Infomotions, Inc.Narratives of the witchcraft cases, 1648-1706, ed. by George Lincoln Burr ... with three facsimiles. / Burr, George Lincoln, 1857-1938

Author: Burr, George Lincoln, 1857-1938
Title: Narratives of the witchcraft cases, 1648-1706, ed. by George Lincoln Burr ... with three facsimiles.
Publisher: New York : C. Scribner's Sons, 1914.
Tag(s): witchcraft new england; witchcraft; mather; salem; witchcraft cases; cotton mather; witch; afflicted; salem witchcraft; witches; boston; narratives; cotton
Contributor(s): Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.)
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable; PDF
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 178,560 words (longer than most) Grade range: 10-13 (high school) Readability score: 59 (average)
Identifier: narrativesofwitc00burriala
Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious

Discover what books you consider "great". Take the Great Books Survey.






1648 1706 



1648 17O6 






' ^ C 1 r 

; b 


Printed in the United Sutes of Aroeric* 






MATHER, 1684 ........... 1 

INTRODUCTION ........... 3 

The Preface ........... 8 

\ Chapter V: Preternatural Happenings in New England ... 17 

Case of Ann Cole, of Hartford, 1662 ....... 18 

Case of Elizabeth Knap, of Groton, 1671 . ..... 21 

\ Case of the Morses, at Newbury, 1679-1681 .... 

The Tedworth Case, in England, 1661-1663 .... 

Case of Nicholas Desborough, of Hartford, 1683 ..... 33 

Case of George Walton, at Portsmouth, 1682 ..... 34 

Case of the Hortados, at Salmon Falls, 1682-1683 .... 37 


INTRODUCTION ........... 41 

>^Case of Ralph and Mary Hall, of Setauket, 1665 .... 44 

> Case of Katharine Harrison, 1670 ....... 48 


LAIN, 1698 ............ 53 

INTRODUCTION ........... 55 

Dedicatory Letter and Verses ........ 58 

Why the Author relates this Stone throwing and why he believes it 

Witchcraft ...... ~ ~. : '. . 60 

The Quaker George Walton and his Neighbors at Great Island (Ports- 

mouth) ............ 61 

The Beginning of the Stone throwing (June, 1682) . . .62 

The Author himself a Victim ........ 64 

His Serenade and its Sequel; the Black Cat . . . . .66 

The Deviltries at Great Bay ........ 67 

Notable Witnesses ....... ... 69 

The Author again an Object of Attack ...... 70 

Injuries to Others, in House and Field ...... 72 

The Lull in August; the Final Stone throwing in September . . 76 
The Author's Conclusions .... . - . . . .76 





1701 79 


Case of Margaret Mattson and Gertrude Hendrickson, 1684 . . 85 

Case of Robert Guard and his Wife, 1701 88 




Dedicatory Epistle to the Hon. Wait Winthrop 93 

The Boston Ministers "to the Reader" 95 

The Introduction 97 

Case of the Goodwin Children, at Boston, 1688-1689 .... 99 

3*8Tie Goodwin Family 99 

The Trouble with the Laundress and her Mother . . . 100 

The Strange Malady of the Children 101 

The Appeal to the Ministers and to the Magistrates; Arrest and Trial 

of Goody Glover 103 

Her Condemnation and Execution 105 

The Continued Fits of the Children 107 

Efforts of the Ministers to help them 109 

The Author takes the Eldest Girl to his Home; her Behavior . .110 

His Experiments with her 112 

Her Imaginary Journeys . 114 

Strange Power over her of the Author's Study 115 

The Ministers' Day of Prayer and its Effect 118 

The Author tests the Linguistic Powers of the Demons . . .119 
And the Power of Scripture and Prayer to quell them . . .120 

Their Gradual Departure 121 

What the Author has learned from it all 122 

Postscript: the Devils return, but are again dispelled by Prayer . 124 

Goodwin's Account of his Children's Bewitchment .... 126 

Case of Deacon Philip Smith, of Hadley, 1684 131 

Case of Mary Johnson, of Hartford, 1648 135 

Case of the Boy at Tocutt (Branford) 136 

Other Bewitchments 141 


DEODAT LAWSON^ 1692 ' 145 


- " The Bookseller to the Reader" 152 

The Author's Visit to Salem Village 152 

The Antics of "the Afflicted" 153 

Examination of GoodwifeJCorey . . . . - . . .154 

Goodwife Putnam's Afflictions 157 

Examination of Goodwife Nurse 158 

Tales told by Elizabeth Parris, Dorcas Good, Abigail Williams, Mercy 

Lewis 160 



Goodwife Cloyse slams the Meeting-house Door 161 

Extraordinary Things about the Afflicted 161 

About the Accused 162 



His Reasons for writing frankly 169 

The Procedure at Salem; the "Afflicted" and their Evidence . . 170 

The "Confessors" 173 

Indictment and Trial 174 

"Spectre Evidence" (<33& 

The Executions 177 

Things to wonder at . . . . . . . . . . 177 

The Troubles at Andover 180 

Zeal of the Judges 182 

The Doubters and their Reasons 184 

Extent of the Convictions; Hope from the impending General Court . 185 

/ Efforts of certain Ministers to check the Matter 186 

Further Reasons for Hesitation 187 

' Why the Confessions cannot be trusted 189 




^Letter of October 12, 1692: the Witch Panic as he found it, and what 

he did about it . . . . . 196 

Letter of February 21, 1693: Recapitulation of his Earlier Report; how 

the Panic was brought to an End 198 


1693 203 

INTRODUCTION . . . . 205 

The Author's Defence 210 

His Relation to the Salem Trials v 213 

-^*The Trial of George Burroughs ^"'" 215 

The Trial of Bridget Bishop v "" 223 

The Trial of Susanna Martin v^ 229 

-The Trial of Elizabeth How t - . . . . .. . . .237 

The Trial of Martha Carrier ^ 241 

"Curiosities": I. The Devil's Imitation of Divine Things . . . 245 

II. The Witches' making themselves and their Tools invisible . . 246 

III. The Bewitched delivered by the Execution of the Witches . . 248 

IV. Apparitions reveal Old Murders by the Witches .... 249 
Certificate of the Judges to the Truth of this Account . . . 250 



The Story of Mercy Short .259 

Her Bewitchment 260 

How the Devil and his Spectres appeared to her 261 


How they tormented her 263 

Her Discourses to them 267 

How her Tortures were turned into Frolics 271 

The Shapes worn by the Spectres 274 

Her Remarkable Answers and Strange Knowledge of Scripture . . 275 

The Methods used for her Deliverance 276 

Her Deliverance on New Year's Eve 277 

The Renewal of her Troubles after Seven Weeks .... 278 

The Strange Books brought by the Spectres for her signing . . 280 

The Books used at their Witch-meetings 282 

The Helpful Spirit, and how he aided her against the Others . . 283 

The Prayer-meetings and her Final Deliverance 285 


INTRODUCTION ! '. . 291 

The Epistle to the Reader: the Author's Reasons for his Book . . 296 

His Materials 306 

Cotton Mather's Letter of Enclosure 307 

garet Rule) 308 

Introductory Anecdote of the Devil's Appearance to an Indian . . 308 
Who Margaret Rule was; the Beginning of her Bewitchment . .310 

How she was tortured by Spectres 311 

And by the Devil 312 

Her Remarkable Fastings; how she was further tormented '. . 313 

Her Strange Revelations as to the Spectres 314 

The White Spirit and his Comfortings 316 

Her Pastor's Efforts for her 317 

Her Tormentors' Attempt with Poppets 318 

The Author's Reply to his Revilers 320 

The Good that has come of the Affair 322 

Part II : Calef 's Correspondence with Mather 324 

His Letter of Jan. 11, 1694, enclosing his Journal of his Visit to Mar- 
garet Rule on Sept. 13 324 

And on Sept. 19 327 

And rehearsing his earlier Letters of Sept. 29 and Nov. 24 . . . 329 

Mather's Reply (Jan. 15) 333 

Enclosed Certificates of Witnesses to Margaret Rule's Levitation . 337 

Calef's Rejoinder (Jan. 18) 338 

V/Part V: The Salem Witchcraft . 341 

] The Rev. Mr. Parris and the Divisions at Salem Village . . .341 
The Strange Behavior of Divers Young Persons and its Ascription to 

Witchcraft 342 

Mr. Lawson's Visit and his Account; the Examinations of the Accused 343 

Mr. Lawson's Sermon; the Solemn Fast at Salem .... 345 
The "White Man"; Goodwife Cloyse and the Slammed Door; the 

Public Examination of April 11 346 

The Lord's Prayer as an Ordeal; Specimen of a Mittimu* , . , 347 



Arrival of Governor Phips; the Political Events leading to it . . 348 

Mrs. Gary's Commitment and Escape . . . . . . 349 

Captain John Alden's Narrative 353 

Opening of the Special Court at Salem (June 2) 355 

Bridget Bishop's Fate; Advice of the Boston Ministers . . . 356 

*-The Trials of June 30; Fate of Sarah Good; of Rebecca Nurse . . 357 
The August Trials and Executions; George Burroughs, John Willard, 

the Procters 360 

Procter's Letter to the Ministers 362 

Old Jacobs and his Grand-daughter; her Confession and Retraction . 364 

The September Trials 366 

The Coreys; Wardwell; Mary Esty and her Letter .... 367 

Mrs. Hale accused; Mr. Male's Change of View .... 369 

Seizure of the Property of Fugitives 370 

Flight of George Jacobs and Fate of his Family 371 

' The Andover Witchcraft 371 

The Gloucester Witchcraft 373 

End of the Special Court; Summary of its Work .... 373 
How the Accused were brought to confess; Protestation of the An- 
dover Women 374 

Criticism of Cotton Mather's Account of the Trials .... 378 ^ 

<s The Laws in Force against Witchcraft 381 

x The new Superior Court and how it dealt with the Witch Cases 

(Jan.-April, 1693) 382 

Governor Phips's General Pardon 384 

s The Benham Case in Connecticut (1697); the Massachusetts Proc- 
lamation of a General Fast (Dec., 1696) 385 

.<-' Judge Sewall's Public Penitence 386 

The Penitence of the Jurors . . . . . . . 387 

Criticism of Cotton Mather's Life of Phips (1697) .... 388 

And of its Author's Teaching as to Witchcraft . . . . . 389 

Calef's own Convictions as to the Matter i 391 / 


HALE, 1702 395 


AN EPISTLE TO THE READER, by John Higginson .... 399 

Mr. Kale's "Preface to the Christian Reader" 402 

The Origin and Nature of Devils ^ ...... 406 

Summary of New England Witch Cases, 1648-1692 . . . . 408 ~ 

Margaret Jones; Mrs. Lake 408 

Mrs. Kendal 409 

Mrs. Hibbins; Mary Johnson 410 

The Principles acted on in these Convictions 411 

Mrs. Morse; Goody Glover 412 

Salem Witchcraft; its Beginnings . . . . 413 

Tituba's Confession 415 

Conscientiousness of the Judges; the Authorities used by them . , 415 



Influence of the Confessions; their Agreement with the Accusations 

and with each other; their Circumstantiality 416 

Specimen Confessions: Deliverance Hobbs's 417 

Ann Foster's; Mary Lacy's 418 

William Barker's 419 

Their Testimony against themselves and against each other . . 420 

How Doubt at last was stirred 421 

Wherein lay the Error 422 

Like Mistakes in Other Places 424 

The Application of the Whole V 423 



Her First Trial; the Jury of Women 438 

The Appeal to the Governor and Council; the County Court in- 
structed to make Further Inquiry 439 

Her Second Trial; the Ducking 441 

The Verdict; her Detention for Trial by the General Court . . 442 

INDEX . ,443 



A BRAND PLUCK'D OUT OF THE BURNING. First page of the original manu- 
script, in the possession of the American Antiquarian Society . . 259 


originals 292 

PETITION OF MARY ESTY. From the original at the Essex County Court 

House, Salem 368 


THE first of the illustrations is a facsimile of the first page of 
the original manuscript of Cotton Mather's narrative of the case 
of Mercy Short, A Brand pluck'd out of the Burning. For the 
privilege of printing both the facsimile and the text we are in- 
debted to the American Antiquarian Society, in whose library at 
Worcester the manuscript is preserved, and to Mr. Clarence S. 
Brigham, librarian of the society. The facsimile is slightly reduced. 

The second plate is intended to elucidate the question whether 
More Wonders of the Invisible World was written by Robert Calef 
the elder or by his son Robert Calef the younger. Most writers 
hitherto have attributed it to the younger Calef; Professor Burr 
may be regarded as having settled the question (pp. 291-295) in 
favor of the elder. The plate shows facsimiles of the following: (1) 
from the Mather-Calef paper of 1694-1695 (see p. 306, note 1), the 
last three or four lines of Mather's text, with the marginalia of 
Robert Calef at the side, and the first three or four lines of Calef's 
marginalia beneath lines unquestionably penned by the author of 
More Wonders; (2) from the letter written to Lord Bellomont by 
that author, accompanying a copy of the book (see p. 292, note 1, 
below), the first three lines and the last, with signature; (3) from 
the appraisers' report of 1693 (ibid.), the signature; (4) from the 
coroner's verdict of 1696, the signature; (5) from the arbitrators' 
report of 1697, the first three or four lines and the signature all 
these of the elder Robert; (6) from the selectman's report of 1717 (?), 
the lines showing it the elder Robert's as a selectman of Roxbury, 
with the lines at the end and the signature; (7) signature of Robert 
Calef the younger, 1708; (8) signature of Robert the younger, 1719, 
with the words adjoining it in the receipt. For the second of these 
we are indebted to Mr. Wilberforce Eames of the New York Public 
Library, for the others to Mr. Worthington C. Ford of the Massa- 


riv NOTE 

chusetts Historical Society and to the official custodians of the vari- 
ous documents, in Boston. 

The third illustration is a facsimile, slightly reduced, of the pe- 
tition of Mary Esty, preserved at Salem, Massachusetts, in the files 
of the Superior Court for Essex County. By the kindness of the 
clerk, and of Mr. George Francis Dow, secretary of the Essex In- 
stitute, it is here reproduced in such a manner as to show both pages 
of the original. 

J. F. J. 


THESE narratives of witchcraft are no fairy tales. Weird though 
they seem to us, they were to thousands of men and women in 
seventeenth-century America the intensest of realities. They were 
the bulletins of a war more actual, more cruel, more momentous, 
than any fray of flesh and blood. Nor were they bulletins alone, 
these messages of each latest skirmish in that age-long war of Heaven 
with Hell. To those enlisted in that war they were instruction, 
encouragement, appeal, as well; and as, in our day, to men once 
fascinated by world-politics, so in that to those awakened to these 
vaster interests of a universe, all pettier concerns seemed trivial and 
provincial. To count the matter a panic local to New England, or 
even a passing madness of the Christian world, is to take a narrow 
view of history. 

But to the modern student there is danger of a graver error. 
For to count that witch-panic a something incident to human 
nature, and common to all lands and times, is to repudiate history 
altogether. Whatever in universal human experience anthropology 
or folk-lore may find akin to it, the witchcraft our fathers feared and 
fought was never universal, in place or time. It belonged alone to 
Christian thought and modern centuries; and clear as day to the 
historian of ideas is its rise, its progress, its decline. 

It was not till the later thirteenth century that the theologians 
worked out their theory of human relations with Satan. Not till 
the fourteenth did the Holy Inquisition draw witchcraft fully into 
its own jurisdiction and, by confusing it with heresy, first make the 
witches a diabolic sect and give rise to the notion of the witch- 
sabbath. It was in the fifteenth that the theory and the procedure 
spread to the secular courts, and that in these, as in the ecclesiastical, 
the torture began to prove an inexhaustible source of fresh accusa- 
tions, fresh delusions. In the sixteenth the Reformation for a little 
distracted attention to heresy; but soon Protestant was vying with 
Catholic in the quest of the minions of Satan, and it was in the later 



sixteenth century and the earlier seventeenth that panic and per- 
secution reached their height. Italy, Spain, France, which earliest 
had suffered, were earliest to listen to reason. Germany, long hesi- 
tant to begin, passed all other lands in thoroughness and in persis- 
tence. How many were the victims is even here a matter for guess- 
work; but they counted by many, many thousands. At Osnabriick 
121 were burned in 1583, 133 in 1589; at Ellwangen 167 in 1612; at 
Wiirzburg a careful list in February, 1629, names 158 burned since 
1627, and the burnings were still going briskly on. Not even Scot- 
land could rival this German zeal; and Scotland was later to begin. 
England, lacking both the Inquisition and the torture, long es- 
caped; but the religious exiles who flocked back from the Continent 
at the accession of Elizabeth brought the epidemic with them, and 
protest was hushed when in 1603 there mounted the English throne 
the king, a Scot and a Calvinist, whose own royal hand had plied 
against the witches both torture and the pen. The advent of James 
was followed, in 1604, by the enactment of a sterner statute, which, 
like those of Scotland and the Continent, embodied the teaching of 
the theologians and subordinated the crime to the sin. But, though 
for a time English zeal against witches was quickened, it was not 
till the Civil Wars threw the courts into the hands of men more 
prone to religious excitement that England knew a witch-panic like 
those of neighbor lands. Then, in 1645-1647, her Puritan Eastern 
counties, having found in enforced sleeplessness a substitute for the 
torture, sent witches to death by the score; and then it was, in 1647 
^ and 1648, that in her. Hew England colonies witch-trials first ap- 
r pear. Of their story there our narratives will tell us. In the home 
land the superstition slowly waned, and, despite the able protests of 
J its advocates and the occasional zeal of a pious judge, England saw 
, her last witch-execution in^682. Trials, indeed, there were till 1717, 
I and in Scotland till the very eve of the act of Parliament which in 
1736 ended the matter in British lands. On the Continent the trials 
dribbled on till the eighties. 

But let it not be thought that there were ever wanting those who 
doubted and protested. We shall find them in seventeenth-century 
America; and, happily, they too have left us narratives. 

Though, all told, the number of America's contributions to this 


eerie literature is not great, not all could find a place in the present 
volume. The general editor of the series has, however, included all 
that can be counted classical those most quoted in their day or in 
ours. Narratives, not documents, have of course been preferred for 
the volume; but, for those regions where no narrative of witchcraft 
exists (i. e., outside New England), court records have had to take 
their place. And since, even in New England, the narratives rest 
often on such records and by the critical student must be compared 
with these, the notes attempt to point out where these records, if 
printed, may be found. 

Not a few of the narratives here reprinted have now grown 
costly or even unprocurable; but only one is here for the first time 
published Cotton Mather's A Brand pluck'd out of the Burning 
(1693). A full account of its source and history will be found in the 
prefixed introduction (pp. 247 ff.}. As in the other volumes of 
this series, the order of the narratives is chronological though often 
with much overlapping. Where there is a connection between their 
themes, and especially where (as with the Salem witchcraft) the nar- 
ratives deal with the same events, the introductions and notes aim to 
make the connection clear and to invite a parallel study. Of course, 
however, the present volume is not a history, and must pass in silence 
much that should interest the student of witchcraft in America. 

Besides aiding the narratives to explain each other and guiding 
the student to the further materials for their critical study, it has 
been the editor's aim to clear up whatever is obscure; but he has 
nowhere attempted to set forth the theory underlying the belief in 
witchcraft or to discuss the questions which still divide scholars. 1 His 
effort has been only to put before the reader, with fairness and ex- 
actness, what can throw light on these American episodes. 

It remains but to add a word of gratitude to those into whose 

1 To those who need such help the 'editor may venture to name an older 
study of his own on The Literature of Witchcraft (in the Papers of the American 
Historical Association, IV.), which undertakes a survey of the development of 
that theory. Further light may be had from the familiar chapters of Lecky 
and of Lea, and from Dr. Wallace Notestein's History of Witchcraft in England, 
now an indispensable guide to the English background of American dealings with 
witchcraft. And, for a discussion of certain fundamental issues, he may add two 
papers (by Professor G. L. Kittredge and himself) in the Proceedings (n. s., 
XVIII. , XXI.) of the American Antiquarian Society. 

xviii PREFACE 

labors he has entered. Most of these are adequately cited in the 
introductions or the notes; but certain whose help has been more 
general should find mention here. Samuel G. Drake's Annals of 
Witchcraft in New England and elsewhere in the United States (Bos- 
ton, 1869) is still the best clew to American witch-episodes as a 
whole. Justin Winsor's chatty paper on The Literature of Witch- 
craft in New England (American Antiquarian Society, Proceedings, 
n. s., X.) is a convenient introduction to that literature, and George 
H. Moore's Notes on the Bibliography of Witchcraft in Massachusetts 
(in the same society's Proceedings, n. s., V.) is, like every word written 
on this subject by that acute scholar, a precious aid in its study. 
Quite indispensable as a conspectus of the literature as a whole is now 
the List of Works in the New York Public Library relating to Witch- 
craft in the United States, prepared in 1908 for that library by Mr. 
George F. Black, a scholar from whose studies in the history of 
witchcraft other fruit is to be hoped. 

The thanks of the reader as well as the editor's are due to the 
American Antiquarian Society, at Worcester, for the generous cour- 
tesy with which it has permitted the printing here of the unpublished 
narrative of Cotton Mather a courtesy enhanced by help received 
from its librarians. Warm gratitude, too, is due to the Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society, to the Boston Public Library, to the 
New York Public Library, and to the custodians of the public records 
at Boston, for the use of the autographs which figure in our plate 
devoted to the identification of Robert Calef. But, should mention 
be made of all those to whom this volume is in debt for personal 
help, the list would be too long. Yet the editor cannot lay down his 
pen without a word of gratitude to his old teacher and lifelong friend, 
ex-President Andrew D. White, of Cornell, who first inspired him 
with an interest in this subject and a sense of its importance, and 
whose unflagging generosity has made possible the gathering of that 
library on witchcraft, now perhaps unequalled, which has been a 
chief source of the present volume. 



INCREASE MATHER (1639-1723), divine, historian, college 
president^ colonial statesman and diplomat, is a familiar fig- 
ure to the student of American history. Born the youngest 
son of a religious leader known in Old England as well as 
New, and graduated from Harvard in 1656, while Puritanism 
was still dominant in the mother land, he had choice of two 
worlds for his career, and at first elected for the old, where 
two of his brothers were already prospering. First a student 
for his master's degree at Dublin, then a preacher in En- 
gland and in the Channel Islands, he would gladly have re- 
mained beyond sea, but for the religious restrictions of the 
Restoration, which drove him home in 1661 though not 
until he had come into a permanent closeness of touch with 
British thought and feeling. In Boston he speedily be- 
came the minister of the new North Church, and he re- 
tained this pastorate throughout his life, though from 1685 
to 1701 he added to its duties those of the presidency of 
Harvard. 1 

But not his diligence as a student nor his devotion to his 
influential pulpit could blind him to the larger affairs of New 
England and of the Christian world. It was he who in 1679 
stirred up his colleagues and the General Court to the con- 
vening of a synod of the clergy, which should consider what 
evils had "provoked the Lord to bring His Judgments on 

1 As to his career see especially the careful study of Sibley, in his Biographical 
Sketches of the Graduates of Harvard University (henceforward to be cited as 
Harvard Graduates), I. 410-470, and the authorities there named. 



New-England" and what was to be done "that so these Evils 
may be Reformed"; and it was he who put into form the 
result of their deliberations. Some of the "judgments" 
King Philip's war, the small-pox, the two great fires he felt 
to call for lay activity as well as clerical ; but the others com- 
plained of, the decay of piety and the departure from the 
fathers' ways, were ills for pastoral healing, and in 1681, the 
year that followed the final session of that "reforming synod," 
another general meeting of the ministers took, at his instance, 
that action for "the recording of illustrious providences" 
which is recounted in the following pages. 

Such a method of arousing men to religion was nothing 
new in Christian history. So, a thousand years before, Pope 
Gregory, culling (precisely as did now the New England leader) 
the experiences of his fellow clerics, had compiled those 
Dialogues whose tales of vision and apparition served for 
centuries to make the invisible world as real as that of sight 
and touch; and from his day onward such "providences" had 
been to clerical historians the tissue of their story. In the 
later Middle Ages there multiplied collections of these ex- 
empla. Nor did the Reformation interrupt their use. Lu- 
ther's own sermons and table talk were for Protestants a mine 
of "modern instances"; and out of such materials a Hondorff, 
a Lonicer, a Philip Camerarius, compiled their treasuries for 
the Lutheran pulpit, while their Zwinglian and Calvinistic 
neighbors were yet better equipped by the industry of Theodor 
Zwinger and Simon Goulart. Puritan England had found 
such purveyors in Beard and Taylor and Samuel Clarke. 
But it was of the nature of these attempts to keep abreast 
of the warnings of Heaven that they speedily went out of 
date. Only an enterprise like that devised by Matthew 
Poole for their continual registry could meet the needs of 
callous and forgetful man. 

But the suggestion of Poole was twenty years old, and 


even the draft found in John Davenport's papers must for 
some years have been in Mather's hands: what new impulse 
stirred him now to action? It is not hard to guess. The 
group of Platonists who at Cambridge, the mother of. New 
England Puritanism, had now inherited the spokesmanship 
of positive religion, laid the emphasis of then- teaching on 
what they called "the spiritual world"; and since the Resto- 
ration they had found a notable ally. Joseph Glanvill, a 
young Oxford theologian, one of the keenest of English phil- 
osophic minds, and withal one of the most rational, had taken 
a brief for the defence, and in a brilliant essay on "the van- 
ity of dogmatizing" had in 1661 turned the guns of the ra- 
tionalists upon themselves. It was not the dogmatizing of 
theology, but that of the audacious rising science of things 
natural and human, whose premises he attacked and seemed 
to sweep away; and great was the applause of all committed 
to the "eternal verities." But he speedily discerned that the 
strength of his skeptical adversaries lay in their denial and 
ridicule of what they counted the "old wives' tales" of 
religion. "Atheism is begun in Sadducism. And those that 
dare not bluntly say, There is no God, content themselves 
(for a fair step, and Introduction) to deny there are Spirits, 
or Witches." Wherefore, with astounding boldness, he came 
in 1666 to the defence of ghosts and witches in an essay, oft 
reprinted, whose most telling title was A Blow at Modem Saddu- 
cism. He had now adopted to the full the tenets of the Cam- 
bridge Platonists, whose leader, Henry More, became his cor- 
respondent, almost his colleague, and like them he championed 
all old tales; but his keen sight discerned that "things re- 
mote, or long past, are either not believed, or forgotten," 
whereas "Modern Relations," "being fresh, and near, and at- 
tended with all the circumstances of credibility, it may be 
expected they should have more success upon the obstinacy 
of Unbelievers." To his essay he therefore now appended, 


and swelled with each successive edition, a "collection of 
modern relations," which should demonstrate from present 
experience "the real existence of apparitions, spirits and 
witches." This was indeed to carry the war into Africa, and 
the Africans rallied to their guns. John Wagstaffe in 1669 
and 1671, the anonymous author of The Doctrine of Devils 
in 1676, John Webster in 1677, came to the defence of chal- 
lenged incredulity. Glanvill died in 1680, leaving unfinished 
that enlarged edition which should be his reply; but in 1681 
it was published by his friend Henry More (with additions 
of his own, including a mass of new "relations") under the 
aggressive title of Sadducismus Triumphatus. 1 

It was for a share in this battle royal, to which his book 
makes many allusions, that Increase Mather now marshalled 
the hosts of New England orthodoxy. Their broadside, de- 
livered in 1684, was this Essay for the Recording of Illustrious 
Providences. 2 Almost at the same time (1685) George Sinclar, 
professor at Glasgow, brought out in Scotland the "choice 
collection of modern relations" which he called Satan's In- 
visible World Discovered. How English Puritanism echoed we 
shall see betimes. 

Mather's book was forthwith welcome. It went through 
two or three impressions in 1684 at least the title-page was 
thus often reprinted and a part of the copies went to the 
London market, equipped with the imprint of an English 
bookseller. The book is best known, not by the long title 
of its title-page, but by its running caption of "Remarkable 
Providences" already his son quotes it by this name and 
it was under this title, Remarkable Providences illustrative of 
the Earlier Days of American Colonisation, that a convenient 

1 "Sadducism Triumphed Over." More spells it Saducismus; but this was 
not Glanvill 's usage, and the later editions have a double d. 

1 It is true the book of Mather is not wholly on "the world of spirits" : other 
"providences" fill half the volume. But it is more largely so than any earlier 
collection of its sort, and in this the author's interest clearly centres. 


little reprint, "with introductory preface by George Offor," 
was published at London in 1856 (as a volume in John 
Russell Smith's "Library of Old Authors"), and again in 


An Essay For the Recording of Illustrious Providences, Wherein 
an Account is given of many Remarkable and very Mem- 
orable Events, which have happened in this last Age; Es- 
pecially in New-England. 

By Increase Mather, Teacher of a Church at Boston in New- 
England. Psal. 107. 5. Oh that men would praise the 
Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the 
Children of Men. Psal. 145. 4. One Generation shall 
praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty 

Boston in New-England, Printed by Samuel Green for Joseph 
Browning, And are to be sold at his Shop at the corner of 
the Prison Lane. 1684. 1 

The Preface. 

ABOUT six and twenty years ago, a Design for the Re- 
cording of illustrious Providences was under serious consid- 
eration among some eminent Ministers in England and in 
Ireland. 2 That motion was pr'ncipally set on foot by the 
Learned Mr. Matthew Pool, whose Synopsis Criticorum, and 
other Books by him emitted, have made him famous in the 
World. 3 But before any thing was brought to effect, the 

1 This is the wording of what is believed the earliest impression of the 
title-page. It has a misprint in the first citation of Scripture: "Psal. 107. 5" 
should be Psal. 107. 8. 

2 As the author signs his preface on January 1, 1684 (and he used our present 
calendar), the design of twenty-six years before must belong to 1658 or there- 
abouts. At that time he was himself in the British Isles and in close touch with 
their leading Puritan divines : it is highly probable that he speaks of the project 
from personal knowledge. 

1 Matthew Poole (1624-1679) was one of the ablest scholars among the 
English Presbyterians. Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, like so 



Persons to have been imployed, had their thoughts diverted 
another way. Nevertheless, there was a MSS. (the Composer 
whereof is to me unknown) then written, wherein the Sub- 
jects proper for this Record, and some Rules for the better 
managing a design of this nature, are described. In that 
MSS. I find notable Stories related and attested, which else- 
where I never met with. Particularly, the Story of Mr. Earl 
of Colchester, and another mentioned in our subsequent Essay. 1 
And besides those, there are some very memorable Passages 
written, which have not as yet been published, so far as I 
understand. There are in that MSS. several Remarkables 
about Apparitions, e. g. It is there said, that Dr. Frith, 
(who was one of the Prebends belonging to Windsor) lying 
on his Bed, the Chamber Doors were thrown open, and a 
Corps with attending Torches brought to his Bed-side upon 
a Bier; The Corps representing one of his own Family: After 
some pause, there was such another shew, till he, the said 
Dr., his Wife and all his Family were brought in on the Bier 
in such order as they all soon after died. The Dr. was not 
then sick, but quickly grew Melancholly, and would rising at 
Midnight repair to the Graves and monuments at Eaton 2 
Colledge; saying, that he and his must shortly take up their 
habitation among the Dead. The Relater of this Story (a 
Person of great integrity) had it from Dr. Frith's Son, who 
also added, My Fathers Vision is already Executed upon all 
the Family but my self, my time is next, and near at hand. 
In the mentioned MSS. there is also a marvelous Relation 
concerning a young Scholar in France: For, it is there af- 
firmed, that this prophane Student, having by extravagant 
courses outrun his means, in his discontent walking solitarily, 
a Man came to him, and enquired the cause of his sadness. 
Which he owning to be want of Money, had presently a supply 
given him by the other. That being quickly consumed upon 

many of the religious leaders of New England, he was at first a pastor in London, 
but, ejected in 1662 by the Act of Uniformity, devoted himself to scholarship, 
and is best known by the Synopsis Criticorum, into whose five huge folios (1669- 
1676) he condensed the substance of earlier commentators on the Scriptures. Of 
his scheme for the recording of illustrious providences we know only what is 
here told us. 

1 These stories are told in the chapter on "Apparitions," not here reprinted. 

2 Eton. 


his Lusts, as soon as his Money was gone his Discontent re- 
turned; and in his former Walk, he met with his former Re- 
liever, who again offered to supply him; but askt him to con- 
tract with him to be his, and to sign the contract with his 
Blood. The woful wretch consented: but not long after, 
considering that this contract was made with the Devil, the 
terrors of his Conscience became insupportable; so as that he 
endeavoured to kill himself to get out of them. Some Min- 
isters, and other Christians, being informed how matters were 
circumstanced, kept dayes of Prayer for him and with him: 
and he was carefully watched that so he might be kept from 
Self-Murder. Still he continued under Terror, and said he 
should clo so, as long as the Covenant which he had signed, 
remained in the hands of the Devil. Hereupon, the Ministers 
resolve to keep a day of Fasting and Prayer in that very 
place of the Field where the distressed creature had made 
the woful Bargain, setting him in the midst of them. Thus 
they did, and being with special actings of Faith much en- 
larged to pray earnestly to the Lord to make known his power 
over Satan, in constraining him to give up that contract, after 
some hours continuance in Prayer, a Cloud was seen to spread 
it self over them, and out of it the very contract signed with 
the poor creatures Blood was dropped down amongst them; 
which being taken up and viewed, the party concerned took 
it, and tore it in pieces. The Relator had this from the mouth 
of Mr. Beaumond, 1 a Minister of Note at Caon 2 in Nor- 
mandy, who assured him that he had it from one of the Min- 
isters that did assist in carrying on the Day of prayer when 
this memorable providence hapned. Nor is the Relation im- 
possible to be true, for Luther speaks of a providence not 
unlike unto this, which hapned in his Congregation. 3 

This MSS. doth also mention some most Remarkable 
Judgments of God upon Sinners, as worthy to be Recorded 

*Jean de Baillehache, seigneur de Beaumont. Two of the name, father 
and son, held in succession the Huguenot pastorate at Caen, and were of like 


The "providence" he means is that related by Samuel Clarke (Mirrour 
. . . of Examples, fourth ed., London, 1671 the edition used by Mather I. 34) 
of a young man at Wittenberg whose contract the Devil threw in at the church 


for Posterity to take notice of. It is there said, that when 
Mr. Richard Juxon was a Fellow of Kings Colledge in Cam- 
bridge, he led a most vicious life: and whereas such of the 
Students as were serious in matters of Religion, did endeavour 
by solemn Fasting and Prayer to prepare themselves for the 
Communion which was then (this was about the year 1636) 
on Easter-Day, This Juxon spent all the time of prepara- 
tion in Drunken wild Meetings, and was up late and Drunk 
on the Saturday night. Nevertheless, on the Lords day, he 
came with others to the Communion, and sat next to the 
Relator, who knowing his Disorder the night before, was 
much troubled: but had no remedy; Church-Discipline net 
being then so practised as ought to have been. The Com- 
munion being ended, such of the Scholars as had the fear of 
God in their hearts, repaired to their Closets. But this Juxon 
went immediately to a Drunken-meeting, and there to a Cock- 
fight, where he fell to his accustomed madness, and pouring 
out a volley of Oaths and Curses; while these were between 
his Lips, God smote him dead in the twinkle of an eye. And 
though Juxon were but young, and of a comely person, his 
Carcase was immediately so corrupted as that the stench of 
it was insufferable, insomuch that no house would receive it; 
and his Friends were forced to hire some base Fellows to 
watch the Carcase till night; and then with Pitch and such 
like Gums covered him in a Coffin, and so made a shift to en- 
dure his Interment. There stood by a Scholar, whose name 
was George Hall, and who acted his part with Juxon in his 
prophaneness : but he was so astonished with this amazing 
Providence of God, as that he fell down upon his knees, beg- 
ging pardoning mercy from Heaven, and vowing a Reforma- 
tion; which vow the Lord enabled him to keep, so as that x 
afterwards he became an able and famous Minister of the \ 

One strange passage more I shall here relate out of the 
MSS. which we have thus far made mention of. Therein I 
find part of a Letter transcribed; which is as followeth: 

Lismore, Octob. 2. 1658. In another part of this Countrey, a 
poor man being suspected to have stollen a Sheep was questioned 
for it; he forswore the thing, and wished that if he had stollen it, 


God would cause the Horns of the Sheep to grow upon him. This 
man was seen within these few dayes by a Minister of great repute 
for Piety, who saith, that the Man has an Horn growing out of one 
corner of his Mouth, just like that of a sheep: from which he hath 
cut seventeen Inches, and is forced to keep it tyed by a string to 
his Ear, to prevent its growing up to his eye: This Minister not 
only saw but felt this Horn, and reported it in this Family this week, 
as also a Gentleman formerly did, who was himself an eye-witness 
thereof. Surely such passages are a Demonstrative evidence that 
there is a God, who judgeth in the Earth, and who though he stay 
long, will not be mocked alwayes. 

I shall say no more concerning the MSS. only that it was 
sent over to Reverend Mr. Davenport/ by (as I suppose) 
Mr. Hartlib. 2 How it came to lie dormient in his hands I 
know not: though I had the happiness of special Intimacy 
with that worthy Man, I do not remember that ever I heard 
him speak any thing of it. But since his Death, looking over 
his MSS's I met with this, and communicated it to other 
Ministers, who highly approved of the noble design aimed at 
therein. Soon after which, some Proposals in order to the 
reviving of this work were drawn up, and presented at a gen- 
eral Meeting of the Ministers in this Colony, May 12, 1681, may not be unsuitable here to recite. 

Some Proposals concerning the Recording of Illustrious Providences. 

I. In Order to the promoving 3 of a design of this Nature, so 
as shall be indeed for Gods Glory, and the good of Posterity, it is 

1 John Davenport (1597-1670), one of the most eminent of the Puritan di- 
vines, who, after a career as preacher in London and in Amsterdam, came in 1637 
to New England and became the founder and leader of the New Haven theocracy. 
When at last that colony was merged in that of Connecticut he accepted (1668) 
the call of the conservative First Church in Boston, and there died. 

1 Samuel Hartlib (c. 1600-c. 1670), son of a Polish merchant of German 
extraction and of an English mother, was born in Prussia, but spent most of his 
life in England. He is perhaps best known as the friend of Milton; but "every- 
body knew Hartlib." By business a merchant, he was deeply interested in re- 
ligious affairs, and had a wide correspondence with Protestant scholars through- 
out Christendom, laboring for their union and incidentally carrying on at London 
a sort of general news agency. Writing September 3, 1661, to Governor Win- 
throp of Connecticut, Hartlib sends therewith "a small packet" for Mr. Daven- 
port, to whom he "cannot write for the present." (Mass. Hist. Soc., Proceedings, 
1878, p. 212.) Promoting. 


necessary that utmost care shall be taken that All, and Only Re- 
markable Providences be Recorded and Published. 

II. Such Divine Judgements, Tempests, Floods, Earth-quakes, 
Thunders as are unusual, strange Apparitions, or what ever else 
shall happen that is Prodigious, Witchcrafts, Diabolical Possessions, 
Remarkable Judgements upon noted Sinners, eminent Deliverances, 
and Answers of Prayer, are to be reckoned among Illustrious Provi- 

III. Inasmuch as we find in Scripture, as well as in Ecclesias- 
tical History, that the Ministers of God have been improved 1 in 
the Recording and Declaring the works of the Lord; and since they 
are in divers respects under peculiar Advantages thereunto: It is 
proposed, that each one in that capacity may diligently enquire into, 
and Record such Illustrious Providences as have hapned, or from 
time to time shall happen, in the places whereunto they do belong: 
and that the Witnesses of such notable Occurrents 2 be likewise set 
down in Writing. 

IV. Although it be true, that this Design cannot be brought 
unto Perfection in one or tw r o years, yet it is much to be desired 
that something may be done therein out of hand, as a Specimen of 
a more large Volumn, that so this work may be set on foot, and 
Posterity may be encouraged to go on therewith. 

V. It is therefore Proposed that the Elders may concurre in 
desiring some one that hath Leisure and Ability for the management 
of such an undertaking, with all convenient speed to begin there- 

VI. And that therefore other Elders do without delay make 
Enquiry concerning the Remarkable Occurrents that have formerly 
fallen out, or may fall out hereafter, where they are concerned, and 
transmit them unto the aforesaid person, according to the Direc- 
tions above specified, in order to a speedy Publication. 

VII. That Notice be given of these Proposals unto our Brethren, 
the Elders of the Neighbour Colonies, that so we may enjoy their 
Concurrence, and Assistance herein. 

VIII. When any thing of this Nature shall be ready for the 
Presse, it appears on sundry Grounds very expedient, that it should 
be read, and approved of at some Meeting of the Elders, before 

These things being Read and Considered, the Author of 
this Essay was desired to begin the work which is here done; 

1 Made good use of: the usual meaning of "improve" in these narratives. 

2 Occurrences. 


and I am Engaged 1 to many for the Materials and Informa- 
tions which the following Collections do consist of. It is not 
easie to give an Account of things, and yet no circumstantial 
mistakes attend what shall be related. Nor dare I averr, 
that there are none such in what follows. Only I have been 
careful to prevent them; and as to the substance of each 
passage, I am well assured it is according to Truth. That 
rare accident about the Lightning which caused a wonderful 
change hi the Compasses of a Vessel then at Sea, was as is 
in the Book expressed, Page 91, 92. Only it is uncertain 
whether they were then exactly in the Latitude of 38. For 
they had not taken an Observation for several dayes, but the 
Master of the Vessel affirms that to be the Latitude so near 
as they could conjecture. Since the Needle was changed by 
the Lightning, if a lesser Compass be set over it, the Needle 
therein (or any other touched with the Load-stone) will alter 
its polarity and turn about to the South, as I have divers 
times to my great admiration experimented. There is near 
the Northpoint a dark spot, like as if it were burnt with a 
drop of Brimstone, supposed to be caused by the Lightning. 
Whether the Magnetic impressions on that part of the Needle 
being dissipated by the heat of the Lightning, and the effluvia 
on the South end of the Needle only remaining untouched 
thereby, be the true natural reason of the marvelous altera- 
tion; or whither it ought to be ascribed to some other cause, 
the Ingenious may consider. 

There is another Remarkable Passage about Lightning 
which hapned at Duxborough 2 in New-England, concerning 
which I have lately received this following Account. 

September 11, 1653, (being the Lords Day) There were small 
drizling Showers, attended with some seldome and scarce perceiv- 
able rumbling Thunders until towards the Evening; at what time 
Mr. Constant Southworth of Duxbury returning home after evening 
Exercise, in company with some Neighbours, Discoursing of some 
extraordinary Thunder-claps with Lightning, and the awful effects 
and consequents thereof, (being come into his own House) there 
were present in one room himself, his Wife, two Children, viz. Thomas 
(he was afterwards drowned) and Benjamin, (he was long after this 

1 Indebted. *Duzbury, Massachusetts. 


killed by the Indians) with Philip Delano (a Servant,) there broke 
perpendicularly over the said House and Room a most awful and 
amazing clap of Thunder, attended with a violent flash, or rather 
flame of Lightning; which brake and shivered one of the Needles of 
the Katted or Wooden Chimney, carrying divers Splinters seven or 
eight Rods distance from the House: it filled the Room with Smoke 
and Flame. Set fire in the Thatch of a Leanto which was on the 
backside of a Room adjoyning to the former, in which the five per- 
sons abovementioned were. It melted some Pewter, so that it ran 
into drops on the out-side, as is often seen on Tin ware; melted 
round holes in the top of a Fire-shovel proportionable in quantity to 
a small Goose-shot; struck Mrs. Southworths Arm so that it w r as 
for a time benummed; smote the young Child Benjamin in his 
Mothers Arms, deprived it of Breath for a space, and to the Mothers 
apprehension squetased it as flat as a Planck; smote a Dog stone-dead 
which lay within two foot of Philip Delano, the Dog never moved 
out of his place or posture, in which he was when smitten, but giving 
a small yelp, and quivering with his toes, lay still, blood issuing 
from his Nose or Mouth. It smote the said Philip, made his right 
Arm senseless for a time, together with the middle finger in special 
(of his right hand) which was benummed, and turned as white as 
Chalk or Lime, yet attended with little pain. After some few hours 
that finger began to recover its proper colour at the Knuckle, and 
so did gradually whiten unto its extremity; And although the said 
Delano felt a most violent heat upon his body, as if he had been 
scorched in the midst of a violent burning fire, yet his Clothes were 
not singed, neither had the smell of fire passed thereon. 

I could not insert this story in its proper place, because 
I received it after that Chapter about Thunder and Lightning 
was Printed. Some credible persons who have been Eye- 
witnesses of it, inform me, that the Lightning in that House 
at Duxborough did with the vehemency of its flame, cause 
the Bricks in the Chimney to melt like molten lead: which 
particular was as Remarkable as any of the other mentioned 
in the Narrative, and therefore I thought good here to add it. 

In this Essay, I design no more than a Specimen ; And hav- 
ing (by the good hand of God upon me) set this Wheel a 
going, I shall leave it unto others, whom God has fitted, and 
shall incline thereto, to go on with the undertaking. 1 

1 We shall see how this suggestion fruited in the Memorable Providences 
and the Wonders of his son Cotton; and in 1694 the President and Fellows of 


Some Digressions I have made in distinct Chapters, han- 
dling several considerable Cases of Conscience, supposing it not 
unprofitable, or improper so to do; since the things related 
gave the occasion: both Leisure and Exercise of Judgement 
are required in the due performance of a Service of this Na- 
ture: There are some that have more leisure, and many that 
have greater Abilities than I have: I expect not that they 
should make my Method their Standard; but they may 
follow a better of their own, as they shall see cause. The 
Addition of Parallel Stories is both pleasing and edifying: 
Had my reading and remembrance of things been greater, I 
might have done more that way, as I hope others will in the 
next Essay. 

I could have mentioned some very memorable Passages 
of Divine Providence, wherein the Countrey in general hath 
been concerned. Some Remarkables of that kind are to be 
seen in my former Relations of the Troubles occasioned by 
the Indians in New-England. 1 There are other particulars 
no less worthy to be Recorded, but in my judgement, this is 
not so proper a season for us to divulge them. It has been 
in my thoughts to publish a Discourse of Miscellaneous ob- 
servations, concerning things rare and wonderful, both as to 
the works of Creation and Providence, which in my small 
Readings I have met with in many Authors : 2 But this must 
suffice for the present. I have often wished, that the Natural 
History of New-England might be written and published to 
the World; the Rules and method described by that Learned 
and excellent person Robert Boyle Esq. 3 being duely observed 

Harvard College (Increase Mather being himself the President, and Cotton one 
of the eight fellows) addressed once more to the ministers of New England an 
appeal for the recording and reporting of "remarkables." It may be found in 
bk. VI. of Cotton Mather's Magnolia (1702), at the head of his collection of such 
providences, into which he incorporated many of those already related by his 

1 He doubtless means both his A Brief History of the War with the Indians 
in New-England (Boston, 1676) and his A Relation of the Troubles which have 
hapned in New-England (Boston, 1677). 

1 This project was never carried out. 

Robert Boyle (1627-1691) was then the glory of English science. But he 
was also governor of the Corporation for the Spread of the Gospel in New England. 
His "Heads for the Natural History of a Country" may be found in vol. III. 
(pp. 5-14) of his Philosophical Works (London, 1725). 


therein. It would best become some Scholar that has been 
born in this Land, to do such a service for his Countrey. 
Nor would I my self decline to put my hand (so far as my 
small capacity will reach) to so noble an undertaking, did 
not manifold diversions and employments prevent me from 
attending that which I should account a profitable Recreation. 
I have other work upon me, which I would gladly finish be-- 
fore I leave the World, and but a very little time to do it in: 
Moreover, not many years ago, I lost (and that's an afflictive 
loss indeed!) several Moneths from study by sickness. Let 
every God-fearing Reader joyn with "me in Prayer, that I 
may be enabled to redeem the time, and (in all wayes wherein 
I am capable) to serve my Generation. 

Boston in New-England, 
January I, 168|. 


Concerning things preternatural which have hapned in New- 
England. A Remarkable Relation about Ann Cole of 
Hartford. Concerning several Witches in that Colony. Of 
the Possessed Maid at Groton. An account of the House in 
Newberry lately troubled with a Damon. A parallel Story 
of an House at Tedworth in England. Concerning another 
in Hartford. And of one in Portsmouth in New-England 
lately disquieted by Evil Spirits. The Relation of a Woman 
at Barwick in New-England molested with Apparitions, and 
sometimes tormented by invisible Agents. 

INASMUCH as things which are prseternatural, and not ac- 
complished without diabolical operation, do more rarely hap- 
pen/ it is pitty but that they should be observed. Several 

1 More rarely, that is, than those supernatural wonders that proceed from 
God. It is of these of "remarkable sea-deliverances," of "other remarkable 
preservations," of "remarkables about thunder and lightning" that earlier 
chapters have told. In chapter IV., however, the author argues that thunder- 
storms are sometimes the work of Satan, and he is now ready to take up Satanic 


Accidents of that kind have hapned in New-England; which 
I shall here faithfully Relate so far as I have been able to 
come unto the knowledge of them. 

^ .Very Remarkable was that Providence wherein Ann Cole 
of Hartford in New-England was concerned. 1 She was and 
is accounted a person of real Piety and Integrity. Neverthe- 
less, in the Year 1662, then living in her Fathers House (who 
has likewise been esteemed a godly Man) She was taken 
with very strange Fits, wherein her Tongue was improved by 
a Daemon to express things which she her self knew nothing 
of. Sometimes the Discourse would hold for a considerable 
time. The general purpose of which was, that such and such 
persons (who were named in the Discourse which passed from 
her) were consulting how they might carry on mischievous 
designs against her and several others, mentioning sundry 
wayes they should take for that end, particularly that they 
would afflict her Body, spoil her Name, etc. The general 
answer made amongst the Daemons, was, She runs to the 
Rock. This having been continued some hours, the Daemons 
said, Let us confound her Language, that she may tell no 
more tales. She uttered matters unintelligible. And then 
the Discourse passed into a Dutch-tone (a Dutch Family 2 then 

1 This story was reported by the Rev. John Whiting, from 1660 a pastor 
at Hartford, the home of his family, in a letter of December 4, 1682, now in the 
keeping of the Boston Public Library and published (1868) in the Mather Papers 
(Mass. Hist. Soc., Collections, fourth series, VTII.) at pp. 466-469. The incidents 
occurred in 1662. This was by no means the earliest of Connecticut's witch cases. 
On these in general see the sane and lucid study of C. H. Levermore, in the New 
Englander, XLIV. (1885), 788-817, and, condensed, in the New England Magazine, 
new series, VI. (1892), 636-644; also F. Morgan's in Connecticut as a Colony and 
as a State (Hartford, 1904), I. 205-229, and in the American Historical Magazine, 
I. (1906), 216-238; and J. M. Taylor's little monograph, The Witchcraft Delusion 
in Colonial Connecticut (New York, 1908). On this episode in particular and the 
surviving records see also C. J. Hoadly, "A Case of Witchcraft in Hartford," in 
the Connecticut Magazine, V. (1899), 557-560. 

2 The name of this Dutch family, as appears from a letter of Governor Stuy- 
vesant of New Amsterdam addressed October 13, 1662, to the authorities at 
Hartford, was Varleth, or Varlet. Stuyvesant accredits his brother-in-law 
(Capt. Nicholas Varleth), now "necessitated to make a second voyage" to aid 
"his distressed sister Judith Varleth," imprisoned on the charge of witchcraft, 
and urges on her behalf "her well known education, life, conversation and pro- 
fession of faith" and with success, for this Judith, becoming at her father's 
death his heiress, repaired to New Netherland and there (1666) marrying Stvy- 


lived in the Town) and therein an account was given of some 
afflictions that had befallen divers; amongst others, what 
had befallen a Woman that lived next Neighbour to the Dutch 
Family, whose Arms had been strangely pinched in the night, 
declaring by whom and for what cause that course had been 
taken with her. 1 The Reverend Mr. Stone (then Teacher of 
the Church in Hartford) 2 being by, when the Discourse 
hapned, declared, that he thought it impossible for one not 
familiarly acquainted with the Dutch (which Ann Cole had 
not in the least been) should so exactly imitate the Dutch- 
tone in the pronunciation of English. Several Worthy Per- 
sons, (viz. Mr. John Whiting, Mr. Samuel Hooker, and Mr. 
Joseph Hains) 3 wrote the intelligible sayings expressed by 
Ann Cole, whilest she was thus amazingly handled. The 
event was that one of the persons (whose Name was Green- 
smith) being a lewd and ignorant Woman, 4 and then in 
Prison on suspicion for Witch-craft, mentioned in the Dis- 
course as active in the mischiefs done and designed, was by 
the Magistrate sent for; Mr. Whiting and Mr. Haines read 
what they had written; and the Woman being astonished 

vesant's able nephew, Nicholas Bayard, shared with him his notable role in the 
life of that colony. See Walker, History of the First Church in Hartford (Hart- 
ford, 1884), p. 177, note; Taylor (as above), pp. 151-152; Connecticut Colonial 
Records, 1636-1665, p. 387; Documents relating to the Colonial History of New 
York, XIV. 518; Records of New Amsterdam (New York, 1897), V. 130, 137; 
New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, X. (1879), 35-36. 

1 She was, says Mr. Whiting, a sister of one of the ministers in Hartford. 
Of Mr. Whiting himself? 

2 Samuel Stone (1602-1663), educated at Cambridge, came to Massachusetts 
in 1633 with Cotton and Hooker, became the latter's associate in the pastorate, 
and took part with him in 1636 in the founding of Hartford, where he remained 
a minister till his death. As to both Stone and Whiting (and as to this episode) 
see especially Walker, History of the First Church in Hartford (Hartford, 1884). 

3 By "Mr. John Whiting" (see preceding notes) is of course meant Mather's 
informant himself; but in his letter he says that he "came into the house some 
time after the discourse began." Hooker, a son of the founder of the Connecticut 
colony and, like Whiting, of the Harvard class of 1653, had in 1662 just become 
pastor at the neighboring Farmington. Haynes (1641-1679), son of the governor, 
was an incipient divine, destined in 1664 to succeed Stone as Whiting's fellow- 
pastor at Hartford. 

4 "Considerably aged," adds Whiting. She had twice been married before 
she became the wife of Nathaniel Greensmith, and by her first husband, Abraham 
Elson, had two daughters, who were now aged about seventeen and fifteen. 



thereat, confessed those things to be true, and that she and 
other persons named in this preternatural Discourse, had had 
familiarity with the Devil : Being asked whether she had made 
an express Covenant with him, she answered, she had not, 
only as she promised to go with him when he called, which 
accordingly she had sundry times done; and that the Devil 
told her that at Christmass they would have a merry Meet- 
ing, and then the Covenant between them should be sub- 
scribed. The next day she was more particularly enquired 
of concerning her Guilt respecting the Crime she was accused 
with. She then acknowledged, that though when Mr. Hains 
began to read what he had taken down in Writing, her rage 
was such that she could have torn him in pieces, and was as 
resolved as might be to deny her guilt (as she had done before), 
yet after he had read awhile, she was (to use her own expres- 
sion) as if her flesh had been pulled from her bones, and so 
could not deny any longer: She likewise declared, that the 
Devil first appeared to her in the form of a Deer or Fawn, 
skipping about her, wherewith she was not much affrighted, 
and that by degrees he became very familiar, and at last 
would talk with her. Moreover, she said that the Devil 
had frequently the carnal knowledge of her Body. And that 
the Witches had Meetings at a place not far from her House; 
and that some appeared in one shape, and others in another; 
and one came flying amongst them in the shape of a Crow. 
Upon this Confession, with other concurrent Evidence, the 
Woman was Executed; so likewise was her husband, though 
he did not acknowledge himself guilty. 1 Other persons ac- 
cused in the Discourse made their escape. 2 Thus doth the 

X l Nathaniel Greensmith and Rebecca his wife were hanged at Hartford in 
January, 1663. They seem to have been well-to-do, but not over-reputable, 
people. The Greensmiths, Whiting tells us, lived next door to the Coles. "The 
instance of the witch executed at Hartford," says Mather in his next chapter, 
"considering the circumstances of that confession, is as convictive a proof as 
most single examples that I have met with." And of Ann Cole he elsewhere 
adds (Providences, ch. IV.): "I am informed, that when Matthew Cole was 
killed with the lightning at North-Hampton, the daemons which disturbed his 
sister, Ann Cole (forty miles distant), in Hartford, spoke of it, intimating their 
concurrence in that terrible accident." 

1 Beside the Greensmiths and perhaps Judith Varlet there was implicated 
by Ann Cole a "Goodwife Seager," and Goodwife Greensmith is known to have 


Devil use to serve his Clients. After the suspected Witches 
were either executed or fled, Ann Cole was restored to health, 
and has continued well for many years, approving her self a 
serious Christian. 

There were some that had a mind to try whither 1 the 
Stories of Witches not being able to sink under water, were 
true; and accordingly a Man and Woman mentioned in Ann 
Cole's Dutch-toned discourse, had their hands and feet tyed, 
and so were cast into the water, and they both apparently 
swam after the manner of a Buoy, part under, part above 
the Water. A by-stander imagining that any person bound 
in that posture would be so born up, offered himself for trial, 
but being in the like matter gently laid on the Water, he 
immediately sunk right down. This was no legal Evidence 
against the suspected persons; nor were they proceeded 
against on any such account; However doubting that an 
Halter would choak them, though the Water would not, they 
very fairly took their flight, not having been seen in that 
part of the World since. Whether this experiment were law- 
ful, or rather Superstitious and Magical, we shall (<rvv 0eo>) 2 
enquire afterwards. 3 

Another thing which caused a noise in the Countrey, and 
wherein Satan had undoubtedly a great influence, was that 
which hapned at Groton. 4 There was a Maid in that Town 

mentioned several as accomplices, among them Judith Varlet and Goodwife 
Ayres. The latter and her husband are believed to be the "Man and Woman" 
told of in the next paragraph. 

1 Whether. * " With God," i. e., God willing. 

3 This was, of course, the well known "water test" for witches. Its origin 
in witch procedure is obscure; but it gained vogue in thejater sixteenth century, 
finding its chief spokesman in the German schoolmaster Scribonius. As admin- 
istered on the Continent, the witch was "cross-bound," i. e., with right thumb 
made fast to left great-toe and left thumb to right great-toe, and then flung, or 
let down, supine into the water (usually thrice in succession), and was counted 
guilty on failure to sink wholly under the water. \ The theory was that the pure 
element refused to receive a witch into its bosom or that dealing with Satan made 
the witch too light to sink reputed phenomena which found many explanations. 
Rejected by the majority, both of jurists and theologians, the practice eventually 
lived on only as an illegal procedure of the mob. In pages not here reprinted 
Increase Mather discusses it and sharply condemns it as superstitiousQ 

4 This case was reported by the Rev. Samuel Willard (1640-1707), who had 
witnessed it as pastor at Groton, but who from 1678 to his death was the eminent 


(one Elizabeth Knap) 1 who in the Moneth of October, Anno 
1671, was taken after a very strange manner, sometimes weep- 
ing, sometimes laughing, sometimes roaring hideously, with 
violent motions and agitations of her body, crying out Money, 
Money, etc. In November following, her Tongue for many 
hours together was drawn like a semicircle up to the roof of 
her Mouth, not to be removed, though some tried with their 
fingers to do it. Six Men were scarce able to hold her in 
some of her fits, but she would skip about the House yelling 
and looking with a most frightful Aspect. December 17, Her 
Tongue was drawn out of her mouth to an extraordinary 
length; and now a Daemon began manifestly to speak in her. 
Many words were uttered wherein are the Labial Letters, 
without any motion of her Lips, which was a clear demon- 
stration that the voice was not her own. Sometimes Words 
were spoken seeming to proceed out of her throat, when her 
Mouth was shut. Sometimes with her Mouth wide open, 
without the use of any of the Organs of speech. The things 
then uttered by the Devil were chiefly Railings and Revil- 
ings of Mr. Willard (who was at that time a Worthy and 
Faithful Pastor to the Church in Groton.) Also the Daemon 
belched forth most horrid and nefandous Blasphemies, exalt- 
ing himself above the most High. After this she was taken 
speechless for some tune. One thing more is worthy of Re- 
mark concerning this miserable creature. She cried out in 
some of her Fits, that a Woman, (one of her Neighbours) 
appeared to her, and was the cause of her Affliction. The 
Person thus accused was a very sincere, holy Woman, who 
did hereupon with the Advice of Friends visit the poor Wretch; 
and though she was in one of her Fits, having her Eyes shut, 

minister of the Old South Church in Boston. The exceedingly minute and exact 
account is not a letter to Mather, but an inclosure in one, and is clearly a contem- 
porary journal completed in January, 1672, when the episode was barely at an 
end. It is printed in full in the Mather Papers (Mass. Hist. Soc., Collections, 
fourth series, VIII.) at pp. 555-570, and with yet greater care by Dr. S. A. Green, 
in his Groton in the Witchcraft Times (Groton, 1883), pp. 7-21. No document is 
more fundamental to the study of New England witchcraft. Mather's brief 
summary is but a hint of its contents; but he must have used other sources as 
well (perhaps a lost letter of inclosure and doubtless Willard 's sermon on the 
subject, printed in 1673 with others in his Useful Instructions). 
1 A. girl of sixteen born April 21, 1655 (Green, Groton, p. 6). 


when the innocent person impeached by her came in; yet 
could she (so powerful were Satans Operations upon her) de- 
clare who was there, and could tell the touch of that Woman 
from any ones else. But the gracious Party thus accused and 
abused by a malicious Devil, Prayed earnestly with and for 
the Possessed creature; after which she confessed that Satan 
had deluded her, making her believe evil of her good Neigh- 
bour without any cause. Nor did she after that complain of 
any Apparition or Disturbance from such an one. 1 Yea, she 
said, that the Devil had himself in the likeness and shape 
of divers tormented her, and then told her it was not he but 
they that did it. 

As there have been several Persons vexed with evil Spirits, 
so divers Houses have been wofully Haunted by them. In 
the Year 1679, the House of William Morse in Newberry 2 in 
New-England, was strangely disquieted by a Daemon. After 
those troubles began, he did by the Advice of Friends write 
down the particulars of those unusual Accidents. And the 
Account which he giveth thereof is as followeth; 

On December 3, in the night time, he and his Wife heard 
a noise upon the roof of their House, as if Sticks and Stones 
had been thrown against it with great violence; whereupon 
he rose out of his Bed, but could see nothing. Locking the 
Doors fast, he returned to Bed again. About midnight they 
heard an Hog making a great noise in the House, so that the 
Man rose again, and found a great Hog in the house, the door 
being shut, but upon the opening of the door it ran out. 

On December 8, in the Morning, there were five great 
Stones and Bricks by an invisible hand thrown in at the west 

1 Very different as to this kernel of the story is Willard's MS. : "She declared 
that if the party were apprehended shee should forthwith bee well, but never till 
then; whereupon her father went, and procured the coming of the woman im- 
peached by her, who came downe to her on Thursday night, where (being desired 
to be present) I observed that she was violently handled, and lamentably tor- 
mented by the adversarye, and uttered unusual shriekes at the instant of the per- 
sons coming in, though her eyes were fast closed : but having experience of such 
former actings, wee made nothing of it, but waited the issue : God therefore was 
sought to, to signifye something whereby the innocent might bee acquitted, or 
the guilty discovered, and hee answered our prayers, for by 2 evident and cleere 
mistakes she was cleered, and then all prejudices ceased, and she never more to 
this day hath impeached her of any apparition." 

z Newbury. 


end of the house while the Mans Wife was making the Bed, 
the Bedstead was lifted up from the floor, and the Bedstaff l 
flung out of the Window, and a Cat was hurled at her; a 
long Staff danced up and down in the Chimney; a burnt 
Brick, and a piece of a weatherboard were thrown in at the 
Window: The Man at his going to Bed put out his Lamp, 
but in the Morning found that the Saveall of it was taken 
away, and yet it was unaccountably brought into its former 
place. 2 On the same day, the long Staff but now spoken 
of, was hang'd up by a line, and swung to and fro, the Man's 
Wife laid it in the fire, but she could not hold it there, inas- 
much as it would forcibly fly out; yet after much ado with 
joynt strength they made it to burn. A shingle flew from the 
Window, though no body near it, many sticks came in at the 
same place, only one of these was so scragged that it could 
enter the hole but a little way, whereupon the Man pusht it 
out, a great Rail likewise was thrust in at the Window, so as 
to break the Glass. 

At another time an Iron Crook that was hanged on a 
Nail violently flew up and down, also a Chair flew about, and 
at last lighted on the Table where Victuals stood ready for 
them to eat, and was likely to spoil all, only by a nimble 
catching they saved some of their Meal with the loss of the 
rest, and the overturning of their Table. 

People were sometimes Barricado'd out of doors, when 
as yet there was no body to do it : and a Chest was removed 
from place to place, no hand touching it. Their Keys being 
tied together, one was taken from the rest, and the remain- 
ing two would fly about making a loud noise by knocking 
against each other. But the greatest part of this Devils feats 
were his mischievous ones, wherein indeed he was sometimes 
Antick enough too, and therein the chief sufferers were, the 
Man and his Wife, and his Grand-Son. The Man especially 
had his share in these Diabolical Molestations. For one while 

1 A "bedstaff " was a stick used to help in making a bed which stood in a 
recess, and the same name was given to the stick then fixed to the side of a bed 
to keep the bed-clothes from falling off: doubtless the same staff served both 
purposes. Later in this account we shall find it called a "bed-board": at least 
Cotton Mather, repeating the tale in his Magnolia, identifies the two. 

1 The "lamp" was of course a candle, and the "saveall" was a contrivance 
at the base enabling the wick to burn to the very bottom without waste. 


they could not eat their Suppers quietly, but had the Ashes 
on the Hearth before their eyes thrown into their Victuals; 
yea, and upon their heads and Clothes, insomuch that they 
were forced up into their Chamber, and yet they had no 
rest there; for one of the Man's Shoes being left below, 'twas 
filled with Ashes and Coals, and thrown up after them. Their 
Light was beaten out, and they being laid in their Bed with 
their little Boy between them, a great stone (from the Floor 
of the Loft) weighing above three pounds was thrown upon 
the mans stomach, and he turning it down upon the floor, 
it was once more thrown upon him. A Box and a Board 
were likewise thrown upon them all. And a Bag of Hops 
was taken out of their Chest, wherewith they were beaten, 
till some of the Hops were scattered on the floor, where the 
Bag was then laid, and left. 

In another Evening, when they sat by the fire, the Ashes 
were so whirled at them, that they could neither eat their 
Meat, nor endure the House. A Peel 1 struck the Man in the 
face. An Apron hanging by the fire was flung upon it, and 
singed before they could snatch it off. The Man being at 
Prayer with his Family, a Beesom 2 gave him a blow on his 
head behind, and fell down before his face. 

On another day, when they were Winnowing of Barley, 
some hard dirt was thrown in, hitting the Man on the Head, 
and both the Man and his Wife on the back; and when they 
had made themselves clean, they essayed to fill their half 
Bushel but the foul Corn was in spite of them often cast 
in amongst the clean, and the Man being divers times thus 
abused was forced to give over what he was about. 

On January 23 (in particular) the Man had an iron Pin 
twice thrown at him, and his Inkhorn was taken away from 
him while he was writing, and when by all his seeking it he 
could not find it, at last he saw it drop out of the Air, down 
by the fire: a piece of Leather was twice thrown at him; 
and a shoe was laid upon his shoulder, which he catching at, 
was suddenly rapt from him. An handful of Ashes was 
thrown at his face, and upon his clothes: and the shoe was 

1 A fire-shovel; or a similar implement for getting things into an oven or 
ut of it. 

2 A broom. 


then clapt upon his head, and upon it he clapt his hand, 
holding it so fast, that somewhat unseen pulled him with it 
backward on the floor. 

On the next day at night, as they were going to Bed, a 
lost Ladder was thrown against the Door, and their Light 
put out; and when the Man was a bed, he was beaten with an 
heavy pair of Leather Breeches, and pull'd by the Hair of his 
Head and Beard, Pinched and Scratched, and his Bed-board 1 
was taken away from him; yet more in the next night, when 
the Man was likewise a Bed; his Bed-board did rise out of 
its place, notwithstanding his putting forth all his strength 
to keep it in; one of his Awls 2 was brought out of the next 
room into his Bed, and did prick him; the clothes wherewith 
he hoped to save his head from blows were violently pluckt 
from thence. Within a night or two after, the Man and his 
Wife received both of them a blow upon their heads, but it 
was so dark that they could not see the stone which gave it; 
the Man had his Cap pulled off from his head while he sat 
by the fire. 

The night following, they went to bed undressed, because 
of their late disturbances, and the Man, W T ife, Boy, presently 
felt themselves pricked, and upon search found in the Bed a 
Bodkin, a knitting Needle, and two sticks picked 3 at both 
ends. He received also a great blow, as on his Thigh, so on 
his Face, which fetched blood: and while he was writing a 
Candlestick was twice thrown at him, and a great piece of 
Bark fiercely smote him, and a pail of Water turned up with- 
out hands. |0n the 28 of the mentioned Moneth, frozen clods 
of Cow-dung were divers times thrown at the man out of 
the house in which they were; his Wife went to milk the 
Cow, and received a blow on her head, and sitting down at 
her Milking-work had Cow-dung divers times thrown into her 
Pail, the Man tried to save the Milk, by holding a Piggin 4 
side-wayes under the Cowes belly, but the Dung would in 
for all, and the Milk was only made fit for Hogs. On that 
night ashes were thrown into the porridge which they had 
made ready for their Supper, so as that they could not eat 

1 See p. 24, note 1. * Morse was a shoemaker. 

1 Pointed, sharpened. 

' A small wooden pail, with one stave long, to serve as a handle. 


it; Ashes were likewise often thrown into the Man's Eyes, 
as he sat by the fire. And an iron Hammer flying at him, 
gave him a great blow on his back; the Man's Wife going into 
the Cellar for Beer, a great iron Peel 1 flew and fell after 
her through the trap-door of the Cellar; and going after- 
wards on the same Errand to the same place, the door shut 
down upon her, and the Table came and lay upon the door, 
and the man was forced to remove it e're his Wife could be 
released from where she was; on the following day while he 
was Writing, a dish went out of its place, leapt into the pale, 
and cast Water upon the Man, his Paper, his Table, and dis- 
appointed his procedure in what he was about ; his Cap jumpt 
off from his head, and on again, and the Pot-lid leapt off from 
the Pot into the Kettle on the fire. 

February 2. While he and his Boy were eating of Cheese, 
the pieces which he cut were wrested from them, but they 
were afterwards found upon the Table under an Apron, and 
a pair of Breeches: And also from the fire arose little sticks 
and Ashes, which flying upon the Man and his Boy, brought 
them into an uncomfortable pickle; But as for the Boy, which 
the last passage spoke of, there remains much to be said 
concerning him, and a principal sufferer in these afflictions: 
For on the 18 of December, he sitting by his Grandfather, 
was hurried into great motions and the Man thereupon took 
him, and made him stand between his Legs, but the Chair 
danced up and down, and had like to have cast both Man 
and Boy into the fire: and the Child was afterwards flung 
about in such a manner, as that they feared that his Brains 
would have been beaten out; and in the evening he was 
tossed as afore, and the Man tried the project of holding 
him, but ineffectually. The Lad was soon put to Bed, and 
they presently heard an huge noise, and demanded what was 
the matter? and he answered that his Bed-stead leaped up and 
down : and they (i.e. the Man and his Wife) went up r and 
at first found all quiet, but before they had been there long, 
they saw the Board 2 by his Bed trembling by him, and the 
Bed-clothes flying off him, the latter they laid on immediately, 
but they were no sooner on than off; so they took him out 
of his Bed for quietness. 

1 See p. 25, note 1. 2 See p. 24, note 1. 


December 29. The Boy was violently thrown to and fro, 
only they carried him to the house of a Doctor in the Town, 
and there he was free from disturbances, but returning home 
at night, his former trouble began, and the Man taking him 
by the hand, they were both of them almost tript into the 
fire. They put him to bed, and he was attended with the 
same iterated loss of his clothes, shaking off his Bed-board, 
and Noises, that he had in his last conflict; they took him 
up, designing to sit by the fire, but the doors clattered, and 
the Chair was thrown at him, wherefore they carried him 
to the Doctors house, and so for that night all was well. The 
next morning he came home quiet, but as they were doing 
somewhat, he cried out that he was prickt on the back, they 
looked, and found a three-tin'd Fork sticking strangely there; 
which being carried to the Doctors house, not only the Doc- 
tor himself said that it was his, but also the Doctors Servant 
affirmed it was seen at home after the Boy was gone. The 
Boys vexations continuing, they left him at the Doctors, 
where he remained well till awhile after, and then he com- 
plained he was pricked, they looked and found an iron Spindle 
sticking below his back; he complained he was pricked still, 
they looked, and found Pins in a Paper sticking to his skin; 
he once more complained of his Back, they looked, and found 
there a long Iron, a bowl of a Spoon, and a piece of a Pan- 
sheard. They lay down by him on the Bed, with the Light 
burning, but he was twice thrown from them, and the second 
time thrown quite under the Bed; in the Morning the Bed 
was tossed about with such a creaking noise, as was heard 
to the Neighbours; in the afternoon their knives were one 
after another brought, and put into his back, but pulled out 
by the Spectators; only one knife which was missing seemed 
to the standers by to come out of his Mouth : he was bidden 
to read his Book, was taken and thrown about several times, 
at last hitting the Boys Grandmother on the head. Another 
time he was thrust out of his Chair and rolled up and down 
with out cries, that all things were on fire; yea, he was three 
times very dangerously thrown into the fire, and preserved 
by his Friends with much ado. The Boy also made for a 
long time together a noise like a Dog, and like an Hen with 
her Chickens, and could not speak rationally. 


Particularly, on December 26. He barked like a Dog, and 
clock't like an Hen, and after long distraining to speak, said, 
there's Powel, I am pinched; his Tongue likewise hung out 
of his mouth, so as that it could by no means be forced in till 
his Fit was over, and then he said 'twas forced out by Powel. 1 
He and the house also after this had rest till the ninth of 
January : at which time because of his intolerable ravings, and 
because the Child King between the Man and his Wife, was 
pulled out of Bed, and knockt so vehemently against the Bed- 
stead Boards, 2 in a manner very perillous and amazing. In 
the Day time he was carried away beyond all possibility of 
their finding him. His Grandmother at last saw him creep- 
ing on one side, and drag'd him in, where he lay miserable 
lame, but recovering his speech, he said, that he was carried 
above the Doctors house, and that Powel carried him, and 
that the said Powel had him into the Barn, throwing him 
against the Cart-wheel there, and then thrusting him out at 
an hole; and accordingly they found some of the Remainders 
of the Threshed Barley which was on the Barn-floor hanging 
to his Clothes. 

At another time he fell into a Swoon, they forced some- 
what Refreshing into his mouth, and it was turned out as fast 
as they put it in; e're long he came to himself, and expressed 
some willingness to eat ; but the Meat would forcibly fly out 
of his mouth; and when he was able to speak, he said Powel 
would not let him eat : Having found the Boy to be best at a 
Neighbours house, the Man carried him to his Daughters, 
three miles from his own. The Boy was growing antick as 
he was on the Journey, but before the end of it he made a 
grievous hollowing, and when he lighted, he threw a great 
stone at a Maid in the house, and fell on eating of Ashes. 
Being at home afterwards, they had rest awhile, but on the 
19 of January in the Morning he swooned, and coming to 
himself, he roared terribly, and did eat Ashes, Sticks, Rug- 
yarn. The Morning following, there was such a racket with 

1 This sentence is clearly of the nature of an interpolation; for the "rest" 
mentioned in the following clause must date from the events narrated in the 
preceding paragraph. The "Powel" meant was of course Caleb Powell see 
p. 31, note 1. 

1 See p. 24, note 1 ; yet head-board and foot-board may here be meant. 


the Boy, that the Man and his Wife took him to Bed to them. 
A Bed-staff was thereupon thrown at them, and a Chamber 
pot with its Contents was thrown upon them, and they were 
severely pinched. The Man being about to rise, his Clothes 
were divers times pulled from them, himself thrust out of his 
Bed, and his Pillow thrown after him. The Lad also would 
have his clothes plucked off from him in these Winter Nights, 
and was wofully dogg'd with such fruits of Devilish spite, 
till it pleased God to shorten the Chain of the wicked Dae- 

All this while the Devil did not use to appear in any visible 
shape, only they would think they had hold of the Hand that 
sometimes scratched them; but it would give them the slip. 
And once the Man was discernably beaten by a Fist, and an 
Hand got hold of his Wrist which he saw, but could not catch; 
and the likeness of a Blackmore 1 Child did appear from under 
the Rugg and Blanket, where the Man lay, and it would rise 
up, fall down, nod and slip under the clothes when they en- 
deavoured to clasp it, never speaking any thing. 

Neither were there many Words spoken by Satan all this 
time, only once having put out their Light, they heard a 
scraping on the Boards, and then a Piping and Drumming 
on them, which was followed with a Voice, singing, Revenge! 
Revenge! Sweet is Revenge! And they being well terrified 
with it, called upon God ; the issue of which was, that suddenly 
with a mournful Note, there were six times over uttered such 
expressions as, Alas! Alas! me knock no more! me knock no 
more! and now all ceased. 

The Man does moreover affirm, that a Seaman (being a 
Mate of a Ship) coming often to visit him, told him that they 
wronged his Wife who suspected her to be guilty of Witch- 
craft; and that the Boy (his Grandchild) was the cause of 
this trouble; and that if he would let him have the Boy one 
day, he would warrant him his house should be no more 
troubled as it had been; to which motion he consented. The 
Mate came the next day betimes, and the Boy was with him 
until night; after which his house he saith was not for some 
time molested with evil Spirits. 

