison several times, falling
occasionally into fits, and exhibiting the appearance of a
long-continued conflict with Satan, who was supposed to be resisting
her inclination to confess, and holding her with violence to the
contract she had made with him. The magistrates and ministers beheld
with amazement and awe what they believed to be precisely a similar
scene to that described by the evangelists when the Devil strove
against the power of the Saviour and his disciples, and would not quit
his hold upon the young man, but "threw him down, and tare him." At
length, as in that case, Satan was overcome. After a protracted, most
violent, and terrible contest, Mary Warren got released from his
clutches, and made a full and circumstantial confession.

Whoever studies carefully the account of Mary Warren's successive
examinations can hardly question, I think, that she acted a part, and
acted it with wonderful cunning, skill, and effect.

This examination, beginning on Tuesday, the 19th of April, continued
after she was committed to prison in Salem, at the jail there, for
several days, and was renewed at intervals until the middle of May.
After she had thoroughly broken away from Satan, she revealed all that
she had seen and heard while associating with him and his confederate
subjects: her testimony was implicitly received, and it dealt death
and destruction in all directions. It is a circumstance strongly
confirming this view, that Mary Warren was soon released from
confinement. It was the general practice to keep those, who confessed,
in prison, to retain in that way power over them, and prevent their
recanting their confessions. She is found, by the papers on file, to
have acted afterwards, as a capital witness, against ten persons, all
of whom were convicted, and seven executed. Besides these, she
testified, with the appearance of animosity and vindictiveness,
against her master John Procter, and her mistress his wife; thus
contributing to secure the conviction of both, and the death of the
former. In how many more cases she figured in the same character and
to the same effect is unknown, as the papers in reference to only a
very small proportion of them have come down to us. The interpretation
I give to the course of Mary Warren exhibits her guilt, and that of
those participating in the stratagem, as of the deepest and blackest
dye. But it seems to be the only one which a scrutiny of the details
of her examinations, and of the facts of the case, allows us to
receive. The effect was most decisive. The course of the accusing
children in crying out against one of their own number satisfied the
public, and convinced still more the magistrates, that they were
truthful, honest, and upright. They had before given evidence that
they paid no regard to family influence or eminent reputation. They
had now proved that they had no partiality and no favoritism, but were
equally ready to bring to light and to justice any of their own circle
who might fall into the snare of the Evil One, and become confederate
with him. No dramatic artist, no cunning impostor, ever contrived a
more ingenious plot; and no actors ever carried one out better than
Mary Warren and the afflicted children.

Giles Corey incurred hostility, perhaps, because his deposition
relating to his wife did not come up to the mark required. It is also
highly probable, that, though incensed at her conduct at the time,
reflection had brought him to his senses; and that the circumstances
of her examination and commitment to prison produced a re-action in
his mind. If so, he would have been apt to express himself very
freely. His examination took place April 19th, in the meeting-house at
the Village. The girls acted their usual part, charging him, one by
one, with having afflicted them, and proving it on the spot by
tortures and sufferings. After they had severally got through, they
all joined at once in their demonstrations. The report made by Parris
says, "All the afflicted were seized now with fits, and troubled with
pinches. Then the Court ordered his hands to be tied." The magistrates
lost all control of themselves, and flew into a passion, exclaiming,
"What! is it not enough to act witchcraft at other times, but must you
do it now, in face of authority?" He seems to have been profoundly
affected by the marvellousness of the accusations, and the exhibition
of what to him was inexplicable in the sufferings of the girls; and
all he could say was, "I am a poor creature, and cannot help
it."--"Upon the motion of his head again, they had their heads and
necks afflicted." The magistrates, not having recovered their
composure, continued to pour their wrath upon him, "Why do you tell
such wicked lies against witnesses?"--"One of his hands was let go,
and several were afflicted. He held his head on one side, and then
the heads of several of the afflicted were held on one side. He drew
in his cheeks, and the cheeks of some of the afflicted were sucked
in." Goody Bibber was on hand, and played her accompaniment. She also
uttered malignant charges against him, and "was suddenly seized with a
violent fit." One of Bibber's statements was that he had called her
husband "damned devilish rogue." Through all this outrage, Corey was
firm in asserting his innocence. His language and manner were serious,
and solemnized by a sense of the helplessness of his situation and the
wicked falsehoods heaped upon him. His disagreement with his wife
about the witchcraft proceedings being well known, the accusers
endeavored to make it out that they had often quarrelled. But he
insisted that the only difference which had before existed between
them was a conflict of opinion on one point. In his family devotions,
he used this expression, "living to God and dying to sin." She "found
fault" with the language, and criticised it. He thought it was all
right! The characteristic spirit of the old man was roused most
strikingly by one of the charges. Bibber and others testified that
Corey had said he had seen the Devil in the shape of a black hog and
was very much frightened. He could not stand under the imputation of
cowardice, and lost sight of every other element in the accusation but
that. The magistrate asked, "What did you see in the cow-house? Why do
you deny it?"--"I saw nothing but my cattle."--"(Divers witnessed that
he told them he was frighted.)"--"Well, what do you say to these
witnesses? What was it frighted you?"--"I do not know that ever I
spoke the word in my life."

