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Title: A Short History of the Salem Village Witchcraft Trials - Illustrated by a Verbatim Report of the Trial of Mrs. Elizabeth Howe
Author: Perley, Martin Van Buren
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Short History of the Salem Village Witchcraft Trials - Illustrated by a Verbatim Report of the Trial of Mrs. Elizabeth Howe" ***

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                           Transcriber Notes

 ● There are many inconsistencies in this text. The headings in the
     table of contents do not all match the actual headings in the text,
     and not all headings in the text are in the table of contents.
     There are variations in spelling, hyphenation and capitalization,
     missing punctuation, and possible repeated words, particularly in
     the transcriptions from the 1692 court proceedings. In the older
     text, the letters u/v and I/J are sometimes used differently than
     is done today. Aside from a small number of punctuation typos in
     the more modern part of the text, and the page and item number
     fixes noted below, all inconsistencies and variations have been
     left as in the original.
 ● The page numbers in the Bibliography content list changed to reflect
     their actual page numbers in the book. A duplicate (3) in the
     Perley’s Chronological Chart section was changed to (2).
 ● Italics are represented by underscores surrounding the _italic text_.
 ● Small capitals have been converted to ALL CAPS.
 ● Descriptions of illustrations without captions added.




                            A SHORT HISTORY

                                 OF THE

                    Salem Village Witchcraft Trials

                            ILLUSTRATED BY A

                    Verbatim Report of the Trial of
                          MRS. ELIZABETH HOWE

                           A MEMORIAL OF HER

               [Illustration: Witch-eclipse of the Moon]

                                                   To dance with
       Lapland witches, while the lab’ring moon eclipses at their

                                         —Paradise Lost, ii. 662


                             SALEM, MASS.:
                       M. V. B. PERLEY, PUBLISHER


                            COPYRIGHT, 1911
                           BY M. V. B. PERLEY
                              SALEM, MASS.

                            The Tudor Press



Greater Salem, the province of Governors Conant and Endicott, is visited
by thousands of sojourners yearly. They come to study the Quakers and
the witches, to picture the manses of the latter and the stately
mansions of Salem’s commercial kings, and breathe the salubrious air of
“old gray ocean.”

The witchcraft “delusion” is generally the first topic of inquiry, and
the earnest desire of those people with notebook in hand to aid the
memory in chronicling answers, suggested this monograph and urged its
publication. There is another cogent reason: the popular knowledge is
circumscribed and even that needs correcting.

This short history meets that earnest desire; it gives the origin,
growth, and death of the hideous monster; it gives dates, courts, and
names of places, jurors, witnesses, and those hanged; it names and
explains certain “men and things” that are concomitant to the trials,
with which the reader may not be conversant and which are necessary to
the proper setting of the trials in one’s mind; it compasses the salient
features of witchcraft history, so that the story of the 1692 “delusion”
may be garnered and entertainingly rehearsed.

The trials were all spread upon the records, word for word. Rev. Samuel
Parris, stenographer to the court, says they were “taken down in my
characters written at the time,” barring, of course, the evidence by
affidavits, which were written, signed, and attested, and filed in the
Clerk of Court’s office, where they may now be seen.

Great research has hitherto been made, keen, sagacious acumen employed,
and much written; but the true criterion of judgment, a trial,—a word
for word trial,—has not before this been published. Here, then, is the
first opportunity of readers to judge for themselves.

The trials were unique. The court was without authority; none of the
judges, it is said, was bred to the law; evidence was arbitrarily
admitted or excluded; the accused were not allowed counsel in law or the
consolation of the clergy in religion.

The careful reader may discover, between the lines, in questions, in
answers, and in the strange exhibitions, the real state of mind
pervading all, which has been mildly characterized as a “delusion”; also
he may be able to compare the Mosaic, the 1692, and the modern spirit
manifestations, and advantageously determine for himself what is worth
while in modern spiritualism, mind-reading, clairvoyance, mesmerism, and
the rest.

Though men of education, religion, titled dignity, and official station,
of the professions and the élite, were responsible for the horrible
catastrophy, and in one instance or more forced the yeoman jurors to
convict (who at the end signed recantations and expressed their
grief),—religion and education must not be undervalued; a religious
education will yield the highest type of manhood.



          Notice                                            3
          The Introduction                                  9
          The Witch, Her Antiquity, Legal Status            9
          The Modern Witch; Her Persecution                10
          Learned Men’s Views, Dissenters, Crone Lore      11
          Ingersoll; The Four Ministers                    13
          The Witch School; “Who’s Who”                    18
          Unwarrantable Usurpation                         21
          Names of the Court and Jury                      23
          Names of Those Hanged                            24
          Rev. John Hale Converted                         27
          Lofty Character of the Condemned                 28
          Place of Execution; The Crevice                  29
          Mrs. Howe’s Case:                                31
          The Sunday Warrant; Her Examination              31
          Indicted, Remanded to Salem Jail                 35

          Case Called June 29th. The Witnesses:
            Andrews, Thomas                                57
            Chapman, Simon and Mary                        41
            Cummings, Isaac, Sr. and Jr.                43-46
            Cummings, Mary, Sr.                         47-49
            Foster, Jacob                                  53
            Hadley, Deborah                                40
            Howe, James, Sr. (ninety-four years old)       46
            Howe, John (brother-in-law)                    52
            Knowlton, Joseph and Mary                      45
            Lane, Francis                                  50
            Payson, Rev. Edward                            40
            Perley, Samuel[1] and Ruth                     37
            Perley, Timothy[1] and Deborah                 36
            Phillips, Rev. Samuel                          38
            Safford, Joseph                                54
            Warner, Daniel, John, Sarah                    41

          Imprisoned at Boston. Her Execution              24
          Petition for Reimbursement and Removal of        58
          Mrs. Howe’s Home Located                         60
          Judge Joseph Story’s Tribute                     28

          Who Were the Howes?
            James Branch of the Ipswich Howes              65
            Coats of Arms                                  66
            James Howe, Sr.                                67
            James Howe, Jr., and His Wife Elizabeth        68

          Bibliography                                     70

Footnote 1:

  See Perley Family History and Genealogy, pages 15, 19.



            Typical of the Witchcraft Trials    Frontispiece
            Painting by Mattison, about 1854.
              The only conception of the
              witchcraft trials ever spread on
              canvas.—Courtesy of _The Essex

            Witch-eclipse of the Moon                      1
            Salem Village (now Danvers                    14
            The New England Witch                         15
            The 1692 Meetinghouse                         17
            The Present Church and Parsonage         opp. 18
            Governor Simon Bradstreet                     21
            The Mathers, Increase and Cotton         opp. 22
            The Witch Plat, or Place of                   29
            The Witch Plat, showing “The             opp. 29
            Warrant for Mrs. Howe’s Arrest           opp. 31
            Ipswich Farms                                 51
            Location of Mrs. Howe’s Home                  60
            The Aaron Howe House                          62
            Descendants of James Howe, Sr.                64
            The Howe Arms                                 66



The proceedings in witchcraft in 1692 to us who are two hundred and
twenty years removed from the scene, seem, at first, impossible, then
mortifying, and persuasive of disowning our fathers and forgetting the
period of their folly. At best, the occurrence furnishes the wildest and
saddest chapter in our New England history.


The doctrine of familiar spirits was current in most ancient times. It
is possible that immediately after the fall in Adam the imprisoned
spirit of man began to assert its former freedom and ability. The old
Scriptures depicted the witch’s character, gave warning of her blighting
influence, and enacted heavy penalties against employing her agency. In
Exodus, xxii. 18: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” In Leviticus,
xx. 27: “A man also or a woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a
wizard, shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
In Deuteronomy, xviii. 9-12: “When thou art come into the land which the
Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the
abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any
one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or
that useth divination, or any observer of times, or any enchanter, or a
witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard,
or a necromancer; for all that do these things are an abomination unto
the Lord.”


The colonial laws to which New England witches were amenable, codified
by Rev. Samuel Ward, of Ipswich, who had had extensive legal training
and practice before entering the ministry, were published in 1641. Mr.
Ward[2] followed Moses, the great Hebrew lawgiver, in great measure, but
he distanced England in mildness and was far ahead of his time in scope.
With him, however, the witch found no favor. Death was the punishment
for witchcraft, first and last, and the Puritan, whose sure palladium of
civil and religious freedom was the Bible, obeyed the precept to the
letter, his highest knowledge and authority.

Footnote 2:

  See M. V. B. Perley’s Ipswich History in J. W. Lewis’s History of
  Essex County, Mass., Vol. I, page 626.


The modern witch, it is said, had her birth near the beginning of the
Christian era. Her persecution began about two hundred years later. From
that time hundreds of thousands of victims were immolated to appease the
inconsiderate and insatiate demands of her persecutors.

In the earliest years witches were generally burned, and in the first
one hundred and fifty years it is estimated thirty thousand thus
perished. Later, in France, in one century, an almost incredible number
suffered—one thousand in a single diocese. In the century, 1600 to 1700,
two hundred were hanged in England, one thousand were burned in
Scotland, and a much greater number on the Continent.