Thus far is the Relation concerning the Daemon at William 

1 Blackamoor, negro. 


Morse his House in Newbery. 1 The true Reason of these 
strange disturbances is as yet not certainly known : some (as 
has been hinted) did suspect Morse's Wife to be guilty of 

One of the Neighbours took Apples which were brought 
out of that house and put them into the fire; upon which they 
say, their houses were much disturbed. Another of the Neigh- 
bours, caused an Horse-shoe to be nailed before the doors, 
and as long as it remained so, they could not perswade the 
suspected person to go into the house; but when the Horse- 
shoe was gone, she presently visited them. I shall not here_ 
inlarge upon the vanity and superstition of those Experiments, 

1 This "relation" was undoubtedly received from the Rev. Joshua Moodey, 
then minister at Portsmouth, in a letter of August 23, 1683 (Mather Papers, 
pp. 361-362); for a postscript speaks of its enclosure and says that he had it 
from William Morse himself. That Morse was its author we know only from 
Mather. Happily, there exist also many documents of the two witch-trials 
arising from the affair those of Caleb Powell and Mrs. Morse. Some of these, 
preserved in the court records at Salem, were printed by Joshua Coffin in his 
History of Newbury (Boston, 1845), at pp. 122-134; and again, more carefully, 
with others, by W. E. Woodward in his Records of Salem Witchcraft (Boston, 1864), 
II. 251-261. Others, which had strayed from public keeping, were published by 
S. G. Drake, then their owner, in an appendix (pp. 258-296) to his Annals of 
Witchcraft (Bosten, 1869), in which he summarizes the story (pp. 141-150). 
Two (her conviction at Boston and her release) have been printed in the Records 
of the Court of Assistants, I. (Boston, 1901), pp. 159, 189-190. Others still are 
in the Massachusetts archives (vol. CXXXV., fol. 11-19), where they have been 
used by Mr. W. F. Poole (see, in the N. E. Hist, and Gen. Register, XXIV., his 
note, p. 386, to an unpublished draft of Governor Hutchinson's account). These 
documents supplement, and sometimes correct, the relation of Morse. Thus, 
from sworn statements of December, 1679 (Coffin, Newbury, pp. 124, 131-133), it 
is clear that the events above ascribed to December 3 belong to November 27, 
that the grandson's name was John Stiles, that the "seaman" who charged him 
with the mischief was Caleb Powell, that the day the boy was in his keeping was 
December 2, 1679, and that on the very next day Morse instituted proceedings 
against Powell, who was indicted for witchcraft on December 8 (the day on which 
the disturbances were resumed) and was tried at Ipswich in March. He succeeded 
in clearing himself, but at the cost of Goodwife Morse. She was a midwife, and 
had long been suspected of witchcraft by some of her neighbors. Indicted in 
March, she was tried at Boston in May before the magistrates of the colony, 
was found guilty and sentenced to death, but was reprieved by the magistrates, 
and in June, 1681, after more than a year's imprisonment, permitted, though 
without acquittal, to return to her home, "provided she goe not above sixteen 
rods from hir oune house and land at any time except to the meeting house." 
For the end of her pitiful story see p. 412, below. 


reserving that for another place: All that I shall say at pres- 
ent is, that the Daemons whom the blind Gentiles of old wor- 
shipped, told their Servants, that such things as these would 
very much affect them; yea, and that certain Characters, 
Signs and Charms would render their power ineffectual; and 
accordingly they would become subject, when their own di- 
rections were obeyed. It is sport to the Devils when they 
see silly Men thus deluded and made fools of by them. Others 
were apt to think that a Seaman 1 by some suspected to be a 
Conjurer, set the Devil on work thus to disquiet Morse's 
Family. Or it may be some other thing as yet kept hid in 
the secrets of providence might be the true original of all this 

A Disturbance not much unlike to this hapned above 
twenty years ago, at an house in Tedworth, in the County 
of Wilts in England, which was by wise men judged to pro- 
ceed from Conjuration. 

Mr. Mompesson of Tedworth being in March 1661, at Lunger- 
shall,* and hearing a Drum beat there, he demanded of the Bailiff of 
the Town what it meant, who told him, they had for some dayes 
been troubled with an idle Drummer, pretending Authority, and a 
Pass under the hands of some Gentlemen. Mr. Mompesson reading 
his Pass, and knowing the hands of those Gentlemen, whose Names 
were pretended to be subscribed, discovered the Cheat, and com- 
manded the Vagrant to put off his Drum, and ordered a Constable 
to secure him : but not long after he got clear of the Constable. In 
April following, Mr Momposson's house was much disturbed with 
Knockings, and with Drummings; for an hour together a Daemon 
would beat Round-heads and Cuckolds, the Tattoo and several other 
points of War as well as any Drummer. On November 5, The 
Daemon made a great noise in the House, and caused some Boards 
therein to move to and fro in the day time when there was an whole 
room full of People present. At his departure, he left behind him 
a Sulphurous smell, which was very offensive. The next night, 
Chairs walked up and down the Room; the Childrens Shoes were 
hurled over their heads. The Minister of the Town being there, a 
Bed-staff was thrown at him, and hit him on the Leg, but without 
the least hurt. In the latter end of December, 1662, They heard a 
noise like the jingling of Money, the occasion of which was thought 
to be, some words spoken the night before, by one in the Family; 

1 Caleb Powell. * Ludgershall. 


who said that Fairies used to leave money behind them, and they 
wished it might be so now. In January Lights were seen in the 
House, which seemed blue and glimmering, and caused a great stiff- 
ness in the eyes of them that saw them. One in the room (by what 
Authority I cannot tell) said, " Satan, if the Drummer set thee a work 
give three knocks and no more", which was done accordingly. Once 
when it was very sharp severe Weather, the room was suddenly filled 
with a Noisome smell, and was very hot though without fire. This 
Daemon would play some nasty and many ludicrous foolish tricks. 
It would empty Chamber-pots into the Beds; and fill Porringers 
with Ashes. Sometimes it would not suffer any light to be in the 
room, but would carry them away up the Chimney. Mr. Mompes- 
son coming one morning into his Stable, found his Horse on the 
ground, having one of his hinder legs in his mouth, and so fastened 
there, that it was difficult for several men with a Leaver to get it 
out. A Smith lodging in the House, heard a noise in the room, as 
if one had been shoeing an Horse, and somewhat come as it were 
with a Pincers snipping at the Smith's Nose, most part of the night. 
The Drummer was under vehement suspicion for a Conjurer. He 
was condemned to Transportation. All the time of his restraint and 
absence, the House was quiet. See Mr. Glanvil's Collection of Mod- 
ern Relations, P. 71, etc. 1 

But I proceed to give an account of some other things 
lately hapning in New-England, which were undoubtedly prse- 
ternatural, and not without Diabolical operation. The last 
year did afford several Instances, not unlike unto those 
which have been mentioned. For then Nicholas Desborough 
of Hartford in New-England was strangely molested by stones, 
pieces of earth, cobs of Indian Corn, etc., falling upon and 
about him, which sometimes came in through the door, some- 
times through the Window, sometimes down the Chimney, 
at other times they seemed to fall from the floor of the Cham- 
ber, which yet was very close; sometimes he met with them 
in his Shop, the Yard, the Barn, and in the Field at work. 
In the House, such things hapned frequently, not only in the 
night but in the day time, if the Man himself was at home, 
but never when his Wife was at home alone. There was no 

1 This famous relation was first printed in 1668 as an appendix to the third 
edition of Glanvill's essay on witchcraft (see above, pp. 5-6), and was much 
enlarged in the edition of 1681. What is here printed is not the briefer original 
form but an abridgment of Mather's own. 


great violence in the motion, though several persons of the 
Family and others also were struck with the things that were 
thrown by an invisible hand, yet they were not hurt thereby. 
Only the Man himself had once his Arm somewhat pained by 
a blow given him ; and at another time, blood was drawn from 
one of has Legs by a scratch given it. This molestation began 
soon after a Controversie arose between Desborough and an- 
other person, about a Chest of Clothes which the other said 
that Desberough did unrighteously retain: and so it con- 
tinued for some Moneths (though with several intermissions). 
In the latter end of the last year, when also the Man's Barn 
was burned with the Corn in it; but by what means it came 
to pass is not known. Not long after, some to whom the 
matter was referred, ordered Desberough to restore the Clothes 
to the Person who complained of wrong; since which he hath 
not been troubled as before. Some of the stones hurled were 
of considerable bigness; one of them weighed four pounds, 
but generally the stones were not great, but very small ones. 
One time a piece of Clay came down the Chimney, falling on 
the Table which stood at some distance from the Chimney. 
The People of the House threw it on the Hearth, where it 
lay a considerable time: they went to their Supper, and 
whilest at their Supper, the piece of Clay was lifted up by an 
invisible hand, and fell upon the Table; taking it up, they 
found it hot, having lain so long before the fire, as to cause 
it to be hot. 1 

Another Providence no less Remarkable than this last 
mentioned, hapned at Portsmouth in New-England, about 
the same time : concerning which I have received the follow- 
ing account from a Worthy hand. 2 

1 These experiences of Nicholas Desborough were reported by the Rev. 
John Russell, of Hadley, in a letter of August 2, 1683, which may be found in the 
Mather Papers (pp. 86-88). Russell says he received the account from "Capt. 
Allyn, a neer neighbour to Disborough." John Allyn, long secretary of the 
colony, was one of the foremost men in Connecticut. 

1 The "worthy hand" was again that of the Rev. Joshua Moodey, of Ports- 
mouth. His earliest letter about the matter does not appear in the Mather 
Papers; but in a later one (July 14, 1683 Mather Papers, pp. 359-360) he writes 
thus : "About that at G. Walton's; because my Interest runs low with the Secre- 
tary, I have desired Mr. Woodbridge to endeavour the obtaining it, and if I can 
get it shall send it per the first; Though if there should bee any difficulty there- 


On June 11, 1682, Being the Lords Day, at night showers of 
stones were thrown both against the sides and roof of the house of 
George Walton: 1 some of the People went abroad, found the Gate 
at some distance from the house, wrung off the Hinges, and stones 
came thick about them: sometimes falling down by them, some- 
times touching them without any hurt done to them, though they 
seemed to come with great force, yet did no more but softly touch 
them; Stones flying about the room the Doors being shut. The 
Glass-Windows shattered to pieces by stones that seemed to come 
not from without but within; the Lead of the Glass Casements, 
Window-Bars, etc. being driven forcibly outwards, and so standing 
bent. While the Secretary 2 was walking in the room a great Ham- 
mer came brushing along against the Chamber floor that was over 
his head, and fell down by him. A Candlestick beaten off the Table. 
They took up nine of the stones and marked them, and laid them on 
the Table, some of them being as hot as if they came out of the fire; 
but some of those mark't stones were found flying about again. In 
this manner, about four hours space that night : The Secretary then 
went to bed, but a stone came and broke up his Chamber-door, being 
put to (not lockt), a Brick was sent upon the like Errand. The 
abovesaid Stone the Secretary lockt up in his Chamber, but it was 

about, you may doe pretty well with what you have already." And writing 
again on August 23 (Mather Papers, pp. 360-361), he says his endeavors have not 
been wanting to obtain it, but he finds it difficult. "If more may bee gotten, 
you may expect when I come, or else must take up with what you had from 
mee at first, which was the summe of what was then worthy of notice, only many 
other particular actings of like nature had been then and since. It began of a 
Lord's day, June llth, 1682, and so continued for a long time, only there was 
some respite now and then. The last sight I have heard of was the carrying away 
of severall Axes in the night, notwithstanding they were laied up, yea, lockt up 
very safe, as the owner thought at least, which was done this spring." The 
"Secretary" (i. e., of the province) was that Richard Chamberlain from whose 
own pen we have the fuller account of the episode printed later in this volume 
(pp. 58-77) ; and there can be little doubt that what Mather gave to the press 
rests on the basis of his journal. As to "Mr. Woodbridge" see p. 65, note 1. 

1 Walton (1615-1686) was a prosperous Quaker. "George Walton, and his 
wife Alice, and Daughter, Abishag . . . lived on the great Island in Piscataqua, 
and this Alice was one of the most accounted of the Women, for Profession in the 
Island, whom it troubled them to lose; but Truth took her, and overturned the 
Priest." (Bishop, New-England Judged, pp. 466-467.) Great Island (now New- 
castle), then a part of the township of Portsmouth, was often the seat of the 
provincial government, and the secretary lodged at Walton's house. As to 
Walton's family and estate see his will (Probate Records of the Province of New 
Hampshire, I. 299, and N. E. Hist, and Gen. Register, IX. 57). 

2 Richard Chamberlain, secretary of the province. See preceding notes. 


fetched out, and carried with great noise into the next Chamber. 
The Spit was carried up Chimney, and came down with the point 
forward, and stuck in the Back-log, and being removed by one of 
the Company to one side of the Chimney, was by an unseen hand 
thrown out at Window. This trade was driven on the next day, 
and so from Day to Day, now and then there would be some inter- 
mission, and then to it again. The stones were most frequent where 
the Master of the house was, whether in the Field or Barn, etc. A 
black Cat was seen once while the Stones came and was shot at, but 
she was too nimble for them. Some of the Family say, that they 
once saw the appearance of an hand put forth at the Hall Window, 
throwing stones towards the Entry, though there was no body in 
the Hall the while : sometimes a dismal hollow whistling would be 
heard; sometimes the noise of the trotting of an horse, and snorting 
but nothing seen. The Man went up the great Bay in his Boat to 
a Farm he had there, and while haling Wood or Timber to the Boat 
he was disturbed by the Stones as before at home. He carried a 
stirrup iron from the house down to the Boat, and there left it; but 
while he was going up to the house, the iron came jingling after him 
through the Woods, and returned to the house, and so again, and at 
last went away, and was heard of no more. Their Anchor leapt over- 
board several times as they were going home and stopt the boat. A 
Cheese hath been taken out of the Press and crumbled all over the 
floor. A piece of Iron with which they weighed up the Cheese-press 
stuck into the Wall, and a Kittle hung up thereon. Several Cocks 
of English-hay 1 mowed near the house were taken and hung upon 
Trees; and some made into small whisps, and put all up and down 
the Kitchin, Cum multis o/m, 1 etc. After this manner, have they 
been treated ever since at times; it were endless to particularize. 
Of late they thought the bitterness of Death had been past, being 
quiet for sundry dayes and nights : but last week were some Return- 
ings again; and this week (Aug. 2, 1682) as bad^or worse than ever. 
The Man is sorely hurt with some of the Stones that came on him, 
and like to feel the effects of them for many dayes. 

Thus far is that Relation. 

I am moreover informed, that the Daemon was quiet all 
the last Winter, but in the Spring he began to play some ludi- 
crous tricks, carrying away some Axes that were locked up 

1 Doubtless what is now known as "timothy." In 1807 Kendall found this 
still called "English grass" in Connecticut. 
*"With many other things." 


safe. This last Slimmer he has not made such disturbances as 
formerly. But of this no more at present. 1 

There have been strange and true Reports concerning a 
Woman now living near the Salmon Falls in Barwick 2 (for- 
merly called Kittery) unto whom Evil Spirits have sometimes 
visibly appeared; and she has sometimes been sorely tor- 
mented by invisible hands: Concerning all which, an Intelli- 
gent Person has sent me the following Narrative. 3 

A Brief Narrative of sundry Apparitions of Satan unto and Assaults 
at sundry times and places upon the Person of Mary the Wife of 
Antonio Hortado, dwelling near the Salmon Falls: Taken from 
her own mouth, Aug. 13, 1683. 

In June 1682 (the day forgotten) at Evening, the said Mary 
heard a voice at the door of her Dwelling, saying, What do you here? 
about an hour after, standing at the Door of her House, she had a 
blow on her Eye that settled her head near to the Door post, and 
two or three dayes after, a Stone, as she judged about half a pound 
or a pound weight, was thrown along the house within into the Chim- 
ney, and going to take it up it was gone; all the Family was in the 
house, and no hand appearing which might be instrumental in throw- 
ing the stone. About two hours after, a Frying-pan then hanging 
in the Chimney was heard to ring so loud, that not only those in 
the house heard it, but others also that lived on the other side of 
the River near an hundred Rods distant or more. Whereupon the 
said Mary and her Husband going in a Cannoo over the River, they 

1 "As for Walton, the Quaker of Portsmouth, whose house has been so 
strangely troubled/' adds Mather in the following chapter, "he suspects that one 
of his neighbours has caused it by witchcraft; she (being a widow-woman) chargeth 
him with injustice in detaining some land from her. It is none of my work to re- 
flect upon the man, nor will I do it; only, if there be any late or old guilt upon his 
conscience, it concerns him by confession and repentance to give glory to that God 
who is able in strange wayes to discover the sins of men" and see also p. 214. 

2 Berwick, on the Maine side of the river. 

3 This narrative too came from the Rev. Joshua Moodey (see his letters of 
July 14 and August 23, 1683 Mather Papers, pp. 359-361), but at Mather's 
instance. "I was very earnest with Mr. Emerson," writes Moodey, "and at 
length obtained the enclosed, which I transcribed from Mr. Tho. Broughton, who 
read to mee what he took from the mouth of the woman and her husband, and 
judge it credible, though it bee not the half of what is to be gotten. I expect 
from him a fuller and farther account before I come down to the Commence- 
ment." John Emerson, the schoolmaster, we shall meet again at Salem (see p. 
377, note). Thomas Broughton was a well known Boston merchant, then so- 
journing in New Hampshire. 


saw like the head of a man new-shorn, and the tail of a white Cat 
about two or three foot distance from each other, swimming over 
before the Cannoo, but no body appeared to joyn head and tail to- 
gether; and they returning over the River in less than an hours time, 
the said Apparition followed their Cannoo back again, but disap- 
peared at Landing. A day or two after, the said Mary was stricken 
on her head (as she judged) with a stone, which caused a Swelling 
and much soreness on her head, being then in the yard by her house, 
and she presently entring into her house was bitten on both Arms 
black and blue, and one of her Breasts scratched ; the impressions of 
the Teeth being like Mans Teeth, were plainly seen by many : Where- 
upon deserting their House to sojourn at a Neighbours on the other 
side of the River, there appeared to said Mary in the house of her 
sojourning, a Woman clothed with a green Safeguard, a short blue 
Cloak, and a white Cap, making a profer to strike her with a Fire- 
brand, but struck her not. The Day following the same shape ap- 
peared again to her, but now arrayed with a gray Gown, white Apron, 
and white Head-clothes, in appearance laughing several times, but 
no voice heard. Since when said Mary has been freed from those 
Satanical Molestations. 

But the said Antonio being returned in March last with his 
Family, to dwell again in his own house, and on his entrance there, 
hearing the noise of a Man walking in his Chamber, and seeing the 
boards buckle under his feet as he walked, though no man to be seen 
in the Chamber (for they went on purpose to look) he returned with 
his Family to dwell on the other side of the River; yet planting his 
Ground though he forsook his House, he hath had five Rods of good 
Log-fence thrown down at once, the feeting of Neat Cattle plainly to 
be seen almost between every Row of Corn in the Field yet no Cattle 
seen there, nor any damage done to his Corn, not so much as any 
of the Leaves of the Corn crept. 

Thus far is that Narrative. 

I am further informed, that some (who should have been 
wiser) advised the poor Woman to stick the House round with 
Bayes, as an effectual preservative against the power of Evil 
Spirits. This Counsel was followed. And as long as the 
Bayes continued green, she had quiet; but when they began 
to wither, they were all by an unseen hand carried away, and 
the Woman again tormented. 

It is observable, that at the same time three Houses in 
three several Towns should be molested by Daemons, as has 
now been related. 

HARRISON, 1665, 1670 


IT is not strange that in the Dutch colony of New Nether- 
land we hear nothing of witches. The home land of the Dutch 
had, beyond all others, outgrown the panic. It was a physi- 
cian of Netherlandish birth, Johann Weyer, who in the later 
sixteenth century first wrote effectively against its cruelties. 
When his English pupil, Reginald Scot, protested yet more 
boldly, it was in Holland alone his book found reimpression. 
So far as is known, the seventeenth century saw there no 
executions for witchcraft, and after 1610 no trials. If the 
leaders of Dutch Calvinism were content with silence, the 
most eloquent spokesman of their Arminian rivals, Episcopius, 
was a frank disbeliever in the witch-pact and the witch-con- 
fessions. It was his fellow Arminian, Grevius, who first dem- 
onstrated the iniquity of torture, the fruitful source of such 
confessions throughout Christendom; and that other Dutch- 
man, Balthasar Bekker, who in 1691 struck at the root of the 
terror by doubting the Devil himself, was but the last of a 
long line of such bold thinkers. These were of course in ad- 
vance of their fellows; but that Holland was throughout the 
century a refuge for the victims and the foes of witch-perse- 
cution hi neighbor lands would seem to point to a general 
skepticism, and how cautious, with all their credulity, even 
Calvinist divines had grown in such an atmosphere, New 
England learned in 1692 when she asked an opinion from her 
New York neighbors. 1 

No wonder, then, that (as Mrs. Van Rensselaer tells us) 
"the one and only sign of the delusion . . . to be found in the 

1 Mass. Hist. Soc., Proceedings, second ser., I. 348-358. See p. 195, below. 



annals of the Dutch province is a fear expressed by Governor 
Kieft that the Indian medicine-men were directing their in- 
cantations against himself." l Accusations of witchcraft the 
New York jurisdiction did not wholly escape; but they fol- 
lowed the English occupation and were, in differing ways, a 
legacy from New England. Even the Dutch dominion had 
included towns peopled from New England; and it was to 
these that in 1662 (the same year in which, as we have seen, 
he was interceding with the Connecticut government for his 
young kinswoman Judith Varlet) 2 Governor Stuyvesant 
found it wise, while granting them their own magistrates and 
their own courts, to prescribe that "in dark and dubious 
matters, especially in witchcrafts, the party aggrieved might 
appeal to the Governor and Council." 3 But when in 1664 
the English king bestowed upon his brother, the Duke of 
York, the territory occupied by the Dutch colony and equipped 
him with the means to take it by force, he added to the gift 
that greater eastern half of Long Island which had not only 
been settled, but till now had been governed, by the New 
Englanders. There, from the first, witchcraft was in thought ; 
for the earliest settlement, at Southampton, had adopted for 
its code the law of Moses as codified by the Rev. John Cot- 
ton, with the death penalty both for witchcraft and for con- 
sulting a witch. 4 Already in 1658 Elizabeth Garlick, of 
Easthampton, had been indicted for witchcraft and sent to 
Connecticut for trial. 5 It is intelligible, therefore, that in 

1 History of the City of New York in the Seventeenth Century, I. 203. 

1 See p. 18, note 2. 

1 Bolton, History of the County of Westchester (revised ed., New York, 1881), 
II. 280, quoting vol. XXL 233-238 of the "Albany Records." 

4 Howell, Southampton, pp. 47, 465; The First Book of Records of the Town 
of Southampton (Sag Harbor, 1874), p. 18 ff. 

1 The evidence against her may be found in the Records of the Town of East- 
Hampton (Sag Harbor, 1887 ff.), I. 128-140, 152-155, the record of the Connecti- 
cut court (she was acquitted) in the Historical Magazine, VI. 53, and a letter of 
Governor Winthrop to the Easthamptonians in the Public Records of Connecticut, 


1665, the very first year of English control at New York, 
there came up from Seatalcott, or Setauket, the later Brook- 
haven, whose settlers had been drawn from the region of 
Boston, a case of witchcraft for trial by the supreme court 
of the colony, the " Court of Assizes." l 

The two documents which make up the extant record of 
this case, with those relating to a woman who crossed the 
border after trial for witchcraft in Connecticut, form, so far 
as is known, the entire witch-annals of the New York prov- 
ince. They must serve us here in lieu of a narrative. 

The documents of the Hall case, first printed perhaps in 
the New York National Advocate (August 2, 1821) and thence 
borrowed by Niles's Weekly Register (August 11), were in- 
cluded by Yates (with a part of the Harrison papers) in the 
appendix to his edition of Smith's History of New York (Al- 
bany, 1814), and more fully printed by O'Callaghan in his 
Documentary History of New York (quarto ed., IV. 85-88; 
octavo ed., IV. 133-138). Those of the Harrison case, more 
fully ferreted out by Mr. Paltsits, are printed by him with 
especial care and with valuable notes, in the Minutes of the 
Executive Council of New York (Albany, 1910), I. 390-395, II. 
52-55. The originals of the Hall documents perished in the 
fire which befell the State Capitol at Albany on March 29, 
1911; the Harrison documents were but slightly damaged. 

I. 572-573. That Mary Wright, of Oyster Bay, who in 1660 was punished for 
Quakerism in Boston, was sent thither on a charge of witchcraft, as has been 
stated, seems contradicted by what we know of her case (see Hutchinson, History 
of Massachusetts, L, ch. I., sub anno 1660; Bishop, New-England Judged, ed. of 
1703, pp. 220, 340, 461; N. Y. Gen. and Biog. Record, III. 37 ff.) 

1 This colonial "Court of Assizes" was made up of the governor and his 
council, with the sheriff of the colony and the justices of the three "ridings." It 
was a new creation, and, having come together on September 28 for its first annual 
session, it found this among its earliest cases. It was, however, with the aid of 
members of this court that in the preceding winter Governor Nicolls had drawn 
the code "the Duke's Laws," as they were to be called which now governed 
the colony. 


At the Court of Assizes held in New Yorke 

the 2d day of October 1665 etc. 

The Tryall of Ralph Hall and Mary his wife, upon suspicion 

of Witchcraft. 1 

The names of the Persons who served on the Grand Jury* 

Thomas Baker, Foreman of the Jury, 

of East Hampton. 
Capt John Symonds of Hempsteed. 
Mr Hallet 

Anthony Waters fJamaica 

1 Their troubles antedated the change in government, and it would seem 
that at first their neighbors were on their side; for, under date of June 9, 1664, 
the town records recite that "The magistrates haveing Considdered the Com- 
plaintes of Hall and his wife against mr. Smith, doo judge the sayde mr. Smith 
hath not suffitienly made good what he hath sd. of her, and therefore mr. Smith 
is orderred to pay the woman five markes." (Records, Town of Brookhaven, up 
to 1800, Patchogue, 1880, p. 38.) But they had made a dangerous foe, for at 
Setauket "Mr." Smith could then hardly have meant any other than that well- 
known Long Island character, Richard Smith, the founder of Smithtown, who 
had himself at Boston and at Southampton experienced imprisonment and 
banishment for Quakerism or Quakerly behavior, but was now a man of note in 
his region the "Bull" Smith of local legend. (Bishop, New England Judged, 
ed. of 1703, p. 11; Howell, Early History of Southampton, L. I., second ed., 
Albany, 1887, p. 438; Early Long Island Wills, New York, 1897, p. 78 ff.) 

1 Of this jury only the foreman was from the part of Long Island just 
gained from New England. The four next named, though English, were from 
those western townships which under Dutch rule had been a place of refuge for 
sectaries of every sort. "Mr. Hallet" was probably William Hallett, the sheriff 
who in 1656 had lost his place by opening his house to Baptist preaching. Most 
puzzling is "Mr. Nicolls of Stamford" for Stamford was not even claimed by 
the New York province. Can it be that William Nicolls (son of Matthias Nicolls, 
now secretary of the province and a member of the court), who was later to have 
so large a place in New York history, had temporarily established himself at 
Stamford, on the border? Notable among the six New Yorkers is the name of 
Jacob Leisler, later to play so strange a r61e. 



Thomas Wandall of Marshpath 1 Kills. 

Mr Nicolls of Stamford 

Balthazer de Haart 

John Garland 

Jacob Leisler f AT v T 

Anthonio de Mill J of New Yorke ' 

Alexander Munro 

Thomas Searle 
The Prisoners being brought to the Barr by Allard An- 
thony, Sheriffe of New Yorke, This following Indictmt was 
read, first against Ralph Hall and then agst Mary his wife, 

The Constable and Overseers of the Towne of Seatallcott, 
in the East Riding of Yorkshire 2 upon Long Island, Do Pre- 
sent for our Soveraigne Lord the King, That Ralph Hall of 
Seatallcott aforesaid, upon the 25th day of December, being 
Christmas day last was Twelve Monthes, 3 in the 15th yeare 
of the Raigne of our Soveraigne Lord, Charles the Second, 
by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and 
Ireland, Defender of the Faith etc, and severall other dayes 
and times since that day, by some detestable and wicked 
Arts, commonly called Witchcraft and Sorcery, did (as is sus- 
pected) maliciously and feloniously, practice and Exercise at 
the said towne of Seatalcott in the East Riding of Yorkshire 
on Long Island aforesaid, on the Person of George Wood, late 
of the same place, by wch wicked and detestable Arts, the 
said George Wood (as is suspected) most dangerously and 
mortally sickned and languished, And not long after by the 
aforesaid wicked and detestable Aits, the said George Wood 
(as is likewise suspected) dyed. 

Moreover, The Constable and overseers of the said Towne 
of Seatalcott, in the East Riding of Yorkshire upon Long 
Island aforesaid, do further Present for our Soveraigne Lord 
the King, That some while after the death of the aforesaid 

1 Maspeth. 

2 When, in honor of its new proprietor, New Amsterdam became New 
York, Long Island was for the same reason named "Yorkshire." Its "East 
Riding" was the portion, now Suffolk county, which had hitherto been New 

3 7. e., a year ago last Christmas December 25, 1663 : the years of Charles 
II.'s reign were reckoned from the death of his father. 


George Wood, The said Ralph Hall did (as is suspected) 
divers times by the like wicked and detestable Arts, commonly 
called Witchcraft and Sorcery, Maliciously and feloniously 
practise and Exercise at the said Towne of Seatalcott, in the 
East Riding of Yorkshire upon Long Island aforesaid, on the 
Person of an Infant Childe of Ann Rogers, widdow of the 
aforesaid George Wood deceased, by wh wicked and detest- 
able Arts, the said Infant Childe (as is suspected) most dan- 
gerously and mortally sickned and languished, and not long 
after by the said Wicked and detestable Arts (as is likewise 
suspected) dyed, And so the said Constable and Overseers 
do Present, That the said George Wood, and the sd Infante 
sd 1 Childe by the wayes and meanes aforesaid, most wickedly 
maliciously and feloniously were (as is suspected) murdered 
by the said Ralph Hall at the times and places aforesaid, 
agst the Peace of Our Soveraigne Lord the King and against 
the Laws of this Government in such Cases Provided. 2 

The like Indictmt was read, against Mary the wife of 
Ralph Hall. 

There upon, several^ Depositions, accusing the Prisonrs 
of the fact for which they were endicted were read, but no 
witnesse appeared to give Testimony in Court viva wee. 

Then the Clarke 3 calling upon Ralph Hall, bad him hold 
up his hand, and read as followes. 

Ralph Hall thou standest here indicted, for that having 
not the feare of God before thine eyes, Thou did'st upon the 
25th day of December, being Christmas day last was 12 
Moneths, and at sev'all other tunes since, as is suspected, by 
some wicked and detestable Arts, commonly called witchcraft 
and Sorcery, maliciously and feloniously practice and Exer- 

1 This repetition of "s d " is clearly accidental. 

* "The Laws of this Government" "the Duke's laws," as they were later 
called had been drawn up in the preceding winter by Governor Nicolls himself, 
with the aid of other members of this court; and, though based on those of the 
New England colonies, they omitted all mention of witchcraft. That was sig- 
nificant; but it meant only that there was no provision for its punishment per e, 
as insult to the majesty of Heaven : harm wrought by witchcraft, whether to 
person or property, was covered by the general statutes, and where, as in this 
case, the harm charged was death, the offense (as the indictment shows) was 
accounted murder. 

The clerk. 

1668] NEW YORK CASES 47 

cise, upon the Bodyes of George Wood, and an Infant Childe 
of Ann Rogers, by which said Arts, the said George Wood and 
the Infant Childe (as is suspected) most dangerously and mor- 
tally fell sick, and languisht unto death. Ralph Hall, what 
dost thou say for thyselfe, art thou guilty, or not guilty? 

Mary the wife of Ralph Hall was called upon in like man- 

They both Pleaded not guilty and threw themselves to 
bee Tryed by God and the Country. 

Where upon, their Case was referred to the Jury, who 
brought in to the Court, this following verdict vizt. 1 

Wee having seriously considered the Case committed to 
our Charge, against the Prisonrs at the Barr, and having well 
weighed the Evidence, wee finde that there are some suspi- 
tions by the Evidence, of what the woman is Charged with, 
but nothing considerable of value to take away her life. But 
in reference to the man wee finde nothing considerable to 
charge him with. 

The Court there upon, gave this sentence, That the man 
should bee bound Body and Goods for his wives Apperance, 
at the next Sessions, and so on from Sessions to Sessions as 
long as they stay wthin this Government, In the meane while, 
to bee of their good Behavior. So they were returned into 
the Sheriffs Custody, and upon Entring into a Recognizance, 
according to the Sentence of the Court, they were released. 

A Release to Ralph Hall and Mary his wife from the Recog- 
nizance they entred into at the Assizes. 

These Are to Certify all whom it may Concerne That 
Ralph Hall and Mary his wife (at present living upon Great 
Minifords Island) 2 are hereby released and acquitted from 
any and all Recognizances, bonds of appearance or othr obli- 
gations entred into by them or either of them for the peace 
or good behavior upon account of any accusation or Indic- 
temt upon suspition of Witch Craft brought into the Cort 
of Assizes against them in the year 1665. There haveving 
beene no direct proofes nor furthr prosecucion of them or 

1 Videlicet, "to wit" : we now abbreviate it by "viz." 

*Now "City Island" in Long Island Sound, at its western end. 


eithr of them since. Given undr my hand at Fort James in 
New Yorke this 21th day of August 1668. 


At the Fort July 7th 1670. 
Before the Governor. 

Upon the Complaint of Thomas Hunt Sen'r and Edward 
Waters on behalfe of the Towne of West Chester against a 
Woman suspected for a Witch who they desire may not live 
in their Towne; The Woman appeares with Capt. Ponton 1 
to justify her selfe; her Name is Katharine Harryson. 2 

Their Peticion, as also another from Jamaica against her 
settling there were read. 

Shee saith shee hath lived at Wethersfield 19 yeares, and 
came from England thither; Shee was in Prison 12 Months. 

Shee was tryed for Witchcraft at Hartford in May last, 
found guilty by the Jury, but acquitted by the Bench, and 
released out of Prison, putting her in minde of her Promise 
to remove. 8 

1 Captain Richard Panton, of West Chester, in whose home she had found 

'Katharine Harrison was the widow of John Harrison, of Wethersfield, 
who died in 1666, leaving her an ample estate and three daughters. Rebecca, 
the eldest (born February 10, 1654), became at some time before June 28, 1671, 
the wife of Josiah Hunt of West Chester, or Westchester, son of that Thomas 
Hunt who now (July 7) is named as a complainant against her on behalf of that 
town, but in a following document (August 24) appears on her behalf. It is 
possible that this marriage antedated her coming to West Chester and explains 
it, but more likely that it was a result of it and explains the changing attitude of 
Thomas Hunt. (See Adams and Stiles, History of Ancient Weihersfield, New 
York, 1904, 1. 682, II. 416; N. E. Hist, and Gen. Register, XVIII. 58; N. Y. Gen. 
and Biog. Record, XLIII. 117; N. Y. Executive Council Minutes, I. 53, note.) 

1 There then follows a transcript, from the records of the Connecticut 
Court of Assistants, of this action in her case in its session of May 20, 1670. 
The documents of her trial, still extant at Hartford in the records of the county 
court and in those of the Court of Assistants (I. 1-7), and in part printed in the 
Connecticut Colonial Records (II. 118, 132), in Adams and Stiles, Ancient Wethers- 
field (I. 682-684), and in Taylor, The Witchcraft Delusion in Colonial Connecticut 
(New York, 1908), pp. 47-61, show that she was imprisoned and indicted in May, 
1669, tried in October and found guilty by a jury, but by a special Court of As- 
sistants, to which the General Assembly had referred the matter with power, 
was in May, 1670, dismissed, as stated above, with a reminder of her promise to 
leave Wethersfield. 

1670] NEW YORK CASES . 49 

An Ordr for Katherine Harrison to Remove from Westchestr. 

Whereas Complaint hath beene made unto me by the In- 
habitants of Westchestr agt Katherine Harrison late of Weth- 
ersfeild in his Ma'ties Colony of Conecticott widdow. That 
contrary to the consent and good liking of the Towne she 
would settle amongst them and she being reputed to be a 
person lyeing undr the Supposicion of Witchcraft hath given 
some cause of apprehension to the Inhabitants there, To the 
end their Jealousyes and feares as to this perticuler may be 
removed, I have thought fitt to ordr and appoint that the 
Constable and Overseers of the Towne of Westchestr do give 
warning to the said Katherine Harrison to remove out of their 
precincts in some short tyme after notice given, and they are 
likewise to admonish her to retorne to the place of her former 
abode, that they nor their neighbours may receive no furthr 
disturbance by her. Given undr my hand at Fort James in 
New Yorke this 7th day of July 1670. 


An Ordr for Katherine Harrison and Captn Richard Panton to 
appeare at the Fort before the Governor. 

Whereas Complaint hath beene made unto me by the 
Inhabitants of Westchestr agt Katherine Harrison widdow 
That she doth neglect or refuse to obey my late Ordr con- 
cerning her removall out of the said Towne, These are to re- 
quire you that you give notice unto the said Katherine Har- 
rison as also unto Captn Richard Panton at whose house she 
resydeth, That they make their personall appearance before 
me in this place on Wednesday next being the 24th of this 
Instant month, when those of the Towne that have ought to 
object agt them doe likewise attend, where I shall endeavor 
a Composure of this difference betweene them. Given undr 
my hand at Fort James in New Yorke this 20th day of Au- 
gust 1670. 


To the Constable of Westchestr, 


Pres't At the Fort. Aug: 24th 1670. 

The Governour 

Mr. Delavall 

The Secretary 

The Matt'r to bee considered of is the Complaint of the 
Towne of West-chester against Katharine Harryson Widdow 
suspected of Witch-craft etc : 

They being all appointed to appeare before the Governour 
this day; 

There appeared for the Towne Edward Waters Constable 
and John Quinby; 

For the Woman Capt. Ponton, Thomas Hunt Senr, and 
Junr, Roger Townsend, and one More. 1 

Capt. Ponton produced a Lett'r from Capt. Talcott 2 to 
him in Justification of the Womans Innocency, and another 
Letter from John Allen Secretary of Connecticott Governm't, 
in excuse of not sending the Womans Papers. 

Josiah Willard 3 being desired to say what hee knew con- 
cerning the Woman, making Relation of what is certifyed by 
Mr. Allen, hee is one of that Governm't that knew of her 
Arraignment, and was spoken to (that hee would bee present) 
by the Constable, but hath nothing to say further. 

It being taken into Consideracion, It is Ordered that the 
Discussion of this Matter bee referrd to the next Gen[er]al Court 
of Assizes; In the meane time that shee give Security for her 
good Behaviour, during the time of her Abode amongst them 
at West-Chester. 

A warrant to the Constable of Westchestr to take an Account of 
the Goods of Katherine Harrison. 

These are to require you to take an Account of such Goods 
as have lately beene brought from out of his Ma'ties Colony of 
Conecticott unto Katherine Harrison, and having taken a 

1 I. e.\ one more appeared. 

1 Captain John Talcott, then treasurer of the Connecticut colony, was one of 
its foremost men. He was a member of the Court of Assistants, and was doubtless 
largely responsible for its action. He was well known at West Chester, for in 1663 
at the head of a troop from Connecticut he had taken the place from the Dutch. 

1 Of Wethersfield a trader, and doubtless here on some mercantile errand. 
He was a brother of the Rev. Samuel Willard, whom we have met (pp. 21-22) and 
shall meet again. 

1670] NEW YORK CASES 51 

Note of the perticulers that you retorne the Same unto me for 
the doeing whereof this shall be yor warrant. Given undr my 
hand at Fort James in New Yorke this 25th day of August 1670. 

To the present Constable of Westchester. 

An Ordr concerning Katherine Harrison. 

Whereas severall Adresses have beene made unto me by 
some of the Inhabitants of Westchestr on behalfe of the rest 
desiring that Katherine Harrison late of Wethersfeild in his 
Ma' ties Colony of Connecticott widdow at present residing 
in their Towne may be ordered to remove from thence and not 
permitted to stay wthin their Jurisdiction upon an apprehen- 
sion they have of her grounded upon some troubles she hath 
layne undr at Wethersfeild upon suspition of Witchcraft, the 
reasons whereof do not so clearly appeare unto me, Yett not- 
wthstanding to give as much satisfaction as may be to the 
Complts 1 who pretend their feares to be of a publique Con- 
cerne, I have not thought fitt absolutely to determyne the 
mattr at present, but do suspend it untill the next Genrll 
Cort of Assizes, when there will be a full meeting of the Coun- 
cell and Justices of the peace to debate and conclude the 
same. In the meane tyme the said Katherine Harrison wth 
her Children may remaine in the Towne of Westchestr where 
she now is wthout disturbance or molestation, she having 
given sufficient security for her Civill carriage and good be- 
haviour. Given undr my hand at Fort James in New York 
this 25th day of August in the 22th yeare of his Ma'ties 
Raigne Annoq.* Domini 1670. [FRANCIS LOVELACE J 

Anno 1670. 

Appeals, Actions, Presentmts etc. Entredfor Hearing and Tryall 
at the Gen[er]all Cort of Assizes to bee held in New Yorke be- 
ginning on the first Wednesday of Octobr 1670. 

Katherine Harryson bound over to appeare upon the 
Complt of the Inhabitants of Westchester upon suspicion of 

1 Complainants. 

1 /. e., "and in the year of Our Lord" : the q stands for the enclitic que, and. 


In the case of Katherine Harryson Widdow, who was 
bound to the good Behaviour upon Complt of some of the 
Inhabitants of Westchester untill the holding of this Court, 
It is Ordered, that in regard there is nothing appears against 
her deserving the continuance of that obligacion shee is to bee 
releast from it, and hath Liberty to remaine in the Towne of 
Westchester where shee now resides, or any where else in the 
Governmt during her pleasure. 1 


1 Alas, it is to be feared that her neighbors did not make her life happy. 
Certain documents as to her property (printed in the N. Y. Executive Council 
Minutes, II. 393-395) make it probable that she left Westchester in May; and 
an entry of May 9, 1672, in the records (yet unpublished) of the Connecticut 
Court of Assistants "The court upon ace'* of work done by Katherin Harrison 
for Daniel Gerrad doe see cause to remit of the five pounds Katherin Harrison 
is to pay Dan'll Gerrad Twenty Shillings" may mean that she was permitted 
to return to Hartford, though perhaps it refers to work done while she was in 
custody. In any case, she was in New York later, for, "during the temporary 
occupation of New York by the Dutch in 1673, an accusation was brought against 
her before Governor Colve, but was promptly and contemptuously dismissed" 
(Drake, Annals of Witchcraft, Boston, 1869, pp. 133-134; Levermore, "Witch- 
craft in Connecticut," in the New Englander, XLIV. 812). 




THAT the "R. C. Esq." who in 1698 published at London 
the following narrative was Richard Chamberlain, sometime 
secretary of the province of New Hampshire, is beyond all 
doubt. His own statement that he was in that province in 
His Majesty's service, and lodged at George Walton's, in a 
year easily recognized by internal evidence as 1682, would 
suffice to identify him; for not only was there no other "R. 
C." hi that well-known circle, but the Puritan pastor at Ports- 
mouth, writing at that very time of this very episode (see p. 35, 
above), makes the secretary a lodger at George Walton's and 
a source of information as to these happenings. Nor can 
this story be any bookseller's expansion of the narrative then 
published; for its mass of added detail squares not less per- 
fectly with every local tradition. If "the Contents hereof " 
are not now to be found in the records of His Majesty's 
"Council-Court held for that province," where Chamberlain 
himself doubtless inscribed them, it is amply explained by 
the mutilation and scattering of those records; and enough 
remains (see p. 31, note) to show the affair matter of record. 

There was reason, too, why precisely Richard Chamber- 
lain should have been one of the objects of such wrath, human 
or infernal, as found utterance in this "stonery." It was the 
very crisis of a dispute that for half a century had disturbed 
the peace of New Hampshire. John Mason, to whom in 1629 
that region had been granted and who in 1631 had under- 
taken its settlement, had died in 1635 without making ade- 
quate provision for its administration. The multiplying col- 



onists, who even before and during his personal control had 
occupied lands by other title than his grant, now ignored his 
claims; and the widow and infant grandchildren who were 
his heirs soon left them wholly to their own devices. The 
growing Puritan element leaned on the neighboring Massa- 
chusetts, and that colony discovered that its own charter 
could be interpreted to include the territory now settled in 
New Hampshire. Lands were thenceforward often granted by 
the Boston government, and oftener by the town authorities 
set up by it in New Hampshire; and the feeble protests of 
the Mason heirs found little hearing, the political changes in 
England making it impossible to enforce them. But with the 
Restoration, in 1660, matters changed, and by 1680 Robert 
Mason had not only won from a venal court the rejection of 
the Massachusetts claim and full recognition of his proprietor- 
ship hi New Hampshire, but was given a seat in the Council 
of the royal province into which the colony was now recon- 
stituted and was permitted to nominate its governor and sec- 
retary. A governor was not at once found; but as its secre- 
tary he named Richard Chamberlain. 

Of Chamberlain's history we know little. The Lords of 
Trade had stipulated that the new secretary should be "well 
versed in the law," and there can be little doubt that he was 
that "Richard Chamberlayne, son and heir of William C., of 
London, gent.," who in May, 1651, was admitted to Gray's 
Inn (not six months after Mason's all-powerful kinsman and 
adviser, Edward Randolph), who was " called to the bar 11 Nov. 
1659, ancient 17 April 1676," and whose daughter Elizabeth 
was in 1695 wedded to that "much Honoured Mart. Lumley, 
Esq.," to whom he dedicates this booklet. If so he was of a 
good family, whose pedigree can be traced for several genera- 
tions in the visitations of the heralds. Perhaps already an 
acquaintance of Mason, he soon became his intimate friend. 
They crossed the sea together, arriving in New Hampshire 


in December, 1680, and at once entering on their functions in 
the government. Though outvoted in the Council, Mason 
proceeded to the enforcement of his territorial claims, and 
soon by his demands, however legal, earned fear and hate not 
only for himself but for Chamberlain, who was believed to 
have instigated them. The colonists were left their improved 
lands, on payment of a moderate quit-rent; but all wild lands, 
including their pastures and their woodlands, Mason counted 
his, to grant at will. But the colonists, except a few Quakers, 
stoutly held out, and Mason returned to England to urge his 
case, leaving Chamberlain to bear the brunt. The latter had 
his abode on Great Island, under the guns of the fort, at the 
house of the Quaker George Walton; and it is there, in the 
summer of 1682, that the following narrative has its scene. 

The booklet is now very rare, and this is probably the first 
complete reimpression of it. With the exception of the pref- 
atory matter it was, however, reprinted in 1861 in the His- 
torical Magazine, V. 321-327. 


Lithobolia: or, the Stone-Throwing Devil. Being an Exact and 
True Account (by way of Journal) of the various Actions 
of Infernal Spirits, or (Devils Incarnate) Witches, or both; 
and the great Disturbance and Amazement they gave to 
George Waltons Family, at a place call'd Great Island in 
the Province of New-Hantshire in New-England, chiefly in 
Throwing about (by an Invisible hand) Stone, Bricks, and 
Brick-bats of all Sizes, with several other things, as Hammers, 
Mauls, Iron-Crows, Spits, and other Domestick Utensils, 
as came into their Hellish Minds, and this for the space of 
a Quarter of a Year. 

By R. C. Esq; who was a Sojourner in the same Family 
the whole time, and an Ocular Witness of these Diabolick 

The Contents hereof being manifestly known to the Inhabitants 
of that Province, and Persons of other Provinces, and is upon 
Record in his Majesties Council-Court held for that Province. 

London, Printed, and are to be Sold by E. Whitlook near 
Stationers-Hall, 1698. 1 

To The much Honoured Mart. Lumley, Esq; z 

As the subsequent Script deserves not to be called a Book, 
so these precedent Lines presume not to a Dedication : But, 
Sir, it is an occasion that I am ambitious to lay hold on, to 
discover to You by this Epitome (as it were) the propension 

1 Title-page of the original. 

1 Martin Lumley, Esq. (1662-1710), son of Sir Martin Lumley, of Great 
Bardfield, Essex, himself succeeded to that baronetcy in 1702. When Lithobolia 
was written he had probably just become a kinsman of the author; for in 1695 
he married for his second wife "Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Chamberlayn of 
Gray's Inn." (See article of J. W. Dean, in N. E. Hist, and Gen. Register, XLIII. 


1698] LITHOBOLIA 59 

and inclination I have to give a more full and perfect demon- 
stration of the Honour, Love, and Service, I own (as I think 
my self oblig'd) to have for You. To a Sober, Judicious, and 
well Principled Person, such as your Self, plain Truths are 
much more agreeable than the most charming and surprising 
Romance or Novel, with all the strange turns and events. 
That this is of the first sort, (as I have formerly upon Record 
attested) I do now aver and protest ; yet neither is it less strange 
than true, and so may be capable of giving you some Diver- 
sion for an hour : For this interruption of your more serious 
ones, I cannot doubt your candor and clemency, in pardoning 
it, that so well know (and do most sensibly acknowledg) your 
high Worth and Goodness; and that the Relation I am Digni- 
fied with, infers a mutual Patronization. ^ 

Sir, I am 

Your most Humble Servant, 

R. C. 

To the much Honoured R. F. Esq; 1 

To tell strange feats of Daemons, here I am; 
Strange, but most true they are, ev'n-to a Dram, 
Tho' Sadduceans cry, 'tis all a Sham.' 

Here's Stony Arg'uments of persuasive Dint, 
They'l not believe it, told, nor yet in Print : 
What should the Reason be? The Devil's in-'t. 

And yet they wish to be convinc'd by Sight, 

Assur'd by Apparition of a Sprite; 

But Learned Brown 2 doth state the matter right : 

Satan will never Instrumental be 

Of so much Good, to' Appear to them ; for he 

Hath them sure by their Infidelity. 

But you, my Noble Friend, know better things; 

Your Faith, mounted on Religions Wings, 

Sets you above the Clouds whence Error springs. 

1 "R. F., Esq.," has not been identified. 

1 Sir Thomas Browne. See his Religio Medici, pt. I., 30. 


Your Soul reflecting on this lower Sphear, 

Of froth and vanity, joys oft to hear 

The Sacred Ora'cles, where all Truths appear, 

Which will Conduct out of this Labyrinth of Night, 
And lead you to the source of Intellect'ual Light. 

Which is the Hearty Prayer of 

Your most faithful Humble Servant, 

R. C. 

Lithobolia: or, the Stone-throwing Devil, etc. 

SUCH is the Sceptical Humour of this Age for Incredulity, 
(not to say Infidelity,) That I wonder they do not take up 
and profess, in terms, the Pyrrhonian Doctrine of disbelieving 
their very Senses. For that which I am going to relate hap- 
pening to cease in the Province of New-Hampshire in America, 
just upon that Governour's Arrival and Appearance at the 
Council there, who was informed by my self, and several other 
Gentlemen of the Council, and other considerable Persons, of 
the true and certain Reality hereof, yet he continued tenacious 
in the Opinion that we were all imposed upon by the waggery 
of some unlucky Boys; 1 which, considering the Circumstances 
and Passages hereafter mentioned, was altogether impossible. 

I have a Wonder to relate; for such (I take it) is so to be 
termed whatsoever is Prseternatural, and not assignable to, 
or the effect of, Natural Causes : It is a Lithobolia, 2 or Stone- 
throwing, which happened by Witchcraft (as was supposed) 
and maliciously perpetrated by an Elderly Woman, a Neigh- 
bour suspected, and (I think) formerly detected for such kind 
of Diabolical Tricks and Practises; 3 and the wicked Instiga- 

1 Edward Cranfield, first royal governor of New Hampshire. He arrived 
in October, 1682, and left in June, 1685. Though Mason's nominee, he for some 
time leaned to the side of the colonists against the methods of Mason and Cham- 

2 "Lithobolia" is, of course, only Greek for "stone-throwing." 

1 Who she was it is not hard to guess. On July 4, 1682, Hannah Jones 
begged the "advice and relief" of the President and Council "in regard of George 
Walton's dealing with her, who falsely accuseth her of what she is clear of, and 
hath so far prevailed that upon that account your humble petitioner is bound in 
a bond of the peace; since which said Walton's horse breaks into her pasture and 

1682] LITHOBOLIA 61 

tion did arise upon the account of some small quantity of 
Land in her Field, which she pretended was unjustly taken 
into the Land of the Person where the Scene of this Matter 
lay, and was her Right; she having been often very clamor- 
ous about that Affair, and heard to say, with much Bitterness, 
that her Neighbour (innuendo 1 the fore-mentioned Person, 
his Name George Walton) 2 should never quietly injoy that 

doth her damage." (Provincial Records, in New Hampshire Hist. Soc., Collec- 
tions, VIII. 99.) Of her being "formerly detected" in witchcraft there is no 
record; but she was a daughter of Thomas Walford, and her mother, Jane Wai- 
ford, had in 1656 been tried for witchcraft, and, though cleared, found it necessary 
in 1669 to bring an action for slander against a physician who again accused her. 
(N. H. Hist. Soc., Collections, I. 255-257; Documents and Records relating to the 
Province of New Hampshire, I. 217-219; Probate Records of the Province of New 
Hampshire, I. 87-92, 222-224.) Jane Walford was now dead (Probate Records, 
I. 92); but there was reason enough for George Walton to fear the malice of her 
daughter. For Thomas Walford, a blacksmith who in 1623 had come with 
Gorges toWeymouth,who had later become the earliest settler inCharlestown, and 
who in 1631, expelled from the Bay for his Anglican tenets, had found a refuge 
at Portsmouth, had prospered at last, and at his death in 1666 left to his heirs 
broad acres. But these lands were among those forfeit to the Mason claim, and 
Walton was a buyer. (Probate Records, I. 299, and cf. p. 37, above, note 1.) Now 
that the government was passing into the hands of the Mason party, what hope 
was there except from Heaven or Hell? "Your petitioner," prayed Hannah Jones, 
"being under bond, knows not what to do to help herself." It was doubtless 
Secretary Chamberlain who as a justice had put her under bond; but the planters 
still had a majority in the Council, and Goodwife Jones was ordered to complain 
to Captain Stileman "if she be at any time, during her being bound to the good 
behavior, injured by the said Geo. Walton." Her complaint came : on August 31 
Elizabeth Clark, aged forty-two, made affidavit to Deputy-President Stileman 
"that she heard George Walton say that he believed in his heart and conscience 
that Grandma Jones was a witch, and would say so to his dying day." But Wal- 
ton, too, had evidence to offer: on September 4 Samuel Clark testified "that he 
was present when Goody Jones and Geo. Walton were talking together, and he 
heard the said Goody Jones call the said Walton a wizzard, and that she said, if 
he told her of her mother, she would throw stones at his head, and this was on 
Friday, the 25th of August, 1682." And other witnesses testified that on that 
day "they saw several stones to fly," though they "saw no hand or person to 
throw them," and that "the said George Walton was hit several times." (Pro- 
vincial Records, in N. H. Hist Soc., Collections, VIII. 99-100.) But this is to 
anticipate the relation. 

1 "Hinting at." 

2 As to Walton see introduction and p. 35, note 1, above. A letter from 
the Rev. Lucius Alden, of Newcastle, printed in 1862 in the Historical Magazine, 
VI. 159, describes his house and its site and identifies other people and places 
mentioned in this narrative. 


piece of Ground. Which, as it has confirmed my self and others 
in the Opinion that there are such things as Witches, and the 
Effects of Witchcraft, or at least of the mischievous Actions 
of Evil Spirits; which some do as little give Credit to, as in 
the Case of Witches, utterly rejecting both their Operations 
and their Beings, we having been Eye- Witnesses of this Matter 
almost every Day for a quarter of a Year together; so it may 
be a means to rectifie the depraved Judgment and Sentiments 
of other disbelieving Persons, and absolutely convince them 
of their Error, if they please to hear, without prejudice, the 
plain, but most true Narration of it; which was thus. 

Some time ago being in America (in His then Majesty's 
Service) I was lodg'd in the said George Walton's House, a 
Planter there, and on a Sunday Night, 1 about Ten a Clock, 
many Stones were heard by my self, and the rest of the Family, 
to be thrown, and (with Noise) hit against the top and all 
sides of the House, after he the said Walton had been at his 
Fence-Gate, which was between him and his Neighbour one 
John Amazeen an Italian, 2 to view it; for it was again, as 
formerly it had been (the manner how being unknown) wrung 
off the Hinges, and cast upon the Ground; and in his being 
there, and return home with several Persons of (and frequent- 
ing) his family and House, about a flight shot distant from 
the Gate, they were all assaulted with a peal of Stones, (taken, 
we conceive, from the Rocks hard by the House) and this by 
unseen Hands or Agents. For by this time I was come down 
to them, having risen out of my Bed at this strange Alarm of 
all that were in the House, and do know that they all look'd 
out as narrowly as I did, or any Person could (it being a bright 
Moon-light Night), but cou'd make no Discovery. There- 
upon, and because there came many Stones, and those pretty 
great ones, some as big as my Fist, into the Entry or Porch 
of the House, we withdrew into the next Room to the Porch, 

1 June 11, 1682. See p. 35, above, and Mather Papers, p. 361. 

* "John the Greek," as he was called, the illiterate constable of Great Island, 
was one of the most stubborn in refusing to pay dues to Mason. He had married 
the widow of Jeremiah Walford (Hannah Jones's brother) and was the guardian 
of his son and estate. (Probate Records, I. 222-224; Provincial Records, in 
N. H. Hist. Soc., Collection*, I. 71, 118.) 

1682] LITHOBOLIA 63 

no Person having receiv'd any Hurt, (praised be Almighty 
Providence, for certainly the infernal Agent, constant Enemy 
to Mankind, had he not been over-ruled, intended no less than 
Death or Maim) save only that two Youths were lightly hit, 
one on the Leg, the other on the Thigh, notwithstanding the 
Stones came so thick, and so forcibly against the sides of so 
narrow a Room. Whilst we stood amazed at this Accident, 
one of the Maidens imagined she saw them come from the 
Hall, next to that we were in, where searching, (and in the 
Cellar, down out of the Hall,) and finding no Body, another 
and my self observed two little Stones in a short space succes- 
sively to fall on the Floor, coming as from the Ceiling close 
by us, and we concluded it must necessarily be done by means 
extraordinary and preternatural. Coming again into the 
Room where we first were (next the Porch), we had many of 
these lapidary Salutations, but unfriendly ones; for, shutting 
the Door, it was no small Surprise to me to have a good big 
Stone come with great force and noise (just by my Head) 
against the Door on the inside; and then shutting the other 
Door, next the JIall, to have the like Accident; so going out 
again, upon a necessary Occasion, to have another very near 
my Body, clattering against the Board-wall of the House; 
but it was a much greater, to be so near the danger of having 
my Head broke with a Mall, or great Hammer brushing along 
the top or roof of the Room from the other end, as I was walk- 
ing in it, and lighting down by me; but it fell so, that my 
Landlord had the greatest damage, his Windows (especially 
those of the first mention'd Room) being with many Stones 
miserably and strangely batter'd, most of the Stones giving 
the Blow on the inside, and forcing the Bars, Lead, and hasps 
of the Casements outwards, and yet falling back (sometimes 
a Yard or two) into the Room; only one little Stone we took 
out of the glass of the Window, where it lodg'd its self in the 
breaking it, in a Hole exactly fit for the Stone. The Pewter 
and Brass were frequently pelted, and sometimes thrown down 
upon the Ground; for the Evil Spirit seemed then to affect 
variety of Mischief, and diverted himself at this end after he 
had done so much Execution at the other. So were two Candle- 
sticks, after many hittings, at last struck off the Table where 
they stood, and likewise a large Pewter Pot, with the force of 


these Stones. Some of them were taken up hot, and (it seems) 
immediately coming out of the Fire; and some (which is not 
unremarkable) having been laid by me upon the Table along 
by couples, and numbred, were found missing; that is, two 
of them, as we return'd immediately to the Table, having 
turn'd our backs only to visit and view some new Stone-charge 
or Window-breach ; and this Experiment was four or five times 
repeated, and I still found one or two missing of the Number, 
which we all mark'd, when I did but just remove the Light 
from off the Table, and step to the Door, and back again. 

After this had continued in all the parts and sides of the 
first Room (and down the Chimney) for above four hours, I, 
weary of the Noise, and sleepy, went to Bed, and was no 
sooner fallen asleep, but was awakened with the unwelcome 
disturbance of another Battery of a different sort, it issuing 
with so prodigious a Noise against the thin Board-wall of my 
Chamber (which was within another) that I could not imagin 
it less than the fracture and downfall of great part of the 
Chamber, or at least of the Shelves, Books, Pictures, and other 
things, placed on that side, and on the Partition-Wall between 
the Anti-Chamber and the Door of mine. But the Noise 
immediately bringing up the Company below, they assured 
me no Mischief of that nature was done, and shewed me the 
biggest Stone that had as yet been made use of in this unac- 
countable Accident, weighing eight pound and an half, that 
had burst open my Chamber Door with a rebound from the 
Floor, as by the Dent and Bruise in it near the Door I found 
next Morning, done, probably, to make the greater Noise, 
and give the more Astonishment, which would sooner be 
effected by three Motions, and consequently three several 
Sounds, viz. one on the Ground, the next to and on the Door, 
and the last from it again to the Floor, then if it had been one 
single Blow upon the Door only; which ('tis probable) wou'd 
have split the Door, which was not permitted, nor so much as 
a square of the Glass-Window broken or crack'd (at that time) 
in all the Chamber. Glad thereof, and desiring them to leave 
me, and the Door shut, as it was before, I endeavoured once 
more to take my Rest, and was once more prevented by the 
like passage, with another like offensive Weapon, it being a 
whole Brick that lay in the anti-Chamber Chimney, and used 

1682] LITHOBOLIA 65 

again to the same malicious purpose as before, and in the same 
manner too, as by the mark in the Floor, whereon was some 
of the dust of the Brick, broken a little at the end, apparant 
next Morning, the Brick it self lying just at the Door. How- 
ever, after I had lain a while, harkning to their Adventures 
below, I drop'd asleep again, and receiv'd no further Moles- 
tation that Night. 

In the Morning (Monday Morning) I was inform'd by sev- 
eral of the Domesticks of more of the same kind of Trouble; 
among which the most signal was, the Vanishing of the Spit 
which stood in the Chimney Corner, and the sudden coming 
of it again down the same Chimney, sticking of it in a Log 
that lay in the Fireplace or Hearth; and then being by one 
of the Family set by on the other side of the Chimney, pres- 
ently cast out of the Window into the Back-side. Also a 
pressing-Iron lying on the ledge of the Chimney back, was 
convey'd invisibly into the Yard. I should think it (too) not 
unworthy the Relation, that, discoursing then with some of 
the Family, and others, about what had past, I said, I thought 
it necessary to take and keep the great Stone, as a Proof and 
Evidence, for they had taken it down from my Chambers; 
and so I carried it up, laid it on my Table in my Chamber, 
and lock'd my Door, and going out upon occasions, and soon 
returning, I was told by my Landlady that it was, a little 
while after my going forth, removed again, with a Noise, 
which they all below heard, and was thrown into the anti- 
Chamber, and there I found it lying in the middle of it ; there- 
upon I the second time carried it up, and laid it on the Table, 
and had it in my Custody a long time to show, for the Satis- 
faction of the Curious. 

There were many more Stones thrown about in the House 
that Morning, and more in the Fields that Day, where the 
Master of the House was, and the Men at Work. Some more 
Mr. Woodbridge, 1 a Minister, and my self, in the Afternoon 

1 The Rev. Benjamin Woodbridge, who had begun in 1680 at Bristol, 
Rhode Island, his career as a preacher, but had dissatisfied a part of his flock 
(Matlier Papers, pp. 695-696), and seems to have been seeking a fresh one in the 
north. It was through him that Pastor Moodey of Portsmouth sought, for 
Increase Mather's Providences, an account of the happenings on Great Island. 
(See above, p. 34, note 2, and Mather Papers, p. 360.) 


did see (but could not any Hand throwing them) lighting near, 
and jumping and tumbling on the Grass: So did one Mrs. 
Clark, and her Son, and several others; and some of them felt 
them too. One Person would not be perswaded but that the 
Boys at Work might throw them, and strait her little Boy 
standing by her was struck with a Stone on the Back, which 
caused him to fall a crying, and her (being convinc'd) to carry 
him away forth-with. 

In the Evening, as soon as I had sup'd in the outer Room 
before mine, I took a little Musical-Instrument, and began to 
touch it (the Door indeed was then set open for Air), and a 
good big Stone came rumbling in, and as it were to lead the 
Dance, but upon a much different account than in the days 
of Old, and of old fabulous Inchantments, my Musick being 
none of the best. The Noise of this brought up the Deputy- 
President's Wife, 1 and many others of the Neighbourhood 
that were below, who wonder'd to see this Stone followed (as 
it were) by many others, and a Pewter Spoon among the rest, 
all which fell strangely into the Room in their Presence, and 
were taken up by the Company. And beside all this, there 
was seen by two Youths in the Orchard and Fields, as they 
said, a black Cat, at the time the Stones were toss'd about, 
and it was shot at, but missed, by its changing Places, and 
being immediately at some distance, and then out of sight, 
as they related : Agreeable to which, it may not be improper 
to insert, what was observed by two Maids, Grand-Children 
of Mr. Walton, on the Sunday Night, the beginning of this 
Lithoboly. They did affirm, that as they were standing in 
the Porch-Chamber Window, they saw, as it were, a Person 
putting out a Hand out of the Hall Window, as throwing Stones 
toward the Porch or Entry; and we all know no Person was 
in the Hall except, at that instant, my self and another, having 
search'd diligently there, and wondring whence those should 
come that were about the same time drop'd near us; so far 
we were from doing it our selves, or seeing any other there to 
do it. 

On Monday Night, about the Hour it first began, there 
were more Stones thrown in the Kitchin, and down the Chim- 

1 Mrs. Ellas Stileman. Till the arrival of Governor Cranfield President 
Waldron and Deputy-President Stileman remained in power. 

1682] LITHOBOLIA 67 

ney, one Captain Barefoot, 1 of the Council for that Province, 
being present, with others; and also (as I was going up to 
Bed) in an upper Chamber, and down those Stairs. 

Upon Tuesday Night, about Ten, some five or six Stones 
were severally thrown into the Maid's Chamber near the 
Kitchin, and the Glass-Windows broke in three new places, 
and one of the Maids hit as she lay. At the same time was 
heard by them, and two young Men in the House, an odd, 
dismal sort of Whistling, and thereupon the Youths ran out, 
with intent to take the suppos'd Thrower of Stones, if possi- 
ble; and on the back-side near the Window they heard the 
Noise (as they said) of something stepping a little way before 
them, as it were the trampling of a young Colt, as they fan- 
cied, but saw nothing; and going on, could discover nothing 
but that the Noise of the stepping or trampling was ceas'd, 
and then gone on a little before. 

On Saturday Morning I found two Stones more on the 
Stairs; and so some were on Sunday Night convey'd into the 
Room next the Kitchin. 

Upon Monday following Mr. Walton going (with his Men) 
by Water to some other Land, in a place called the Great Bay, 
and to a House where his Son was placed, they lay there that 
Night, and the next Morning had this Adventure. As the 
Men were all at work in the Woods, felling Wood, they were 
visited with another set of Stones, and they gathered up near 
upon a Hat-full, and put them between two Trees near adjoin- 
ing, and returning from carrying Wood, to the Boat, the Hat 
and its contents (the Stones) were gone, and the Stones were 
presently after thrown about again, as before; and after search, 
found the Hat press' d together, and lying under a square piece 
of Timber at some distance from thence. They had them 
again at young Walton's House, and half a Brick thrown into 
a Cradle, out of which his young Child was newly taken up. 

Here it may seem most proper to inform the Reader of a 
parallel passage, (viz,) what happened another time to my 
Landlord in his Boat; wherein going up to the same place 

1 The bluff and jovial Walter Barefoot, physician, politician, speculator, 
rescuer of Quakers and horror of Puritans, soon to be commandant, judge, acting 
governor, and at this moment as deputy collector especially obnoxious to the 
Massachusetts party, is well known to all students of New Hampshire history. 


(the Great Bay) and loading it with Hay for his use at his own 
House, about the mid- way in the River (Pascataqua) 1 he found 
his Boat began to be in a sinking Condition, at which being 
much surpriz'd, upon search, he discover'd the cause to be 
the pulling out a Plug or Stopple in the bottom of the Boat, 
being fixed there for the more convenient letting out of the 
Rain-Water that might fall into it; a Contrivance and Com- 
bination of the old Serpent and the old Woman, or some other 
Witch or Wizard (in Revenge or innate Enmity) to have 
drown'd both my good Landlord and his Company. 

On Wednesday, as they were at work again in the Woods, 
on a sudden they heard something gingle like Glass, or Metal, 
among the Trees, as it was falling, and being fallen to the 
Ground, they knew it to be a Stirrup which Mr. Walton had 
carried to the Boat, and laid under some Wood ; and this being 
again laid by him in that very Boat, it was again thrown after 
him. The third time, he having put it upon his Girdle or 
Belt he wore about his Waste, buckled together before, but 
at that instant taken off because of the Heat of the Weather, 
and laid there again buckled, it was fetch'd away, and no more 
seen. Likewise the Graper, or little Anchor of the Boat, cast 
over-board, which caus'd the Boat to wind up; so staying 
and obstructing their Passage. Then the setting-Pole was 
divers times cast into the River, as they were coming back 
from the Great Bay, which put them to the trouble of Padling, 
that is, rowing about for it as often to retrieve it. 

Being come to his own House, this Mr. Walton was charg'd 
again with a fresh Assault in the out-Houses; but we heard of 
none within doors until Friday after, when, in the Kitchin, 
were 4 or 5 Stones (one of them hot) taken out of the Fire, as 
I conceive, and so thrown about. I was then present, being 
newly come in with Mr. Walton from his middle Field (as he 
call'd it), where his Servants had been Mowing, and had six 
or seven of his old troublesome Companions, and I had one 
falTn down by me there, and another thin flat Stone hit me on 
the Thigh with the flat side of it, so as to make me just feel, 
and to smart a little. In the same Day's Evening, as I was 
walking out in the Lane by the Field before-mentioned, a 
great Stone made a rusling Noise in the Stone-Fence between 

1 The Piscataqua. 

1682] LITHOBOLIA 69 

the Field and the Lane, which seem'd to me (as it caus'd me 
to cast my Eye that way by the Noise) to come out of the 
Fence, as it were pulFd out from among those Stones loose, 
but orderly laid close together, as the manner of such Fences 
in that Country is, and so fell down upon the Ground. Some 
Persons of Note being then in the Field (whose Names are 
here under-written) to visit Mr. Walton there, are substan- 
tial Witnesses of this same Stonery, both in the Field, and 
afterward in the House that Night, viz. one Mr. Hussey, Son 
of a Counsellour there. 1 He took up one that having first 
alighted on the Ground, with rebound from thence hit him on 
the Heel; and he keeps it to show. And Captain Barefoot, 
mentioned above, has that which (among other Stones) flew 
into the Hall a little before Supper; which my self also saw as 
it first came in at the upper part of the Door into the middle 
of the Room; and then (tho' a good flat Stone, yet) was seen 
to rowl over and over, as if trundled, under a Bed in the same 
Room. In short, these Persons, being wonderously affected 
with the Strangeness of these Passages, offer'd themselves 
(desiring me to take them) as Testimonies; I did so, and 
made a Memorandum, by way of Record, thereof, to this 
effect. Viz. 

These Persons under-written do hereby Attest the Truth of 
their being Eye-Witnesses of at least half a score Stones 
that Evening thrown invisibly into the Field, and in the 
Entry of the House, Hall, and one of the Chambers of 
George Walton's. Viz. 

SAMUEL JENNINGS, Esq ; Governour of West-Jarsey. 

WALTER CLARK, Esq ; Deputy-Governour of Road-Island. 


Mr. MATT. BORDEN of Road-Island. 

Mr. OLIVER HOOTON of Barbados, Merchant. 

Mr. T. MAUL of Salem in New-England, Merchant. 



And the Wife of the said Mr. Hussey. 2 

1 Of Christopher Hussey, of Hampton. 

2 The governors of West Jersey and Rhode Island are sufficiently identified by 
their titles. Both were Quakers, as were all the others excepting Barefoot. Cook 


On Saturday, July 1 24, One of the Family, at the usual 
hour at Night, observ'd some few (not above half a dozen) 
of these natural (or rather unnatural) Weapons to fly into the 
Kitchin, as formerly; but some of them in an unusual manner 
lighting gently on him, or coming toward him so easily, as 
that he took them before they fell to the Ground. I think 
there was not any thing more that Night remarkable. But 
as if the malicious Daemon had laid up for Sunday and Monday, 
then it was that he began (more furiously than formerly) 
with a great Stone in the Kitchin, and so continued with 
throwing down the Pewter-Dishes, etc. great part of it all at 
once coming clattering down, without the stroke of a Stone, 
little or great, to move it. Then about Midnight this im- 
pious Operation not ceasing, but trespassing with a continu- 
ando, 1 * 2 very great Stones, weighing above 30 pound a piece 
(that used to lye hi the Kitchin, in or near the Chimny) were 
in the former, wonted, rebounding manner, let fly against my 
Door and Wall in the ante-Chamber, but with some little 
distance of time. This thundring Noise must needs bring 
up the Men from below, as before, (I need not say to wake me) 
to tell me the Effect, which was the beating down several 
Pictures, and displacing abundance of things about my Cham- 
ber: but the Repetition of this Cannon-Play by these great 
rumbling Engines, now ready at hand for the purpose, and the 
like additional disturbance by four Bricks that lay in the 
outer-Room Chimney (one of which having been so imploy'd 
the first Sunday Night, as has been said) made me despair 
of taking Rest, and so forced me to rise from my Bed. Then 
finding my Door burst open, I also found many Stones, and 
great pieces of Bricks, to fly in, breaking the Glass- Windows, 
and a Paper-Light, sometimes inwards, sometimes outwards: 
So hitting the Door of my Chamber as I came through from 
the ante-Chamber, lighting very near me as I was fetching 
the Candlestick, and afterward the Candle being struck out, 
as I was going to light it again. So a little after, coming up 

was a Philadelphian; Thomas Maule, the Salem merchant who was later (1695) 
to stir such fury in Massachusetts by his arraignment of the Puritan regime. 
What Maule thought of j witchcraft must be gathered not only from his own 
book, but from that of his Beverly neighbor, the Rev. John Hale, pp. 155-161. 
1 June. * A "to be continued." 

1682] LITHOBOLIA 71 

for another Candle, and being at the Stare-foot door, a wooden 
Mortar with great Noise struck against the Floor, and was 
just at my Feet, only not touching me, moving from the other 
end of the Kitchin where it used to lye. And when I came up 
my self, and two more of the same House, we heard a Whistling, 
as it were near us in the outer Room, several times. Among 
the rest of the Tools made use of to disturb us, I found an old 
Card for dressing Flax in my Chamber. Now for Monday 
Night, (June 26) one of the severest. The disturbance began 
in the Kitchin with Stones; then as I was at Supper above in 
the ante-Chamber, the Window near which I sate at Table 
was broke in 2 or 3 parts of it inwards, and one of the Stones 
that broke it flew in, and I took it up at the further end of the 
Room. The manner is observable; for one of the squares 
was broke into 9 or 10 small square pieces, as if it had been 
regularly mark'd out into such even squares by a Workman, 
to the end some of these little pieces might fly in my Face 
(as they did) and give me a surprize, but without any hurt. In 
the mean time it went on in the Kitchin, whither I went 
down, for Company, all or most of the Family, and a Neigh- 
bour, being there; where many Stones (some great ones) 
came thick and threefold among us, and an old howing Iron, 1 
from a Room hard by, where such Utensils lay. Then, as if 
I had been the design'd Object for that time, most of the Stones 
that came (the smaller I mean) hit me (sometimes pretty hard) 
to the number of above 20, near 30, as I remember, and whether 
I remov'd, sit, or walk'd, I had them, and great ones sometimes 
lighting gently on me, and in my Hand and Lap as I sate, 
and falling to the Ground, and sometimes thumping against 
the Wall, as near as could be to me, without touching me. 
Then was a- Room over the Kitchin infested, that had not 
been so before, and many Stones greater than usual lumbring 
there over our Heads, not only to ours, but to the great Dis- 
turbance and Affrightment of some Children that lay there. 
And for Variety, there were sometimes three great, distinct 
Knocks, sometimes five such sounds as with a great Maul, 
reiterated divers times. 

On Tuesday Night (June 28) we were quiet; but not so 
on Wednesday, when the Stones were play'd about in the House. 

1 A hoeing-iron the metal part of a hoe. 


And on Thursday Morning I found some things that hung on 
Nails on the Wall in my Chamber, viz. a Spherical Sun-Dial, 
etc. lying on the Ground, as knock'd down by some Brick or 
Stone in the ante-Chamber. But my Landlord had the worst 
of that Day, tho' he kept the Field, being there invisibly hit 
above 40 times, as he affirm'd to me, and he receiv'd some 
shrowd 1 hurtful Blows on the Back, and other Parts, which 
he much complained of, and said he thought he should have 
reason to do, even to his dying day; and I observ'd that he 
did so, he being departed this Life since.* 

Besides this, Plants of Indian Corn were struck up by the 
Roots almost, just as if they had been cut with some edged 
Instrument, whereas re vera? they were seen to be eradicated, 
or rooted up with nothing but the very Stones, altho' the in- 
jurious Agent was altogether unseen. And a sort of Noise, 
like that of Snorting and Whistling, was heard near the Men 
at Work in the Fields many times, many whereof I my self, 
going thither, and being there, was a Witness of; and parting 
thence I receiv'd a pretty hard Blow with a Stone on the Calf 
of my Leg. So it continued that day in two Fields, where 
they were severally at Work: and my Landlord told me, he 
often heard likewise a humming Noise in the Air by him, as 
of a Bullet discharg'd from a Gun; and so said a Servant of 
his that work'd with him. 