But while his character retained its manliness, and his soul was truly
insensible to fear, he was very much oppressed and distressed by his
situation. The share he had, with two of his sons-in-law, in bringing
his wife into her awful condition, and in driving on the public
infatuation at the beginning, was more than he could endure to think
of, and he was charged with having meditated suicide. Perhaps he had
already formed the purpose afterwards carried into effect, and may
have dropped expressions, under that thought, which to others might
appear to indicate a design of self-destruction. He was accused of
having said that "he would make away with himself, and charge his
death upon his son." His sons-in-law, Crosby and Parker, were acting
with the crowd that were pursuing him to his death. Little did it
enter the imagination of any one then, that there was a method by
which he could "make away with himself," leaving the entire act of the
destruction of his life upon his persecutors, and the sin to be
apportioned between him and them by the All-wise and All-just.

Abigail Hobbs had been a reckless vagrant creature, wandering through
the woods at night like a half-deranged person; but she had wit enough
to see that there was safety in confession. She pretended to have
committed, by witchcraft, crimes enough to have hanged her a dozen
times. If she had stood to her confession, we should have heard of her
no more.

Bridget Bishop's examination filled the intervals of time while Mary
Warren was being carried out of the meeting-house to recover from her
fits. Both Parris and Ezekiel Cheever took minutes of it, from which
the substance is gathered as follows:--

On her coming in, the afflicted persons, at the same moment, severally
fell into fits, and were dreadfully tormented. Hathorne addressed her,
calling upon her to give an account of the witchcrafts she was
"conversant in." She replied, "I take all this people to witness that
I am clear." He then asked the children, "Hath this woman hurt you?"
They all cried out that she had. The magistrate continued, "You are
here accused by four or five: what do you say to it?"--"I never saw
these persons before, nor I never[A] was in this place before. I never
did hurt them in my life."

[Footnote A: The double negative, as often used, merely intensified
the negation. See "Measure for Measure," act i. scene 1.]

At a meeting of the afflicted children and others, some one declared
that Bridget Bishop was present "in her shape" or apparition, and,
pointing to a particular spot, said, "There, there she is!" Young
Jonathan Walcot, exasperated by his sister's sufferings, struck at the
spot with his sword; whereupon Mary cried out, "You have hit her, you
have torn her coat, and I heard it tear." This story had been brought
to Hathorne's ears; and abruptly, as if to take her off her guard, he
said, "Is not your coat cut?" She answered, "No." They then examined
the coat, and found what they regarded as having been "cut or torn two
ways." It was probably the fashion in which the garment was made; for
she was in the habit of dressing more artistically than the women of
the Village. At any rate, it did not appear like a direct cut of a
sword; but Jonathan got over the difficulty by saying that "the sword
that he struck at Goody Bishop was not naked, but was within the
scabbard." This explained the whole matter, so that Cheever says, in
his report, that "the rent may very probably be the very same that
Mary Walcot did tell that she had in her coat, by Jonathan's striking
at her appearance"! Parris says, with more caution, more indeed than
was usual with him, "Upon some search in the Court, a rent, that seems
to answer what was alleged, was found."