In America there were witch trials—in Connecticut, New York, and
Pennsylvania,[3]—some years before 1692. In Boston, 1648, Margaret
Jones, of malignant touch, was hanged, and Mrs. Ann (Wm.) Hebbins, in
1655. In Springfield, 1651, Mrs. Mary (Hugh) Parsons was hanged. In
Ipswich quarter court, 1652, a man was sentenced to pay a fine of twenty
shillings, or to be whipped for “having familiarity with the Devil.”

The doctrine of witches was embraced not only by the common people, but
also by the learned; Tycho Brahe, the prince of astronomers, and Kepler,
his student, Martin Luther, the bold theologian, and Melancthon, the
gentle; the silver-tongued Dr. Watts and the pious Baxter, who styled a
disbeliever in witchcraft “an obdurate Sadducee,” and others whom time
fails me to mention.

Footnote 3:

  In 1908 or 1909 a Dutch woman in Pennsylvania was charged in court
  with the misdemeanor of casting a spell on a cow, so that the cow gave
  no milk. The woman was fined $5 and ten days in jail.


Witch stories were a social entertainment, to the mingled fear and
merriment of guests and the positive foreboding of children. Who even
now among the older people has forgotten the crone lore of our
grandmothers—how witches would seize a red-hot iron, glide into a heated
oven, ride through the air on enchanted broomsticks, and how stalwart
men would stalk through keyholes, supported and directed by Satanic
power! It was believed that witches made an actual, deliberate, and
formal compact with Satan.

There were, however, two or three persons of learning and influence in
the Province who (to their great credit, be it said) dared to oppose the
doctrine of witches—the celebrated Rev. Samuel Willard, of the Old South
Church, Boston,—Maj. Nathaniel Saltonstall, who declined a seat upon the
bench rather than participate in the witch trials,—and Rev. John
Higginson (son of Rev. Francis, the first minister of Salem), who was
cautious and held himself aloof; for his conscience whispered he had
gone too far against the Quakers.


The New England witch was supposed to be an old woman of attenuated
form, somewhat bent; clothed in lively colors and ample skirts; having a
darting and piercing eye, a head sporting disheveled hair and crowned
with a sugar-loaf hat, a carlin’s cheek, a falcated chin bent to meet an
aquiline nose, by both of which was formed a Neapolitan bay, her mouth
in the background resembling Vesuvius in eruption; and riding an
enchanted broomstick with a black cat as guide.

Salem Village, the location of the hideous catastrophe, was the northern
precinct of Salem; and when it was incorporated Danvers, its name became
Danvers Center. Quite recently (1910) the trolley car company changed
the name to Danvers Highlands, but in the steam car nomenclature it is
Collins Street. From Town House Square in Salem to the Highlands a
trolley ride costs a nickel; the distance is five miles, and every mile
a pleasure.


Nathaniel Ingersoll occupied the central location in the village; a man
of industry and thrift; a licensed innkeeper, who sold liquor by the
quart on Sunday; a kind of chief of police; managed the defenses against
the Indians; a benevolent man, and was chosen deacon. His name does not
figure in the witch trials, and the witches have left no records of the
influence of his tavern in the results. The open plat of ground in front
of his tavern was called Ingersoll’s Common. Farther up the street, at
No. 5, is a plat of ground he gave for “a training field forever.” Capt.
Dea. Jonathan Walcott was a neighbor, as was also Sergt. Thomas Putnam,
parish clerk.





  _Old Salem Village_

  1. Locates the church there at present.

  2. Locates the church of 1692.

  3. Locates the Ingersoll Tavern and the present parsonage.

  4. Locates the Parris house where the mischief began.

  5. Locates the entrance to the Ingersoll Training Field.

  The narrow lane leading to No. 4 is a right of way for all.




Rev. James Bailey, near his majority, a recent graduate of Harvard,
began to preach (not as pastor) there in 1671, and created a division.
Rev. George Burroughs succeeded him in 1680, but matters grew worse. In
1683 Rev. Deodat Lawson began and gave no better results.

Mr. Burroughs was a short, stout man, very muscular and of very dark
complexion. He was a Harvard graduate of 1670. Most of the witches knew
him; and his complexion and extraordinary strength argued his connection
with the black art and the muscular devil.

Rev. Deodat Lawson (Deo-dat-um), a “God-given” cataplasm for the tumor
of unrest, social discords, and animosities that had their rise in
Bailey’s ministry! With Lawson, the suppuration began; for the deviltry
had gone from _seance_ to families and the church, where the unwhipped
girls cried out from time to time, “enough of that”; “see the yellow
bird on the minister’s hat”; “now name your text”; “look how she sits”;
to all which Mr. Lawson’s simplicity testifies: these things “did
something interrupt me in my first prayer, being so unusual.”


The wound was treated and cleansed during the ministry of Rev. Samuel
Parris. He was born in London, about 1653, had been a merchant in Boston
and the Spanish Main, and had studied at Harvard. He succeeded Mr.
Lawson and was ordained and installed their first pastor, Tuesday, Nov.
19, 1689. He left in 1696. The unanimity of the church since he left has
been as marked as the schism was before he left.

[Illustration: THE PARRIS MEETING HOUSE, 1692]

Mr. Parris’s home was at No. 4 on the map. His house probably did not
survive the year 1717. His meetinghouse stood a little to the east of
the Ingersoll Tavern, probably the flat spot now marked by rose bushes
and weeds, and maybe by a large, flat stone in the wall, which stone may
have served as a doorstep. A beautiful modern church edifice now graces
the corner opposite Ingersoll’s old corner, while the parsonage occupies
the Ingersoll site.


Mr. Parris brought with him from the Spanish Main, as his slaves, a
couple called John Indian and his wife, Tituba. The ignorance of the
Spanish population found its summit of pleasure in dancing, singing,
sleight of hand, palmistry, fortune-telling, magic, and necromancy (or
spirit communication with the dead); and John and his Tituba in all
those things were fully up to date.


To the pastor’s house (as he wrote, “When these calamities first began,
which was at my house”) the village maidens, by surreption, went under
the tuition of Tituba. Those of us who have some remembrance of the rise
of spiritualism, the phenomenon of table-tipping, and the slightly more
refined practice of the élite with scribbling planchet, can picture in
some degree Tituba’s pupils and how they got there.





Of those pupils (“children,” as the court called them) two were of the
pastor’s family—Ann Williams, aged eleven, and his daughter, whom he
quickly sent away; Ann Putnam, daughter of Ann and Sergeant Thomas, a
precocious miss of only twelve, who easily became a leader; Mary Warren,
domestic in John Proctor’s family, aged twenty; Susannah Sheldon and
Elizabeth Booth, neighbors and eighteen; Sarah Churchill, helper to
George Jacobs, senior; Elizabeth Hubbard, Mercy Lewis, former domestic
for Mrs. Burroughs, and Mary Walcott, daughter of Deacon Jonathan, each
of them eighteen.

Had those “children,” the pioneers of the awfully fatal mischief, been
scourged at the whipping post,

               “Or had been beaten till they’d know
                 What wood the cudgel’s of by the blow,”

if needful, and John and his Tituba been returned to their native soil,
no doubt the horrible tragedy would have been averted. The Shafflin girl
in Peabody was cured “when a timely whipping brought her to her senses.”
So was Dinah Sylvester, of Mansfield, when given her choice of a
whipping or owning and abandoning her error.


But, instead, Mr. Parris, in fashion of the vaunted prowess of Cotton
Mather and other pedantic, astute, aspiring ministers, to show their
efficiency in “casting out devils,” called in the clergy, the deacons,
and the elders, and held, February 11th, a day of fasting and prayer.
“And still the wonder grew.”


It was high time, and some leading citizens took the initiative. A
complaint was lodged against Tituba Feb. 25, 1692. The first warrants
were issued the 29th, the leap day of the year, and Sarah Good, Sarah
Osbun, and Tituba Indian were apprehended. They were examined March 1st
and ordered to jail in Boston, to await the action of the higher court.

The examinations were to be held in Ingersoll’s Tavern, but the crowd
was so great on Ingersoll’s Common, that the court adjourned to the
meeting house. The magistrates were John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin,
assistants. They went over from Salem, attended by the marshal,
constables, and their aids, and all of them arrayed in the garb of court
authority and the attractive insignia of official station. Their advent
into the village was marked by an ostentation of whatever grandeur and
splendor they had at command. To the gaping multitude it was “the
greatest show on earth,” while the trials proved a “Wild West.”

Sarah Good, a broken-down outcast, deserted by her husband, begging food
from house to house, was first examined; the last examined was Tituba,
the chief offender.

[Illustration: GOV. SIMON BRADSTREET, 1603-1697]


The Province took formal charge _in re_ April 11, 1692. Simon Bradstreet
was governor. He had been honored with thirteen annual elections by the
people to that office. He was then eighty-six years of age, the “Grand
Old Man” of his time. He struck the keynote at first in an opinion that
the witch evidence was insufficient. With honor crowned he passed into
history as “The Old Charter Governor.”

The high action of Deputy-Governor Danforth and his Counsel, who were
the court, gave éclat to the proceedings and consternation filled the
county. In October, 1691, a new charter was signed, and Sir Wm. Phipps
was appointed governor. He arrived in Boston with the new charter,
Saturday, May 14, 1692. William Stoughton was made deputy-governor, in
place of Thomas Danforth.