Upon Saturday (July 1), as I was going to visit my Neigh- 
bour Capt. Barefoot, and just at his Door, his Man saw, as 
well as my self, 3 or 4 Stones fall just by us in the Field, or 
Close, where the House stands, and not any other Person near 
us. At Night a great Stone fell in the Kitchin, as I was going 
to Bed, and the Pewter was thrown down; many Stones flew 
about, and the Candles by them put out 3 or 4 times, and the 
Snorting heard; a Negro Maid hit on the Head in the Entry 
between the Kitchin and Hall with a Porringer from the 
Kitchin : also the pressing-Iron clattered against the Partition 
Wall between the Hall and a Chamber beyond it, where I lay, 
and Mr. Randolph, 4 His Majesty's Officer for the Customs, etc. 

Some few Stones we had on Sunday Morning, (July 2) 

1 Shrewd, t. e., sharp. * Early in 1686. "In fact." 

4 Edward Randolph, arch-foe of the Massachusetts theocracy and for more 
than a dozen years (1676-1689) chief inspirer of the royal policy as to the colonies. 

1682] LITHOBOLIA 73 

none at Night: But on Monday Morning (the 3d) both Mr. 
Walton, and 5 or 6 with him in the Field, were assaulted with 
them, and their Ears with the old Snorting and Whistling. 
In the Afternoon Mr. Walton was hit on the Back with Stones 
very grievously, as he was in his Boat that lay at a Cove 
side by his House. It was a very odd prank that was prac- 
tis'd by the Devil a little while after this. One Night the 
Cocks of Hay, made the Day before in the Orchard, was 
spread all abroad, and some of the Hay thrown up into the 
Trees, and some of it brought into the House, and scatter'd. 
Two Logs that lay at the Door, laid, one of them by the 
Chimny in the Kitchin; the other set against the Door of the 
Room where Mr. Walton then lay, as on purpose to confine 
him therein: A Form that stood in the Entry (or Porch) 
was set along by the Fire side, and a joint Stool upon that, 
with a Napking spread thereon, with two Pewter Pots, and 
two Candlesticks: A Cheese-Press likewise having a Spit 
thrust into one of the holes of it, at one end; and at the other 
end of the Spit hung an Iron Kettle; and a Cheese was taken 
out, and broke to pieces. Another time, I full well remember 
'twas on a Sunday at Night, my Window was all broke with 
a violent shock of Stones and Brick-bats, which scarce miss'd 
my self : among these one huge one made its way through the 
great square or shash of a Casement, and broke a great hole 
in it, throwing down Books by the way, from the Window to a 
Picture over-against it, on the other side of the Chamber, 
and tore a hole quite through it about half a foot long, and the 
piece of the Cloth hung by a little part of it, on the back-side 
of the Picture. 

Alter this we were pretty quiet, 1 saving now and then a 
few Stones march'd about for Exercise, and to keep (as it 
were) the Diabolical hand in use, till July 28, being Friday, 
when about 40 Stones flew about, abroad, and in the House 
and Orchard, and among the Trees therein, and a Window 
broke before, was broke again, and one Room where they 
never used before. 

August 1 . On Wednesday the Window in my ante-Chamber 
was broke again, and many Stones were plaid about, abroad, 

1 It will be remembered that about this time Hannah Jones was put under 
bond. See pp. 60-61, note 3. 


and in the House, in the Day-time, and at Night. The same 
Day in the Morning they tried this Experiment; they did set 
on the Fire a Pot with Urin, and crooked Pins in it, with 
design to have it boil, and by that means to give Punishment 
to the Witch, or Wizard (that might be the wicked Procurer 
or Contriver of this Stone Affliction) and take off their own; 
as they had been advised. This was the Effect of it : As the 
Liquor begun to grow hot, a Stone came and broke the top or 
mouth of it, and threw it down, and spilt what was in it; 
which being made good again, another Stone, as the Pot grew 
hot again, broke the handle off; and being recruited and fill'd 
the third tune, was then with a third Stone quite broke to 
pieces and split; and so the Operation became frustrate and 

On August 2, two Stones in the Afternoon I heard and saw 
my self in the House and Orchard; and another Window in 
the Hall was broke. And as I was entring my own Chamber, 
a great square of a Casement, being a foot square, was broke, 
with the Noise as of a big Stone, and pieces of the Glass flew 
into the Room, but no Stone came in then, or could be found 
within or without. At Night, as I, with others, were in the 
Kitchin, many more came in; and one great Stone that lay 
on a Spinning- Wheel to keep it steady, was thrown to the other 
side of the Room. Several Neighbours then present were 
ready to testifie this Matter. 

Upon August 3, On Thursday the Gate between my said 
Landlord and his Neighbour John Amazeen was taken off 
again, and thrown into Amazeen's Field, who heard it fall, 
and averr'd it then made a Noise like a great Gun. 

On Friday the 4th, the Fence against Mr. Walton's Neigh- 
bour's Door, (the Woman of whom formerly there was great 
Suspicion, and thereupon Examination had, as appears upon 
Record;) this Fence being maliciously pull'd down to let in 
their Cattel into his Ground ; he and his Servants were pelted 
with above 40 Stones as they went to put it up again ; for she 
had often threatned that he should never in joy his House and 
Land. 1 Mr. Walton was hit divers times, and all that Day 
in the Field, as they were Reaping, it ceas'd not, and their 
fell (by the Mens Computation) above an hundred Stones. 

1 See p. 37, note 1. Walton had doubtless fenced in the land in controversy. 

1682] ' LITHOBOLIA 75 

A Woman helping to Reap (among the rest) was hit 9 or 10 
times, and hurt to that degree, that her left Arm, Hip, Thigh, 
and Leg, were made black and blue therewith; which she 
showd to the Woman, 1 Mrs. Walton, and others. Mr. Wood- 
bridge, 2 a Divine, coming to give me a Visit, was hit about 
the Hip, and one Mr. Jefferys a Merchant, 3 who was with him, 
on the Leg. A Window in the Kitchin that had been much 
batter'd before, was now quite broke out, and unwindow'd, 
no Glass or Lead at all being left: a Glass Bottle broke to 
pieces, and the Pewter Dishes (about 9 of them) thrown down, 
and bent. 

On Saturday the 5th, as they were Reaping in the Field, 
three Sickles were crack' d and broke by the force of these 
lapidary Instruments of the Devil, as the Sickles were in the 
Reapers hands, on purpose (it seems) to obstruct their Labour, 
and do them Injury and Damage. And very many Stones 
were cast about that Day; insomuch, that some that assisted 
at that Harvest-Work, being struck with them, by reason of 
that Disturbance left the Field, but were follow' d by their 
invisible Adversaries to the next House. 

On Sunday, being the 6th, there fell nothing considerable, 
nor on Monday, (7th) save only one of the Children hit with a 
Stone on the Back. We were quiet to Tuesday the 8th. But 
on Wednesday (9th) above 100 Stones (as they verily thought) 
repeated the Reapers Disquiet in the Corn-Field, whereof 
some were affirm'd by Mr. Walton to be great ones indeed, 
near as big as a Man's Head; and Mrs. Walton, his Wife 
being by Curiosity led thither, with intent also to make some 
Discovery by the most diligent and vigilant Observation she 
could use, to obviate the idle Incredulity some inconsiderate 
Persons might irrationally entertain concerning this venefical* 
Operation; or at least to confirm her own Sentiments and 
Belief of it. Which she did, but to her Cost; for she received 
an untoward Blow (with a Stone) on her Shoulder. There 
were likewise two Sickles bent, crack' d, and disabled with them, 
beating them violently out of their Hands that held them; 
and this reiterated three times successively. 

1 1. e., to Hannah Jones. J See p. 65, note 1, 

3 George Jeffrey, or Jaffrey, of Great Island. 

4 Sorcerous from the Latin venefica, a witch, 


After this we injoy'd our former Peace and Quiet, un- 
molested by these stony Disturbances, that whole month of 
August, excepting some few times; and the last of all in the 
Month of September, (the beginning thereof) wherein Mr. 
Walton himself only (the Original perhaps of this strange 
Adventure, as has been declared) was the designed conclud- 
ing Sufferer; who going in his Canoo (or Boat) from the Great 
Island, where he dwelt, to Portsmouth, to attend the Council, 
who had taken Cognizance of this Matter, 1 he being Summoned 
thither, in order to his and the Suspect's Examination, and the 
Courts taking Order thereabout, he was sadly hit with three 
pebble Stones as big as ones Fist; one of which broke his Head, 
which I saw him show to the President of the Council; the 
others gave him that Pain on the Back, of which (with other 
like Strokes) he complained then, and afterward to his Death. 2 

Who, that peruses these praeternatural Occurrences, can 
possibly be so much an Enemy to his own Soul, and irrefutable 
Reason, as obstinately to oppose himself to, or confusedly 
fluctuate in, the Opinion and Doctrine of Daemons, or Spirits, 
and Witches? Certainly he that do's so, must do two things 

1 See pp. 60-61, note 3. 

1 What order the courts took thereabout does not appear from the extant 
records; but that Hannah Jones was not punished may be inferred from our 
author's silence. As to the land dispute, it is recorded that in December, 1682, 
John Amazeen, the constable, with his step-son Jeremiah Walford and others, 
came with a warrant from Captain Stileman and arrested George Walton and his 
helpers for wood-cutting on the lands granted him by Mason; and that, though 
Walton carried it to the courts and offered evidence that some of the wood cut 
for him had been seen in John Amazeen's yard, the jury found for the defendants' 
cost of court. Walton appealed to the King in Council Walford and Amazeen, 
so wrote Secretary Chamberlain, claiming by a town grant of 1658 and "the jury 
being all of them possessed of lands by virtue of town grants"; but, though he 
gave Edward Randolph power of attorney to prosecute, the appeal was in 1684 
dismissed. (Provincial Records, in N. H. Hist. Soc., Collections, VIII. 118, and 
Calendar of State Papers, America and West Indies, 1681-1685, passim.) At 
home, however, John Amazeen saw himself made an example of, his live-stock 
levied on, and himself thrown into prison for his refusal of dues to Mason. Cham- 
berlain lost his secretaryship with the change of government in 1686, but remained 
as clerk of the courts till 1689, when, with the collapse of the Andros administra- 
tion, he seems to have returned to England. (Vaughan's Journal, in N. H. Hist. 
Soc., Collections, VIII. 187; N. H. Prov. Papers, I. 590, 600; Mass. Hist. Soc., 
Proceedings, XVII. 227.) 

1682] LITHOBOLIA 77 

more: He must temerariously unhinge, or undermine the 
Fundamentals of the best Religion in the World; and he must 
disingenuously quit and abandon that of the Three Theologick 
Virtues or Graces, to which the great Doctor of the Gentils 
gave the Precedence, Charity, through his Unchristian and 
Uncharitable Incredulity. 



AT a first glance the utterances of the early Friends in 
Europe and America do not suggest a difference, in their be- 
liefs as to witchcraft, from those of the Puritan world about 
them. George Fox thought himself endowed with a divine 
power for the detection of witches, and tells us himself how he 
turned from his path to tell a group of women that they were 
in the spirit of witchcraft or rebuked in open meeting those 
he discerned to be under the power of an evil spirit. 1 Richard 
Farnworth, long his chief lieutenant, put forth in 1655 a 
printed discourse "as a Judgment upon Witchcraft, and a 
deniall, testimony, and declaration against Witchcraft from 
those that the world reproachfully calleth Quakers," 2 and 
Fox himself in 1657 devoted one largely to "the ground of 
Inchantings and seducing Spirits" and "of Nicromancy, 
which doth defile Witches and Wizards." 3 We have just 
met a New England Quaker as an accuser, and more than 
one gave testimony against the Salem witches. Even those 

^ee pp. 20-21 of the Witchcraft and Quakerism (Philadelphia, 1908) of 
Mrs. Amelia Mott Gummere, who quotes from the original MS. of Fox's journal. 

2 His anonymously published Witchcraft Cast out from the Religious Seed and 
Israel of God (London, 1655). 

3 His A Declaration of the Ground of Error . . . and the Ground of Inchant- 
ings and Seducing Spirits, and the Doctrine of Devils, the Sons of Sorcerers, and the 
Seed of the Adulterer, and the Ground of Nicromancy, which doth defile Witches and 
Wizards (London, 1657). But this book, like Farnworth's, is mainly a dissuasive 
from fortune-telling or the use of it. How slow was Fox's spirit to the darker 
suspicions of the witch-haters may best be gathered from his appeal "to the 
Masters of Ships and Seamen" (1676), wherein he dissuades them from the hasty 
ascription of storms to witchcraft; "and let New England professors [of religion] 
see whether or no they have not sometimes cast some poor simple people into the 
sea on pretence of being witches." 



Bishop, a Whiting who reviled their Puritan foes taunt 
them with Satan's besetments as if these were undoubted. 
It is only William Sewel, born and reared in Holland, whom 
we find translating into Dutch an English attack on the 
superstition. 1 

But at bottom, from the first, their gentle mysticism had 
in its universe no place for the arch-fiend of Orthodoxy. What 
Richard Farnworth so fiercely repudiates is only fortune- 
telling. If George Fox exclaims "Arise, children of God, and 
suffer not the Witch to live," it appears in a moment that by 
"the Witch" he means only the sin of divination, and that 
"every one that dwells in the spirit of God doth cut it off." 

As for William Penn, born to wealth and culture, son of a 
Dutch mother and in closest touch with the enlightened 
mystics of the Continent, there is in his writings scarce a 
trace of the current demonology; and the motley crowd of 
heretics and free-thinkers whom his tolerant prospectus 
tempted to join his Quakers for the peopling of his colony on 
the Delaware were perhaps as little prone to faith in Satan. 
In the laws agreed upon in England between the proprietor 
and his colonists, in May of 1681, the long list of "Offences 
against God" which "draw his wrath upon magistrates" and 
"provoke his indignation against a country" contains no men- 
tion of those dealings with Satan so long deemed the direst in- 
sults to his majesty; 2 and the "Great Law" enacted by the 

1 The Doctrine of Devils proved to be the Grand Apottacy of these Later 
Times (London, 1676). The English original bears no author's name, but its 
Dutch title-page ascribes it to "N. Orchard, Predikant in Nieuw-Engeland." 
There is, however, nothing in the work to suggest an American authorship, unless 
it be the passage (p. 189) where, speaking of the vogue in Christendom of legends 
of the supernatural, the writer says that "the most part of Europe, Asia, and 
Africa resounded with them (and now yet too-taking in America)." If the author 
came to America, it was doubtless after writing it, and more probably to the 
middle or southern colonies, then often included by Europeans under the name 
of New England. 

2 Gracissimum et omnium criminum maximum est, Crimen laesae Majestatis 
divinae, "the gravest and greatest of all crimes is treason against God," says 


provincial assembly, under Penn's presidency, in the winter 
of 1682-1683, though it regulates minutely the morals of the 
colonists, has never a word as to witchcraft. The charter 
indeed prescribed, as in the other colonies, that colonial laws 
should be agreeable, "so far as conveniently may be," with the 
laws of England; but this implied no validity for English 
statutes unless expressly adopted by the provincial legislature; 
and, as for witchcraft, it was not till 1717, with the fall of 
Penn's power, that under Governor Keith the statute of 
James I. was with other English criminal laws, by formal 
action of the Pennsylvania assembly, "put in execution in 
this province." 

But the Swedish peasants who long before the arrival of 
Penn's colony had established themselves on the farther bank 
of the Delaware, and now came with their lands beneath his 
rule, knew little enough of the growing rationalism of the 
seventeenth century; and it was these (speaking still among 
themselves their own vernacular, and needing, as we shall see, 
an interpreter between them and their new landlord) who, 
during Penn's first visit, brought in his court at Philadelphia 
the one action for witchcraft known to Pennsylvania records. 1 
The indictment, unhappily, is not preserved; but, as harm 
wrought by witchcraft to person or to property could of course, 

Damhouder, the great Flemish jurist whose handbook of criminal law had been 
the prescribed authority in the colony on the Delaware until that colony fell into 
the hands of the English; and witchcraft he makes the culmination of this crime. 
1 The nationality of the accused is clear from their names, and "Lasse Cock," 
the councilman who served them as interpreter, is well known as a Swede. Of the 
witnesses named, "Vanculin" ("Coolin," "Cooling") was of course of Dutch 
stock, and Drystreet, Sanderlin, Ashcom, of English. All these names are 
familiar to the records of the "Court at Upland" (Chester), the tribunal for this 
district prior to Penn's coming; and its entries show these families established 
on the west bank of the Delaware a little above Chester. (See Record of Upland 
Court, 1676-1681, in vol. VII. of the Memoirs of the Historical Society of Pennsyl- 
vania, pp. 91-125.) As to the extraction of these colonists and the superstitions 
prevalent among them, see Amandus Johnson, The Swedish Settlements on the 
Delaware, passim, and especially pp. 28, 543-545. 


like harm by any other means, be punished, if provable, under 
the general statutes, it must be assumed that these, and not 
the semi-religious law of James, were the basis of the prose- 
cution. It is the extant records of this case, 1 with that of a 
more trifling later episode, which here must serve us for a 
Pennsylvania narrative. 

1 Here reprinted from the Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, 
I. (Philadelphia, 1852), pp. 93-96. From this source they have been borrowed 
by Smith, History of Delaioare County, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1862), pp. 
152-153, and doubtless by others. 


Alt a Councill held at Philadelphia the 7th 12th Mo., 1683. 1 

Present : 

Wm. Penn, Prop'or 2 and Govr. 

Lasse Cock, Jno. Symcock, Tho. Holmes. 

Wm. Clayton. 

Margaret Mattson and Yeshro 3 Hendrickson, Examined 
and about to be proved Witches; whereupon, this board Or- 
dered that Neels Matson should Enter into a recognizance of 
fifty pounds for his Wiff's appearance before this board the 
27th Instant. Hendrick Jacobson 4 doth the same for his Wife. 

Adjourned till the 20th 12th Mo., 83. 

Ait a Councill held at Philadelphia the 27th of the 12th month, 


Present : 

Wm. Penn, Prop'or and Govr. 

James Harrison, Wm. Haigue, Wm. Clayton, 

Wm. Biles, Chris. Taylor, Tho: Holmes. 

Lasse Cock, 

The Grand Jury being attested, The Govr gave them their 
Charge, and the Atturney Gen[er]all attended them with the 
presentmt; their names are as followed: 
Robt Euer, foreman. Rich. Orne, Tho: Mosse, 

Samll Carpenter, Jno. Day, Tho: Ducket, 

Andrew Griscom, Jno. Fisher, Denis Lince, 

Benj. Whitehead, Jno. Barnes. Tho: Phillyps, 

1 /. e., February 7, 1684 : March had by formal enactment been made 
"First Month." 

1 Proprietor. /. e., Gertrude. Cf. p. 87. 

4 1. e., Jacob Hendrickson see p. 87. 5 February 27, 1684. 



Jno. Barnes, Gunner Rambo, Tho: Millard, 

Samll Allen, Enock Flower, Jno. Yattman, 

Jno. Parsons. Henr: Drystreet. Baraaby Wilcox. 

Post Meridiem. 

The Grand Jury made their returne, and found the Bill. 

Ordered that those that were absent of the Petty Jury 
should be fined 40s each man. 

Margarit Matson's Indictmt was read, and she pleads not 
Guilty, and will be tryed by the Countrey. 

Lasse Cock attested Interpriter between the Prop'or and 
the Prisoner at the Barr. 

The Petty Jury Impanneld ; their names are as followed : 
Jno. Hasting, foreman. Albertus Hendrickson, Robt Piles, 
Robt Wade, Nath. Evans, Edwd Darter, 

Wm Hewes, Jer. Collet, Jno. Kinsman, 

Jno. Gibbons, Walter Martin, Edw Bezac. 

Henry Drystreet attested, Saith he was tould 20 years agoe, 
that the prisoner at the Barr was a W T itch, and that several! 
Cows were bewitcht by her; also, that James Saunderling's 
mother tould him that she bewitcht her cow, but afterwards 
said it was a mistake, and that her Cow should doe well againe, 
for it was not her Cow but an Other Person's that should dye. 

Charles Ashcom attested, saith that Anthony's Wife being 
asked why she sould her Cattle, was because her mother had 
Bewitcht them, having taken the Witchcraft of 1 Hendrick's 2 
Cattle, and put it on their Oxon; She myght Keep 3 but noe 
Other Cattle, and also that one night the Daughter of the 
Prisoner called him up hastely, and when he came she sayd 
there was a great Light but Just before, and an Old woman 
with a Knife in her hand at the Bedd's feet, and therefore shee 
cryed out and desired Jno. Symcock to take away his Calves 
or Else she would send them to Hell. 

James Claypoole attested Interpritor betwixt the Prop'or 
and the Prisoner. 

The affidavid of Jno. Vanculin read, Charles Ashcom being 
a Witness to it. 

1 Off. Hendrickson's. 

Clearly a word is here omitted perhaps "cows," 


Annakey Coolin attested, saith her husband tooke the 
Heart of a Calfe that Dyed, as they thought, by Witchcraft, 
and Boyled it, wherupon the Prisoner at the Ban* came in and 
asked them what they were doing; they said boyling of flesh; 
she said they had better they had Boyled the Bones, with 
severall other unseemly Expressions. 

Magaret Mattson saith that she Vallues not Drystreet's 
Evidence; but if Sanderlin's mother had come, she would have 
answered her; also denyeth Charles Aschom's Attestation at her 
Soul, and Saith where is my Daughter; let her come and say so. 

Annakey Cooling's attestation concerning the Gees, she de- 
nyeth, saying she was never out of her Conoo, 1 and also that 
she never said any such things Concerning the Calve's heart. 

Jno. Cock attested, sayth he Knows nothing of the matter. 

Tho: Balding's attestation was read, and Tho: Bracy at- 
tested, saith it is a True coppy. 

The Prisoner denyeth all things, and saith that the Wit- 
nesses speaks only by hear say. 

After wch the Govr gave the jury their Charge concerning 
the Prisoner at the Barr. 

The jury went forth, and upon then* Returne Brought her 
in Guilty of haveing the Comon fame of a witch, but not guilty 
in manner and forme as Shee stands Indicted. 2 

Neels Mattson and Antho. Neelson 3 Enters into a Recog- 
nizance of fifty pounds apeice, for the good behavior of Mar- 
garet Matson for six months. 

Jacob Hendrickson Enters into the Recognizance of fifty 
pounds for the good behavior of Getro Hendrickson for six 

Adjourned till the 20th day of the first Mo., 1684. 4 

1 Canoe. 

J The tact and quiet humor of this verdict should need no pointing out; 
but it has sometimes been oddly misunderstood. 

* "Antho. Neelson" was very probably a son of Neels and Margaret Matt- 
son: here still, as in the home-land, Scandinavian surnames were often not 
hereditary, but changed with every generation, so that a son of Neels (Cornelius) 
Mattson might be surnamed, not Mattson, but Neelson (the Swedish Nilssan, 
English Nelson). The assumption of Smith (History of Delaware County, pp. 153, 
488) that he was a son-in-law is perhaps due only to ignorance of this usage. 

4 Thus ended in the colony, so far as Pennsylvania records show, the crim- 
inal prosecution of witches. But in 1696 a young Quaker who had incurred the 

Esq'rs. Humpry Murray, > Esq'rs. 

Caleb Pusey, 


At a Council held at Philadelphia the 2lst of 3 Afo, 1 1701. 


The Propritary and Governour.* 

Edwd. Shippen, Thos. Story, 

Saml. Carpenter, 

Griffith Owen, 

A Petition of Robt. Guard and his Wife being read, setting 
forth That a Certain Strange Woman lately arrived in this 
Town being Seized with a very Sudden illness after she had 
been in their Company on the 17th Instant, and Several Pins 
being taken out of her Breasts, One John Richards, Butcher, 
and his Wife Ann, charged the Petitrs with Witchcraft, and as 
being the Authors of the Said Mischief; and therefore, Desire 
their Accusers might be sent for, in Order either to prove their 
Charge, or that they might be acquitted, they Suffering much 
in their Reputation, and by that means in their Trade. 

Ordered, that the Said John and Ann Richards be sent for; 
who appearing, the matter was inquired into, and being found 
trifling, was Dismissed. 3 

discipline of his Quarterly Meeting for practising divination was presented by 
the grand jury to the county court, fined by the court, and forbidden to repeat 
his magical practices (see Smith, History of Delaware County, pp. 192-194; Gum- 
mere, Witchcraft and Quakerism, Philadelphia, 1908, pp. 40-47). And in 1701, 
while Penn was once more in the colony (November, 1699-November, 1701), 
there occurred the episode next to be narrated. It is reprinted from the Minutes 
of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, II. 20. 

1 May 21. William Penn. 

1 That even in Pennsylvania there came a time when, under less calm guid- 
ance, a witch-panic was possible, is suggested by the following news item sent 
from Philadelphia on July 21, 1787, and published in the Massachusetts Centinel 
of August 1: "It must seriously affect every human mind that in consequence 
of the barbarous treatment lately suffered by the poor old woman, called a witch, 
she died on Wednesday last. It is to be hoped that every step will be taken to 
bring the offenders to punishment in justice to the wretched victim, as well as 
the violated laws of reason and society." The item is pointed out to the editor 
by a colleague just as this volume goes to press. 



MUCH less than even his illustrious father does the Rev. 
Cotton Mather (1662-1728) need here an introduction. His 
name and his personality are a commonplace in American his- 
tory and literature. Opinion regarding him has indeed gone 
widely asunder; but, if he has found severe critics, he has also 
found able defenders. One of these, Mr. Barrett Wendell, 
has told his story almost wholly in his own words; 1 and the 
little book is not only of rare charm, but, though apology, of 
no small degree of frankness. It may be commended to all 
who would see Cotton Mather with his own eyes. His rela- 
tions with witchcraft have been debated at especial length 
and with a wealth of knowledge by Mr. C. W. Upham and Mr. 
W. F. Poole. 2 But the reader of this volume hardly needs 
such help: the evidence in almost all its fullness lies before 

The setting of Cotton Mather's life may be sketched in a 
word. Son of Increase Mather, grandson of John Cotton, 
precocious both in learning and in piety, he was from boyhood 
if ever he had a boyhood the rising hope of Massachusetts 
orthodoxy. All his life of answering to that hope was spent 

1 Cotton Mather: the Puritan Priest (Boston, 1891). 

a By Mr. Upham in his Salem Witchcraft (Boston, 1867) and his "Salem 
Witchcraft and Cotton Mather" (Historical Magazine, V.); Mr. Poole in his 
"Cotton Mather and Salem Witchcraft" (North American Review, CVIII.) and 
his chapter on "Witchcraft at Boston" (Memorial History of Boston, II.). To 
these should perhaps be added Mr. George H. Moore's pungent Notes on the 
Bibliography of Witchcraft in Massachusetts (American Antiquarian Society, 
Proceedings, new series, V.); and of prime importance to the student is the 
Diary of Cotton Mather (Mass. Hist. Soc., Collections, seventh series, VIL, VIII.), 
with the able notes of its editor, Mr. Worthington C. Ford, 



in one long pastorate, that of the North Church, his father's 
church, his father his associate almost to the end. But pastor 
to him meant also student, politician, much besides. 

The Memorable Providences was among his earliest books: 
he was only twenty-seven at its publication. It was twice 
reprinted in 1691 at London, under the changed title of Late 
Memorable Providences, with an added " recommendation " 
by Richard Baxter, and in 1697 at Edinburgh, under the old 
title. 1 

1 What seems in the list of Sibley (Harvard Graduates, III. 50) and in Sabin 
a reimpression of the book in 1690 with his Speedy Repentance Urged proves (on 
collation kindly made by the librarians of the John Carter Brown library) to be 
only a copy of the latter work bound up somewhat confusedly with a defective 
copy of the Memorable Providences (1689). 


Memorable Providences, Relating to Witchcrafts And Possessions. 
A Faithful Account of many Wonderful and Surprising 
Things, that have befallen several Bewitched and Possessed 
Persons in New-England. Particularly^ A Narrative of 
the marvellous Trouble and Releef Experienced by a pious 
Family in Boston, very lately and sadly molested with Evil 

T hereunto is added, a Discourse delivered unto a Congregation 
in Boston, on the Occasion of that Illustrious Providence. 
As also a Discourse delivered unto the same Congregation; 
on the occasion of an horrible Self-Murder Committed in the 
Town. With an Appendix, in vindication of a Chapter in 
a late Book of Remarkable Providences, from the Calumnies 
of a Quaker at Pen-silvania. 

r ritten by Cotton Mather, Minister of the Gospel, and Recom- 
mended by the Ministers of Boston and Charleston. 1 

^rinted at Boston in N. England by R. P. 1689. Sold by 
Joseph Brunning, at his Shop at the Corner of the Prison- 
Lane next the Exchange. 2 

To the Honourable Wait Winthrop Esq; 3 

BY the special Disposal and Providence of the Almighty 
k>d, there now comes abroad into the world a little History 

1 Charlestown. 

'Title-page of the original. 

1 Wait Winthrop (1643-1717), son of Governor John Winthrop of Connecti- 
cut and grandson of Governor John Winthrop of Massachusetts, was himself a 
man of weight in New England jurist, member of the Massachusetts council, 
major-general of the provincial forces. We shall meet him as a member of the 
court at the Salem trials of 1692. 



of several very astonishing Witchcrafts and Possessions, which 
partly my own Ocular Observation, and partly my undoubted 
Information, hath enabled me to offer unto the publick Notice 
of my Neighbours. It must be the Subject, and not the Man- 
ner or the Author of this Writing, that has made any people 
desire its Publication; For there are such obvious Defects in 
Both, as would render me very unreasonable, if I should wish 
about This or Any Composure of mine, That it were printed 
in a book! But tho there want not Faults in the Discourse, 
to give me Discontent enough, my Displeasure at them will be 
recompensed by the Satisfaction I take in my Dedication of it; 
which I now no less properly than cheerfully make unto Your 
Self; whom I reckon among the Best of my Friends, and the 
Ablest of my Readers. Your Knowledge has Qualified You 
to make those Reflections on the following Relations, which 
few can Think, and tis not fit that all should See. How far the 
Platonic Notions of Daemons which were, it may be, much 
more espoused by those primitive Christians and Scholars that 
we call The Fathers, than they seem countenanced in the en- 
suing Narratives, are to be allow'd by a serious man, your 
Scriptural Divinity, join'd with Your most Rational Phi- 
losophy, will help You to judge at an uncommon rate. Had 
I on the Occasion before me handled the Doctrin of Daemons, 
or lanched forth into Speculations about magical Mysteries, 
I might have made some Ostentation, that I have read some- 
thing and thought a little in my time; but it would neither 
have been Convenient for me, nor Profitable for those plain 
Folkes, whose Edification I have all along aimed at. I have 
therefore here but briefly touch't every thing with an American 
Pen; a Pen which your Desert likewise has further Entitled 
You to the utmost Expressions of Respect and Honour from. 
Though I have no Commission, yet I am sure I shall meet with 
no Crimination, if I here publickly wish You all manner of 
Happiness, in the Name of the great Multitudes whom/you 
have laid under everlasting Obligations. Wherefore in the 
name of the many hundred Sick people, whom your charitable 
and skilful Hands have most freely dispens'd your no less 
generous than secret Medicines to; and in the name of Your 
whole Countrey, which hath long had cause to believe that 
you will succeed Your Honourable Father and Grandfather, 


in successful Endeavours for our Welfare; I say, In their 
Name, I now do wish you all the Prosperity of them that love 
Jerusalem. And whereas it hath been sometimes observed, 
That the Genius of an Author is commonly Discovered in the 
Dedicatory Epistle, I shall be content if this Dedicatory 
Epistle of mine, have now discovered me to be, 
(Sir) Your sincere and very humble Servant, 


To the Reader. 

THE old Heresy of the sensual Sadducees, denying the 
Being of Angels either good or evil, died not with them; nor 
will it, whiles men (abandoning both Faith and Reason) count 
it their wisdom to credit nothing but what they see and feel. 
How much this fond opinion has gotten ground in this de- 
bauched Age is awfully observable; and what a dangerous 
stroak it gives to settle men in Atheism, is not hard to discern. 
God is therefore pleased (besides the witness born to this 
Truth in Sacred Writ) to suffer Devils sometimes to do such 
things in the world as shall stop the mouth of gainsayers, and 
extort a Confession from them. 

It has also been made a doubt by some, whether there are 
any such things as Witches, i. e., Such as by Contract or Ex- 
plicit Covenant with the Devil, improve, or rather are improved 
by him to the doing of things strange in themselves, and be- 
sides their natural Course. But (besides that the Word of 
God assures us that there have been such, and gives order 
about them) no Age passes without some apparent Demon- 
stration of it. For, Though it be Folly to impute every dubi- 
ous Accident, or unwonted Effect of Providence, to Witch- 
craft; yet there are some things which cannot be excepted 
against, but must be ascribed hither. 

Angels and Men not being made for civil Converse together 
in this world; and all Communion with Devils being inter- 
dicted us; their Nature also being spiritual, and the Word of 
God having said so little in that particular concerning their 
way of Acting; hence it is that we can disclose but a little of 
those Mysteries of Darkness; all reports that are from them- 
selves, or their Instruments, being to be esteemed as Illusion? , 


or at least covered with Deceit, filled with the Impostures of 
the Father of Lies; and the effects which' come under our 
consideration being Mysterious, rather Posing than Inform- 
ing us. 

The Secrets also of God's Providence, in permitting Satan 
and his Instruments to molest His children, not in their Es- 
tates only, but in their Persons and their Posterity too, are 
part of His Judgments that are unsearchable, and His Wayes 
that are past finding out; only this we have good Assurance 
for, that they are among the All things that work together for 
their good. Their Graces are hereby tried, their Uprightness 
is made known, their Faith and Patience have their perfect 

Among the many Instances that have been of this kind, 
That which is Recorded in this Narrative, is worthy to be 
commended to the Notice of Mankind, it being a thing in 
it self full of Memorable passages, and faithfully recorded, 
according to the Truth in Matter of Fact, scarce any Instance 
being asserted in it, but what hath the Evidence of many 
credible Witnesses, did need require. Among others who had 
frequent Occasions to observe these things, the Reverend 
Author of this short History, was spirited to be more than 
ordinarily engaged in attending, and making particular Re- 
marks upon the several passages occurring therein, and hath 
accordingly written very little besides what Himself was an 
eye-witness of, together with others, and the rest was gathered 
up with much Accuracy and Caution. 

Its needless for us to insist upon the Commendation either 
of the Author or the Work; the former is known in the Churches, 
the latter will speak sufficiently for it self. All that we shall 
offer to stay the Reader from passing over to satisfy himself in 
that which follows, is only thus much, Viz., That the follow- 
ing Account will afford to him that shall read with Observation, 
a further clear Confirmation, That, There is both a God, and 
a Devil, and Witchcraft: That, There is no out-ward Afflic- 
tion, but what God may (and sometimes doth) permit Satan 
to trouble His people withal : That, The Malice of Satan and 
his Instruments, is very great against the Children of God: 
That, The clearest Gospel-Light shining in a place, will not 
keep some from entring hellish Contracts with infernal Spirits : 


That, Prayer is a powerful and effectual Remedy against the 
malicious practises of Devils and those in Covenant with them : 
That, They who will obtain such Mercies of God, must pray 
unto Perseverance : That, God often gives to His people some 
apparent Encouragements to their Faith in Prayer, tho 
He does not presently perfect the Deliverance sought for: 
That, God's Grace is able to support His Children, and pre- 
serve their Grace firm, under sorest and Continuing Troubles : 
That, Those who refuse the Temptation to use doubtful or 
Diabolical Courses, to get the Assaults of the Devil and his 
Agents removed, Choosing to Recommend all to God, and 
rather to endure Affliction, than to have it Removed to 
His Dishonour, and the wounding of their own Consciences, 
never had cause to repent of it in the end. 

And if these observations, together with the solemn Im- 
provement made of this stupend 1 Providence, in the perti- 
nent and Judicious Sermons annexed, may but obtain a due 
Impression on the hearts of such as shall peruse them, whether 
young or old; as therein will be their profit, so shall their 
Labour turn to the Praise of God, fully satisfie the Author for 
all his Care and Industry, and answer his sincere Aims: for 
which good Success we Commend it to the Blessing of God, to 
be followed with the importunate Prayers of us, who have 
been Eye- and Ear-witnesses of many of the most considerable 
things Related in the ensuing Narrative. 





The Introduction. 

IT was once the Mistake of one gone to the Congregation 
of the Dead, concerning the Survivers, // one went unto them 

Stupendous: this shorter spelling (cf. "reverend") was then current. 

2 Morton was minister of Charlestown, Allen of the First Church in Boston, 
where Moodey, driven from Portsmouth (see pp. 31, 34, and 187, note 3), was 
now his associate, and Willard (see pp. 21, 22, 184, and 186, note 3) of the 
South Church. The North Church, the only other, was Mather's own; and his 
father, who was his colleague there, was now in England. Moodey had himself, 
in a letter to Increase Mather of October 4, 1688 (Mather Papers, pp. 367^ 
368), written a brief account of the bewitchment of the Goodwin childreq, 


from Af dead, Aey vM repent. The blessed God hath made 
some to come from the Damned, for the Conviction (may it 
aho be for the Conversion) of us that are yet alive. The 
Devils thfiiwhes are by Compulsion come to confute the 
Atheism and Sadducism, and to reprove the Madness of un- 
godly men. Those condemned prisoners of our Atmosphere 
have not realty sent Letters of Thanks from Hell, to those that 
are on Earth, promoting of their Interest, yet they have been 
forced, as of old. To confess that Jesus was the Holy one of 
God, so of late, to declare that Sin and Vice are the things 
which they are delighted in. But should one of those hideous 
Wights appear visibly with fiery chains upon him, and utter 
fy his roarings and his warnings in one of our Congrega- 

rt would not produce new Hearts in those whom the 
Sciiptuica handled in our Ministry do not affect. However it 
becomes the Embassadors of the L. 1 Jesus to leave no stroke 
untouch't that may conduce to bring men from the power of 
Satan unto God; and for this cause it is, that I have permitted 
the t**mng Histories to be published. They contain Things 
of undoubted Certainty, and they suggest Things of Impor- 
tance uneoneeiveable. Indeed they are only one Head of Col- 
lections which in my tittle time of Observation I have made of 
Memorable Providences, with Reflections thereupon, to be 
reserved among other effects of my Diversion from my more 
stated and more weary Studies. But I can with a Content- 
ment beyond meer Patience give these rescinded Sheets unto 
the Stationer, when I see what pains Mr. Baxter, 5 Mr. Glan- 
vfl, a Dr. More, 4 and several other Great Names have taken 
to publish Histories of Witchcrafts and Possessions unto the 
world. I said, Let me also run after them : and this with the 
more Alacrity because, I have tidings ready. Go then, my 
tittle Book, as a Lackey* to the more elaborate Essayes of 

The Cer- 
1601; but, as he 
the Atheists, Sad- 
ure of the Reality 
he had far 

4 Hear? Mote (see p. 5, above). 


those leaned no. Go tell Mankind, that there are Denb 
and Witches; and that tho those miff* lank least appear 

where the Day-light of the Gospel comes, yet Xew-EngL has 
had Exemples of their Existence and Operation; and that not 
only the Wigwams of T-ruBa^ where the pagan PwMsaf 
often raise their mafltrn*,* in the iitaprn of Bean and Snakes 
and fires, bat the Houses of naiajianm, where oar God has 
had Hip constant Worship- have mult jgnai the Annoyance of 
Evil spirits. Go tell the world. What Prayers can do beyond 
all Devils and Witches, and What it is that these Me 

love to do : and though the Damons in the ^rP* >IM i* of 
era! standexs-by threatned much disgrace to thy A^iW^ jf 
he let thee cone abroad, jet venture Hat, and in this way 
seek a just Revenge on Them for the Disturbance they have 
given to such as have called on the Name of God. 

Section L There dwells at this time, in the south ptart of 
Boston, a sober and pious man. whose Name is John Goodwin, 
whose Trade is that of a **, and whc*- _: - : : which a. 
Good Report gives a share with him in aH the Characters of 
Yertoe) has made him the Father of air (BOW living) fanVlii n 
Of these Children, all but the Eldest, who wotks with his 
father at his Calling, and the Youngest, who lives yet upon 
the Breast of its ""4***'., have laboured under the direful 
effects of a (no less palpahlr than) stupendous W&AermfL 
Indeed that exempted Son had also, as was thnqejn% some 
lighter touches of it , in unaccountable stabbs and pains now 
and then upon him; as indeed every person in the Family aft 
some time or other had, except the godly Father, and the 
norkfng Infant, who never fdt any apprpssiorts of it. Bat 

these Four Children T t~Mmml w^re handled in so sad and 

strange a manmr, as has given matter of DavoBBse and Won- 
der to all the Countrey, and of History not naworthy to be 

- 2r _je^-?_Jt "Tj? 

: 7. f .. the de^rfls: to tie 
tija worship vs devil 


considered by more than all the serious or the curious Readers 
in this New-English World. 

Sect. II. The four Children (whereof the Eldest was about 
Thirteen, and the youngest was perhaps about a third part 
so many years of age 1 ) had enjoyed a Religious Education, 
and answered it with a very towardly Ingenuity. 2 They had 
an observable Affection unto Divine and Sacred things; and 
those of them that were capable of it, seem'd to have such a 
Resentment 3 of their eternal Concernments as is not altogether 
usual. Their Parents also kept them to a continual Employ- 
ment, which did more than deliver them from the Temptations 
of Idleness, and as young as they were, they took a delight in 
it, it may be as much as they should have done. In a word, 
Such was the whole Temper and Carriage of the Children, 
that there cannot easily be any thing more unreasonable, than 
to imagine that a Design to Dissemble could cause them to 
fall into any of their odd Fits; though there should not have 
happened, 4 as there did, a thousand Things, wherein it was 
perfectly impossible for any Dissimulation of theirs to produce 
what scores of spectators were amazed at. 

Sect. III. About Midsummer, in the year 1688, the Eldest 
of these Children, who is a Daughter, saw cause to examine 
their Washerwoman, upon their missing of some Linnen, which 
twas fear'd she had stollen from them; and of what use this 
linnen might bee to serve the Witchcraft intended, the Thcef 's 
Tempter knows! This Laundress was the Daughter of an 
ignorant and a scandalous old Woman in the Neighbourhood; 
whose miserable Husband before he died, had sometimes com- 
plained of her, that she was undoubtedly a Witch, and that 
whenever his Head was laid, she would quickly arrive unto 
the punishments due to such an one. This Woman in her 
daughters Defence bestow'd very bad Language upon the Girl 
that put her to the Question; immediately upon which, the 

1 Martha was 13, John 11, Mercy 7, Benjamin 5, the elder son (Nathaniel) 
15, the baby (Hannah) six months old, when the narrative opens (midsummer, 
1688). (Savage, Genealogical Dictionary, and Boston records.) 

1 7. e., with encouraging promise. 

*/. e., feeling, realization in the religious cant of to-day, "a realizing 

4 7. e., even if there had not happened. 


poor child became variously indisposed in her health, and 
visited with strange Fits, beyond those that attend an Epilepsy, 
or a Catalepsy, or those that they call The Diseases of Aston- 
ishment. 1 

Sect. IV. It was not long before one of her Sisters, and 
two of her Brothers, were seized, in Order one after another, 
with Affects 2 like those that molested her. Within a few 
weeks, they were all four tortured every where in a manner so 
very grievous, that it would have broke an heart of stone to 
have seen their Agonies. Skilful Physicians were consulted 
for their Help, and particularly our worthy and prudent Friend 
Dr. Thomas Oakes, 3 who found himself so affronted 4 by the 
Distempers of the children, that he concluded nothing but an 
hellish Witchcraft could be the Original 5 of these Maladies. 
And that which yet more confirmed such Apprehension was, 
That for one good while, the children were tormented just in 
the same part of their bodies all at the same time together; and 
tho they saw and heard not one anothers complaints, tho like- 
wise their pains and sprains were swift like Lightening, yet 
when (suppose) the Neck, or the Hand, or the Back of one was 
Rack't, so it was at that instant with t'other too. 

Sect. V. The variety of their tortures increased continu- 
ally; and tho about Nine or Ten at Night they alwaies had a 
Release from their miseries, and ate and slept all night for the 
most part indifferently well, yet in the day time they were 
handled with so many sorts of Ails, that it would require of us 
almost as much time to Relate them all, as it did of them to 
Endure them. Sometimes they would be Deaf, sometimes 
Dumb, and sometimes Blind, and often, all this at once. One 
while their Tongues would be drawn down their Throats; 
another-while they would be pull'd out upon their Chins, to 
a prodigious length. They would have their Mouths opened 
unto such a Wideness, that their Jaws went out of joint; and 

1 1. e., stupefaction : diseases that rob one of his wits. It should not be 
forgotten, here or later, that the author had once, while his stammering seemed 
to bar him from the ministry, begun the study of medicine. 

2 Affections, ailments. 

3 Dr. Oakes (1644-1719) was the locally eminent physician who in 1689 
became speaker of the legislature and in 1690 was sent as a colonial deputy to 

4 Nonplussed, dumbfounded. 5 Origin. 


anon they would clap together again with a Force like that 
of a strong Spring-Lock. The same would happen to their 
Shoulder-Blades, and their Elbows, and Hand-wrists, and 
several of their joints. They would at times ly in a benummed 
condition; and be drawn together as those that are ty'd Neck 
and Heels; 1 and presently be stretched out, yea, drawn Back- 
wards, to such a degree that it was fear'd the very skin of their 
Bellies would have crack'd. They would make most pitteous 
out-cries, that they were cut with Knives, and struck with 
Blows that they could not bear. Their Necks would be 
broken, so that their Neck-bone "would seem dissolved unto 
them that felt after it; and yet on the sudden, it would become 
again so stiff that there was no stirring of their Heads; yea, 
their Heads would be twisted almost round; and if main 
Force at any time obstructed a dangerous motion which they 
seem'd to be upon, the) 7 would roar exceedingly. Thus they 
lay some weeks most pittiful Spectacles; and this while as a 
further Demonstration of Witchcraft in these horrid Effects, 
when I went to Prayer by one of them, that was very desireous 
to hear what I said, the Child utterly lost her Hearing till our 
Prayer was over. 

Sect. VI. It was a Religious Family that these Afflictions 
happened unto; and none but a Religious Contrivance to 
obtain Releef, would have been welcome to them. Many 
superstitious proposals were made unto them, by persons that 
were I know not who, nor what, with Arguments fetch't from 
I know not how much Necessity and Experience; but the dis- 
tressed Parents rejected all such counsils, with a gracious Reso- 
lution, to oppose Devils with no other weapons but Prayers 
and Tears, unto .Him that has the Chaining of them ; and to 

1 "Tied neck and heels" was doubtless at first, as the lexicographers under- 
stand it, only a phrase for the securest method of fettering; but it had now be- 
come a name for what was (in defiance of English law) a method of torture. 
For its use at Salem see p. 363, note 2, below. Jardine says ( The Use of Torture in 
the Criminal Law of England, p. 37 ff.) that there is now shown in the Tower of 
London a device "which compressed the neck of the sufferer down toward his 
feet," and he thinks this may be that torture of "the manacles" often mentioned 
in the English state trials of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and meant 
by Shakespeare, when he makes Prospero say: "I'll manacle thy neck and feet 
together." In Virginia tying neck and heels was in the seventeenth century a 
penalty imposed by the courts. 


try first whether Graces were not the best things to encounter 
Witchcrafts with. Accordingly they requested the four Min- 
isters of Boston, with the Minister of Charlstown, to keep a 
Day of Prayer at their thus haunted house; which they did 
in the Company of some devout people there. Immediately 
upon this Day, the youngest of the four children was delivered, 
and never felt any trouble as afore. But there was yet a 
greater Effect of these our Applications unto our God! 

Sect VII. The Report of the Calamities of the Family 
for which we were thus concerned, arrived now unto the ears 
of the Magistrates, who presently and prudently apply'd 
themselves, with a just vigour, to enquire into the story. The 
Father of the Children complained of his Neighbour, the sus- 
pected ill woman, whose name was Glover; and she being 
sent for by the Justices, gave such a wTetched Account of her 
self, that they saw cause to commit her unto the Gaolers Cus- 
tody. Goodwin had no proof that could have done her any 
Hurt; but the Hag had not power to deny her interest in the 
Enchantment of the Children; and when she was asked, 
Whether she believed there was a God? her Answer was too 
blasphemous and horrible for any Pen of mine to mention. 
An Experiment was made, Whether she could recite the Lords 
Prayer; and it was found, that tho clause after clause was most 
carefully repeated unto her, yet when she said it after them 
that prompted her, she could not possibly avoid making Non- 
sense of it, with some ridiculous Depravations. This Experi- 
ment I had the curiosity since to see made upon two more, 
and it had the same Event. Upon the Commitment of this 
extraordinary Woman, all the Children had some present ease; 
until one (related unto her) accidentally meeting one or two 
of them, entertain 'd them with her Blessing, that is, Railing; 
upon which Three of them fell ill again, as they were before. 

Sect. VIII. It was not long before the Witch thus in the 
Trap, was brought upon her Tryal; at which, thro' the Efficacy 
of a Charm, I suppose, used upon her, by one or some of her 
Crue, 1 the Court could receive Answers from her in none but 
the Irish, which was her Native Language; altho she under- 
stood the English very well, and had accustomed her whole 
Family to none but that Language in her former Conversa- 

1 Crew. 


tion; and therefore the Communication between the Bench 
and the Bar, 1 was now cheefly convey'd by two honest and 
faithful men that were interpreters. It was long before she 
could with any direct Answers plead unto her Indictment; 
and when she did plead, it was with Confession rather than 
Denial of her Guilt. Order was given to search the old 
womans house, from whence there were brought into the Court, 
several small Images, or Puppets, or Babies, made of Raggs, 
and stuff't with Goat's hair, and other such Ingredients. 
When these were produced, the vile Woman acknowledged, 
that her way to torment the Objects of her malice, was by 
wetting of her Finger with her Spittle, and streaking of those 
little Images. The abused Children were then present, and 
the Woman still kept stooping and shrinking as one that was 
almost prest to Death with a mighty Weight upon her. But 
one of the Images being brought unto her, immediately she 
started up after an odd manner, and took it into her hand; 
but she had no sooner taken it, than one of the Children fell 
into sad Fits, before the whole Assembly. This the Judges 
had their just Apprehensions at; and carefully causing the 
Repetition of the Experiment, found again the same event of 
it. They asked her, Whether she had any to stand by her: 
She replied, She had; and looking very pertly in the Air, she 
added, No, He's gone. And she then confessed, that she had 
One, who was her Prince, with whom she maintain'd,! know not 
what Communion. For which cause, the night after, she was 
heard expostulating with a Devil, for his thus deserting her; 
telling him that Because he had served her so basely and falsly, 
she had confessed all. However to make all clear, The Court 
appointed five or six Physicians one evening to examine her 
very strictly, whether she were not craz'd in her Intellectuals, 
and had not procured to her self by Folly and Madness the 
Reputation of a Witch. Diverse hours did they spend with 
her; and in all that while no Discourse came from her, but 
what was pertinent and agreeable: particularly, when they 
asked her, What she thought would become of her soul? she 
reply'd "You ask me a very solemn Question, and I cannot 
well tell what to say to it." She own'd her self a Roman 
Catholick; and could recite her Pater Noster in Latin very 

1 /. e., between the judges and the prisoner at the bar. 


readily; but there was one Clause or two alwaies too hard for 
her, whereof she said, "She could not repeat it, if she might 
have all the world." In the up-shot, the Doctors returned 
her Compos Mentis; 1 and Sentence of Death was pass'd upon 

Sect. IX. Diverse dayes were passed between her being 
Arraigned and Condemned. In this time one of her Neigh- 
bours had been giving in her Testimony of what another of 
her Neighbours had upon her Death related concerning her. 
It seems one Howen about Six years before, had been cruelly 
bewitched to Death; but before she died, she called one Hughes 
unto her, Telling her that she laid her Death to the charge of 
Glover; That she had seen Glover sometimes come down her 
Chimney; That she should remember this, for within this Six 
years she might have Occasion to declare it. This Hughes 
now preparing her Testimony, immediately one of her children, 
a fine boy, well grown towards Youth, was taken ill, just in 
the same woful and surprising manner that Goodwins children 
were. One night particularly, The Boy said he saw a Black 
thing with a Blue Cap in the Room, Tormenting of him; and 
he complained most bitterly of a Hand put into the Bed, to 
pull out his Bowels. The next day the mother of the boy 
went unto Glover, in the Prison, and asked her, Why she tor- 
tured her poor lad at such a wicked rate? This Witch replied, 
that she did it because of wrong done to her self and her 
daughter. Hughes denied (as well she might) that she had 
done her any wrong. "Well then," sayes Glover, "Let me 
see your child and he shall be well again." Glover went on, 
and told her of her own accord, "I was at your house last 
night." Sayes Hughes, "In what shape?" Sayes Glover, 
"As a black thing with a blue Cap." Sayes Hughes, "What 
did you do there? " Sayes Glover, "with my hand in the Bed 
I tryed to pull out the boyes Bowels, but I could not." They 
parted; but the next day Hughes appearing at Court, had her 
Boy with her; and Glover passing by the Boy, expressed her 
good wishes for him; tho' I suppose, his Parent had no design 
of any mighty Respect unto the Hag, by having him with her 
there. But the Boy had no more Indispositions after. the 
Condemnation of the Woman. 

1 Of sound mind. 


Sect. X. While the miserable old Woman was under Con- 
demnation, I did my self twice give a visit unto her. She never 
denyed the guilt of the Witchcraft charg'd upon her; but she 
confessed very little about the Circumstances of her Confed- 
eracies with the Devils; only, she said, That she us'd to be at 
meetings, which her Prince and Four more were present at. 
As for those Four, She told who they were; and for her Prince, 
her account plainly was, that he was the Devil. She enter- 
tained me with nothing but Irish, which Language I had not 
Learning enough to understand without an Interpreter; only 
one time, when I was representing unto her That and How her 
Prince had cheated her, as her self would quickly find; she 
reply'd, I think in English, and with passion too, "If it be so, 
I am sorry for that!" I offer'd many Questions unto her, 
unto which, after long silence, she told me, She would fain give 
me a full Answer, but they would not give her leave. It was 
demanded, "They! Who is that They?" and she return'd, that 
They were her Spirits, or her Saints, (for they say, the same 
Word in Irish signifies both). And at another time, she in- 
cluded her two Mistresses, as she call'd them in that They, 
but when it was enquired, Who those two were, she fell into 
a Rage, and would be no more urged. 

I Sett before her the Necessity and Equity of her breaking 
her Covenant with Hell, and giving her self to the Lord Jesus 
Christ, by an everlasting Covenant; To which her Answer 
was, that I spoke a very Reasonable thing, but she could not 
do it. I asked her whether she would consent or desire to be 
pray'd for; To that she said, If Prayer would do her any good, 
shee could pray for her self. And when it was again pro- 
pounded, she said, She could not unless her spirits (or angels) 
would give her leave. However, against her will I pray'd 
with her, which if it were a Fault it was in excess of Pitty. 
When I had done, shee thank'd me with many good Words; 
but I was no sooner out of her sight, than she took a stone, a 
long and slender stone, and with her Finger and Spittle fell 
to tormenting it; though whom or what she meant, I had the 
mercy never to understand. 

Sect. XI. When this Witch was going to her Execution, 
she said, the Children should not be relieved by her Death, 
for others had a hand in it as well as she; and she named one 


among the rest, whom it might have been thought Natural 
Affection would have advised the Concealing of. It came to 
pass accordingly, That the Three children continued in their 
Furnace as before, and it grew rather Seven times hotter than 
it was. All their former Ails pursued them still, with an ad- 
dition of (tis not easy to tell how many) more, but such as 
gave more sensible Demonstrations of an Enchantment grow- 
ing very far towards a Possession by Evil spirits. 

Sect. XII. The Children in their Fits would still cry 
out upon They and Them as the Authors of all their Harm; 
but who that They and Them were, they were not able to de- 
clare. At last, the Boy obtain'd at some times a sight of some 
shapes in the room. There were Three or Four of 'em, the 
Names of which the child would pretend at certain seasons to 
tell; only the Name of One, who was counted a Sager Hag 
than the rest, he still so stammered at, that he was put upon 
some Periphrasis in describing her. A Blow at the place 
where the Boy beheld the Spectre was alwaies felt by the Boy 
himself in the part of his Body that answered what might be 
stricken at; and this tho his Back were turn'd; which was 
once and again so exactly tried, that there could be no Collu- 
sion in the Business. But as a Blow at the Apparition alwaies 
hurt him, so it alwaies help't him too; for after the Agonies, 
which a Push or Stab of That had put him to, were over, (as 
in a minute or 2 they would be) the Boy would have a respite 
from his Fits a considerable while, and the Hobgoblins dis- 
appear. It is very credibly reported that a wound was this 
way given to an Obnoxious woman in the town, whose name I 
will not expose: for we should be tender in such Relations, 
lest we wrong the Reputation of the Innocent by stories not 
enough enquired into. 

Sect. XIII. The Fits of the Children yet more arriv'd 
unto such Motions as were beyond the Efficacy of any natural 
Distemper in the World. They would bark at one another like 
Dogs, and again purr like so many Cats. They would some- 
times complain, that they were in a Red-hot Oven, sweating 
and panting at the same time unreasonably : Anon they would 
say, Cold water was thrown upon them, at which they would 
shiver very much. They would cry out of dismal Blowes 
with great Cudgels laid upon them; and tho' we saw no cud- 


gels nor blowes, yet we could see the Marks left by them in 
Red Streaks upon their bodies afterward. And one of them 
would be roasted on an invisible Spit, run into his Mouth, and 
out at his Foot, he lying, and rolling, and groaning as if it had 
been so in the most sensible manner in the world ; and then he 
would shriek, that Knives were cutting of him. Sometimes 
also he would have his head so forcibly, tho not visibly, nail'd 
unto the Floor, that it was as much as a strong man could do 
to pull it up. One while they would all be so Limber, that it 
was judg'd every Bone of them could be bent. Another while 
they would be so stiff, that not a joint of them could be stir'd. 
They would sometimes be as though they were mad, and then 
they would climb over high Fences, beyond the Imagination 
of them that look'd after them. Yea, They would fly like 
Geese; and be carried with an incredible Swiftness thro the 
air, having but just their Toes now and then upon the 
ground, and their Arms waved like the Wings of a Bird. One 
of them, in the House of a kind Neighbour and Gentleman (Mr. 
Willis) flew the length of the Room, about 20 foot, and flew 
just into an Infants high armed Chair; (as tis affirmed) none 
seeing her feet all the way touch the floor. 

Sect. XIV. Many wayes did the Devils take to make 
the children do mischief both to themselves and others; but 
thro the singular Providence of God, they always fail'd in the 
attempts. For they could never essay the doing of any harm, 
unless there were some-body at hand that might prevent it; 
and seldome without first shrieking out, "They say, I must do 
such a thing!" Diverse times they went to strike furious 
Blowes at their tenderest and dearest friends, or to fling them 
down staires when they had them at the Top, but the warnings 
from the mouths of the children themselves, would still antici- 
pate what the Devils did intend. They diverse times were 
very near Burning or Drowning of themselves, but the Chil- 
dren themselves by their own pittiful and seasonable cries for 
Help, still procured their Deliverance: Which made me to 
Consider, Whether the Little ones had not their Angels, in the 
plain sense of Our Saviours Intimation. Sometimes, When 
they were tying their own Neck-clothes, their compelled hands 
miserably strangled themselves, till perhaps, the standers-by 
gave some Relief unto them. But if any small Mischief hap- 


pen'd to be done where they were ; as the Tearing or Dirtying 
of a Garment, the Falling of a Cup, the breaking of a Glass 
or the like; they would rejoice extremely, and fall into a plea- 
sure and Laughter very extraordinary. All which things corn- 
par 'd with the Temper of the Children, when they are them- 
selves, may suggest some very peculiar Thoughts unto us. 

Sect. XV. They were not in a constant Torture for some 
Weeks, but were a little quiet, unless upon some incidental 
provocations; upon which the Devils would handle them like 
Tigres, and wound them in a manner very horrible. Par- 
ticularly, Upon the least Reproof of their Parents for any unfit 
thing they said or did, most grievous woful Heart-breaking 
Agonies would they fall into. If any useful thing were to be 
done to them, or by them, they would have all sorts of Troubles 
fall upon them. It would sometimes cost one of them an Hour 
or Two to be undrest in the evening, or drest in the morning. 
For if any one went to unty a string, or undo a Button about 
them, or the contrary; they would be twisted into such pos- 
tures as made the thing impossible. And at Whiles, they 
would be so managed in their Beds, that no Bed-clothes could 
for an hour or two be laid upon them; nor could they go to 
wash their Hands, without having them clasp't so odly to- 
gether, there was no doing of it. But when their Friends were 
near tired with Waiting, anon they might do what they would 
unto them. Whatever Work they were bid to do, they would 
be so snap't in the member which was to do it, that they with 
grief still desisted from it. If one ordered them to Rub a 
clean Table, they were able to do it without any disturbance; 
if to rub a dirty Table, presently they would with many Tor- 
ments be made uncapable. And sometimes, tho but seldome, 
they were kept from eating their meals, by having their Teeth 
sett when they carried any thing unto their Mouthes. 

Sect. XVI. But nothing in the World would so discompose 
them as a Religious Exercise. If there were any Discourse of 
God, or Christ, or any of the things which are not seen and are 
eternal, they would be cast into intolerable Anguishes. Once, 
those two Worthy Ministers Mr. Fisk 1 and Mr. Thatcher, 2 
bestowing some gracious Counsils on the Boy, whom they then 

1 The Rev. Moses Fiske (1642-1708), minister at Braintree. 

2 The Rev. Peter Thacher (1651-1727), minister at Milton. 


found at a Neighbours house, he immediately lost his Hearing, 
so that he heard not one word, but just the last word of all 
they said. Much more, All Praying to God, and Reading of 
His word, would occasion a very terrible Vexation to them: 
they would then stop their own Ears with their own Hands; 
and roar, and shriek; and holla, to drown the Voice of the 
Devotion. Yea, if any one in the Room took up a Bible to 
look into it, tho the Children could see nothing of it, as being in 
a croud of Spectators, or having their Faces another way, yet 
would they be in wonderful Miseries, till the Bible were laid 
aside. In short, No good thing must then be endured near 
those Children, Which (while they are themselves) do love 
every good thing in a measure that proclaims in them the Fear 
of God. 

Sect. XVII. My Employments were such, that I could 
not visit this afflicted Family so often as I would ; Wherefore, 
that I might show them what kindness I could, as also that I 
might have a full opportunity to observe the extraordinary 
Circumstances of the Children, and that I might be furnished 
with Evidence and Argument as a Critical Eye- Witness to 
confute the Saducism of this debauched Age; I took the Eldest 
of them home to my House. The young Woman continued 
well at our house, for diverse dayes, and apply'd her self to 
such Actions not only of Industry, but of Piety, as she had 
been no stranger to. But on the Twentieth of November in 
the Fore-noon, she cry'd out, "Ah, They have found me out! 
I thought it would be so!" and immediately she fell into her 
fits again. I shall now confine my Story cheefly to Her, from 
whose Case the Reader may shape some Conjecture at the 
Accidents of the Rest. 

Sect. XVIII. Variety of Tortures now siez'd upon the 
Girl; in which besides the forementioned Ails returning upon 
her, she often would cough up a Ball as big as a small Egg, 
into the side of her Wind-pipe, that would near choak her, till 
by Stroking and by Drinking it was carried down again. At 
the beginning of her Fits usually she kept odly Looking up 
the Chimney, but could not say what she saw. When I bad 
her Cry to the Lord Jesus for Help, her Teeth were instantly 
sett; upon which I added, "Yet, child, Look unto Him," and 
then her Eyes were presently pulled into her head, so farr, 


that one might have fear'd she should never have us'd them 
more. When I prayed in the Room, first her Arms were with 
a strong, tho not seen Force clap't upon her ears; and when her 
hands were with violence pulTd away, she cryed out, "They 
make such a noise, I cannot hear a word!" She likewise com- 
plain'd, that Goody Glover's Chain was upon her Leg, and 
when she essay'd to go, her postures were exactly such as the 
chained Witch had before she died. But the manner still was, 
that her Tortures in a small while would pass over, and Frolicks 
succeed ; in which she would continue many hours, nay, whole 
days, talking perhaps never wickedly, but alwaies wittily, 
beyond her self; and at certain provocations, her Tortures 
would renew upon her, till we had left off to give them. But 
she frequently told us, that if she might but steal, or be drunk, 
she should be well immediately. 

Sect. XIX. In her ludicrous Fits, one while she would be 
for Flying; and she would be carried hither and thither, tho 
not long from the ground, yet so long as to exceed the ordinary 
power of Nature in our Opinion of it : another-while she would 
be for Diving, and use the Actions of it towards the Floor, on 
which, if we had not held her, she would have thrown her self. 
Being at this exercise she told us, That They said, she must go 
down to the Bottom of our Well, for there was Plate there, 
and They said, They would bring her safely up again. This 
did she tell us, tho she had never heard of any Plate there! 
and we ourselves who had newly bought the house, hardly 
knew of any; but the former Owner of the House just then 
coming in, told us there had been Plate for many years at the 
Bottom of the WeU. 

She had once a great mind to have eaten a roasted Apple, 
but whenever she attempted to eat it, her Teeth would be sett, 
and sometimes, if she went to take it up her Arm would be 
made so stiff, that she could not possibly bring her hand to 
her Mouth: at last she said, "Now They say, I shall eat it, 
if I eat it quickly"; and she nimbly eat it all up. Moreover, 

There was one very singular passion that frequently at- 
tended her. An Invisible Chain would be clapt about her, and 
shee, in much pain and Fear, cry out, When They began to 
put it on. Once I did with my own hand knock it off, as it 
began to be fastned about her. But ordinarily, When it was 


on, shee'd be pull'd out of her seat with such violence towards 
the Fire, that it has been as much as one or two of us could 
do to keep her out. Her Eyes were not brought to be perpen- 
dicular to her feet, when she rose out of her Seat, as the Mech- 
anism of a Humane 1 Body requires in them that rise, but 
she was one dragg'd wholly by other Hands : and once, When 
I gave a stamp on the Hearth, just between her and the Fire, 
she scream'd out, (tho I think she saw me not) that I Jarr'd 
the Chain, and hurt her Back. 

Sect. XX. While she was in her Frolicks I was willing 
to try, Whether she could read or no; and I found, not only 
That If she went to read the Bible her Eyes would be strangely 
twisted and blinded, and her Neck presently broken, but also 
that if any one else did read the Bible in the Room, tho it 
were wholly out of her sight, and without the least voice or 
noise of it, she would be cast into very terrible Agonies. Yet 
once Falling into her Maladies a little time after she had read 
the 59th Psalm, I said unto the standers by, "Poor child! she 
can't now read the Psalm she readd a little while ago," she 
listened her self unto something that none of us could hear and 
made us be silent for some few Seconds of a minute. Where- 
upon she said, "But I can read it, they say I shall!" So I 
show'd her the Psalm, and she readd it all over to us. Then 
said I, "Child, say Amen to it :" but that she could not do. I 
added, "Read the next:" but no where else in the Bible 
could she read a word. I brought her a Quakers Book; and 
That she could quietly read whole pages of; only the Name of 
God and Christ she still skip't over, being unable to pronounce 
it, except sometimes with stammering a minute or two or 
more upon it. When we urged her to tell what the word was 
that she missed, shee'd say, "I must not speak it; They say I 
must not, you know what it is, it's G and and D;" so shee'd 
spell the Name unto us. I brought her again one that I 
thought was a Good Book; and presently she was handled 
with intolerable Torments. But when I show'd her a Jest- 
Book, as, The Oxford Jests, or the Cambridge Jests, she could 
read them without any Disturbance, and have witty Descants 
upon them too. I entertain'd her with a Book that pretends 
to prove, That there are no Witches; and that she could read 

1 Human. "Humane" was then the current spelling. 


very well, only the Name Devils, and Witches, could not be 
uttered by her without extraordinary Difficulty. I produced 
a Book to her that proves, That there are Witches, and that 
she had not power to read. When I readd in the Room the 
Story of Ann Cole, 1 in my Fathers Remarkable Providences, and 
came to the Exclamation which the Narrative saies the Daemons 
made upon her, "Ah she runs to the Rock!" it cast her into 
inexpressible Agonies; and shee'd fall into them whenever I 
had the Expression of, "Running to the Rock," afterwards. 
A popish Book also she could endure very well; but it would 
kill her to look into any Book, that (in my Opinion) it might 
have bin profitable and edifying for her to be reading of. 
These Experiments were often enough repeated, and still with 
the same Success, before Witnesses not a few. The good Books 
that were found so mortal to her were cheefly such as lay ever 
at hand in the Room. One was the Quid to Heaven from the 
Word, which I had given her. Another of them was Mr. Wil- 
lard's little (but precious) Treatise of Justification. Diverse 
Books published by my Father I also tried upon her; partic- 
ularly, his Mystery of Christ; and another small Book of his 
about Faith and Repentance, and the day of Judgement. 

Once being very merrily talking by a Table that had this 
last Book upon it, she just opened the Book, and was imme- 
diately struck backwards as dead upon the floor. I hope I 
have not spoil'd the credit of the Books, By telling how much 
the Devils hated them. I shall therefore add, That my Grand- 
father Cottons Catechism called Milk for Babes, and The 
Assemblies Catechism, would bring hideous Convulsions on the 
Child if she look't into them; tho she had once learn't them 
with all the love that could be. 

Sect. XXI. I was not unsensible that this Girls Capacity 
or incapacity to read, was no Test for Truth to be determined 
by, and therefore I did not proceed much further in this fanci- 
ful Business, not knowing What snares the Devils might lay 
for us in the Tryals. A few further Tryals, I confess, I did 
make; but what the event of 'em was, I shall not relate, be- 
cause I would not offend. But that which most made me to 
wonder was, That one bringing to her a certain Prayer-Book, 
she not only could Read it very well, but also did read a large 

1 See pp. 18-21, above. 


part of it over, and calling it Her Bible, she took in it a deb'ght 
and put on it a Respect more than Ordinary. If she were 
going into her tortures, at the offer of this Book, she would 
come out of her fits and read ; and her Attendents were almost 
under a Temptation to use it as a Charm, to make and keep 
her quiet. Only, When she came to the Lords Prayer, (now 
and then occurring in this Book) she would have her eyes put 
out, so that she must turn over a new leaf, and then she could 
read again. Whereas also there are Scriptures in that Book, 
she could read them there, but if I shew'd her the very same 
Scriptures in the Bible, she should sooner Dy than read them. 
And she was likewise made unable to read the Psalms in an 
ancient meeter, which this prayer-book had in the same vol- 
umne with it. There were, I think I may say, no less than 
Multitudes of Witnesses to this odd thing; and I should not 
have been a faithful and honest Historian, if I had withheld 
from the World this part of my History: But I make no 
Reflections on it. Those inconsiderable men that are pro- 
voked at it (if any shall be of so little Sense as to be provoked) 
must be angry at the Devils, and not at me; their Malice, and 
not my Writing, deserves the Blame of any Aspersion which a 
true History may seem to cast on a Book that some have 
enough manifested their Concernment for. 

Sect. XXII. There was another most unaccountable 
Circumstance which now attended her; and until she came to 
our House, I think, she never had Experience of it. Ever now 
and then, an Invisible Horse would be brought unto her, by 
those whom she only called, "them," and, "Her Company": 
upon the Approach of Wliich, her eyes would be still closed up; 
for (said she) "They say, I am a Tell-Tale, and therefore they 
will not let me see them." Upon this would she give a Spring 
as one mounting an Horse, and Settling her self in a Riding- 
Posture she would hi her Chair be agitated as one sometimes 
Ambleing, sometimes Trotting, and sometimes Galloping very 
furiously. In these motions we could not perceive that she 
was stirred by the stress of her feet, upon the ground; for 
often she touch't it not; but she mostly continued in her 
Chair, though sometimes in her hard Trott we doubted she 
would have been tossed over the Back of it. Once being 
angry at his Dulness, When she said, she would cut off his 


head if she had a knife, I gave her my Sheath, wherewith she 
suddenly gave her self a stroke on the Neck, but complain'd, 
it would not cut. When she had rode a minute or two or 
three, shee'd pretend to be at a Rendezvous with Them, that 
were Her Company; there shee'd maintain a Discourse with 
them, and asking many Questions concerning her self, (for we 
gave her none of ours) shee'd Listen much, and Received An- 
swers from them that indeed none but her self perceived. 
Then would she return and inform us, how They did intend to 
handle her for a day or two afterwards, besides some other 
things that she enquired of them. Her Horse would sometimes 
throw her, with much Violence; but she would mount again; 
and one of the Standers-by once imagining them that were 
Her Company, to be before her (for she call'd unto them to 
stay for her) he struck with his Cane in the Air where he 
thought they were, and tho her eyes were wholly shutt, yet 
she cry'd out, that he struck her. Her Fantastic Journeyes 
were mostly performed in her Chair without removing from it; 
but sometimes would she ride from her Chair, and be carried 
odly on the Floor, from one part of the Room to another, in 
the postures of a Riding Woman. If any of us asked her, 
Who her Company were? She generally reply ed, I don't know. 
But If we were instant in our Demand, she would with some 
witty Flout or other turn it off. Once I said, "Child, if you 
can't tell their Names, pray tell me what Clothes they have 
on;" and the Words were no sooner out of my mouth, but she 
was laid for dead upon the Floor. 

Sect. XXIII. One of the Spectators once ask'd her, 
Whether she could not ride up stairs; unto which her Answer 
was, That she believe'd she could, for her Horse could do very 
notable things. Accordingly, when her Horse came to her 
again, to our Admiration she Rode (that is, was tossed as one 
that rode) up the stairs : there then stood open the Study of 
one belonging to the Family, into which entring, she stood 
immediately upon her Feet, and cry'd out, "They are gone; 
they are gone! They say, that they cannot, God won't let 
'em come here!" She also added a Reason for it, which 
the Owner of the Study thought more kind than true. And 
she presently and perfectly came to her self, so that her whole 
Discourse and Carriage was altered unto the greatest measure 


of Sobriety, and she salt Reading of the Bible and Good 
Books, for a good part of the Afternoon. Her Affairs calling 
her anon to go down again, the Daemons were in a quarter of 
a minute as bad upon her as before, and her Horse was Wait- 
ing for her. I understanding of it, immediately would have 
her up to the study of the young man where she had been at 
ease before; meerly to try Whether there had not been a Fal- 
lacy in what had newly happened : but she was now so twisted 
and writhen, that it gave me much trouble to get her into my 
Arms, and much more to drag her up the stairs. She was 
pulled out of my hands, and when I recovered my Hold, she 
was thrust so hard upon me, that I had almost fallen back- 
wards, and her own breast was sore afterwards, by their Com- 
pressions to detain her; she seem'd heavier indeed than three 
of her self. With incredible Forcing (tho she kept Screaming, 
"They say I must not go in!") at length we pull'd her in; 
where she was no sooner come, but she could stand on her 
Feet, and with an altered tone, could thank me, saying, "now 
I am well." At first shee'd be somewhat faint, and say, She 
felt something go out of her; but in a minute or two, she could 
attend any Devotion or Business as well as ever in her Life; 
and both spoke and did as became a person of good Discretion. 

I was loth to make a Charm of the Room; yet some 
strangers that came to visit us, the Week after, desiring to see 
the Experiment made, I permitted more than two or three 
Repetitions of it; and it still succeded as I have declared. 
Once when I was assisting 'em in carrying of her up, she was 
torn out of all our hands; and to my self, she cry'd out, "Mr. 
M., One of them is going to push you dowTi the stairs, have a 
care." I remember not that I felt any Thrust or Blow; but 
I think I was unaccountably made to step down backward 
two or three stairs, and within a few hours she told me by 
whom it was. 

Sect. XXIV. One of those that had bin concerned for 
her Welfare, had newly implored the great God that the 
young woman might be able to declare whom she apprehended 
her self troubled by. Presently upon this her Horse returned, 
only it pestered her with such ugly paces, that she fell out with 
her Company, and threatned now to tell all, for their so abus- 
ing her. I was going abroad, and she said unto them that 


were about her, "Mr. M. is gone abroad, my horse won't come 
back, till he come home; and then I believe" (said she softly,) 
" I shall tell him all." I staid abroad an hour or two, and then 
Returning, When I was just come to my Gate, before I had 
given the least Sign or Noise of my being there, she said, " My 
Horse is come!" and intimated, that I was at the Door. 
When I came in, I found her mounted after her fashion, upon 
her Aerial Steed; which carried her Fancy to the Journeys 
end. There (or rather then) she maintained a considerable 
Discourse with Her Company, Listening very attentively when 
she had propounded any Question, and receiving the Answers 
with impressions made upon her mind. She said; "Well what 
do you say? How many Fits more am I to have? pray, can 
ye tell how long it shall be before you are hang'd for what you 
have done? You are filthy Witches to my knowledge, I shall 
see some of you go after your sister; You would have killd me; 
but you can't, I don't fear you. You would have thrown Mr 
Mather down stairs, but you could not. Well! How shall I 
be To morrow? x Pray, What do you think of To morrow? 
Fare ye well. You have brought me such an ugly Horse, I 
am angry at you; I could find in my heart to tell all." So 
she began her homeward-paces; but when she had gone a 
little way, (that is a little while) she said, "01 have forgot one 
Question, I must go back again;" and back she rides. She 
had that day been diverse times warning us, that they had been 
contriving to do some harm to my Wife, by a Fall or a Blow, 
or the like ; and when she came out of her mysterious Journeys, 
she would still be careful concerning Her. Accordingly she 
now calls to her Company again, "Hark you, One thing more 
before we part ! What hurt is it you will do to Mrs Mather? 
will you do her any hurt?" Here she list'ned some time; 
and then clapping her hands, cry'd out, "0, I am glad on't, 
they can do Mrs. Mather no hurt : they try, but they say they 
can't." So she returns and at once, Dismissing her Horse, 
and opening her eyes, she call'd me to her, "Now Sir," (said 
she) "I'll tell you all. I have learn'd who they are that are 
the cause of my trouble, there's three of them," (and she named 
who) "if they were out of the way, I should be well. They 

1 [In the margin:] "Note, on To morrow, the Ministers of the Town were 
to keep a day of Prayer at her Fathers House." 


say, they can tell now how long I shall be troubled, But they 
won't. Only they seem to think, their power will be broke 
this Week. They seem also to say, that I shall be very ill 
To morow, but they are themselves terribly afraid of to 
morrow; They fear, that to morrow we shall be delivered. 
They say too, that they can't hurt Mrs. Mather, which I am 
glad of. But they said, they would kill me to night, if I went 
to bed before ten a clock, if I told a word." And other things 
did she say, not now to be recited. 