Hathorne, having heard the scandals they had circulated against her,
proceeded: "They say you bewitched your first husband to death."--"If
it please Your Worship, I know nothing of it."--"What do you say of
these murders you are charged with?"--"I hope I am not guilty of
murder." As she said this, she turned up her eyes, probably to give
solemnity to her declaration. At the opening of the examination, she
looked round upon the people, and called them to witness her
innocence. She had found out by this time, that no justice could be
expected from them; and feeling, with Rebecca Nurse on a recent
similar occasion, "I have got nobody to look to but God," she turned
her eyes heavenward. Instantly, the eyeballs of all the girls were
rolled up in their sockets, and fixed. The effect was awful, and still
more increased as they went, after a moment or two, into dreadful
torments. Hathorne could no longer contain himself, but broke out, "Do
you not see how they are tormented? You are acting witchcraft before
us! What do you say to this? Why have you not a heart to confess the
truth?" She calmly replied, "I am innocent. I know nothing of it. I am
no witch. I know not what a witch is." The "afflicted children"
charged her with having tried to persuade them to sign the Devil's
book. As she had never before seen one of them, she was indignant at
this barefaced falsehood, and, as Cheever says, "shook her head" in
her resentment; which, as he further says, put them all into great
torments. Parris represents that in every motion of her head they were
tortured. Marshal Herrick, as usual, put in his oar, and volunteered
charges against her. She bore herself well through the shocking scene,
and did not shrink, at its close, from expressing her unbelief of the
whole thing: "I do not know whether there be any witches or no." When
she was removed from the place of examination, the accusers all had
fits, and broke forth in outcries of agony. After being taken out, one
of the constables in charge of her asked her if she was not troubled
to see the afflicted persons so tormented; and she replied, "No." In
answer to further questions, she indicated that she could not tell
what to think of them, and did not concern herself about them at all.

Giles Corey, Bridget Bishop, Abigail Hobbs, together with Mary Warren,
were duly committed to prison.

Two days after, April 21, warrants were issued "against William Hobbs,
husbandman, and Deliverance his wife; Nehemiah Abbot, Jr., weaver;
Mary Easty, the wife of Isaac Easty; and Sarah Wilds, the wife of John
Wilds,--all of the town of Topsfield, or Ipswich; and Edward Bishop,
husbandman, and Sarah his wife, of Salem Village; and Mary Black, a
negro of Lieutenant Nathaniel Putnam's, of Salem Village also; and
Mary English, the wife of Philip English, merchant in Salem." All of
them were to be delivered to the magistrates for examination at the
house of Lieutenant Nathaniel Ingersoll, at about ten o'clock the next
morning, in Salem Village; and were brought in accordingly.

What the papers on file enable us to glean of these nine persons is
substantially as follows: William Hobbs was about fifty years of age,
and one of the earliest settlers of the Village, although his
residence was on the territory afterwards included in Topsfield. His
daughter Abigail, of whom I have just spoken, appears from all the
accounts to have acted at this stage of the transaction a most wicked
part, ready to do all the mischief in her power, and allowing herself
to be used to any extent to fasten the imputation of witchcraft upon
others. Several persons testified that, long before, she had boasted
that she was not afraid of any thing, "for she had sold herself body
and soul to the Old Boy;" one witness testified, that, "some time last
winter, I was discoursing with Abigail Hobbs about her wicked
carriages and disobedience to her father and mother, and she told me
she did not care what anybody said to her, for she had seen the Devil,
and had made a covenant or bargain with him;" another, Margaret
Knight, testified, that, about a year before, "Abigail Hobbs and her
mother were at my father's house, and Abigail Hobbs said to me,
'Margaret, are you baptized?' And I said, 'Yes.' Then said she, 'My
mother is not baptized, but I will baptize her;' and immediately took
water, and sprinkled in her mother's face, and said she did baptize
her 'in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.'"

She was arrested, and brought to the Village, on the 19th of April.
The next day, she began her operations by declaring that "Judah White,
a Jersey maid" that lived with Joseph Ingersoll at Casco, "but now
lives at Boston," appeared to her "in apparition" the day before, and
advised her to "fly, and not to go to be examined," but, if she did
go, "not to confess any thing:" she described the dress of this
"apparition,"--she "came to her in fine clothes, in a sad-colored silk
mantle, with a top-knot and a hood."--"She confesseth further, that
the Devil in the shape of a man came to her," and charged her to
afflict the girls; bringing images made of wood in their likeness with
thorns for her to prick into the images, which she did: whereupon the
girls cried out that they were hurt by her. She further confessed,
that, "she was at the great meeting in Mr. Parris's pasture, when they
administered the sacrament, and did eat of the red bread and drink of
the red wine, at the same time." This confession established her
credibility at once; and, the next day, the warrants were issued for
the nine persons above mentioned, against whom they had secured in her
an effective witness. She had resided for some time at Casco Bay; and
we shall soon see how matters began in a few days to work in that
direction. There are two indictments against this Abigail Hobbs: one
charging her with having made a covenant with "the Evil Spirit, the
Devil," at Casco Bay, in 1688; the other with having exercised the
arts of witchcraft upon the afflicted girls, at Salem Village, in
1692.