In this change from popular government Increase Mather, an early
president of Harvard College, was a “power behind the throne.” The new
charter had his approval and Sir Wm. Phipps, its first governor, was his
nominee. Phipps was “a well-meaning man, inclined to superstition,” and
Mather admired his “incompetency.” Stoughton was a man “of cold
affections, proud, self willed, and covetous of distinction, and
universally hated by the people.” He was appointed deputy-governor to
please Cotton Mather, son of Increase. Cotton in his race for glory ran
amuck. He was a man of “overweening vanity,” panting for fame, and the
strenuous mover in the trials. He harangued the populace and sermonized
on witchcraft; he wrote a book: “The Trials of Witches,” and even on
horseback, at the hanging of Rev. George Burroughs, he harangued the
people gathered there, lest they interfere and rob the gallows.



      FATHER            SON


By the new charter courts of justice were to be established by the
General Court. The witch trials were, therefore, stranded and must
remain _in statu quo_, apparently, for several months, while awaiting
the action of the General Court. The Governor, however, by “an
unwarrantable usurpation of authority,” organized a court of final
hearing, called _Oyer and Terminer_, to act in the pending cases.

Deputy-Governor Stoughton was appointed chief justice, and Nathaniel
Saltonstall, of Haverhill, who declined to serve, and was succeeded by
Jonathan Corwin, of Salem; Major John Richards, of Boston; Major
Bartholomew Gedney, of Salem; Mr. Wait Winthrop, Mr. Peter Sargent, and
Capt. Samuel Sewell, of Boston, Associate Justices.

The panel of the Jury of Inquest was Thomas Fisk, foreman; William Fisk,
John Bachelor, Thomas Fisk, Jr., John Dane, Joseph Eveleth, Thomas
Perley, Sr., John Peabody, Thomas Perkins, Samuel Sayer, Andrew Eliot,
and Henry Herrick, Sr.

The commissions of the court were dated Friday, May 27th; the court
convened Thursday, June 2d; Bridget Bishop, of Salem, was convicted
Wednesday, the 8th, and hanged Friday, the 10th. The court, by
adjournment, next sat Wednesday, the 29th of June; then by several
adjournments, it was to sit the 1st of November.

The day on which Bridget Bishop was hanged, June 10th, the General Court
enacted a law of the old charter for capital cases, and under it
presumably the subsequent witch trials were held, while the personnel of
the court remained the same.


The General Court in October established the Superior Court of
Judicature and gave it jurisdiction in witch cases. Governor Phipps
immediately arrested the witch trials, and suspended the court. _Oyer
and Terminer_ was dissolved. These were hanged:

                           FRIDAY, JUNE 10TH

 1. Bishop, Bridget, wife of Edward, of Salem.

                           TUESDAY, JULY 19TH

 1. Good, Sarah, of the village.

 2. Wildes, Sarah, daughter of Wm., of Topsfield.

 3. Howe, Elizabeth, wife of James, Jr., of Ipswich Farms.

 4. Nourse, Rebecca, wife of Francis, of the village.

 5. Martin, Susannah, of Amesbury.

                          FRIDAY, AUGUST 19TH

 1. Burroughs, Rev. George, of Casco. See above.

 2. Proctor, John, of Peabody.

 3. Jacobs, George, of the Village, eighty years old.

 4. Willard, John, apprehended at Groton.

 5. Carryer, Martha, wife of Thomas, of Andover.

                        THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22D

 1. Cory, Martha, wife of Giles, of Peabody.

 2. Æstey, Mary, wife of Isaac, of Topsfield.

 3. Parker, Alice, wife of John, of Salem.

 4. Pudeator, Ann, widow of Jacob.

 5. Scott, Margaret, widow of Benj., of Rowley.

 6. Read, Wilmot, wife of Samuel, of Marblehead.

 7. Wardwell, Samuel, of Andover.

 8. Parker, Mary, of Salem.

                         MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19TH

Giles Cory would not plead to the indictment, and was pressed to death.
In modern law one thus mute is understood to plead _not guilty_, but at
that period one must plead before he could be put on trial, and might be
tortured till he pleaded or died. Mr. Cory would not countenance any
phase or feature of witchcraft.

                           TUESDAY, MAY 10TH

Died in prison Sarah Osbun, condemned, wife of Alexander.

                         SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3D

Died in prison, Ann Foster, widow of Andrew, of Andover, who died, 1685,
aged 106.

Elizabeth Proctor, widow of John (above), was reprieved on account of
her condition, then pardoned.

Mrs. Thomas Bradbury, of Salisbury, daughter of John Perkins, of
Ipswich, eighty years old, condemned, then acquitted.

Rebecca Eames, wife of Robert, of Boxford, condemned, reprieved.

Elizabeth Morse, of Newbury, reprieved.

Abigail Falkner and Elizabeth Johnson, both of Andover, daughters of
Rev. Francis Dane, were respectively thirteen and five months in jail.

Mary Lacey, wife of Lawrence, daughter of Andrew and Ann Foster (above),
confessed, accused her mother of bewitching her, and escaped punishment.

As above there were twenty-eight convictions, nineteen persons were
hanged, and one was pressed to death, “fifty-five were pardoned, one
hundred and fifty more were imprisoned, and two hundred others or more
were accused.” Several dogs were accused, and one of Danvers and another
of Andover were executed.

Let it now be noted and remembered, that no witch or wizard was ever
burned to death in Salem town or Essex county.


Early in October, 1692, the wild and extravagant methods of the court
had penetrated every community, and by relation or friendship, almost
every family, and too, accusations rested upon families of the wealthy
and the learned, of clergymen and laymen, and even it was whispered upon
one of the judges of the court and the wife of the governor; and it was
only when the ruthless authority of the law invaded those homes that the
fury of the storm abated. When Rev. John Hale, of Beverly, who had been
conspicuously active in the convictions, found his wife in the
diabolical toils, he experienced a sudden change of heart, and prayed
for peace. The time was ripe; Mr. Hale’s sentiments echoed from every
home. The establishment of the new court (Wm. Stoughton, Chief Justice,
Thomas Danforth, Wait Winthrop, John Richards, and Samuel Sewell,
Associate Justices) and the abolition of the old court, helped the

In the January next following fifty persons were indicted. All who were
tried were acquitted except three, who were pardoned. All who were not
tried were discharged on the payment of thirty shillings each. In the
following May, when a jail delivery had been decreed, one hundred and
fifty went forth.


Those who suffered were a remarkable company of men and women. They came
from the humble walks in life, but most of them were old in experience
and solidified in character and sentiments. Though they were posted as
criminals, taunted with aspersions, forbidden counsel in law and
religion, and had every word of defense twisted into a semblance of
condemnation, yet they exhibited the true nobility of life in truth and
righteousness; they counted their lives not dear to them, could they
only reach the goal of their hope in God their Saviour.

But after all we must not judge the actors in this frenzied delusion
harshly or rashly. Hon. Joseph Story, Associate Justice of the United
States Supreme Court, writes: “Surely our ancestors had no special
reason for shame in a belief which had the universal sanction of their
own and all former ages, which counted in its train philosophers as well
as enthusiasts, which was graced by the learning of prelates as well as
by the countenance of kings, which the law supported by its mandates,
and the purest judges felt no compulsions in enforcing.”





[Illustration: THE WITCH PLAT]

Or the place where “The Witches” were hanged is on Proctor Street,
Salem, marked off on this map by the dotted lines. The cross locates
“The Crevice,” where the corpses were thrown. To touch a witch corpse
was malignant; yet some bodies were taken away for burial at home.

Giles Cory was pressed to death in the field corner of St. Peters and
Brown Streets, opposite the jail then on Church Street, corner of St.
Peters Street, Salem.




                            MRS. HOWE’S CASE

Sunday, May 29, 1692, Ephraim Wildes, constable of Topsfield, with a
capias signed by John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin, Assistants, went to
the home of James Howe, Jr., in Ipswich Farms, and took into custody the
wife and mother as a witch.

She was charged with sundry acts of witchcraft upon the bodies of Mary
Walcott and Abigail Williams, and others of Salem Village. She was
examined the next Wednesday at the house of Nathaniel Ingersoll of that
place. She pleaded _not guilty_, denied all knowledge of the matter and
testified that she had never heard of the girls, Mary and Abigail, till
their names were read in the warrant. But in court they fell down, they
cried out, they were pinched and pricked, and they accused Mrs. Howe.
She was remanded to prison to await the action of the Jury of Inquest.
Her case was called Wednesday and Thursday, June 29 and 30, 1692.


To the Constable of Topsfield:

You are in theyr Magestyes Names hereby Requested to Apprehend & bring
before us Elizabeth How ye wife of James How of Topsfield Husbandman on
tuesday next being the thirty-first day of May about ten of ye Clock in
ye forenoon. at ye house of Leut Nathaniel Ingersolls of Salem Village
Whoe Stand Charged with Sundry Acts of Witchcraft done or committed on
ye bodyes of Mary Wolcott Abigail Williams & others of Salem Village, to
theyr great hurt, in order to her examination Relating to ye abovesd
premises & hereof you are nott to fayle.

Dat’ Salem May 28th, 1692.

        p us

                         JOHN HATHORNE }
                       JONATHAN CORWIN } Assists.

