About 80 people were accused and arrested for witchcraft in New England between the years 1647 and 1688 and 12 were executed before a new witch hunt began a few years later in Salem in 1692.
Coincidentally, Reverend John Hale played a big part in bringing the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 to an end after his own wife was accused of witchcraft during the hysteria.
At this court, one Margaret Jones, of Charlestown, was indicted and found guilty of witchcraft, and hanged for it. The evidence against her was:
1. That she was found to have such a malignant touch, as many persons, men, women, and children, whom she stroked or touched with any affection or displeasure, or etc. [sic], were taken with deafness, or vomiting, or other violent pains or sickness.
2. She practising physic, and her medicines being such things as, by her own confession, were harmless, — as anise-seed, liquors, etc., — yet had extraordinary violent effects.
3. She would use to tell such as would not make use of her physic, that they would never be healed; and accordingly their diseases and hurts continued, with relapse against the ordinary course, and beyond the apprehension of all physicians and surgeons.
4. Some things which she foretold came to pass accordingly; other things she would tell of, as secret speeches, etc., which she had no ordinary means to come to the knowledge of.
5. She had, upon search, an apparent teat … as fresh as if it had been newly sucked; and after it had been scanned, upon a forced search, that was withered, and another began on the opposite side.
6. In the prison, in the clear day-light, there was seen in her arms, she sitting on the floor, and her clothes up, etc., a little child, which ran from her into another room, and the officer following it, it was vanished. The like child was seen in two other places to which she had relation; and one maid that saw it, fell sick upon it, and was cured by the said Margaret, who used means to be employed to that end. Her behavior at her trial was very intemperate, lying notoriously, and railing upon the jury and witnesses, etc., and in the like distemper she died. The same day and hour she was executed, there was a very great tempest at Connecticut, which blew down many trees, etc.”
Convicted and executed
See also: List of people executed for witchcraft
- Bridget Bishop (née Playfer; executed June 10, 1692)
- Rebecca Nurse (née Towne; July 19, 1692)
- Sarah Good (formerly Poole, née Solart; July 19, 1692)
- Elizabeth Howe (née Jackson; July 19, 1692)
- Susannah Martin (née North; July 19, 1692)
- Sarah Wildes (née Averill; July 19, 1692)
- George Burroughs (August 19, 1692)
- George Jacobs, Sr. (August 19, 1692)
- Martha Carrier (née Allen; August 19, 1692)
- John Proctor (August 19, 1692)
- John Willard (August 19, 1692)
- Martha Corey (September 22, 1692; wife of Giles Corey)
- Mary Eastey (née Towne; September 22, 1692)
- Mary Parker (née Ayer; September 22, 1692)
- Alice Parker (September 22, 1692)
- Ann Pudeator (September 22, 1692)
- Wilmot Redd (September 22, 1692)
- Margaret Scott (September 22, 1692)
- Samuel Wardwell, Sr. (September 22, 1692)
Hysteria: noun: hysteria; plural noun: hysterias
- exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement, especially among a group of people
Sarah Good was born Sarah Solart in Wenham, Massachusetts Bay Colony to John and Elizabeth Solart. Her father was prosperous, but she and her sisters never received their inheritance when he died in 1672. Sarah first married Daniel Poole, a laborer and who died in 1682. She then married William Good. The debt that she had after Daniel Poole died became the responsibility of William Good. Because they could not handle the debt, the Goods were “reduced to begging work, food, and shelter from their neighbors” and by 1692 were homeless.
Good was described by the people of Salem as being filthy, bad-tempered, and strangely detached from the rest of the village. She was often associated with the death of residents’ livestock and would wander door to door, asking for charity. If the resident refused, Good would walk away muttering under her breath. Although she maintained at the trial that she was only saying the Ten Commandments, those who turned her away would later claim she was chanting curses in revenge. When she was asked to say the Commandments at her trial, she could not recite a single one.
And therefore what was her crime?
An accuser: Elizabeth Hubbard (born c. 1674/1675) was one of the original girls to begin the Salem witchcraft accusations, and she continued to be a leading accuser throughout the summer and fall of 1692.
Hubbard was the seventeen-year-old orphaned maidservant to Dr. William Griggs, who purchased Hubbard from Boston after the death of his son, Isaac Griggs. She was a relative of William Griggs’ wife, the former Rachel Hubbard, which made Elizabeth’s adopter, Dr.Griggs, her great Uncle. Scholars connect the origins of her afflictions to her position in Griggs’ household. As an indentured servant to Griggs, the doctor to originally diagnose bewitchment, she was familiar with the initial fits of Abigail Williams and Betty Parris on January 3, 1692.
Hubbard experienced her first recorded fit on February 1, 1692. Because of her age, she was the first of the accusers old enough to testify under oath, moving the accusations to the legal domain. Along with seeing the apparition of Tituba, she was among the first to accuse Sarah Osborne and Sarah Good of practicing witchcraft. Throughout the witchcraft crisis in Essex County she filed forty legal complaints against various tormentors and testified thirty-two times, the last of her testimony given on January 7, 1693.
By the end of the trial Elizabeth Hubbard had testified against twenty-nine people, seventeen of whom were arrested, thirteen of those were hanged, and two died in jail. As a strong force behind the trials, Elizabeth was able to convince both the townspeople and the court into believing her. One way she and the other girls did this was through their extreme fits in the courtroom. The fits, they would claim, were brought on by the accused persons. Elizabeth was especially known for her trances. She spent the whole of Elizabeth Proctor‘s trial in a deep trance and was unable to speak.
Hysteria is now occurring in America today. Look at Trump. He accuses with no evidence, makes up evidence and it is taken as gospel. Even when there is evidence that it is made up the implication is taken as truth.
We are now in the age of fear and dread. Talk is distorted and things are taken out of context. When will someone end this nonsense. The United States is losing its standing as a country of logic and sense. We are becoming a laughing stock, a SNL skit. How low do we go. Bring out the limbo stick.