When her unhappy father was brought to examination, he found that his
daughter was playing into the hands of the accusers; and that his
wife, overwhelmed by the horrors of the situation, although for a time
protesting her innocence and lamenting that she had been the mother of
such a daughter, had broken down and confessed, saying whatever might
be put in her mouth by the magistrates, the girls, or the crowd. Under
these circumstances, he was brought forward for examination. Parris
took minutes of it. It is to be regretted, that the paper is much
dilapidated, and portions of the lines wholly lost. What is left shows
that the mind of William Hobbs rose superior to the terrors and
powers arrayed against it. The magistrate commenced proceedings by
inquiring of the girls, pointing to the prisoner, "Hath this man hurt
you?" Several of them answered "Yes." Goody Bibber, who seems
generally to have been a very zealous volunteer backer of the girls,
on this occasion, for a wonder, answered "No." The magistrate,
addressing the prisoner, "What say you? Are you guilty or
not?"--Answer: "I can speak in the presence of God safely, as I must
look to give account another day, that I am as clear as a new-born
babe."--"Clear of what?"--"Of witchcraft."--"Have you never hurt
these?"--"No." Abigail Williams cried out that he "was going to Mercy
Lewis!" Whereupon Mercy was seized with a fit. Then Abigail cried out
again, "He is coming to Mary Walcot!" and Mary went into her fit. The
magistrate, in consternation, appealed to him: "How can you be clear,"
when your appearance is thus seen producing such effects before our
eyes? Then the children went into fits all together, and "hallooed" at
the top of their voices, and "shouted greatly." The magistrate then
brought up the confession of his wife against him, and expostulated
with him for not confessing; the afflicted, in the mean while,
bringing the whole machinery of their convulsions, shrieks, and uproar
to bear against him: but he calmly, and in brief terms, denied it.

The circle of accusing girls seems to have been a receptacle, into
which all the scandal, gossip, and defamation of the surrounding
country was emptied. Some one had told them that William Hobbs was not
a regular attendant at meeting. They passed it on to the magistrate,
and he put this question to the accused: "When were you at any public
religious meeting?" He replied, "Not a pretty while."--"Why
so?"--"Because I was not well: I had a distemper that none knows." The
magistrate said, "Can you act witchcraft here, and, by casting your
eyes, turn folks into fits?"--"You may judge your pleasure. My soul is
clear."--"Do you not see you hurt these by your look?"--"No: I do not
know it." After another display of awful sufferings, caused, as they
protested, by the mere look of Hobbs, the magistrate, with triumphant
confidence, again put it home to him, "Can you now deny it?" He
answered, "I can deny it to my dying day." The magistrate inquired of
him for what reason he withdrew from the room whenever the Scriptures
were read in his family. He plumply denied it. Nathaniel Ingersoll and
Thomas Haynes testified that his daughter had told them so. The
confessions of his wife and daughter were over and over again brought
up against him, but to no effect. "Who do you worship?" said the
magistrate. "I hope I worship God only."--"Where?"--"In my heart." The
examination failed to confound or embarrass him in the least. He could
not be drawn into the expression of any of the feelings which the
conduct of his graceless and depraved daughter or his weak and
wretched wife must have excited. He quietly protested that he knew
nothing about witchcraft; and, towards the close, with solemn
earnestness of utterance, declared that his innocence was known to the
"great God in heaven."

He was committed for trial. All that the documents in existence inform
us further, in relation to William Hobbs, is that he remained in
prison until the 14th of the next December, when two of his neighbors,
John Nichols and Joseph Towne, in some way succeeded in getting him
bailed out; they giving bonds in the sum of two hundred pounds for his
appearance at the sessions of the Court the next month. But it was
not, even then, thought wholly safe to have him come in; and the fine
was incurred. He appeared at the term in May, the fine was remitted,
and he discharged by proclamation. On the 26th of March, 1714, he gave
evidence in a case of commonage rights. He was then seventy-two years
of age. Of his wife and daughter, I shall again have occasion to
speak.