In obedience to this warrant I have apprehended Elizabeth How the wife
of Jems how on the 29th of May 1692 and have brought har unto the house
of leftnant nathaniell englosons according too ye warrant as atested by
me Ephraim Willdes constabell for the town of Topsfield.

Dated may 31st 1692.


Mercy Lewis & Mary Walcott fell in a fit quickly after the examinant
came in. Mary Walcott said that this woman the examinant had pincht her
& Choakt this month. Ann Putnam said she had hurt her three times

 _Question._   What say you to this charge? Here are them that charge
   you with witchcraft

 _Answer._     If it was the last moment I was to live God knows I am
   innocent of anything of this nature

 _Q._   Did not you take notice that now when you lookt upon Mercy Lewis
   she was struck down?

 _A._   I cannot help it.

 _Q._   You are charged here what doe you say?

 _A._   I am innocent of anything of this nature

 _Q._   Is this the first time that ever you were accused

 _A._   Yes Sr

 _Q._   Do not you know that one at Ipswich hath accused you?

 _A._   This is the first time that ever I heard of it.

 _Q._   You say that you never heard of these folks before.

Mercy Lewis at length spake & charged this woman with hurting & pinching
her. And then Abigail Williams cryed she hath hurt me a great many
times, a great while and she hath brought me the book. Ann Putnam had a
pin stuck in her hand.

 _Q._   What do you say to this?

 _A._   I cannot help it.

 _Q._   What consent have you given?

Abig Williams cryed out that she was pincht & great prints were seen in
her arm. Mary Warren cryed out she was prickt

 _Q._   Have you not seen some apparition?

 _A._   No never in all my life.

 _Q._   Those that have confessed they tell us they used images and pins
   now tell us what have you used

 _A._   You would not have me confess that which I know not

She looked upon Mary Warren & said Warren violently fell down. Look upon
this maid, viz.: Mary Walcott her back being towards the examinant. Mary
Warren & Ann Putnam said they saw this woman upon her. Susan Sheldon
saith this was the woman that carryd her yesterday to the Pond. Sus.
Sheldon carried to the examinant in a fit & was well upon grasping her

 _Q._   You said you never heard before of these people.

 _A._   Not before the warrant was served me last Sabbath day.

John Indian cryed out Oh she bites & fell into a grevious fit & so
carried to her in his fit & was well upon her grasping him.

 _Q._   What do you say to these things—they cannot come to you.

 _A._   Sr I am unable to give account of it.

 _Q._   Cannot you tell what keeps them off from your body?

 _A._   I cannot tell I know not what it is.

This a true account of the examination of Eliz: How taken from my
characters written at the time thereof.

Witness my hand

                                            [Signed] SAM PARRIS.


The jurors of our Sovereign Lord and Lady the King and Queen represent
That Elizabeth How wife of James of Ips. the 31st day of May the fourth
year of our Sovereigne Lord and Lady Wm. and Mary by the Grace of God of
England Scotland ffrance and Ireland King and Queen defenders of the
ffaith &c. and Divers other days and times as well before as after
Certaine Detestable Acts called Witchcraft and sorceries wickedly and
ffelloniously hath used Practiced and Exercised at and within the
Township of Salem in the county of Essex aforesaid in upon and against
one Mary Walcott of Salem Village singlewoman by which said wicked arts
the said Mary Walcott the 31th day of May in the 4th year aforesaid and
Divers other Days and times as well before as after was and is Tortured,
Afflicted Pined Consumed wasted and Tormented and also for sundry other
Acts of witchcraft by said Elizabeth How Committed and Done before and
since that time agt the Peace of our Soverigne Lord and Lady the King
and Queen and against the form of the statute in that case made and


the first of iune 1692 the deposition of timothi Perley and deborah
Perley his wife timoth Perley aged about 39 and his wife about 33 there
being som diference between goode how that is now seized namely
Elizabeth How wife of James How Junr and timothi Perli abovesaid about
som bords the night following our cous lay out and finding of them the
next morning we went to milk them and one of them did not give but two
or thre spoone fuls of milk and one of the other cous did not give above
halfe a Pinte and the other gave aboute a quart and these cous used to
give three or four quarts at a meale two of these cous continued to give
litle or nothing four or five meals and yet thes went to a good inglish
pasture and within four dais the cous gave ther full Proportion that
thir used to give.

furder deborah Perley testifieth and as conserning hanah Perley Samuel
Perleys daughter that was so sore afflicted her mother and she coming to
our house hanah Perley being suddinli scared & so thers that woman she
goes into the oven and out againe and then fell into a dredful fit and
when I have asked her when she said that woman what woman she ment she
tould me ieams hows wife sometimes hanah Perley went along with me to
ieams hows an sone fell into a fitt goode how was ueri louing to her and
when the garl and I came away i asked whi she talked so of goode how
being she was so louing to her she tould me that if i were aflicted as
she was that I would talk as bad of her as she did at anothr tim i saw
goode how and hanah Perley together and thai were ueri louing together
and after goode How was gone i asked whi she was so louing to good how
when thai were together she tould me that she was afraide to doe
otherwise for then goode how would kil her.

                                                  DEBORAH PERLEY

Testified to June 30th before the Jury of Inquest


the first of iune 1692 the deposition of Samuel Perley and his wife aged
about 52 and his wife 46 years of age we hauing a dafter about ten years
of age being in a sorrowful condition this being sone after a faling out
thai had bene betwen ieams how and his wife and miself our daughter told
us that it was ieams hows wife that afflicted her both night and day
sometimes complaining of being Pricked with Pins and sometimes faling
down into dredful fits and often sai i could neuer aflict a dog as goode
how aflicts me mi wife and i did often chide her for naming goode how
being loth her name shold be defamed but our daughter would tel us that
though we would not beleue her now yet you wil know it one day we went
to several docters and thai tould us that she was under an evil hand our
daughter tould us that when she came nere the fire or water this witch
Puls me in and was often soreli burnt and she would tel us what cloaths
she wore and would sai there she goes and there she goes and now she is
gone into the oven and at these sights faling down into dredful fits and
thus our daughter continuing about two or three years constantli
afirming to the last that this goode how that is now seised was the
cause of her sorrows and pined awai to Skin and bone and ended her
sorrowful life and this we can atest upon oath ruth Perley’s mark.

Sam’l Pearly & his wife declare ye above written to be the truth upon
oath. After this the aboue said goode how had a mind to ioin ipswich
church thai being unsatisfied sent to us to bring in what we had against
her and when we had declared to them what we knew thei see cause to Put
a stop to her coming into the Church within a few dais after I had a cow
wel in the morning as far as we knew this cow was taken straingli
running about like a mad thing a litle while and then run into a great
Pon and drowned herself and as sone as she was dead mi sons and miself
towed her to the shore and she stunk so that we had much a doe to flea

As for the time daughters being taken ill it was in the yere of our Lord

Testified to before the Jury of Inquest

                              June 30 ’92


The testimony of Samuel Phillips aged about 67 minister of the word of
God in Rowley who sayth that mr payson (minister of Gods word alsoe in
Rowley) and myself went, being desired to Sameul pearly of ipswich to se
thiere young daughter who was viseted with strang fitts and in her fitts
(as her father and mother affermed) did mention good wife How the wife
of James How Junior of Ipswich as if she was in the house and afflict
her; when we were in the house the child had one of her fitts but made
no mention of good wife how; & and when the fitt was over and she came
to herself, goodwife how went to the child and took her by the hand &
askt her whether she had ever done her any hurt And she answered noe
never and if I did complain of you in my fitts I knew not that I did
soe: I further can affirm upon oath that young Samuel Pearly, Brother to
the afflicted girle looking out of a chamber (I and the afflicted child
being with outdores together) and sayd to his sister Say goodwife How is
a witch say she is a witch & the child spake not a word that way, but I
lookt up to the window where the youth stood & rebuked him for his
boldness to stir up his sister to accuse the said goodw: How when as she
had cleared her from doing any hurt to his sister in both our hearing &
I added no wonder that the child in her fitts did mention Goodwife How
when her nearest relatives were soe frequent in expressing theire
suspicions in the childs hearing when she was out of her fitts that she
sayed Goodwife How was an Instrument of mischeif to the child

                                                SAMUEL PHILLIPS.

Rowley 3 June 1692


I Edward Paison of ye Town abouesd Thoh present at ye place & time
aforesd yet cannot evidence in all the particulars mentioned: Thus much
is yet in my remembrance viz: being in ye abouesd Pearley’s house some
considerable time before ye sd Goodw: How came in: their afflicted
Daughter upon something that her mother spake to her with tartness
presently fell into on of her usual strange fitts, during which she made
no mention (as I observed) of ye above sd How her name or any thing
relating to her, sometime after the sd How came in when sd Girl had
recovered her capacity, her fitt being over sd How took sd Girl by ye
hand, asked her whether she had ever done her any hurt: ye child
answered no never; with several expressions to yt purpose which I am not
able particularly to recount &c.

                                                   EDWARD PAISON

Rowley June 3 1692.


The Deposition of Debory Hadley aged about 70 years; this Deponant
testifieth & sth that I have lived near to Elizabeth How (ye wife of
James How Junior of Ipswich) 24 year & have found a neighborly woman
Consciencious in her dealings faithful to her pmises & Christianlike in
her Conversation so far as I have observed & further saith nt.