Sect. XXV. The Day following, which was, I think, about 
the twenty seventh of November, Mr. Morton of Charlestown, 
and Mr. Allen, Mr. Moody, Mr. Willard, and my self, of Boston, 
with some devout Neighbours, kept another Day of Prayer, at 
John Goodwin's house; and we had all the Children present 
with us there. The children were miserably tortured, while 
we laboured in our Prayers; but our good God was nigh unto 
us, in what we call'd upon Him for. From this day the power 
of the Enemy was broken; and the children, though Assaults 
after this were made upon them, yet were not so cruelly handled 
as before. The Liberty of the Children encreased daily more 
and more, and their Vexation abated by degrees; till within a 
little while they arrived to Perfect Ease, which for some weeks 
or months they cheerfully enjoyed. Thus Good it is for us 
to draw near to God. 

Sect. XXVI. Within a day or two after the Fast, the 
young Woman had two remarkable Attempts made upon her, 
by her invisible Adversaries. Once, they were Dragging her 
into the Oven that was then heating, while there was none in 
the Room to help her. She clap't her hands on the Mantle- 
tree 1 to save her self; but they were beaten off; and she had 
been burned, if at her Out-cryes one had not come in from 
abroad for her Relief. Another time, they putt an unseen 
Rope with a cruel Noose about her Neck, Whereby she was 
choaked, until she was black in the Face; and though it was 
taken off before it had kill'd her, yet there were the red Marks 
of it, and of a Finger and a Thumb near it, remaining to be 
seen for a while afterwards. 

Sect. XXVII. This was the last Molestation that they 
gave her for a While; and she dwelt at my house the rest of 

1 Mantelpiece, mantelshelf. 


the Winter, having by an obliging and vertuous Conversation, 
made her self enough Welcome to the Family. But within 
about a Fortnight, she was visited with two dayes of as Ex- 
traordinary Obsessions as any we had been the Spectators of. 
I thought it convenient for me to entertain my Congregation 
with a Sermon upon the memorable Providences which these 
Children had been concerned in. When I had begun to study 
my Sermon, her Tormentors again seiz'd upon her; and all 
Fryday and Saturday, did they manage her with a special 
Design, as was plain, to disturb me in what I was about. In 
the worst of her extravagancies formerly, she was more dutiful 
to my self, than I had reason to Expect, but now her whole 
carriage to me was with a Sauciness that I had not been us'd 
to be treated with. She would knock at my Study Door, 
affirming, That some below would be glad to see me; when there 
was none that ask't for me. She would call to me with multi- 
plyed Impertinencies, and throw small things at me wherewith 
she could not give me any hurt. Shee'd Hector me at a strange 
rate for the work I was at, and threaten me with I know not 
what mischief for it. She got a History that I had Written 
of this Witchcraft, and tho she had before this readd it over and 
over, yet now she could not read (I believe) one entire Sentence 
of it; but she made of it the most ridiculous Travesty in the 
World, with such a Fatness and excess of Fancy, to supply 
the sense that she put upon it, as I was amazed at. And she 
particularly told me, That I should quickly come to disgrace 
by that History. 

Sect. XXVIII. But there were many other Wonders be- 
held by us before these two dayes were out. Few tortures at- 
tended her, but such as were provoked; her Frolicks being the 
things that had most possession of her. I was in Latin telling 
some young Gentlemen of the Colledge, That if I should bid 
her Look to God, her Eyes would be put out, upon which her 
eyes were presently served so. I was in some surprize, When 
I saw that her Troublers understood Latin, and it made me 
willing to try a little more of their Capacity. We continu- 
ally found, that if an English Bible were in any part of the 
Room seriously look'd into, though she saw and heard nothing 
of it, she would immediately be in very dismal Agonies. We 
now made a Tryal more than once or twice, of the Greek New- 


Testament, and the Hebrew Old Testament; and We still 
found, That if one should go to read in it never so secretly and 
silently, it would procure her that Anguish, Which there was 
no enduring of. But I thought, at length, I fell upon one in- 
ferior Language which the Daemons did not seem so well to 

Sect. XXIX. Devotion was now, as formerly, the tern- 
blest of all the provocations that could be given her. I could 
by no means bring her to own, That she desired the mercies 
of God, and the prayers of good men. I would have obtained 
a Sign of such a Desire, by her Lifting up of her hand ; but she 
stirr'd it not : I then lifted up her hand my self, and though 
the standers-by thought a more insignificant thing could not be 
propounded, I said, "Child, If you desire those things, let your 
hand fall, when I take mine away :" I took my hand away, and 
hers continued strangely and stifly stretched out, so that for 
some time, she could not take it down. During these two 
dayes we had Prayers oftener in our Family than at other 
times; and this was her usual Behavior at them. The man 
that prayed, usually began with Reading the Word of God; 
which once as he was going to do, she call'd to him, "Read of 
Mary Magdelen, out of whom the Lord cast seven Devils." 
During the time of Reading, she would be laid as one fast asleep ; 
but when Prayer was begun, the Devils would still throw her 
on the Floor, at the feet of him that prayed. There would she 
lye and Whistle and sing and roar, to drown the voice of the 
Prayer; but that being a little too audible for Them, they 
would shutt close her Mouth and her ears, and yet make such 
odd noises in her Throat as that she her self could not hear 
our Cries to God for her. Shee'd also fetch very terrible 
Blowes with her Fist, and Kicks with her Foot at the man 
that prayed ; but still (for he had bid that none should hinder 
her) her Fist and Foot would alwaies recoil, when they came 
within a few hairs breadths of him just as if Rebounding against 
a Wall ; so that she touch'd him not, but then would beg hard 
of other people to strike him, and particularly she entreated 
them to take the Tongs and smite him ; Which not being done, 
she cryed out of him, "He has wounded me in the Head." 
But before Prayer was out, she would be laid for Dead, wholly 
sensless and (unless to a severe Trial) Breathless; with her 


Belly swelled like a Drum, and sometimes with croaking 
Noises in it ; thus would she ly, most exactly with the stiffness 
and posture of one that had been two Days laid out for Dead. 
Once lying thus, as he that was praying was alluding to the 
words of the Canaanitess, and saying, "Lord, have mercy on 
a Daughter vexed with a Devil;" there came a big, but low 
voice from her, saying, "There's Two or Three of them" (or 
us!) and the standers-by were under that Apprehension, as 
that they cannot relate whether her mouth mov'd in speaking 
of it. When Prayer was ended, she would Revive in a minute 
or two, and continue as Frolicksome as before. She thus con- 
tinued until Saturday towards the Evening; when, after this 
man had been at Prayer, I charged all my Family to admit of 
no Diversion by her Frolicks, from such exercises as it was 
proper to begin the Sabbath with. They took the Counsel; 
and tho she essayed, with as witty and as nimble and as various 
an Application to each of them successively as ever I saw, to 
make them laugh, yet they kept close to their good Books 
which then called for their Attention. When she saw that, 
immediately she fell asleep; and in two or three hours, she 
waked perfectly her self; weeping bitterly to remember (for 
as one come out of a dream she could remember) what had 
befallen her. 

Sect. XXX. After this, we had no more such entertain- 
ments. The Demons it may be would once or twice in a 
Week trouble her for a few minutes with perhaps a twisting 
and a twink[ling] of her eyes, or a certain Cough which did 
seem to be more than ordinary. Moreover, Both she at my 
house, and her Sister at home, at the time which they call 
Christmas, were by the Daemons made very drunk, though 
they had no strong Drink (as we are fully sure) to make them 
so. When she began to feel her self thus drunk, she com- 
plain'd, "0 they say they will have me to keep Christmas 
with them! They will disgrace me when they can do nothing 
else!" And immediately the Ridiculous Behaviours of one 
drunk were with a wonderful exactness represented in her 
Speaking, and Reeling, and Spewing, and anon Sleeping, till 
she was well again. But the Vexations of the Children other- 
wise abated continually. 

They first came to be alwaies Quiet, unless upon Provoca- 


tions. Then they got Liberty to work, but not to read : then 
further on, to read, but not aloud, at last they were wholly 
delivered; and for many Weeks remained so. 

Sect. XXXI. I was not unsensible, that it might be an 
easie thing to be too bold, and go too far, in making of Experi- 
ments : Nor was I so unphilosophical as not to discern many 
opportunityes of Giving and Solving many Problemes which 
the pneumatic Discipline 1 is concerned in. I confess I have 
Learn't much more than I sought, and I have bin informed of 
some things relating to the invisible World, which as I did not 
think it lawful to ask, so I do not think it proper to tell; yet 
I will give a Touch upon one Problem commonly Discoursed 
of; that is, 

Whether the Devils know our Thoughts, or no? 

I will not give the Reader my Opinion of it, but only my 
Experiment. That they do not, was conjectured from this: 
We could cheat them when we spoke one thing, and mean't 
another. This was found when the Children were to be im- 
dressed. The Devils would still in wayes beyond the Force 
of any Imposture, wonderfully twist the part that was to be 
undress't, so that there was no coming at it. But, if we said, 
untye his neckcloth, and the parties bidden, at the same time, 
understood our intent to be, unty his Shooe ! The Neckcloth, 
and not the shooe, has been made strangely inaccessible. But 
on the other side, That they do, may be conjectured from This. 
I called the young Woman at my House by her Name, intend- 
ing to mention unto her some Religious Expedient whereby 
she might, as I thought, much relieve her self; presently her 
Neck was broke, and I continued watching my Opportunity 
to say what I designed. I could not get her to come out of her 
Fit, until I had laid aside my purpose of speaking what I 
thought, and then she reviv'd immediately. Moreover a 
young Gentleman visiting of me at my Study to ask my ad- 
vice about curing the Atheism and Blasphemy which he com- 
plained his Thoughts were more than ordinarily then infested 
with; after some Discourse I carried him down to see this Girl 
who was then molested with her unseen Fiends; but when he 
came, she treated him very coursly and rudely, asking him 
What he came to the house for? and seemed very angry at his 

1 The science of spirits, pneumatology, i. e., the science of angels and demons. 


being there, urging him to be gone with a very impetuous Im- 
portunity. Perhaps all Devils are not alike sagacious. 

Sect. XXXII. The Last Fit that the young Woman had, 
was very peculiar. The Daemons having once again seiz'd 
her, they made her pretend to be Dying; and Dying truly we 
fear'd at last she was : She lay, she tossed, she pull'd just like 
one Dying, and urged hard for some one to dy with her, seem- 
ing loth to dy alone. She argued concerning Death, in strains 
that quite amazed us; and concluded, That though she was 
loth to dy, yet if God said she must, she must; adding some- 
thing about the state of the Countrey, which we wondred at. 
Anon, the Fit went over; and as I guessed it would be, it was 
the last Fit she had at our House. But all my Library never 
afforded me any Commentary on those Paragraphs of the 
Gospels, which speak of Demoniacs, equal to that which the 
passions of this Child have given me. 

Sect. XXXIII. This is the Story of Goodwins Children, 
a Story all made up of Wonders! I have related nothing but 
what I judge to be true. I was my self an Eye-witness to a 
large part of what I tell ; and I hope my neighbours have long 
thought, That I have otherwise learned Christ, than to ly 
unto the World. Yea, there is, I believe, scarce any one par- 
ticular, in this Narrative, which more than one credible Wit- 
ness will not be ready to make Oath unto. The things of 
most Concernment in it were before many Critical Observers; 
and the Whole happened in the Metropolis of the English 
America, unto a religious and industrious Family which was 
visited by all sorts of Persons, that had a mind to satisfy them- 
selves. I do now likewise publish the History, While the 
thing is yet fresh and New; and I challenge all men to detect 
so much as one designed Falshood, yea, or so much as one 
important Mistake, from the Egg to the Apple of it. I have 
Writ as plainly as becomes an Historian, as truly as becomes a 
Christian, tho perhaps not so profitably as became a Divine. 
But I am resolv'd after this, never to use but just one grain 
of patience with any man that shall go to impose upon me a 
Denial of Devils, or of Witches. I shall count that man Ig- 
norant who shall suspect, but I shall count him down-right 
Impudent if he Assert the Non-Existence of things which we 
have had such palpable Convictions of. I am sure he cannot 


be a Civil, (and some will question whether he can be an honest 
man) that shall go to deride the Being of things which a whole 
Countrey has now beheld an house of pious people suffering 
not a few Vexations by. But if the Sadducee, or the Atheist, 
have no right Impressions by these Memorable Providences 
made upon his mind ; yet I hope those that know what it is 
to be sober will not repent any pains that they may have 
taken in perusing what Records of these Witchcrafts and Pos- 
sessions, I thus leave unto Posterity. 1 


You have seen the Trouble and the Relief of John Good- 
wins Children. After which the Daemons were let loose to 
make a fresh Attacque upon them, tho not in a manner alto- 
gether so terrible and afflictive as what they had before sus- 
teined. All the Three Children were visited with some Re- 
turn of their Calamities; but the Boy was the Child which 
endured most in this New Assault. 2 He had been for some While 
kindly entertained with Mr. Baily 3 at Watertown, where he 
had enjoyed a long time of ease; the Devils having given him 
but little Disturbance, except what was for a short while after 
his first coming there. He no sooner came Home, but he began 
to be ill again, with diverse peculiar Circumstances attending 

l ln 1697 the Boston merchant Calef wrote: "In the times of Sir Ed. 
Andros his Government, Goody Glover, a despised, crazy, ill-conditioned old 
Woman, an Irish Roman Catholick, was tried for afflicting Goodwins Children; 
by the Account of which Tryal, taken in Short-hand, for the use of the Jury, it 
may appear that the generality of her Answers were Nonsense, and her behaviour 
like that of one distracted. Yet the Drs. finding her as she had been for many 
Years, brought her in Compos Mentis; and setting aside her crazy Answers to 
some insnaring questions, the proof against her was wholly deficient : The Jury 
brought her Guilty. 

"Mr. Cotton Mather was the most active and forward of any Minister in 
the Country in those matters, taking home one of the Children, and managing 
such Intreagues with that Child, and after printing such an Account of the whole, 
in his Memorable Providences, as conduced much to the kindling those flames, 
that in Sir Williams time [1692] threatned the devouring this Country." (More 
Wonders of the Invisible World, pp. 151-152.) 

1 John, now aged 12. The younger boy, Benjamin, it will be remembered, 
had early been "delivered" (6, above). 

1 The Rev. John Bailey, then minister at Watertown. 


of him. There was this particularly remarkable; That the 
Boy dream't he had a Bone within his skin growing cross his 
Ribs; and when he awaked, he felt and found a thing there 
which was esteem'd a Bone, by them that handled it; only 
every one wondered how it should be lodged there. An expert 
Chirurgeon, Dr. John Clark, being advis'd with about it, very 
dexterously took it out; and it prov'd not the imagined Bone, 
but a considerable Pin; a brass Pin, which could not possibly 
have come to ly there as it did, without the Prestigious 1 
Conveyance of a Misterious Witchcraft. Another time, on a 
Lord's Day his Father would have taken him to Meeting with 
him ; and when his Father spoke of going to some of the Assem- 
blies in the Town (particularly both the North and the South) 
the Boy would be cast into such Tortures and Postures, that 
he would sooner Dy than go out of doors; but if his Father 
spoke of going to others of the Assemblies in the Town, par- 
ticularly the Quakers, the boy in a moment would be as well 
as could be. The tryal of this was more than five times re- 
peated, and were it fully related, would be more than ten times 

Our Prayers for the Children were justly renewed, and I 
hope not altogether unanswered. Upon one Prayer over two 
of them, they had about a Fortnights ease; and their Ails 
again returning, Prayer was again awakened, with some Cir- 
cumstances not proper to be exposed unto the World. God 
gave a present Abatement hereupon to the Maladies of the 
Children, and caused their Invaders to retire; so that by de- 
grees they were fully and quickly Delivered. Two days of 
Prayer obtained the Deliverance of two. The Third, namely 
the Boy, Remaining under some Annoyance by the evil spirits, 
a third Day was employ'd for him, and he soon found the 
blessed effects of it in his Deliverance also. There were sev- 
eral very memorable things attending this Deliverance of the 
Children, and the Vowes and the Pleas, used in the Prayers 
which were thereby answerd, but they were all Private, yea, 
in a sort, Secret; Non est Religio ubi omnia patent ; 2 and I 
understand (for I have some Acquaintance with him) That the 

1 /. e., preternatural : the lying marvels of devils were counted "prestigious," 
not miraculous. 

2 "Where there is no mystery, there is no religion." 


Friend of the Children, 1 whom God gave to be thus concerned 
and successful for them, desires me not to let Reports of those 
things go out of the Walls of a Study, but to leave them rather 
for the Notice of the other World. I think it will not be im- 
proper to tell the \Vorld, that one thing in the Childrens De- 
liverance was the strange Death of an horrible old Woman, 
who was presum'd to have a great hand in their Affliction. 2 
Before her Death and at it, the Aims-House where she lived 
was terrified with fearful noises, and she seem'd to have her 
Death hastened by dismal Blowes received from the invisible 
World. But having mentioned this, all that I have now to 
publish is That Prayer and Faith was the thing which drove 
the Divels from the Children; and I am to bear this Testimony 
unto the world, That the Lord is nigh to all them, who call 
upon him in truth, and, That blessed are all they that wait 
for Him. 

Finished, June 7th, 1689.' 


To the foregoing Narrative, we have added an account 
given us by the Godly Father of these Haunted Children; 
who upon his Reading over so much of our History, as was 
written of their Exercise before their full deliverance, was will- 
ing to express his Attestation to the Truth of it; with this 
further Declaration of the Sense which he had of the unusual 
Miseries, that then lay upon his Family. 'Tis in his own 
Style; but I suppose a Pen hath not commonly been managed 
with more cleanly Discourse by an Hand used only to the 
Trowel ; and his Condition hath been such, that he may fairly 
have Leave to speak. 

IN the year 1688, about Midsummer, it pleased the Lord 
to visit one of my children with a sore Visitation ; and she was 

1 He is speaking, of course, of himself : the narrative (as must be inferred 
from 27, above) was circulated in manuscript before its printing, and doubtless 
without the author's name. In revising it for the printer this page seems to 
have escaped his eye. 

1 Who this second old woman was does not appear. 

1 The story of the Goodwin children is retold by Mather in his Magnolia 
(1702), but without added details. 


not only tormented in her Body, but was in great distress of 
Mind, Crying out, That she was in the dark concerning her 
Souls estate, and that she had mispent her precious time ; She 
and we thinking her time was near at an end. Hearing those 
Shrieks and Groans which did not only pierce the ears, but 
Hearts of her poor Parents, now was a time for me to Consider 
with my self, and to look into my own heart and life, and see 
how matters did there stand between God and my own soul, 
and see Wherefore the Lord was thus contending with me. 
And upon Enquiry I found cause to judge my self, and to 
justify the Lord. This Affliction continuing some time, the 
Lord saw good then to double the affliction in smiting down 
another Child, and that which was most heart breaking of all, 
and did double this double affliction was, it was apparent and 
judged by all that saw them, that the Devil and his Instru- 
ments had a hand in it. 

The consideration of this was most dreadful : I thought of 
what David said, 2 Sam. 24. 14. If he feared so to fall into 
the hands of Men, oh! then to think of the Horror of our con- 
dition, to be in the Hands of Devils and Witches! This our 
doleful condition moved us to call to our Friends to have pity 
on us, for Gods Hand had touched us. I was ready to say, 
that no ones affliction was like mine; That my little House 
that should be a little Bethel for God to dwell in, should be 
made a Den for Devils; that those little Bodies, that should 
be Temples for the Holy Ghost to dwell in, should be thus 
harrassed and abused by the Devil and his cursed Brood. 
But now this twice doubled affliction is doubled again. Two 
more of my Children are smitten down, oh! the Cries, the 
Shrieks, the Tortures of these poor Children ! Doctors cannot 
help, Parents weep and lament over them, but cannot ease 
them. Now I considering my affliction to be more than ordi- 
nary, it did certainly call for more than ordinary Prayer. I 
acquainted Mr. Allen, Mr. Moodey, Mr. Willard, and Mr. C. 
Mather, the four Ministers of the Town with it, and Mr. 
Morton of Charlstown; earnestly desiring them, that they, 
with some other praying people of God, would meet at my 
house, and there be earnest with God, on the behalf of us and 
our Children ; which they (I thank them for it) readily attended 
with great fervency of Spirit; but as for my part, my heart 


was ready to sink to hear and see those doleful Sights. Now 
I thought that I had greatly neglected my duty to my Children, 
in not admonishing and instructing of them; and that God 
was hereby calling my sins to mind, to slay my Children. 
Then I pondered of that place in Numb. 23. 23. Surely there 
is no Inchantment against Jacob, neither is there any Devination 
against Israel. And now I thought I had broke Covenant 
with God, not only in one respect but in many, but it pleased 
the Lerd to bring that to mind in Heb. 8. 12. For I mil be 
merciful to their unrighteousness, and their Sins and Iniquities 
will I remember no more. The Consideration how the Lord 
did deal with Job, and his Patience and the End the Lord 
made with him was some support to me. I thought also, on 
what David said, that He had sinned, but what have these 
poor Lambs done? But yet in the midd'st of my tumultous 
Thoughts within me, it was Gods Comforts that did delight 
my soul. That in the 18 of Luke, and the Beginning, Where 
Christ spake the Parable for that end, that men ought alwaies 
to pray and not faint. This, with many other places, bore up 
my spirit. I thought with Jonah that I would yet again Look 
towards God's holy Temple; the Lord Jesus Christ. And I 
did greatly desire to find the Son of God with me in this 
Furnace of Affliction, knowing hereby that no harm shall 
befall me. But now this solemn day of Prayer and Fasting 
being at an End, there was an Eminent Answer of it : for one 
of my Children was delivered, and one of the wicked instru- 
ments of the Devil discovered, and her own mouth condemned 
her, and so accordingly Executed. Here was Food for Faith, 
and great encouragement still to hope and quietly wait for 
the Salvation of the Lord; the Ministers still counselling and 
encouraging me to labour to be found in Gods way, commiting 
my case to him, and not to use any way not allowed in Gods 
Word. It was a thing not a little comfortable to us, to see 
that the people of God was so much concerned about our 
lamentable condition, remembering us at all times in their 
prayers, which I did look at as a token for good; but you must 
think it was a time of sore Temptation with us, for many did 
say, (yea, and some good people too) were it their case, that 
they would try some Tricks, that should give ease to their 
Children: But I thought for us to forsake the counsel of 


good old men, and to take the counsel of the young ones, it 
might ensnare our Souls, though for the present it might offer 
some relief to our Bodies; which was a thing I greatly feared; 
and my Children were not at any time free for doing any such 
thing. It was a time of sore affliction, but it was mixed with 
abundance of mercy, for my heart was many a time made 
glad in the house of Prayer. The Neighbourhood pitied us, 
and were very helpful to us : Moreover, though my Children 
were thus in every Limb and Joynt tormented by those Chil- 
dren of the Devil, they also using their tongues at their plea- 
sure, sometimes one way, sometimes another; yet the Lord 
did herein prevent them, that they could not make them speak 
wicked words, though they did many times hinder them from 
speaking good ones; had they in these Fits blasphemed the 
Name of the Holy God, this you may think would have been 
an heart-breaking thing to us the poor Parents; but God in 
his mercy prevented them, a thing worth taking notice of. 
Likewise they slept well a nights : And the Ministers did often 
visit us, and pray with us, and for us; and their love and pity 
was so great, their Prayers so earnest and constant, that I 
could not but admire at it. Mr. Mather particularly; now 
his bowels so yearned towards us in this sad condition, that he 
not only pray's with us, and for us, but he taketh one of my 
Children home to his own house; which indeed was but a 
troublesome guest, for such an one that had so. much work 
lying upon his hands and heart : He took much pains in this 
great Service, to pull this Child, and her Brother and Sister 
out of the hand of the Devil. Let us now admire and adore 
that Fountain the Lord Jesus Christ, from whence those streams 
come. The Lord himself will requite his labour of love. Our 
case is yet very sad, and doth call for more Prayer; and the 
good Ministers of this Town and Charlstown readily came, 
with some other good praying people to my house, to keep 
another Day of solemn Fasting and Prayer; which our Lord 
saith this kind goeth out by. My Children being all at home, 
the two biggest lying on the bed, one of them would fain have 
kicked the good men while they were wrestling with God for 
them, had not I held him with all my power and might; and 
sometimes he would stop his own ears. This you must needs 
think was a cutting thing to the poor parents. Now our hearts 


were ready to sink, had not God put under his everlasting arms 
of Mercy and helped us still to hope in his mercy, and to be 
quiet, knowing that He is God, and that it was not for the 
potsheards of the earth to strive with their Maker. Wrll 
might David say, that had not the Law of his God been his 
delight, he had perished in his Affliction. Now the Promises 
of God are sweet; God having promised, to hear the prayer of 
the destitute, and not to despise their prayer; and He will not 
fail the Expectation of those that wait on Him; but He hear- 
eth the cry of the poor and needy. These Jacobs came and 
wrestled with God for a Blessing on this poor Family, which 
indeed I hope they obtained, and may be now worthy of the 
Name Israel, who prevailed with God, and would not let Him 
go till He had blessed us. For soon after this, there were two 
more of my children delivered out of this horrible pit. Here 
was now a double mercy, and how sweet was it, knowing it 
came in Answer of Prayer! Now we see and know, it is not 
a vain thing to call on the name of the Lord. For He is a 
present help in the time of trouble; and we may boldly say 
the Lord has been our helper. I had sunk, but Jesus put forth 
His hand and bore me up. My Faith was ready to fail, but 
this was a support to me that Christ said to Peter, "I have 
prayed for thee that thy faith fail not." And many other 
Promises were as Cordials to my drooping soul. And the 
Consideration of all those that ever came to Christ Jesus for 
Healing, that He healed their bodies, pardoned their Sins, 
and healed their Souls too; which I hope in God may be the 
fruit of this present Affliction. If God be pleased to make 
the Fruit of this Affliction to be to take away our sin, and 
cleanse us from iniquity, and to put us on with greater dili- 
gence to make our Calling and election sure, then, happy 
Affliction! The Lord said that I had need of this to awake me. 
I have found a prosperous Condition a dangerous Condition. 
I have taken notice and considered more of God's Goodness 
in these few weeks of Affliction, than in many years of Pros- 
perity. I may speak it with shame, so wicked and deceitful, 
and ungrateful is my heart, that the more God hath been doing 
for me, the less I have been doing for Him. My Returns have 
not been according to my Receivings. The Lord help me now 
to praise Him in heart, lip, and life. The Lord help us to see 


by this Visitation, what need we have to get shelter under the 
wing of Christ, to hast to the Rock, where we may be safe. 
We see how ready the Devils are to catch us, and torment our 
Bodies, and he is as diligent to ensnare our Souls, and that 
many waies; but let us put on all our spiritual Armour, and 
follow Christ the Captain of our Salvation; and tho we meet 
with the Cross, let us bear it patiently and cheerfully, for if 
Jesus Christ be at the one end, we need not fear the Heaft 1 of 
it : if we have Christ we have enough; He can make His Rod 
as well as His Staffe to be a comfort to us; and we shall not 
want if we be the Sheep of Christ. If we want Afflictions we 
shall have them, and sanctified Afflictions are choice mercies. 
Now I earnestly desire the Prayer of all good people; That 
the Lord would be pleased to perfect that Work He hath 
begun, and make it to appear that Prayer is stronger than 

Decemb. 12, 1688. 

This is our First Example; and it is This which has occa- 
sioned the Publication of the Rest. 

Exemple II. 

Among those Judgments of God, which are a great Deep, 
I suppose few are more unfathomable than this, That pious 
and holy men suffer sometimes by the Force of horrid Witch- 
crafts, and hellish Witches are permitted to break thorough 
the Hedge which our Heavenly Father has made about them 
that seek Him. I suppose the Instances of this direful thing 
are Seldom, but that they are not Never we can produce very 
dismal Testimony. One, and that no less Recent than Awful, 
I shall now offer: and the Reader of it will thereby learn, I 
hope, to work out his own Salvation with Fear and Trembling. 

Sect. I. Mr. Philip Smith, aged about Fifty years, a Son 
of eminently vertuous Parents, a Deacon of the Church at 
Hadley, a Member of our General Court, an Associate in their 
County Court, a Select-man for the affairs of the Town, a 
Lieutenant in the Troop, and, which crowns all, a man for 

1 Heft, weight. 


Devotion and Gravity, and all that was Honest, exceeding 
exemplary; Such a man in the Winter of the Year 1684 was 
murdered with an hideous Witchcraft, which filled all those 
parts with a just astonishment. This was the manner of the 

Sect. II. He was concerned about Relieving the Indigen- 
cies of a wretched woman in the Town ; who being dissatisfied 
at some of his just cares about her, expressed her self unto him 
in such a manner, that he declared himself apprehensive of 
receiving mischief at her hands; he said, he doubted she 
would attempt his Hurt. 

Sect. III. About the beginning of January he began to 
be very Valetudinarious, 1 labouring under those that seemed 
Ischiadick* pains. As his Illness increased on him, so his 
Goodness increased in him; the standers-by could in him see 
one ripening apace for another world; and one filled not onfy 
with Grace to an high degree, but also with Exceeding Joy. 
Such Weanedness from, and Weariness of the World, he 
shew'd, that he knew not (he said) whether he might pray for 
his continuance here. Such Assurance had he of the Divine 
Love unto him, that in Raptures he would cry out, "Lord, stay 
thy hand, it is enough, it is more than thy frail servant can 
bear!" But in the midst of these things, he uttered still an 
hard suspicion, That the ill Woman who had threatned him, 
had made impressions on him. 

Sect. IV. While he remained yet of a sound mind, he 
very sedately, but very solemnly charged his Brother to look 
well after him. Tho' he said he now understood himself, yet 
he knew not how he might be; "but be sure" (said he) "to 
have a care of me for you shall see strange things. There shall 
be a wonder in Hadley! I shall not be dead when it is thought 
I am!" This Charge |he pressed over and over; and after- 
wards became Delirious. 

Sect V. Being become Delirious, he had a Speech Inces- 
sant and Voluble beyond all imagination, and this in divers 
Tones and sundry voices, and (as was thought) in various 

Sect. VI. He cryed out not only of sore pain, but also of 
sharp Pins, pricking of him : sometimes in his Toe, sometimes 
1 Unwell. * Sciatic. 


in his Arm, as if there had been hundreds of them. But the 
people upon search never found any more than One. 

Sect. VII. In his Distresses he exclaimed very much upon 
the Woman afore-mentioned, naming her, and some others, and 
saying, " Do you not see them ; There, There, There they stand." 

Sect. VIII. There was a strong smell of something like 
Musk, which was divers times in the Room where he was, and 
in the other Rooms, and without the House; of which no 
cause could be rendred. The sick-man as well as others, 
complained of it; and once particularly, it so siez'd an Apple 
Roasting at the Fire, that they were forced to throw it away. 

Sect. IX. Some that were about him, being almost at 
their wits end, by beholding the greatness and the strange- 
ness of his Calamities, did three or four times in one Night, 
go and give Disturbance to the Woman that we have spoken 
of: all the while they were doing of it, the good man was at 
ease, and slept as a weary man; and these were all the times 
they perceived him to take any sleep at all. 

Sect. X. A small Galley-Pot 1 of Alkermes, 2 that was near 
full, and carefully look't after, yet unto the surprize of the 
people was quite emptied, so that the sick man could not have 
the Benefit of it. 

Sect. XL Several persons that sat by him heard a Scratch- 
ing, that seem'd to be on the Ticking near his feet, while his 
Feet lay wholly still; nay, were held in the hands of others, 
and his hands were far of 3 another way. 

Sect. XII. Sometimes Fire was seen on the Bed, or the 
Covering, and when the Beholders began to discourse of it, 
it would vanish away. 

Sect. XIII. Diverse people felt something often stir in the 
Bed, at some distance from his Body. To appearance, the 
thing that stirr'd was as big as a Cat : some try'd to lay hold 
on it with their hands, but under the Covering nothing could 
be found. A discreet and sober Woman, resting on the Beds 
Feet, felt as it were a Hand, the Thumb and the Finger of it, 
taking her by the side, and giving her a Pinch; but turning 
to see What it might be, nothing was to be seen. 

1 A glazed earthen pot, such as apothecaries use. 

1 A once famous confect made from the kermes insect, then thought a berry. 

a Off. 


Sect. XIV. The Doctor standing by the sick man, and 
seeing him ly still, he did himself try to lean on the Beds-head; 
but he found the Bed to shake so, that his head was often 
knocked against the Post, though he strove to hold it still; 
and others upon Tryal found the same. Also, the sick man 
lying too near the side of the Bed, a very strong and stout man 
try'd to lift him a little further into the Bed; but with all his 
might he could not; tho' trying by and by, he could lift a 
Bed-stead, with a Bed, and man lying on it, all, without any 
strain to himself at ah 1 . 

Sect. XV. Mr. Smith dyes. The Jury that viewed the 
Corpse found a Swelling on one Breast, which rendered it 
like a Womans. His Privities were wounded or burned. On 
his back, besides Bruises, there were several pricks, or holes, 
as if done with Awls or Pins. 

Sect. XVI. After the Opinion of all had pronounc'd him 
dead, his Countenance continued as Lively as if he had been 
Alive; his Eyes closed as in a slumber; and his nether Jaw 
not falling down. Thus he remained from Satureday morning 
about Sun-rise, till Sabbath-Day in the After-noon, When 
those that took him out of the Bed found him still Warm, 
though the Season was as Cold as had almost been known in 
an Age. On the Night after the Sabbath, his Countenance 
was yet as fresh as before; but on Monday Morning, they 
found the Face extremely tumified and discoloured; 'twas 
black and blue, and fresh blood seem'd to run down his Cheek 
in the Hairs. 

Sect. XVII. The night after he died, a very credible per- 
son, watching of the Corpse, perceived the Bed to move and 
stir, more than once; but by no means could find out the cause 
of it. 

Sect. XVIII. The second night, some that were preparing 
for the Funeral do say, That they heard diverse Noises in the 
Room, where the Corpse lay ; as though there had been a great 
Removing and Clattering of stools and chairs. 

Upon the whole, it appeared unquestionable that Witch- 
craft had brought a period unto the life of so good a man. 1 

1 This story, too, is told again in the Magnolia, and in nearly the same words. 


Exemple IV. 

So Horrid and Hellish is the Crime of Witchcraft, that 
were Gods Thoughts as our thoughts, or Gods Wayes as our 
wayes, it could be no other but Unpardonable. But that the 
Grace of God may be admired, and that the worst of Sinners 
may be encouraged, Behold, Witchcraft also has found a 
Pardon. Let no man Despair of his own Forgiveness, but let 
no man also Delay about his own Repentance, how aggravated 
soever his Transgressions are. From the Hell of Witchcraft 
our merciful Jesus can fetch a guilty Creature to the Glory of 
Heaven. Our Lord hath sometimes Recovered those who have 
in the most horrid manner given themselves away to the De- 
stroyer of their souls. 

Sect. I. There was one Mary Johnson tryed at Hartford, 
in this Countrey, upon an Indictment of Familiarity with the 
Devil. She was found Guilty of the same, cheefly upon her 
own Confession, and condemned. 

Sect. II. Many years are past since her Execution; and 
the Records of the Court are but short; yet there are several 
Memorables that are found credibly Related and Attested 
concerning her. 1 

Sect. III. She said, That a Devil was wont to do her 
many services. Her Master once blam'd her for not carrying 
out the Ashes, and a Devil did clear the Hearth for her after- 
wards. Her Master sending her into the Field, to drive out 

1 A Mary Johnson was indicted for witchcraft at Hartford in 1648; but the 
records of her case are now much shorter than in Mather's day, for they consist 
of a single entry of the Particular Court, December 7, 1648 (Colonial Records of 
Connecticut, I. 171), stating that "the Jury finds the Bill of Inditement against 
Mary Jonson, that by her owne confession shee is guilty of familiarity with the 
Devill." It has been inferred that she was of Wethersfield because an earlier 
passage (Records, I. 143) shows that in 1646 a woman of the name was sentenced, 
for thievery, to be whipped both at Hartford and at Wethersfield; and later 
passages (Records, I. 209, 222, 226, 332) providing (May 21, 1650) for the pay- 
ment of "charges for Elizabeth Johnson's imprisonment to the first Thursday of 
next month, being 24 weeks," and for the care of "Goodwife Johnson's child, 
which was borne in the prison," have been supposed to refer to her, but Mather's 
account alone tells us of her execution and something of the evidence. The story 
is told by him again in his Magnolia, but in substantially the same words. His 
knowledge doubtless came through Mr. Stone. 


the Hogs that us'd to break into it, a Devil would scowre them 
out, and make her laugh to see how he feaz'd 'em about. 

Sect. IV. Her first Familiarity with the Devils came by 
Discontent; and Wishing the Devil to take That and t'other 
Thing; and, The devil to do This and That; Whereupon a 
Devil appeared unto her, tendring her the best service he 
could do for her. 

Sect. V. She confessed that she was guilty of the Murder 
of a Child, and that she had been guilty of Uncleanness with 
Men and Devils. 

Sect VI. In the time of her Imprisonment, the famous 
Mr. Samuel Stone 1 was at great pains to promote her Con- 
version unto God, and represent unto her both her Misery and 
Remedy; the Success of Which, was very desirable, and con- 

Sect. VII. She was by most Observers judged very Peni- 
tent, both before and at her Execution; and she went out of 
the World with many Hopes of Mercy through the Merit of 
Jesus Christ. Being asked, what she built her hopes upon; 
She answered, on those \Vords, Come to me att ye that labour 
and are heavy laden, and I mil give you Rest', and those, There 
is a Fountain open for Sin and for Uncleanness. And she died 
in a Frame extremely to the Satisfaction of them that were 
Spectators of it. 

Our God is a great Forgiver. 

Exempk V. 

The near Affinity between Witchcraft and Possession in- 
vites me to add unto the Foregoing Histories One that the 
Reader, I believe, will count worthy to be Related. It is but 
a Fragment of what should have been a fuller Story; but I 
cannot without some Trouble or delay inconsistent with my 
present Designs put my self in a way to perfect it : and I was 
of the Opinion that, Let nothing be lost, was a Rule which I 
might very properly extend unto it. The thing happened 
many (perhaps Thirty) years ago, and was then much dis- 
coursed of. I don't Remember, that I have heard what became 
of the Boy concerned in the Narrative, but what I now pub- 

1 See above, p. 19, note 2. 


lish, I find among the Papers of my Grand-father, 1 of Whom 
the World has had such a Character, that they cannot but 
judge, no Romance or Folly, nothing but what should be 
serious and weighty could be worthy of his Hand ; and it is in 
his own Hand that I have the Manuscript, from whence I have 
caused it to be Transcribed. It runs in such Terms as these. 

A Confession of a Boy at Tocutt; 2 in the time of the Intermission of his 
Fits: and other Passages, which many were Eye-witnesses of. 

The Boy was for his natural Parts more than ordinary at seven 
years old. He with many others went to see a Conjurer play Tricks 
in Holland. There it was strongly suggested to him, He should be 
as good an Artist as he. From thence to eleven year old he used the 
Trade of inventing Lyes, and Stealing mony, Running away from 
his Father, spending of it at Dice, and with the vilest Company; 
and this Trade he used in that space (he confessed) above Forty 
times at least, and many strange Instances he gives of it. His Father 
following him with constant Instruction, and Correction, he was 
despertely hardned under all, and his heart sett in a way of Malice 
against the Word of God, and all his Father did to restrain him. 
When he was about ten or eleven years old, he ran away from Rotter- 
dam, to Delph; 3 and the Devil appeared to him there in the shape of 
a Boy, counselling him not to hearken to the Word of God, nor unto 
any of his Father's Instructions, and propounding to him, to Enter 
into a Covenant with him. Being somewhat fearful at first, desired 
that he would not appear to him in a shape, but by a voice, and 
though his heart did inwardly consent, to what the Devil said, yet 
he was withheld that he could not then Enter into a Covenant with 
him. His Father not knowing this, but of his other Wickedness, 
being a godly Minister, procured many Christians to join with him 
in a day of Humiliation; confessed and bewailed his Sins, prayed 
for him, and sent him to New-E. 4 and so committed him to God. 
From that time to this, being now about Sixteen years old, the 
Devil hath constantly come to him by a voice; and he held a constant 
Discourse with him; and all about Entring into a Covenant with him: 
and still perswaded to have it written and sealed, making many 
promises to allure him, and telling him many Stories of Dr. Faustus, 

1 Whether his grandfather Mather or his grandfather Cotton does not ap- 
pear. The contents suggest a suspicion that the original author was nearer the 
boy than either perhaps the Rev. John Davenport, of New Haven. 

2 Later Branford just east of New Haven and within its government. 
8 Delft. 4 New England. 


and other Witches, how bravely they have lived, and how he should 
live deliciously, and have Ease, Comfort, and Money; and some- 
times threatning to tear him in pieces if he would not. But ordi- 
narily his discourse was as loving and friendly as could be. He hath 
been strangely kept, by an hand of God, from making a Covenant 
to this day. For he still propounded many Difficulties to the Devil, 
which he could not satisfie his Reason in : and though, he saith, he 
was never well but when he was Discoursing with the devil, and his 
heart was strangely enclined to write and seal an Agreement, yet 
such dreadfull horrour did seiz upon him, at the very time, from the 
Word of God, and such fears of his Eternal Perishing, that he could 
not do it then. He put off the Devil still, that he was not in a fit 
Frame, but desired him to come again that he might have more Dis- 
course, and he would consider of it. The Devil appeared to him a 
second time at New-haven, in the shape of a Boy, and a third time 
at Tocutt in the shape of a Fox; at which time, at first, they had 
loving discourse, as formerly; but at last, the Devil was urgent upon 
him, and told him, he had baffled with him so long, now he must 
enter into an agreement, or he would tear him in pieces : he saying, 
"How should I do it? would you have me write upon my hands?" 
"No," (saith the Devil) "Look here," and with that, set Paper, and 
Pen, and Ink like Blood before him. The former horrours, from the 
Word of God, and special passages, which he named, set in upon 
him so that he could not do it. Only before they parted, the Devil 
being so urgent upon him, telling him he had baffled with him, he 
set a year and half time for Consideration. The last quarter of a 
year is yet to come. The Devil told him, if he let him alone so long, 
he would baffle with him still : he answered, if he did not yeild then, 
he would give him leave to torment him whilst he lived. Still the 
Devil would not away, nor could he get from him. Then out of 
Fear he cryed out, "Lord, Jesus, rebuke the devil!" at which the 
Fox, Pen, Ink and Paper vanished. Yet he continued in his course 
of unheard-of Wickedness, and still his Will was bent to write and 
seal the Agreement, having his Discourse yet with Satan by Voice. 
His Brother with whom he lives at Tocut, having Convulsion Fits, 
he laughed and mocked at him, and acted the Convulsion Fits. A 
while after God sent Convulsion Fits on himself; in which time, his 
former Terrours, the Wrath of God, Death, Hell, Judgment, and 
Eternity were presented to him. He would fain then have confessed 
his sins, but when he was about to do it the Devil still held his mouth, 
that he could not. He entreated God, to release him, promising to 
confess and forsake his Sins, and the Lord did so; but he being well, 
grew as bad, or worse than ever. About six weeks since, his Convul- 
sion Fits came again, three times most dreadfully, with some Inter- 


missions, and his former Horrours and Fears. He would have con- 
fessed his Sins but could not. It pleased God to put it into the 
heart of one to ask him, Whether he had any Familiarity with the 
Devil? he got out so much then as, Yes. He fetching Mr. Pierson, 1 
the Convulsion Fits left him, and he confessed all, how it had been 
with him. That very night the Devil came to him, and told him, 
Had he blabbed out such things? He would teach him to blabb! 
and if he would not then write and seal the Agreement, he would 
tear him in pieces, and he refusing, the Devil took a corporal Pos- 
session of him, and hath not ceased to torment him extremely ever 
since. If any thing be spoken to him, the Devil answereth (and 
many times he barks like a Fox, and hisseth like a Serpent) some- 
times with horrible Blasphemies against the Name of Christ; and at 
some other times the Boy is sensible. When he hath the Libertie of 
his Voice, he tells what the Devil saith to him, urging him to seal the 
Covenant still, and that he will bring Paper, Pen and Ink in the 
night, when none shall see, pleading, that God hath cast him off, that 
Christ cannot save him : That When He was upon earth He could 
cast out devils, but now He is in Heaven He cannot. Sometimes he 
is ready to yeild to all in a desperate way. Sometimes he breaks out 
into Confession of his former sins, as they come into his mind; ex- 
ceedingly judging himself and justifying God in His for ever leaving 
of him in the hands of Satan. Once he was heard to Pray in such a 
manner so sutable to his Condition, so Aggravating his Sin, and 
pleading with God for mercy, and in such a strange, high enlarged 
manner, as judicious godly persons then present, affirm they never 
heard the like in their lives, that it drew abundance of tears from the 
eyes of all present, being about twenty persons. But his torment 
increased upon him worse after such a time; or if any thing were 
spoken to him from the Word of God by others, or they pray with 
him. The last week after he had confessed one strange Passage, 
namely that once in Discourse he told the Devil, that if he would 
make his Spittle to scald a dog, he would then go on in a way of 
Lying and Dissembling, and believe that he should do it, which he 
said, he did with all his heart, and so spit on the dog, and with that 
a deal of Scalding Water did poure on the Dog. In pursuance of his 
Promise, he went on in a way of Lying and Dissembling : That when 
he was urged about it, that he had done some mischief to the dog, 
then he fell down into a Swound, as if he had been dead. As soon as 
he had confessed this, the Devil went out of him with an astonishing 
Noise, to the terrour of those then present: and so he continued 

1 The Rev. Abraham Pierson (d. 1678), who was minister at Branford from 
1644 to 1667. 


one day. 'The next day being much troubled in himself for one 
special passage in his Discourse with the Devil, when he appeared to 
him as a Fox; saith he to the Devil, " I have formerly sought to God, 
and He hath been near unto me": With that the Devil enraged, 
said unto him then, " What, are you got hither? " and fell to threat- 
ning of him. He said to him again, "But I find no such Thoughts 
now, but do and will believe you now more than the Word of God 
which saith in Isa. 55, Seek the Lord," etc., and said further, " What 
comfort you shall afford me, I shall rely upon you for it." Remem- 
bring this Passage the Devil appeared to him, ready to enter into 
him again. Thereby much astonished, having the Bible in his hand, 
he opened it, and, as it were of it self, at that place of Isai. 55 : his 
Eye was fixed upon it, and his Conscience accusing him for abusing 
the Word a year ago, his heart failing him, and the Devil entred into 
him again a Second tune, railing upon him, and calling him, Blab- 
tongue, and Rogue! he had promis'd to keep things secret, he would 
teach him to blabb, he would tear him in pieces. Since, he hath 
kept his Body in continual Motion, speaking in him, and by him, 
with a formidable Voice: sometimes singing of Verses wicked and 
witty, that formerly he had made against his Father's Ministry, and 
the Word of God, etc. When the Boy is come to himself, they tell 
him of them, and he owns them, that indeed such he did make. Mr. 
Eaton 1 being his Uncle, sent a Letter to him, which he told of before 
it came, saying also, it would be goodly stuff! Jeering at him. By 
and by the Letter came in, and none of the people knew of it before. 
He speaks of men coming to him before they come in Sight: and 
once, two being with him, their Backs turned, the Devil carried him 
away, they knew not how, and after search they found him in a Cellar, 
as dead, but after a little space he came to Life again. And another 
time, threw him up into a Chamber, stopped him up into a Hole, 
where they after found him. Another time he carried him about a 
Bow-Shot and threw him into a Hog-Stye amongst Swine, which ran 
away with a terrible noise. 

Here is as much to be seen of the Venome of Sin, the Wrath of 
God against Sin, the Malice of the Devil, and yet his limited Power, 
and the Reasonings of Satan in an ocular Demonstration, as hath 
fallen out in any Age. Also the strange and High Expressions of a 
distressed Soul, in a way of Judging himself and pleading for Mercy, 
such as may be wondered at by all that hear of it; and more very 
observable passages could not be written for want of Time, which 
will after appear. 

1 Doubtless Theophilus Eaton, who was governor of the New Haven colony 
from 1639 till his death, in 1658. 



Of what did after appear, I have no Account; but what 
did then appear, is so undoubted and so wonderful, that it 
will sufficiently atone for my Publication of it. 

Exemple VI. and VII. 

Had there been Diligence enough used by them that have 
heard and seen amazing Instances of Witchcraft, our Number 
of Memorable Providences under this Head, had reached be- 
yond the Perfect. However, before I have done Writing, I 
will insert an Exemple or two, communicated unto me by a 
Gentleman of sufficient Fidelity to make a Story of his Relat- 
ing Credible. The Things were such as happened hi the Town 
whereof himself is Minister; and they are but some of more 
which he favoured me with the Communication of. But, it 
seems, I must be obliged to conceal the Names of the parties 
concerned, lest some should be Offended, tho None could be 
Injured by the mention of them. 1 

In a Town which is none of the youngest in this Countrey, 
there dwelt a very Godly and honest Man, who upon some 
Provocation, received very Angry and Threatning Expressions, 
from two women in the Neighbourhood; soon upon this, 
diverse of his Cattel in a strange manner dyed; and the man 
himself sometimes was haunted with sights of the women, as 
he thought, encountring of him. He grew indisposed in his 
Body very unaccountably; and one day repaired unto a Church 
Meeting then held in the place, with a Resolution there to 
declare what he had met withal. The man was one of such 
Figure and Respect among them, that the Pastor singled out 
him for to pray in the Assembly before their breaking up. He 
pray'd with a more than usual measure of both Devotion and 

1 Who his informant was can only be guessed; but the description of the 
town as "none of the youngest in this Countrey" makes it impossible not to think 
of Salem, which was the oldest in the colony, and of the Rev. Nicholas Noyes, 
whose close acquaintance with Mather and whose sharing of his views on this 
subject are well known. 


Discretion, but just as he was coming to that part of his 
Prayer, wherein he intended to petition Heaven for the Dis- 
covery of Witchcrafts which had been among them, he sank 
down Speechless and Senseless; and was by his Friends car- 
ried away to a Bed; where he lay for two or three hours in 
horrible Distress, fearfully starting, and staring and crying out 
"Lord, I am stab'd!" and now looking whistly to and fro, he 
said, "0 here are wicked persons among us, even among us; " 
and he complained, " I came hither with a full purpose to tell 
what I knew, but now" (said he) "I ly like a Fool!" Thus 
he continued until the Meeting was over, and then his Fits 
left him; only he remained very sore. One or two more such 
Fits he had after that; but afterwards a more private sort of 
Torture was employ'd upon him. He was advised by a worthy 
man to apply himself unto a Magistrate; and warned, That he 
would shortly be murdered, if he did not. He took not the 
Counsil; but languished for some Weeks; yet able to Walk 
and Work; but Then, he had his Breath and Life suddenly 
taken away from him, in a manner of which no full Account 
could be given. 

The man had a Son invaded with the like Fits, but God 
gave deliverance to him in answer to the Prayers of His people 
for him. 

In the same Town, there yet lives a very pious Woman, 
that from another Woman of ill Fame, received a small gift, 
which was eaten by her. Upon the Eating of it, she became 
strangely altered and afflicted; and hindred from Sleeping at 
Night, by the Pulls of some invisible Hand for a long while 
together. A Shape or two of, I know not who, likewise 
haunted her, and gave her no little Trouble. At last, a Fit 
extraordinary Violent came upon her; wherein she pointed her 
Hand, and fixed her Eye, much upon the Chimney, and spake 
at a rate that astonished all about her. Anon, she broke forth 
into Prayer, and yet could bring out scarce more than a 
Syllable at a time. In her short Prayer she grew up to an 
high Act of Faith, and said, (by Syllables, and with Stammer- 
ings) "Lord, Thou hast been my Hope, and in Thee will I 
put my Trust; Thou hast been my Salvation here, and wilt 
be so for ever and ever!" Upon which her Fit left her; and 
she afterwards grew very well; still remaining so. 


There were diverse other strange Things, which from the 
same Hand, I can both Relate and Believe, As, Of a Child be- 
witched into Lameness, and recovered immediately, by a Ter- 
rour given to the vile Authoress of the Mischief; but the exact 
Print, Image and Colour of an Orange made on the Childs 
Leg, presently upon the sending of an Orange to the Witch 
by the Mother of the Child, who yet had no evil design 
in making of the Present. And of other Children, which a 
palpable Witchcraft made its Impressions on; but Manum de 
Tabula. 1 

I entreat every Reader, to make such an Use of these things, 
as may promote his own well-fare and advance the Glory of 
God; and so answer the Intent of the Writer, who, 
HCBC scribens studuit, bene de Pietate mereri. 2 

1 "Hands off the slate!" i. e., stop writing. 

1 "In writing these things strove to deserve well of Piety." There follow, 
in the volume, the two sermons mentioned by the title-page, that occasioned by 
the affair of the Goodwin children coming last. It adds no information as to 
the episode, but calls itself "A Discourse on Witchcraft," and deals with the 
reality and nature of that sin. But at the end of it is this interesting "Notan- 

"Since the Finishing of the History which concerns Goodwin's Children, 
there has been a very wonderful Attempt made (probably by Witchcraft) on 
another Family in the Town. There is a poor Boy at this time under very ter- 
rible and amazing Circumstances which are a Repetition of, with not much 
Variation from those of the Children formerly molested. The person under 
vehement Suspicion to be the Authoress [of] this Boy's Calamities is one that 
was complain'd of by those Children in their Ails, and accordingly one or two of 
those Children has at this time some Renewal of their Afflictions also; which 
perhaps may be permitted by the Great God, not to disappoint our Expectations 
of their Deliverance, but for the Detection and the Destruction of more belong- 
ing to that hellish Knot, that has not yet perished as others of the Crue has done, 
before the poor prayers of them that Hope in God. 

"The Book-sellers not being willing to stay the Event of these New Acci- 
dents, cause the Bridles here to be taken off." 

LAWSON, 1692 


THE earliest account of the remarkable happenings at 
Salem, in the spring of 1692, which were to bring to a climax 
and then to a conclusion the quest of witches in New England, 
was that which here follows. The Rev. Deodat Lawson was 
singularly qualified to write it. He had himself, only a little 
earlier (1684-1688), served as pastor to Salem Village, the 
rural community in which these happenings took their rise; 
and, though dissensions in the parish prevented his longer 
stay, he seems to have been no party to these dissensions 
and must meanwhile have learned to know the scene and all 
the actors of that later drama which he here depicts. He was, 
too, a man of education, travel, social experience. Born in 
England, the son of a scholarly Puritan minister, and doubt- 
less educated there, he first appears in New England in 1676, 
and at the time of his call to Salem Village was making his 
home in Boston. Thither he returned in 1688 : Samuel Sewall, 
who on May 13 had him in at Sunday dinner, notes in his 
diary that he "came to Town to dwell last week," and often 
mentions him thereafter. How at the outbreak of the witch- 
panic he came to revisit the Village and to chronicle the doings 
there, he himself a dozen years later thus told his English 
friends i 1 

It pleased God in the Year of our Lord 1692 to visit the People 
at a place called Salem Village in New-England, with a very Sore 
and Grievous Affliction, in which they had reason to believe, that the 
Soveraign and Holy God was pleased to permit Satan and his Instru- 
ments, to Affright and Afflict those poor Mortals in such an Aston- 
ishing and Unusual manner. 

1 In the London edition of his Salem sermon. See below, p. 158, note 3. 



[Now, I having for some time before attended the work of the 
Ministry in that Village, the Report of those Great Afflictions came 
quickly to my notice; and the more readily because the first Person 
Afflicted was in the Minister's Family, who succeeded me, after I 
was removed from them; in pitty therefore to my Christian Friends, 
and former Acquaintance there, I was much concerned about them, 
frequently consulted with them, and fervently (by Divine Assistance) 
prayed for thern^ but especially my Concern was augmented, when 
it was Reported, at an Examination of a Person suspected for Witch- 
craft, that my Wife and Daughter, who Dyed Three Years before, 
were sent out of the World under the Malicious Operations of the 
Infernal Powers; as is more fully represented in the following Re- 
marks. I did then Desire, and was also Desired, by some concerned 
in the Court, to be there present, that I might hear what was alledged 
in that respect; observing therefore, when I was amongst them, that 
the Case of the Afflicted was very amazing, and deplorable; and the 
Charges brought against the Accused, such as were Ground of Sus- 
picions yet very intricate, and difficult to draw up right Conclusions 
about them; I thought good for the satisfaction of my self, and such 
of my Friends as might be curious to inquiry into those Mysteries of 
Gods Providence and Satans Malice, to draw up and keep by me, a 
Brief Account of the most Remarkable things, that came to my 
Knowledge in those Affairs; which Remarks were afterwards, (at 
my Request) Revised and Corrected by some who Sate Judges on 
the Bench, in those Matters; and were now Transcribed, from the 
same Paper, on which they were then Written. 

A narrative so timely and so vouched for must have gone 
speedily into print. 1 The latest day named in it "the 5th 
of April" was probably the date both of its completion and 
of its going to press. In 1693 it was reprinted in London by 
John Dunton, who appended to it an anonymous "Further 
Account of the Tryals of the New-England Witches" (an ex- 
tract from "a letter from thence to a Gentleman in London") 
bringing the story to February, 1693, and to both joined In- 

1 One of the acutest students of New England witchcraft, Mr. George H. 
Moore (in his "Notes on the Bibliography of Witchcraft in Massachusetts" in 
the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, n. s., V. 248), has said of 
it: "I cannot resist the impression upon reading it, that it was promoted by 
Cotton Mather and that he wrote the 'Bookseller's' notice 'to the Reader.' " 
If so, he may well have inspired to the task both author and publisher. 


crease Mather's Cases of Conscience (see pp. 377, 378, below), pre- 
fixing to the volume thus made up the title : A Further Account 
of the Tryals of the New-England Witches. With the Observations 
of a Person who was upon the Place several Days when the sus- 
pected Witches were first taken into Examination. To which is 
added, Cases of Conscience, etc. 1 In 1704 Lawson, himself 
now in England, cast it into a new form as an appendix to the 
English edition of his Salem sermon. 2 Ah 1 names are now left 
out, that he "may not grieve any, whose Relations were either 
Accused or Afflicted, in those times of Trouble and Distress," 
and what had been a narrative is given a statistical form under 
"three Heads, viz. (1.) Relating to the Afflicted, (2.) Relating 
to the Accused, And (3.) Relating to the Confessing Witches." 3 
On his own views, and the probable trend of his influence 
while at Salem, light is thrown by his introductory words : 

After this, 4 I being by the Providence of God called over into 
England, in the Year 1696; I then brought that Paper of Remarks 
on the Witchcraft with me; upon the sight thereof, some Worthy 
Ministers and Christian Friends here desired me to Reprint the Ser- 
mon and subjoyn the Remarks thereunto, in way of Appendix, but 
for some particular Reasons I did then Decline it; But now, forasmuch 
as I my self had been an Eye and Ear Witness of most of those Amaz- 
ing things, so far as they come within the Notice of Humane Senses; 
and the Requests of my Friends were Renewed since I came to 
Dwell in London; I have given way to the Publishing of them; that 
I may satisfy such as are not resolved to the Contrary, that there 
may be (and are) such Operations of the Powers of Darkness on the 

1 The contents of this volume were reprinted at London, in 1862, by John 
Russell Smith, in the volume of his Library of Old Authors which contains also 
Cotton Mather's The Wonders of the Invisible World. In this reprint they fill 
pp. 199-291, being described in its main title by only the misleading words, "A 
Farther Account of the Tryals of the New-England Witches, by Increase 

2 See below, p. 158, note 3. 

3 This revised form of his Account has been reprinted in full at the end of 
C. W. Upham's Salem Witchcraft (Boston, 1867), and, with but slight omissions, 
in the Library of American Literature edited by Stedman and Hutchinson (New 
York, 1891), II. 106-114. 

4 This passage immediately follows that above quoted. 


Bodies and Minds of Mankind, by Divine Permission; and that 
those who Sate Judges in those Cases, may by the serious Considera- 
tion of the formidable Aspect and perplexed Circumstances of that 
Afflictive Providence be in some measure excused; or at least be 
less Censured, for passing Sentance on several Persons, as being the 
Instruments of Satan in those Diabolical Operations, when they were 
involved in such a Dark and Dismal Scene of Providence, in which 
Satan did seem to Spin a finer Thred of Spiritual Wickedness than in 
the ordinary methods of Witchcraft; hence the Judges desiring to 
bear due Testimony against such Diabolical Practices, were inclined 
to admit the validity of such a sort of Evidence as was not so clearly 
and directly demonstrable to Human Senses, as in other Cases is 
required, or else they could not discover the Mysteries of Witch- 
craft. . . . 

One can not read these words without a suspicion that the 
reaction in New England against those held responsible for 
the procedure at Salem may have had to do with his return to 
England; and even in England, it is clear, his cause now 
needed defense. If any can wish him further ill, let them be 
appeased by our two glimpses of his after fate a despairing 
letter in 1714, 1 begging from his New England friends meat, 
drink, and clothing for his sick and starving family, and the 
passing phrase of a writer who in 1727, mentioning Thomas 
Lawson, adds that "he was the father of the unhappy Mr. 
Deodate Lawson, who came hither from New England." 2 

But the reader should not enter on the study of the witch- 
panic of 1692 without knowing something of our other sources 
of knowledge. The contemporary narratives are practically 
all printed in the pages that follow, and a part of the trial 
records will be found embodied in Cotton Mather's Wonders ; 3 
but most of these must be sought otherwhere, and, alas, they 
are sadly scattered. Some Governor Hutchinson preserved in 

1 Published (from the Bodleian Library's Rawlinson MS. C. 128, fol. 12) by 
George H. Moore, in the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, n. s., 
V. 268-269. 

1 Edmund Calamy, in his Contimtation, II. 629 (II. 192 of Palmer's revision 
of 1775, The Nonconformist's Memorial'). 

At pp. 215-244, below. 


his wise and careful pages on this subject, 1 where alone a part 
can now be found. Many have drifted into private hands 
like those which in 1860 came into the hands of the Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society and are in part printed in its Pro- 
ceedings (1860-1862, pp. 31-37), or those published by Drake 
in the foot-notes and appendices to his various histories and 
editions, 2 or those now in the keeping of the Essex Institute at 
Salem or of the Boston Public Library. 3 Such of these as are 
in print are mentioned in the notes at the proper points. But 
most are still in public keeping at Salem; and these in 1864 
were printed by W. Elliot Woodward in the two volumes of 
his Records of Salem Witchcraft, the work most fundamental 
for the first-hand study of this episode. It is ; however, im- 
perfect and far from complete, and there is hope of a better : 
the Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, 
of which a third volume has just appeared, must in due 
course include these witch-trials, and Mr. George Francis 
Dow, their editor (who has already by his publication of the 
witchcraft records relating to Topsfield 4 shown his keenness 
in such work), has in mind the seizing of this opportunity 
to print all obtainable papers relating to the Salem Witchcraft 
episode. Precious documents too are published by Upham in 
his classical Salem Witchcraft 5 and in the acute and learned 
studies of Mr. Abner C. Goodell and Mr. George H. Moore. 6 

1 History of Massachusetts, II., ch. I. 

2 In his History and Antiquities of Boston (Boston, 1856), pp. 497, 498, and 
in his The Witchcraft Delusion in New England, III. 126, 169-197. All these 
(the indictment and the testimony against Philip English, the examination of 
Mary Clark and of the slave Tituba) are now in the New York Public Library, 
as are also his documents of the Morse case, mentioned above, p. 31, note 1. 

3 As to the fate of the records in general see Upham, Salem Witchcraft, II. 462. 

4 In vol. XIII. of the Historical Collections of the Topsfield Historical Society 

Boston, 1867, two vols. 6 See p. 91, note 2; p. 373, note 3. 


A Brief and True Narrative Of some Remarkable Passages Relat- 
ing to sundry Persons Afflicted by Witchcraft, at Salem 
Village Which happened from the Nineteenth of March, to 
the Fifth of April, 1692. 

Collected by Deodat Lawson. 

Boston, Printed for Benjamin Harris and are to be Sold at his 
Shop, over-against the Old-Meeting-House. 1692. 1 

The Bookseller to the Reader. 

The Ensuing Narrative, being a Collection of some Re- 
markables, in an Affair now upon the Stage, made by a Credi- 
ble Eye-witness, is now offered unto the Reader, only as a 
Tast, of more that may follow in Gods Time. If the Prayers 
of Good People may obtain this Favour of God, That the 
Misterious Assaults from Hell now made upon so many of our 
Friends may be thoroughly Detected and Defeated, we sup- 
pose the Curious will be Entertained with as rare an History 
as perhaps an Age has had; whereof this Narrative is but a 


ON the Nineteenth day of March last 2 I went to Salem 
Village, 8 and lodged at Nathaniel Ingersols near to the Min- 

1 Title-page of the original. 

1 1692. This narrative may well be studied in close connection with the 
parallel narratives of Calef and Hale, printed at pp. 296 ff. and 399 ff . of this 

* Not Salem town, the present Salem city, but a rural district (what is now 
the township of Danvers, with parts of the townships adjoining it) which till 
1672 had been a mere dependence of the town, but in that year, at the request of 
its inhabitants, was set off as a separate parish, though not as a distinct town. 
Despite the name of "village," there was in Salem Village no huddle of houses 
amounting to a hamlet, though about the meeting-house (where now is Danvers 



ister Mr. P's. house, 1 and presently after I came into my 
Lodging Capt. Walcuts Daughter Mary 2 came to Lieut. Inger- 
sols and spake to me, but, suddenly after as she stood by the 
door, was bitten, so that she cried out of her Wrist, and look- 
ing on it with a Candle, we saw apparently the marks of Teeth 
both upper and lower set, on each side of her wrist. 
"4 In the beginning of the Evening, I went to give Mr. P. 3 a 
visit. When I was there, his Kins-woman, Abigail William^/ 
(about 12 years of age,) had a grievous fit; she was at first 
hurryed with Violence to and fro in the room, (though Mrs. 
Ingersol endeavoured to hold her,) sometimes makeing as if 
she would fly, stretching up her arms as high as she could, 
and crying " Whish, Whish, Whish Pljseveral times]] Presently 
after she said there was Goodw. N. 4 and said, "Do you not 
see her? Why there she stands!" And the said Goodw. N. 
offered her The Book, but she was resolved she would not 

Highlands) the farm-houses clustered more thickly than elsewhere. Prefixed 
to the Rev. Charles W. Upham's Salem Witchcraft is a map, which, on the basis 
of long and loving research, attempts to locate every house in all the region; 
and the text of that work will also be of constant use, as will the little volume of 
W. S. Nevins, Witchcraft in Salem Village (1892), with its views of sites and build- 
ings (as "Stories of Salem Witchcraft" it had been printed in the New England 
Magazine, IV., V.) and the illustrated edition of John Fiske's New France and 
New England (1904). 

1 Nathaniel Ingersoll, deacon in the village church and perhaps its most 
devoted member, kept the tavern, or "ordinary," which was the recognized 
centre of the "Village." The meeting-house adjoined it to the east, to the west 
the parsonage, where lived Mr. Parris. 

2 Captain Jonathan Walcot, commander of the village militia, dwelt next 
beyond the parsonage. His daughter Mary was now seventeen. 

3 The Rev. Samuel Parris (1653-1720), whose part, and whose family's, in 
the Salem panic was to be so great, had been at Salem Village since 1688, succeed- 
ing Deodat Lawson as its spiritual head. Till then, though educated at Harvard, 
which is to say for the ministry, he had been engaged in the West Indian trade, 
and had lived for a time in Barbadoes, whence he had brought back with him 
the two slaves, John and Tituba, perhaps half negro, hah* native, with whom we 
must soon have to do. Abigail Williams, his niece, was a member of his house- 
hold; and we shall meet also his little daughter Elizabeth, aged nine. The 
account of his life by S. P. Fowler (Essex Institute, Proceedings, II. 49-68) has 
been separately printed (Salem, 1857) and is appended to Drake's ed. of Mather 
and Calef (III. 198-222). But the student needs also Upham, Salem Witchcraft, 
and the documents reprinted by Calef, More Wonders, pp. 55-64. 

4 Rebecca Nurse, a matron of 71, wife of Francis Nurse, an energetic and 
prosperous farmer. 


take it, saying Often, "I wont, I wont, I wont, take it, I do 
not know what Book it is : I am sure it is none of Gods Book, 
it is the Divels Book, for ought I know." After that, she run 
to the Fire, and begun to throw Fire Brands, about the house; 
and run against the Back, as if she would run up Chimney, 
and, as they said, she had attempted to go into the Fire in 
other Fits. 

(On Lords Day, the Twentieth of March, there were sun- 
dry of the afflicted Persons at Meeting, as, Mrs. Pope, and 
Goodwife Bibber, Abigail Williams, Mary Walcut, Mary Lewes, 
and Docter Griggs' Maid. 1 There was also at Meeting, Good- 
wife C. 2 (who was afterward Examined on suspicion of being 
a Witch :) They had several Sore Fits, in the time of Publick 
Worship, which did something interrupt me in my First Prayer; 
being so unusual. After Psalm was Sung, Abigail Williams 
said to me, " Now stand up, and Name your Text " : And after 
it was read, she said, "It is a long Text." In the beginning 
of Sermon, Mrs. Pope, a Woman afflicted, said to me, "Now 
there is enough of that." And in the afternoon, Abigail 
Williams upon my referring to my Doctrine said to me, "I 
know no Doctrine you had, If you did name one, I have for- 
got it? 

-tin Sermon time when Goodw. C was present in the Meet- 
inghouse Ab. W. called out, V Look where Goodw. C sits on the 
Beam suckling her Yellow bird betwixt her fingers"!) Anne 
Putnam another Girle afflicted said there was a Yellow-bird 
sat on my hat as it hung on the Pin in the Pulpit: but those 
that were by, restrained her from speaking loud about ItJ 

On Monday the 21st of March, The Magistrates of Salem 
appointed to come to Examination of Goodw C. 3 And about 

1 Mrs. Pope was a woman of good social position and in early middle life; 
Sarah Bibber (or Vibber), aged 36, a loose-tongued creature, addicted to fits, 
who with her husband seems to have "worked out"; Mercy (not Mary) Lewes, 
a maid in the family of Thomas Putnam, whose wife and twelve-year-old daughter, 
both named Ann, were also to have a leading part among "the afflicted." "Doc- 
tor Griggs' maid," Elizabeth Hubbard, aged 17, was a niece of his wife. It was 
probably Dr. Griggs, the physician of the Village, who had first pronounced the 
girls bewitched. 

1 Martha Corey, wife of Giles Corey. She too was advanced in years. 

3 For the official report of this examination, as of those to follow, and for 
all the legal documents connected with these cases, the student must of course 


twelve of the Clock, they went into the Meeting-House, which 
was Thronged with Spectators: Mr. Noyes 1 began with a 
very pertinent and pathetic Prayer; and Goodwife C. being 
called to answer to what was Alledged against her, she desired 
to go to Prayer, which was much wondred at, in the presence 
of so many hundred people : The Magistrates told her, they 
would not admit it; they came not there to hear her Pray, 
but to Examine her, in what was Alledged against her. The 
Worshipful Mr. Hathorne 2 asked her, Why she Afflicted those 
Children? she said, she did not Afflict them. He asked her, 
who did then? she said, "I do not know; How should I know?" 
The Number of the Afflicted Persons were about that time 
Ten, viz. Four Married Women, Mrs. Pope, Mrs. Putman, 3 
Goodw. Bibber, and an Ancient W T oman, named Goodall, 
three Maids, Mary Walcut, Mercy Lewes, at Thomas Putman's, 
and a Maid at Dr. Griggs's, there were three Girls from 9 to 12 
Years of Age, each of them, or thereabouts, viz. Elizabeth 
Parris, Abigail Williams and Ann Putman; these were most 
of them at G. C's Examination, and did vehemently accuse her 
in the Assembly of afflicting them, by Biting, Pinching, Stran- 
gling, etc. And that they did in their Fit see her Likeness 
coming to them, and bringing a Book to them, she said, she 
had no Book; they affirmed, she had a Yellow-Bird, that used 
to suck betwixt her Fingers, and being asked about it, if she 
had any Familiar Spirit, that attended her, she said, She had 
no Familiarity with any such thing. She was a Gospel Woman : 
which Title she called her self by; and the Afflicted Persons 
told her, ah! She was, A Gospel Witch. Ann Putman did 
there affirm, that one day when Lieutenant Fuller was at 

turn to the publications embodying such court records (see p. 151, above). 
Those of Goodwife Corey's case may be found in Woodward's Records of Salem 
Witchcraft, I. 50-60. Especially interesting is the evidence as to her rational 
attitude: "shee told us," testify those who went to arrest her, "that shee did 
not thinke that there were any witches." They add that it "was said of her that 
shee would open the eyes of the magistrates and ministers." 

1 The Rev. Nicholas Noyes, minister at Salem town. 

2 John Hathorne, or Hawthorne, a magistrate of the colony, and, as a mem- 
ber of the highest court, a local magistrate as well, had his home on his farm in 
Salem Village and must have known personally all these neighbors. It must be 
remembered, and may well be pointed out here, that Massachusetts magistrates 
were not men trained to the law, but only respected laymen. 

* Putnam : this misspelling was common. 


Prayer at her Fathers House, she saw the shape of Goodw. C. 
and she thought Goodw. N. Praying at the same time to the 
Devil, she was not sure it was Goodw. N. she thought it was; 
but very sure she saw the Shape of G. C. The said C. said, 
they were poor, distracted Children, and no heed to be given 
to what they said. Mr. Hathorne and Mr. Noyes replyed, it 
was the judgment of all that were present, they were Bewitched, 
and only she, the Accused Person said, they were Distracted. 
/It was observed several times, that if she did but bite her 
1 Under lip in time of Examination the persons afflicted were 
isitten on their armes and wrists and produced the Marks 
before the Magistrates, Ministers and others. And being 
watched for that, if she did but Pinch her Fingers, or Graspe 
one hand hard in another, they were Pinched and produced 
the Marks before the Magistrates, and Spectators. After 
that, it was observed, that if she did but lean her Breast 
against the Seat, in the Meeting House, (being the Barr at 
which she stood,) they were afflicted. Particularly Mrs. Pope 
complained of grievous torment in her Bowels as if they were 
torn out. She vehemently accused said C. as the instrument, 
and first threw her Muff at her; but that flying not home, she 
got off her Shoe, and hit Goodwife C. on the head with it. 
After these postures were watched, if said C. did but stir her 
feet, they were afflicted in their Feet, and stamped fearfully. 
The afflicted persons asked her why she did not go to the 
company of Witches which were before the Meeting house 
mustering? Did she not hear the Drum beat? They accused 
her of having Familiarity with the Devil, in the time of Ex- 
amination, in the shape of a Black man whispering in her 
ear; they affirmed, that her Yellow-Bird sucked betwixt her 
Fingers in the Assembly; and order being given to see if 
there were any sign, the Girl that saw it said, it was too late 
now; she had removed a Pin, and put it on her head; which 
was found there sticking upright. 

They told her, she had Covenanted with the Devil for ten 
years, six of them were gone, and four more to come. She was 
required by the Magistrates to answer that Question in the 
Catechism, "How many persons be there in the God-Head?" 
she answered it but oddly, yet was there no great thing to be 
gathered from it; she denied all that was charged upon her, 


and said, They could not prove a Witch; she was that After- 
noon Committed to Salem-Prison; and after she was in Custo- 
dy, she did not so appear to them, and afflict them as before. 
On Wednesday the 23 of March, I went to Thomas Put- 
mans, on purpose to see his Wife : I found her lying on the 
Bed, having had a sore fit a little before. She spake to me, and 
said, she was glad to see me; 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: 
when Prayer was done, her Husband going to her, found her 
in a Fit; he took her off the Bed, to set her on his Knees; but 
at first she was so stiff, she could not be bended; but she after- 
wards set down; but quickly began to strive violently with her 
Arms and Leggs; she then began to Complain of, and as it 
were to Converse personally with, Goodw. N., saying, "Goodw. 
N. Be gone! Be gone! Be gone! are you not ashamed, a Woman 
of your Profession, to afflict a poor Creature so? what hurt did 
I ever do you in my life! you have but two years to live, and 
then the Devil will torment your Soul, for this your Name is 
blotted out of Gods Book, and it shall never be put in Gods 
Book again, be gone for shame, are you not afraid of that which 
is coming upon you? I Know, I know, what will make you 
afraid; the wrath of an Angry God, I am sure that will make 
you afraid; be gone, do not tourment me, I know what you 
would have (we judged she meant, her Soul) but it is out of 
your reach; it is Clothed with the white Robes of Christs 
Righteousness." After this, she seemed to dispute with the 
Apparition about a particular Text of Scripture. The Appa- 
rition seemed to deny it, (the Womans eyes being fast closed 
all this time) ; she said, She was sure there was such a Text ; 
and she would tell it; and then the Shape would be gone, for 
said she, "I am sure you cannot stand before that Text!" 
then she was sorely Afflicted ; her mouth drawn on one side, 
and her body strained for about a minute, and then said, " I will 
tell, I will tell; it is, it is, it is!" three or four times, and then 
was afflicted to hinder her from telling, at last she broke forth 
and said, "It is the third Chapter of the Revelations." I did 
something scruple the reading it, and did let my scruple ap- 


pear, lest Satan should make any Superstitious lie to improve 
the Word of the Eternal God. However, tho' not versed in 
these things, I judged I might do it this once for an Experi- 
ment. I began to read, and before I had near read through 
the first verse, she opened her eyes, and was well ; this fit con- 
tinued near half an hour. Her Husband and the Spectators 
told me, she had often been so relieved by reading Texts that 
she named, something pertinent to her Case; as Isa. 40. 1, 
Isa. 49. 1, Isa. 50. 1, and several others. 