For all that is known of the case of Nehemiah Abbot, we are indebted
to Hutchinson, who had Parris's minutes of the examination before him.
Hutchinson says, that, of "near an hundred" whose examinations he had
seen, he was the only one who, having been brought before the
magistrates, was finally dismissed by them. Perhaps even this case was
not an exception: for a document on file shows that a person named
Abbot of the same locality was subsequently arrested and imprisoned;
but unfortunately the Christian name has been obliterated, or from
some cause is wanting. It seems, from Hutchinson's minutes, that he
protested his innocence in manly and firm declarations. Mary Walcot
testified that she had seen his shape. Ann Putnam cried out that she
saw him "upon the beam." The magistrates told him that his guilt was
certainly proved, and that, if he would find mercy of God, he must
confess. "I speak before God," he answered, "that I am clear from this
accusation."--"What, in all respects?"--"Yes, in all respects." The
girls were struck with dumbness; and Ann Putnam, re-affirming that he
was the man that hurt her, "was taken with a fit." Mary Walcot began
to waver in her confidence, and Mercy Lewis said, "It is not the man."
This unprecedented variance in the testimony of the girls brought
matters to a stand; and he was sent out for a time, while others were
examined:--

     "When he was brought in again, by reason of much people, and
     many in the windows, so that the accusers could not have a
     clear view of him, he was ordered to be abroad, and the
     accusers to go forth to him, and view him in the light,
     which they did in the presence of the magistrates and many
     others, discoursed quietly with him, one and all acquitting
     him; but yet said he was like that man, but he had not the
     wen they saw in his apparition. Note, he was a hilly-faced
     man, and stood shaded by reason of his own hair; so that for
     a time he seemed to some bystanders and observers to be
     considerably like the person the afflicted did describe."

Such is Parris's statement, as quoted by Hutchinson. What was the real
cause or motive of this discrepancy among the witnesses does not
appear. The facts, that at first they went into fits in beholding him,
were all struck dumb for a while, and Ann Putnam saw him on the beam,
were likely to have an unfavorable effect upon the minds of the
people, and threatened to explode the delusion. But Ann, with a
quickness of wit that never failed to meet any emergency, when Mercy
Lewis said it was not the man, cried out in a fit, "Did you put a mist
before my eyes?" She conveyed the idea that the power of Satan blinded
her, and caused her to mistake the man. This answered the purpose;
and, although Abbot got clear, for the time at least, all were more
than ever convinced that the Evil One, in misleading Ann, had shown
his hand on the occasion.

The examination of Sarah Wildes had no peculiar features. The
afflicted children and Goody Bibber saw her apparition sitting on the
beam while she was bodily present at the bar, and went through their
usual fits and evolutions. She maintained her innocence with dignity
and firmness; and the magistrate, prejudging the case against her,
rebuked her obstinacy in not confessing, in his accustomed manner.

No account has come down of the examinations of Edward Bishop, or
Sarah his wife. He was the third of that name, probably the son of the
"Sawyer." His wife Sarah was a daughter of William Wildes of Ipswich,
and, it would seem, a sister of John Wildes, the examination of whose
wife has just been mentioned. Some of the evidence indicates that she
was a niece of Rebecca Nurse. They all belonged to that class of
persons who, under the general appellation of "the Topsfield men," had
been in such frequent collision with the people of the Village. Edward
Bishop was forty-four years of age, and his wife forty-one. They had a
family, at the time of their imprisonment, of twelve children. Sarah
Bishop had been dismissed from the church at the Village, and
recommended to that at Topsfield, May 25, 1690. They had land in
Topsfield, as well as in the Village, and were more intimately
connected in social relations with the former than the latter place.
They effected their escape from prison, and survived the storm. Mary,
the wife of Philip English, was committed to prison. We have no record
of her examination.

Mary Black, the negro woman, belonged to Nathaniel Putnam, but lived
in the family of his son Benjamin. Her examination shows that she was
an ignorant but an innocent person. She knew nothing about the matter,
and had no idea what it all meant. To the questions with which the
magistrate pressed her, her answers were, "I do not know," "I cannot
tell." The only fact brought out against her besides the actings of
the girls was this: "Her master saith a man sat down upon the form
with her about a twelvemonth ago." Parris, in his minutes, gives this
piece of evidence, but does not enlighten us as to its import. The
magistrate asked her, "What did the man say to you?" Her answer was:
"He said nothing." This is all they got out of her; and it is all the
light we have on the mysterious fact, that a man was once seated, at
some time within twelve months, on the same form or bench with poor
Mary Black. The magistrate asked the girls, "Doth this negro hurt
you?" They said "Yes."--"Why do you hurt them?"--"I did not hurt
them." This question was put to her, "Do you prick sticks?" perhaps
the meaning was, Do you prick the afflicted children with sticks? The
simple creature evidently did not know what they were driving at, and
answered, "No: I pin my neckcloth." The examiner asked her, "Will you
take out the pin, and pin it again?" She did so, and several of the
afflicted cried out that they were pricked. Mary Walcot was pricked in
the arm till the blood came, Abigail Williams was pricked in the
stomach, and Mercy Lewis was pricked in the foot. It is probable,
that, in this case, the girls, as they often appear to have done,
provided themselves by concert beforehand with pins ready to be stuck
into the assigned parts of their bodies, and managed to get the queer
and unusual question put. The whole thing has the appearance of being
pre-arranged; and it answered the purpose, filling the crowd with
amazement, and excluding all possible doubt from the minds of the
magistrates. Mary was committed to prison, where she remained until
discharged, in May, 1693, by proclamation from the governor.