                                                 DEBORAH HADLEY.

June 24 1692


from Ipswich Ju ye 25 1692 this may sertify houe it may conserne we
being desired to wright some thing in ye behalfe of Ye Wife of Jeams how
Junior of Ipswich hoe is aprehended upon suspition of being gilty of ye
Sin of witchcraft & now in Salem prisson upon ye same acount for ouer
oun partes we haue bin well aquainted wt hur for aboue twenty yeers we
neuer see but yt she cared it very wel & yt both hur wordes & actions
wer always such as well become a good Cristian: we ofte spake to hur of
somethings yt wer reported of hur yt gaue some suspition of yt she is
now charged wt & she always profesing hur Inosency yr in offen desiring
our prayers to god for hur yt god would keep hur in his fear & yt god
would support hur under hur burdin we haue offen herd hur Speaking of
those persons yt raised thos reports of hur and we neuer heered hur
Speake badly of y for ye same but in ouer hering hath offen said yt she
desired god that he would santify yt afflicttion as well as others for
hur spiritual good.

                                              DANIEL WARNER senr

                                                JOHN WARNER senr

                                                    SARAH WARNER


Ipswich June the 25th 1692 The testimony of Simon Chapman About 48 years
testifieth and sayth that he hath ben Aquainted with the wiufe of James
how iunr as a naybar for this 9 or 10 yers and he neuer saw any harm by
hur but that That hath bin good for I found hur Joust In hur delling
fayth fooll too hur promicises I haue had acation to be in the compiny
of goodwief howe by the fortnight togather at Thayer hous: and at other
tims and I found at all Tims by hur discors shee was a woman of
afliktion and mourning for sin in her selues and others and when she met
with eny Afliktion she semid to iostifi god and say that Itt was all
better than she dessufid that it was By falls aqusations from men and
she yust to bles god that she got good by afliktions for it med hur
examin hur oun hart I neuer herd hur refil any person that hath akusid
hur with witchcraft but pittied them and sayid i pray god forgiue then
for thay harm them selues more then me. Thof i am a gret sinar yit i am
cler of that sayed she and such kind of afliktions doth but set me a
exsamining my oun hart and I find god wondarfolly seportining me and
comfarting me by his word and promisis she semid to be a woman thron in
that grat work of conuiktion an conuertion which I pray god mak us all

                                                   SIMON CHAPMAN

My wief Mary Chapman cane Testifi to the most of this abou retan as
witness my hand

                                                   MARY CHAPMAN.


June 27 1692 disposition of Isaac commins syner aget about sixty years
or thare abouts who testyfyeth and saith that about aight yers agou
James how iunr of ipswich came to my hous to borow a hors I not being at
home my son isaac told him as my son told me whan I cam home i hade no
hoes to ride on but my son isaac did tell the said how that he hade no
hors to ride on but he hade a mare the whiah he though his father would
not be wiling to lend this being upon a thursday the next day being
fryday I took the mare and myself and my wife did ride on this maer
abute half a mile to an naighbours hous and home again and when we came
home I turned the maer out the maer being as well to my thinking as ever
she was next morning it being Saturday about sun rising this said maer
stood neer my doore and the said maer as i did aperehend did show as if
she had bin much abused by riding and here flesh as I thovg mvch wasted
and her movth mvch semenly to my aperehantion mvch abused and hurt with
ye bridel bits I seing ye maer in svch a sad condition I toke up the
said maer and put her into my barn and she wold eate no maner of thing
as for provender or any thing we i give her then I sent for my brother
Thomas Andros which was living in boxford the said anderos came to my
hous I not being at home when I came home a litle afore night my brother
anderos told me he head giving the said mear southing for the bots but
as he could perseve it did do her no good but said he I cannot tell but
she may have the baly ach and said he I wel try one thing more my
brother anderos said he would take pipe of tobaco and lite it and put
itt into the fondement of the mare I told him that I thought it was not
lawfull he said it was lawfull for man or beast then I toke a clen pipe
and filled it with tobaco and did lite it and went with the pipe lite to
the barn then the said anderos used the pipe as he said before he wold
and the pipe of tobaco did blaze and burn blew then I said to my brother
Anderos you shall try no more it is not lawful he said I will try again
once mor which he did and thar arose a blaze from the pipe of tobaco
which seemed to me to cover the butocks of the said mear the blaze went
upward towards the roof of the barn and in roof of the barn thar was a
grate crackling as if the barn wovld haue falen or bin burnt which semed
so to us which ware within and some that ware without and we hade no
other fier in the barn bvt only a candil and a pipe of tobaco and then I
said I thought my barn or my mear must goe the next being Lord’s day I
spoke to my brother anderos at noone to come to see the said mear and
said anderos came and what h did I say not the same Lords day at night
my naighbours John Haukins came to my hovs and he and I went into my
barn to see this mear said houkins said and if I ware as you i wolvd of
a pece of this mear and burn it I said no not to-day but if she lived
til to morrow morning he might cut of a pece off of her and burn if he
wovld presentely as we hade spoken these words we stept out of the barn
and imedeiately this said mear fell down dade and never stvred as we
covld purseve after she fell down but lay dead

Isac Comings Senr declared to ye Jury of Inquest that ye aboue written
evidence is the truth upon oath June 30 1692


from Ipswich June 27 1692 Joseph Knowlton being aquainte with the wife
of James How Junr as a neighbour & somtims bording in the house, and at
my first coming to live in those parts which was about ten years ago I
hard a bad Report of her about Samull perleys garle which caused me to
take speshall noates of her life & conuersation euer sence and I haue
asked her if she could freely forgive them that Raised such Reports of
her she tould me Yes with all her heart desiering that god would give
her a heart to be more humble vnder such a prouidences and further she
sayed she was willing to doe any good she could to them as had done
vnneighbourly by her also This I haue taken notes of that she would deny
herself to doe a neighbour a good turn and also I haue known her to be
faithfull in the word and honest in her dealings as far as ever I saw.

                                   JOSEPH KNOWLTON aged forty tu

                                    MARY KNOWLTON aged thurty tu

JAMES HOWE, SR. (ninety-four yrs. old)

information for Elizabeth How the wife of Jams How Junr.

Jams How senr aged about 94 sayth he liueing by her for about thirty
years hath taken notes that she hath caried it well becoming her place
as a daughter as a wife in all Relations setting side humain infurmitys
as becometh a Christian with Respect to myself as a father very
dutyfully & a wifife to my son carefull loueing obedient and kind
considering his want of eye sight tenderly leading him about by the hand
Now desiering god may guide your honours to se a differans between
predigous and Consents I Rest yours to Sarve

                                       JAMES HOW Senr of Ipswich

                                  dated this 28 day of June 1692


June 28th 1692 the testimony of Isaac Comings Juner aged about 27 years
Testifieth & saeth yt James Hough came to my fathers house when he was
not at home he asked me if my father had euer a hors & I told him no he
asked me if he had Euer a maer & I told him yesh he asked me if I
thought my father would lend him his maer & I told him I did not Think
would upon wch in a short Tyme after my father & Mother Ridd their maer
to Their neighbours house ye same maer wch sd Hough would haue Borowed
wch semingly was well when my fathr & mothr came home I seeing ye same
sd maer ye nex morning could Judge noe other butt yt she had bin Rid ye
other part of yt night or othr ways horibly abused vpon wch my fathr
seeing wt a condition his maer was in sent for his brothr Thomas Andros
wch when he came he give her severall Things wch he Thought to be good
for her butt did her not any good vpon wch he said he would try one
thing more wch was a pipe & some Tobaco wch he applid to her Thinking
itt might doe her good against ye Belly ake Thinking yt might be her
diseese wch when they vsed ye pipe wth Tobaco in itt abought ye sd maer
ye pipe being Litt itt blazed so much yt itt was as much as two persons
could putt itt ought wth both of Their hands upon wch my father said we
will Trye no more his brother my uncle sd he would trye once more ye wch
he did the pipe being Litt ye fyer Blazed out of ye same sd pipe more
vehemently than before vpon wch my father answered he had Rather Loose
his maer yn his barn ye uery next night following ye sd maer following
my father in his barn from one side to ye other side fell down
imediately Dead against ye sell of ye Barn before my fathr had well
cleered him selfe from her furthr saith not.


June 27 1692 The disposition of mary commings ye wif of isaac commins
senr aged about sixty yers or thare abouts teseifieth and saith my
husband not being at home I was sent to by som parsons of ipsweg sent to
me for to have me to write what I cold say of James how iunr his wife
elisebeth conscarning her life or conversation and that I would say what
I cold say for or against her when the said hows wife sought to aiojn
with the church at ipsweg and I spoke to my son Isaac to write that we
hade vsed no brimston nor oyl nor no combustables to give to our maer
becavs thare was a report that the said hows wife had said that we had
given the maer brimston and oyl and the like and a short time after I
hade written my testemony consarning this hows wife my son Isaac his
maer was missing that he covld not find her in to or thrre days and in a
short time after my son isaacs maer came in sight not fare from the hovs
and my son isaac praid me to go ovt and look on his maer when I came to
her asked me what I thought on her her and I said if he wold have my
thoughts I covld not complain it nothing elce but that she wriden with a
hot bridil for she hade divirses brvses as if she had bin runing over
rocks and mvch wronged and where the bridil went was as if it had bin
burnt with a hot bridil then I bide Isaac take ye mare and have her vp
amongst the naghbors that peopl might see her for I hered that James how
iunr or his wife or both had said that we kept vp ovr maer that people
might not see her and isaac did show his maer to saviril and then the
said how as i hered did report that isac had riden to Lin spring and
caryed his gairl and so sorfited th maer the which was not so.