On Thursday the Twenty fourth of march, (being in course 
the Lecture Day, at the Village,) Goodwife N. was brought 
before the Magistrates Mr. Hathorne and Mr. Corwin, 1 
about Ten of [the] Clock, in the Fore Noon, to be Examined 
in the Meeting House; the Reverend Mr. Hale 2 begun with 
Prayer, and the Warrant being read, she was required to give 
answer, Why she aflicted those persons? she pleaded her owne 
innocency with earnestness. Thomas Putman's Wife, Abigail 
Williams and Thomas Putmans daughter accused her that she 
appeared to them, and afflicted them in their fitts : but some 
of the other said, that they had seen her, but knew not that 
ever she had hurt them; amongst which was Mary Walcut, 
who was presently after she had so declared bitten, and cryed 
out of her in the meeting-house; producing the Marks of teeth 
on her wrist. It was so disposed, that I had not leisure to 
attend the whole time of Examination, 3 but both Magistrates 

1 Jonathan Corwin was, like Hathorne, a member of the Court of Assistants, 
the highest legislative and judicial body of the colony, and like him the son of 
one of its founders. They were the men of highest note in the Salem region. 
Corwin lived in the town. 

1 Of Beverly. As to him see p. 397, below. 

* What drew Mr. Lawson away from the examinations was doubtless the 
need to complete his preparation for the important sermon of that day; and it 
must have been this on which he was pondering when (as he records a few lines 
later) the shrieks of the afflicted reached him as he walked, "a little distance from 
the meeting-house." That sermon was, however, no extempore production, but 
a studied disquisition on the power and malice of the Devil, who "Contracts and 
Indents with Witches and Wizzards, that they shall be the Instruments by whom 
he may more secretly Affect and Afflict the Bodies and Minds of others." "And 
the Devil," taught Lawson, committing himself wholly to belief in the worth \A 
that "spectral evidence" which was to play such a part in the Salem episode, 
"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." 
The magistrates were present at the sermon; and to them he dedicated the ser- 


and Ministers told me, that the things alledged by the afflicted, 
and defences made by her, were much after the same manner, 
as the former was. And her Motions did produce like effects 
as to Biteing, Pinching, Bruising, Tormenting, at their Breasts, 
by her Leaning, and when, bended Back, were as if their Backs 
was broken. The afflicted persons said, the Black Man whis- 
pered to her in the Assembly, and therefore she could not 
hear what the Magistrates said unto her. They said also that 
she did then ride by the Meeting-house, behind the Black 
Man. Thomas Putman's wife had a grievous Fit, in the 
time of Examination, to the very great Impairing of her 
strength, and wasting of her spirits, insomuch as she could 
hardly move hand, or foot, when she was carryed out. Others 
also were there grievously afflicted, so that there was once 
such an hideous scrietch 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 sate next to them, were under the influence of Witchcraft. 
This woman also was that day committed to Salem Prison. 
The Magistrates and Ministers also did informe me, that they 
apprehended a child of Sarah G. 1 and Examined it, being 
between 4 and 5 years of Age, And as to matter of Fact, they 
did Unanimously affirm, that when this Child did but cast 
its eye upon the afflicted persons, they were tormented, and 
they held her Head, and yet so many as her eye could fix upon 
were afflicted. Which they did several times make careful 
observation of : the afflicted complained, they had often been 
Bitten by this child, and produced the marks of a small set 
of teeth, accordingly, this was also committed to Salem Prison; 
the child looked hail, and well as other Children. I saw it 
at Lieut. Ingersols. 2 After the commitment of Goodw. N., 
Tho : Putmans wife was much better, and had no violent fits 

mon when, in the following year, he gave it to the press under the title of Christ's 
Fidelity the only Shield against Satan's Malignity. A second edition was printed 
under his eye at London in 1704 (see p. 149, above). 

1 Sarah Good, who with Sarah Osburn and Parris's slave-woman Tituba 
had been examined and committed to jail on March 1, before Lawson's visit (see 
p. 343, below). 

2 Little Dorcas Good, thus sent to prison "as hale and well as other chil- 
dren," lay there seven or eight months, and "being chain'd in the dungeon was 


at all from that 24th of March to the 5th of April. Some others 
also said they had not seen her so frequently appear to them, 
to hurt them. 

On the 25th of March, (as Capt. Stephen Sewal, 1 of Salem, 
did afterwards inform me) Eliza. Paris had sore Fits, at his 
house, which much troubled himself, and his wife, so as he 
told me they were almost discouraged. She related, that the 
great Black Man came to her, and told her, if she would be 
ruled by him, she should have whatsoever she desired, and go 
to a Golden City. She relating this to Mrs. Sewall, she told 
the child, it was the Divel, and he was a Lyar from the Begin- 
ning, and bid her tell him so, if he came again : which she did 
accordingly, at the next coming to her, in her fits. 

On the 26th of March, Mr. Hathorne, Mr. Corwin, and 
Mr. Higison 2 were at the Prison-Keepers House, to Examine 
the Child, 3 and it told them there, it had a little Snake that 
used to Suck on the lowest Joynt of it[s] Fore-Finger; and 
when they inquired where, pointing to other places, it told 
them, not there, but there, pointing on the Lowest point of 
Fore-Finger; where they Observed a deep Red Spot, about the 
Bigness of a Flea-bite, they asked who gave it that Snake? 
whether the great Black man, it said no, its Mother gave it. 

The 31 of March there was a Publick Fast kept at Salem 
on account of these Afflicted Persons. And Abigail Williams 
said, that the Witches had a Sacrament that day at an house 
in the Village, and that they had Red Bread and Red Drink. 
The first of April, Mercy Lewis, Thomas Putman's Maid, in 
her fitt, said, they did eat Red Bread like Mans Flesh, and 

so hardly used and terrify ed" that eighteen years later her father alleged "that 
she hath ever since been very chargeable, haveing little or no reason to govern 
herself." See his petition for damages, September 13, 1710 (printed in the N. E. 
Hist, and Gen. Register, XXXV. 253 the MS. is now in the President White 
Library at Cornell University). He was allowed 30. 

1 Stephen Sewall, clerk of the courts at Salem, in whose home the Rev. Mr. 
Parris had now placed his daughter Elizabeth a fact which may have some con- 
nection with his being one of the most ardent furtherers of the trials. It was 
from him that Cotton Mather later asked the materials for his account of them 
(see p. 206, below). He must, of course, not be confused with his more eminent 
brother, Samuel Sewall, of Boston, whom we shall soon meet as a judge in the 
Salem trials. , 

1 The Rev. John Higginson, the aged senior minister of the church in Salem. 

1 Dorcas Good, of course, not Elizabeth Parris. 


would have had her eat some: but she would not; but turned 
away her head, and Spit at them, and said, "I will not Eat, I 
will not Drink, it is Blood," etc. She said, "That is not the 
Bread of Life, that is not the Water of Life; Christ gives the 
Bread of Life, I will have none of it!" This first of April also 
Marcy Lewis aforesaid saw in her fitt a White man and was 
with him in a Glorious Place, which had no Candles nor Sun, 
yet was full of Light and Brightness; where was a great Mul- 
titude in White glittering Robes, and they Sung the Song in 
the fifth of Revelation the Ninth verse, and the 110 Psalm, 
and the 149 Psalm; and said with her self, "How long shall I 
stay here? let me be along with you" : She was loth to leave 
this place, and grieved that she could tarry no longer. This 
Whiteman 1 hath appeared several times to some of them, and 
given them notice how long it should be before they had another / 
Fit, which was sometimes a day, or day and half, or more or 
IBB: it hath fallen out accordingly. 

The third of April, the Lords-Day, being Sacrament-day, 
at the Village, Goodw. C. 2 upon Mr. Parris's naming his 
Text, John 6, 70, One of them is a Devil, the said Goodw. C. 
went immediately out of the Meeting-House, and flung the 
door after her violently, to the amazement of the Congrega- 
tion : She was afterward seen by some in their Fits, who said, 
"0 Goodw. C., I did not think to see you here!" (and being at 
their Red bread and drink) said to her, "Is this a time to re- 
ceive the Sacrament, you ran-away on the Lords-Day, and 
scorned to receive it in the Meeting-House, and, Is this a 
time to receive it? I wonder at you!" This is the summ of 
what I either saw my self, or did receive Information from 
persons of undoubted Reputation and Credit. 

Remarks of things more than ordinary about the Afflicted Persons. 

1. They are in their Fits tempted to be Witches, are shewed 
the List of the Names of others, and are tortured, because they 
will not yield to Subscribe, or meddle with, or touch the Book, 
and are promised to have present Relief if they would do it. 

1 White man. 

8 Not Goodwife Corey, but Goodwife Sarah Cloyse, sister of Rebecca 
Nurse. For an explanation of the slammed door, see p. 346, below. 


2. They did in the Assembly mutually Cure each other, 
even with a Touch of their Hand, when Strangled, and other- 
wise Tortured ; and would endeavour to get to their Afflicted, 
to Relieve them. 

3. They did also foretel when anothers Fit was a-coming, 
and would say, "Look to her! she will have a Fit presently," 
which fell out accordingly, as many can bear witness, that 
heard and saw it. 

4. That at the same time, when the Accused Person was 
present, the Afflicted Persons saw her Likeness in other places 
of the Meeting-House, suckling her Familiar, sometimes in 
one place and posture, and sometimes in another. 

5. That their Motions in their Fits are Preternatural, both 
as to the manner, which is so strange as a well person could 
not Screw their Body into; and as to the violence also it is 
preternatural, being much beyond the Ordinary force of the 
same person when they are in their right mind. 

6. The eyes of some of them in their fits are exceeding fast 
closed, and if you ask a question they can give no answer, and 
I do believe they cannot hear at that time, yet do they plainely 
converse with the Appearances, as if they did discourse with 
real persons. 

7. They are utterly pressed against any persons Praying 
with them, and told by the appearances, they shall not go to 
Prayer, so Tho. Putmans wife was told, I should not Pray; 
but she said, I should : and after I had done, reasoned with the 
Appearance, "Did not I say he should go to Prayer?" 

8. The forementioned Mary W. 1 being a little better at 
ease, the Afflicted persons said, she had signed the book; and 
that was the reason she was better. Told me by Edward 
Putman. 2 

Remarks concerning the Accused. 

1. For introduction to the discovery of those that afflicted 
them, It is reported Mr. Parris's Indian Man and Woman 
made a Cake of Rye Meal, and the Childrens water, baked it 

1 Walcot. 

1 Deacon Edward Putnam, a pillar of the village church, was brother and 
close neighbor to Thomas Putnam, whose wife, daughter, and maid were leaders 
among "the afflicted." 


in the Ashes, and gave it to a Dogge, since which they have 
discovered, and seen particular persons hurting of them. 

2. In Time of Examination, they seemed little affected, 
though all the Spectators were much grieved to see it. 

3. Natural Actions in them produced Preternatural actions 
in the Afflicted, so that they are their own Image without any 
Poppits of Wax or otherwise. 1 

4. That they are accused to have a Company about 23 or 
24 and they did Muster in Armes, as it seemed to the Afflicted 

5. Since they were confined, the Persons have not been so 
much Afflicted with their appearing to them, Biteing or Pinch- 
ing of them, etc. 

6. They are reported by the Afflicted Persons to keep dayes 
of Fast and dayes of Thanksgiving, and Sacraments; Satan 
endeavours to Transforme himself to an Angel of Light, and 
to make his Kingdom and Administrations to resemble those 
of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

7. Satan Rages Principally amongst the Visible Subjects 
of Christ's Kingdom and makes use (at least in appearance) 
of some of them to Afflict others; that Christ's Kingdom may 
be divided against it self, and so be weakened. 

8. Several things used in England at Tryal of Witches, to 
the Number of 14 or 15, which are wont to pass instead of 
or in Concurrence with Witnesses, at least 6 or 7 of them are 
found in these accused : see Keebles Statutes. 2 

1 /. e., these witches have no need, as do others (see p. 104), to make images, 
or puppets, in the likeness of those they wish to torment, and then by torturing the 
puppets to inflict the same tortures on those they represent : these witches have 
only to act, and then* victims are preternaturally compelled to the same action. 

2 What is meant is clearly not the collection of English statutes compiled 
by Joseph Keeble, or Keble, (1632-1710). Often printed (1676, 1681, 1684, 
1695, 1706), this seems to have been standard in the colonies as at home; but it 
contains absolutely nothing but the text of the statutes in force, "with the titles 
of such as are expired, repealed, altered, or out of use," and at the end an analyt- 
ical table of subjects. The work really meant is Keble's An Assistance to Justices 
of the Peace (London, 1683, 1689). This work, however, borrows its pages on 
witchcraft (pp. 217-220) from the older manuals of Lambarde, West, and Dai- 
ton; and the passage in question is one compiled by Michael Dalton, for the 
later editions of his The Countrey Justice, from Thomas Potts's Discoverie of 
Witches (1613) and Richard Barnard's Guide to Grand-Jury Men (1627). For 
aid in this identification, and for a transcript of these pages from the Harvard 
copy of Keble, the editor is indebted to Mr. David M. Matteson. 


9. Some of the most solid Afflicted Persons do affirme the 
same things concerning seeing the accused out of their Fitts 
as well as in them. 

10. The Witches had a Fast, and told one of the Afflicted 
Girles, she must not Eat, because it was Fast Day, she said, 
she would : they told her they would Choake her then ; which 
when she did eat, was endeavoured. 




FROM that April day when Mr. Lawson closed his account 
it was long before another eye-witness undertook a narrative. 
Yet great things were doing. At Salem accusation and hear- 
ing went on apace, and the jails grew crowded, awaiting the 
session of a court. On May 14 arrived from England Presi- 
dent Increase Mather, bringing the new charter, and with 
him the new governor, Sir William Phips. What the governor 
thought of the emergency and how he dealt with it we shall 
presently learn from his own pen. But other pens were earlier 
busy. Perhaps the most notable was that of Thomas Brattle, 
who early in October addressed the following letter to some 
clerical correspondent. Who this divine may have been whose 
questions the letter answers is unknown : our document is not 
the original, but a copy without superscription, and from its 
contents we can infer no more than that he lived or had lived 
in the colony. But Thomas Brattle we know well. "He was," 
wrote President Leverett of Harvard at his death, "a gentle- 
man by his birth and education of the first order in this coun- 
try." Born at Boston, in 1658, of wealthy parentage, a grad- 
uate and a master of arts of Harvard, then a traveller and a 
student abroad, he won such distinction as a mathematician, 
and notably as an astronomer, as to be made a member of the 
Royal Society, and was in close touch with the world of 
scholars; but his career was that of an opulent and cultivated 
Boston merchant, and for twenty years, from 1693 to his 
death in 1713, he was treasurer of Harvard College. "In the 
Church," said of him the Boston News-Letter, "he was known 

and valued for his Catholick Charity to all of the reformed 



Religion, but more especially his great Veneration for the 
Church of England, although his general and more constant 
communion was with the Nonconformists." In other words, 
he was of the liberal party in religion and politics, an eminent 
opponent of the Puritan theocracy, and he did not escape the 
epithets "apostate" and "infidel." 

The letter here printed did not see print in his own day; 
but that the present copy exists suggests that it may have been 
meant to circulate in manuscript, 1 and it is not impossible that 
it was even written for that purpose. Yet if so, we may be 
sure it was used with discretion. It was his grand-nephew, 
the then well-known Thomas Brattle, Esq., of Cambridge, 
who late in the eighteenth century communicated it to the 
Massachusetts Historical Society. 2 From that manuscript 
copy it is here reprinted. 

1 The suggestion is that of Sibley, in his sketch of Brattle's life (Harvard 
Graduates, II. 489-^98), the best summary of what is known of him. That the 
extant copy is without superscription, and signed by initials only, may point to 
such a use. It must not be forgotten that it was written on the eve of the session 
of the General Court. 

1 It was first published in that society's Collections, V. 61-79. 


October 8, 1692. 
Reverend Sir, 

YOUR'S I received the other day, and am very ready to serve 
you to my uttmost. I should be very loath to bring myself 
into any snare by my freedom with you, and therefore hope 
that you will put the best construction on what I write, and 
secure me from such as would interprett my lines otherwise 
than they are designed. Obedience to lawfull authority I 
evermore accounted a great duty; and willingly I would not 
practise any thing that might thwart and contradict such a 
principle. Too many are ready to despise dominions, and 
speak evil of Dignities; and I am sure the mischiefs, which 
arise from a factious and rebellious spirit, are very sad and 
notorious; insomuch that I would sooner bite my finger's 
ends than willingly cast dirt on authority, or any way offer 
reproach to it : Far, therefore, be it from me, to have any thing 
to do with those men your letter mentions, whom you acknowl- 
edge to be men of a factious spirit, and never more in their 
element than when they are declaiming against men in public 
place, and contriving methods that tend to the disturbance 
of the common peace. I never accounted it a credit to my 
cause, to have the good liking of such men. My son! (says 
Solomon) fear thou the Lord and the King, and meddle not with 
them that are given to change. Prov. xxiv. 21. However, Sir, 
I never thought Judges infallible; but reckoned that they, as 
well as private men, might err; and that when they were 
guilty of erring, standers by, who possibly had not half their 
judgment, might, notwithstanding, be able to detect and be- 
hold their errors. And furthermore, when errors of that nature 
are thus detected and observed, I never thought it an interfer- 
ing with dutifullness and subjection for one man to communi- 
cate his thoughts to another thereabout; and with modesty 



and due reverence to debate the premised failings; at least, 
when errours are fundamental, and palpably pervert the great 
end of authority and government: for as to circumstantial 
errours, I must confesse my principle is, that it is the duty of 
a good subject to cover with his silence a multitude of them. 
But I shall no longer detain you with my preface, but passe 
to some things you look for, and whether you expect such 
freedome from me, yea or no, yet shall you find, that I am very 
open to communicate my thoughts unto you, and in plain 
terms to tell you what my opinion is of the Salem proceedings. 
First, as to the method which the Salem Justices do take 

in their examinations, it is truly this : A warrant being issued 
out to apprehend the persons that are charged and complained 
of by the afflicted children, (as they are called) ; said persons 
are brought before the Justices, (the afflicted being present.) 
The Justices ask the apprehended why they afflict those poor 
children ; to which the apprehended answer, they do not afflict 
them. The Justices order the apprehended to look upon the 
said children, which accordingly they do; and at the time of 
^ that look, (I dare not say by that look, as the Salem Gentlemen 
do) the afflicted are cast into a fitt. The apprehended are then 
blinded, and ordered to touch the afflicted; and at that touch, 
tho' not by the touch, (as above) the afflicted ordinarily do 
come out of their fitts. The afflicted persons then declare and 
affirm, that the apprehended have afflicted them; upon which 
the apprehended persons, tho' of never so good repute, are 

(forthwith committed to prison, on suspicion for witchcraft. 
One of the Salem Justices 1 was pleased to tell Mr. Alden, 2 
(when upon his examination) that truly he had been ac- 
quainted with him these many years; and had always ac- 
counted him a good man ; but indeed now he should be obliged 
to change his opinion. This, there are more than one or two 
did hear, and are ready to swear to, if not in so many words, 
yet as to its natural and plain meaning. He saw reason to 
change his opinion of Mr. Alden, because that at the time he 
touched the poor child, the poor child came out of her fitt. 

1 Bartholomew Gedney. 

1 Captain John Alden, of Boston, son of the John Alden of the Mayflower 
and of Longfellow's poem. For Alden's own account of this episode see pp. 353- 
355, below. 


I suppose his Honour never made the experiment, whether 
there was not as much virtue in his own hand, as there was in 
Mr. Alden's, to cure by a touch. I know a man that will 
venture two to one with any Salemite whatever, that let the 
nrntter be duly managed, and the afflicted person shall come 
out of her fitt upon the touch of the most religious hand in 
Salem. It is worthily noted by some, that at some times the 
afflicted will not presently come out of their fitts upon the 
touch of the suspected; and then, forsooth, they are ordered 
by the Justices to grasp hard, harder yet, etc. insomuch that 
at length the afflicted come out of their fitts; and the reason 
is very good, because that a touch of any hand, and processe 
of time, will work the cure; infallibly they will do it, as experi- 
ence teaches. 

I cannot but condemn this method of the Justices, of 
making this touch of the hand a rule to discover witchcraft; 
because I am fully persuaded that it is sorcery, and a super- 
stitious method, and that which we have no rule for, either 
from reason or religion. The Salem Justices, at least some 
of them, do assert, that the cure of the afflicted persons is a 
natural effect of this touch; and they are so well instructed 
in the Cartesian philosophy, and in the doctrine of effluvia, 
that they undertake to give a demonstration how this touch 
does cure the afflicted persons; and the account they give of 
it is this; that by this touch, the venemous and malignant 
particles, that were ejected from the eye, do, by this means, 
return to the body whence they came, and so leave the afflicted 
persons pure and whole. I must confesse to you, that I am 
no small admirer of the Cartesian philosophy; but yet I have 
not so learned it. Certainly this is a strain that it will by no 
me&ns allow of. 

(J. would fain know of these Salem Gentlemen, but as yet 
could never know, how it comes about, that if these appre- 
hended persons are witches, and, by a look of the eye, do cast 
the afflicted into their fitts by poisoning them, how it comes 
about, I say, that, by a look of their eye, they do not cast others 
into fitts, and poison others by their looks; and in particular, 
tender, fearfull women, who often are beheld by them, and as 
likely as any in the whole world to receive an ill impression 
from them7 This Salem philosophy, some men may call the 


new philosophy; but I think it rather deserves the name of 
Salem superstition and sorcery, and it is not fitt to be named 
in a land of such light as New-England is. I think the matter 
might be better solved another way; but I shall not make 
any attempt that way, further than to say^that these afflicted 
children, (as they are called,) do hold correspondence with the 
devill, even in the esteem and account of the S. G. j 1 for when 
the black man, i. e. (say these gentlemen,) the Devill, does 
appear to them, they ask him many questions, and accordingly 
give information to the inquirer; and if this is not holding 
correspondence with the devill, and something worse, I know 
not what is.""] 

But furthermore, I would fain know of these Salem Jus- 
tices what need there is of further proof and evidence to con- 
vict and condemn these apprehended persons, than this look 
and touch, if so be they are so certain that this falling down 
and arising up, when there is a look and a touch, are natural 
effects of the said look and touch, and so a perfect demonstra- 
tion and proof of witchcraft in those persons. What can the 
Jury or Judges desire more, to convict any man of witchcraft, 
than a plain demonstration, that the said man is a witch? 
Now if this look and touch, circumstanced as before, be a 
plain demonstration, (as their Philosophy teaches ; ) what need 
they seek for further evidences, when, after all, it can be but 
a demonstration? 

But let this pass with the S. G. for never so plain and 
natural a demonstration; yet certain is it, that the reasonable 
part of the world, when acquainted herewith, will laugh at 
the demonstration, and conclude that the said S. G. are actu- 
ally possessed, at least, with ignorance and folly. 

I most admire 2 that Mr. N. N. 3 the Reverend Teacher at 
Salem, who was educated at the School of Knowledge, and is 
certainly a learned, a charitable, and a good man, though all 
the devils in Hell, and all the possessed girls in Salem, should 
say to the contrary; at him, (I say,) I do most admire; that 
he should cry up the above mentioned philosophy after the 
manner that he does. I can assure you, that I can bring you 
more than two, or twice two, (very credible persons) that will 

1 1. e., Salem gentlemen and so hereafter. 

1 Marvel, am surprised. * Nicholas Noyes. 


affirm, that they have heard him vindicate the above men- 
tioned demonstration as very reasonable. 

Secondly, with respect to the confessours, (as they are im- 
properly called,) or such as confesse themselves to be witches, 
(the second thing you inquire into in your letter), there are 
now about fifty of them in Prison; many of which I have 
again and again seen and heard; and I cannot but tell you, 
that my faith is strong concerning them, that they are de- 
luded, imposed upon, and under the influence of some evill 
spirit; and therefore unfitt to be evidences either against 
themselves, or any one else. I now speak of one sort of them, 
and of others afterward. 

These confessours, (as they are called,) do very often con- 
tradict themselves, as inconsistently as is usual for any crazed, 
distempered person to do. This the S. G. do see and take 
notice of; and even the Judges themselves have, at some 
times, taken these confessours in flat lyes, or contradictions, 
even in the Courts; By reason of which, one would have 
thought, that the Judges would have frowned upon the said 
confessours, discarded them, and not minded one tittle of any 
thing that they said; but instead thereof, (as sure as we are 
men,) the Judges vindicate these confessours, and salve their 
contradictions, by proclaiming, that the Devill takes away 
their memory, and imposes upon their brain. If this reflects 
any where, I am very sorry for it: I can but assure you, that, 
upon the word of an honest man, it is truth, and that I can 
bring you many credible persons to witnesse it, who have 
been eye and ear wittnesses to these things. 

These confessours then, at least some of them, even in the 
Judges' own account, are under the influence of the JDevill; 
and the brain of these Confessours is imposed upon by the 
Devill, even in the Judges' account. But now, if, in the 
Judges' account, these confessours are under the influence of 
the Devill, and their brains are affected and imposed upon by 
the Devill, so that they are not their own men, why then should 
these Judges, or any other men, make such account of, and 
set so much by, the words of these Confessours, as they do? 
In short, I argue thus: 

If the Devill does actually take away the memory of them 
at some times, certainly the Devill, at other times, may very 


reasonably be thought to affect their fancyes, and to represent 
false ideas to their imagination. But now, if it be thus granted, 
that the Devill is able to represent false ideas (to speak vul- 
garly) to the imaginations of the confessours, what man of 
sense will regard the confessions, or any of the words, of these 

The great cry of many of our neighbours now is, What, 
will you not believe the confessours? Will you not believe 
men and women who confesse that they have signed to the 
DevilFs book? that they were baptized by the Devill; and 
that they were at the mock-sacrament once and again? What ! 
will you not believe that this is witchcraft, and that such and 
such men are witches, altho' the confessours do own and as- 
sert it? 

Thus, I say, many of our good neighbours do argue; but 
methinks they might soon be convinced that there is nothing 
at all in all these their arguings, if they would but duly con- 
sider of the premises. 

In the mean time, I think we must rest satisfyed in it, and 
be thankfull to God for it, that all men are not thus bereft of 
their senses; but that we have here and there considerate and 
thinking men, who will not thus be imposed upon, and abused, 
by the subtle endeavours of the crafty one. 

In the next place, I proceed to the form of their indite- 
ments, and the Trials thereupon. 

The Inditement runs for sorcery and witchcraft, acted upon 
the body of such an one, (say M. Warren), at such a particu- 
lar time, (say April 14, '92,) and at divers other times before 
and after, whereby the said M. W. is wasted and consumed, 
pined, etc. 

Now for the proof of the said sorcery and witchcraft, the 
prisoner at the bar pleading not guilty. 

1. The afflicted persons are brought into Court; and after 
much patience and pains taken with them, do take their oaths, 
that the prisoner at the bar did afflict them : And here I think 
it very observable, that often, when the afflicted do mean and 
intend only the appearance and shape of such an one, (say G. 
Proctour) yet they positively swear that G. Proctour did afflict 
them; and they have been allowed so to do; as tho' there was 
no real difference between G. Proctour and the shape of G. 


Proctour. This, methinks, may readily prove a stumbling 
block to the Jury, lead them into a very fundamental errour, 
and occasion innocent blood, yea the innocentest blood imag- 
inable, to be in great danger. Whom it belongs unto, to be 
eyes unto the blind, and to remove such stumbling blocks, I 
know full well; and yet you, and every one else, do know as 
well as I who do not. 1 

2. The confessours do declare what they know of the said 
prisoner; and some of the confessours are allowed to give 
their oaths; a thing which I believe was never heard of in this 
world ; that such as conf esse themselves to be witches, to have 
renounced God and Christ, and all that is sacred, should yet 
be allowed and ordered to swear by the name of the great 
God! This indeed seemeth to me to be a grosse taking of 
God's name in vain. I know the S. G. do say, that there is 
hopes that the said Confessours have repented; I shall only 
say, that if they have repented, it is well for themselves; but 
if they have not, it is very ill for you know who. But then, 

3. Whoever can be an evidence against the prisoner at the 
bar is ordered to come into Court; and here it scarce ever 
fails but that evidences, of one nature and another, are brought 
in, tho', I think, all of them altogether aliene to the matter of 
inditement; for they none of them do respect witchcraft upon 
the bodyes of the afflicted, which is the alone matter of charge 
in the inditement. 

4. They are searched by a Jury; and as to some of them, 
the Jury brought in, that [on] such or such a place there was a 
preternatural excrescence. And I w r onder what person there 
is, whether man or woman, of whom it cannot be said but that, 
in some part of their body or other, there is a preternatural 
excrescence. The term is a very general and inclusive term. 

Some of the S. G. are very forward to censure and con- 
demn the poor prisoner at the bar, because he sheds no tears : 
but such betray great ignorance in the nature of passion, and 
as great heedlessnesse as to common passages of a man's life. 
Some there are who never shed tears; others there are that 
ordinarily shed tears upon light occasions, and yet for their 
lives cannot shed a tear when the deepest sorrow is upon their 
hearts; and who is there that knows not these things? Who 

1 He means, of course, the judges. 


knows not that an ecstasye of Joy will sometimes fetch teares, 
when as the quite contrary passion will shutt them close up? 
Why then should any be so silly and foolish as to take an 
argument from this appearance? But this is by the by. In 
short, the prisoner at the bar is indited for sorcery and witch- 
craft acted upon the bodyes of the afflicted. Now, for the 
proof of this, I reckon that the only pertinent evidences 
brought in are the evidences of the said afflicted. 

It is true, that over and above the evidences of the afflicted 
persons, there are many evidences brought in, against the pris- 
oner at the bar; either that he was at a witch meeting, or that 
he performed things which could not be done by an ordinary 
natural power; or that she sold butter to a saylor, which prov- 
ing bad at sea, and the seamen exclaiming against her, she 
appeared, and soon after there was a storm, or the like. But 
what if there were ten thousand evidences of this nature; how 
do they prove the matter of inditement! And if they do not 
reach the matter of inditement, then I think it is clear, that 
the prisoner at the bar is brought in guilty, and condemned, 
merely from the evidences of the afflicted persons. 

The S. G. will by no means allow, that any are brought in 
guilty, and condemned, by virtue of spectre Evidence, (as it 
is called,) i. e. the evidence of these afflicted persons, who are 
said to have spectral eyes; but whether it is not purely by 
virtue .of these spectre evidences, that these persons are found 
guilty, (considering what before has been said,) I leave you, 
and any man of sense, to judge and determine. When any 
man is indited for murthering the person of A. B. and all the 
direct evidence be, that the said man pistolled the shadow of 
the said A. B. tho' there be never so many evidences that the 
said person murthered C. D., E. F. and ten more persons, yet 
all this will not amount to a legal proof, that he murthered 
A. B. ; and upon that inditement, the person cannot be legally 
brought in guilty of the said inditement; it must be upon this 
supposition, that the evidence of a man's pistolling the shadow 
of A. B. is a legal evidence to prove that the said man did 
murther the person of A. B. Now no man will be so much 
out of his witts as to make this a legal evidence ; and yet this 
seems to be our case; and how to apply it is very easy and 


As to the late executions, 1 I shall only tell you, that in 
the opinion of many unprejudiced, considerate and consider- 
able spectatours, some of the condemned went out of the 
world not only with as great protestations, but also with as 
good shews of innocency, as men could do. 

They protested their innocency as in the presence of the 
great God, whom forthwith they were to appear before : they 
wished, and declared their wish, that their blood might be 
the last innocent blood shed upon that account. With great 
affection 2 they intreated Mr. C. M. 3 to pray with them : they 
prayed that God would discover what witchcrafts were among 
us; they forgave their accusers; they spake without reflec- 
tion on Jury and Judges, for bringing them in guilty, and con- 
demning them : they prayed earnestly for pardon for all other 
sins, and for an interest in the pretious blood of our dear 
Redeemer; and seemed to be very sincere, upright, and sen- 
sible of their circumstances on all accounts; especially Proctor 
and Willard, whose whole management of themselves, from 
the Goal to the Gallows, and whilst at the Gallows, was very 
affecting and melting to the hearts of some considerable Spec- 
tatours, whom I could mention to you : but they are executed, 
and so I leave them. 

Many things I cannot but admire and wonder at, an ac- 
count of which I shall here send you. 

And 1. I do admire that some particular persons, and 
particularly Mrs. Thatcher of Boston, 4 should be much com- 
plained of by the afflicted persons, and yet that the Justices 
should never issue out their warrants to apprehend them, 

1 The names presently mentioned would seem to show that he has especially 
in mind the executions of August 19, and his words suggest that he was present 
on this occasion. Those then executed, besides John Proctor and John Willard, 
were the Rev. George Burroughs, George Jacobs, and Martha Carrier. For 
two other accounts of their death, both perhaps by eye-witnesses, see below, 
pp. 360-364. But there had been execution's also on June 10, July 19, and 
September 22. 

2 Emotion, earnestness. 

3 Cotton Mather. 

4 Mrs. Margaret Thacher (1625-1694), widow of the Rev. Thomas Thacher 
(d. 1678), first minister of the Old South Church. She was the only child of the 
wealthy Boston merchant Henry Webb, and had been left by a first marriage the 
widow of Jacob Sheafe, then the richest man in Boston. 


when as upon the same account they issue out their warrants 
for the apprehending and imprisoning many others. 

This occasions much discourse and many hot words, and 
is a very great scandal and stumbling block to many good 
people; certainly distributive Justice should have its course, 
without respect to persons; and altho' the said Mrs. Thatcher 
be mother in law to Mr. Corwin, 1 who is one of the Justices 
and Judges, yet if Justice and conscience do oblige them to 
apprehend others on the account of the afflicted their com- 
plaints, I cannot see how, without injustice and violence to 
conscience, Mrs. Thatcher can escape, when it is well known 
how much she is, and has been, complained of. 

2. I cannot but admire that Mr. H. U. 2 (whom we all 
think innocent,) should yet be apprehended on this account, 
and ordered to prison, by a mittimus under Mr. Lynd's 3 his 
hand, and yet that he should be suffered, for above a fortnight, 
to be in a private house; and after that, to quitt the house, 
the town, and the Province, and yet that authority should 
not take effectual notice of it. Methinks that same Justice, 
that actually imprisoned others, and refused bail for them on 
any terms, should not be satisfyed without actually imprison- ) 
ing Mr. U. and refusing bail for him, when his case is known/ 
to be the very same with the case of those others. 

If he may be suffered to go away, why may not others? 
If others may not be suffered to go, how in Justice can he be 
allowed herein? 

3. If our Justices do think that Mrs. C. 4 Mr. E. 5 and his 
wife, Mr. A. 6 and others, were capital offenders, and justly 
imprisoned on a capital account, I do admire that the said 
Justices should hear of their escape from prison, and where 
they are gone and entertained, and yet not send forthwith 
to the said places, 7 for the surrendering of them, that Justice 
might be done them. In other Capitalls 8 this has been prac- 

1 Jonathan Corwin, of Salem. 

1 Hezekiah Usher (1639-1697), a prominent Boston merchant. 
Doubtless Joseph Lynde (1637-1727), of Charlestown since June a 
member of the Council under the new Mather charter. 

4 Mrs. Nathaniel Cary, of Charlestown. See pp. 349-352. 

Philip English, of Salem. See p. 371 and note 1. 

John Alden, of Boston. See p. 170, note 2. 

1 1. e., to New York. * /. e., capital cases. 


tised; why then is it not practised in this case, if really judged 
to be so heinous as is made for? 

4. I cannot but admire, that any snould go with their dis- 
tempered friends and relations to the afflicted children, to 
know what their distempered friends ayl; whether they are 
not bewitched; who it is that afflicts them, and the like. It 
is true, I know no reason why these afflicted may not be con- 
sulted as well as any other, if so be that it was only their 
natural and ordinary knowledge that was had recourse to: 
but it is not on this notion that these afflicted children are 
sought unto; but as they have a supernatural knowledge; a 
knowledge which they obtain by their holding correspondence 
with spectres or evill spirits, as they themselves grant. This 
consulting of these afflicted children, as abovesaid, seems to 
me to be a very grosse evill, a real abomination, not fitt to be 
known in N. E. 1 and yet is a thing practised, not only by 
Tom and John I mean the ruder and more ignorant sort 
but by many who professe high, and passe among us for some 
of the better sort. This is that which aggravates the evil, 
and makes it heinous and tremendous; and yet this is not the 
worst of it, for, as sure as I now write to you, even some of our 
civil leaders, and spiritual teachers, who, (I think,) should 
punish and preach down such sorcery and wickedness, do 
yet allow of, encourage, yea, and practise this very abomi- 

I know there are several worthy Gentlemen in Salem, who 
account this practise as an abomination, have trembled to 
see the methods of this nature which others have used, and 
have declared themselves to think the practise to be very evill 
and corrupt; but all avails little with the abettours of the 
said practice. 

A person from Boston, of no small note, carried up his child 
to Salem, (near 20 miles,) on purpose that he might consult 
the afflicted about his child; which accordingly he did; and 
the afflicted told him, that his child was afflicted by Mrs. 
Gary and Mrs. Obinson. 2 The man returned to Boston, and 
went forthwith to the Justices for a warrant to seise the said 

1 New England. 

2 Mrs. Obinson was probably the wife of William Obinson, or Obbinson, a 
Boston tanner. 


Obinson, (the said Gary being out of the way) ; but the Boston 
Justices saw reason to deny a warrant. The Rev. Mr. I. M. 1 
of Boston, took occasion severely to reprove the said man; 
asking him whether there was not a God in Boston, that he 
should go to the Devill in Salem for advice; warning him very 
seriously against such naughty practices; which, I hope, 
proved to the conviction and good of the said person; if not, 
his blood will be upon his own head. 

This consulting of these afflicted children, about their sick, 
was the unhappy begining of the unhappy troubles at poor 
Andover : Horse and man were sent up to Salem Village, from 
the said Andover, for some of the said afflicted ; and more than 
one or two of them were carried down to see Ballard's wife, 2 
and to tell who it was that did afflict her. I understand that 
the said B. took advice before he took this method; but what 
pity was it, that he should meet with, and hearken to such 
bad Counsellours? Poor Andover does now rue the day that 
ever the said afflicted went among them; they lament their 
folly, and are an object of great pity and commiseration. 
Capt. B. 3 and Mr. St. 4 are complained of by the afflicted, 
have left the town, and do abscond. Deacon Fry's wife, 
Capt'n Osgood's wife, and some others, remarkably pious and 
good people in repute, are apprehended and imprisoned; and 
that that is more admirable, the forementioned women are 
become a kind of confessours, being first brought thereto by 
the urgings and arguings of their good husbands, who, having 
taken up that corrupt and highly pernicious opinion, that who- 
ever were accused by the afflicted, were guilty, did break 
charity with their dear wives, upon their being accused, and 
urge them to confesse their guilt; which so far prevailed with 
them as to make them say, they were afraid of their being in 
the snare of the Devill; and which, through the rude and bar- 

1 Increase Mather. 

1 Mrs. Joseph Ballard. See below, pp. 371-372; and, for more as to this 
Andover episode, pp. 241-244, 418-420. The records of the Andover cases are 
printed by Woodward in his Records of Salem Witchcraft (Roxbury, 1864), and 
there are chapters on the episode in Abiel Abbot's History of Andover (Andover, 
1829) and Sarah Loring Bailey's Historical Sketches of Andover (Boston, 1880). 

1 Dudley Bradstreet. See p. 372. 

4 Stevens? The conjecture is Mrs. Bailey's (Historical Sketches of Andover, 
p. 228). 


barous methods* that were afterwards used at Salem, issued 
in somewhat plainer degrees of confession, and was attended 
with imprisonment. The good Deacon and Captain are now 
sensible of the errour they were in; do grieve and mourn bit- 
terly, that they should break their charity with their wives, 
and urge them to confesse themselves witches. They now 
see and acknowledge their rashnesse and uncharitablenesse, 
and are very fitt objects for the pity and prayers of every 
good Christian. Now I am writing concerning Andover, I 
cannot omit the opportunity of sending you this information; 
that Whereas there is a report spread abroad the country, how 
that they were much addicted to Sorcery in the said town, 
and that there were fourty men in it that could raise the Devill 
as well ag any astrologer, and the like; after the best search 
that I can make into it, it proves a mere slander, and a very 
unrighteous imputation. 

The Rev'd Elders of the said place were much surprized 
upon their hearing of the said Report, and faithfully made in- 
quiry about it; but the whole of naughtiness, that they could 
discover and find out, was only this, that two or three girls 
had foolishly made use of the sieve and scissors, 2 as children 
have done in other towns. This method of the girls I do not 
Justifye in any measure; but yet I think it very hard and 
unreasonable, that a town should lye under the blemish and 

* You may possibly think that my terms are too severe; but should I 
tell you what a kind of Blade was employed in bringing these women to their 
confession; what methods from damnation were taken; with what violence 
urged; how unseasonably they were kept up; what buzzings and chuckings of 
the hand were used, and the like, I am sure that you would call them, (as I 
do), rude and barbarous methods. 1 [Marginal note in the original.] 

1 What Brattle may mean by "methods from damnation" is a puzzle to the 
editor. Perhaps "damnation" is only a euphemism for "hell." Possibly he 
thinks of that clause in the Massachusetts laws (Body of Liberties of 1641, art. 45; 
Lawes and Libertyes, 1660, p. 67; 1672, p. 129) which permits a prisoner "in some 
capital case, when he is first fully convicted by clear and sufficient evidence to 
be guilty," to be tortured for the discovery of his accomplices, yet not with such 
tortures as are barbarous and inhuman. What he means by "buzzings and chuck- 
ings of the hand," i. e., whisperings and wheedlings, will grow clear if one turn 
to pp. 374-376, and read what these Andover women themselves tell of the methods 
used with them. 

2 A mode of divination much in vogue in New England as in Old. Called 
also "sieve and shears" or "riddle and shears" : the learned name is coscinomancy. 


scandal of sorceryes and conjuration, merely for the inconsid- 
erate practices of two or three girls in the said town. 

5. I cannot but admire that the Justices, whom I think to 
be well-meaning men, should so far give ear to the Devill, as 
merely upon his authority to issue out their warrants, and 
apprehend people. Liberty was evermore accounted the great 
priviledge of an Englishman; but certainly, if the Devill will 
be heard against us, and his testimony taken, to the siezing 
and apprehending of us, our liberty vanishes, and we are fools 
if we boast of our liberty. Now, that the Justices have thus 
far given ear to the Devill, I think may be mathematically 
demonstrated to any man of common sense: And for the 
demonstration and proof hereof, I desire, only, that these two 
things may be duly considered, viz. 

1. That several persons have been apprehended purely 
upon the complaints of these afflicted, to whom the afflicted 
were perfect strangers, and had not the least knowledge of 
imaginable, before they were apprehended. 

2. That the afflicted do own and assert, and the Justices 
do grant, that the Devill does inform and tell the afflicted the 
names of those persons that are thus unknown unto them. 
Now these two things being duly considered, I think it will 
appear evident to any one, that the DevilTs information is 
the fundamental testimony that is gone upon in the appre- 
hending of the aforesaid people. 

If I believe such or such an assertion as comes immediately 
from the Minister of God in the pulpitt, because it is the word 
of the overliving God, I build my faith on God's testimony: 
and if I practise upon it, this my practice is properly built on 
the word of God : even so in the case before us, 

If I believe the afflicted persons as informed by the Devill, 
and act thereupon, this my act may properly be said to be 
grounded upon the testimony or information of the Devill. 
And now, if things are thus, I think it ought to be for a lam- 
entation to you and me, and all such as would be accounted 
good Christians. 

If any should see the force of this argument, and upon it 
say, (as I heard a wise and good Judge once propose,) that 
they know not but that God almighty, or a good spirit, does 
give this information to these afflicted persons; I make answer 


thereto, and say, that it is most certain that it is neither 
almighty God, nor yet any good Spirit, that gives this informa- 
tion; and my Reason is good, because God is a God of truth; 
and the good Spirits will not lye; whereas these informations 
have several times proved false, when the accused were brought 
before the afflicted. 

6. I cannot but admire that these afflicted persons should 
be so much countenanced and encouraged in their accusations 
as they are: I often think of the Groton woman, that was 
afflicted, an account of which we have in print, and is a most 
certain truth, not to be doubted of. 1 I shall only say, that 
there was as much ground, in the hour of it, to countenance 
the said Groton woman, and to apprehend and imprison, on 
her accusations, as there is now to countenance these afflicted 
persons, and to apprehend and imprison on their accusations. 
But furthermore, it is worthy of our deepest consideration, 
that in the conclusion, (after multitudes have been imprisoned, 
and many have been put to death,) these afflicted persons 
should own that all was a mere fancy and delusion of the 
DevilTs, as the Groton woman did own and acknowledge with 
respect to herself; if, I say, in after times, this be acknowledged 
by them, how can the Justices, Judges, or any else concerned 
in these matters, look back upon these things without the 
greatest of sorrow and grief imaginable? I confesse to you, it 
makes me tremble when I seriously consider of this thing. I 
have heard that the chief judge 2 has expressed himself very 
hardly of the accused woman at Groton, as tho' he believed 
her to be a witch to this day; but by such as knew the said 
woman, this is judged a very uncharitable opinion of the 

1 "The Groton woman" was Elizabeth Knapp, and the "account in print" 
probably that of Increase Mather reprinted above, pp. 21-23, though possibly 
Willard's sermon (see p. 21, note 4) is meant. 

2 William Stoughton, the new lieutenant-governor. He had been educated 
for the ministry in the Harvard class of 1650, and went to England, where he 
preached for some ten years, receiving meanwhile at Oxford his mastership in 
arts and the honor of a fellowship; but, ejected at the Restoration, he returned 
to New England, and there, though counted an able preacher, declined a settle- 
ment and drifted into public life. He seems to have set store by his learning 
in theology, and to the end to have maintained the Devil's impotence to person- 
ate by a spectre any but a guilty witch. As to his career see the careful study 
by Sibley, in his Harvard Graduates (I. 194-208). 


said Judge, and I do not understand that any are proselyted 

Rev'd Sir, these things I cannot but admire and wonder 
at. Now, if so be it is the effect of my dullness that I thus 
admire, I hope you will pity, not censure me: but if, on the 
contrary, these things are just matter of admiration, I know 
that you will join with me in expressing your admiration 

The chief Judge is very zealous in these proceedings, and 
says, he is very clear as to all that hath as yet been acted by 
this Court, and, as far as ever I could perceive, is very impa- 
tient in hearing any thing that looks another way. I very 
highly honour and reverence the wisdome and integrity of the 
said Judge, and hope that this matter shall not diminish my 
veneration for his honour; however, I cannot but say, my great 
fear is, that wisdome and counsell are withheld from his hon- 
our as to this matter, which yet I look upon not so much as a 
Judgment to his honour as to this poor land. 

But altho' the Chief Judge, and some of the other Judges, 
be very zealous in these proceedings, yet this you may take 
for a truth, that there are several about the Bay, men for 
understanding, Judgment, and Piety, inferiour to few, (if any,) 
in N. E. that do utterly condemn the said proceedings, and do 
freely deliver their Judgment in the case to be this, viz. that 
these methods will utterly ruine and undoe poor N. E. I 
shall nominate some of these to you, viz. The hon'ble Simon 
Bradstreet, Esq. (our late Governor); the hon'ble Thomas 
Danforth, Esq. (our late Deputy Governor); the Rev'd Mr. 
Increase Mather, and the Rev'd Mr. Samuel Willard. Major 
N. Saltonstall, Esq. who was one of the Judges, has left the 
Court, and is very much dissatisfyed with the proceedings of 
it. Excepting Mr. Hale, Mr. Noyes, and Mr. Parris, the 
Rev'd Elders, almost throughout the whole Country, are very 
much dissatisfyed. Several of the late Justices, viz. Thomas 
Graves, Esq. N. Byfield, Esq. Francis Foxcroft, Esq. are much 
dissatisfyed; also several of the present Justices; and in par- 
ticular, some of the Boston Justices, were resolved rather to 
throw up their commissions than be active in disturbing the 
liberty of their Majesties' subjects, merely on the accusations 
of these afflicted, possessed children. 


Finally; the principal Gentlemen in Boston, and there- 
about, are generally agreed that irregular and dangerous 
methods have been taken as to these matters. 

Sir, I would not willingly lead you into any errour, and 
therefore would desire you to note, 

1. That when I call these afflicted "the afflicted children," 
I would not be understood as though I meant, that all that 
are afflicted are children: there are several young men and 
women that are afflicted, as well as children: but this term 
has most prevailed among us, because of the younger sort that 
were first afflicted, and therefore I make use of it. 

2. That when I speak of the Salem Gentlemen, I would 
not be understood as tho' I meant every Individual Gentle- 
man in Salem; nor yet as tho' I meant, that there were no 
men but in Salem that run upon these notions : some term they 
must have, and this seems not improper, because in Salem this 
sort of Gentlemen does most abound. 

3. That other Justices in the Country, besides the Salem 
Justices, have issued out their warrants, and imprisoned, on 
the accusations of the afflicted as aforesaid; and therefore, 
when I speak of the Salem Justices, I do not mean them 

4. That as to the above mentioned Judges, that are com- 
missionated for this Court at Salem, five of them do belong 
to Suffolk county; four of which five do belong to Boston; 1 and 
therefore I see no reason why Boston should talk of Salem, 
as tho' their own Judges had had no hand in these proceedings 
at Salem. 

Nineteen persons have now been executed, and one pressed 
to death for a mute: seven more are condemned; two of 
which are reprieved, because they pretend their being with 
child; one, viz. Mrs. Bradbury of Salisbury, from the inter- 
cession of some friends; and two or three more, because they 
are confessours. 2 

The Court is adjourned to the first Tuesday in November, 
then to be kept at Salem; between this and then will be [the] 

1 See p. 355. Richards, Sargent, Sewall, Winthrop, were of Boston; Stough- 
ton of Dorchester, close by. Only Gedney was of Salem, till Corwin was called 
in to replace Saltonstall (who was of Haverhill). 

2 As to all these see below, pp. 360-374. 


great assembly, 1 and this matter will be a peculiar matter of 
their agitation. I think it is matter of earnest supplication 
and prayer to almighty God, that he would afford his gracious 
presence to the said assembly, and direct them aright in this 
weighty matter. Our hopes are here; and if, at this Juncture, 
God does not graciously appear for us, I think we may con- 
clude that N. E. is undone and undone. 

I am very sensible, that it is irksome and disagreeable to 
go back, when a man's doing so is an implication that he has 
been walking in a wrong path : however, nothing is more hon- 
ourable than, upon due conviction, to retract and undo, (so 
far as may be,) what has been amiss and irregular. 

I would hope that, in the conclusion, both the Judges and 
Justices will see and acknowledge that such were then* best 
friends and advisers as disswaded from the methods which they 
have taken, tho' hitherto they have been angry with them, 
and apt to speak very hardly of them. 

I cannot but highly applaud, and think it our duty to be 
very thankfull, for the endeavours of several Elders, 2 whose 
lips, (I think,) should preserve knowledge, and whose counsell 
should, I think, have been more regarded, in a case of this 
nature, than as yet it has been: in particular, I cannot but 
think very honourably of the endeavours of a Rev'd person in 
Boston, 3 whose good affection to his countrey in general, 

1 The General Court. It convened on October 12. Its attitude as to the 
Salem trials is thus tersely intimated in Judge Sewall's diary: "Oct. 26, 1692. 
A Bill is sent in about calling a Fast and Convocation of Ministers, that [we] may 
be led in the right way as to the Witchcrafts. The season and manner of doing 
it, is such, that the Court of Oyer and Terminer count themselves thereby dis- 
missed. 29 Nos and 33 yeas to the Bill." The bill itself has been printed (from 
the Mass. Archives, XL 70) by G. H. Moore, in the Proceedings of the American 
Antiquarian Society (n. s., II. 172); and that those of Brattle's mind had not 
relied alone on prayer to influence the assembly may be seen by the petition 
printed in the N. E. Hist, and Gen. Register, XXVII. 55, and in the Proceedings 
of the American Antiquarian Society, n. s., V. 246 (see also Proceedings, n. s., II. 

'The ministers, now practically the only "elders." 

1 It has been generally assumed, and with reason, that this "Rev'd person" 
was the Rev. Samuel Willard. Three of the judges (Sargent, Sewall, and Win- 
throp) were members of his church (the Old South), and, unless one suspect 
Brattle of intent to mislead, ''spiritual relation" must here mean a pastor's. 
The phrase "good affection to the country" suggests, too, one who, like Willard, 


and spiritual relation to three of the Judges in particular, has 
made him very solicitous and industrious in this matter; and 
I am fully persuaded, that had his notions and proposals been 
hearkened to, and followed, when these troubles were in their 
birth, in an ordinary way, they would never have grown unto 
that heigth which now they have. He has as yet mett with 
little but unkindness, abuse, and reproach from many men; 
but I trust that, in after times, his wisdome and service will 
find a more universal acknowledgment; and if not, his reward 
is with the Lord. 

Two or three things I should have hinted to you before, 
but they slipped my thoughts in their proper place. 

Many of these afflicted persons, who have scores of strange 
fitts in a day, yet in the intervals of time are hale and hearty, 
robust and lusty, as tho' nothing had afflicted them. (J. Re- 
member that when the chief Judge gave the first Jury their 
charge, he told them, that they were not to mind whether the 
bodies of the said afflicted were really pined and consumed, as 
was expressed in the inditement ; but whether the said afflicted 
did not suffer from the accused such afflictions as naturally 

shared Brattle's political views. We have seen already (p. 23) what caution in 

1671 he used in the case of Elizabeth Knapp; and, if the "notions and proposals" . 

meant by Brattle are now lost, we have from his pen what puts his position in ! 
1692 beyond all question a little dialogue, published anonymously while the 
troubles were at their height, which with fairness and courtesy, but with striking 
clearness and boldness, argues against the iniquity of the procedure. Its title 
runs : Some Miscellany Observations on our Present Debates respecting Witchcrafts, 
in a Dialogue between S. and B. By P. E. and J. A. Philadelphia, Printed by 
William Bradford, for Hezekiah Usher. 1692. "S." and "B." undoubtedly 
mean Salem and Boston. Philadelphia and Bradford probably had as little to 
do with the book (the type is not Bradford's) as did Hezekiah Usher, P. E. (Philip 
English), or J. A. (John Alden), three notable fugitives from Salem justice. 
All alike were merely remote enough to bear in safety the imputation of such a 
book. John Alden and Hezekiah Usher were members of Willard's church; and 
Philip English and his wife he visited while in custody at Boston, and probably 
was a party to their escape. At least the Rev. William Bentley, of Salem, re- 
cording in his diary, May 21, 1793, what their great-granddaughter Susanna 

Hathorne had told him, relates that Willard and Moodey "visited them and in- 
vited them to the public worship on the day before they were to return to Salem 
for trial. Their text was that they that are persecuted in one city, let them flee 
to another. After Meeting the Ministers visited them at the Gaol, and asked 
them whether they took notice of the discourse, and told them their danger and 
urged them to escape since so many had suffered. Mr. English replied, 'God 


tended to their being pined and consumed, wasted, etc. This, 
(said he,) is a pining and consuming in the sense of the law. 
I add noQ 

Furthermore: These afflicted persons do say, and often 
have declared it, that they can see Spectres when their eyes 
are shutt, as well as when they are open. This one thing I 
evermore accounted as very observable, and that which might 
serve as a good key to unlock the nature of these myste- 
rious troubles, if duly improved by us. LCan they see Spectres 
when their eyes are shutt? I am sure they lye, at least speak 
falsely, if they say so; for the thing, in nature, is an utter im- 
possibility. It is true, they may strongly fancye, or have 
things represented to their imagination, when their eyes are 
shutt; and I think this is all which ought to be allowed to 
these blind, nonsensical girls; and if our officers and Courts 
have apprehended, imprisoned, condemned, and executed our 
guiltlesse neighbours, certainly our errour is great, and we shall 
rue it in the conclusion.^! There are two or three other things 
that I have observed irTand by these afflicted persons, which 
make me strongly suspect that the Devill imposes upon their 
brains, and deludes their fancye and imagination; and that 

will not permit them to touch me.' Mrs. English said: 'Do you not think the 
sufferers innocent?' He (Moody) said 'Yes.' She then added, 'Why may we 
not suffer also?' The Ministers then told him if he would not carry his wife 
away they would." (Quoted by R. D. Paine, in his Ships and Sailors of Old 
Salem, from Bentley's privately printed diary, which seems to give the tale in a 
more primitive form than his letter to Alden, in the Mass. Hist. Soc., Collections, 
X.) "It ought never to be forgotten," said Willard's colleague, Ebenezer Pem- 
berton, preaching in 1707 his funeral sermon, "with what Prudence, Courage and 
Zeal he appeared for the Good of this People in that Dark and Mysterious Season 
when we were assaulted from the Invisible World. And how singularly Instru- 
mental he was in discovering the Cheats and Delusions of Satan, which did 
threaten to stain our Land with Blood and to deluge it with all manner of Woes." 
True, Judge Sewall, mentioning in 1696 (Diary, I. 433) Willard's sermon at the 
day of public prayer, says that he spake smartly "at last" about the Salem 
witchcraft; but "at last" here means "at the end," "as the peroration of his 
sermon." It is clearly Willard whom Cotton Mather has especially in mind 
when in his life of Phips and again in his Magnolia (bk. II., p. 62) he sets 
forth the views of those "who from the beginning were very much dissatisfied 
with these proceedings," having "already known of one at the Town of Groton" 
who had falsely accused a neighbor. The strange suggestion of W. F. Poole 
that Brattle here means Cotton Mather himself, is adequately answered by 
Upham, in his Salem Witchcraft and Cotton Mather. 


the DevilTs book (which they say has been offered them) is a 
mere fancye of theirs, and no reality: That the witches' 
meeting, the Devill 's Baptism, and mock sacraments, which 
they oft speak of, are nothing else but the effect of their fancye, 
depraved and deluded by the Devill, and not a Reality to be 
regarded or minded by any wise man. And whereas the Con- 
fessours have owned and asserted the said meetings, the said 
Baptism, and mock Sacrament, (which the S. G. and some 
others, make much account of) I am very apt to think, that, 
did you know the circumstances of the said Confessours, you 
would not be swayed thereby, any otherwise than to be con- 
firmed, that all is perfect Devilism, and an Hellish design to 
ruine and destroy this poor land: For whereas there are of 
the said Confessours 55 in number, some of them are known 
to be distracted, crazed women, something of which you may 
see by a petition lately offered to the chief Judge, a copy 
whereof I may now send you; 1 others of them denyed their 
guilt, and maintained their innocency for above eighteen hours, 
after most violent, distracting, and draggooning 2 methods had 
been used with them, to make them confesse. Such methods 
they were, that more than one of the said confessours did since 
tell many, with teares in their eyes, that they thought their 
very lives would have gone out of their bodyes; and wished 
that they might have been cast into the lowest dungeon, 
rather than be tortured with such repeated buzzings and chuck- 
ings and unreasonable urgings as they were treated withal. 

They soon recanted their confessions, acknowledging, with 
sorrow and grief, that it was an hour of great temptation with 
them; and I am very apt to think, that as for five or six of the 
said confessours, if they are not very good Christian women, 
it will be no easy matter to find so many good Christian 
women in N. E. But, finally, as to about thirty of these fifty- 
five Confessours, they are possessed (I reckon) with the Devill, 
and afflicted as the children are, and therefore not fitt to be 
regarded as to any thing they say of themselves or others. 
And whereas the S. G. do say that these confessours made 

1 The paper meant is doubtless that printed at pp. 374-375, below. 

2 The attempt of Louis XIV. to force his Protestant subjects to abandon 
their faith by turning loose his dragoons upon them had already furnished the 
English language with this new word. 


their Confessions before they were afflicted, it is absolutely 
contrary to universal experience, as far as ever I could under- 
stand. It is true, that some of these have made their con- 
fession before they had their falling, tumbling fitts, but yet 
not absolutely before they had any fitts and marks of posses- 
sion, for (as the S. G. know full well) when these persons were 
about first confessing, their mouths would be stopped, and 
their throats affected, as tho' there was danger of strangling, 
and afterward (it is true) came their tumbling fitts. So that, 
I say, the confessions of these persons were in the beginning of 
their fitts, and not truly before their fitts, as the S. G. would 
make us believe. 

Thus, (Sir,) I have given you as full a narrative of these 
matters as readily occurs to my mind, and I think every word 
of it is matter of fact; the several glosses and descants where- 
upon, by way of Reasoning, I refer to your Judgment, whether 
to approve or disapprove. 

What will be the issue of these troubles, God only knows; 
I am afraid that ages will not wear off that reproach and those 
stains which these things will leave behind them upon our 
land. I pray God pity us, Humble us, Forgive us, and ap- 
pear mercifully for us in this our mount of distress : Herewith 
I conclude, and subscribe myself, 

Reverend Sir, your real friend and humble servant, 

T. B. 

GOVERNMENT, 1692-1693 


SIR WILLIAM PHIPS, who arrived in May as the royal | 
governor under the new charter, was no stranger to New En- I 
gland. Born in 1651 at a hamlet on the Maine coast, just be- 
yond the Kennebec, where his father, a Bristol gunsmith, had 
become a settler, he had early turned from sheep-herding to 
ship-carpentry, and then coming up to Boston, where at 
twenty-two he first learned to read and write, he had by thrift 
become the master of a vessel and had found a path to fortune 
in the rescue of lost treasure from Spanish galleons sunken in 
West Indian waters. These ventures had brought him into 
partnership with some of the most powerful of English nobles, 
and even with royalty itself, and his sturdy honesty (or per- 
haps a wise use of his wealth) won him from the King in 1687 
the honor of knighthood and in 1688 appointment as high 
sheriff of New England. The hostility of Governor Andros 
brought the sheriff ship to nothing; but the English revolution 
overturned Andros in 1689, and the emancipated colonies made 
Sir William head of the expedition that conquered Nova Sco- 
tia, and then sent him with another against Quebec. Mean- 
while President Increase Mather was laboring in England, as 
the agent of Massachusetts, for the restoration of the ancient 
charter; and when Sir William (who during his absence had, 
as his son's convert, become a member of his church) turned 
up there too, and just in time to support him against the other 
New England commissioners in accepting from the King what 
' could be got, though not what could be wished, he was the 
natural nominee for the new governorship. 

But the new governor was little trained for such an emer- 



gency as awaited him in New England. What more natural 
in such a crisis, which to the thought of that day seemed to 
need the divine more than the statesman, than to turn for 
counsel to his pastor and patron, or to his colleague the new 
lieutenant-governor, 1 who had enjoyed precisely that training 
in theology which seemed now his own chief lack? Stoughton 
was made chief justice of a special court created by the gov- 
ernor to try the witch-cases, 2 and during the latter's repeated 
absences 3 at the frontier became the acting governor. The 
ministers of Boston were " consulted by his Excellency and the 
Honourable Council" as to the conduct of the trials. Their 
"Return," bearing date of June 15, was drawn by Cotton 
Mather; 4 and it was perhaps now that that divine, who had 
early (May 31) furnished the judges a body of instructions, 5 
was inspired by "the Direction of His Excellency the Gov- 
ernor" 6 to undertake that "Account of the Sufferings brought 

1 William Stoughton (see above, p. 183 and note 2) was of course also a 
nominee of Mather's. He had not been forward in the revolution which over- 
threw the Andros government, but he had rallied to it, and Cotton Mather had 
written his father wishing he might "do anything to restore him to the favor of 
the country." 

1 In the last week of May, at his first meetings with the new Council. The 
court began its sessions at Salem on June 2. 

1 He was present in Boston at meetings of the Council on June 13, 18, 
July 4, 8, 15, 18, 21, 22, 25, 26, September 5, 12, 16, and again on October 14 
(Moore, in American Antiquarian Society, Proceedings, n. s., V. 251 note). 
Sewall on September 29 notes in his diary: "Governor comes to Town." 

4 A summary of it may be found on pp. 356-357, below; the full text is ap- 
pended to Increase Mather's Cases of Conscience (1693) and has been often re- 
printed, both with that work and in later books. It is Cotton Mather himself 
(in his life of Phips) who tells us that he drafted it. 

6 In his letter of May 31 to his parishioner John Richards, a member of the 
court (Mather Papers, pp. 391-397). It is endorsed with reason "M r Cotton 
Mather, an Essay concerning Witchcraft"; for an essay it really is. A supple- 
ment, and an interesting one, is his letter of August 17 to John Foster, a member 
of the Council (printed by Upham in his Salem Witchcraft and Cotton Mather. 
pp. 39-40). 

It has been questioned (by Upham and again by G. H. Moore) whether 
"the Governor" whose "commands" Mather alleges (see p. 206) may not 
be Stoughton instead of Phips; but his discrimination between the two is too 
clear and too constant to admit the suspicion, and still less can Stoughton and 


upon the Countrey by Witchcraft," which was ready for sub- 
mission to Sir William on his return from the east in early 
October, and with which, under its title of The Wonders of the 
Invisible World, we must soon make acquaintance. The open- 
ing clauses of the governor's letter show plainly the influence 
of that book; 1 and the change in tone between its earlier and 
its later portion, and yet more between the letter of October 
and that of February, is not the least interesting feature of 
these documents. 2 

Sewall (see pp. 251, 378) have been inexact. A doubt as to who consulted the 
clergy must be similarly answered. Yet Stoughton may well have been behind 
both acts. 

1 His phrases are taken almost bodily from the book (see, in Drake's edition, 
pp. 102-109, not here reprinted); and his statement as to the methods of the 
court echoes Mather's. It has been suggested (by Moore) that Mather himself 
drafted the letter; but neither the style nor the matter of its later portion can 
be his. 

2 Cotton Mather, in his life of Phips, names as one of the causes of the gov- 
ernor's changing attitude, the reply of "the Dutch and French Ministers of the 
Province of New York," who had "their Judgement asked by the Chief Judge of 
that Province" the Massachusetts Tory, Joseph Dudley. These questions 
(now printed with the answers in the Proceedings of the Mass. Hist. Soc., second 
series, I, 348-358) throw a vivid light on the problems then agitating the public 
mind. They are dated at New York on October 5, and the answers, dated Oc- 
tober 11, cannot have reached Boston before the middle of that month. More 
distinctly than the Boston clergy they reject "spectral evidence." According to 
the Anglican rector at New York, John Miller (commenting on Mather's state- 
ment as borrowed by the geographer Hermann Moll), "the advice of the estab- 
lished English Minister was also asked and generously given"; "but," he adds, 
"they were not so civill as to thank him for it, nor do they here acknowledge it, 
although it was much to their purpose, and stood them in good stead." It may 
be found, however, written out by his own hand in his copy of Moll's Atlas (now 
in the New York Public Library); and it is summarized at pp. 274-276 of the 
New York Historical Society's Collections for 1869 and in the edition of Miller's 
New York considered (1695) by Mr. Paltsits (1903), to whom the editor owes 
suggestion of the matter. Miller's answers are, indeed, somewhat less credulous 
than those of his Calvinist colleagues; but (as appears from a "Memorandum" 
of his own) it is by no means certain that they reached New England. 


WHEN I first arrived I found this Province miserably har- 
rassed with a most Horrible witchcraft or Possession of Devills 
which had broke in upon severall Townes, some scores of poor 
people were taken with preternaturall torments some scalded 
with brimstone some had pins stuck in their flesh others hur-. 
ried into the fire and water and some dragged out of their 
houses and carried over the tops of trees and hills for many 
Miles together; it hath been represented to mee much like 
that of Sweden about thirty years agoe, 1 and there were many 
committed to prison upon suspicion of Witchcraft before my 
arrivall. The loud cries and clamours of the friends of the 
afflicted people with the advice of the Deputy Governor and 
many others prevailed with mee to give a Commission of Oyer 
and Terminer for discovering what witchcraft might be at 
the bottome or whether it were not a possession. The chief 
Judge in this Commission was the Deputy Governour and the 
rest were persons of the best prudence and figure that could 
then be pitched upon. When the Court came to sitt at Salem 
in the County of Essex they convicted more than twenty per- 
sons of being guilty of witchcraft, some of .the convicted were 
such as confessed their Guilt, the Court as I understand began 
their proceedings with the accusations of the afflicted and then 
went upon other humane 2 evidences to strengthen that. I was 
almost the whole time of the proceeding abroad in the service 
of Their Majesties in the Eastern part of the Country and de- 
pended upon the Judgement of the Court as to a right method 
of proceeding in cases of Witchcraft but when I came home I 
found many persons in a strange ferment of dissatisfaction which 
was increased by some hott Spiritts that blew up the flame, 3 but 

1 The famous case at Mohra in 1669-1670. Cotton Mather had appended 
to his Wonders an account of it. . 'Human. 

8 He thinks perhaps of the Baptist preacher, William Milborne, one of the 
leaders in the later revolution, who on June 25 was called before the Council 



on enquiring into the matter I found that the Devill had taken 
upon him the name and shape of severall persons who were 
doubtless inocent and to my certain knowledge of good reputa- 
tion for which cause I have now forbidden the committing of 
any more that shall be accused without unavoydable necessity, 
and those that have been committed I would shelter from any 
Proceedings against them wherein there may be the least 
suspition of any wrong to be done unto the Innocent. I would 
also wait for any particular directions or commands if their 
Majesties please to give mee any for the fuller ordering this 
perplexed affair. I have also put a stop to the printing of any 
discourses one way or other, that may increase the needless 
disputes of people upon this occasion, because I saw a likely- 
hood of kindling an inextinguishable flame if I should admitt 
any publique and open Contests and I have grieved to see that 
some who should have done their Majesties and this Province 
better service have so far taken Councill of Passion as to desire 
the precipitancy of these matters, these things have been im- 
proved by some to give me many interuptions in their Majes- 
ties service and in truth none of my vexations have been 
greater than this, than that their Majesties service has been 
hereby unhappily clogged, and the Persons who have made 
soe ill improvement of these matters here are seeking to turne 
it all upon mee, 1 but I hereby declare that as soon as I came from 
righting against their Majesties Enemyes and understood what 
danger some of their innocent subjects might be exposed to, 
if the evidence of the afflicted persons only did prevaile 
either to the committing or trying any of them, I did before 

because of two papers subscribed by him and several others, "containing very 
high reflections upon the administration of public justice within this their 
Majesty's Province" (Moore, Notes on Witchcraft, p. 12; Final Notes, p. 72). 
What seems one of these papers, addressed "to the Grave and Juditious the Gen- 
erall Assembly of the Province," has been found (see it in N. E. Hist, and Gen. 
Register, XXVII. 55, and reprinted by Moore in American Antiquarian Society, 
Proceedings, n. s., V. 246) and proves a protest against the conviction "upon 
bare specter testimonie" of "persons of good fame and of unspotted reputa- 
tion." It must have been in circulation before the detection of its author, and 
was very possibly the reason for the consultation of the clergy. 

1 It must be remembered that the new charter, by opening the suffrage to 
those who were not church members, had greatly strengthened the party opposed 
to the theocracy and to the theocracy's governor. More than once it has been 
said, too, that the Salem witchcraft was the rock on which the theocracy shattered. 


any application was made unto me about it put a stop to the 
proceedings of the Court and they are now stopt till their 
Majesties pleasure be known. Sir I beg pardon for giving you 
all this trouble, the reason is because I know my enemies are 
seeking to turn it all upon me and I take this liberty because 
I depend upon your friendship, and desire you will please to 
give a true understanding of the matter if any thing of this 
kind be urged or made use of against mee. Because the just- 
nesse of my proceeding herein will bee a sufficient defence. Sir 
I am with all imaginable respect 

Your most humble Servt 


Dated at Boston 

the 12th of October 1692. 1 


That my Lord President be pleased to acquaint his Ma'ty 
in Councill with the account received from New England from 
Sir Wm. Phips the Governor there touching Proceedings against 
severall persons for Witchcraft as appears by the Governor's 
letter concerning those matters. 

BOSTON in New England Febry 21st, 169S. 

May it please yor. Lordshp. 

BY the Capn. of the Samuell and Henry I gave an account 
that att my arrivall here I found the Prisons full of people 

1 This letter, with its memorandum, has been printed in the Essex Institute 
Historical Collections, IX. 86-88, from a copy made in the British archives ("Co- 
lonial Entry Book, vol. 62, p. 414," now C. O. 5: 905, p. 414). It has since 
been printed also in the Calendar of State Papers, Colonial, 1689-1692 (no. 2551, 
p. 720), which uses not only this MS. (mistakenly called "an extract") but 
another ("Board of Trade, New England, 6, no. 7," now C. O. 5: 857, no. 7); 
but the editor has corrected and paraphrased. The last-named MS. (C. O. 
5 : 857, no. 7) is, however, the original letter; and the present impression has 
been carefully collated with it at London, many corrections resulting. October 
14, in the Essex Institute's reprint, is only a printer's error for October 12. 
The letter was addressed to William Blathwayt, clerk of the Privy Council, and 
it is he who added the memorandum (to the Entry Book copy). 


committed upon suspition of witchcraft and that continuall 
complaints were made to me that many persons were grievously 
tormented by witches and that they cryed out upon severall 
persons by name, as the cause of their torments. The number 
of these complaints increasing every day, by advice of the 
Lieut Govr. and the Councill I gave a Commission of Oyer 
and Terminer to try the suspected witches and at that time 
the generality of the People represented the matter to me as 
reall witchcraft and gave very strange instances of the same. 
The first in Commission was the Lieut. Govr. and the rest per- 
sons of the best prudence and figure that could then be pitched 
upon and I depended upon the Court for a right method of 
proceeding in cases of witchcraft. At that time I went to 
command the army at the Eastern part of the Province, for 
the French and Indians had made an attack upon some of our 
Fronteer Towns. I continued there for some time but when 
I returned I found people much disatisfied at the proceedings 
of the Court, for about Twenty persons were condemned and 
executed of which number some were thought by many per- 
sons to be innocent. The Court still proceeded in the same 
method of trying them, which was by the evidence of the 
afflicted persons who when they were brought into the Court 
as soon as the suspected witches looked upon them instantly 
fell to the ground in strange agonies and grievous torments, 
but when touched by them upon the arme or some other part 
of their flesh they immediately revived and came to themselves, 
upon [which] they made oath that the Prisoner at the Bar did 
afflict them and that they saw their shape or spectre come from 
their bodies which put them to such paines and torments: 
When I enquired into the matter I was enformed by the 
Judges that they begun with this, but had humane testimony 
against such as were condemned and undoubted proof of their 
being witches, but at length I found that the Devill did take 
upon him the shape of Innocent persons and some were accused 
of whose innocency I was well assured and many considerable 
persons of unblameable life and conversation were cried out 
upon as witches and wizards. The Deputy Govr. notwith- 
standing persisted vigorously in the same method, to the great 
disatisfaction and disturbance of the people, untill I put an 


end to the Court and stopped the proceedings, which I did 
because I saw many innocent persons might otherwise perish 
and at that time I thought it my duty to give an account 
thereof that their Ma'ties pleasure might be signifyed, hoping 
that for the better ordering thereof the Judges learned in the 
law in England might give such rules and directions as have 
been practized in England for proceedings in so difficult and 
so nice a point; When I put an end to the Court 1 there were 
at least fifty persons in prison in great misery by reason of 
the extream cold and their poverty, most of them having only 
spectre evidence against them, and their mittimusses being 
defective, I caused some of them to be lett out upon bayle 
and put the Judges upon considering of a way to reliefe others 
and prevent them from perishing in prison, upon which some 
of them were convinced and acknowledged that their former 
proceedings were too violent and not grounded upon a right 
foundation but that if they might sit againe, they would pro- 
ceed after another method, and whereas Mr. Increase Mathew 2 
and severall other Divines did give it as their Judgment that 
the Devill might afflict in the shape of an innocent person and 
that the look and the touch of the suspected persons was not 
sufficient proofe against them, these things had not the same 
stress layd upon them as before, and upon this consideration 
I permitted a spetiall Superior Court 3 to be held at Salem 

1 It was on October 29, three days after the passage by the General Court 
of the bill calling for a fast and a convocation of ministers for guidance "as to the 
witchcrafts," and, as Judge Sewall tells us (see p. 186, note 1, above) in such "season 
and manner" that "the Court of Oyer and Terminer count themselves thereby 
dismissed," that in the Council, when "Mr. Russel asked whether the Court of 
Oyer and Terminer should sit, expressing some fear of Inconvenience by its fall," 
the "Governour said it must fall." (SewalTs Diary, I. 368.) 