Mary Easty, wife of Isaac Easty, and sister of Rebecca Nurse and
Sarah Cloyse, was about fifty-eight years of age, and the mother of
seven children. Her husband owned and lived upon a large and valuable
farm, which not many years since was the property and country
residence of the late Hon. B.W. Crowninshield, and is now in the
possession of Thomas Pierce, Esq. Her examination was accompanied by
the usual circumstances. The girls had fits, and were speechless at
times: the magistrate expostulated with her for not confessing her
guilt, which he regarded as demonstrated, beyond a question, by the
sufferings of the afflicted. "Would you have me accuse myself?"--"How
far," he continued, "have you complied with Satan?"--"Sir, I never
complied, but prayed against him all my days. What would you have me
do?"--"Confess, if you be guilty."--"I will say it, if it was my last
time, I am clear of this sin." The magistrate, apparently affected by
her manner and bearing, inquired of the girls, "Are you certain this
is the woman?" They all went into fits; and presently Ann Putnam,
coming to herself, said "that was the woman, it was like her, and she
told me her name." The accused clasped her hands together, and Mercy
Lewis's hands were clenched; she separated her hands, and Mercy's were
released; she inclined her head, and the girls screamed out, "Put up
her head; for, while her head is bowed, the necks of these are
broken." The magistrate again asked, "Is this the woman?" They made
signs that they could not speak; but afterwards Ann Putnam and others
cried out: "O Goody Easty, Goody Easty, you are the woman, you are the
woman!"--"What do you say to this?"--"Why, God will know."--"Nay, God
knows now."--"I know he does."--"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 whether it be witchcraft I do
not know." She was committed to prison.

It will be noticed that seven out of the nine examined at this time
either lived in Topsfield or were intimately connected with the church
and people there. The accusing girls had heard them angrily spoken of
by the people around them, and availed themselves, as at all times, of
existing prejudices, to guide them in the selection of their victim.

The escape of Abbot, and the wavering, in his case and that of Easty,
indicated by the magistrates on this occasion, alarmed the
prosecutors; and they felt that something must be done to stiffen
Hathorne and Corwin to their previous rigid method of procedure. The
following letter was accordingly written to them that very day,
immediately after the close of the examinations:--

     "_These to the Honored John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin,
     Esqrs., living at Salem, present._

     "SALEM VILLAGE, this 21st of April, 1692.

     "MUCH HONORED,--After most humble and hearty thanks presented
     to Your Honors for the great care and pains you have already
     taken for us,--for which you know we are never able to make
     you recompense, and we believe you do not expect it of us;
     therefore a full reward will be given you of the Lord God of
     Israel, whose cause and interest you have espoused (and we
     trust this shall add to your crown of glory in the day of the
     Lord Jesus): and we--beholding continually the tremendous
     works of Divine Providence, not only every day, but every
     hour--thought it our duty to inform Your Honors of what we
     conceive you have not heard, which are high and dreadful,--of
     a wheel within a wheel, at which our ears do tingle. Humbly
     craving continually your prayers and help in this distressed
     case,--so, praying Almighty God continually to prepare you,
     that you may be a terror to evil-doers and a praise to them
     that do well, we remain yours to serve in what we are able,

     "THOMAS PUTNAM."