Mary Comins owned this her testimony to be truth before the Juryes for
Inques this 29th of June 1692.


Jvn 27 1692 I mary comins ageed abovt sixty yers thar abovts the wife of
isaac comins syner I being at my neighbour Samuel parlys hovs samuel
parlys davgter hannah being in a straing condition asked me if J did see
goodee how in the hovs going rovnd vpon the wall as gvrl dricted her
finger along rovnd in won place and another of the hovs J teled her no J
looked as dilegently as i cold and i covld see nothing of her the gvrls
mother then did chek her and told her she was alwas foll of such kind of
notions and bid her hold her toong then she told her mother she wovld
believe it one day and som thing mor which shold hay bin mantioned as
the garl poynted to show me whare goode how was she asked me if I did
not se her go ovt at that crak which she poynted at.

Mary Comins owned this har testimony one her oath to be the truth before
the Juriars of Inquest this 29 of June 92. Jurat in Curia.


Jvn 27 1692 The disposition of Mary commins aged abuvt sixty yers or
there abovts ho testefieth and saieth that above too yeres agou J went
to viset my neighbovr sherins wife and she told me that James how ivnr
had bin thare to give her a siset and he did sharply talk to her asking
her what hopes she hade of her salvation her answer was to him that she
did bild her hopes upon that sver rock Jesvs christ this the said serius
vife did tell me and she told me also that she had never talked of the
said how or his wife bvt she was wors for it afterwords and she said
also when she lay sick of the same sickness whereof she dyed that the
said how would come som time into the roome to see but she covld not
tell how to bare to see him nor that he shovld be in the hovs Mary
Comins ownid that this har testemony on har oath before the Juryars for
Inques this 29 of June 1692 Jurat in Curia


Francis Lane aged 27 yeares testifyeth & saith that about seauen yeares
agoe James How the husband of Elizabeth How of Ipswich farmes hired sd
Lane to get him a parcell of posts & railes & sd Lane hired John Pearly
the son of samuel Pearly of Ipswich to help him in getting of them And
after they had got said Posts & rails the said Lane went to the said
James How that he might goe with him & take delivery of said Posts &
rails & Elizabeth How the wife of sd James how told said Lane that she
did not beleive that sd Posts & rails would doe because that said John
Pearly helped him & she said that if he had got them alone & had not got
John Pearly to help him she beleived that they would haue done but
seeing that said Pearly had helped about them she beleiued that they
would not doe so sd James How went with said Lane for to take deliuery
of sd Posts & rails & the said James How toke severed of the said rails
as they lay in heaps up by the end & they broke of so many of them broke
that said Lane was forced to get thirty or forty more & when said how
came home he told his wife thereof & she said to him that she had told
him before that they would not doe because said Pearly helped about them
which rails said Lane testifyeth that in his aprehention were sound
railes ffrancis Lane declared to ye Jury of inques to ye truth of ye
above written evidence upon oath June 30 1692 Jurat in Curia


[Illustration: IPSWICH FARMS]



The testimony of John How aged about 50 yers saith that on that day that
my brother James his wife was Caried to Salem farmes upon examination
she was at my house and would a have had me to go with her to Salem
farmes I tould hur that if she had ben sent for upon allmost any a Count
but witchcraft I would a have gone with hur bvt one that a Count I would
not for ten pounds but said I If you are a witch tell me how long you
have ben a witch and what mischeue you have done and then J will go with
you for said J to hur you have ben acusied by Samuel pearlys Child and
suspacted by Daken Cumins for witchcraft; she semed to be aingry with
me, stell asked me to come on the morrow I told hur I did not know but I
might com to morrow but my ocashons caled me to go to Ipswich one the
morrow and came whome a bout suns set and standing nere my door talking
with one of my Naibours I had a sow with six small pigs in the yard the
sow was as well so fare as I knew as euer one a suding she leaped up
about three or fouer foot hie and turned about and gave one squeake and
fell downe daed I told my naibour that was with me I thought my sow was
bewitched for said I I think she is dead he lafed at me but It proved
true for she fell downe daed he bed me cut of hur eare the which I did
and my hand I had my knife in was so numb and full of paine that night
and sauerall days after that I could not doe any work and is not wholy
wall now and I sospected no other person but my sd sister Elizabeth How
Capt. John How declared ye above written evidence to be the truth before
ye Jury of inquest.

                                          upon his oath in Court

June 30th 1692


The deposion of Jacob Foster aged about 29 yeares the deponant saith
that some years agoe good wife How the wife of James how was about to
Joyne with the church of Ipswich my father was an instrumentall means of
her being denyed admision quickly after my mare turned out to grass on
the tusday and on thursday I went to seek my mare to go to lecture I
sought my mare and could not find her I sought all friday and found her
not on Saturday I sought till noon & I found my mare standing leaning
with her butock against a tree I hit her with a small whip she gave a
heaue from a tree and fell back to the tree again then I took of her
fetters and struck her again she did the same again then I set my
shoulder to her side and thrust her of from the tree and moved her feet
then she went home and leapt into the pausture and my mare lookt as if
she had been miserably beaten and abused

Jacob ffoster declared ye evidence to be ye truth before ye Jury of
inquest on oath June 30 92


The deposition of Joseph Safford aged about 60 he testefyeth and saith
that my wife was much afraid of Elizabeth how the wife of James how upon
the Reports that were of her about Samuell perlleys child but upon a tim
after thes Reports James how and his wife coming to my house nether
myselfe nor my wife were at home and good wife how asked my children
wher ther mother was and they said at the next nayboaers hovs she
desired them to Coll ther mother which they did when my wife cam whom my
wife told me that she was much startled to se goode how but she took her
by the hand and said goode Safford I beleue that you are not ignorant of
the grete scandall that I Ly under upon the euill Report that is Raised
upon me about Samuell perlleys child and other things Joseph Safford
saith that after this his wife was taken beyond Rason and all parswasion
to tek the part of this woman after this the wife of this James how
propounded herselfe to com into the church of Ipswich wher upon sum
objection a Rose by sum unsatisfied bretheren wher upon ther was a
meeting apinted by our elders of the church to consider of things
brought in against her my wife was more than ordenery ernest to goe to
lectur the church meeting being on that day notwithstanding the many
arguments I used to perswed her to the Contrery yet I obtained a promis
of her that she would not goe to the church meeting but meeting with som
of the naybourhood they perswaded her to go with them to the church
meeting at elder pains and told her that shee need say nothing ther, but
good wife how then being Rether Rendred guilty than cleered my wife took
her by the hand. after meeting and told her though she wer condemned
before men she was Justefyed before god. the next Sabath after this my
son that caried my wife to Lectur was taken aftar a strange manar the
Saturday after that my wife was taken after a Rauing frenzy manar
expressing in a Raging manar that goode how must com into the church and
that shee was a precious saint and though shee wer condemned befor men
shee was justefyed befor god and continued in this fram for the space of
thre or four hours after that my wife fell into a kind of trance for the
space of two or thre minits shee then coming to herselfe opened her eye
and said ha J was mistaken, no answer was med by the standars by, and
again shee said ha J was mistaken Majar appleton’s wife standing by said
wherein art mistaken I was mistaken said she for J thought goode how had
bene a precious saint of god but now I see she is a witch fer shee hath
bewitched me and my child and we shall neuer be well till ther is
testemony for her that she may be taken into the church after after this
there was A meeting of the eldars at my hous and thay desired that goode
how might be at the meeting insign wallis went with myselfe to invite
goode how to this meeting she coming in discours at that time she said
two or thre times shee was sory to se my wife at the church meeting at
eldar pains after this shee said she was aflicted by the aparishtion of
goode how a few dayes aftar she was taken shee said the caus of her
changing her opinion consarning goode how was becaus shee apeared to her
throg a creuis of the clambouerds which she knew no good person could do
and at thre seuerall times after was aflicted by the aperishtion of
goode how and goode olleuer and furder this deponit saith that Rising
erlly in the morning and kindling a fir in the other Room in wife
shrieked out I presently Ran into the room wher my wife was and as soon
as euer I opened the dore my said ther be the euill one take them
whereupon I Replyed wher are they I will take them if I can shee said
you will not tek them and then sprang out of the bed herselffe and went
to the window and said thar they went out thar wer both biger than she
and they went out ther but she could not then J Replyed who be they she
said goode how and goode olleuer goode olleuer said J you never saw the
woman in your Life no said she I never saw her in my Life but so she is
Represented to me goode olleuer of Sallam the millar

Joseph Safford declared to ye Jury of inquest that ye evidence above
written & on the other side of this paper is ye truth upon oath