1 Mather. Undoubtedly an error of the English copyist. The advice meant 
was that of the twelve ministers of Boston and vicinity on June 15. See intro- 

1 The Superior Court was created by act of the General Court of the prov- 
ince of course with the concurrence of the governor on November 25, 1692; 
but its session at Salem would, under the law, have come in the next November, 
and a supplementary act was passed on December 16, providing, "upon con- 
sideration that many persons charged capital offenders are now in custody 
within the county of Essex," for a court of assize and general jail delivery there 
on January 3. 


in the County of Essex on the third day of January, the Lieut 
Govr. being Chief Judge. Their method of proceeding being 
altered, all that were brought to tryall to the number of fifety 
two, were cleared saving three, and I was enformed by the 
Kings Attorny Generall that some of the cleared and the con- 
demned were under the same circumstances or that there was 
the same reason to clear the three condemned as the rest 
according to his Judgment. The Deputy Govr. signed a War- 
rant for their speedy execucion and also of five others who 
were condemned at the former Court of Oyer and terminer, 
but considering how the matter had been managed I sent a 
reprieve whereby the execucion was stopped untill their Maj. 
pleasure be signified and declared. The Lieut. Gov. upon this 
occasion was inraged and filled with passionate anger and re- 
fused to sitt upon the bench in a Superior Court then held at 
Charles Towne, 1 and indeed hath from the beginning hurried 
on these matters with great precipitancy and by his warrant 
hath caused the estates, goods and chatties of the executed to 
be seized and disposed of without my knowledge or consent. 
The stop put to the first method of proceedings hath dissipated 
the blak cloud that threatened this Province with destruccion ; 
for whereas this delusion of the Devill did spread and its dis- 
mal! effects touched the lives and estates of many of their 
Ma' ties Subjects and the reputacion of some of the principal! 
persons here, 2 and indeed unhappily clogged and interrupted 
their Ma'ties affaires which hath been a great vexation to me, 
I have no new complaints but peoples minds before divided 

1 For this episode see pp. 382-383. 

*A "letter from Boston" printed in the British Calendar of State Papers, 
Colonial, 1693-1696, p. 63, says that "The witchcraft at Salem went on vigor- 
ously . . . until at last members of Council and Justices were accused"; and the 
Boston merchant Calef in 1697 wrote : "If it be true what was said at the Counsel- 
board in answer to the commendations of Sir William, for his stopping the pro- 
ceedings about Witchcraft, viz. That it was high time for him to stop it, his own 
Lady being accused; if that Assertion were a truth, then New-England may 
seem to be more beholden to the accusers for accusing of her, and thereby necessi- 
tating a stop, than to Sir William" (More Wonders, p. 154). Lady Phips had 
earned an accusation by daring, in Sir William's absence, herself to issue a war- 
rant for the discharge of an accused woman. The keeper lost his place. (MS. 
letter quoted by Hutchinson, II. 61, note; the writer had it from the keeper him- 
self and had seen the document.) 


and distracted by differing opinions concerning this matter 
are now well composed. 
I am 
Yor. Lordships most faithfull 

humble Servant 

[Addressed:] To the Rt. Honble 

the Earle of Nottingham 
att Whitehall 


[Indorsed :] R [i. e., received] May 24, 93 

abt. Witches 1 

1 This letter is here reprinted from the Massachusetts Historical Society's 
Proceedings, second ser., I. 340-342, where the original, in the British archives, 
is described as "America and West Indies, No. 591" and "also in Colonial Entry 
Book, No. 62, p. 426"; but the Calendar of State Papers, Colonial, 1693-1696, 
which again prints it, though in abridged form, ascribes it to "America and West 
Indies, 561, nos. 28, 29," and mentions the duplicate as "Col. Entry Bk., Vol. 
LXII, pp. 426-430," and as "entered as addressed to William Blathwayt." It 
may also be found in G. H. Moore's Final Notes on Witchcraft in Massachusetts 
(New York, 1885), pp. 90-93, with his annotations. Examination at the British 
Public Record Office shows that the original letter (formerly America and West 
Indies, 561, no. 28) is now C. O. 5 : 51, no. 28, and is plainly addressed to the 
Earl of Nottingham. 




How The Wonders of the Invisible World came to be written 
we have already seen. 1 Its author had "a talent for sudden 
composures." We have seen what a scrap-bag was his Mem- 
orable Providences; and the pigeon-holes of his desk must for 
months have been gathering materials that could now be put 
to use. What these materials were is suggested by his title- 
page; but the title-page description is not exact. There is 
first an essay, entitled "Enchantments Encountered," on 
New England as a home of the saints and the plot of the Devil 
against her, especially as revealed by the witches now confess- 
ing; next an abstract of the rules of Perkins, Gaule, and Ber- 
nard for the detection of witches. Then follows "A Discourse 
on the Wonders of the Invisible World, uttered (in part) on 
Aug. 4, 1692." It is a sermon on Rev. xii. 12, depicting in 
apocalyptic phrase the Devil's wrath and its present manifes- 
tation. Next comes "An Hortatory and Necessary Address, 
to a Country now extraordinarily alarum'd by the Wrath of 
the Devil" this, too, doubtless written for a sermon. "Hav- 
ing thus discoursed on the Wonders of the Invisible World," 
says then the author, "I shall now, with God's help, go on to 
relate some Remarkable and Memorable Instances of Wonders 
which that World has given to ourselves." Yet he still inserts 
"A Narrative of an Apparition which a Gentleman in Boston 
had of his Brother," before proceeding to those Salem trials, 
the kernel of his book, which are reprinted below. 

Doubtless these were meant, as the title-page suggests, 
to form a part of the "Enchantments Encountered," but failed 

1 See pp. 194-195. 


to arrive in time. Mather had long been begging them from 
Stephen Sewall (brother of Judge Sewall), the clerk of the 
court; but the clerk was then very busy. On September 20 
Mather wrote: "That I may be the more capable to assist in 
lifting up a standard against the infernal enemy, I must renew 
my most importunate request." What he asks is "a narrative 
of the evidence given in at the trials of half a dozen, or if you 
please, a dozen, of the principal witches that have been con- 
demned." He pleads not only SewalTs promise, but that 
"his Excellency, the Governor, laid his positive commands 
upon me to desire this favor of you"; "and the truth is," he 
adds, "there are some of his circumstances with reference to 
this affair, which I need not mention, that call for the expedit- 
ing of your kindness." He wants also some of the clerk's 
"observations about the confessors, and the credibility of what 
they assert, or about things evidently preternatural in the 
witchcrafts"; but, "assure yourself," he concludes, "I shall 
not wittingly make what you write prejudicial to any worthy 
design which those two excellent persons, Mr. Hale and Mr. 
Noyes, may have in hand." But the clerk took counsel before 
he acted. His brother's Diary records, on Thursday, Septem- 
ber 22, that "William Stoughton, Esqr., John Hathorne, Esqr., 
Mr. Cotton Mather, and Capt. John Higginson, with my 
brother St., were at our house, speaking about publishing some 
Trials of the Witches." These had been received and utilized 
by early October (see p. 247), and the book, thus far complete, 
could before October 11 be laid before the judges (see p. 251) 
and by the 12th could furnish material for the governor's 
letter (see p. 195). 

Before the book was out of press there was time to add 
the narrative of the Swedish witches and the sermon on "the 
Devil discovered"; but these could not seriously have delayed 
the printing, for the book, complete and printed, must have 
gone to London by the same ship which in mid-October took 


Sir William's letter. A copy of the book was doubtless sent, 
with this letter, to the home government ; and it was perhaps 
precisely for this use that the volume had been hurried into 
existence and into print. What is certain is that such a copy 
had before December 24 reached the hands of John Dunton, 
the London publisher; for on that day he announced its 
speedy publication, and by December 29 it was already in 
print, though with "1693" on its title-page. 1 A "second edi- 
tion," much abridged (though not by the omission of the 
Salem trials), he issued in February 1693, and reprinted it as 
a "third" in June. 

The news-letter, with imprint of 1692, calling itself A True 
Account of the Tryals . . . at Salem, in New England . . . in 
a Letter to a Friend in London and signed at end "C. M." is 
only a bookseller's fraud, compiled from the Wonders by some 
hack (who has not even taken the trouble to imitate its style) 
and printed in 1693. 

The Wonders was reprinted at Salem in 1861 (with Calef's 
More Wonders}, by Mr. S. P. Fowler, in a volume called Salem 
Witchcraft] but, alas, from the abridged "third edition" and 
with serious further abridgment. In 1862 the first London 
edition was embodied in a volume of John Russell Smith's 
Library of Old Authors (cf. p. 149, note 1); and in 1866 the 
work was again reprinted, and with much more exactness, 2 as 

1 That this London edition was printed, not from a manuscript copy, but 
from the printed Boston edition, broken up for the compositors, is clear to any 
printer who compares the two. See, for details, a paragraph in the N. Y. Nation 
for November 5, 1908 (LXXXVII. 435), or the descriptive note of G. F. Black 
in the New York Library's List of Works relating to Witchcraft in the United 
States (Bulletin, 1908, XII. 666). All extant copies of the Boston edition seem 
to have the title-page date "1693" (an alleged exception proves to be a myth); 
and this probably means that till January, at least, the book was withheld from 
circulation. As to all the early editions, see Moore, Notes on the Bibliography of 
Witchcraft in Massachusetts (American Antiquarian Society, Proceedings, n. s., 
V.), and the New York Library's List, as above. 

2 The type being set from the first London edition, but the proofs read by 
the Boston one. (See Drake's preface, p. vii, and his postscript, p. 247.) 


no. V. of the Historical Series of W. Elliot Woodward (Rox- 
bury, Mass.), being again coupled with Calef's More Wonders 
(forming nos. VI., VII., of the same series) under a common 
title, The Witchcraft Delusion in New England, and a common 
editor, S. G. Drake, who contributes elaborate introductions 
and notes. An alleged reprint by J. Smith, London, 1834 
(and again by H. Howell in 1840), as an addition to Baxter's, 
Certainty of the World of Spirits is not Mather's Wondeis at 
all, but only the witchcraft pages of his Magnalia. 


The Wonders of the Invisible World. Observations As well His- 
torical as Theological, upon the Nature, the Number, and 
the Operations of the Devils. Accompany' d with 

I. Some Accounts of the Grievous Molestations, by Dcemons and 

Witchcrafts, which have lately annoy'd the Countrey; and the 
Trials of some eminent Malefactors Executed upon occasion 
thereof: with several Remarkable Curiosities therein occurring. 

II. Some Councils, Directing a due Improvement of the terrible 
things, lately done, by the Unusual and Amazing Range of 
Evil Spirits, in Our Neighbourhood: and the methods to pre- 
vent the Wrongs which those Evil Angels may intend against 
all sorts of people among us; especially in Accusations of the 

III. Some Conjectures upon the great Events, likely to befall 
the World in General, and New-England in Particular; as 
also upon the Advances of the time, when we shall see Better 

IV. A short Narrative of a late Outrage committed by a knot of 
Witches in Swedeland, very much Resembling, and so far 
Explaining, That under which our parts of America have 

V. The Devil Discovered: In a Brief Discourse upon those 
Temptations, which are the more Ordinary Devices of the 
Wicked One. 

By Cotton Mather. 

Boston, Printed, by Benjamin Harris for Sam. Phillips. 1693. 1 
Published by the Special Command of His Excellency, the Gover- 
nour of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-En- 
gland. 2 

1 Title-page of original. 

2 Reverse of title-page. Governor Sir William Phips. We have just read, 
indeed, his own assertion (p. 197, above) that he had "put a stop to the printing 
of any discourses one way or other," and this may explain why, though this 



The Author's Defence. 

'Tis, as I remember, the Learned Scribonius, 1 who Re- 
ports, that One of his Acquaintance, devoutly making his 
Prayers on the behalf of a Person molested by Evil Spirits, 
received from those Evil Spirits an horrible Blow over the 
Face : And I may my self Expect not few or small Bufferings 
from Evil Spirits, for the Endeavours wherewith I am now 
going to Encounter them. I am far from Insensible, That at 
this Extraordinary Time of the Devils Coming down in Great 
Wrath upon us, there are too many Tongues and Hearts 
thereby Set on Fire of Hell; that the various Opinions about 
the Witchcrafts which of Later Time have Troubled us, are 
maintained by some with so much Cloudy Fury, as if they 
could never be sufficiently Stated, unless written in the Liquor 
wherewith Witches use to write their Covenants; and that he 
who becomes an Author at such a Time, had need be Fenced 
with Iron, and the Staff of a Spear. The unaccountable Fro- 
wardness, Asperity, Untreatableness, and Inconsistency of 
many persons, every Day gives a Visible Exposition of that 
passage, An Evil Spirit from the Lord came upon Saul ; and 
Illustration of that Story, There met him two Possessed with 
Devils, exceeding Fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. 
To send abroad a Book, among such Readers, were a very un- 
advised Thing, if a man had not such Reasons to give, as I can 
bring, for such an Undertaking. Briefly, I hope it cannot be 
said, They are all so; No, I hope the Body of this People, are 
yet in such a Temper, as to be capable of Applying their 
Thoughts, to make a Right Use of the Stupendous and pro- 
digious Things that are happening among us: and because I 

book was complete in October, it was not published before January, as well as 
why, when it did appear, it thus bore the express sanction of the governor. As 
to the suggestion of Upham and Moore that not Phips but Stoughton may be 
here meant, see p. 194, note 6. 

1 Wilhelm Adolf Scribonius, a Hessian scholar, is best known in the literature 
of witchcraft as the chief advocate of the water ordeal (see p. 21, above) for the 
detection of witches. This story is told on ff. 82-83 of his Physiologia Sagarum 
(Marburg, 1588 the full title is De Sagarum Natura et Potestate, deque his rede 
cognoscendis et puniendi* Physiologia), and in English by Baxter, Worlds of 
Spirits, p. 104, 


was concern'd, when I saw that no Abler Hand Emitted any 
Essayes to Engage the Minds of this People in such Holy, 
Pious, Fruitful Improvements, as God would have to be made 
of His Amazing Dispensations now upon us, Therefore it is, 
that One of the Least among the Children of New-England, 
has here done, what is done. None, but the Father, who sees 
in Secret, knows the Heart-breaking Exercises, wherewith I 
have Composed what is now going to be Exposed, Lest I should' 
in any One Thing miss of Doing my Designed Service for His 
Glory, and for His People ; But I am now somewhat comforta- 
bly Assured of His favourable Acceptance; and, I will not 
Fear; what can a Satan do unto me! 

Having Performed Something of what God Required, in 
labouring to suit His Words unto His Works, at this Day 
among us, and therewithal handled a Theme that has been 
sometimes counted not unworthy the Pen, even of a King, it 
will easily be perceived, that some subordinate Ends have 
been considered in these Endeavours. 

I have indeed set my self to Countermine the whole Plot 
of the Devil against New-England, 1 in every Branch of it, as 
far as one of my Darkness can comprehend such a Work of 
Darkness. I may add, that I have herein also aimed at the 
Information and Satisfaction of Good men in another Coun- 
trey, a Thousand Leagues off, where I have, it may be, More, 
or however, more Considerable Friends, than in My Own; 2 
And I do what I can to have that Countrey, now as well as 
alwayes, in the best Terms with My Own. But while I am 

1 As to this "plot of the Devil," see Mather's own words (Wonders, pp. 16-19, 
25, not here reprinted) : "we have been advised . . . that a Malefactor, accused 
of Witchcraft as well as Murder, and Executed in this place more than Forty 
Years ago, did then give Notice of An Horrible Plot against the Country by 
Witchcraft, and a Foundation of Witchcraft then laid, which if it were not 
seasonably discovered would probably Blow up, and pull down all the Churches 
in the Country." "We have now with Horror," he adds, "seen the Discovery of 
such a Witchcraft!" and from the confessions at Salem he learns that "at pro- 
digious Witch-Meetings the Wretches have proceeded so far as to Concert and 
Consult the Methods of Rooting out the Christian Religion from this Country" 
and setting up instead of it a "Diabolism." Not even this is all: "it may be 
fear'd that, in the Horrible Tempest which is now upon ourselves, the design of 
the Devil is to sink that Happy Settlement of Government wherewith Almighty 
God has graciously enclined Their Majesties to favour us." 

2 It is of England, of course, that he speaks. 


doing these things, I have been driven a little to do something 
likewise for My self; I mean, by taking off the false Reports 
and hard Censures about my Opinion in these matters, the 
Farters Portion, which my pursuit of Peace has procured me 
among the Keen. My hitherto Unvaried Thoughts are here 
Published; and, I believe, they will be owned by most of the 
Ministers of God in these Colonies; nor can amends be well 
made me, for the wrong done me, by other sorts of Represen- 

In fine, For the Dogmatical part of my Discourse, I want 
no Defence; for the Historical part of it, I have a very Great 
One. The Lieutenant-Governour of New-England, having 
perused it, has done me the Honour of giving me a Shield, 1 
under the Umbrage whereof I now dare to walk Abroad. 

Reverend and Dear Sir, 

You Very much Gratify'd me, as well as put a kind Respect 
upon me, when you put into my hands, Your Elaborate and most 
seasonable Discourse, entituled, The Wonders of the Invisible World. 
And having now Perused so fruitful and happy a Composure, upon 
such a Subject, at this Juncture of Time, and considering the Place 
that I Hold in the Court of Oyer and Terminer, still Labouring and 
Proceeding in the Trial of the persons Accused and Convicted for 
Witchcraft, I find that I am more nearly and highly concerned than 
as a meer Ordinary Reader, to Express my Obligation and Thank- 
fulness to you for so great Pains; and cannot but hold my self many 
ways bound, even to the utmost of what is proper for me, in my 
present Publick Capacity, to declare my Singular Approbation 
thereof. Such is Your Design, most plainly expressed throughout 
the whole; such Your Zeal for God, Your Enmity to Satan and his 
Kingdom, Your Faithfulness and Compassion to this poor people; 
Such the Vigour, but yet great Temper of your Spirit; Such your 
Instruction and Counsel, your Care of Truth, Your Wisdom and 
Dexterity in allaying and moderating that among us, which needs it; 
Such your Clear Discerning of Divine Providences and Periods, now 
running on apace towards their Glorious Issues in the World; and 
finally, Such your Good News of The Shortness of the Devils Time, 
That all Good Men must needs Desire the making of this your Dis- 

1 As to Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton, head of the court which had tried 
the witch cases, see above, p. 183 and note 2, and pp. 196-201. His "shield" 
means the following letter. 


course Publick to the World; and will greatly Rejoyce that the Spirit 
of the Lord has thus Enabled you to Lift up a Standard against the 
Infernal Enemy, that hath been Coming in like a Flood upon us. I 
do therefore make it my particular and Earnest Request unto you, 
that as soon as may be, you will Commit the same unto the Press 
accordingly. I am, 

Your Assured Friend, 


I Live by Neighbours that force me to produce these Un- 
deserved Lines. But now, as when Mr. Wilson, 1 beholding 
a great Muster of Souldiers, had it by a Gentleman then 
present said unto him, "Sir, IT tell you a great Thing: here 
is a mighty Body of People; and there is not Seven of them 
all but what Loves Mr. Wilson;" that Gracious Man pres- 
ently and pleasantly Reply'd, " Sir, I'll tell you as good a thing 
as that; here is a mighty Body of People, and there is not so 
much as One among them all, but Mr. Wilson Loves him." 
Somewhat so : 'Tis possible that among this Body of People 
there may be few that Love the Writer of this Book; but give 
me leave to boast so far, there is not one among all this Body 
of People, whom this Mather would not Study to Serve, as 
well as to Love. With such a Spirit of Love, is the Book now 
before us written : I appeal to all this World ; and if this World 
will deny me the Right of acknowledging so much, I Appeal to 
the Other, that it is Not written with an Evil Spirit : for which 
cause I shall not wonder, if Evil Spirits be Exasperated by 
what is Written, as the Sadducees doubtless were with what 
was Discoursed in the Days of our Saviour. I only Demand 
the Justice, that others Read it, with the same Spirit where- 
with I writ it. 2 

But I shall no longer detain my Reader, from His expected 
entertainment, in a Brief Account of the Trials which have 
passed upon some of the Malefactors Lately Executed at 
Salem, for the Witchcrafts whereof they stood Convicted. 

1 Doubtless the Rev. John Wilson (d. 1667), the first minister of Boston. 
1 There now follow the miscellaneous matters described in the introduction, 
making up more than half of his volume. 


For my own part, I was not Present at any of Them; 1 nor 
ever Had I any personal prejudice at the persons thus brought 
upon the Stage; much less at the Surviving Relations of those 
persons, with and for whom I would be as Hearty a mourner 
as any man Living in the World: The Lord Comfort them! 
But having Received a Command so to do, 2 1 can do no other 
than shortly Relate the Chief Matters of fact, which occurr'd 
in the Trials of some that were Executed, in an Abridgment 
collected out of the Court-Papers, on this occasion put into 
my Hands. 3 You are to take the Truth, just as it was; and 
the Truth will hurt no good man. There might have been 
more of these, if my Book would not thereby have been swollen 
too big; and if some other worthy hands did not perhaps in- 
tend something further in these Collections; 4 for which cause 
I have only singled out Four or Five, which may serve to 
Illustrate the way of dealing, wherein Witchcrafts use to be 
concerned; and I Report matters not as an Advocate but as 
an Historian. 

They were some of the Gracious Words inserted in the 
Advice, which many of the Neighbouring Ministers did this 
Slimmer humbly lay before our Honorable Judges, " We cannot 
but with all thankfulness acknowledge the success which the 
Merciful God has given unto the Sedulous and Assiduous en- 
deavours of Our Honourable Rulers, to detect the abomina- 
ble Witchcrafts which have been committed in the Country; 
Humbly Praying that the discovery of those mysterious and 
mischievous wickednesses, may be perfected." 5 If in the 
midst of the many Dissatisfactions among us, the publication 
of these Trials may promote such a pious Thankfulness unto 
God, for Justice being so far executed among us, I shall Re- 

1 He must at least have been present at some of the examinations (like those 
described by Lawson) preceding the trials; for in his Diary (I. 151), commending 
the judges, he adds, "and my Compassion, upon the Sight of their Difficulties, 
raised by my Journeyes to Salem, the chief Seat of these diabolical Vexations, 
caused mee yett more to do so." From attending the trials he had excused him- 
self (see the letter mentioned on p. 194, note 5) on the score of ill health. 

* From the governor; see above, p. 194, and p. 250. *See introduction. 

4 Meaning, doubtless, Hale and Noyes. See p. 206, above. 

1 This is the second paragraph in the reply of the ministers of Boston, June 
15, 1692, to the request of the governor and Council for advice. (See p. 194, 
above.) It was drawn up by Cotton Mather himself. 


Joyce that God is Glorified; and pray that no wrong steps of 
ours may ever sully any of His Glorious Works. 1 

I. The Tryal of G. B* At a Court of Oyer and Terminer, 
Held in Salem, 1692. 

Glad should I have been, if I had never known the Name 
of this man; or never had this occasion to mention so much 
as the first Letters of his Name. 3 But the Government re- 
quiring some Account of his Trial to be Inserted in this Book, 
it becomes me with all Obedience to submit unto the Order. 

I. This G. B. was indicted for Witch-crafts, and in the 
Prosecution of the Charge against him, he was Accused by 
five or six of the Bewitched, as the Author of their Miseries; 
he was Accused by eight of the Confessing Witches, as being 
an Head Actor at some of their Hellish Randezvouzes, and one 

1 What next follows, very cleverly ensuring a friendly attitude toward the 
Salem court, is an account of the English witch-trial of 1664 before Sir Matthew 
Hale. It is abridged from the well-known booklet (A Tryal of Witches at the 
Assizes held at Bury St. Edmonds, etc.) published at London in 1682, which had 
been a guide to the Salem judges (see p. 416, below). 

2 The Rev. George Burroughs, the most notable of the victims at Salem. 
A graduate of Harvard in the class of 1670, he preached in Maine for some years, 
and in 1680 became pastor at Salem Village, where he fell heir to a parish quarrel, 
and, becoming involved in it, found it wise to remove in 1683 Deodat Lawson 
succeeding him. Burroughs returned to Maine, and was a pastor there at Wells, 
when his accusation by the "afflicted" at Salem caused his arrest. He was 
brought back to Salem on May 4, committed on May 9, tried on August 5, exe- 
cuted on August 19. As to his story see especially Upham, Salem Witchcraft, 
Sibley, Harvard Graduates (II. 323-334), Moore, "Notes on the Bibliography of 
Witchcraft in Massachusetts" (in American Antiquarian Society, Proceedings, 
n. s., V.), pp. 270-273, but, first of all, the mentions of Calef, reprinted below (pp. 
301, 360-365, 378-379). 

3 It is not improbable that Mather had already begun to find himself blamed 
for his harsh words as to Burroughs. On August 5, the day of his trial, he had 
written to a friend : "Our Good God is working of Miracles. Five Witches were 
Lately Executed, impudently demanding of God a Miraculous Vindication of 
their Innocency. Immediately upon this, Our God Miraculously sent in Five 
Andover- Witches, who made a most ample, surprising, amazing Confession, of 
fll their Villainies and declared the Five newly executed to have been of their 
Company; discovering many more; but all agreeing in Burroughs being their 
Ringleader, who, I suppose, this day receives his Trial at Salem, whither a Vast 
Concourse of people is gone; My Father this morning among the Rest." 


who had the promise of being a King in Satans Kingdom, now 
going to be Erected : he was Accused by nine persons for ex- 
traordinary Lifting, and such Feats of Strength, as could not 
be done without a Diabolical Assistance. And for other such 
Things he was Accused, until about Thirty Testimonies were 
brought in against him; nor were these judg'd the half of what 
might have been considered for his Conviction : however they 
were enough to fix the Character of a Witch upon him accord- 
ing to the Rules of Reasoning, by the Judicious Gaule, 1 in that 
Case directed. 

II. The Court being sensible, that the Testimonies of the 
Parties Bewitched use to have a Room among the Suspicions 
or Presumptions, brought in against one Indicted for Witch- 
craft, there were now heard the Testimonies of several Per- 
sons, who were most notoriously Bewitched, and every day 
Tortured by Invisible Hands, and these now all charged the 
Spectres of G. B. to have a share in their Torments. At the 
Examination of this G. B. the Bewitched People were griev- 
ously harassed with Preternatural Mischiefs, which could not 
possibly be Dissembled; and they still ascribed it unto the 
Endeavours of G. B. to kill them. And now upon his Trial, 
one of the Bewitched Persons testify'd, That in her Agonies, 
a little Black hair'd man came to her, saying his Name was 
B. and bidding her set her hand unto a Book which he show'd 
unto her; and bragging that he was a Conjurer, above the 
ordinary Rank of Witches; That he often persecuted her with 
the offer of that Book, saying, She should be well, and need 
fear no body, if she would but Sign it; but he inflicted cruel 
Pains and Hurts upon her, because of her Denying so to do. 
The Testimonies of the other Sufferers concurred with these; 
and it was Remarkable, that whereas Biting was one of the 
ways which the Witches used for the vexing of the Sufferers, 
when they cry'd out of G. B. biting them, the print of the Teeth 
would be seen on the Flesh of the Complainers, and just 

1 John Gaule, rector of Great Stoughton, in Huntingdonshire, was the first 
to oppose openly the witch-finder Hopkins, and wrote a little book, Select Cases 
of Conscience touching Witches and Witchcrafts (London, 1646), to lay bare hi? 
outrages and suggest saner methods. (See Notestein, Witchcraft in England,* 
pp. 186-187, 236-237.) His rules for the detection of witches are published 
(though not without serious garbling) earlier in Mather's volume. 


such a sett of Teeth as G. B's would then appear upon 
them, which could be distinguished from those of some other 
mens. Others of them testify'dj That in their Torments, G. B. 
tempted them to go unto a Sacrament, unto which they per- - 
ceived him with a sound of Trumpet Summoning of other 
Witches, who quickly after the Sound would come from all 
Quarters unto the Rendezvouz. One of them falling into a 
kind of Trance, afterwards affirmed, That G. B. had carried 
her into a very high Mountain, where he show'd her mighty 
and glorious Kingdoms, and said, He would give them all to 
her, if she would write in his Book; but she told him, They 
were none of his to give; and refused the motions, enduring 
of much misery for that Refusal. 

It cost the Court a wonderful deal of Trouble, to hear the 
Testimonies of the Sufferers; for when they were going to 
give in their Depositions, they would for a long time be taken 
with fitts, that made them uncapable of saying any thing. 
The Chief Judge asked the prisoner, who he thought hindred 
these witnesses from giving their testimonies? and he answered, 
He supposed it was the Divel. That Honourable person then 
reply'd, How comes the Divel so loathe to have any Testi- 
mony born against you? Which cast him into very great 

III. It has been a frequent thing for the Bewitched peo- 
ple to be entertained with Apparitions of Ghosts of murdered 
people, at the same time that the Spectres of the witches 
trouble them. These Ghosts do always affright the Beholders 
more than all the other spectral Representations; and when 
they exhibit themselves, they cry out, of being Murdered by 
the witchcrafts or other violences of the persons who are then 
in spectre present. It is further considerable, that once or 
twice, these Apparitions have been seen by others at the very 
same time that they have shewn them selves to the Bewitched; 
and seldom have there been these Apparitions but when some- 
thing unusual and suspected had attended the Death of the 
party thus Appearing. Some that have bin accused by these 
Apparitions, accosting of the Bewitched People, who had never 
heard a word of any such persons ever being in the world, 
have upon a fair examination freely and fully confessed the 
murders of those very persons, altho' these also did not know 


how the Apparitions had complained of them. Accordingly 
several of the Bewitched had given in their Testimony, that 
they had been troubled with the Apparitions of two women, 
who said that they were G. B's two wives, and that he had been 
the Death of them; and that the Magistrates must be told of 
it, before whom if B. upon his trial deny'd it, they did not 
know but that they should appear again in the Court. Now, 
G. B. had been infamous for the Barbarous usage of his two 
successive wives, all the Country over. Moreover, It was 
testify'd, the spectre of G. B. threatning of the sufferers told 
them, he had killed (besides others) Mrs. Lawson and her 
Daughter Ann. 1 And it was noted, That these were the ver- 
tuous wife and Daughter of one at whom this G. B. might have. 

- a prejudice for his being serviceable at Salem-village, from 
whence himself had in 111 Terms removed some years before: 
and that when they dy'd, which was long since, there were 

- some odd circumstances about them, which made some of the 
Attendents there suspect something of witchcraft, tho' none^ 
Imagined from what Quarter it should come. 

Well, G. B. being now upon his Triall, one of the Bewitched 
persons was cast into Horror at the Ghosts of B's two de- 
ceased wives then appearing before him, and crying for Ven- 
geance against him. Hereupon several of the Bewitched per- 
sons were successively called in, who all not knowing what the 
former had seen and said, concurred in their Horror of the 
Apparition, which they affirmed that he had before him. But 
he, tho' much appalled, utterly deny'd that he discerned any 
thing of it; nor was it any part of his Conviction. 

IV. Judicious Writers have assigned it a great place in 
the Conviction of witches, when persons are Impeached by 
other Notorious witches, to be as 111 as themselves; especially, 
if the persons have been much noted for neglecting the Wor- 
ship of God. Now, as there might have been Testimonies 
Enough of G. B's Antipathy to Prayer and the other Ordi- 
nances of God, tho' by his profession singularly obliged there- 
unto; so, there now came in against the prisoner the Testi- 
monies of several persons, who confessed their own having 
been Horrible Witches, and ever since their confessions had 
been themselves terribly Tortured by the Devils and other 

1 The wife and the daughter of Deodat Lawson; see p. 148. 


Witches, even like the other Sufferers; and therein undergone 
the pains of many Deaths for their Confessions. 

These now Testify 'd, that G. B. had been at Witch-meetings 
with them; and that he was the Person who had Seduc'd 
and Compell'd them into the snares of Witchcraft: That he 
promised them Fine Cloaths, for doing it; that he brought 
Poppets to them, and thorns to stick into those Poppets, for 
the afflicting of other People; And that he exhorted them, 
with the rest of the Crue, to bewitch all Salem- Village, but 
be sure to do it Gradually, .if they would prevail in what 
they did. 

When the Lancashire Witches 1 were condemned, I don't 
Remember that there was any considerable further Evidence, 
than that of the Bewitched, and then that of some that con- 
fessed. We see so much already against G. B. But this 
being indeed not Enough, there were other things to render 
what had already been produced credible. - 

V. A famous Divine 2 recites this among the Convictions 
of a Witch; The Testimony of the Party Bewitched, whether 
Pining or Dying; together with the Joint Oathes of Sufficient 
Persons that have seen certain Prodigious Pranks or Feats 
wrought by the party Accused. Now God had been pleased 
so to leave this G. B. that he had ensnared himself by several 
Instances, which he had formerly given of a Preternatural 
strength, and which were now produced against him. He was 
a very Puny man; 3 yet he had often done things beyond the 
strength of a Giant. A Gun of about seven foot barrel, and 
so heavy that strong men could not steadily hold it out with 
both hands; there were several Testimonies, given in by Per- 
sons of Credit and Honour, that he made nothing of taking up 
such a Gun behind the Lock, with but one hand, and holding 
it out like a Pistol, at Arms-end. G. B. in his Vindication was 
so foolish as to say, That an Indian was there, and held it out 
at the same time : Whereas, none of the Spectators ever saw 

1 /. e., those tried and executed in 1612, and famous through the Discoverie 
of Potts (London, 1613), which Mather seems here to use, and the play of Shad- 

2 John Gaule again: this is the fifth of his "more certain" signs. (Select 
Cases, p. 82.) 

* But see, on the contrary, page 301. 


any such Indian; but they suppos'd the Black man (as the 
Witches call the Devil; and they generally say he resembles 
an Indian) might give him that Assistence. There was Evi- 
- dence likewise brought in, that he made nothing of Taking up 
whole Barrels filTd with Malasses or Cider, in very Disadvan- 
tagious Postures, and Carrying of them through the Difficult- 
est Places out of a Canoo to the Shore. 

Yea, there were Two Testimonies that G. B. with only 
putting the Fore-Finger of his Right hand into the Muzzel of 
an heavy Gun, a Fowling-piece of about six or seven foot 
Barrel, did Lift up the Gun, and hold it out at Arms end; a 
Gun which the Deponents though strong men could not with 
both hands Lift up, and hold out at the Butt end, as is usual. 
Indeed, one of these Witnesses was over perswaded by some 
persons to be out of the way upon G. B's Trial; but he came 
afterwards with sorrow for his withdraw, and gave in his 
Testimony: Nor were either of these Witnesses made use of 
as evidences in the Trial. 

VI. There came in several Testimonies relating to the 
Domestick Affayrs of G. B. which had a very hard Aspect 
upon him; and not only prov'd him a very ill man; but also 
confirmed the Belief of the Character, which had been already 
fastned on him. 

'Twas testifyed, That keeping his two Successive Wives in 
a strange kind of Slavery, he would when he came home from 
abroad pretend to tell the Talk which any had with them; 
That he has brought them to the point of Death, by his Harsh 
Dealings with his Wives, and then made the People about him 
to promise that in Case Death should happen, they would say 
nothing of it; That he used all means to make his Wives 
Write, Sign, Seal, and Swear a Covenant, never to Reveal 
any of his Secrets; That his Wives had privately complained 
unto the Neighbours about frightful Apparitions of Evil 
Spirits, with which their House was sometimes infested; and 
v that many such things have been Whispered among the 
^Neighbourhood. There were also some other Testimonies, re- 
lating to the Death of People, whereby the Consciences of an 
Impartial Jury were convinced that G. B. had Bewitched the 
persons mentioned in the Complaints. But I am forced to 
omit several passages, in this, as well as in all the succeeding 


Trials, because the Scribes who took Notice of them, have not 
Supplyed me. 

VII. One Mr. Ruck, Brother in Law to this G. B., Testi- 
fy'd, that G. B. and he himself, and his Sister, who was G. B's 
Wife, going out for Two or three Miles to gather Straw-Berries, 
Ruck with his Sister the Wife of G. B. Rode home very Softly, 
with G. B. on Foot in their Company. G. B. stept aside a 
little into the Bushes; Whereupon they Halted and Halloo'd 
for him. He not answering, they went away homewards, with 
a Quickened pace, without any expectation of seeing him in 
a considerable while; and yet when they were got near home, 
to their Astonishment they found him on foot with them, 
having a Basket of Straw-Berries. G. B. immediately then 
fell to chiding his Wife, on the account of what she had been 
speaking to her Brother, of him, on the Road : which when they 
wondred at, he said, He knew their thoughts. Ruck being 
startled at that, made some Reply, intimating that the Devil 
himself did not know so far; but G. B. answered, My God 
makes known your Thoughts unto me. The prisoner now at 
the Barr had nothing to answer, unto what was thus Witnessed 
against him, that was worth considering. Only he said, Ruck 
and his Wife left a Man with him, when they left him. Which 
Ruck now affirm'd to be false; and when the Court asked 
G. B. What the Man's Name was? his countenance was much 
altered; nor could he say, who 'twas. But the Court began t~. 
to think, that he then step'd aside, only that by the assistance 

of the Black Man, he might put on his Invisibility, and in that 
Fascinating Mist, gratifie his own Jealous humour, to hear -" 
what they said of him. Which trick of rendring themselves 
Invisible, our Witches do in their confessions pretend that they 
sometimes are Masters of; and it is the more credible, because 
there is Demonstration that they often render many other 
things utterly Invisible. 

VIII. Faltring, Faulty, unconstant, and contrary Answers 
upon Judicial and deliberate examination, are counted some 
unlucky symptoms of guilt, in all crimes, Especially in Witch- 
crafts. 1 Now there never was a prisoner more Eminent for^ 
them, than G. B. both at his Examination and on his Trial. 

1 He is quoting John Gaule the first of his "more certain" signs (Select 
Cases, pp. 80-81). 


His Tergiversations, Contradictions, and Falsehoods, were very 
sensible : he had little to say, but that he had heard some things 
that he could not prove, Reflecting upon the Reputation of 
some of the witnesses. Only he gave in a paper to the Jury; 
wherein, altho' he had many times before granted, not only 
that there are Witches, but also that the present sufferings of 
the Countrey are the Effect of horrible Witchcrafts, yet he 
now goes to evince it, That there neither are, nor ever were 
Witches, that having made a compact with the Divel, Can 
send a Divel to Torment other people at a distance. This 
paper was Transcribed out of Ady; 1 which the Court pres- 
ently 2 knew, as soon as they heard it. But he said, he had 
taken none of it out of any Book; for which, his evasion after- 
wards was, that a Gentleman gave him the discourse in a 
manuscript, from whence he Transcribed it. 

IX. The Jury brought him in guilty : But when he came 
to Dy, he utterly deny'd the Fact, whereof he had been thus 
convicted. 3 

1 Thomas Ady, A Candle in the Dark (London, 1656) reprinted in 1661 as 
" A Perfect Discovery of Witches. In neither edition are precisely these words to 
be found; but their substance occurs often. How bold and thoroughgoing a 
skeptic is Ady, and why Mather counts it answer enough that the passage was 
taken from his book, may be guessed from his opening sentence in which he gives 
"The Reason of the Book" : "The Grand Errour of these latter Ages is ascribing 
power to Witches, and by foolish imagination of mens brains, without grounds in 
the Scriptures, wrongful! killing of the innocent under the name of Witches." 
"When one Mr. Burroughs, a Clergyman, who some few years since was hang'd 
in New-England as a Wizzard, stood upon his Tryal," wrote Dr. Hutchinson in 
1718 in the book that was to end the controversy (Historical Essay concerning 
Witchcraft, p. xv), "he pull'd out of his Pocket a Leaf that he had got of Mr. 
Ady's Book, to prove that the Scripture Witchcrafts were not like ours : And as 
that Defence was not able to save him, I humbly offer my Book as an Argument 
on the Behalf of all such miserable People." 

1 "Presently" then meant "at once." 

1 For details as to his execution see above, p. 177, and below, pp. 360-361. 
Before accepting in perfect faith Mather's account of his trial, one should weigh 
not only the comments of Calef (see pp. 378-380, below) and the severer criti- 
cisms of Upham (Salem Witchcraft and Cotton Mather) but the extant records 
(Records of Salem Witchcraft, II. 109-128; Mass. Hist Soc., Proceedings, 1860- 
1862, pp. 31-37; indictment, Calef, p. 113). 


II. The Tryal of Bridget Bishop, 1 alias Oliver, At the Court of 
Oyer and Terminer Held at Salem, June 2, 1692. 

I. She was Indicted for Bewitching of several persons in 
the Neighbourhood, the Indictment being drawn up, accord- 
ing to the Form in such Cases usual. And pleading, Not 
Guilty, there were brought in several persons, who had long 
undergone many kinds of Miseries, which were preternaturally 
Inflicted, arid generally ascribed unto an horrible Witchcraft. 
There was little Occasion to prove the Witchcraft, it being 
Evident and Notorious to all Beholders. Now to fix the Witch- 
craft on the Prisoner at the Bar, the first thing used, was the 
Testimony of the Bewitched; whereof several Testify 'd, That 
the Shape of the Prisoner did oftentimes very grievously pinch 
them, choak them, Bite them, and Afflict them; urging them 
to write their Names in a Book, which the said Spectre called, 
Ours. One of them did further Testify, that it was the Shape 
of this Prisoner, with another, which one Day took her from 
her Wheel, and carrying her to the River side, threatned there 
to Drown her, if she did not Sign to the Book mentioned: 
which yet she refused. Others of them did also Testify, that 
the said Shape did in her Threats brag to them that she had 
been the Death of sundry persons, then by her Named; that 
she had Ridden a man then likewise Named. Another Testi- 
fy'd the Apparition of Ghosts unto the Spectre of Bishon, 
crying out, You Murdered us! About the Truth whereoi 
there w r as in the matter of Fact but too much Suspicion. ^ 

II. It was Testify'd, That at the Examination of the 
Prisoner before the Magistrates, the Bewitched were extreamly 
Tortured. If she did but cast her Eyes on them, they were 
presently struck down; and this in such a manner as there 
could be no Collusion in the Business. But upon the Touch 
of her Hand upon them, when they lay in their Swoons, they 
would immediately Revive; and not upon the Touch of any 
ones else. Moreover, upon some Special Actions of her Body, 

x As to Bridget Bishop see also pp. 249, 356, below. She was of Salem 
Village, where she kept a sort of wayside tavern, but had long lived in the town, 
and still held property there. She was the first witch to be tried (June 2) and 
executed (June 10) perhaps because she had so long been under suspicion. 
The records of her case are printed in Records of Salem Witchcraft, I. 135-172. 


as the shaking of her Head, or the Turning of her Eyes, they 
presently and painfully fell into the like postures. Aiid many 
of the like Accidents now fell out, while she was at the Bar. 
One at the same time testifying, That she said, She could not 
be Troubled to see the Afflicted thus Tormented. 

III. There was Testimony likewise brought in, that a 
man striking once at the place, where a Bewitched person said, 
the Shape of this Bishop stood, the Bewitched cried out, that 
he had Tore her Coat, in the place then particularly specify 'd; 
and the Womans Coat was found to be Torn in that very place. 

IV. One Deliverance Hobbs, who had Confessed her 
being a Witch, was now Tormented by the Spectres, for her 
Confession. And she now Testify'd, That this Bishop tempted 
her to Sign the Book again, and to Deny what she had Con- 
fess'd. She affirmed, that it was the Shape of this Prisoner, 
which whipped her with Iron Rods, to compel her thereunto. 
And she affirmed, that this Bishop was at a General Meeting of 
the Witches, in a Field at Salem- Village, and there partook of a 
Diabolical Sacrament in Bread and Wine then Administred! 

V. To render it further Unquestionable, that the prisoner 
at the Bar was the Person truly charged in this Witchcraft, 
there were produced many Evidences of other Witchcrafts, by 
her perpetrated. For Instance, John Cook testify'd, that about 
five or six years ago, One morning, about Sun-Rise, he was in 
his Chamber assaulted by the Shape of this prisoner: which 
Look'd on him, grin'd at him, and very much hurt him with 
a Blow on the side of the Head: and that on the same day, 
about Noon, the same Shape walked in the Room where he 
was, and an Apple strangely flew out of his Hand, into the 
Lap of his Mother, six or eight foot from him. 

VI. Samuel Gray testify'd, That about fourteen years 
ago, he wak'd on a Night, and saw the Room where he lay 
full of Light; and that he then saw plainly a Woman between 
the Cradle and the Bed-side, which look'd upon him. He 
Rose, and it vanished; tho' he found the Doors all fast. Look- 
ing out at the Entry-Door, he saw the same Woman, in the 
same Garb again; and said, In Gods Name, what do you 
come for? He went to Bed, and had the same Woman again 
assaulting him. The Child in the Cradle gave a great schreech, 
and the Woman Disappeared. It was long before the Child 


could be quieted; and tho' it were a very likely thriving Child, 
yet from this time it pined away, and after divers months 
dy'd in a sad Condition. He knew not Bishop, nor her Name; 
but when he saw her after this, he knew by her Countenance, 
and Apparrel, and all Circumstances, that it was the Apparix 
tion of this Bishop which had thus troubled him. *^/ 

VII. John Bly and his Wife testify'd, that he bought a 
sow of Edward Bishop, the Husband of the prisoner; and was 
to pay the price agreed, unto another person. This Prisoner 
being Angry that she was thus hindred from fingring the 
money, QuarrelPd with Bly. Soon after which, the Sow was 
taken with strange Fits, Jumping, Leaping, and knocking her 
head against the Fence; she seem'd Blind and Deaf, and would 
neither eat nor be suck'd. Whereupon a neighbour said, she 
believed the Creature was Over-Looked; and sundry other 
circumstances concurred, which made the Deponents Belive 
that Bishop had Bewitched it. 

VIII. Richard Coman testify 'd, that eight years ago, as 
he lay Awake in his Bed, with a Light Burning in the Room, 
he was annoy'd with the Apparition of this Bishop, and of 
two more that were strangers to him, who came and oppressed 
him so, that he could neither stir himself, nor wake any one 
else, and that he was the night after molested again in the 
like manner; the said Bishop taking him by the Throat, and 
pulling him almost out of the Bed. His kinsman offered for 
this cause to lodge with him; and that Night, as they were 
Awake, Discoursing together, this Coman was once more vis- 
ited by the Guests which had formerly been so troublesome; 
his kinsman being at the same time strook speechless and un- 
able to move Hand or Foot. He had laid his sword by him, 
which these unhappy spectres did strive much to wrest from 
him; only he held too fast for them. He then grew able to 
call the People of his house; but altho' they heard him, yet 
they had not power to speak or stirr; until at last, one of the 
people crying out, what's the matter? the spectres all vanished. 

IX. Samuel Shattock testify'd, That in the Year 1680, 
this Bridget Bishop often came to his house upon such frivo- 
lous and foolish errands, that they suspected she came indeed 
with a purpose of mischief. Presently whereupon his eldest 
child, which was of as promising Health and Sense as any 


child of its Age, began to droop exceedingly; and the oftener 
that Bishop came to the House, the worse grew the Child. As 
the Child would be standing at the Door, he would be thrown 
and bruised against the Stones, by an Invisible Hand, and in 
like sort knock his Face against the sides of the House, and 
bruise it after a miserable manner. Afterwards this Bishop 
would bring him things to Dy, whereof he could not Imagine 
any use; and when she paid him a piece of Money, the Purse 
and Money were unaccountably conveyed out of a Lock'd 
box, and never seen more. The Child was immediately here- 
upon taken with terrible fits, whereof his Friends thought he 
would have dyed : indeed he did almost nothing but cry and 
Sleep for several Months together; and at length his under- 
standing was utterly taken away. Among other Symptoms 
of an Inchantment upon him, one was, that there was a Board 
in the Garden, whereon he would walk; and all the invitations 
in the world could never fetch him off. About Seventeen or 
Eighteen years after, there came a Stranger to Shattocks 
House, who seeing the Child, said, "This poor Child is Be- 
witched; and you have a Neighbour living not far off, who is 
a Witch." He added, "Your Neighbour has had a falling out 
with your Wife; and she said in her Heart, your Wife is a 
proud Woman, and she would bring down her Pride in this 
Child." He then Remembred, that Bishop had parted from 
his Wife in muttering and menacing Terms, a little before the 
Child was taken 111. The abovesaid Stranger would needs 
carry the Bewitched Boy with him to Bishops House, on pre- 
tence of buying a pot of Cyder. The Woman Entertained 
him in furious manner; and flew also upon the Boy, scratching 
his Face till the Blood came; and saying, "Thou Rogue, what, 
dost thou bring this Fellow here to plague me?" Now it 
seems the Man had said, before he went, that he would fetch 
Blood of her. Ever after the Boy was follow'd with grievous 
Fits, which the Doctors themselves generally ascribed unto 
Witchcraft; and wherein he would be thrown still into the 
Fire or the Water, if he were not constantly look'd after; and 
it was verily believed that Bishop was the cause of it. 

X. John Louder testify 'd, that upon some little contro- 
versy with Bishop about her fowles, going well to Bed, he did 
awake in the Night by moonlight, and did see clearly the like- 


ness of this woman grievously oppressing him; in which miser- 
able condition she held him, unable to help him self, till near 
Day. He told Bishop of this; but she deny'd it, and threatned 
him very much. Quickly after this, being at home on a Lo^rds 
day, with the doors shutt about him, he saw a Black Pig jap- 
proach him; at which he going to kick, it vanished away. 
Immediately after, sitting down, he saw a Black thing Jump 
in at the Window, and come and stand before him. The Body 
was like that of a Monkey, the Feet like a Cocks, but the Face 
much like a mans. He being so extreemly affrighted, that he 
could not speak, this Monster spoke to him, and said, "I am 
a Messenger sent unto you, for I understand that you are in 
some Trouble of Mind, and if you will be ruled by me, you shall 
want for nothing in this world." Whereupon he endeavoured 
to clap his hands upon it; but he could feel no substance, 
and it jumped out of the window again; but immediately 
came in by the Porch, though the Doors were shut, and said, 
"You had better take my Counsel!" He then struck at it 
with a stick, but struck only the Groundsel, and broke the 
Stick. The Arm with which he struck was presently Disen- 
abled, and it vanished away. He presently went out at the 
Back-Door, and spyed this Bishop, in her Orchard, going to- 
ward her House; but he had not power to set one foot forward 
unto her. Whereupon returning into the House, he was im- 
mediately accosted by the Monster he had seen before; which 
Goblin was now going to Fly at him; whereat he cry'd out, 
"The whole Armour of God be between me and you!" So it 
sprang back, and flew over the Apple Tree, shaking many 
Apples off the Tree, in its flying over. At its Leap, it flung 
Dirt with its Feet against the Stomach of the Man; whereon 
he was then struck Dumb, and so continued for three Days 
together. Upon the producing of this Testimony, Bishop 
deny'd that she knew this Deponent : yet their two Orchards 
joined, and they had often had their Little Quarrels for some 
years together. 

XI. William Stacy Testifyed, That receiving Money of 
this Bishop, for work done by him, he was gone but a matter 
of Three Rods from her, and looking for his money, found it 
unaccountably gone from him. Some time after, Bishop asked 
him, whether his Father would grind her grist for her? He 


demanded why? she Reply'd, "Because Folks count me a 
Witch." He answered, "No Question, but he will grind it 
for you." Being then gone about six Rods from her, with a 
small Load in his Cart, suddenly the Off-wheel slump 't and 
sunk down into an Hole upon plain ground, so that the De- 
ponent was forced to get help for the Recovering of the wheel. 
But stepping Back to look for the Hole which might give him 
this disaster, there was none at all to be found. Some time 
after, he was waked in the Night; but it seem'd as Light as 
Day, and he perfectly saw the shape of this Bishop in the Room, 
Troubling of him; but upon her going out, all was Dark again. 
He charg'd Bishop afterwards with it, and she deny'd it not; 
but was very angry. Quickly after, this Deponent having 
been threatned by Bishop, as he was in a dark Night going 
to the Barn, he was very suddenly taken or lifted from the 
ground, and thrown against a stone wall; After that, he was 
again hoisted up and thrown down a Bank, at the end of his 
House. After this again, passing by this Bishop, his Horse 
with a small load, striving to Draw, all his Gears flew to pieces, 
and the Cart fell down; and this deponent going then to lift 
a Bag of corn, of about two Bushels, could not budge it with 
all his might. 

Many other pranks of this Bishops this Deponent was 
Ready to testify. He also testify'd, that he verily Believed, 
the said Bishop was the Instrument of his Daughter Priscilla's 
Death; of which suspicion, pregnant Reasons were assigned. 

XII. To Crown all, John Bly and William Bly Testify'd, 
That being Employ'd by Bridget Bishop, to help take 
down the Cellar-wall of the old House, wherein she for- 
merly Lived, they did in Holes of the said old Wall find several 
Poppets, 1 made up of Rags and Hogs Brussels, with Headless 
Pins in them, the Points being outward. Whereof she could 
give no Account unto the Court, that was Reasonable or 

XIII. One thing that made against the Prisoner was, her 
being evidently convicted of Gross Lying in the Court, several 
Times, while she was making her Plea. But besides this, a 

'Supposed, of course, by her accusers to be such "images" as witches were 
alleged to make of their victims, for the sake of torturing them by proxy. (See 
above, p. 163, note 1, p. 219, and below, p. 440, note 1.) 


Jury of Women found a preternatural Teat upon her Body; 1 
but upon a second search, within Three or four hours, there 
was no such thing to be seen. There was also an account of 
other people whom this woman had afflicted. And there might 
have been many more, if they had been enquired for. But 
there was no need of them. 

XIV. There was one very strange thing more, with which 
the Court was newly Entertained. As this Woman was, under 
a Guard, passing by the Great and Spacious Meeting-House 
of Salem, she gave a Look towards the House. And immedi- 
ately a Daemon Invisibly Entring the Meeting-house, Tore 
down a part of it; so that tho' there were no person to be seen 
there, yet the people at the Noise running in, found a Board, 
which was strongly fastned with several Nails, transported 
unto another quarter of the House. 

III. The Tryal of Susanna Martin, 2 At the Court of Oyer and 
Terminer, Held by Adjournment at Salem, June 29, 1692. 

I. Susanna Martin, pleading Not Guilty to the Indict- 
ment of Witchcraft brought in against her, there were pro- 
duced the evidences of many persons very sensibly and griev- 
ously Bewitched; who all complaned of the prisoner at the 
Bar, as the person whom they Believed the cause of their 
Miseries. And now, as well as in the other Trials, there was 
an extraordinary endeavour by Witchcrafts, with Cruel and 
Frequent Fits, to hinder the poor sufferers from giving in 
their complaints; which the Court was forced with much 
patience to obtain, by much waiting and watching for it. 

II. There was now also an Account given, of what passed 
at her first examination before the Magistrates. The cast of 
her eye then striking the Afflicted People to the ground, 
whether they saw that Cast or no; there were these among 
other passages between the Magistrates and the Examinate. 

Magistrate. Pray, what ails these People? 
Martin. I don't know. 

1 See below, p. 436, and note 1. 

2 Of Amesbury. She too had been long accused. For the trial records see 
Records of Salem Witchcraft, I. 193-233. She was executed on July 19. 


Magistrate. But what do you think ails them? 

Martin. I don't desire to spend my Judgment upon it. 

Magistrate. Don't you think they are Bewitch'd? 

Martin. No, I do not think they are. 

Magistrate. Tell us your thoughts about them then. 

Martin. No, my thoughts are my own when they are in, 
but when they are out, they are anothers. Their Master 

Magistrate. Their Master? who do you think is their 

Martin. If they be dealing in the Black Art, you may 
know as well as I. 

Magistrate. Well, what have you done towards this? 

Martin. Nothing at all. 

Magistrate. Why, tis you or your Appearance. 

Martin. I cannot help it. 

Magistrate. Is it not Your Master? How comes your 
Appearance to hurt these? 

Martin. How do I know? He that appeared in the shape 
of Samuel, a Glorify'd Saint, may Appear in any ones shape. 

It was then also noted in her, as in others like her, that if 
the Afflicted went to approach her, they were flung down to 
the Ground. And, when she was asked the Reason of it, she 
said, "I cannot tell; it may be, the Devil bears me more 
Malice than another." 

III. The Court accounted themselves Alarum'd by these 
things, to Enquire further into the Conversation of the Pris- 
oner; and see what there might occur, to render these Accusa- 
tions further credible. /JVhereupon, John Allen, of Salisbury, 
testify 'd, That he refusing, because of the weakness of his 
Oxen, to Cart some Staves, at the request of this Martin, she 
was displeased at it; and said, "It had been as good that he 
had; for his Oxen should never do him much more Service." 
Whereupon this Deponent said, " Dost thou threaten me, thou 
old Witch? I'l throw thee into the Brook" : Which to avoid, 
she flew over the Bridge, and escaped. But, as he was going 
home, one of his Oxen Tired, so that he was forced to Unyoke 
him, that he might get him home. He then put his Oxen, 
with many more, upon Salisbury Beach, where Cattle did use 
to get Flesh. In a few days, all the Oxen upon the Beach 
were found by their Tracks, to have run unto the mouth of 


Merrimack-River, and not returned; but the next day they 
were found come ashore upon Plum-Island-T They that sought 
them used all imaginable gentleness, but They would still run 
away with a violence that seemed wholly Diabolical, till they 
came near the mouth of Merrimack-River; when they ran 
right into the Sea, swimming as far as they could be seen. 
One of them then swam back again, with a swiftness amazing 
to the Beholders, who stood ready to receive him, and help 
up his Tired Carcass : But the Beast ran furiously up into the 
Island, and from thence, through the Marishes, up into New- 
bury Town, and so up into the Woods; and there after a 
while found near Amesbury. So that, of Fourteen good Oxen, 
there was only this saved : the rest were all cast up, some in 
one place, and some in another, Drowned. 

IV. John Atkinson Testify 'd, That he Exchanged a Cow 
with a Son of Susanna Martins, whereat she muttered, and 
was unwilling he should have it. Going to Receive this Cow, 
tho' he Hamstring'd her, and Halter'd her, she of a Tame 
Creature grew so mad, that they could scarce get her along. 
She broke all the Ropes that were fastned unto her, and though 
she were Ty'd fast unto a Tree, yet she made her Escape, and 
gave them such further Trouble, as they could ascribe to no 
cause but Witchcraft. 

V. Bernard Peache testify'd, That being in Bed on a 
Lords-day Night, he heard a scrabbling at the Window, whereat 
he then saw Susanna Martin come in, and jump down upon the 
Floor. She took hold of this Deponents Feet, and drawing his 
Body up into an Heap, she lay upon him near Two Hours; in 
all which time he could neither speak nor stirr. At length, 
when he could begin to move, he laid hold on her Hand, and 
pulling it up to his mouth, he bit three of her Fingers, as he 
judged, unto the Bone. Whereupon she went from the Cham- 
ber, down the Stairs, out at the Door. This Deponent there- 
upon called unto the people of the House, to advise them of 
what passed; and he himself did follow her. The people saw 
her not; but there being a Bucket at the Left-hand of the 
Door, there was a drop of Blood found on it; and several moi 
drops of Blood upon the Snow newly fallen abroad. There 
was likewise the print of her two Feet just without the Thresh- 
old; but no more sign of any Footing further off. 


At another time this Deponent was desired by the Prisoner, 
to come unto an Husking of Corn, at her House; and she said, 
If he did not come, it were better that he did ! He went not ; 
but the Night following, Susanna Martin, as he judged, and 
another came towards him. One of them said, "Here he is!" 
but he having a Quarter-staff, made a Blow at them. The 
Roof of the Barn broke his Blow; but following them to the 
Window, he made another Blow at them, and struck them 
down; yet they got up, and got out, and he saw no more of 

About this time, there was a Rumour about the Town, that 
Martin had a Broken Head; but the Deponent could say 
nothing to that. 

The said Peache also testify'd the Bewitching of Cattle to 
Death, upon Martin's Discontents. 

VI. Robert Downer testifyed, That this Prisoner being 
some years ago prosecuted at Court for a Witch, 1 he then 
said unto her, He believed she was a Witch. Whereat she 
being dissatisfied, said, That some Shee-Devil would Shortly 
fetch him away! Which words were heard by others, as well 
as himself. The Night following, as he lay in his Bed, there 
came in at the Window the likeness of a Cat, which Flew upon 
him, took fast hold of his Throat, lay on him a considerable 
while, and almost killed him. At length he remembred what 
Susanna Martin had threatned the Day before; and with 
much striving he cryed out, "Avoid, thou Shee-Devil! In the 
Name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, Avoid ! " 
Whereupon it left him, leap'd on the Floor, and Flew out at the 

And there also came in several Testimonies, that before 
ever Downer spoke a word of this Accident, Susanna Martin 
and her Family had related, How this Downer had been 

T VII. John Kembal testifyed, that Susanna Martin, upon 
p, Causeless Disgust, had threatned him, about a certain Cow 

his, That she should never do him any more Good : and it 

1 In 1669. She was then bound over to the Superior Court, but was dis- 
charged without trial. (Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts, II., ch. I., as 
published from an earlier draft, with notes by W. F. Poole, in N. E, Hist, and 
Gen. Register, XXIV.) 


came to pass accordingly. For soon after the Cow was found 
stark Dead on the dry Ground, without any Distemper to be 
discerned upon her. Upon which he was followed with a 
strange Death upon more of his Cattle, whereof he lost in 
One Spring to the value of Thirty Pounds. But the said John 
Kembal had a further Testimony to give in against the Pris- 
oner which was truly admirable. 

Being desirous to furnish himself with a Dog, he applied 
himself to buy one of this Martin, who had a Bitch with Whelps 
in her House. But she not letting him have his Choice, he 
said, he would supply himself then at one Blezdels. Having 
mark'd a puppy which he lik'd at Blezdels, he met George 
Martin, the Husband of the prisoner, going by, who asked 
him, Whether he would not have one of his Wives Puppies? 
and he answered, No. The same Day, one Edmund Eliot, 
being at Martins House, heard George Martin relate, where 
this Kembal had been, and what he had said. Whereupon 
Susanna Martin replyed, "If I live, I'll give him Puppies 
enough!" Within a few Dayes after, this Kembal coming 
out of the Woods, there arose a little Black Cloud in the N.W. 
and Kembal immediately felt a Force upon him, which made 
him not able to avoid running upon the stumps of Trees, that 
were before him, albeit he had a broad, plain Cart way, before 
him; but tho' he had his Ax also on his Shoulder to endanger 
him in his Falls, he could not forbear going out of his way to 
tumble over them. When he came below the Meeting-House, 
there appeared unto him a little thing like a Puppy, of a Dark- 
ish Colour; and it shot backwards and forwards between his 
Legs. He had the Courage to use all possible Endeavours 
of Cutting it with his Ax; but he could not Hit it; the Puppy 
gave a jump from him, and went, as to him it seem'd, into the 
Ground. Going a little further, there appeared unto him a 
Black Puppy, somewhat bigger than the first, but as Black 
as a Cole. Its motions were quicker than those of his Ax; 
it Flew at his Belly, and away; then at his Throat; so, over his 
Shoulder one way, and then over his Shoulder another way. 
His heart now began to fail him, and he thought the Dog 
would have Tore his Throat out. But he recovered himself, 
and called upon God in his Distress; and Naming the Name of 
Jesus Christ, it Vanished away at once.7 The Deponent Spoke 


not one Word of these Accidents, for fear of affrighting his 
wife. But the next Morning, Edmond Eliot going into Mar- 
tins House, this woman asked him where Kembal was? He 
Replyed, At home, a bed, for ought he knew. She returned, 
"They say, he was frighted last Night." Eliot asked, "With 
what?" She answered, "With Puppies." Eliot asked, Where 
she heard of it, for he had heard nothing of it? She rejoined, 
"About the Town." Altho' Kembal had mentioned the 
Matter to no Creature Living. 

VIII. William Brown testify'd, that Heaven having 
blessed him with a most Pious and prudent wife, this, wife of 
his one day mett with Susanna Martin; but when she ap- 
proch'd just unto her, Martin vanished out of sight, and left 
her extremely affrighted. After which time, the said Martin 
often appear'd unto her, giving her no little trouble; and 
when she did come, she was visited with Birds that sorely 
peck't and Prick'd her; and sometimes a Bunch, like a pullets 
egg, would Rise in her throat, ready to Choak her, till she cry'd 
out, "Witch, you shan't choak me!" While this good Woman 
was in this Extremity, the Church appointed a Day of Prayer, 
on her behalf; whereupon her Trouble ceas'd; she saw not 
Martin as formerly; and the Church, instead of their Fast, 
gave Thanks for her Deliverance. But a considerable while 
after, she being Summoned to give hi some Evidence at the 
Court, against this Martin, quickly thereupon this Martin 
came behind her, while she was milking her Cow, and said 
unto her, "For thy defaming me at Court, I'l make thee the 
miserablest Creature in the World." Soon after which, she 
fell into a strange kind of Distemper, and became horribly 
Frantick, and uncapable of any Reasonable Action; the 
Physicians declaring, that her Distemper was preternatural, 
and that some Devil had certainly Bewitched her; and in that 
Condition she now remained. 

IX. Sarah Atkinson testify'd, That Susanna Martin came 
from Amesbury to their House at Newbury, in an extraordinary 
Season, when it was not fit for any one to Travel. She came 
(as she said unto Atkinson) all that long way on Foot. She 
brag'd and show'd how dry she was; nor could it be perceived 
that so much as the Soles of her Shoes were wet. Atkinson 
was amazed at it ; and professed, that she should her self have 


been wet up to the knees, if she had then came so far; but 
Martin reply'd, She scorn'd to be Drabbled! It was noted, 
that this Testimony upon her Trial cast her in a very singular 

X. John Pressy testify'd, That being one Evening very 
unaccountably Bewildred, near a field of Martins, and several 
times, as one under an Enchantment, returning to the place 
he had left, at length he saw a marvellous Light, about the 
Bigness of an Half-Bushel, near two Rod out of the way. 
He went, and struck at it with a Stick, and laid it on with all 
his might. He gave it near forty blows; and felt it a palpable 
substance. But going from it, his Heels were struck up, and 
he was laid with his Back on the Ground, Sliding, as he thought, 
into a Pit; from whence he recover'd, by taking hold on the 
Bush; altho' afterwards he could find no such Pit in the place. 
Having, after his Recovery, gone five or six Rod, he saw Su- 
sanna Martin standing on his Left-hand, as the Light had done 
before; but they changed no words with one another. He 
could scarce find his House in his Return; but at length he 
got home, extreamly affrighted. The next day, it was upon 
Enquiry understood, that Martin was in a miserable condi- 
tion by pains and hurts that were upon her. 

It was further testify'd by this Deponent, That after he 
had given in some Evidence against Susanna Martin, many 
years ago, she gave him foul words about it; and said, He should 
never prosper more; particularly, That he should never have 
more than two Cows; that tho' he were never so likely to have 
more, yet he should never have them. And that from that 
very Day to this, namely for Twenty Years together, he could 
never exceed that Number; but some strange thing or other 
still prevented his having of any more. 

XL Jervis Ring testifyed, that about seven years ago, 
he was oftentimes and grievously Oppressed in the Night, 
but saw not who Troubled him, until at last he, Lying per- 
fectly Awake, plainly saw Susanna Martin approach him. 
She came to him, and forceably Bit him by the Finger; so that 
the Print of the Bite is now so long after to be seen upon him. 

XII. But besides all of these Evidences, there was a 
most wonderful Account of one Joseph Ring, produced on 
this Occasion. 


This man has been strangely carried about by Daemons, 
from one Witch-Meeting to another, for near two years to- 
gether; and for one Quarter of this Time, they have made 
him and kept him Dumb, tho' he is now again able to speak. 
There was one T. H. 1 who having, as tis judged, a Design of 
engaging this Joseph Ring in a Snare of Devillism, contrived 
a wile, to bring this Ring two Shillings in Debt unto him. 

Afterwards, this poor man would be visited with unknown 
shapes, and this T. H. sometimes among them; which would 
force him away with them, unto unknown Places, where he 
saw meetings, Feastings, Dancings; and after his Return, 
wherein they hurried him along thro' the Air, he gave Demon- 
strations to the Neighbours, that he had indeed been so trans- 
ported. When he was brought unto these Hellish meetings, 
one of the First things they still 2 did unto him, was to give 
him a knock on the Back, whereupon he was ever as if Bound 
with Chains, uncapable of Stirring out of the place, till they 
should Release him. He related, that there often came to 
him a man, who presented him a Book, whereto he would have 
him set his Hand ; promising to him, that he should then have 
even what he would; and presenting him with all the Delecta- 
ble Things, persons, and places, that he could imagine. But 
he refusing to subscribe, the business would end with dreadful 
Shapes, Noises and Screeches, which almost scared him out 
of his witts. Once with the Book, there was a Pen offered 
him, and an Inkhorn with Liquor in it, that seemed like Blood : 
but he never toucht it. 

This man did now affirm, that he saw the Prisoner at 
several of those Hellish Randezvouzes. 

Note, This Woman was one of the most Impudent, Scur- 
rilous, wicked creatures in the world; and she did now through- 
out her whole Trial discover herself to be such an one. Yet 
when she was asked, what she had to say for her self? her 
Cheef Plea was, That she had Led a most virtuous and Holy 

1 Thomas Hardy, of Great Island, near Portsmouth. See Records, I. 216. 
1 Always. 


IV. The Trial of Elizabeth How, 1 at the Court of Oyer and 
Terminer, Held by Adjournment at Salem, June 30, 1692. 

I. Elizabeth How pleading Not Guilty to the Indictment 
of Witchcrafts, then charged upon her, the Court, according 
to the usual proceeding of the Courts in England, in such Cases, 
began with hearing the Depositions of Several Afflicted People, 
who were grievously Tortured by sensible and evident Witch- 
crafts, and all complained of the Prisoner, as the cause of their 
Trouble. It was also found that the Sufferers were not able 
to bear her Look, as likewise, that in their greatest Swoons, 
they distinguished her Touch from other peoples, being thereby 
raised out of them. 

And there was other Testimony of people to whom the 
shape of this How gave trouble Nine or Ten years ago. 

II. It has been a most usual thing for the Bewitched per- 
sons, at the same time that the Spectres representing the 
Witches Troubled them, to be visited with Apparitions of 
Ghosts, pretending to have bin Murdered by the Witches then 
represented. And sometimes the confessions of the witches 
afterwards acknowledged those very Murders, which these 
Apparitions charged upon them; altho' they had never heard 
what Informations had been given by the Sufferers. 

There were such Apparitions of Ghosts testified by some of 
the present Sufferers, and the Ghosts affirmed that this How 
had Murdered them : which things were Fear'd but not prov'd. 

III. This How had made some Attempts of Joyning to 
the Church, at Ipswich, several years ago ; but she was deny'd 
an Admission into that Holy Society, partly through a sus- 
picion of witchcraft, then urged against her. And there now 
came in Testimony, of Preternatural Mischiefs, presently be- 
falling some that had been Instrumental to Debar her from 
the Communion, whereupon she was Intruding. 

1 Of Ipswich. For the touching story of her trial and of the loyalty of her 
blind husband and her daughters, see especially Upham, Salem Witchcraft, II. 
216-223, and, in the Historical Collections of the Topsfield Historical Society, 
XIII. (1908), the study on "Topsfield in the Witchcraft Delusion," by Mrs. 
Towne and Miss Clark. In the same volume (pp. 107-126) Mr. G. F. Dow has 
published the records of her case more completely than has Woodward in Records 
of Salem Witchcraft (II. 69-94). She was executed on July 19. 


IV. There was a particular Deposition of Joseph Safford, 
That his Wife had conceived an extream Aversion to this How, 
on the Reports of her Witchcrafts : but How one day, taking 
her by the hand, and saying, "I believe you are not Ignorant 
of the great Scandal that I ly under, by an evil Report Raised 
upon me," She immediately, unreasonably, and unpers wade- 
ably, even like one Enchanted, began to take this Womans 
part. How being soon after propounded, as desiring an Ad- 
mission to the Table of the Lord, some of the pious Brethren 
were unsatisfy'd about her. The Elders appointed a Meeting 
to hear Matters objected against her; and no Arguments in 
the world could hinder this Goodwife Safford from going to 
the Lecture. She did indeed promise, with much ado, that 
she would not go to the Church-Meeting, yet she could not 
refrain going thither also. How's Affayrs there were so 
Canvased, that she came off rather Guilty than Cleared; never- 
theless Goodwife Safford could not forbear taking her by the 
Hand, and saying, "Tho' you are Condemned before men, 
you are Justify'd before God." She was quickly taken in a 
very strange manner, Frantick, Raving, Raging and Crying 
out, " Goody How must come into the Church ; she is a precious 
Saint; and tho' she be Condemned before Men, she is Justi- 
fy'd before God." So she continued for the space of two or 
three Hours; and then fell into a Trance. But coming to her 
self, she cry'd out, "Ha! I was mistaken"; and afterwards 
again repeated, "Ha! I was mistaken!" Being asked by a 
stander by, "Wherein?" She replyed, "I thought Goody How 
had been a Precious Saint of God, but now I see she is a Witch. 
She has Bewitched me, and my Child, and we shall never be 
well, till there be Testimony for her, that she may be taken 
into the Church." And How said afterwards, that she was 
very Sony to see Safford at the Church-Meeting mentioned. 
Safford after this declared herself to be afflicted by the Shape 
of How; and from that Shape she endured many Miseries. 

V. John How, Brother to the Husband of the prisoner 
testifyed, that he refusing to accompany the prisoner unto her 
Examination, as was by her desired, immediately some of his 
Cattle were Bewitched to Death, Leaping three or four foot 
high, turning about, Squeaking, Falling, and Dying, at once; 
and going to cut off an Ear, for an use that might as well per- 


haps have been Omitted, 1 the Hand wherein he held his knife 
was taken very Numb, and so it remained, and full of Pain, 
for several Dayes; being not well at this very Time. And he 
suspected this prisoner for the Author of it. 

VI. Nehemiah Abbot testify'd, that unusual and mis- 
chievous Accidents would befal his cattle, whenever he had 
any Difference with this Prisoner. Once, Particularly, she 
wished his Oxe Choaked; and within a Little while that Oxe 
was Choaked with a Turnip in his Throat. At another time, 
refusing to lend his horse, at the Request of her Daughter, the 
horse was in a Preternatural manner abused. And several 
other Odd Things of that kind were testify'd. 

VII. There came in Testimony, that one goodwife Sher- 
win, upon some Difference with How, was Bewitched, and that 
she Dy'd, Charging this How of having an Hand in her Death. 
And that other People had their Barrels of Drink unaccount- 
ably mischieved, spoilt, and spilt, upon their Displeasing of 

The things in themselves were Trivial; but there being 
such a Course of them, it made them the more to be con- 
sidered. Among others, Martha Wood gave her Testimony, 
that a Little after her Father had been employ 'd in gathering 
an Account of Howes Conversation, they once and again Lost 
Great Quantities of Drink out of their Vessels, in such a man- 
ner, as they could ascribe to nothing but Witchcraft. As also, 
that How giving her some Apples, when she had eaten of them 
she was taken with a very strange kind of a maze, insomuch 
that she knew not what she said or did. 

VIII. There was Likewise a cluster of Depositions, that 
one Isaac Cummings refusing to lend his Mare unto the Hus- 
band of this How, the mare was within a Day or two taken in 
a strange condition. The Beast seemed much Abused; being 

1 What this purpose may have been does not appear in the evidence: John 
How testifies merely that a neighbor who had laughed at him for thinking the 
sow bewitched told him to cut off her ear, "the which I did." It was doubtless 
to burn it, as a means to detect the witch. So, Perkins and Gaule say, in England 
it was a practice to burn the thing bewitched; and so at New Haven, in 1657, 
Thomas Mullener cut off the tail and ear of a pig and threw them into the fire 
to find out the witch (Records of the Colony of New Haven, II. 224). The belief 
was that the person who then first came to the fire was the witch (see below, 
p. 411). 


Bruised, as if she had been Running over the Rocks, and 
marked where the Bridle went, as if burnt with a Red hot 
Bridle. Moreover, one using a Pipe of Tobacco for the Cure 
of the Beast, a blew Flame issued out of her, took hold of her 
Hair, and not only Spread and Burnt on her, but it also flew 
upwards towards the Roof of the Barn, and had like to have 
set the Barn on Fire. And the Mare dy'd very suddenly. 

IX. Timothy Perley and his Wife Testify'd, not only 
that unaccountable Mischiefs befel their Cattle, upon their 
having of Differences with this Prisoner: but also, that they 
had a Daughter destroy 'd by Witchcrafts; which Daughter 
still charged How as the cause of her Affliction; and it was 
noted, that she would be struck down, whenever How were 
spoken of. She was often endeavoured to be Thrown into the 
Fire, and into the Water, in her strange Fits : tho' her Father 
had Corrected her for Charging How with Bewitching her, yet 
(as was testify'd by others also) she said, she was sure of it, 
and must dy standing to it. Accordingly she Charged How 
to the very Death; and said, Tho' How could Afflict and Tor- 
ment her Body, yet she could not Hurt her Soul : and, That 
the Truth of this matter would appear, when she should be 
Dead and Gone. 

X. Francis Lane testify'd, That being hired by the Hus- 
band of this How to get him a parcel of Posts and Rails, this 
Lane hired John Pearly to assist him. This Prisoner then told 
Lane, that she believed the Posts and Rails would not do, be- 
cause John Perley helped him; but that if he had got them 
alone, without John Pearlies help, they might have done well 
enough. When James How came to receive his Posts and 
Rails of Lane, How taking them up by the ends, they, tho' 
good and sound, yet unaccountably broke off, so that Lane 
was forced to get Thirty or Forty more. And this Prisoner 
being informed of it, she said, she told him so before; because 
Pearly help'd about them. 

XL Afterwards there came in the Confessions of several 
other (penitent) Witches, which affirmed this How to be one 
of those, who with them had been baptized by the Devil in 
the River at Newbery-Falls : before which, he made them 
there kneel down by the Brink of the River and Worship him. 


V. The Trial of Martha Carrier, 1 at the Court of Oyer and Ter- 
miner, Held by Adjournment at Salem, August 2, 1692. 

I. Martha Carrier was Indicted for the Bewitching of 
certain Persons, according to the Form usual in such Cases. 
Pleading Not Guilty, to her Indictment, there were First 
brought in a considerable number of the Bewitched Persons; 
who not only made the Court sensible of an horrid-Witchcraft 
committed upon them, but also deposed, That it was Martha 
Carrier, or her Shape, that GrievQUsly._Torm.ented them, by 
Biting, Pricking, Pinching, and Choaking of them. It was 
further deposed, that while this Carrier was on her Examina- 
tion, before the Magistrates, the Poor People were so Tortured 
that every one expected their Death upon the very~Spott; 
but that upon the binding of Carrier they were eased. More- 
over the Look of Carrier then laid the Afflicted People for 
Dead; and her Touch, if her Eye at the same Time were off 
them, raised them again. Which things were also now seen 
upon her Trial. And it was Testifyed, that upon the mention 
of some having their Necks twisted almost round, by the 
Shape of this Carrier, she replyed, "Its no matter, tho' their a. 
Necks had been twisted quite off." 

II. Before the Trial of this prisoner, several of her own 
Children had frankly and fully confessed, not only that they 
were Witches themselves, but that this their Mother had made 
them so. This Confession they made with great shows of 
Repentance, and with much Demonstration of Truth. They 
Related Place, Time, Occasion; they gave an account of Jour- 
neyes, Meetings, and Mischiefs by them performed; and were 
very credible in what they said. Nevertheless, this Evidence 
was not produced against the Prisoner at the Bar, inasmuch as 
there was other Evidence enough to proceed upon. 