What was meant by the "wheel within a wheel," the "high and dreadful"
things which were making their ears to tingle, but had not yet been
disclosed to the magistrates, we shall presently see. On the 30th of
April, Captain Jonathan Walcot and Sergeant Thomas Putnam (the writer
of the foregoing letter) got out a warrant against Philip English, of
Salem, merchant; Sarah Morrel, of Beverly; and Dorcas Hoar, of the
same place, widow. Morrel and Hoar were delivered by Marshal Herrick,
according to the tenor of the warrant, at 11, A.M., May 2, at
the house of Lieutenant Nathaniel Ingersoll, in Salem Village. The
warrant has an indorsement in these words: "Mr. Philip English not
being to be found. G.H." As the records of the examinations of Philip
English and his wife have not been preserved, and only a few
fragments of the testimony relating to their case are to be found, all
that can be said is that the girls and their accomplices made their
usual charges against them. There are two depositions in existence,
however, which afford some explanation of the causes that exposed Mr.
English to hostility, and indicate the kind of evidence that was
brought against him. Having many landed estates, in various places,
and extensive business transactions, he was liable to frequent
questions of litigation. He was involved, at one time, in a lawsuit
about the bounds of a piece of land in Marblehead. A person named
William Beale, of that town, had taken great interest in it adversely
to the claims of English; and some harsh words passed between them. A
year or two after the affair, Beale states, "that, as I lay in my bed,
in the morning, presently after it was fair light abroad in the room,"
"I saw a dark shade," &c. To his vision it soon assumed the shape of
Philip English. On a previous occasion, when riding through Lynn to
get testimony against English in the aforesaid boundary case, he says,
"My nose gushed out bleeding in a most extraordinary manner, so that
it bloodied a handkerchief of considerable bigness, and also ran down
upon my clothes and upon my horse's mane." He charged it upon English.
These depositions were sworn to in Court, in August, 1692, and
January, 1693. How they got there does not appear, as English was
never brought to trial. All that relates to Mr. English and his wife
may be despatched at this point. On the 6th of May, a warrant was
procured at Boston, "To the marshal-general, or his lawful deputy," to
apprehend Philip English wherever found within the jurisdiction, and
convey him to the "custody of the marshal of Essex." Jacob Manning, a
deputy-marshal, delivered him to the marshal of Essex on the 30th of
May; and he was brought before the magistrates on the next day, and,
after examination, committed to prison. He and his wife effected their
escape from jail, and found refuge in New York until the proceedings
were terminated, when they returned to Salem, and continued to reside
here. She survived the shock given by the accusation, the danger to
which she had been exposed, and the sufferings of imprisonment, but a
short time. They occupied the highest social position. He was a
merchant, conducting an extensive business, and had a large estate;
owning fourteen buildings in the town, a wharf, and twenty-one sail of
vessels. His dwelling-house, represented in the frontispiece of this
volume, stood until a recent period, and is remembered by many of us.
Its site was on the southern side of Essex Street, near its
termination; comprising the area between English and Webb Streets. It
must have been a beautiful situation; commanding at that time a full,
unobstructed view of the Beverly and Marblehead shores, and all the
waters and points of land between them. The mansion was spacious in
its dimensions, and bore the marks of having been constructed in the
best style of elegance, strength, and finish. It was indeed a curious
and venerable specimen of the domestic architecture of its day. A
first-class house then; in its proportions, arrangements, and
attachments, it would compare well with first-class houses now. Mrs.
English was a lady of eminent character and culture. Traditions to
this effect have come down with singular uniformity through all the
old families of the place. She was the only child of Richard
Hollingsworth, and inherited his large property. The Rev. William
Bentley, D.D., in his "Description of Salem," and whose daily life
made him conversant with all that relates to the locality of Mrs.
English's residence, says that the officer came to apprehend her in
the evening, after she had retired to rest. He was admitted by the
servants, and read his warrant in her bedchamber. Guards were placed
around the house. To be accused by the afflicted children was then
regarded as certain death. "In the morning," says Bentley, "she
attended the devotions of her family, kissed her children with great
composure, proposed her plan for their education, took leave of them,
and then told the officer she was ready to die." Dr. Bentley suggests
that unfriendly feelings may have existed against Mr. English in
consequence of some controversies he had been engaged in with the town
about the title to lands; that the superior style in which his family
lived had subjected them to vulgar prejudice; that the existence of
this feeling becoming known to the "afflicted girls" led them to cry
out against him and his wife. It may be so. They availed themselves of
every such advantage; and particularly liked to strike high, so as the
more to astound and overawe the public mind.

I find no further mention of Sarah Morrel. She doubtless shared the
fate of those escaping death,--a long imprisonment. When Dorcas Hoar
was brought in, there was a general commotion among the afflicted,
falling into fits all around. After coming out of them, they vied with
each other in heaping all sorts of accusations upon the prisoner;
Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam charging her with having choked a
woman in Boston; Elizabeth Hubbard crying out that she was pinching
her, "and showing the marks to the standers by. The marshal said she
pinched her fingers at the time." The magistrate, indignantly
believing the whole, said, "Dorcas Hoar, why do you hurt these?"--"I
never hurt any child in my life." The girls then charged her with
having killed her husband, and with various other crimes. Mary Walcot,
Susanna Sheldon, and Abigail Williams said they saw a black man
whispering in her ear. The spirit of the prisoner was raised; and she
said, "Oh, you are liars, and God will stop the mouth of liars!" The
anger of the magistrates was roused by this bold outbreak. "You are
not to speak after this manner in the Court."--"I will speak the truth
as long as I live," she fearlessly replied. Parris says, at the close
of his account, "The afflicted were much distressed during her
examination." Of course, she was sent to prison.