June 30 1692

                                                  Jurat in Curia


July 1st 1692

The testimony of Thomas Andrews of Boxford aged about 50 yars this
deponant Testifieth & saith yt Jsiah Comings senior of Topsfield sent
for me to help help a mare yt was not well & when I came thare ye mare
was in such a condition yt I could not tell wt she ailed for J neuer
sawe yt like her lips ware exceedingly swelled yt ye Jnsides of Them
Turned outward & Look Black & blue & gelled, her Tung was in ye same
Condition J told ye said Comings I could not tell wt to doe for her J
perceiued she had not ye Botts wch J did att first think she had but J
said she might haue some great heat in her Body & I would applie a pipe
of Tobaco to her & yt that was concented & I lit a pipe of Tobaco & putt
itt under her fundiment & there came a Blew flame out of ye Bowle & Run
along ye stem of sd pipe & took hold of ye haer of sd Maer & Burnt itt &
we tryed itt 2 or 3 times together & itt did ye same itt semed to Burn
blew butt Run Like fyer yt is sett on the grass to Burn itt in ye spring
Tyme & we struck itt outt wth our hands & ye sd Comings sd yt he would
trye no more for sd he J had rather loose my mare yn my barn & J this
deponant doe testifi yt to ye Best of my understanding was ye same mare
yt James Hough Junior Belonging to Jpswich farmes husband to Elizabeth
Hough would have borowed of ye sd Comings

                                                    THO. ANDREWS


                                “Ipswich ye 9 of September, 1710

“Whereas ye honored General Court has appointed a committee to consider
what damage persons have sustained in their names and estates in the
year 1692 by their sufferings in that as was called witch craft, ye
odium whereof was as if they are one of ye worst of mankind, we Mary How
and Abigail How: ye only survivers in this family also do groundedly
believe that our honored mother Elizabeth How suffered as innocent of
the crime charged with as any person in the world, and as to the damage
done to our estate we can not give a particular account but this we know
that our honored father went twice a week ye whole time of her
imprisonment to carry her maintenance which was provided with much
difficulty and one of us went with him because he could not go alone for
want of sight also one journey to Boston for a replevey and for
maintenance 5_s._ money left with her the first coming down 20_s._ the
second time and 40_s._ so that sometimes more some less yt never under
5_s._ per week which we know for charge for her and necessary charge for
ourselves and horses cannot be less than £20 money yet notwithstanding
so that ye name may be repaired we are content if your honors shall
allow £12.

Yours to serve

                                        MARY HOW & ABIGAIL HOW.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

“This petition was presented to said Court by Capt. John How and Abraham
How uncles of said Mary and Abigail for relief in the premises and pray
that the petition may be allowed the same.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

The petition was referred to the committee referred to therein.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“The committee met at Salem, 13th, Sept. 1710, and the 14th reported
allowing the Misses How the £12 asked for.”

                       THOS. NOYES }
                       JOHN BURRILL} _Committee_
                       NAH. JEWETT }

“23 Oct., 1711. Read and accepted in House of Representatives, and sent
up for concurrence.

                                        JOHN BURRILL, _Speaker_.

“In Council, 28 Oct., 1711.

“Read and concurred.

                       JOHN ADDINGTON, _Sec’y_.”

_State Archives_, _Room_ 434, _Vol._ 135: 131, 169.


[Illustration: Map of the homestead]

This map delineates a part of the homestead of Mrs. Eliza Howe Perley,
now in her ninety-third year (May 15) whose residence is at “6.” The
ascent of the estate is: Mrs. Perley’s father, Aaron Howe; his second
cousin, Joseph Howe; Joseph’s father, Abraham Howe; his father, Abraham
Howe, Jr.; his cousins, Abigail and Mary Howe; their father, James Howe,
Jr.; his father, James Howe, Sr.,—a continuous Howe ownership of two
hundred sixty years.

The house pictured on the opposite page stood at “2,” and was built,
probably, in 1711, since Abraham Howe, Jr., bought the land in February
of that year, “to set a house upon.”

James Howe, Jr., owned “a small house in the orchard,” “3,” and a third
of other “housing,” which may have included “the old house,” that stood
in 1711, “near” “5” south of “2,” “the southwest corner of the orchard.”

While searching the records of deeds, the writer noted a course in a
description: “Thence to the gate opposite James Howe, Junior’s.” The
locality was well known to him, and that knowledge located the gate. He
had often seen a gate there, between 1840 and 1850. It swung at the
entrance of the avenue leading to the residence of James Howe, Senior,
marked “gate” on the map. That fact was tangible; Mrs. Howe’s home was
at “2” on the map or near it.

Thus far and no farther, till one day looking over the ground back of
the present residence of Mrs. Eliza Howe Perley, “6” on the map, the
writer noticed a peculiar hollow in the otherwise level surface, and to
his question, What made it? she replied, “I don’t know; I have always
heard it called Mary’s hole.” He immediately exclaimed, “Mary Howe,
daughter of the witch.”

His conclusion: There the surviving daughters, Mary and Abigail, lived,
secluded and alone, beneath the shadow of the cruel attainder. After the
death of Mary, their home became Mary’s cellar; and when all appearance
of a cellar was gone, it became “Mary’s hole.” To-day there is not the
slightest vestige of “Mary’s hole”; the old home, known only to the
saddest pages of New England history, is arable ground.



  Built in 1711, the birthplace of Rev. Nathaniel Howe (1764-1837), of
    Hopkinton, Mass., and of Rev. Benjamin Howe (1807-1883) of that
    parish; taken down about 1853.



            │DEBORAH    │MARTHA
            │JOHN ......│SARAH
            │ABIGAIL    │JAMES
            │SARAH      │MARK
            │MARK       │MARY
            │JOHN ......│SARAH                   HOWE ARMS
            │ANN        │JOHN
            │SAMUEL     │ZERUIAH
            │LOVE       │MARY
            │           │JOSEPH
            │           │SARAH
            │INCREASE ..│SUSAN
            │           │ELIZA^{TH}             │ABRAH^M ...│ABRAH^M P.
            │           │JOSEPH                 │
            │           │JOHN                   │           │W^M A.
            │SAMSON                             │           │EDWARD E.
            │           │MERCY                  │           │ADELINE
            │           │JEMIMA                 │ABEL ......│MARGARET
            │           │HEPHZIBAH  │ABRAH^M ...│ELEANOR    │LEVERETT S.
 ABRAH^M ...│ABRAH^M ...│SARAH      │JOHN                   │ABEL S.
            │           │RUTH       │LUCY                   │WILLARD P.
            │           │ABRA^M ....│NATHAN^L   │JOHN
            │           │ELIZA^{TH} │ELIZA^{TH} │MEHIT^{ALE}
            │ABIJAH                 │JOSEPH ....│ELIZA^{TH}
            │                       │MARK       │MOSES
            │           │DANIEL     │SAMUEL     │PRISCILLA
            │ISRAEL ....│                       │SAMUEL
            │           │HANNAH                 │JOSHUA     │CECIL P.
            │           │PRISCILLA              │BENJ^N ....│HOMER
            │                                   │LUCY MARY
            │                                   │AMOS
            │           │HANNAH
            │           │LOVE
            │           │MOSES
            │           │LUCY
            │MARK ......│MARY
 SARAH                  │AARON
                        │MARK       │CATHERINE
                        │ABIJAH     │JANE
                        │MARK ......│ELIPHALET
                        │           │NATHAN^L               │LEONARD
                        │NATHAN^L ..│AARON .....│ELIZA      │CALVIN E
                        │PHILEMON   │HANNAH                 │CELESTIA E.
                        │HEPHZIBAH  │MARK ......│NATHAN^L ..│MARY I.
                                                │EMERSON ...│CELIA A.


                       DESCENDANTS OF JAMES HOWE
                       IPSWICH HOWES—JAMES BRANCH

                           ARMA VIRUMQUE CANO

James Howe, Jr., was son of James, Sen., of Ipswich, County Essex,
Mass., and grandson of Robert, “who lived in Hatfield, Broad-Oak, county
Essex, England, where Sir Francis Barrington lived in Woodrow-Green;
James, son of said Robert, lived in a place called Hackerill, or
Bockerill, in Bishop-Stortford—in the happy and gracious reign of King
James I.”

The mention of Sir Francis’s name in this connection suggests some
particular attachment, of which Mr. Howe had, no doubt, informed his
children, and which he wished them to remember and cherish. Sir
Francis’s family name went into England with the Conqueror, 1066, as Du
Barentin. The old feudal burg and barony which cradled the name, near
Rouen, is now Barentin. The Conqueror gave Baron Odo Du Barentin a grant
of land in county Essex and the descendant office of ranger or keeper of
the forest of Hatfield. Early in the seventeenth century the name was
anglicized Barrington.

The special mention of Sir Francis’s name, noted above, could hardly
indicate a family relation; it may have been a correlation, as ranger
and subranger, or assistant, a lucrative station of Sir Francis’s gift.
The charge, a wolf’s head, which has characterized the Howe arms for
centuries, suggests forests and an encounter.


[Illustration: BY THE NAME OF HOW]

Of the arms “_Gules_ (red) a chevron _argent_ (silver) between three
cros-cros-lets _or_ (gold) three wolves’ heads of the same,” said to
have “adorned the walls of the ‘Wayside Inn’ or Howe Tavern, in Sudbury,
for over a hundred and fifty years,” “Ye wolfs are ye fams. Arms, ye
cross, for gt accts don by ye 1st El.,” who lived around A.D. 1500, or
the time of Henry VII or VIII.