III. Benjamin Abbot gave in his Testimony, that last 
March was a twelve month, this Carrier was very Angry with 

1 Of Andover. She was executed, like Burroughs, on August 19, the day 
when Mather himself was present and said "all died by a righteous sentence" 
(Sewall, Diary, I. 363). "All of them," says Judge Sewall, "said they were inno- 
cent, Carrier and all." Important for her case are, beside the Records of Salem 
Witchcraft (II. 54-68, 198-199), the documents preserved by Hutchinson (Massa- 


him, upon laying out some Land, near her Husbands: Her 
Expressions in this Anger, were, That she would stick as close 
to Abbot, as the Bark stuck to the Tree, and that he should 
Repent of it afore seven years came to an end, so as Doctor 
Prescot should never cure him. These words were heard by 
others, besides Abbot himself; who also heard her say, She 
would hold his Nose as close to the Grindstone, as ever it was 
held since his Name was Abbot. Presently after this, he was 
taken with a swelling in his Foot, and then with a pain in his 
side, and exceedingly Tormented. It bred into a sore, which 
was Lanced by Doctor Prescot, and several Gallons of Corrup- 
tion ran out of it. For six weeks it continued very bad; and 
~theri another sore bred in his Groin, which was also Lanc'd 
by Doctor Prescot. Another Sore then bred in his Groin, 
which was likewise Cut, and put him to very great Misery. 
He was brought unto Deaths Door, and so remained until 
Carrier was taken, and carried away by the Constable; from 
which very day, he began to mend, and so grew better every 
day, and is well ever since. 

Sarah Abbot also, his Wife, testify'd, that her Husband 
was not only all this while Afflicted in his Body, but also that 
strange, extraordinary and unaccountable Calamities befel his 
Cattel; their Death being such as they could guess at no 
Natural Reason for. 

IV. Allin Toothaker testify'd, That Richard, the Son of 
Martha Carrier, having some Difference with him, pull'd him 
down by the Hair of the Head. When he Rose again, he was 
going to strike at Richard Carrier; but fell down flat on his 
Back to the ground, and had not power to stir hand or foot, 
until he told Carrier he yielded; and then he saw the Shape of 
Martha Carrier go off his Breast. 

This Toothaker had Received a Wound in the Wars; and 
he now testify'd, that Martha Carrier told him, He should 
never be Cured. Just afore the Apprehending of Carrier, he 
could thrust a knitting Needle into his Wound, four Inches 

chusetts, II., ch. I., and the draft edited by Poole in N. E. Hist, and Gen. 
Register, XXIV.). They are reprinted in Abbot's History of Andover (Andover, 
1829), and Mrs. Bailey, in her Historical Sketches of Andover (Boston, 1880) has 
added others and told the story in detail (pp. 194-237). On Goodwife Carrier 
and her Andover neighbors see also pp. 180-182, 363, 371-375. 418-421. 


Deep; but presently after her being Siezed, he was thoroughly 

He further testify'd, That when Carrier and he sometimes 
were at variance, she would clap her hands at him, and say, 
He should get nothing by it; Whereupon he several times lost 
his Cattle, by strange Deaths, whereof no Natural Causes could 
be given. 

V. John Rogger also testifyed, That upon the threatning 
words of this malicious Carrier, his Cattle would be strangely 
Bewitched; as was more particularly then described. 

VI. Samuel Preston testify'd, that about two years ago, 
having some Difference with Martha Carrier, he lost a Cow in 
a strange Preternatural unusual manner; and about a month 
after this, the said Carrier, having again some Difference 
with him, she told him, He had lately lost a Cow, and it 
should not be long before he Lost another! which accord- 
ingly came to Pass; for he had a Thriving and well-kept 
Cow, which without any known cause quickly fell down and 

VII. Phebe Chandler testify'd, that about a Fortnight 
before the apprehension of Martha Carrier, on a Lords-Day, 
while the Psalm was singing, in the Church, this Carrier then 
took her by the shoulder and shaking her, asked her, where 
she Lived? she made her no Answer, although as Carrier, who 
lived next door to her Fathers House, could not in reason but 
know who she was. Quickly after this, as she was at several 
times crossing the Fields, she heard a voice, that she took to 
be Martha Carriers, and it seem'd as if it was over her Head. 
The voice told her, she should within two or three days be 
Poisoned. Accordingly, within such a Little time, One Half 
of her Right Hand became greatly swollen, and very painful; 
as also part of her Face; whereof she can give no account how 
it came. It continued very Bad for some dayes; and several 
times since, she has had a great pain in her Breast; and been 
so siezed on her Legs, that she has hardly been able to go. 
She added that lately, going well to the House of God, Richard, 
the Son of Martha Carrier, Look'd very earnestly upon her, 
and immediately her hand, which had formerly been poisoned, 
as is abovesaid, began to pain her greatley, and she had a 
strange Burning at her stomach; but was then struck deaf, 


so that she could not hear any of the prayer, or singing, till 
the two or three last words of the Psalme. 

VIII. One Foster, who confessed her own Share in the 
Witchcraft for which the Prisoner stood indicted, affirm 'd, 
That she had seen the Prisoner at some of their Witch-Meetings, 
and that it was this Carrier, who perswaded her to be a Witch. 
She confessed, That the Devil carry'd them on a Pole, to a 
Witch-Meeting; but the Pole broke, and she hanging about 
Carriers Neck, they both fell down, and she then Received an 
Hurt by the Fall, whereof she was not at this very time Re- 

IX. One Lacy, who likewise confessed her share in this 
Witchcraft, now Testify'd, That she and the Prisoner were 
once Bodily present at a Witch-meeting in Salem- Village ; and 
that she knew the Prisoner to be a Witch, and to have been 
at a Diabolical Sacrament, and that the Prisoner was the un- 
doing of her and her Children, by Enticing them into the 
Snare of the Devil. 

X. Another Lacy, who also Confessed her share in this 
Witchcraft, now Testify'd, That the Prisoner was at the Witch- 
Meeting, in Salem Village, where they had Bread and Wine 
Administred unto them. 

XI. In the Time of this Prisoner's Trial, one Susanna 
Shelden in open Court had her Hands Unaccountably Ty'd 
together with a Wheel-band, so fast that without Cutting it 
could not be Loosed: It was done by a Spectre; and the 
Sufferer affirm'd, it was the Prisoners. 

Memorandum. This Rampant Hag, Martha Carrier, was 
the Person, of whom the Confessions of the Witches, and of 
her own Children among the rest, agreed, That the Devil had 
promised her, she should be Queen of Hell. 

Having thus far done the Service imposed upon me, I will 
further pursue it, by relating a few of those Matchless Curi- 
osities, with which the Witchcraft now upon us has entertained 
us. And I shall Report nothing but with Good Authority, 
and what I would Invite all my Readers to examine, while tis 
yet Fresh and New, that if there be found any mistake, it may 
be as willingly Retracted, as it was unwillingly Committed. 


The First Curiositie. 

I. Tis very Remarkable to see what an Impious and Im- 
pudent Imitation of Divine Things is Apishly affected by the 
Devil, in several of those matters, whereof the Confessions of 
our Witches and the Afflictions of our Sufferers have informed 

That Reverend and Excellent Person, Mr. John Higginson, 1 
in My Conversation with him, Once invited me to this Reflec- 
tion; That the Indians which came from far to settle about 
Mexico, were in their Progress to that Settlement, under a 
Conduct of the Devil, very strangely Emulating what the 
Blessed God gave to Israel in the Wilderness. 

Acosta 2 is our Author for it, that the Devil in 

their Idol Vitzlipultzli governed that mighty Nation. He com- 
manded them to leave their Country, promising to make them Lords 
over all the Provinces possessed by Six other Nations of Indians, 
and give them a Land abounding with all precious things. They 
went forth, carrying their Idol with them, in a Coffer of Reeds, sup- 
ported by Four of their Principal Priests; with whom he still Dis- 
coursed, in secret, Revealing to them the Successes, and Accidents 
of their way. He advised them, when to March, and where to Stay, 
and without his Commandment they moved not. The first thing 
they did, wherever they came, was to Erect a Tabernacle, for their 
False God; which they set always in the midst of their Camp, and 
there placed the Ark upon an Altar. When they, Tired with pains, 
talked of proceeding no further in their Journey, than a certain 
pleasant Stage, whereto they were arrived, this Devil in one night 
horribly kill'd them that had started this Talk, by pulling out their 
Hearts. And so they passed on, till they came to Mexico. 

The Devil which then thus imitated what was in the Church 
of the Old Testament, now among Us would Imitate the Affayrs 

1 Senior minister at Salem Town. See also p. 248, note 2, and pp. 398, 

2 It is the Spanish Jesuit, Joseph Acosta, who in his Natural and Moral His- 
tory of the Indies (bk. VII., ch. 4) relates this. Mather seems to have used the 
English version of Grimston (London, 1604), paraphrasing and abridging after 
a free fashion and inserting from the following chapter what is in his last two 


of the Church in the New. The Witches do say, that they 
form themselves much after the manner of Congregational 
Churches; and that they have a Baptism and a Supper, and 
Officers among them, abominably Resembling those of our 

But there are many more of these Bloody Imitations, if 
the Confessions of the Witches are to be Received; which I 
confess, ought to be but with very much of Caution. 

What is their striking down with a fierce Look? What is 
their making of the Afflicted Rise, with a touch of their Hand? 
What is their Transportation thro' the Air? What is their 
Travelling in Spirit, while their Body is cast into a Trance? 
What is their causing of Cattle to run mad and perish? What 
is their Entring their Names in a Book? What is their coming 
together from all parts, at the Sound of a Trumpet? What is 
their Appearing sometimes Cloathed with Light or Fire upon 
them? What is their Covering of themselves and their In- 
struments with Invisibility? But a Blasphemous Imitation 
of certain Things recorded about our Saviour, or His Prophets, 
or the Saints in the Kingdom of God. 

A Second Curiositie. 

II. In all the Witchcraft which now Grievously Vexes us, 
I know not whether any thing be more Unaccountable, than 
the Trick which the Witches have, to render themselves and 
their Tools Invisible. Witchcraft seems to be the Skill of 
Applying the Plastic Spirit of the World 1 unto some unlawful 
purposes, by means of a Confederacy with Evil Spirits. Yet 
one would wonder how the Evil Spirits themselves can do 
some things : especially at Invisibilizing of the Grossest Bodies. 
I can tell the Name of an Ancient Author, who pretends to 
show the way, how a man may come to walk about Invisible, 
and I can tell the Name of another Ancient Author, who pre- 
tends to Explode that way. But I will not speak too plainly, 
Lest I should unawares Poison some of my Readers, as the 

1 This phrase shows the influence of Ralph Cudworth (see his Intellectual 
System, bk. I., ch. III., 37) and through him of Cambridge Platonism whose 
demonology (e. g., Cudworth, bk. I., ch. V., at end) must also be remembered 


Pious Hemingius did one of his Pupils, when he only by way 
of Diversion recited a Spell, which, they had said, would cure 
Agues. 1 This much I will say; The notion of procuring In- 
visibility, by any Natural Expedient yet known, is, I Believe, 
a meer Plinyism; How far it may be obtained by a Magical 
Sacrament, is best known to the Dangerous Knaves that have 
Try'd it. But our Witches do seem to have got the Knack: 
and this is one of the Things, that make me think, Witchcraft 
will not be fully understood, until the Day when there shall 
not be one Witch in the World. 

There are certain people very Dogmatical about these 
matters; but I'l give them only these Three Bones to Pick. 

First, One of our Bewitched people was cruelly assaulted 
by a Spectre, that, she said, ran at her with a SpincUe : tho' no 
body else in the Room, could see either the Spectre or the 
Spindle. At last, in her miseries, giving a Snatch at the Spec- 
tre, she pull'd the Spindle away; and it was no sooner got 
into her hand, but the other people then present beheld, that 
it was indeed a Real, Proper, Iron Spindle, belonging they 
knew to whom; which when they Lock'd up very safe, it was 
nevertheless by Daemons unaccountably stole away, to do 
further mischief. 

Secondly, Another of our Bewitched People was haunted 
with a most abusive Spectre, which came to her, she said, 
with a Sheet about her. After she had undergone a deal of 
Teaze, from the Annoyances of the Spectre, she gave a Violent 
Snatch at the Sheet that was upon it; wherefrom she tore a 
Corner, which in her Hand immediately became Visible to a 
Roomful of Spectators; a Palpable Corner of a Sheet. Her 
Father, who was now holding her, Catch'd that he might Keep 
what his Daughter had so strangely Seized, but the unseen 
Spectre had like to have pull'd his Hand off, by Endeavouring 
to wrest it from him; however he still held it, and I suppose 
has it still to show; it being but a few Hours ago, namely 
about the Beginning of this October, that this Accident hap- 
pened; in the family of one Pitman, at Manchester. 

Thirdly, A young man, delaying to procure Testimonials 

1 It is the great Danish theologian Nicholas Hemming (Niels Hemmingsen) 
who tells this story of himself in his Admonitio de Superstitionibus Magicis mtandis 
(Copenhagen, 1575), fol. C2 verso. 


for his Parents, who being under confinement on Suspicion of 
Witchcraft, required him to do that Service for them, was 
quickly pursued with odd Inconveniences. But once above 
the Rest, an Officer going to put his Brand on the Horns of 
some Cows, belonging to these people, which tho' he had Siez'd 
for some of their Debts, yet he was willing to leave in their 
Possession, for the Subsistence of the poor Family ; this young 
man help'd in holding the Cows to be thus Branded. The 
three first Cows he held well enough ; but when the hot Brand 
was clap't upon the Fourth, he winc'd and shrunk at such a 
rate, as that he could hold the Cow no longer. Being after- 
wards Examined about it, he Confessed, That at that very 
Instant when the Brand entred the Cows Horn, exactly the 
like burning Brand was clap'd upon his own Thigh; where he 
has Exposed the Lasting Marks of it, unto such as asked to 
see them. 

Unriddle these Things, Et Eris mihi magnus Apollo. 1 

A Third Curiositie. 

III. If a Drop of Innocent Blood should be shed, in the 
Prosecution of the Witchcrafts among us, how unhappy are 
we ! For which cause, I cannot express my sen" in better terms, 
than those of a most Worthy Person, who lives near the pres- 
ent Center of these things. 2 "The Mind of God in these mat- 
ters, is to be carefully look'd into, with due Circumspection, 
that Satan deceive us not with his Devices, who transforms 
himself into an Angel of Light, and may pretend Justice and 
yet intend Mischief." But on the other side, if the Storm of 
Justice do now fall only on the Heads of those Guilty Witches 
and Wretches which have defiled our Land, How Happy! 

The Execution of some that have lately Dyed has been 
immediately attended with a strange Deliverance of some, 
that had lain for many years in a most sad Condition, under 

1 "And thou shall be to me a great Apollo" i. e., a great revealer of mys- 
teries. For their unriddling see p. 370, below. 

1 It has been suggested that this means the Rev. John Higginson, the ven- 
erable senior minister at Salem, whose hesitation as to the proceedings may be 
inferred from Brattle's words (p. 184, above) and from all else we know. See 
below, p. 398. 


they knew not whose Evil Hands. As I am abundantly satis- 
fy'd, That many of the Self-Murders committed here, have 
been the effects of a Cruel and Bloody Witchcraft, letting fly 
Daemons upon the miserable Seneca's; 1 thus, it has been ad- 
mirable unto me to see, how a Devillish Witchcraft, sending 
Devils upon them, has driven many poor people to Despair, 
and persecuted their minds with such Buzzes 2 of Atheism and 
Blasphemy, as has made them even run Distracted with Ter- 
rors: and some long Bow'd down under such a Spirit of In- 
firmity, have been marvelously Recovered upon the Death of 
the Witches. 

One Whetford particularly ten years ago, challenging of 
Bridget Bishop (whose Trial you have had) with Stealing of a 
Spoon, Bishop threatned her very direfully: presently after 
this was Whetford in the Night, and in her Bed, visited by 
Bishop, with one Parker, who making the Room Light at their 
coming in, there discoursed of several mischiefs they would 
inflict upon her. At last, they pulTd her out, and carried her 
unto the Sea-side, there to drown her; but she calling upon 
God, they left her, tho' not without Expressions of their Fury. 
From that very Time, this poor Whetford was utterly spoilt, 
and grew a Tempted, Froward, Crazed sort of a Woman; a 
vexation to her self, and all about her; and many ways un- 
reasonable. In this Distraction she lay, till those women were 
Apprehended, by the Authority; then she began to mend; 
and upon their Execution, was presently and perfectly Re- 
covered, from the ten years madness that had been upon her. 

A Fourth Curiositie. 

IV. Tis a thousand pitties, that we should permit our 
Eyes to be so Blood-shot with passions, as to loose the sight 
of many wonderful Things, wherein the Wisdom and Justice 
of God, would be Glorify'd. Some of those Things, are the 
frequent Apparitions of Ghosts, whereby many Old Murders 
among us, come to be considered. And, among many Instances 
of this kind, I will single out one, which concerned a poor man, 

1 The philosopher Seneca, it will be remembered, was an advocate of suicide 
and ended his own life thus. 

2 Whisperings. 


lately Prest unto Death, because of his Refusing to Plead for 
his Life. 1 I shall make an Extract of a Letter, which was 
written to my Honourable Friend, Samuel Sewal, Esq., 2 by 
Mr. Putman, 3 to this purpose; 

The Last Night my Daughter Ann was grievously Tormented 
by Witches, Threatning that she should be Pressed to Death, be- 
fore Giles Cory. But thro' the Goodness of a Gracious God, she had 
at last a little Respite. Whereupon there appeared unto her (she 
said) a man in a Winding Sheet; who told her that Giles Cory had 
Murdered him, by Pressing him to Death with his Feet; but that 
the Devil there appeared unto him, and Covenanted with him, and 
promised him, He should not be Hanged. The Apparition said, 
God Hardened his Heart, that he should not hearken to the Advice 
of the Court, and so Dy an easy Death; because as it said, "It must 
be done to him as he has done to me." The Apparition also said, 
That Giles Cory was carry'd to the Court for this, and that the Jury 
had found the Murder, and that her Father knew the man, and the 
thing was done before she was born. Now Sir, This is not a little 
strange to us; that no body should Remember these things, all the 
while that Giles Cory was in Prison, and so often before the Court. 
For all people now Remember very well, (and the Records of the 
Court also mention it,) That about Seventeen Years ago, Giles Cory 
kept a man in his House, that was almost a Natural Fool: which 
Man Dy'd suddenly. A Jury was Impannel'd upon him, among 
whom was Dr. Zorobbabel Endicot; 4 who found the man bruised 
to Death, and having dodders of Blood about his Heart. The Jury, 
whereof several are yet alive, brought in the man Murdered; but as 
if some Enchantment had hindred the Prosecution of the Matter, 
the Court Proceeded not against Giles Cory, tho' it cost him a great 
deal of Mony to get off. 

Thus the Story. 

The Reverend and Worthy Author, having at the Direction 
of His Excellency the Governour, so far Obliged the Publick, 
as to give some Account of the Sufferings brought upon the 

1 As to the case of Giles Corey see below, pp. 366-367. 

1 Judge Sewall, of the court. 

1 Thomas Putnam, of Salem Village, whose wife and daughter played so 
large a part as accusers. 

Of Salem Village. A son of John Endicott, the first governor of the Bay 
colony, and himself much honored as a physician. 


Coimtrey by Witchcraft; and of the Trials which have passed 
upon several Executed for the Same : 

Upon Perusal thereof, We find the Matters of Fact and 
Evidence, Truly reported. And a Prospect given, of the 
Methods of Conviction, used in the Proceedings of the Court 
at Salem. 





THE Wonders of the Invisible World was not yet issued, 
the General Court was still debating its course toward the 
accused who filled the jails, and Judge Sewall (on November 
22, 1692) was just imploring God to "bless the Assembly in 
their debates" and (if "consisting with his Justice and Holi- 
ness") to "vindicate the late Judges," when there fell into the 
hands of the Rev. Cotton Mather an opportunity to show the 
province and the world how a case of bewitchment should be 
handled. It is likely enough that he had known Mercy Short 
from the time of her first seizure, in the early summer; but 
from November, and especially from the day when she fell 
into a paroxysm while attending his church, and was carried 
into a neighbor's, where for weeks she lay at his door, till her 
"deliverance" on March 16, he gave the case the attention 
that fruited in the following journal. The journal was doubt- 
less soon thereafter completed, and, like his earlier narrative 
of the case of the Goodwin children, 1 and his later one of Mar- 
garet Rule's, 2 put into circulation among his friends. 

The manuscript, still extant in his own handwriting, bears 
on its cover-page, in his hand, "To be returned unto Cotton 
Mather." And in the possession of Cotton Mather and his 
family it seems to have remained until 1814, when his grand- 
daughter, Mrs. Hannah (Mather) Crocker, presented it, with 
many other papers, to the American Antiquarian Society at 
Worcester, Massachusetts. 3 "About ten years ago," writes 

1 See p. 119 and p. 126, note 1. *See p. 306, note 3, p. 307, note 1. 
3 "The manuscript," writes Mr. Brigham, the present librarian of that 
society, "unquestionably came to the Society in December, 1814, under which 



W. F. Poole in the second volume (1881) of the Memorial 
History of Boston, "Dr. Samuel F. Haven, the accomplished 
librarian of the American Antiquarian Society, in looking 
through the Mather manuscripts in that library, found one 
entitled, A Brand Pluckt out of the Burning, and on examina- 
tion it proved to be the long-lost Mercy Short narrative." 
" Dr. Haven, in announcing the discovery," he adds, "promised 
to print it with notes; but he has not yet found leisure to fulfil 
his promise." That leisure never came. A transcript of the 
booklet was made and lent to Poole, who made it the basis of 
his careful summary of the case, 1 and this transcript has since 
been used by other scholars; but when, after Dr. Haven's 
death (in 1881), his successor was frequently asked, "When 

date is the following entry in the Donation Book : 'Above Nine Hundred Sermons, 
in manuscript and separate, written and preached by the Mathers. Together 
with a number of manuscript books and papers which were in the Mather Library. 
Presented to the Society by Mrs. Hannah Crocker of Boston.' " 

The vicissitudes, earlier and later, of the papers and books of the Mathers 
have been related in much detail by Mr. Julius H. Tuttle ("The Libraries of the 
Mathers," in the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, n. s., XX. 
269-356), and he narrates (p. 310) how in October, 1831, another body of old 
papers, which "nobody could read," found their way from the garret once Samuel 
Mather's to the Antiquarian Society. But it is the hand of President Isaiah 
Thomas (d. April, 1831), who received the gift of Mrs. Crocker, that has written 
on the cover-page of our MS. its title of "Brand Plucked out of the Burning"; 
and it was doubtless while looking over the "debris from the drawers and pigeon- 
holes of a student's desk, that came to this Society with the family library from 
Mrs. Hannah Mather Crocker," that Librarian Haven (see his report, p. 36 in 
the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, April, 1869) first noticed it. 

The original manuscript is 7% inches high by 6 inches wide. It contains 
20 leaves, of which the first is blank. The remaining pages are numbered from 
1 to 38, p. 26 having nothing upon it and therefore no numbering. At the end of 
p. 38 the text breaks off abruptly, after the opening words (printed below, p. 286) 
of section 29. These suffice to show the section merely a postscript and to con- 
vince us that few words are missing. The manuscript shows marks of much use; 
many words are blotted or erased, and there are some interlineations in a different 
ink, some in the same ink, but practically all in the same hand. The most im- 
portant marks of the writer's later thought are in the shape of marginal addi- 

For this careful description of the MS. thanks are due to Librarian Brigham 
and to Dr. Charles H. Lincoln, who has prepared the copy for the printer. 

1 Memorial History of Boston, II. 147-152. 


shall you publish Cotton Mather's account of the trial of Mercy 
Short?" he could only reply that it "should see the light at an 
early day, under the editorial supervision of such students of 
the witchcraft problem as Drs. Poole and Moore." 1 Poole 
seriously thought of the task. "His study of the witchcraft 
problem and literature," said Librarian Barton at his death, 2 
"had led him to hope that he might edit with notes our Cot- 
ton Mather manuscript account of the case of Mercy Short"; 
but he seems never to have taken it in hand, and no other 
has since attempted it. 

The importance of the narrative lies not only in its contem- 
poraneity with the Salem trials and the side-lights it gives us 
on that episode and its environment, but yet more in the clear- 
ness with which it shows just what its author stood for in the 
matter. To him the case of Mercy Short was not only iden- 
tical in kind with those of "the Bewitched people then tor- 
mented by Invisible Furies in the County of Essex": it was 
itself one of those cases. And from first to last he was con- 
scious that he was making his treatment of it an object lesson. 
The present editor is far, indeed, from finding in it, like Mr. 
Poole, "the principles and methods of the Boston ministers" 
in general, and yet farther from his conviction that Mather 
meant his method to be a rival of the court's. He can not 
overlook that author's own explanation that, "had wee not 
studiously suppressed all clamours and Rumours that might 
have touched the Reputacion of people exhibited in this Witch- 
craft, there might have ensued most uncomfortable uproar"; 3 
or that, if he himself used prayer and fasting, he had a little 
earlier reminded the court how in Sweden a fast "was im- 
mediately [followed] with a remarkable Smile of God upon 
the endeavours of the Judges to discover and Extirpate the 
Authors of that Execrable witchcraft"; 4 or that, if he found 

1 Report of Librarian Barton, April, 1885, in Proceedings, n. s., III. 385-386. 

2 See his report for April, 1894 (ibid., IX. 184). See p. 276, below. 
4 Mass. Hist. Soc., Collections, fourth series, VIII. 392. 


jf '^^a^&^^^^ l -fte'IlfSb 

t &*a&*.ttJ, 





if *f** 

"l, f- </ 
. *v 

MK * 



Jr {' V <t* t<< 


L (HX^M 

S*^>.< fc-0 

7o<r^J a.w^^ / v fr7c^ /fi^cv uct./^ ...I 


First page of the original manuscript, in the posses -don of the American 

Antiquarian Society 


1. MERCY SHORT had been taken Captive by our cruel 
and Bloody Indians in the East, who at the same time hor- 
ribly Butchered her Father, her Mother, her Brother, her 
Sister, and others of her Kindred and then carried her, and 
three surviving Brothers with two Sisters, from Nieuchewan- 
nic 2 unto Canada : after which our Fleet Returning from Que- 
beck to Boston, brought them with other prisoners that were 
then Redeemed. But altho she had then already Born the 
Yoke in her youth, Yett God Almighty saw it Good for her 
to Bear more of that Yoke, before seventeen years of her Life 
had Rolled away. 

2. It was in the Summer of the Year 1692, when sever[al] 
persons were committed unto the Gaol in Boston on suspicion 
of having an Hand in that most Horrid and Hellish Witch- 
craft, which had brought in the Divels upon several parts of 
the Country, at such a rate as is the just Astonishment of the 
world; Then it was that Mercy Short, being sent by her Mis- 
tress upon an Errand unto the prison, was asked by one of the 
Suspected Witches for a little Tobacco ; and she affronted the 

1 A cover-page of the manuscript bears the inscription (by a later hand) : 
"Brand Plucked out of the Burning, being an Account of Mercy Short who was 
supposed to suffer by Witchcraft 1692." And in the hand of Cotton Mather 
himself are written the words: "To be returned unto Cotton Mather." 

2 Or Salmon Falls, a New Hampshire settlement on the river dividing that 
province from Maine, where now on the Maine side is the village of Berwick. In 
his Magnolia (bk. VII., art. 6) Mather has told in detail the story of this taking 
of Salmon Falls by the French and Indians (March 18, 1690) and what share in 
this calamity "fell to the family of one Clement Short" : "This honest man, with 
his pious wife, and three children, were kill'd; and six or seven of their children 
were made prisoners." His knowledge of the episode was doubtless gathered 
from Mercy Short. The fleet, which brought her to Boston, arrived November 
19, 1690. She probably went into domestic service, and, as we shall see, in a 
neighborhood where were "people of quality." 



Hag (t'was one Sarah Good, since executed at Salem) 1 by 
throwing an Handful of Shavings at her and saying, That's 
Tobacco good enough for you. Whereupon that Wretched 
Woman bestowed some ill words upon her, and poor Mercy 
was taken with just such, or perhaps much worse, Fits as those 
which held the Bewitched people then Tormented by Invisible 
Furies in the County of Essex. A world of misery did shee 
endure, for diverse weeks together, and such as could not pos- 
sibly bee inflicted upon her without the Immediate efficiency 
of some Agent, or Rational or Malicious; until God was pleased 
at length to hear the multiply'd prayers of His people for her 
Deliverance. There were many Remarkable Things in the 
molestations then given her; Whereof one was that they made 
her Fast for Twelve Days together. 

3. Being happily Delivered, shee for diverse months re- 
mained so; even until the Winter following. But then shee 
suddenly fell into a swoon wherein shee lay for Dead many 
hours together; and it was not long before the Distinct and 
Formal Fits of Witchcraft return'd upon her. 2 Shee con- 
tinued variously Tortured and Harassed by Evil Spirits; and 
in the same circumstances that had been upon her formerly 
until one of the ministers in the Town 3 took a little company 
of his praying Neighbors, and kept a Day of prayer with her 
and for her. On which day shee lay wholly insensible of the 
people that were thus concerned on her behalf and entertained 
with none but the cursed Spectres, whom alone shee saw, shee 
heard, shee felt; nevertheless while that minister was preach- 
ing on Marc. 9. 28, 29, shee flew upon him and shee tore a leaf 
of his Bible. 4 For some days after This Day shee continued 

1 Sarah Good (see pp. 343 ff., 414) was sent to the Boston jail on March 7, 
condemned at Salem June 30, executed on July 19. As she is here spoken of as 
only "suspected," the interview with Mercy Short was as early as June. 

J The event is noted by Sewall (Diary, I. 370) under November 22: "Now 
about, Mercy Short grows ill again, as formerly." This he probably added when 
about to write the following entry: "November 25. Mr. Mather sent for to 

1 Mather himself, of course. 

4 Then doubtless it was "Nov. 29. 1692" that Mather wrote in his Bible: 
"While I was preaching at a private fast (kept for a possessed young woman) 
on Mark 9. 28, 29. the Devel in the Damsel flew upon mee, and tore the Leaf, 
as it is now torn over against the Text." A facsimile of this autograph note is 


in her grievous vexations; but then, after what was little short 
of an Entire and a Total Fast for about Nine Dayes together, 
in those miseries, at length shee gained about Three Dayes 
Remission. In this Intermission of her Anguishes, shee did 
eat a little, and but a very little, Victuals; and shee was able 
on the Lords Day to visit the Lords House, near half a mile 
from the place of her abode. 1 

4. While shee was in the congregation shee so fell under 
the Arrest of her Invisible Troublers that shee now Saw and 
Heard nothing but those horrid Fiends, but when the Assembly 
was just broke up, they fell to Tormenting of her at such a 
rate, that many strong men with an united Force, could not 
well carry her any Further than the House of a kind Neigh- 
bour, who charitably took her in. T'was by the singular Provi- 
dence of God, that shee was thus cast amofng] a Neighborhood 
whose Hearts Hee stirred up to pitty her, to releeve her, to 
pray for her, and with a most Christian compassion do all that 
could piously bee done, for her Deliverance. There shee lay 
for diverse weeks; and you shall now bee told in what manner 
handled! A manner differing Little or Nothing from that 
wherein shee had been thus long already Tortured. 

5. There exhibited himself unto her a Divel having the 
Figure of A Short and a Black Man; and it was remarkable 
that altho' shee had no sort of Acquaintance with Histories 
of what has happened elswhere, to make any Impressions upon 
her Imagination, yett the Divel that visited her was just of the 
same Stature, Feature, and complexion with what the Histories 
of the Witchcrafts beyond-sea ascribe unto him; he was a 
wretch no taller than an ordinary Walking-Staff; hee was not 
of a Negro, but of a Tawney, or an Indian colour; hee wore 
an high-crowned Hat, with strait Hair; and had one Cloven- 
Foot. This Divel still brought with him unto her a consider- 
able Number of Spectres, most exactly resembling the persons 
of several people in the countrey, some of whose Names were 

prefixed by Sparks to the life of Cotton Mather in his Library of American Biog- 
raphy (at p. 161), and the tracing made by him for it is treasured, with his others, 
in the library of Cornell University. 

1 /. e., to come to Mather's church on Sunday, December 4: her nine days' 
fast, if begun on November 22, ended on December 1, and "three days' remis- 
sion" had followed, 


either formerly known, or now by their companions told unto 
her. And these wicked Spectres assisted, or obeyed, their 
Divellish Master, who brought them to infest her with such 
hideous Assaults, as were the Astonishment of all the standers- 

6. When this Divel with his confederate and concomitant 
Spectres came unto this our poor Neighbour, it was their cus- 
tom to cast her into such horrible Darkness that shee still 
imagined herself in a desolate cellar, where Day or Night could 
not bee distinguished. Her eyes were open, moving to and 
fro after the Hellish Harpyes that were now fluttering about 
her; but so little able to see any thing else, that altho wee 
made as if wee would strike at her eyes, it would not make her 
wink. If wee laid our Hands upon them it hindred her from 
a view of those Fiends which troubled her; but shee gave us 
afterwards to understand, that it put her unto much pain to 
bee so hindred. Her ears were altogether stopt unto all of 
our Noises, being wholly engrossed by the Invisible Assailants ; 
insomuch that tho' wee sometimes halloo'd extremely loud in 
her ears, yett shee heard nothing of it. And it was particu- 
larly considerable that altho shee could bee no other than 
utterly ignorant of what the European Books relate concern- 
ing such matters, nevertheless the Voice of these Daemons 
was exactly such as you shall read in Glanvils collections 1 
and elsewhere; twas Big, Low, Thick, and such as ordinarily 
caused her to say Haah! or How! or What do you say? and 
listen and oblige them to Repeat before shee could understand. 
Note. That wee the standers-by could neither see nor Hear 
the things which thus entertained this young woman, and I 
hope wee never shall; but wee were informed partly from the 
Speeches that fell from her in these Trances ; partly from the 
Accounts by her afterwards given unto us; and partly by a 
multitude of other concurrant circumstances. 

7. The Divel, and his crew, having thus forced her senses 
from conversing with their ordinary objects, and captivated 
them unto this communion with The Powers of Darkness, 
Their manner was in the first place, to make her a tender of a 
Book, somewhat long and thick (Like the wast-books of many 
Traders), butt bound and clasp't, and filled not only with the 

1 As to Joseph Glanvill and his "collections," see above, pp. 5-6. 


Names or Marks, but also with the explicit (short) Covenants 
of such as had listed themselves in the Service of Satan, and 
the Design of Witchcraft ; all written in Red characters ; many 
whereof shee had opportunity to read when they opened the 
Book before her. This Book of Death did they Tempt her to 
sign; and condescended so far in their sollicitacions, as to 
tell her, That if shee would only Touch it with her Finger it 
should bee enough. Only the received signification of this 
little ceremony should bee That shee now became the De- 
voted Vassal of the Divel. This was the Temptacion with 
which they still persecuted her; and it was the very same, that 
the Evil Spirits were at the same time using upon far more 
than a Score of miserable people so posessed in several other 
parts of the countrey. Whether this Book bee indeed a Real 
Book or no I dispute not. Mercy herself shee thinks it is; 
and gives this reason for it, That a Touch of it (they told her) 
would have cured her. Besides They diverse times made her 
Eyes very sore by thrusting it hard upon them, to make her 
Touch it when shee should unawares lift up her Hands to save 
her Eyes. And they at last gave her to understand, That they 
thought they should bee forced shortly to drop it. 

8. As the Bewitched, in other parts of the world, have 
commonly had no other style for their Tormentors but only 
They and Them; so had Mercy Short. Wherefore to consult 
Brevity, wee shall Note the Divel, and those that accompanied 
him in this Business, by that style. And so I go on to say 
That They first used a thousand Flatteries and Allurements 
to induce her unto a compliance with the Desire of the Divel. 
They showed her very splendid garments, and thence proceeded 
unto greater glories, which they promised her if shee would 
sign to Their Book. They engag'd unto her, I know not how 
many more conveniences, if shee would but so much as Touch 
it. When all these persuasives were ineffectual, They terri- 
fy'd her with horrible Threatnings of miseries which they 
would inflict upon her, and then They as cruelly Inflicted a 
great part of what They Threatened. 

But that which added unto the Horror of the matter was 
that when those Tygres were addressing themselves to some 
of their Furious Inflictions, They would so cloathe themselves 
in Flames of Fire (a Divellish and most impudent imitation, 


sure, of something mentioned in the Scripture!) as to render 
themselves beyond measure formidable; and accordingly, just 
before They fell upon her with any Torments of a more than 
ordinary Account, shee would sometims, by the fright of what 
shee perceived them doing, fall a Trembling so that the very 
Bed would shake under her. Memorandum. That one eve- 
ning I had with mee a Lanthorn accomodated with a glass- 
Ball, which rendered the Light so extremely glaring that one 
could hardly bear to look upon it, but one might thereby read 
a very small print a very great way off; and shee being then 
able to see and speak, told us That Hee (meaning The Black 
Man) sometimes came to her with Eyes Flaming like the 
Light of that Lanthorn. 

9. T' would bee a long work to Recite all the Tortures 
with which They plagued her. I shall only Touch upon the 
principal. Besides the Thousands of cruel pinches given her 
by those Barbarous Visitants, they stuck innumerable pins 
into her. Many of those pins They did themselves pluck out 
again; and yett They left the Bloody Marks of them, which 
would bee as tis the strange Property of most Witch-wounds 
to bee, cured, perhaps in less than a Minute. But some of the 
Pins They left in her, and those wee took out, with Wonder- 
ment. Yea, sometimes They would force Pins into her Mouth, 
for her to swallow them ; and tho' Shee strove all shee was able 
to keep them out, yett They were too hard for her. Only 
before they were gott into her Throat, the Standers-by would 
by some Dexterity gett hold of them, and fetch them away. 
When this mischief was over, They would then come and sitt 
upon her Breast, and pull open her Jaw, and keep her without 
fetching one sensible Breath, sometimes for Half-an-hour, and 
sometimes for several whole Hours together. At last, when 
wee came to understand that it was the Sitting of the Spectres 
upon her, which cast her into those doleful Postures, wee would 
with main Force, (and so heavy shee was beyond her Ordinary 
Weight, that the lifting of her called for a more than Ordinary 
Force) lift her upright, and the Spectres would imediately 
then so fall off, that her Breath return'd unto her. At other 
times there would be heard, it may bee, by more than seven 
Witnesses at a time, the Scratches of the Spectres on the Bed 
and on the Wall, 


10. Moreover, They would sometimes bring her a little 
Cup that had a Whitesh Liquor in it (unto Us, wholly invisi- 
ble), which They would pour down her Throat, holding her 
Jawes wide open in spite of all the Shriekings and Strivings 
wherewith shee expressed a Reluctancy to Taking of it. 
Wee saw her swallow this Poison, tho wee saw not the 
Poison; and immediately shee would swell prodigiously, and 
bee just like one poisoned with a Dose of Rats-bane. After 
these Potions, shee was capable ordinarily to beg of us, 
that wee would help her to some Sallet Oyl. 1 Upon the 
Taking whereof, the swelling would in a little while abate. 
Behold, a proper Venefic Witchcraft! 2 Because the Name 
for Sorcerers in the Bible may signify Poisoners, tis a foolish 
Thing thence to infer that by Witches, the Scripture means no 
more than such as committ Murders by Poisons. One great 
Skill, and way of Afflicting People in Witchcraft, is by another 
sort of Poisoning than what may bee seen by common Eyes. 
Yea I suppose, all the Bewitched have undergone such a 
Spirituous Infection that wee may count them in a manner 

Notandum, That Sometimes our laying our Hands on the 
Mouth of Mercy Short, when wee perceived the Spectres 
forcing their Poisons into her Mouth, did keep her from taking 
of them in. 

11. Another of the Miseries Whereto They putt her was 
an Extreme Fasting for many Days together. Shee having 
obtained a Liberty of Eating for Three Dayes, after a Fast of 
Nine Dayes, was immediately compelled unto another Fast, 
which lasted for about Fifteen Dayes together. In all this 
Time, shee was permitted scarce to swallow one bitt or drop 
of any Victuals. One Raw Pear shee ate, and now and then 
an Apple, and some Hard Cider shee drank, things that would 
rather sett an Edge upon the Severity of her Fast : Sometimes 
also a Chestnut might go down into her Craving Stomach and 
sometimes a little Cold Water. If anything else were offered 
her, her Teeth would bee sett, and Shee thrown into hideous 

1 Salad-oil, olive oil. 

2 Weyer (and after him many other opponents of witch persecution) had 
maintained that venefica, the name for witch in the Latin Bible, meant only "a 


Torments : and it must bee usually for two or three Dayes 
together, that such poor Things as These also must bee deny'd 
her. Breefly, Shee scarce took any jot of Sustenance, but 
what wee suppos'd would rather increase the Tortures and Mis- 
chiefs of her Fast. How shee was all this while supported I 
pretend not now to guess. But the famous Henricus ab Heer, 1 
hi his Observacions, affirms upon Oath, That a Bewitched Girl, 
residing in his House, kept just such another Fast; and That 
for Fifteen Dayes and Nights together shee took neither Meat 
nor Drink. And yett, this Fast was not so long as that men- 
tioned by Dr Plott, 2 hi his Natural History of Oxford-shire; 
who affirms, That in the Year 1671, one Rebecka Smith, who 
was thought Bewitched, continued without Eating or Drinking 
for Ten Weeks together; and afterwards lived only upon warm 
Broaths taken in Small Quantities for a whole Twelvemonth. 
It seems that Long Fasting is not only Tolerable, but strangely 
Agreeable to such as have something more than Ordinary to 
do with the Invisible World. 

12. But Burning seem'd the cruellest of all her Tortures. 
They would Flash upon her the Flames of a Fire, that was to 
Us indeed (tho not unto her) Invisible ; but unto us all, in the 
Mischiefs and Effects of it, the most sensible Thing that could 
bee. The Agonies of One Roasting a Faggot at the Stake were 
not more Exquisite, than what Shee underwent, in the Scalds 
which those Hell-hounds gave unto her, sometimes for near a 
Quarter of an Hour together. Wee saw not the Flames, but 
Once the Room smelt of Brimstone, and at other, yea, at many 
Times, wee saw her made Excessively Sore by these Flames, 
and wee saw Blisters thereby Raised upon her. To cure the 
Soreness which this Fiery Trial would give unto her, wee were 
forced sometimes to apply the Oyle commonly used for the 
cure of Scalds, and yett (Like other Witch-wounds) in a Day 
or Two all would bee well again: Only the marks of some 
Wounds thus given her, shee will probably carry to her Grave. 
I may add, That once They thrust an hot Iron down her 

1 Henricus ab Heer (Hendrik van Heer), c. 1570-c. 1636, many years private 
physician of the prince-archbishops of Cologne. 

1 Robert Plot (1640-1696), a Kentish antiquary, published in 1676 his 
Natural History of Oxfordshire. It won him a place in the Royal Society, of which 
in 1682 he became secretary. 


Throat; which tho' it were to us Invisible, yett wee saw the 
Skin fetch'd off her Tongue and Lips. 

13. Reader, If thou hadst a Desire to have seen a Picture 
of Hell, it was visible in the doleful Circumstances of Mercy 
Short! Here was one lying in Outer Darkness, haunted with 
the Divel and his Angels, deprived of all common Comforts, 
tortured with most cruciating Fires, Wounded with a thousand 
Pains all over, and cured immediately, that the Pains of those 
Wounds might bee repeated. It was of old said, If One went 
unto them from the Dead, they will Repent. As for us, wee 
have had not only the Damned coming to us from the Dead, 
in this Witchcraft, but the very State of the Damned itself 
represented most visibly before our eyes : Hard-hearted Wee, 
if wee do not Repent of the Things which may expose us to an 
Eternal Durance in such a State! 

14. Her Discourses to Them were some of the most Sur- 
prising Things imaginable, and incredibly beyond what might 
have been expected, from one of her small Education or Ex- 
perience. In the Times of her Tortures, Little came from her, 
besides direful Shrieks, which were indeed so frightful, as to 
make many people Quitt the Room. Only now and then any 
Expression of marvellous Constancy would bee heard from her; 
e. g. "Tho' you kill mee, I'l never do what you would have mee. 
Do what you will, yett with the Help of Christ, IT never 
touch your Book. Do, Burn mee then, if you will; Better 
Burn here, then [than] Burn in Hell." But when her Torturer 
went off, Then t'was that her senses being still detained in a 
Captivity to Spectres, as the only object of them, Wee were 
Ear-witnesses to Disputacions that amazed us. Indeed Wee 
could not hear what They said unto her; nor could shee her- 
self hear them ordinarily without causing them to say over 
again: But Wee could Hear Her Answers, and from her 
Answers Wee could usually gather the Tenour of Their As- 
saults. One very Frequent Theam with Them was Railing 
and Slander against a certain Person in the Town, 1 Whom 
shee often quoted in her Arguments against the Divel, and at 
Whom, shee thought, the Divel had a very particular Provoca- 

1 This "certain person," like the "one man" of the following sentence, 
was of course Mather himself: it must be remembered that this account waa 
meant to seem anonymous. 


tion and Malignity. Yea, There was One Man Who on a cer- 
tain Sabbath had solemnly prayed for her (I think hee said) 
no less than Ten Times. Four of which Times, were with her 
too, and yett wee perceived the Divel at Night Reviling that 
man unto her, with telling her, That hee had not in the Day 
past pray'd for her so much as Once! But the cheef Argu- 
ment held between Her and Them, was upon the Business of 
Signing the Book, by Them tendred unto Her. In the Han- 
dling of this Argument, innumerable Things were uttered by 
her which would have been more Agreeable to 1 One of a greater 
Elevation in Christianity; but omitting multitudes of such 
passages, I shall record a few, which were to This Purpose. 

Oh You horrid Wretch! You make my very Heart cold within 
mee. It is an Hell to mee, to hear You speak so! What? Are 
You God No, bee gone, You Divel ! Don't pester mee any more 
with such horrid Blasphemies! 

You! Do You say that You are Christ ! No, You are a Divel, 
and I hope that Christ will shortly deliver mee from such a Divel. 
The Christ of God came to seek and to save that which is Lost, such 
as I am; but as for You, You come to seek and confound all that you 
can light upon. 

If You are Christ, Pray how came you by that Cloven Foot? 
If You are a Christ I am sure you are a very odious One; You shall 
bee no Christ for mee. Pray, go about Your Business; if You are 
Christ, yett I tell you plainly, You shall bee none of my Christ. I 
know of a Better Christ; and Him will I follow. You, a Christ! 
No, You are a Beast. If You had not been a Beast, would You have 
asked of our Lord that Hee would give You leave to enter into an 
Herd of Swine! I think truly, That Hogs are the fittest company 
for You! Would You know my mind? Why then, I say this: 
When You have become a Man, and have suffered a cruel Death on 
a Cross for me; and when you have Reconciled me to God, and been 
some Ages in Heaven powerfully Interceding for my Salvation from 
the Divel, Then come to mee again, and I shall have something 
further to say to You. In the meantime I say to You, In the Name 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Beegone! 

You pretend a precious deal of Love to mee indeed! If You 
Love mee so much, pray, why do you Starve mee? I am een fam- 
ished; It is Nine Dayes now, that I have not eaten one bitt of 

1 More suitable for. 


Fine Promises! You'l bestow an Husband upon mee, if I'l bee 
your Servant. An Husband! What? A Divel! I shall then bee 
finely ntted with an Husband: No I hope the Blessed Lord Jesus 
Christ will marry my Soul to Himself yett before Hee has done with 
mee, as poor a Wretch as I am! Fine Clothes! What? Such as 
Your Friend Sarah Good 1 had, who hardly had Rags to cover her! 
Pray why did you not provide better for Her Then? Never Dy! 
What? Is my Life in Your Hands? No, if it had, You had killed 
mee long before this Time! Whats that? So You can! Do it 
then, if You can. Come, I dare You; here, I challenge You to do 
it. Kill mee if You can. Poor Fool! But hark Yee! If you can 
keep your Servants alive, the more false Wretch you, to lett the 
Halter choke the Witches that were hanged the t'other Day! tho' 
You promised them, that when the Halters were about their Necks, 
You would come and Rescue them! 

You talk of carrying mee to Heaven! It makes mee think of 
Goody Carrier; 2 pray whither did you carry her? Heaven! What 
a foolish Question is that? Was I ever there? No, I never was 
there; but I hope I shall be there; and I believe what I have heard 
and read in the Word of God concerning it. I confess, You were 
once in Heaven; but God for Your Pride, hurled you thence; and 
You shall never come there again. They that follow You, will mis- 
take the Way to Heaven, I'l promise 'em. Hee that has the Divel 
for his Leader must bee content with Hell for his Lodging. Hell! 
Yee Lying Wretch, I have catch'd you in an hundred Lyes; W T ho 
would beleeve one Word You say? Yesterday or t'otherday, You 
told mee there was no Hell; and now You tell mee, that One may 
come out of Hell when they will. Pray then, Lett Sarah Good come; 
if I could see her, I am confident shee would tell mee that Hell is a 
terrible place; and I know there is no coming out. But if all the 
Wood in this World were laid in One Fire, it would not bee so dread- 
ful as Hell; that Hell, whither You carry all that follow You. They 
are out of there Wits that will serve such a Divel. 

Well if You do Burn mee, I had better Burn for an Hour or Two 
here then in Hell forever. What? Will you Burn all Boston and 
shall I bee Burnt in that Fire? No, tis not in Your Power. I hope 
God won't lett you do that. (Memorandum, The Night after these 
Words were spoken, the Town had like to have been burn't; but 
God wonderfully prevented it.) What? Germany? Was that 
Place in Germany as big as Boston? Well, I hope that in spite of 
You, Boston shall stand until the Great Burning of all; and I pray 
what will come of You Then! Safe enough! How, Safe enough? 

1 See pp. 343 ff., 414. 2 See pp. 241 ff. 


Among the Jews! Why, what will you do among Them? They'l 
have none such as You among them, I warrant yee! 

Stay, One at once! Well, And is that all that You have to say? 
Pray then, Hear what I have to say. I say this, That when You, 
yee filthy Witches, first gave yourselves to your Black Master there, 
it was the worst Dayes work that ever You did in Your Lives. And 
I seriously advise you all, to Repent of what You have done. I hope 
tis not altogether Too late, at least for some of you, to Repent. 
Tho' you have done mee so much Wrong, yett I heartily wash you so 
much Good, as Repentance and Conversion. O that you would fall 
down before the God against Whom you have sinned, and beg of 
Him, that for the sake of Jesus Christ, Hee would pardon your hor- 
rible sin. If You won't take this Counsil, I think, twil bee no Hurt 
to wish that God would bring you out, and that you may Dy for what 
you have done and that the World may be no longer troubled with you. 

Whats that? Must the Younger Women, do yee say, hearken to 
the Elder? They must bee another Sort of Elder Women than You 
then! they must not bee Elder Witches, I am sure. Pray, do you 
for once Hearken to mee. What a dreadful Sight are You! An 
Old Woman, an Old Servant of the Divel! You, that should instruct 
such poor, young, Foolish Creatures as I am, to serve the Lord Jesus 
Christ, come and urge mee to serve the Divel! Tis an horrible Thing! 
And pray, how durst You, after You had given yourself to the Divel, 
come to the Table of the Lord : I profess I wonder the Divel did not 
come and fetch you away alive! But God is a long-suffering God! 

Well; and what if I am Fatherless? How often have you told 
mee of That? No, I been't Fatherless. I have God for my Father 
and I don't Question but Hee'l provide well for me. Has not Hee 
upheld mee all the while? I had signed your Book before now, if 
God had not kept mee with His Grace. You had before now made 
an end of mee, if God had not stood by mee. And I beleeve that 
God will yett deliver mee out of your Cruel Hands. 

You are Wicked Wretches. What do you show mee the Shape 
of that good Woman for? I know her. Shee's a good Woman. 
Shee never did mee any Hurt. Yett you would fain have mee cry 
out of her. But I will bee so far from crying out of Her that I will 
not cry out of You; I don't know what Tricks you have gott; but 
I hope God will keep mee from letting fall one word that may blast 
the Name of any Person in the World. I will never tell any body, 
who you are that have Tormented mee, only it may bee I may tell 
One Gentleman 1 who will be as careful, that no Harm should come 
on't, as I can desire him. How ever I hope God will find you out. 

1 The "one Gentleman" hinted at is of course to be understood as Mather. 


Truly I am in a very miserable Condicion. Tis a sad Thing to 
ly starving in the Dark one Day after another, and to see none but 
Hellish Fiends all the While, and suffer all manner of cruelties from 
them. You tell me, that some do but Laugh at mee; I am sure, 
they would do better to Pray for mee. You say, that such and such 
are in the Room; Why won't you lett mee see them then? 

Well, I am perswaded, that yett for all this I shall bee gloriously 
delivered, and God will have a great deal of Glory. Had I not be- 
longed unto God, I can't think that you would have made such a 
Deal of aDo to gett mee into your Hands. And if God had not a 
purpose to make mee one of His own Servants, I can't but think Hee 
would have left mee before now to become one of Yours. What a 
blessed thing will this bee! I can't butt think that You are very 
shortly to loose mee, both Body and Soul too, and that what You have 
been doing to my Body, will but help forward the Everlasting Sal- 
vacion of my Soul. It makes my Heart Rejoice, to think how finely 
You'l bee cheated! 

Memorandum. T'was an ordinary thing for the Divel to 
persecute her with Stories of what this and that Body in the 
Town spoke against her. The Unjust and Absurd Reflections 
cast upon her by Rash People in the coffee-houses or elsewhere, 
Wee discerned that the Divel Reported such Passages unto 
her in her Fitts, to discourage her. But shee bore those Trials 
as well as the rest. 

15. But when shee had so much Release from the capti- 
vating Impressions of the Wretches that haunted her, as to bee 
able to see and hear the Good People about her in the Room, 
Shee underwent another sort of plague, which I don't Remem- 
ber that ever I observed in more than One or Two Bewitched 
person[s] besides her. Her Tortures were turned into Frolicks; 
and Shee became as extravagant as a Wild-cat. Shee now had 
her Imaginacion so strangely disordered, that shee must not 
Acknowledge any of her Friends; but tho' shee Retained a 
Secret Notion, Who wee were, yett shee might by no means 
confess it. Shee would sometimes have diverse of these Fitts 
in a Day, and shee was always excessively Witty in them; 
never downright Profane, but yett sufficiently Insolent and 
Abusive to such as were about her. And in these Fitts also 
shee took an extraordinary Liberty (which I have likewise 
noted in some other possessed Persons) to animadvert upon all 


People, that had any thing in their Apparrel that savoured 
of Curiosity or Ornament. Her Apprehension, Understanding, 
and Memory, were now Riper than ever in her Life ; and yett, 
when shee was herself, Shee could Remember the other Acci- 
dents of her Afflictions but Forgot almost everything that 
passed in these Ludicrous Intervals. 

16. There was this Remarkable in these Frolicks, that al- 
tho' shee could Hear and Make all manner of other Discourse, 
yett shee might bee partaker of None that had anything of 
Religeon in it: Her Ear would immediately bee stop'd, if 
wee spoke any good Thing, and her Mouth, if shee went to 
speak any such Thing. Nevertheless, the charms upon her 
were so circumstanced, that wee were able by little Tricks and 
Signs to make her sensible of many Devout Things, after which 
her Cravings were so greedy that shee would sometimes cry 
for vexation (as Frolicksome as shee was) if shee missed of 
presently comprehending us. If any Prayers or Psalms were 
used in the Room, shee could not Hear a Word ; and yett could 
hear the least Whisper of any thing else that passed, even in 
that very Instant. Shee would importunately require us to 
Pray; yett shee might not utter that Word but say "Do 
You know what" ; or, " Do, what You use to do." And when 
wee had any thing to say unto her about Prayer, wee could 
make her hear tho' not the Word itself (much less the Thing) 
yett the Letters of the Word severally] mentioned. The Spel 
upon her was not such but that a good Word might bee Spelt, 
when it could not bee Spoke unto her. I give One Specimen 
of the way wee took to convey unto her mind, those Religious 
Notions, whereto shee had a manifested Inclination. Shee 
cry'd unto a Minister, 1 that hee would tell her what shee should 
say to Them, When They should again assault her. Hee there- 
upon advised her, " Mercy, tell 'em, That the Lord Jesus Christ 
has broke the Old Serpents Head." And the communication 
that follow'd, was after this fashion. 

Mer. What do you say? 

Min. I say, Tell 'em, That the Lord Jesus Christ has broken 
the Old Serpents Head. Can you hear? 
Mer. No. I can't hear a Word. 

1 Mather of course again means himself. 


Min. Well, then; mind mee and you shall Know what you 
can't Hear. A Snake. Mercy, can you hear? 

Mer. Yes. 

Min. Well, An Old Snake. can you hear? 

Mer. Yes, well, what of an old snake? 

Min. (Striking with his Finger on his Forhead) Why, His 
Head broke. D'ye Hear? 

Mer. Yes; and what then? 

Min. (Pointing up to Heaven.) Why, Who broke it? D'yee 

Mer. Oh! I understand. Well, what else shall I tell them? 

After this rate, a Minister in two or three Minutes once 
made her apprehend about Seven or Eight Things Wherewith 
shee might [maintain] herself against the Spectres. And when 
They came next upon her, shee had all of them up unto her 
Troublers with a Readiness and Exactness beyond what the 
minister supposed hee could himself have had if hee had been 
putt upon Repeating them. I mention This with the more of 
particularity, because it affords a Matter of Curious Reflec- 

Moreover, While shee was in these Frolicks, it seems that 
shee was able still to see what Spectres were hovering about 
her chamber, and how They were employed. Shee shook for 
fear, when shee saw them once preparing an Image in the 
Room; wherefrom shee foretold, That the Image being formed 
in order to her Torment, Shee should have a Terrible Eve- 
ning on't. And so shee had! But shee afterwards told one 
in whose custody that Image might bee found. At an other 
time, Shee fell a Laughing at One in the Room, 1 and asked 
him, Whether hee had not a Gold Ring about him? Hee 
knew hee had, and look'd for it in the pocket where hee knew it 
was, but it was missing; and Shee, laughing, told him, That 
a Spectre had newly taken it out; but, said shee, "Look in 
such a Place and you shall find it." Accordingly, hee Look'd 
and Found. Shee added, "They said, that if hee putt it on, 
They would have it off his Finger again before hee gott home." 
Hee, to spite Them, Try'd ; but tho' hee diverse times between 
That and Home, thought his Finger taken with an odd Numb- 
ness, yett hee kept it on. 

1 Unquestionably himself again. 


17. As for the Spectres that Visited and Afflicted Mercy 
Short, there were among them such as wore the shape of sev- 
eral, who are doubtless Innocent as to the Crime of Witch- 
craft; it would bee a great Iniquity in Mee, to judge them 
otherwise; and the World, I hope, shall neither by My means, 
nor by Hers, ever know, who they were. But there is Cause 
to fear that some few of the persons thus Represented, are as 
Dangerous and as Damnable \Vitches as ever were in the World ; 
altho These also must bee covered until there bee more Cause 
for their being made obnoxious. However, tis a very dark 
Dispensacion of Divine Providence, and such as carries much 
Humilliation in it, that an Innocent Person should bee, tho' but 
in Effigie, Randevouz'd among these Fiends of Darkness. And 
concerning these Diabolical Spectres, wee mark'd sundry other 
Things that were beyond measure Odd. One was This: The 
Honest man, who had given entertainment unto this distressed 
Mercy, observing that when shee lay, as to us wholly senseless, 
the motion of her Eyes did intimate whereabouts the Spectres 
cheefly play'd, hee silently fetch'd a Sword, with a purpose to 
make a pass at them. Nevertheless, if hee did but go at any 
time to take the Sword into his hand, tho' shee could not pos- 
sibly discern any thing of it, yett her Eyes would presently bee 
shutt, and her Head pull'd into Bed, so that hee must loose the 
Direction which her Looke had given him. I cannot say that 
This Oddity would bear an Inference that the Witches were 
any of them Corporeally tho' Invisibly present in the Chamber. 
But there was Another, that would make one suspect they 
might. On the twenty-fifth of December it was, 1 that Mercy 
said, They were going to have a Dance ; and immediately those 
that were attending her, most plainly Heard and Felt a Dance, 
as of Barefooted People, upon the Floor; whereof they are 
willing to make oath before any Lawful Authority. If I 
should now venture to suppose, That the Witches do some- 
times come in person to do their Mischiefs, and yett have the 
horrible skill of cloathing themselves with Invisibilities, it 
would seem Romantic. And yett I am inclinable to think it, 
upon Reasons more than tis here a Place to mention. But in 
my Opinion, Tis not more Incredible, or Inscrutable, than what 

1 Modern readers may need to be reminded of the Puritan horror of the 
celebration of Christmas, and even of the use of its name. 


I am going to Relate; namely, That altho' wee have all the 
Demonstration a Reasonable man can desire, that Mercy Short 
could not in the least measure Hear, when wee were perhaps 
Half an Hundred of us together singing of a Psalm in the 
Room; nevertheless, at that very Time, shee could Hear a 
little Knock of a little Child at the Door. I say, the Phi- 
losophy that can give an Account for the One of these may do 
it for t'other too! 

18. There were some strange things attending of Mercy 
Short, whereof some were at some Loss about the Original, 
whence they should proceed. It was marvellous to Hear how 
much her Answers to the Spectres transcended her ordinary 
capacity. That shee should so patiently and resolutely undergo 
her Intolerable Torments, when one Stroke of her Finger 
would have eased them all, is yet more marvellous. But that 
which carries most of marvel in it, is, The Impulse which 
directed her unto the Scriptures that might have assisted or 
quickened us in our Devotions, If wee had seen Cause to have 
made that Use of them. In her Trances, a Bible Happening 
to ly on her Bed, shee has taken it up, and without ever cast- 
ing her Eye upon it, shee has Turned over many Leaves, at 
last folding down a Leaf to a Text, I holding up the Text unto 
the Spectres; but of all the Texts in the Bible, which do you 
think it was? T'was That, in Rev. 12. 12, The Divel is come 
down unto you, having great Wrath, because hee knows hee hath 
but a short Time. Again, in her Humours, calling for a Psalm- 
book, shee has, in the Dark, turned over many Leaves, and at 
length, without Reading a Syllable, shee has turn'd down a 
Leaf to a Psalm, advising us to go sing it, on her behalf. I do 
affirm That no man living ever could have singled out Psalms 
more expressive of, and suitable to, her circumstances, than 
those that shee pitch'd upon. One of them, I remember, was 
the Beginning of the Hundred and second. And when One 
present said, "No, Lett us not sing that psalm: it may bee 
tis They direct it ; and it won't bee good for us to follow Their 
Direction"; She reply'd with Indignacion, "They, Fool! No, 
Tis not They direct mee; Do you think They would go to 
to direct a fitt psalm for my Condicion? No, My Direction 
comes from another Quarter; If you would know Whence, the 
first letter of the Name is G" (it seems, that shee could not 


speak out the Word.) When shee came to herself, shee told 
mee, her manner was to Turn the Leaves, till t'was Darted 
into her Mind that shee had the Place; and there shee folded. 
Moreover, shee did sometimes with much vehemency exclaim, 
That there were (three perhaps, or six) persons in the Room, 
that never pray'd so much as once in all their Lives : and shee 
was importunate that a Minister then in the Room 1 would go 
drive those Prayerless Wretches out of the Room. The Min- 
ister chid her, and said, If there were any such, hee knew not 
how to distinguish them, and hee would not ask her to do it 
for him. "Well, its no matter," said shee, "take but a Candle 
then and look in their Faces, and you'l know by their Blushing 
who they are; Turn them out that Blush." But all that the 
Minister did, was to warn the Company, That if any of them 
had the guilt of a Prayerless Life upon their Consciences, they 
must Repent of it, or know who was well acquainted with it. 
Nevertheless there was cause given to fear too much of Truth 
in the Accusacion. 

19. The Methods that were taken for the Deliverance of 
Mr. Goodwins afflicted Family, four years ago, 2 were the very- 
same that wee now follow'd for Mercy Short ; and Shee would 
herself most affectionately express her own Desires, that none 
but Such might bee taken. Had wee not studiously suppressed 
all Clamours and Rumours that might have touched the Repu- 
tacion of people exhibited in this Witchcraft, there might have 
ensued most uncomfortable Uproars. But Prayer with Fast- 
ing wee knew to bee a course against which none but men most 
bruitishly Atheistical (and yett such there are among us) 
could make Exceptions. Wherefore a number of Pious People 
did ordinarily every Day go in and Pray with her; and whereas 
many of our People had some singularly grounded perswasions, 
that no Exercise of Religion did give so much Vexacion unto 
the Spectres in the Haunted Chamber, as the Singing of Psalms, 
they commonly sang between almost every Prayer. But they 
judg'd it necessary to Fast as well as Pray : and as I have had 
opportunity to see, in some former Dispossessions, the People 
of God usually speed not, until they do what may bee called 
A Beseech[ing of] the Lord Thrice; Thus the Christians here 
were putt upon spending Three Dayes in Fasting and Prayer 

1 Again himself, of course. * For that story see pp. 99 ff., above. 


one quickly after another : And indeed, it was the special Grace 
of God, that carried the Faith of His poor Servants thro' the 
Difficulty of beholding the Rage of the Divel to grow under 
and against all their Prayer for the conquering of that Rage. 

Some of us had fearful Suggestions of Unbeleef now and 
then buzz'd into our Minds; and (which was a little suprizing!) 
the Divel in the Next Fitts would sometimes tell Mercy Short 
what they were. It was also remarkable that when wee were 
intending a Day of Prayer, the Spectres would ussually advise 
her of our Intention, and brag that They would hinder the 
People from coming: According to which Brag of Theirs, 
t'was wonderful to see how many Pious Christians that were 
desirous to have been with us were hindered of their Desires, 
by unexpected occasions pressing in upon them. However, 
Many of the Children of God in the Neighbourhood were 
helped by Him to an extraordinary exercise of Grace, and while 
some in the Town who by their profession were under obliga- 
cion to better things, kept Scoffing, Railing, Raving, These 
kept Praying, Fasting and Beleeving. Until at Length, Meat 
came out of the Eater! As her Deliverance drew near, it was 
with her as I have seen in one more Possessed Person. A 
strange Fancy of Dying Possessed her, and her Discourse ran 
much upon her Funeral. Wee then quickly saw the Death 
and Burial of the Trouble now upon her. 

20. It was not long after the Third Fast, that on the 
evening before the Sabbath, which began this New- Year, 1693, 
Mercy Short fell into a Fitt of Despair wherein her Anguishes 
exceeded any that had bin yett upon her. The Spectres kept 
continually howling in her Ears, That God had utterly cast 
her off, and that shee was to bee Damned after all. But that 
which made all the misery was, that in this point they so 
gain'd upon her, as they had never done before; that is, they 
made her almost conclude that what they said of this matter, 
had something of Truth in it. And the dolours now Raised 
in her were inexpressible! Shee Shriek'd, shee Roar'd, shee 
Cry'd out, "This is worse than all the Rest! What? must I 
bee Banished from the Favour of God after all?" Yea, shee 
imagined that the Spectres were indeed fetching of her away! 
In this Agony, shee call'd for a Minister in the Neighbourhood ; 
upon whose coming in, shee quickly called for her Clothes, 


dressed herself, and came to him, with a Countenance marvel- 
lously altered into a Look of Discretion and Gravity ; and shee 
said, "Now, Go, and Give to the Great God, the greatest 
Thanks you can devise; for I am gloriously delivered! My 
Troubles are gone, and I hope they'l visit mee no more." It 
seems They left her, just before, in very Raging Terms, and 
said, They had no further Power over her. Shee has ever 
since continued free from her Invisible Troublers; only they 
left her extremely Faint and Weak. But the Neighbourhood 
then returned solemn Thanks to that Faithful God, who thus 
gave them to Tread upon the Lion, and to Trample the Dragon 

21. Mercy Short having obtained this Deliverance, did 
for a Sabbath of Weeks Enjoy What shee had obtained; yett 
not without frequent Fainting and Swooning Fits, that seem'd 
the Effect of the weakness wherein the Torments of her former 
Enchantment left her. But at the End of Seven Weeks, her 
Invisible Tormentors again siezed her on a Lords Day, in the 
midst of the Assembly then meeting at North Boston, for the 
Worship of God; just before which unhappy siezure shee 
thought shee felt the Threatnings of it, in unaccountable Dis- 
orders, and in a scent of Brimstone haunting of her Lodgings. 
The Spectres now under the Conduct of their Black Leader, 
handled the poor Young Woman for the most part just as they 
did in the former Visitation ; but rather with more Vigour and 
Fury, and such as wee judged could not but putt a Speedy 
End unto her Life. 

22. The Impudence of the Troublesome Spectres was now 
somewhat more Daring and Broad-faced than formerly. It 
grew common with them to snatch from her such Apples and 
Biskets, as were given her to Try whether shee could eat them; 
so that no more could ever bee seen of them. And Mercy 
Short affirm'd, That shee saw the Spectres (tho' wee could 
not,) eating them in the Room, what wee perceived they had 
stolen from her. And whether it were from the Mistake or 
from the Malice of the Spectres, it was no Rare Thing for the 
Standers-by to have their Arms cruelly scratched, and Pins 
thrust into their Flesh, by these Fiends, while they were 
molesting of Mercy Short. Yea, several Persons did some- 
times actually lay their Hands upon these Fiends; the Wretches 


were Palpable, while yett they were not Visible, and several of 
our People, tho' they Saw nothing, yett Felt a Substance that 
seem'd like a Cat, or Dog, and tho' they were not Fanciful, 
they Dy'd away at the Fright! This Thing was too Sensible 
and Repeated a Thing, to bee pure Imaginacion. I suspected, 
That one Thing which more heightened the Boldness of the 
Spectres, was the Freedom used by some of our Folks in striking 
with swords, at the parts of the Room where they conjectured 
Them to bee Hovering. It was particularly remarkable, That 
some who were very Busy in this method of treating the Spec- 
tres, upon a presumption that they might bee corporally pres- 
ent, (tho' covered with such a Cloud of Invisibilitie as Virgil, 
I remember, gave once unto his Eneas), were terribly scared 
with Apparitions in their journeyes home, whereof, tho' they 
made no manner of Report, yett Mercy Short was presently 
after able to tell her Attendents ; as having heard the Spectres 
brag unto her, and unto one another, how They had paid such 
and such for striking at them. They were another sort of 
Weapons, unto which therefore I advised my Neighber; even 
the Ancient Arms of the Church. 

23. In the new Assault, They did not make the poor Dam- 
sels Fast extend much above a Week; tho' about so long They 
did. After That, shee gott Liberty once in Two or Three Days, 
or so, to swallow a Mouthful or Two of some Refreshment. 
Her other Fits were such as formerly attended her; but in her 
Frolicks, I found the Charms upon her so feeble that altho' shee 
might not Hear a Word of Religion, (after the hearing whereof 
her Longings were nevertheless very passionate), yett there 
was No Word, but what wee could make her Hear, by spelling 
it unto her. Even those words, God, Christ, Lord, Jesus, Soul, 
Sin, Heaven, Hell, Angels, Divels, Witches, which They would 
never permitt her to Hear in any kind of Discourse what ever, 
yett wee could make her Hear by Spelling of them. More- 
over One of her Neighber[s] using a little Ingenuity, related 
a great part of the Histories in the Bible unto her, while shee 
was in these Humors, and helped her to apply them unto her 
own comfortable Direction and Encouragement; but hee was 
forced still to disguise these Histories with a Sort of Air that 
could not so well have been given them, upon any other Occa- 


24. The Thing still prest upon her, was to Sign, or to 
Touch Their Book ; and about that Book, wee now had several 
Odd Entertainments, beyond what we had before. Shee said 
They have had Three Books, whereof the Third was newly 
begun ; and This was the Book which they now offered her in 
her Temptacions; tho' they sometimes also show'd her the 
Second, which it seems wanted but a Leaf or two, to bee fill'd 
in her former Visitacion. While shee lay in her Extatic Cir- 
cumstances, Two or Three of us diverse Times Heard her to 
Read in one or t'other of these Books, upon her demanding of 
it, as proper for her to See the Books, before they could imagine 
it Reasonable for her to sett her hand unto any of them. What 
she read, I do for some just causes, forbear fully to relate; but, 
in general, the Book seem'd a Journal of the cheef things acted 
or design'd at Their great Witch-meetings; not without some 
circumstances that carried an odd Resemblence of the Alcoran ; 
it had in it the Methods to bee used in seducing of people unto 
the service of the Divel, and the Names of them that had been 
seduced, with the Terms which they were to serve. It par- 
ticularly surprised some in the Room, on the Eve of March 9, 
1693, to overhear her, in the Book then opened unto her, 
spelling a Word that was too hard for her; but from the 
best Judgment that could bee made of the Letters that shee 
recited, it was Quadragesima. And several more such odd 
Things were overheard: whereof One was a Discourse to bee 
used by Witchmakers unto their Proselytes, of this purport, 
That when Paul and Silas were in prison, they sang; but it 
was unto the Divel that they sang; an Earthquake then came, 
and the Prison-doors were opened. But it was the Divel that 
made that Earthquake and opened those prison-doors. Ac- 
cordingly, if the Servants of the Divel should come at any time 
to bee clap'd up in Goal they might Expect a like Deliverance. 
Horrible stuff! But I'l tell no more. Shee one Day sent a 
Request unto His Excellency, the Governer, 1 and unto a 
Minister in the Neighbourhood, 2 that shee might Receive a 
Visit from them; in which Visit, shee inform 'd them, That the 
Spectres had newly confessed unto her, that they had been 
compelled, a Day or two before, to Drop Their Second Book, 
in the Cockloft of a Garret belonging to the House of a person 

1 Sir William Phips. * Mather, of course. 


of Quality, not far off. But Their Difficulty to Beleave, that 
there was any Corporeal (or any more than a Mystical) Book 
in the Business, caused them to bee Negligent in the Search 
of it; however, They did after some Dayes, upon mature con- 
sideration, permitt a Discreet Servant privately to go see 
whether there were any Thing in that place or no. When the 
Servant was Examining the place directed, a great Black Cat, 
never before known to bee in the House, jumping over him, 
threw him into such a Fright and Sweat, that altho' hee were 
one otherwise of Courage enough, hee desisted at that Time 
from looking any further. Mercy Short presently after sent 
for the Minister, and expressed an extreme Discontent and 
Vexation for his minding so little, what Informacion shee had 
given about the Book; adding (tho' her Attendents affirm'd 
shee had never been told a Word of What had happened) 
That the Spectres had pray'd and beg'd of their Black-man so 
hard, that their Book might not yett come to light, hee had 
at length permitted one of them, to putt on the Shape of a 
Cat and fetch the Book away; which was done (shee said) 
just as the Servant had almost laid his hand upon it; but that 
hee had been so scared by the Cat as to give over the Search. 
However shee beleeved They must shortly Drop it again. 
For my own part, I look'd upon these Things as having much 
of Diabolical Delusion in them; and as intended partly to 
make Diversion for Divels that love to play upon mankind. 
Whether the Cat were what was pretended, I shall give no 
Opinion : tho' I know the Assertion of some, That every Spirit 
is endued with an Innate Power by which it can attract suit- 
able matter out of all Things for a Covering or Body, of a 
proportionable Form and Nature to itself: which Assertion, 
Well stated, Proved, and Applyed, would solve some of the 
hardest Phenomena that belong to the uncouth and horrid 
Shapes, wherein mischiefs are done by Witchcraft. 

25. But there were some strange Occurrence about another 
Book, which, whether there lay any thing in the bottom of 
them, further than a Trick of the Divels, to decoy us into some 
Inconveniences, wee could not Conclude, but thought it not 
amiss to Beware. One who was Executed at Salem for Witch- 
craft had confessed That at their Cheef Witch-meetings, there 
had been present some French Canadians, and some Indian 


Sagamores, to concert the methods of ruining New England. 
Now tho' Mercy Short had never heard, as far as I have learn 't, 
of any such Confession, yett the Spectres now, as it were clap- 
ping a Chain upon her, would leave her sometimes in a Stupid, 
Sottish, Senseless Condicion, for many Hours together: out 
of which Condition when shee came, shee told us, That at such 
Times the Spectres went away to Their Witch-meetings; but 
that when They Returned, the whole Crew, besides her daily 
Troublers, look'd in upon her, to see how the work was carried 
on; That there were French Canadiens and Indian Sagamores 
among them, diverse of whom shee knew, and particularly 
Nam'd em : And, that They show'd her a Book, out of which, 
they said, they took their Directions for the Devotions per- 
form'd at their Meetings; and they added, That they did use 
to fetch that Book from the Study of a certain Person in the 
Neighbourhood; 1 Yea, that -they had, unbeknown to him, 
gott the Book away to their conventions more than an hun- 
dred times; moreover to confirm her in the Beleef of what 
They said, they folded a Leaf of it, before her eyes. These 
Things did shee tell us, and shee described unto us the Colour, 
the Breadth, and Length, and Thickness, and other Circum- 
stances of the Book, with all the Exactness Imaginable: say- 
ing also, That there were Psalms in it. Accordingly the per- 
son mentioned, tho' Hee were owner of a Library furnished 
with Books of all sorts, yett quickly found in it, the Book with 
which these Theevish Divels had made so bold; and Mercy, 
having it shown unto her, immediately knew it from any other. 
It was a Book that indeed came from Canada; a French Book 
of Idolatrous Devotions, entituled, Les Saints Devoirs de UAme 
Devote. Avec L'Office de La Vierge, pour tons Les Temps De 
UAnnee: Et UOffice Des Marts, de La Croix, et Autres; re- 
formez au Saint Concile de Trente. z But that which added 
unto the surprise was, That hee found a Leaf doubled down in 
the Book, which hee could not conceive how it should come : 
and when a Night or Two after, just as hee went unto his 
Rest, hee left this Book on his Table in his Study, carefully 

1 Mather's own. 

* An ordinary book of Catholic devotion : "The Holy Duties of the Devout 
Soul. With the Devotions due the Virgin throughout the Year: and the Office 
of the Dead, of the Cross, and others; reformed at the Holy Council of Trent." 


seeing that there should not bee one Leaf at all folded in it; 
yett the next morning hee found Three Leaves unaccountably 
Folded, and then Visiting Mercy, hee perceived the Spectres 
bragging, That tho' shee had [said] shee would warrant them, 
that Gentleman would keep his Book out of their Hands, yett 
they had Last Night stole the Book again unto one of their 
meetings, and folded sundry Leaves in it. They also told her 
afterwards, That the said person had another Book standing 
by this, with a Gray Cover, a Little Bigger than This, but 
much akin to it, and having many pictures in it; which Book 
they sometimes Likewise used at their meetings; and that 
they had newly used it, but returning it they had sett it up the 
Backside outwards. Now to increase our surprize, tho' what 
they said about using the Book abroad might bee all a Ly, 
yett all the rest was very True, The Title of the Book was 
U Office de La Semaine Sainte, et de L 'Octave de Pasque, a L'usage 
de Rome, et du Diocese de Paris. 1 These Things very Naturally 
Raised in mee, a Contemplacion of the proper Enchantments 
whereby Popery was at first Begun, and has been Maintain'd; 
and of the Confusion with which the Divels may probably bee 
cast, from an Apprehension of the Total Dissolution that is 
quickly to bee given unto all the Charms, which have hitherto 
Intoxicated the Nations in that Superstition. But if I should 
so far forget myself, as to Lay before my Readers, the several 
Reflections which I found myself invited still to make on these 
Occasions, I should perform a Work, which for a thousand 
Reasons I choose rather to Reserve. 