Susanna Martin of Amesbury, a widow, was arrested on a warrant dated
April 30, and examined at the Village church May 2. She is described
as a short active woman, wearing a hood and scarf, plump and well
developed in her figure, of remarkable personal neatness. One of the
items of the evidence against her was, that, "in an extraordinary
dirty season, when it was not fit for any person to travel, she came
on foot" to a house at Newbury. The woman of the house, the substance
of whose testimony I am giving, having asked, "whether she came from
Amesbury afoot," expressed her surprise at her having ventured abroad
in such bad walking, and bid her children make way for her to come to
the fire to dry herself. She replied "she was as dry as I was," and
turned her coats aside; "and I could not perceive that the soles of
her shoes were wet. I was startled at it, that she should come so dry;
and told her that I should have been wet up to my knees, if I should
have come so far on foot." She replied that "she scorned to have a
drabbled tail." The good woman who treated Susanna Martin on this
occasion with such hospitable kindness received the impression, as
appears by the import of her deposition, that, because Martin came
into the house so wonderfully dry, she was therefore a witch. The only
inference we are likely to draw is, that she was a particularly neat
person; careful to pick her way; and did not wear skirts of the
dimensions of our times.

The language reported by this witness to have been used by Susanna
Martin created in her, at the time, visible mortification, as well as
resentment. A writer at the period, not by any means inclined to give
a representation favorable to the prisoners, reports her expression
thus: "She scorned to be drabbled." She was undoubtedly a woman who
spoke her mind freely, and with strength of expression, as the
magistrates found. From this cause, perhaps, she had shocked the
prejudices and violated the conventional scrupulosities then
prevalent, to such a degree as to incur much comment, if not scandal.
There had been a good deal of gossip about her; and, some time before,
she had been proceeded against as a witch. But there was no ground for
any serious charges against her character. Like Mrs. Ann Hibbens,
perhaps the head and front of her offending was that she had more wit
than her neighbors. She certainly was a strong-minded woman, as her
examination shows. Two reports of it, each in the handwriting of
Parris, have come down to us. They are almost identical, and in
substance as follows:--

On the appearance of the accused, many of the witnesses against her
instantly fell into fits. The magistrate inquired of them,--

     "Hath this woman hurt you?"

     "(Abigail Williams declared that she had hurt her often.
     'Ann Putnam threw her glove at her in a fit,' and the rest
     were struck dumb at her presence.)

     "What! do you laugh at it? said the magistrate.--Well I may
     at such folly.

     "Is this folly to see these so hurt?--I never hurt man,
     woman, or child.

     "(Mercy Lewis cried out, 'She hath hurt me a great many
     times, and plucks me down.' Then Martin laughed again.
     Several others cried out upon her, and the magistrate again
     addressed her.)

     "What do you say to this?--I have no hand in witchcraft.

     "What did you do? did you consent these should be hurt?--No,
     never in my life.

     "What ails these people?--I do not know.

     "But what do you think ails them?--I do not desire to spend
     my judgment upon it.

     "Do you think they are bewitched?--No: I do not think they
     are.

     "Well, tell us your thoughts about them.--My thoughts are
     mine own when they are in; but, when they are out, they are
     another's.

     "Who do you think is their master?--If they be dealing in
     the black art, you may know as well as I.

     "What have you done towards the hurt of these?--I have done
     nothing.

     "Why, it is you, or your appearance.--I cannot help it.

     "How comes your appearance just now to hurt these?--How do I
     know?

     "Are you not willing to tell the truth?--I cannot tell. He
     that appeared in Samuel's shape can appear in any one's
     shape.

     "Do you believe these afflicted persons do not say
     true?--They may lie, for aught I know.

     "May not you lie?--I dare not tell a lie, if it would save
     my life."

At this point, the marshal declared that "she pinched her hands, and
Elizabeth Hubbard was immediately afflicted. Several of the afflicted
cried out that they saw her upon the beam" of the meeting-house over
their head