The seat of the family bearing the above arms was in county Warwick; the
seat of Robert Howe and the place of the original Howe arms: “_Argent_
(silver) a chevron between three wolves’ heads couped _sable_ (black)”
was in county Essex.

[Illustration: Coat of Arms]

If the query is now suggested, why did not our James Howe claim a coat
of arms if he were entitled to one, this answer is persuasive if not
conclusive; so early created and so long unused, it was forgotten; or
maybe, in New England practical home life its value was considered zero,
or negative.

It may be said, further, that the Howe coat armor, the Howe family, the
Barrington family, and the King’s forest—each and all—belonged to
Hatfield, county Essex, and it may be thought strange that the ancient
Howe arms should not include our James, the immigrant, in its descent.
On the whole, there is a preponderating impression that the wolf’s head
on the Howe arms was captured in the Hatfield forest by a Howe.

James Howe, Sr., was of Roxbury, and made freeman May 17, 1637, and
removed to Ipswich before 1648. He was granted June 11, 1650, on motion
of Mr. Norton, one of the farms of a hundred acres formerly reserved for
Mr. Norton’s friends. He bought, July 3, 1651, about twenty-one acres
adjoining to Mr. Winthrop’s and Mr. Symonds’s farms. He was a commoner,
1641; a tithing man, 1671. His wife, Elizabeth Dane, only daughter of
John Dane, of Roxbury, died Jan. 21, 1693-4. Both joined the church at
Topsfield in 1684.

He was eminently an all round man. He was a weaver by trade, but he
could butcher a swine or write a will or deed; he could practice in
probate or dig a grave; he could make a coffin or build a house; he
could cultivate a farm or survey it; he could shoe a horse or an ox or
make his own or others’ shoes; he was a ready helper in every department
of country life. He died May 17, 1701-2,[4] at the age of one hundred
and four years, a man of three centuries.

Footnote 4:

  Caldwell’s _Antiquarian Papers_ quote Sewell: “May 19, 1701, was
  buried Mr. James How, a good man, aged 104 years. He died, I think,
  Lord’s day night, just about the time the news of the King’s death was
  brought from Medera.” King William died Sunday, March 8, 1701-2, O.S.;
  Sunday, March 8, 1702, J.S.; or March 19, 1702, N.S.]

James Howe, Jr., was born in Roxbury, in 1635 or 1636, since he was
“about 30” in 1666 and “about 34,” Sept. 28, 1669. He married, April 13,
1658, Elizabeth Jackson, a neighbor, daughter of William and Joanna, of
Rowley, and sister to Mary, who married Wm. Foster, of Boxford, and to
Deborah, who married Lieut. John Trumble, of Newbury, official men in
their respective towns.

He had a share in Plum Island, 1664; was a voter, 1679; at about fifty
years of age was blind, so he had to be led. His will is dated Nov. 19,
1701. He confirms to his daughter Elizabeth Jackson’s children, what he
had given her; mentions his daughter Deborah and grandson James “when
21” and granddaughters Martha How and Sarah How “when 18 or married.” He
gave his other two daughters, Mary and Abigail, “for their pains and
care that they have taken of me for several years and their labor for my
maintenance,” my house, barn, orchard, lands, and movables, and
appointed them executrices. He signed his will “James How,” but it was
proved, March 11, 1701-2, as the will of James Howe, Jr. He died Feb.
15, 1701. Their children were:

 James, who died in July, 1664.

 Elizabeth, born June 1, 1661, married Caleb Jackson, son of Nicholas, a

 Mary, born Feb. 25, 1664, petitioner, p. 73.

 Deborah, who married Isaac Howe, of Roxbury, son and grandson of

 John, born April 17, 1671, married Hannah Browne, and had Martha, 1691;
   Sarah, 1692-3; who married Thomas Wood; James, 1695, ancestor of the
   Methuen family of Howes. His widow married Ephraim Roberts, of
   Methuen, and had Patience, 1703, and Mary, 1705.

 Abigail, born Dec. 3, 1673, petitioner, p. 73.

All the family connections of the alleged witch were well-to-do people
and stable and standard in church and civic life.



                M. V. B. Perley, Salem, Mass., Publisher

           The Perley Family History and Genealogy         71
           Perley’s Chronological Chart                    74
           Family Genealogies                              75
           Essex Antiquarian                               76
           Essex County Vital Records                      76



             Leather back and corners, gold top-edge  $6.50
               and gold lettering
             Fine Maroon cloth and gold lettering     $5.50

                        M. V. B. PERLEY, Salem, Mass., U.S.A., Publisher



839 pages; printed page, 4¼ × 7½ inches; 5 dozen full page portraits;
280 illustrations; all handwork binding; index to every proper name;
biography covers two thirds of the book; weight, 4¾ lbs.

                           FAVORABLE COMMENT

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details respecting nearly every member of the family that the work may
be described as a Biographical Genealogy.”

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fine genealogy.... The information is of great importance to me.”

The Sutton Reference Library, Mass., ordered a copy for approval or
return. It was not returned; a check was sent in payment.

The _Essex Antiquarian_ says: “A more interesting family history has not
been published.”

                              FAMILY PRIDE

Family pride is a commendable trait, like national pride or patriotism.
The book is the story of the family, male and female, and cannot fail to
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                               A HISTORY

Don’t be deceived. The book is not the ordinary genealogy of dates and
names. It is a _history_; it reads like a history. There are more than
five dozen portraits with their biographies; numerous examples of
unsurpassed bravery, as witness there doubt of Bunker Hill, the
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It has its Wandering Jew, its Country’s Wonder, its escapades in
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                             AN INSPIRATION

The book is an inspiration. Squire H—— wrote, “I read a chapter in the
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                      PERLEY’S CHRONOLOGICAL CHART


(1) Gen. Geo. Washington was born on Friday, Feb. 11, 1731-2.

(2) A transit of Venus occurred, in 1639, on Sunday, Dec. 6 (almanac);
Dec. 4 (astronomy); Nov. 24 (another astronomy).

(3) Bryan, the 175th monarch of Ireland died Good Friday, 1714. Durham
Cathedral, England, was struck by lightning, “The night before the day
of Corpus Christi, 1429.” Thomas Ryhale dated his will, “Vigil of
Easter, 1427.”

The Chart is adapted to the styles: Julian, Russian, Dionysian,
Gregorian, Old and New.

With a little primary arithmetic it furnishes the date of Easter for any

It gives the day of the week corresponding to any possible date in 4,000
years, beginning, Saturday, Jan. 1, A.D. 1.

One can easily determine the Friday occurrences of great men and events,
and so determine the proportion of unlucky Fridays.

Lawyers, historians, genealogists, teachers, and all students and
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number of weeks in 1892 the Boston _Transcript_ discussed the four
elements of dates; this Chart would have given the result in ten
minutes. See the _Transcript_, Oct. 1, 1892.

                           FAMILY GENEALOGIES

These are gleaned from the various records of Essex County. If your name
does not appear in the list, we can furnish your genealogy.
Correspondence solicited.

Abbot, Aborn, Abraham, Abram, Acie, Acres, Adams, Ager, Akerman,
Alexander, Alford, Alger, Allen, Alley, Ambrose, Ames, Anderson,
Anderton, Andrews, Annable, Annis, Antrum, Appleton, Archer, Arnold,
Ash, Ashby, Ashton, Aslebee, Atkins, Atkinson, Atwell, Atwood, Aubin,
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Bowles, Bowiman, Boyce, Boyd, Boynton, Bradbury, Bradford, Bradley,
Bradstreet, Bragg, Bray, Breed, Brewer, Brickett, Bridgeo, Bridges,
Briggs, Brimblecome, Britton, Brock, Brocklebank, Brooks, Broughton,

                         THE ESSEX ANTIQUARIAN

The work begins with the earliest records of Essex County—parish, town,
and court; births, marriages, and deaths; probate and deeds registry,
etc. The search is thorough and reliable. It is put up in thirteen
volumes, in strong and attractive binding, and fully indexed.

The price for the set complete is $35.

                       ESSEX COUNTY VITAL RECORDS

The publication of these records is progressing. They are derived from
gravestone, parish, church, town, old Bible, and private records, and
end with the year 1849. The following list gives the towns now ready,
the number of pages in each, and the price of each:

Andover, pp. 966, $10.10; Beverly, pp. 1,027, $10.75; Boxford, pp. 274,
$2.90; Bradford, pp. 373, $3.90; Danvers, pp. 915, $9.75; Essex, pp. 86,
$ .95; Hamilton, pp. 112, $1.20; Haverhill, pp. 827, $8.65; Ipswich, pp.
1,125, $12.75; Lynn, pp. 1,050, $10.95; Lynnfield, pp. 98, $1.10;
Manchester, pp. 296, $3.15; Marblehead, pp. 1315, $13.70; Methuen, pp.
345, $3.63; Middleton, pp. 143, $1.55; Newbury, pp. 1,323, $13.75;
Newburyport, in press; Saugus, pp. 81, $ .90; Topsfield, pp. 258, $2.75;
Wenham, pp. 227, $2.40.

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large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

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we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
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