26. Whether I ask my Readers to do it, or no, I know 
they will variously spend their Judgments upon one of the 
strangest Things that has occured in our Story, now to bee 
Related. Mercy Short was attended with another Spirit, be- 
sides those which were her continual Tormentors; a Spirit, 
which indeed never was Visible nor, I think, properly Audible, 
any further than in Whisper, unto her; but which managed his 
Communion with her cheefly by an Impulse, most powerfully 
and sensibly making Impressions upon her Mind. This 
Wonderful Spirit would suggest unto her, How to Answer the 
Temptacions of the Diabolical Spectres, and comfort her with 
Assurances that shee should at last bee Victorious over Them. 

1 This too is but a Catholic book of devotion the offices of Holy Week. 


T'was by the Guidance of this Spirit that shee would some- 
times take a Bible into her Hands, and without even casting 
an Eye so much as once upon it, after Turning over Scores of 
Leaves, Turn down a Leaf at last, unto the most pertinent 
Place that could bee thought of, and from thence Argue 
against the Wretches that molested her. 

For Instance, Once when They were urging her to write 
her Name in Their Book, shee did in that unaccountable 
Manner Turn to Rev. 13. 8. All that dwell upon Earth shall 
worship him, whose Names are not written in the Book of Life of 
the Lamb : and tho' shee saw not the Text herself, yett Folding 
down a Leaf unto it, shee held it up unto the Spectres, for Them 
to Read it; adding withal, That her Name was already in that 
Book of the Lamb, and therefore it should never come into 
Their cursed Book ! To which They Reply'd, Shee had shown 
them a Scripture which one (they named) 1 had never yett 
preached upon : and in That, they spoke True. Another Time 
shee did in that marvellous Manner, Folding a Leaf, without 
any Looking, show the Spectres that Place in Luc. 7. 21. And 
in that same Hour, Hee cured many of their Infirmities, and 
plagues and of Evil Spirits. Thus also, After They had been 
trying to perswade her, that there would bee no Day of Judg- 
ment, shee did in the same astonishing manner show them that 
place in Act. 1. 11. This same Jesus Which is taken up from 
you into Heaven, shall so come, in Like Manner, as yee have seen 
Him go into Heaven. Well, When the young Woman had lain 
under her miseries about Three Weeks, this Notable Spirit, 
in the Beginning of the Fourth Week, bid her, Bee of Good 
Cheer and Hold her Integrity against all the Rage of the Divel 
and his Witches, for the Next Thursday in the Evening about 
Nine or Ten a clock, shee should bee gloriously delivered, 
And accordingly, some Dayes a forehand, shee desired that I 
would, with my Brother, bee There at the Time. I suppose 
many of my Readers will bee at as much Loss to Determine, 
what sort of Spirit this is, as the New-foundlanders are, what 
to think of that spirit by them called White-Hat! who ordi- 
narily appears on the Shore, in a White-hat, crying out, Hale 
up ! Hale up ! a little before some dangerous Tempest. 

27. The people of God in the Neighbourhood still kept 

1 Of course again Mather. 


themselves close unto the unexceptionable way of Continual 
and Importunate Prayer, for the Deliverance of the Afflicted 
Maid. For my part, I did all I could, that not so much as 
the Name of any one good person in the World might suffer 
the least Ill-Report on this occasion; but unwearied Prayer, 
wee thought, was our only Way now to Resist the Divel. 
Accordingly, the Pious People in the North-part of Boston, 
did very much Pray With the young Woman as well as For her. 
There are, in that vicinage, several meetings of Young Folks 
(both sexes apart) who every week meet, that they may Pray 
with one another; and These now Adjourned their meetings, 
at the Seasons of them, unto the Haunted Chamber. Yea, 
There was, I think, scarce a Night for near a Month together, 
which was not All spent in the Exercise of Devotion, by those 
that Watched. Indeed, in this New Molestacion of Mercy 
Short, the Good people kept not any Whole Dayes for Prayer 
with Fasting on her behalf, as they did before, yett I have 
understood that shee had a Friend or Two, who did so; but 
behold, the Lord must bee again Besought Thrice ! The First 
and the Second of the Dayes thus kept had not their full 
Answer; the Third was no sooner kept, but the Answer came; 
whereof You are now to bee Informed. 

28. The Young Woman on the Thursday Evening which 
had been by her mentioned (namely March 16, 1693) lay very 
free from her usual Torments. Wee perceived from her, That 
the Spectres Try'd all the Evening long to inflict their Tortures 
upon her, but still They found her so Hedged by some unseen 
Defence, that they were unable to Touch her; and the Black 
Man would thereupon Kick Them, Cuff Them, and Maul Them, 
for Their so failing in all Their Attempts to wound her. Where- 
upon with a sort of Bravery shee Insulted over Them ; and at 
last, when the Hour came, Shee said in a way of Derision, 
"Well, I see you are going; What good counsil have you to 
give mee, before you go? " They then spoke, I know not what 
pestiferous Things unto her; but, giving them an Angry In- 
terruption, Shee bid them Hear Her counsil to Them. So, 
Telling the Black Man that shee had nothing to say unto him, 
for his Condition was beyond Repentance and Forgiveness, 
unto the rest shee gave such savoury Admonitions, about en- 
deavouring their own Recovery out of the Snare of the Divel, 


as might have broke an Heart of Stone to have heard Them. 
They at last bid her leave off, and now, Take their Blessing; 
which it seems was of this Tenour, "Go and bee Damned, Wee 
can do no more!" Whereunto Shee Reply'd, "0 yee cursed 
Wretches; Is that Your Blessing? Well After all the wrong 
that you have done to mee, I do not wish that any one of you 
may bee Damned; I wish you may bee all saved, if that bee 
possible. However, In the Name of the Blessed Lord Jesus 
Christ, bee gone, and lett mee bee no more Troubled with 
you." Upon That, they flew away Immediately, Striking an- 
other young Woman down for Dead upon the Floor as they 
went along; and so, with a Raised Soul, shee bore a Part with 
us, in Giving Thanks to God for her Deliverance; Nor have 
her Troublers ever since troubled her with any further Visits. 
Upon her first Rescue from these evil Hands, altho' her Eyes 
were seemingly Fair, yett the poisons they had used upon 
them were such, that shee was as blind as one that had been 
struck with Lightning; but in a few Dayes her sight Re- 
turned. They also left her under a very 111 Habit of Body, 
whereof shee could not bee cured without some Time and Care ; 
but in That also shee experienced much of the Divine Good- 
ness. Nor am I without Hope, that God will enable her to 
walk answerable to the great obligations, which Hee has thus 
laid upon her, by bringing her up out of an Horrible Pitt! 

29. My Reader must excuse mee, that I so much Forbear 
to give my Opinion about the true Nature and Meaning of 
these preternatural occurrences. If God, the Father of Lights, 
graciously should grant unto any of His poor Servants (as I 
beleeve to some Hee hath!) a System of Consistent Thoughts 
about such Works of Darkness, yett such is the froward, flout- 
ing sidred, 1 and proud Humour, whereunto the people are 
now Enchanted, no man in his Wits would fully expose his 
Thoughts unto them, till the charms which enrage the people 
are a little better Dissipated. I remember an Odd Relation, 
in the German Ephemerides, for 2 . . . 

1 Cidered, i. e., soured. 

* Here, with the end of its thirty-eighth page, the manuscript breaks abruptly 
off. The "Ephemerides" at the close means the Miscellanea Curioaa, or Epheme- 
rides Medico-physicae, which since 1670 had been published yearly in Germany. 

The best postscript for this narrative is that inserted by Mather himself 


into his diary for 1693, after the entry for February 12 : "About this Time, I had 
many wonderful Entertainments, from the Invisible World, in the Circumstances 
of a Young Woman, horribly possessed with Divels. The Damsel was cast into 
my cares, by the singular Providence of God; and accordingly besides my Cares 
to releeve her, to advise her, to observe the prodigious things that befel her 
(whereof I have written a Narrative) I procured some of my devout Neighbours, 
to join with mee in praying for her. Wee kept Three Successive Dayes of Prayer 
with Fasting on her behalf, and then wee saw her Delivered; for which, wee kept 
a Time of solemn Thanksgiving. But after a while, her Tormentors returned, 
and her Miseries renewed; and my Neighbours being now either too weary or 
too busy, to do as afore, tho' they made much Prayer daily with her as well as 
for her, I did alone in my Study fast and pray for her Deliverance. And, unto 
my Amazement, when I had kept my third Day for her, shee was finally and for- 
ever delivered from the hands of evil Angels; and I had afterwards the Satis- 
faction of seeing not only her so brought home unto the Lord, that shee was ad- 
mitted unto our Church, but also many other, even some scores, of young People, 
awakened by the Picture of Hell, exhibited in her Sufferings, to flee from the 
Wrath to come." 

It was perhaps more nearly at the time that, to the entry of March 28 
recording the birth of his malformed and short-lived babe, he added: "I had 
great Reason to suspect a Witchcraft, in this preternatural Accident; because 
my Wife, a few weeks before her Deliverance, was affrighted with an horrible 
Spectre, in our Porch, which Fright caused her Bowels to turn within her; and 
the Spectres which, both before and after, tormented a young Woman in our 
Neighbourhood, brag'd of their giving my Wife that Fright, in hopes, they said, 
of doing Mischief unto her Infant at least, if not unto the Mother : and besides 
all this, the Child was no sooner born, but a suspected Woman sent unto my 
Father, a Letter full of railing against myself, wherein shee told him, Hee little 
knew, what might quickly befall some of his Posterity." 

From this passage it is clear that Mercy Short was not at the end of her 
besetments; and one should not turn from her story, or from that of Margaret 
Rule, next to be told, without reading (at p. 384, below) what in 1697 a contem- 
porary writes of "their vicious courses since." 



OF Robert Calef almost nothing is known except what 
can be learned from his book. There has even been doubt 
as to whether, of the two Robert Calefs known to us in Boston 
at this time, the writer was the father or the son. In 1692, 
the time of the Salem witchcraft, the father's age was 44, the 
son's 18. 1 It is unlikely that anybody would have thought of 
the son but for a note copied into one of the memorandum- 
books of Dr. Jeremy Belknap (1744-1798) . 2 This note, of 
unknown source, reads: "Robert Calef, author of 'More 
Wonders of the Invisible World,' printed at London in 1700, 
was a native of England; a young man of good sense, and free 
from superstition; a merchant in Boston. He was furnished 
with materials for his work by Mr. Brattle, of Cambridge; 
and his brother, of Boston; and other gentlemen, who were 
opposed to the Salem proceedings. E. P." The writer speaks 
as if with knowledge; and that so sound a historian as Dr. 
Belknap should have copied the note speaks for its worth. 
Able scholars have by it been led to ascribe the book to the 
younger Robert; but more careful study seems to show the 
objections insuperable. The author never adds "Jr." to his 
name, as a son would have done, and as seems to have been 
the younger Robert's custom. 3 He never pleads youth, even 

1 S. G. Drake, in the introduction to his edition of Calef, would make his 
age 14; but the genealogist of the family, Mr. Matthew A. Stickney, says 18. 
Yet Mr. Stickney urges the father's authorship (N. E. Hist, and Gen. Register, 
XXX. 461; XLIX. 224). He died in 1894, leaving this genealogy, alas, unpub- 
lished, and his heirs decline to let it be consulted. 

2 Mass. Hist. Soc., Proceedings, 1858, p. 288. 

3 Thus in 1706 "Robt. Calef, Jun.," was chosen a clerk of the market 
(Boston Record Commissioners' Reports, VIII. 36); thus in 1708 "Robert Calef, 



when most apologetic; and, what weighs more, his indignant 
foes, seeking all ways to discredit him, never hint at such a 
thing. His matter and style have in them nothing of boyish- 
ness; and once, in words suggestive of a migrant and a man 
of years, he speaks (p. 297, below) of "sound Reason, which is 
what I have been long seeking for in this Country in vain." 
Most serious of all, his handwriting seems that found in docu- 
ments clearly the elder Calef 's, and is that of a mature and even 
by 1700 that of an aging man; while that of the younger Robert 
was in 1719-1722 still firm and flexible and notably different. 1 
Robert Calef the elder came to America at some time before 
1688. He was a cloth-merchant, and doubtless a maker as 

jun r ." becomes a constable (id., VTII. 45), and gains permission to erect a 
house (id., XI. 68, XXIX. 187); thus, too, in that year (see plate) he signs 
himself "Ro. Calfe Jn r "; thus in 1710 "Robert Calfe, Jr.," appears on the 
rolls of the Artillery Company (N. E. Hist, and Gen. Register, XXXVIII. 341); 
and it is after his father's death that (see plate) in 1719 to a receipted account, 
in 1721 to his will, in 1722 to the release of a mortgage, he signed "Rob: 
Calfe", "Ro: Calfe", "Robert Calfe" (see the last two in Drake's Witchcraft 
Delusion, II. xxii, xxiv). 

1 From the author of More Wonders we have two unquestionable auto- 
graphs : (1) his marginalia of 1695 on Cotton Mather's paper (see below, p. 306, 
note 1) and (2) a letter of 1700 presenting a copy of his book to the Earl of 
Bellomont, then governor of Massachusetts and New York. A page of the 
former is to be photographed in the Massachusetts Historical Society's Proceed- 
ings for 1913-1914; and the latter (now in the New York Public Library) is re- 
produced in full in the Memorial History of Boston (II. 168). Specimens of both 
are given in our own plate; and to these are added (1) the signature "Robert 
Calef" from the report of two appraisers, October 30, 1693; (2) the signature 
"Robt. Calef" from the verdict of a Boston coroner's jury, January 15, 1696; (3) 
the same signature, with a line or two of text in the same hand, from the decision 
of two arbitrators (Boston, July 29, 1697) ; and (4) the last lines and the signa- 
ture of a paper drawn by "Robt. Calef" as a selectman of Roxbury in March, 
1717 (?). That all six specimens are in the same hand, and in a hand differ- 
ent from the younger Calef's, will hardly be questioned. Is not the older 
Robert, too, more likely than the younger to have been an appraiser in 1693, a 
coroner's juror in 1696, and an arbiter in 1697? And (though Calef and Calfe 
were undoubtedly pronounced alike or nearly so) is it not less probable that the 
author of More Wonders changed the habitual spelling of his signature than that 
a younger Robert, if not the author, should thus have distinguished his identity 
from his father's? What arguments led the genealogist Stickney to ascribe the 
book to the father cannot now be learned: the "full statement of the reasons" 


_ ^/$^/>^?^^~ /fo*/i*-&*<ft~^fi*&<t- 
'^j/Jf^rvfr^r^t-' ggt&e-get&A* 





From various originals 


well as a seller of cloths. 1 Of his eight children the eldest was, 
in 1692, a physician in Ipswich. What led to the writing of More 
Wonders he has himself told us in his book. It remains only 
to testify to the care and exactness which all comparison of 
his work with the records seems to show, and to remark that 
to a student of the literature of witchcraft it is evident that 
his reading is larger than he cares to parade. Though he 
clearly belonged to the popular party, this is as likely to be a 
result as a cause it is probably neither of his feeling on the 
subject of the witch superstition; and that he had else any 
grievance against the Mathers or their colleagues there is no 
reason to think. 

His book, though completed in 1697, was not printed till 
1700, and then in London. In June, 1698, Cotton Mather 
records in his diary that "a sort of a Sadducee in this town" 
"hath written a Volumn of invented and notorious lies " ; " this 
Volumn," he adds, "hee is, as I understand, sending to En- 
gland, that it may bee printed there." Why it found no printer 
in New England can be guessed; the storm it raised when it 
appeared in print is well known. President Increase Mather 
"ordered the wicked book to be burnt in the college yard," 2 
and his son's diary is eloquent with vexation. 

"Some Years ago," runs his entry of November 15, 1700, 
"a very wicked sort of a Sadducee in this Town, raking to- 
gether a crue of Libels, which he had written at several Times, 

promised by him to the N. E. Hist, and Gen. Register (see XXX. 461) was, like 
his genealogy, never published. But, from an article on "Robert Calef" by 
Mr. W. S. Harris in the Granite Monthly for 1907 (XXXIX. 157-163), and from 
correspondence with its author, it is learned that another student of the Calef 
pedigree (Mr. W. W. Lunt, of Hingham, Mass.) has reached that result by a 
comparison of handwritings. Mr. Harris, it should be added, quotes the Rev. 
John Kelly as saying in a funeral sermon (1808) for Judge John Calfe (b. 1740) 
of Hampstead, N. H., that the latter's ancestor (who was the elder Calef, not 
the younger) was the author of the book. 

1 In 1701 Cotton Mather calls him "the Weaver (though he presumes to 
call himself Merchant) " (Some Few Remarks, p. 35). 

2 Eliot, Biographical Dictionary (1809), s. v. "Calef." 


(especially relating to the Wonders of the Invisible World, which 
have been among us) wherein I am the cheef Butt of his Mal- 
ice, (tho' many other better Servants of the Lord are also most 
maliciously abused by him :) he sent this vile Volume to Lon- 
don to be published. Now, tho' I had often and often cried 
unto the Lord, that the Cup of this Man's abominable Bundle 
of Lies, written on purpose, with a Quil under a special Energy 
and Management of Satan, to damnify my precious Oppor- 
tunities of Glorifying my Lord Jesus Christ, might pass from 
me; Yett, in this point, the Lord has denied my Request: the 
Book is printed, and the Impression is this week arrived here." 

It was even felt necessary to print a reply; but the two 
Mathers held it beneath them to plead in their own vindication. 
It fell to their parishioners. "My pious neighbours are so 
provoked," writes Cotton Mather (December 4), "at the dia- 
bolical Wickedness of the Man who has published a Volume of 
Libels against my Father and myself, that they sett apart 
whole Dayes of Prayer, to complain unto God against him." 
The outcome of their communings together was a pamphlet 
called Some Few Remarks upon a Scandalous Book against the 
Gospel and Ministry of New England, written by one Robert 
Calef. It was signed by seven, one of them John Goodwin; 
but the materials were furnished by their pastors. It aimed 
however at their personal exculpation, and has small interest 
for the public story. 1 

The doughty merchant survived the storm. In 1702-1704 
he served his townsmen as an overseer of the poor, in 1707 

1 Let any who would know the contents of the excessively rare little booklet 
turn to the works of Upham and Poole mentioned on p. 91; and in his Diary 
(I. 383-384) Mather narrates how the book was compiled. The More Wonders 
it describes as "a Libellous Book lately come into this Countrey . . . which is 
writ (with what help we know not) by one Robert Calef, who presumes to call 
himself Merchant of Boston." "It was highly rejoicing to us," add the writers, 
"when we heard that our Booksellers were so well acquainted with the Integrity 
of our Pastors, as that not one of them could admit of any of those Libels to be 
vended in their shops." Pp. 34-50 of its seventy-one pages are taken up by a 
letter of Cotton Mather to the authors. It was perhaps a passage in Mather's 


was chosen an assessor, in 1710 a tithingman. It was perhaps 
about this time that he retired to Roxbury, where in 1707 he 
had bought a place and where he was a selectman of the town 
when, in 1719, death found him. There, in the old burial 
ground just opposite his home, a stone still testifies that "Here 
lyes buried the body of Mr. Robert Calef, aged seventy-one 
years, died April the Thirteenth, 1719." l 

Calef 's book has been five times reprinted: in 1796, at 
Salem, by William Carlton (12, pp. 318) ; again at Salem, in 
1823, a mere reimpression, with the addition, from the court 
files, of Giles Corey's examination (12, pp. 312); in Boston, 
1828 (24, pp. 333), again a reimpression; at Salem, 1861, 
edited by Mr. S. P. Fowler, with Cotton Mather's Wonders, 
in his volume Salem Witchcraft (see p. 207) ; and, more faith- 
fully, in 1866 at Roxbury, as nos. VI., VII., of Woodward's 
Historical Series, under the editorship of S. G. Drake (see pp. 
207-208). The present text follows the original edition (1700), 
but corrects it by the list of Errata to be found in the 
copy (once Cotton Mather's) possessed by the Massachusetts 
Historical Society. 2 

letter that led " E. P." to think Robert Calef a "young man"; for those 
words, in italics and with capital initials, stare from a sentence so obscure that 
to a hasty glance Calef, instead of Mather himself, might easily seem to be 

1 For these and other personal details see Drake's memoir, in his ed. of Calef, 
and his History and Antiquities of Boston, pp. 529, 531; Boston Record Commis- 
sioners' Reports, I. 156, 160, VII. 210, 218, 225, 229, VIII. 24, 26, 31, 33, 41, 43, 
75, IX. 179, 195, XL 145; Memorial History of Boston, IV. 652; F. S. Drake, 
The Town of Roxbury (Boston, 1905), pp. 102, 140-149; N. E. Hist, and Gen. 
Register, XIV. 52; and the above-cited article of W. S. Harris, which has a 
photograph of the gravestone. From these mentions will be learned also the 
name of his wife, Mary, and of the two of his eight children who were born (1688, 
1691) after his coming to Boston. It will be learned, too, that in 1692 he was a 
constable, in 1694 hayward and fenceviewer, in 1697 a surveyor of highways, in 
1698 a clerk of the market. At least it is to "Robert Calef," not to "Robert 
Calef, Jr.," that the records award these offices. And it is perhaps to be noticed 
that while the name of "Robert Calef" is often preceded by "Mr.", that title 
does not appear before that of "Robert Calef, Jr." 

2 See Drake's ed., III. 223. 


More Wonders of the Invisible World: Or, The Wonders of the 
Invisible World, Displayed in Five Parts. 

Part I. An Account of the Sufferings of Margaret Rule, Written 
by the Reverend Mr. C. M. 

P. II. Several Letters to the Author, etc. And his Reply relat- 
ing to Witchcraft. 

P. III. The Differences between the Inhabitants of Salem Vil- 
lage, and Mr. Parris their Minister, in New-England. 

P. IV. Letters of a Gentleman uninterested, Endeavouring to 
prove the received Opinions about Witchcraft to be Orthodox. 
With short Essays to their Answers. 

P. V. A short Historical Accou[n]t of Matters of Fact in that 

To which is added, A Postscript relating to a Book intitled, The 
Life of Sir William Phips. 

Collected by Robert Calef, Merchant, of Boston in New-England. 
Licensed and Entred according to Order. 

London: Printed for Nath. Hittar, at the Princes-Arms, in 
Leaden-H all-street, over against St. Mary- Ax, and Joseph 
Colly er, at the Golden-Bible, on London-Bridge. 1700. 1 

The Epistle to the Reader, And more especially to the Noble 
Bereans 2 of this Age, wherever Residing. 


You that are freed from the Slavery of a corrupt Education ; 
and that in spite of human Precepts, Examples and Presidents, 8 
can hearken to the Dictates of Scripture and Reason: 

'Title-page of original. 

1 /. e., to those with open minds : the Bereans are commended (Acts xvii. 11) 
as "more noble" because "they received the word with all readiness of mind, 
and searched the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so." 

1 Precedents : this odd spelling was then the current one. 



For your sakes I am content, that these Collections of mine, 
as also my Sentiments should be exposed to publick view; In 
hopes that having well considered, and compared them with 
Scripture, you will see reason, as I do, to question a belief so 
prevalent (as that here treated of) as also the practice flowing 
from thence; they standing as nearly connext as cause and 
effect; it being found wholly impracticable, to extirpate the 
latter without first curing the former. 

And if the Buffoon or Satyrical will be exercising their 
Talents, or if the Biggots wilfully and blindly reject the Testi- 
monies of then- own Reason, and more sure word, it is no more 
than what I expected from them. 

But you Gentlemen, I doubt not, are willing to Distinguish 
between Truth and Error, and if this may be any furtherance 
to you herein, I shall not miss my Aim. 

But if you find the contrary, and that my belief herein is 
any way Heterodox, I shall be thankful for the Information 
to any Learned or Reverend Person, or others, that shall take 
that pains to inform me better by Scripture, or sound Reason, 
which is what I have been long seeking for in this Country in 

In a time when not only England in particular, but almost 
all Europe had been labouring against the Usurpations of 
Tyranny and Slavery, The English America has not been 
behind in a share in the Common calamities; more especially 
New-England has met not only with such calamities as are 
common to the rest, but with several aggravations enhansing 
such Afflictions, by the Devastations and Cruelties of the Bar- 
barous Indians in their Eastern borders, etc. 

But this is not all, they have been harrast (on many ac- 
counts) by a more dreadful Enemy, as will herein appear to 
the considerate. 

P. 66. l Were it as we are told in Wonders of the Invisible 
World, that the Devils were walking about our Streets with 

1 This page-number and those which follow refer to the pages of Mather's 
Wonders (original edition), from which the substance of these paragraphs is 
quoted. The passages quoted will be found in Mather's book at pp. 48, 41, 50, 
of the first London edition, at pp. 95, 80-82, 100, of that of 1862, at pp. 121- 
122, 102-104, 128, of the American edition of 1866. They do not belong to the 
pages reprinted in the present volume. 


lengthned Chains making a dreadful noise in our Ears, and 
Brimstone, even without a Metaphor, was making a horrid 
and a hellish stench in our Nostrils, 

P. 49. And that the Devil exhibiting himself ordinarily 
as a black-Man, 1 had decoy'd a fearful knot of Proud, Fro- 
ward, Ignorant, Envious and Malitious Creatures, to list them- 
selves in his horrid Service, by entring their Names in a Book 
tendered unto them; and that they have had their Meetings 
and Sacraments, and associated themselves to destroy the 
Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, in these parts of the World ; 
having each of them their Spectres, or Devils Commissionated 
by them, and representing of them, to be the Engines of their 
Malice, by these wicked Spectres siezing poor People about 
the Country with various and bloody Torments. And of 
those evidently preternatural Torments some to[o] have died. 
And that they have, bewitched some even so far, as to make 
them self destroyers, and others in many Towns here and there 
languish'd under their evil hands. The People thus afflicted 
jmiserably scratch/d and bitten; and that the same Invisible 
Furies did stick Pins in them, and scald them, distort and dis- 
joint them, with a Thousand other Plagues; and sometimes 
drag them out of their Chambers, and carry them over Trees 
and Hills Miles together, many of them being tempted to sign 
the Devils Laws. 

P. 7[0]. Those furies whereof several have killed more 
People perhaps than would serve to make a Village. 2 

If this be the true state of the Afflictions of this Country, 
it is very deplorable, and beyond all other outward Calamities 
miserable. But if on the other side, the Matter be as others 
do understand it, That the Devil has been too hard for us by 
his Temptations, signs, and lying Wonders, with the help of 
pernicious notions, formerly imbibed and professed; together 
with the Accusations of a parcel of possessed, distracted, or 
lying Wenches, accusing their Innocent Neighbours, pretend- 
ing they see their Spectres (i. e.) Devils in their likeness Afflict- 
ing of them, and that God in righteous Judgment (after Men 

1 How Mather conceived this "black man" to look appears from the de- 
scription he ascribes to Mercy Short (p. 261, above). 

1 In the original there is here no paragraph, the paragraph beginning after 
the next sentence with "But if," etc. 


had ascribed his Power to Witches, of Commissionating Devils 
to do these things) may have given them over to strong de- 
lusions to believe lyes, etc. And to let loose the Devils of I 
Envy, Hatred, Pride, Cruelty, and Malice against each other;, 
yet still disguised under the Mask of Zeal for God, and left 
them to the branding one another with the odious Name of 
Witch; and upon the Accusation of those above mentioned, 
Brother to Accuse and Prosecute Brother, Children their 
Parents, Pastors and Teachers their immediate Flock unto 
death; Shepherds becoming Wolves, Wise Men Infatuated; 
People hauled to Prisons, with a bloody noise pursuing to, 
and insulting over, the (true) Sufferers at Execution, while 
some are fleeing from that call'd Justice, Justice it self fleeing 
before such Accusations, when once it did but begin to refrain 
further proceedings, and to question such Practises, some 
making their Escape out of Prisons, rather than by an obstinate 
Defence of their Innocency, to run so apparent hazard of their 
Lives; Estates seized, Families of Children and others left to 
the Mercy of the Wilderness (not to mention here the Numbers 
prescribed, 1 dead in Prisons, or Executed, etc.) 

All which Tragedies, tho begun in one Town, or rather by ; ^ 
one Parish, has Plague-like spread more than through that 
Country. And by its Eccho giving a brand of Infamy to this 
whole Country, throughout the World, 

If this were the Miserable case of this Country in the time 
thereof, and that the Devil had so far prevailed upon us in our 
Sentiments and Actions, as to draw us from so much as look- 
ing into the Scriptures for our guidance in these pretended 
Intricacies, leading us to a trusting in blind guides, such as the 
corrupt practices of some other Countries, or the bloody Ex- 
periments of Bodin, and such other Authors Then tho our 
Case be most miserable, yet it must be said of New-England, 
Thou hast destroyed thy self, and brought this greatest of 
Miseries upon thee. 

And now whether the Witches (such as have made a com- 
pact by Explicit Covenant with the Devil, having thereby 
obtained a power to Commissionate him) have been the cause 
of our miseries, 

Or whether a Zeal governed by blindness and passion, and 

1 "Prescribed," as then often, for "proscribed," i, e., condemned to death. 


led by president, has not herein precipitated us into far greater 
wickedness (if not Witchcrafts) than any have been yet proved 
against those that suffered, 

To be able to distinguish aright in this matter, to which of 
these two to refer our Miseries is the present Work. As to 
the former, I know of no sober Man, much less Reverend 
Christian, that being ask'd dares affirm and abide by it, that 
Witches have that power; viz. to Commissionate Devils to 
kill and destroy. And as to the latter, it were well if there 
were not too much of truth in it, which remains to be demon- 

But here it will be said, what need of Raking in the Coals 
that lay buried in oblivion. We cannot recall those to Life 
again that have suffered, supposing it were unjustly; it tends 
but to the exposing the Actors, as if they had proceeded 

Truly I take this to be just as the Devil would have it, so 
much to fear disobliging men, as not to endeavour to detect 
his Wiles, that so he may the sooner, and with the greater Ad- 
vantages set the same on foot again (either here or else where) 
so dragging us through the Pond twice by the same Cat. 1 
And if Reports do not (herein) deceive us, much the same has 
been acting this present year in Scotland. 2 And what King- 
dom or Country is it, that has not had their bloody fits and 
turns at it. And if this is such a catching disease, and so uni- 
versal, I presume I need make no Apology for my Endeavours 
to prevent, as far as in my power, any more such bloody Vic- 
tims or Sacrifices; tho indeed I had rather any other would 

1 For a description of the joke, played on boobies, of "dragging through 
a pond with a cat," see the Oxford Dictionary, s. v. Cat, III. 14, or Grose, Diction- 
ary of Vulgar Terms, s. v. "Cat-whipping." "We hope, sir," said in 1682 the 
London Gazette, "that this Nation will be too wise, to be drawn twice through 
the same Water by the very same Cat." 

1 As Calef is writing in August, 1697, he doubtless has in mind the cases in 
Renfrewshire, where on June 10 several witches were hanged, then burned, on 
the Callow Green of Paisley; a "Relation" then printed recounts "the Diabolical 
Practices of above Twenty." Neither the relation nor the tidings of the burning 
could well have reached America by August 11; but the trials had been notorious 
for months. In Scotland, however, such things had been constant, as may be 
seen by the records of the Privy Council. Those of this period are chronicled by 
Robert Chambers in his Domestic Annals of Scotland. 


have undertaken so offensive, tho necessary a task; yet all 
things weighed, I had rather thus Expose my self to Censure, 
than that it should be wholly omitted. Were the notions in 
question innocent and harmless, respecting the Glory of God, 
and well being of Men, I should not have engaged in them, ' 
but finding them in my esteem so intollerably destructive of 
both, This together with my being by Warrant called before 
the Justices, in my own Just Vindication, I took it to be a call 
from God, to my Power, 1 to Vindicate his Truths, against the 
Pagan and Popish Assertions, which are so prevalent; for tho 
Christians in general do own the Scriptures to be their only 
Rule of Faith and Doctrine, yet these Notions will tell us, that 
the Scriptures have not sufficiently, nor at all described the 
crime of Witchcraft, whereby the culpable might be detected, 
tho it be positive in the Command to punish it by Death; 
hence the World has been from time to time perplext in the 
prosecution of the several Diabolical mediums of Heathenish 
and Popish Invention, to detect an Imaginary Crime (not but 
that there are Witches, such as the Law of God describes) 
which has produced a deluge of Blood; hereby rendering the 
Commands of God not only void but dangerous. 

So also they own Gods Providence and Government of the 
World, and that Tempests and Storms, Afflictions and Diseases, 
are of his sending; yet these Notions tell us, that the Devil 
has the power of all these, and can perform them when com- 
mission' d by a Witch thereto, and that he has a power at the 
Witches call to act and do, without and against the course of 
Nature, and all natural causes, in afflicting and killing of In- 
nocents; and this is that so many have died for. 

Also it is generally believed, that if any Man has strength, 
it is from God the Almighty Being: But these notions will tell 
us, that the Devil can make one Man as strong as many, which 
was one of the best proofs, as it was counted, against Mr. 
Burroughs the Minister; 2 tho his contemporaries in the 
Schools during his Minority could have testified, that his 
strength was then as much superiour to theirs as ever (setting 
aside incredible Romances) it was discovered to be since. 
Thus rendring the power of God, and his providence of none 

1 7. e., to the utmost of my power. * See pp. 219-220, above. 


These are some of the destructive notions of this Age, and 
however the asserters of them seem sometimes to value them- 
selves much upon sheltring their Neighbours from Spectral 
Accusations, They may deserve as much thanks as that 
Tyrant, that having industriously obtained an unintelligible 
charge against his Subjects, in matters wherein it was impos- 
sible they should be Guilty, having thereby their lives in his 
power, yet suffers them of his meer Grace to live, and will 
be calTd gracious Lord. 

It were too Icarian 1 a task for one unfurnished with neces- 
sary learning, and Library, to give any Just account, from 
whence so great delusions have sprung, and so long continued. 
Yet as an Essay from those scraps of reading that I have had 
opportunity of, it will be no great venture to say, that Signs 
and Lying Wonders have been one principal cause. 2 

It is written of Justin Martyr, who lived in the second 
Century, that he was before his conversion a great Philosopher; 
first in the way of the Stoicks, and after of the Peripateticks, 
after that of the Pythagorean, and after that of the Platonists 
sects; and after all proved of Eminent use in the Church of 
Christ; Yet a certain Author speaking of one Apollonius 
Tyaneus 3 has these words, "That the most Orthodox them- 
selves began to deem him vested with power sufficient for a 
Deity; which occasioned that so strange a doubt from Justin 
Martyr, as cited by the learned Gregory, Fol. 37. Et @eo? 
eW, 4 etc. If God be the Creator and Lord of the World, how 
comes it to pass that Apollonius his Telisms, 5 have so much 
over-ruled the course of things! for we see that they also have 
stilled the Waves of the Sea, and the raging of the Winds, and 
prevailed against the Noisome Flies, and Incursions of wild 
Beasts," etc. If so Eminent and Early a Christian were by 
these false shews in such doubt, it is the less wonder in our 

1 I.e., presumptuous, like the venture of Icarus, who flew so high that the 
sun melted off his wings. 

'He is thinking, of course, of such "Remarkables" as those told by the 

3 Apollonius of Tyana, the first-century Pythagorean philosopher and 
wonder-worker, like Justin Martyr, the second-century apologist of Christianity, 
is perhaps too well known to need a footnote. 

4 Justin Martyr, Quaestiones et Responsiones ad Orthodoxos, qu. 24. 
1 Teleamata, talismans, magical devices. 


depraved times, to meet with what is Equivalent thereto: 
Besides this a certain Author informs me, that "Julian (after- 
wards called the Apostate) being instructed in the Philosophy 
and Disciplines of the Heathen, by Libarius 1 his Tutor, by 
this means he came to love Philosophy better than the Gospel, 
and so by degrees turn'd from Christianity to Heathenism." 

This same Julian did, when Apostate, forbid that Christians 
should be instructed in the Discipline of the Gentiles, which 
(it seems) Socrates a Writer of the Ecclesiastical History, does 
acknowledge to be by the singular Providence of God; Chris- 
tians having then begun to degenerate from the Gospel, and 
to betake themselves to Heathenish learning. And in the 
Mercury for the Month of February, 1695, there is this Ac- 
count, "That the Christian Doctors conversing much with the 
writings of the Heathen, for the gaining of Eloquence, A 
Counsel 2 was held at Carthage, which forbad the reading of 
the Books of the Gentiles." 

From all which it may be easily perceived, that in the 
Primitive times of Christianity, when not only many Heathen 
of the Vulgar, but also many learn'd Men and Philosophers 
had imbraced the Christian Faith, they still retained a love 
to their Heathen-learning, which as one observes being trans- 
planted into a Christian soile, soon proved productive of per- 
nicious weeds, which over-ran the face of the Church, hence 
it was so deformed as the Reformation found it. 

Among other pernicious Weeds arising from this Root, the 
Doctrine of the power of Devils and Witchcraft as it is now, 
and long has been understood, is not the least; the Fables of 
Homer, Virgil, Horace and Ovid, etc., being for the Elegancy 
of their Language retained then (and so are to this day) in 
the schools, have not only introduced, but established such 
Doctrines to the poisoning the Christian World. A certain 
Author Expresses it thus, "that as the Christian Schools at 
first brought Men from Heathenism to the Gospel, so these 
Schools carry Men from the Gospel to Heathenism, as to their 
great perfection," and Mr. I. M. 3 in his Remarkable Providences, 
gives an account that (as he calls it) an Old Counsel 4 did 

1 Libanius. J Council : the Fourth Council of Carthage, 398 A. D. 

1 Increase Mather. 

4 Council : the Spanish Council of Bracara, 561 A. D. 


Anathematize all those that believed such power of the Devils, 
accounting it a Damnable Doctrine. But as other Evils did 
afterwards increase in the Church (partly by such Education) 
so this insensibly grew up with them, tho not to that degree, 
as that any Counsel 1 I have ever heard or Read of has to this 
day taken off those Anathema's; yet after this the Church so 
far declined, that Witchcraft became a Principal Ecclesiastical 
Engine (as also that of Heresie was) to root up all that stood 
in their way; and besides the ways of Tryal that we have still 
in practice, they invented some, which were peculiar to them- 
selves; which when ever they were minded to improve against 
any Orthodox believer, they could easily make Effectual: 
That Deluge of Blood which that Scarlet Whore 2 has to an- 
swer for, shed under this notion, how amazing is it. 

The first in England that I have read of, of any note since 
the Reformation, that asserts this Doctrine, is the famous Mr. 
Perkins, 3 he (as also Mr. Gaul, 4 and Mr. Bernard, 6 etc. seems 
all of them to have undertaken one Task, they) taking notice 
of the Multiplicity of irregular ways to try them by, invented 
by Heathen and Papists, made it their business and main work 
herein to oppose such as they saw to be pernicious. And if 
they did not look more narrowly into it, but followed the 
first, viz. Mr. Perkins whose Education (as theirs also) had 

1 Council. 

* He means the Roman church. Revelation, xvii. 

1 William Perkins (1558-1602), the eminent Cambridge divine "our 
Perkins," as Increase Mather calls him whose Discourse of the Damned Art of 
Witchcraft (London, 1608, 1610, and in the many editions of his Works) was the 
highest authority to Puritans. 

4 John Gaule. See p. 216, note 1. 

* Richard Bernard (1567-1641), long minister of Batcombe in Somersetshire. 
His Guide to Grand-Jurymen ... in cases of Witchcraft (1627, 1629) was, though 
credulous and cruel enough, the most mild and cautious of the Puritan mono- 
graphs. The tiny volume, now very rare, had perhaps never a great circulation 
(in 1692 Increase Mather declares it, like Gaule's book, "rare to be had"); but 
its rules for the detection of witches gained much vogue from their adoption by 
Michael Dalton into his The Countrey Justice, the standard manual for the pro- 
cedure of the lower courts. It is clearly, however, from Bernard's book itself 
that Cotton Mather has abridged these rules in his Wonders', and the book, as 
well as this extract, was doubtless in the hands of the Salem judges. Increase 
Mather quotes it often, and by page, and tells us that it "is a solid and a wise 
treatise." (Cases of Conscience, 1693, p. 18.) 


forestalled him into such belief, whom they readily followed, 
it cannot be wondered at: And that they were men liable to 
Err, and so not to be trusted to as perfect guides, will mani- 
festly appear to him that shall see their several receits laid 
down to detect them by their Presumptive and Positive ones. 
And consider how few of either have any foundation in Scrip- 
ture or Reason; and how vastly they differ from each other 
in both, each having his Art by himself, which Forty or an 
Hundred more may as well imitate, and give theirs, ad infini- 
tum, being without all manner of proof. 

But tho this be their main design to take off People from 
those Evil and bloody ways of trial which they speak so much 
against, Yet this does not hinder to this day, but the same 
evil ways or as bad are still used to detect them by, and that 
even among Protestants; and is so far Justified, that a Rev- 
erend Person has said lately here, how else shall we detect 
Witches? And another being urged to prove by Scripture 
such a sort of Witch as has power to send Devils to kill men, 
replied, that he did as firmly believe it as any article of his 
Faith. And that he (the Inquirer) did not go to the Scripture, 
to learn the Mysteries of his trade or Art. What can be said 
more to Establish there Heathenish notions and to villifie the 
Scriptures, our only Rule; and that after we have seen such 
dire effects thereof, as has threatned the utter Extirpation 
of this whole Country. 

And as to most of the Actors in these Tragedies, tho they 
are so far from defending their Actions that they will Readily 
own, that undue steps have been taken, etc., Yet it seems 
they choose that the same should be Acted over again inforced 
by their Example, rather than that it should Remain as a 
Warning to Posterity, wherein they have mist it. So far are 
they from giving Glory to God, and taking the due shame to 

And now to sum up all in a few words, we have seen a 
Biggotted Zeal, stirring up a Blind and most Bloody rage, not 
against Enemies, or Irreligious Proffligate Persons, But (in 
Judgment of Charity, and to view) against as Vertuous and 
Religious as any they have left behind them in this Country, 
which have suffered as Evil doers with the utmost extent of 
rigour (not that so high a Character is due to all that Suffered) 


and this by the Testimony of Vile Varlets as not only were 
known before, but have been further apparent since by their 
Manifest Lives, Whordoms, Incest, etc. The Accusations of 
these, from their Spectral Sight, being the chief Evidence 
against those that Suffered. In which Accusations they were 
upheld by both Magistrates and Ministers, so long as they 
Apprehended themselves in no Danger. 

And then tho they could defend neither the Doctrine, nor 
the Practice, yet none of them have in such a publick manner 
as the case Requires, testified against either; tho at the same 
time they could not but be sensible what a Stain and lasting 
Infamy they have brought upon the whole Country, to the 
Indangering the future welfair not only of this but of other 
places, induced by their Example; if not, to an in tailing the 
Guilt of all the Righteous Blood that has been by the same 
means Shed, by Heathen or Papists, etc., upon themselves, 
whose deeds they have so far justified, occasioning the great 
Dishonour and Blasphemy of the Name of God, Scandalizing 
the Heathen, hardning of Enemies; and as a Natural effect 
thereof, to the great Increase of Atheism. 

I shall conclude only with acquainting the Reader, that of 
these Collections, the first, containing more Wonders of the 
Invisible World, I received of a Gentleman, 1 who had it of 
the Author and communicated it to me, 2 with his express con- 
sent, of which this is a true Copy. 3 As to the Letters, they 

1 It has been conjectured that this gentleman may have been one of the two 
Brattles. In a letter of March 1, 1695 (More Wonders, p. 30 not here reprinted), 
to a "Mr. B." (Brattle?) Calef mentions other papers received from Mather 
through his hands but to be returned speedily and not copied. He, however, 
he says, made notes in the margin where he thought it needful. These papers, 
as it will rejoice all students to learn, have just been identified by Mr. Worthing- 
ton C. Ford (to whose courtesy the editor owes his knowledge of them) among 
those in the keeping of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and they will be 
published in full both Mather's text and Calef's marginalia (with a facsimile 
plate) in that society's Proceedings for 1913-1914. See also below, p. 388, at end. 

*The original has "use"; but this is corrected to "me" in the Errata (see 
p. 295, above). 

' A copy, not of the "express consent," but of the "More Wonders of the 
Invisible World" the Margaret Rule story as a whole to which the letter of 
Mather introducing it was perhaps attached as a sort of open "letter to the 
reader. " Between this preface and that letter there intervenes a table of contents, 
not here reprinted. 


are for Substance the same I sent, tho with some small Varia- 
tion or Addition. Touching the two Letters from a Gentle- 
man, at his request I have forborn naming him. It is great 
Pity the matters of Fact, and indeed the whole, had not been 
done by some abler hand better Accomplished and Advantaged 
with both natural and acquired Judgments, but others not 
Appearing, I have inforc'd my self to do what is done, my 
other occasions Will not admit any further Scrutiny therein. 

R. C. 
BOSTON in New-England, Aug. 11, 1697. 


I now lay before you a very Entertaining Story, a Story 
which relates yet more Wonders of the Invisible World, 1 a 
Story which tells the Remarkable Afflictions and Deliverance 
of one that had been Prodigiously handled by the Evil Angels. 
I was my self a daily Eye Witness to a large part of these Occur- 
rences, and there may be produced Scores of Substantial Wit- 
nesses to the most of them; yea, I know not of any one Passage 
of the Story, but what may be sufficiently Attested. I do 
not Write it with a design of throwing it presently into the 
Press, but only to preserve the Memory of such Memorable 
things, the forgetting whereof would neither be pleasing to 
God, nor useful to Men; as also to give you, with some others 
of peculiar and obliging Friends, a sight of some Curiosities, 
and I hope this Apologie will serve to Excuse me, if I mention, 
as perhaps I may, when I come to a tenth Paragraph in my 
Writing, 2 some things which I would have omitted in a farther 


1 It is, in other words, a supplement to his book thus entitled, as its other 
name, "Another Brand pluckt out of the Burning," makes it a supplement to 
his Mercy Short narrative. 

2 See his "Sect. 10" (pp. 316-318, below). 

1 As to this letter see p. 306, note 3. The Margaret Rule MS. is still pre- 
served in the library of the Massachusetts Historical Society; and Poole, who 
used it for his chapter on witchcraft in the Memorial History of Boston, has 
in a footnote (II. 152) printed a facsimile of the "To bee Return'd unto C. 
Mather" written on it by its author. 




Section I. 

The Afflictions of Margaret Rule. 

WITHIN these few years there died in the Southern Parts 
a Christian Indian, who notwithstanding some of his Indian 
Weakness, had something of a better Character of vertue and 
Goodness, than many of our People can allow to most of their 
Countrey-men, that profess the Christian Religion. He had 
been a Zealous Preacher of the Gospel to his Neighbour-hood, 
and a sort of Overseer, or Officer, to whose Conduct was 
owing very much of what good order was maintained among 
those Proselited Savages : This Man returning home from the 
Funeral of his Son, was Complemented by an English-Man, 
expressing Sorrow for his Loss; now, tho' the Indians use, 
upon the Death of Relations, to be the most Passionate and 
Outragious Creatures in the World, yet this Converted Indian 
Handsomely and Chearfully repli'd, "Truly I am sorry, and 
I am not sorry; I am sorry that I have Buried a dear Son; 
but I am not sorry that the will of God is done. I know that 
without the will of God my Son could not have Died, and I 
know that the will of God is all ways just and good, and so 
I am satisfied." Immediately upon this, even within a few 
hours, he fell himself Sick of a Disease that quickly kill'd him ; 
in the time of which Disease he called his Folks about him, 
earnestly perswading them to be Sincere in their Praying unto 
God, and beware of the Drunkenness, the Idleness, the Lying, 
whereby so many of that Nation disgrac'd their Profession of 
Christianity; adding, that he was ashamed when he thought 
how little Service he had hitherto done for God; and that if 
God would prolong his Life he would Labour to do better Ser- 
vice, but that he was fully sure he was now going to the Lord 
Jesus Christ, who had bought him with his own Precious Blood ; 
and for his part he long'd to Die that he might be with his 
Glorious Lord; and in the mid'st of such passages he gave up 


the Ghost, but in such repute, that the English People of good 
Fashion did not think much of Travelling a great way to his 
Interment. Lest my Reader do now wonder why I have re- 
lated this piece of a Story, I will now hasten to abate that 
Wonder, by telling that whereto this was intended, but for 
an Introduction: Know then that this remarkable Indian 
being a little before he Died at work in the Wood making of 
Tarr, there appeared unto him a Black-Man, of a Terrible 
aspect, and more than humane Dimensions, threatning bitterly 
to kill him if he would not promise to leave off Preaching as 
he did to his Countrey-Men, and promise particularly, that if 
he Preached any more, he would say nothing of Jesus Christ 
unto them. The Indian amaz'd, yet had the courage to answer, 
I will in spite of you go on to Preach Christ more than ever I 
did, and the God whom I serve will keep me that you shall 
never hurt me. Hereupon the Apparition abating somewhat 
of his fierceness, offered to the Indian a Book of a considerable 1 
thickness and a Pen and Ink, and said, that if he would now set * 
his hand unto that Book, he would require nothing further of 
him; but the Man refused the motion with indignation, and 
fell down upon his knees into a Fervent and Pious Prayer unto 
God for help against the Tempter, whereupon the Daemon 

This is a Story which I would never have tendered unto 
my Reader, if I had not Receiv'd it from an honest and useful 
English Man, who is at this time a Preacher of the Gospel to 
the Indians, 1 nor would the probable 2 Truth of it have en- 
couraged me to have tendered it, if this also had not been a 
fit introduction unto yet a further Narrative. 

Sect. 2. 'Twas not much above a year or two, after this 
Accident (of which no manner of Noise has been made) that 
there was a Prodigious descent of Devils upon divers places 
near the Center of this Province, wherein some scores of Mis- 

1 Very probably his uncle, the Rev. John Cotton (1640-1699), who had 
formerly preached in Martha's Vineyard (1664-1667) and had there learned the 
Indian tongue, and who now, at Plymouth, continued to preach to Indians as well 
as whites. In his life of Eliot and in bk. VI. of his Magnalia Mather relates 
much more of the Christian Indians of Martha's Vineyard and of the witchcrafts 

2 Provable, demonstrable. 


erable People were Troubled by horrible appearances of a 
Black-Man, accompanied with Spectres, wearing these and 
those Humane Shapes, who offer 'd them a Book to be by them 
sign'd, in token of their being Listed for the Service of the Devil, 
and upon their denying to do it, they were Dragoon'd 1 with 
a thousand Preternatural Torments, which gave no little terror 
to the beholders of these unhappy Energuments. 2 There was 
one in the North part of Boston seized by the Evil-Angels many 
Months after the General Storm of the late Inchantments was 
over, and when the Countrey had long lain pretty quiet, both 
as to Molestations and Accusations from the Invisible World, 
her Name was Margaret Rule, a Young Woman. She was 
born of sober and honest Parents, yet Living, but what her 
own Character was before her Visitation, I can speak with the 
less confidence of exactness, because I observe that wherever 
the Devils have been let loose to worry any Poor Creature 
amongst us, a great part of the Neighbourhood presently set 
themselves to inquire and relate all the little Vanities of their 
Childhood, with such unequal exaggerations, as to make them 
appear greater Sinners than any whom the Pilate of Hell has 
not yet Preyed upon : But it is affirm'd, that for about half 
a year before her Visitation, she was observably improved in 
the hopeful symptoms of a new Creature; She was become 
seriously concern'd for the everlasting Salvation of her Soul, 
and careful to avoid the snares of Evil Company. This Young 
Woman had never seen the affliction of Mercy Short, whereof 
a Narrative has been already given, 3 and yet about half a 
year after the glorious and signal deliverance of that poor 
Damsel, this Margaret fell into an affliction, marvellous, re- 
sembling hers in almost all the circumstances of it, indeed the 
Afflictions were so much alike, that the relation I have given 
of the one, would almost serve as the full History of the other, 
this was to that, little more than the second part to the same 
Tune, indeed Margarets case was in several points less remark- 
able than Mercies, and in some other things the Entertainment 
did a little vary. 

Sect. 3. 'Twas upon the Lords Day the 10th of September, 
in the Year 1693, that Margaret Rule, after some hours of 
previous disturbance in the Publick Assembly, fell into odd 

1 See p. 189, note 2. * Energumens -.i.e., demoniacs. a See pp. 255 ff ., above. 


Fits, which caused her Friends to carry her home, where her 
Fits in a few hours grew into a Figure that satisfied the Spec- 
tators of their being preternatural; some of the Neighbours 
were forward enough to suspect the rise of this Mischief in an 
House hard-by, where lived a Miserable Woman, who had 
been formerly Imprisoned on the suspicion of Witchcraft, and 
who had frequently Cured very painfull Hurts by muttering 
over them certain Charms, which I shall not indanger the 
Poysoning of my Reader by repeating. This Woman had the 
Evening before Margaret fell into her Calamities, very bitterly 
treated her, and threatn'd her; but the hazard of hurting a 
poor Woman that might be innocent, notwithstanding Sur- 
mizes that might have been more strongly grounded than 
those, caus'd the pious People in the Vicinity to try rather 
whether incessant Supplication to God alone, might not pro- 
cure a quicker and safer Ease to the Afflicted, than hasty Prose- 
cution of any suppos'd Criminal, and accordingly that unex- 
ceptionable course was all that was ever followed; yea, which 
I look't on as a token for good, the Afflicted Family was as 
averse as any of us all to entertain thoughts of any other course. 
Sect. 4. The Young Woman was assaulted by Eight cruel 
Spectres, whereof she imagin'd that she knew three or four, 
but the rest came still with their Faces cover'd, so that she 
could never have a distinguishing view of the countenance of 
those whom she thought she knew; she was very careful of 
my reitterated charges to forbear blazing the Names, lest any 
good Person should come to suffer any blast of Reputation 
thro' the cunning Malice of the great Accuser; nevertheless 
having since privately named them to my self, I will venture 
to say this of them, that they are a sort of Wretches who for 
these many years have gone under as Violent Presumptions of 
Witchcraft, as perhaps any creatures yet living upon Earth; 
altho' I am farr from thinking that the Visions of this Young 
Woman were Evidence enough to prove them so. These 
cursed Spectres now brought unto her a Book about a Cubet 
long, a Book Red and thick, but not very broad, and they 
demanded of her that she would set her Hand to that Book, 
or touch it at least with her Hand, as a Sign of her becoming 
a Servant of the Devil; upon her peremptory refusal to do 
what they asked, they did not after renew the profers of the 


Book unto her, but instead thereof, they fell to Tormenting 
of her in a manner too Hellish to be sufficiently described, in 
those Torments confining her to her Bed, for just Six weeks 

Sect. 5. Sometimes, but not always, together with the 
Spectres there look't in upon the Young Woman (according 
to her account) a short and a Black Man, whom they call'd 
their Master, a Wight exactly of the same Dimensions and 
Complexion and voice, with the Divel that has exhibited him- 
self unto other infested People, not only in other parts of this 
Country but also in other Countrys, even of the European 
World, as the relation of the Enchantments there inform us, 
they all profest themselves Vassals of this Devil, and in obedi- 
ence unto him they address themselves unto various ways of 
Torturing her; accordingly she was cruelly pinch't with In- 
visible hands very often in a Day, and the black and blew marks 
of the pinches became immediately visible unto the standers 
by. Besides this, when her attendants had left her without 
so much as one pin about her, that so they might prevent some 
fear'd inconveniencies; yet she would ever now and then be 
miserably hurt with Pins which were found stuck into her Neck, 
Back and Arms, however, the Wounds made by the Pins would 
in a few minutes ordinarily be cured; she would also be 
strangely distorted in her Joynts, and thrown into such ex- 
orbitant Convulsions as were astonishing unto the Spectators 
in General; They that could behold the doleful condition of 
the poor Family without sensible compassions, might have 
Intrals indeed, but I am sure they could have no true Bowels 
in them. 

Sect. 6. It were a most Unchristian and uncivil, yea a 
most unreasonable thing to imagine that the Fitt's of the 
Young Woman were but meer Impostures: And I believe 
scarce any, but People of a particular Dirtiness, will harbour 
such an Uncharitable Censure; however, because I know not 
how far the Devil may drive the Imagination of poor Creatures 
when he has possession of them, that at another time when they 
are themselves would scorn to Dissemble any thing, I shall 
now confine my Narrative unto passages, wherein there could 
be no room left for any Dissimulation. Of these the first that 
I'll mention shall be this; From the time that Margaret Rule 


first found herself to be formally besieged by the Spectres 
untill the Ninth Day following, namely from the Tenth of 
September to the Eighteenth, she kept an entire Fast, and yet 
she was unto all appearance as Fresh, as Lively, as Hearty, at 
the Nine Days End, as before they began; in all this time, 
tho' she had a very eager Hunger upon her Stomach, yet if 
any refreshment were brought unto her, her Teeth would be 
set, and she would be thrown into many Miseries, Indeed once 
or twice or so in all this time, her Tormentors permitted her 
to swallow a Mouthful of somewhat that might encrease her 
Miseries, whereof a Spoonful of Rum was the most considerable ; 
but otherwise, as I said, her Fast unto the Ninth day was 
very extream and rigid: However, afterwards there scarce 
passed a day wherein she had not liberty to take something or 
other for her Sustentation, And I must add this further, that 
this business of her Fast was carried so, that it was impossible 
to be dissembled without a Combination of Multitudes of 
People unacquainted with one another to support the Juggle, 
but he that can imagine such a thing of a Neighbourhood so 
fill'd with Vertuous People is a base man, I cannot call him 
any other. 

Sect. 7. But if the Sufferings of this Young Woman were 
not Imposture, yet might they not be pure Distemper? I will 
not here inquire of our Saducees, what sort of Distemper 'tis 
shall stick the Body full of Pins, without any Hand that could 
be seen to stick them; or whether all the Pin-makers in the 
World would be willing to be Evaporated into certain ill habits 
of Body producing a Distemper, but of the Distemper my 
Reader shall be Judge when I have told him something further 
of those unusual Sufferings. I do believe that the Evil Angels 
do often take Advantage from Natural Distempers in the Chil- 
dren of Men to annoy them with such further Mischiefs as we 
call preternatural. The Malignant Vapours and Humours of 
our Diseased Bodies may be used by Devils thereinto insinu- 
ating as engine of the Execution of their Malice upon those 
Bodies; and perhaps for this reason one Sex may suffer more 
Troubles of some kinds from the Invisible World than the other, 
as well as for that reason for which the Old Serpent made 
where he did his first Address. But I Pray what will you say 
to this, Margaret Rule would sometimes have her Jaws for- 


cibly pulled open, whereupon something Invisible would be 
poured down her Throat; we all saw her swallow, and yet we 
saw her try all she could by Spitting, Coughing and Shriking, 1 
that she might not swalow, but one time the standers by 
plainly saw something of that odd Liquor it self on the outside 
of her Neck; She cried out of it as of Scalding Brimstone 
poured into her, and the whole House would Immediately 
scent so hot of Brimstone that we were scarce able to endure it, 
whereof there are scores of Witnesses; but the Young Woman 
her self would be so monstrously Inflam'd that it would have 
broke a Heart of Stone to have seen her Agonies. This was a 
thing that several times happen'd and several times when her 
Mouth was thus pulTd open, the standers by clapping their 
Hands close thereupon the distresses that otherwise followed 
would be diverted. Moreover there was a whitish powder to 
us Invisible somtimes cast upon the Eyes of this Young Woman, 
whereby her Eyes would be extreamly incommoded, but one 
time some of this Powder was fallen actually Visible upon her 
Cheek, from whence the People in the Room wiped it with 
their Handkerchiefs, and somtimes the Young Woman would 
also be so bitterly scorched with the unseen Sulphur thrown 
upon her, that very sensible Blisters would be raised upon her 
Skin, whereto her Friends found it necessary to apply the Oyl's 
proper for common Burning, but the most of these Hurts 
would be cured in two or three days at farthest : I think I may 
without Vanity pretend to have read not a few of the best 
System's of Physick that have been yet seen in these American 
Regions, but I must confess that I have never yet learned the 
Name of the Natural Distemper, whereto these odd symptoms 
do belong : However I might suggest perhaps many a Natural 
Medicine, which would be of singular use against many of 

Sect. 8. But there fell out some other matters far beyond 
the reach of Natural Distemper : This Margaret Rule once in 
the middle of the Night Lamented sadly that the Spectres 
threatned the Drowning of a Young Man in the Neighbour- 
hood, whom she named unto the Company: well it was after- 
wards found that at that very time this Young Man, having 
been prest on Board a Man of War then in the Harbour, was 

1 Hawking? The word is unknown to the dictionaries. 

1693] CALEF, MORE WONDERS , 315 

out of some dissatisfaction attempting to swim ashoar, and he 
had been Drowned in the attempt, if^a Boat had not seasonably 
taken him up; it was by computation a minute or two after 
the Young Womans discourse of the Drowning, that the Young 
Man took the Water. At another time she told us that the 
Spectres bragg'd and laughed in her hearing about an exploit 
they had lately done, by stealing from a Gentleman his Will 
soon after he had written it; and within a few hours after she 
had spoken this there came to me a Gentleman with a private 
complaint, that having written his Will it was unaccountably 
gone out of the way, how or where he could not Imagine; and 
besides all this, there were wonderful Noises every now and 
then made about the Room, which our People could Ascribe 
to no other Authors but the Spectres, yea, the Watchers affirm 
that they heard those fiends clapping of their hands together 
with an Audibleness, wherein they could not be Imposed upon: 
And once her Tormentors pull'd her up to the Cieling of the 
Chamber, and held her there before a very Numerous Company 
of Spectators, who found it as much as they could all do to 
pull her down again. There was also another very surprising 
circumstance about her, agreeable to what we have not only 
Read in several Histories concerning the Imps that have been 
Imployed in Witchcraft; but also known in some of our own 
afflicted : We once thought we perceived something stir upon 
her Pillow at a little distance from her, whereupon one present 
laying his hand there, he to his horror apprehended that he 
felt, tho' none could see it, a living Creature, not altogether 
unlike a Rat, which nimbly escap'd from him : and there were 
diverse other Persons who were thrown into a great consternar 
tion by feeling, as they Judg'd, at other times the same In- 
visible Animal. 

Sect. 9. As it has been with a Thousand other Inchanted 
People, so it was with Margaret Rule in this particular, that 
there were several words which her Tormentors would not let 
her hear, especially the words Pray or Prayer, and yet she 
could so hear the letters of those words distinctly mentioned 
as to know what they ment. The standers by were forced 
sometimes thus in discourse to spell a word to her, but because 
there were some so ridiculous as to count it a sort of Spell or 
a Charm for any thus to accommodate themselves to the 


capacity of the Sufferer, little of this kind was done. But that 
which was more singular in this matter, was that she could 
not use these words in those penetrating discourses, where- 
with she would sometimes address the Spectres that were about 
her. She would sometimes for a long while together apply 
herself to the Spectres, whom she supposed the Witches, with 
such Exhortations to Repentance as would have melted an 
Heart of Adamant to have heard them ; her strains of Expres- 
sion and Argument were truly Extraordinary; A person per- 
haps of the best Education and Experience and of Attainments 
much beyond hers could not have exceeded them: neverthe- 
less when she came to these Words God, Lord, Christ, Good, 
Repent, and some other such, her Mouth could not utter them, 
whereupon she would somtimes in an Angry Parenthesis com- 
plain of their Wickedness in stopping that Word, but she would 
then go on with some other Terms that would serve to tell 
what she ment. And I believe that if the most suspicious 
Person in the world had beheld all the Circumstances of this 
matter, he would have said it could not have been dissembled. 
Sect. 10. Not only hi the Swedish, but also in the Salem 
Witchcraft the Inchanted People have talked much of a White 
Spirit from whence they received marvellous Assistances in 
their Miseries; what lately befel Mercy Short from the Com- 
munications of such a Spirit, hath been the just Wonder of 
us all, but by such a Spirit was Margaret Rule now also visited. 
She says that she could never see his Face; but that she had 
a frequent view of his bright, Shining and Glorious Garments; 
he stood by her Bed-side continually heartning and comfort- 
ing of her and counselling her to maintain her Faith and hope 
in God, and never comply with the temptations of her Adver- 
saries; she says he told her, that God had permitted her 
Afflictions to befall her for the everlasting and unspeakable 
good of her own Soul, and for the good of many others, and for 
his own Immortal Glory, and that she should therefore be of 
good Chear and be assured of a speedy deliverance; And the 
wonderful resolution of mind wherewith she encountered her 
Afflictions were but agreeable to such expectations. More- 
over a Minister 1 having one Day with some Importunity 
Prayed for the deliverance of this Young Woman, and pleaded 

1 Mather himself, of course. 


that she belonged to his Flock and charge; he had so far 
right unto her as that he was to do the part of a Minister of 
our Lord for the bringing of her home unto God; only now the 
Devil hindred him in doing that which he had a right thus to 
do, and whereas He had a better Title unto her to bring her 
home to God than the Divel could have unto her to carry her 
away from the Lord, he therefore humbly applied himself 
unto God, who alone could right this matter, with a suit that 
she might be rescued out of Satans Hands; Immediatly upon 
this, tho' she heard nothing of this transaction she began to 
call that Minister her Father, and that was the Name whereby 
she every day before all sorts of People distinguished him: 
the occasion of it she says was this, the white Spirit presently 
upon this transaction did after this manner speak to her, 
"Margaret, you now are to take notice that" (such a Man) 
" is your Father, God has given you to him, do you from this 
time look upon him as your Father, obey him, regard him as 
your Father, follow his Counsels and you shall do well"; And 
tho' there was one passage more, which I do as little know 
what to make of as any of the Rest, I am now going to relate 
it; more than three times have I seen it fulfilled in the Deliver- 
ance of Inchanted and Possest Persons, whom the Providence 
of God has cast into my way, that their Deliverance could not 
be obtained before the third Fast kept for them, and the third 
day still obtain'd the Deliverance, altho' I have thought of 
beseeching of the Lord thrice, when buffeted by Satan, yet I 
must earnestly Intreat all my Readers to beware of any super- 
stitious conceits upon the Number Three; if our God will 
hear us upon once Praying and Fasting before him 'tis well, 
and if he will not vouchsafe his Mercy upon our thrice doing 
so, yet we must not be so discouraged as to throw by our 
Devotion but if the Soveraign Grace of our God will in any 
particular Instances count our Patience enough tryed when we 
have Solemnly waited upon him for any determinate Number 
of times, who shall say to him, what doest thou, and if there 
shall be any Number of Instances, wherein this Grace of our 
God has exactly holden the same course, it may have a room in 
our humble Observations, I hope, without any Superstition; 
I say then that after Margaret Rule had been more than five 
weeks in her Miseries, this White Spirit said unto her, "Well 


this day such a Man" (whom he named 1 ) "has kept a third 
day for your deliverance, now be of good cheer you shall 
speedily be delivered." I inquired whether what had been 
said of that Man were true, and I gained exact and certain 
Information that it was precisely so, but I doubt lest in relat- 
ing this Passage that I have used more openness than a Friend 
should be treated with, and for that cause I have concealed 
several of the most memorable things that have occurred not 
only in this but in some former Histories, altho indeed I am 
not so well satisfied about the true nature of this white Spirit, 
as to count that I can do a Friend much Honour by reporting 
what notice this white Spirit may have thus taken of him. 

Sect. 11. On the last day of the Week her Tormentors as 
she thought and said, approaching towards her, would be forced 
still to recoil and retire as unaccountably unable to meddle 
with her, and they would retire to the Fire side with their 
Poppets; but going to stick Pins into those Poppets, they 
could not (according to their visions) make the Pins to enter, 
she insulted over them with a very Proper derision, daring 
them now to do their worst, whilst she had the satisfaction to 
see then- Black Master strike them and kick them, like an 
Overseer of so many Negro's, to make them to do their work, 
and renew the marks of his vengeance on them, when they 
failed of doing of it. At last being as it were tired with their 
ineffectual Attempts to mortifie her they furiously said, " Well 
you shant be the last." And after a pause they added, "Go, and 
the Devil go with you, we can do no more"; whereupon they 
flew out of the Room and she returning perfectly to her self 
most affectionately gave thanks to God for her deliverance; 
her Tormentors left her extream weak and faint, and over- 
whelmed with Vapours, which would not only cause her some- 
times to Swoon away, but also now and then for a little while 
discompose the reasonableness of her Thoughts; Neverthe- 
less her former troubles returned not, but we are now waiting 
to see the good effects of those troubles upon the Souls of all 
concern'd. And now I suppose that some of our Learned wit- 
lings of the Coffee-House, for fear lest these proofs of an In- 
visible-world should spoil some of their sport, will endeavour 
to turn them all into sport, for which Buffoonary their only 

1 Again there can be little doubt that the writer means himself. 


pretence will be, they cant understand how such things as 
these could be done, whereas indeed he that is but Philosopher 
enough to have read but one Little Treatise, Published in the 
Year 1656 by no other Man than the Chyrurgion of an Army, 1 
or but one Chap, of Helmont, 2 which I will not quote at this 
time too particularly, may give a far more intelligible account 
of these Appearances than most of these Blades can give why 
and how their Tobacco makes 'em Spit ; or which way the flame 
of their Candle becomes illuminating. As for that cavil, the 
world would be undone if the Devils could have such power as 
they seem to have in several of our stories, it may be Answered 
that as to many things the Lying Devils have only known them 
to be done, and then pretended unto the doing of those things, 
but the true and best Answer is, that by these things we only 
see what the Devils could have powers to do, if the great God 
should give them those powers, whereas now our Histories 
affords a Glorious Evidence for the being of a God, the World 
would indeed be undone, and horribly undone, if these Devils, 
who now and then get liberty to play some very mischievous 
pranks, were not under a daily restraint of some Almighty 
Superior from doing more of such Mischiefs. Wherefore in- 
stead of all Apish flouts and jeers at Histories, which have such 
undoubted confirmation, as that no Man that has breeding 
enough to regard the Common Laws of Humane Society, will 
offer to doubt of 'em, it becomes us rather to adore the Good- 
ness of God, who does not permit such things every day to 
befall us all, as he sometimes did permit to befall some few of 
our miserable Neighbours. 

Sect. 12. And what, after all my unwearied Cares and 

1 Who this "Chyrurgion" was and what his treatise, is a puzzle as it was 
perhaps meant to be. Balthasar Timaus von Guldenklee (1600-1667), physician 
to the Elector of Brandenburg, had earned his nobility by healing the Swedish 
army of the pest in 1637, and in his Casus Medicinales has a passage on diseases 
ascribed to witchcraft; but it does not appear that this work was published be- 
fore 1662. Antonius Deusing (1612-1666), physician to the Stadholder of Fries- 
land, published in 1656 a treatise on this subject; but it does not appear that he 
was ever an army surgeon. 

2 Doubtless the elder, Jan Baptista van Helmont (1577-1644), the eminent 
but visionary Flemish physician; and the "one Chap." that on "Recepta injecta" 
in his Tractatus de Morbis though he goes into the subject as fully in paragraphs 
87-152 of his De Magnetica Vvlnerum Curatione. 


Pains, to rescue the Miserable from the Lions and Bears of 
Hell, which had siezed them, and after all my Studies to dis- 
appoint the Devils in their designs to confound my Neighbour- 
hood, must I be driven to the necessity of an Apologie? Truly 
the hard representations wherewith some 111 Men have reviled 
my conduct, and the Countenance which other Men have given 
to these representations, oblige me to give Mankind some ac- 
count of my Behaviour; No Christian can, I say none but 
evil workers can criminate my visiting such of my poor flock 
as have at any time fallen under the terrible and sensible 
molestations of Evil- Angels; let their Afflictions have been 
what they will, I could not have answered it unto my Glorious 
Lord, if I had withheld my just Counsels and Comforts from 
them; and if I have also with some exactness observ'd the 
methods of the Invisible- World, when they have thus become 
observable, I have been but a Servant of Mankind in doing so ; 
yea no less a Person than the Venerable Baxter has more than 
once or twice in the most Publick manner invited Mankind 
to thank me for that Service. 1 I have not been insensible 
of a greater danger attending me in this fulfilment of my 
Ministry, than if I had been to take Ten Thousand steps over 
a Rocky Mountain filTd with Rattle-Snakes, but I have con- 
sider'd, he that is wise will observe things, and the Surprizing 
Explication and confirmation of the biggest part of the Bible, 
which I have seen given in these things, has abundantly paid 
me for observing them. Now in my visiting of the Miserable, 
I was always of this opinion that we were Ignorant of what 
Powers'the Devils might have to do their mischiefs in the shapes 
of some that had never been explicitly engaged in Diabolical 
Confederacies, and that therefore tho' many Witchcrafts had 
been fairly detected on Enquiries provoked and begun by 
Specteral Exhibitions, yet we could not easily be too jealous 2 
of the Snares laid for us in the devices of Satan; the World 
knows how many Pages I have Composed and Published, and 
particular Gentlemen in the Government know how many 
Letters I have written to prevent the excessive Credit of 

1 Notably in his own book on The Certainty of the Worlds of Spirits (London, 
1691) and in the preface which he wrote for the London edition of Mather's 
Memorable Providences, published in that year. 

1 Suspicious. 


Specteral Accusations, wherefore I have still charged the 
Afflicted that they should Cry out of no body for Afflicting of 
'em. But that if this might be any Advantage they might 
privately tell their minds to some one Person of discretion 
enough to make no ill use of their communications, accord- 
ingly there has been this effect of it, that the Name of No one 
good Person in the World ever came under any blemish by 
means of any Afflicted Person that fell under my particular 
cognisance, yea no one Man, Woman or Child ever came into 
any trouble for the sake of any that were Afflicted after I had 
once begun to look after 'em ; how often have I had this thrown 
into my dish, that many years ago I had an opportunity to 
have brought forth such People as have in the late storm of 
Witchcraft been complain'd of, but that I smother'd all, and 
after that storm was rais'd at Salem, I did myself offer to pro- 
vide Meat, Drink and Lodging for no less than Six of the 
Afflicted, that so an Experiment might be made, whether 
Prayer with Fasting upon the removal of the distressed might 
not put a Period to the trouble then rising, without giving the 
Civil Authority the trouble of prosecuting those things which 
nothing but a Conscientious regard unto the cries of Miser- 
able Families, could have overcome the Reluctancies of the 
Honourable Judges to meddle with; In short I do humbly 
but freely affirm it, there is not that Man living in this World 
who has been more desirous than the poor Man I to shelter 
my Neighbours from the Inconveniencies of Specteral Outcries, 
yea I am very jealous I have done so much that way as to 
Sin in what I have done, such have been the Cowardize and 
Fearfulness whereunto my regard unto the dissatisfactions of 
other People has precipitated me. I know a Man in the 
World, who has thought he has been able to Convict some 
such Witches as ought to Dye, but his respect unto the Publick 
Peace has caused him rather to try whether He could not re- 
new them by Repentance: And as I have been Studious to 
defeat the Devils of their expectations to set people together 
by the Ears, thus, I have also checked and quell' d those for- 
bidden curiosities, which would have given the Devil an invi- 
tation to have tarried amongst us, when I have seen wonder- 
ful Snares laid for Curious People, by the secret and future 
things discovered from the Mouths of Damsels possest with a 


Spirit of divination; Indeed I can recollect but one 
wherein there could be given so much as a Shadow of Reason 
for Exceptions, and that is my allowing of so many to come 
and see those that were Afflicted, now for that I have this to 
say, that I have almost a Thousand times intreated the Friends 
of the Miserable, that they would not permit the Intrusion of 
any Company, but such as by Prayers or other ways might 
be helpful to them; Nevertheless I have not absolutely for- 
bid all Company from coming to your Haunted Chambers, 
partly because the Calamities of the Families were such as 
required the Assistance of many Friends; partly because I 
have been willing that there should be disinterested Witnesses 
of all sorts, to confute the Calumnies of such as would say all 
was but Imposture; and partly because I saw God had Sanc- 
tified the Spectacle of the Miseries on the Afflicted unto the 
Souls of many that were Spectators, and it is a very Glorious 
thing that I have now to mention The Devils have with 
most horrendous operations broke in upon our Neighbourhood, 
and God has at such a rate over-ruled all the Fury and Malice 
of those Devils, that all the Afflicted have not only been De- 
livered, but I hope also savingly brought home unto God, 
and the Reputation of no one good Person in the World has 
been damaged, but instead thereof the Souls of many, especially 
of the rising Generation, have been thereby awaken 'd unto 
some acquaintance with Religion; our young People who be- 
longed unto the Praying Meetings, of both Sexes, a part would 
ordinarily spend whole Nights by the whole Weeks together in 
Prayers and Psalms upon these occasions, in which Devotions 
the Devils could get nothing but like Fools a Scourge for their 
own Backs, and some scores of other young People, who were 
strangers to real Piety, were now struck with the lively dem- 
onstrations of Hell evidently set forth before their Eyes, 
when they saw Persons cruelly Frighted, wounded and Starved 
by Devils and Scalded with burning Brimstone, and yet so 
preserved in this tortured estate as that at the end of one 
Months wretchedness they were as able still to undergo an- 
other, so that of these also it might now be said, Behold they 
Pray in the whole The Devil got just nothing; but God got 
praises, Christ got Subjects, the Holy Spirit got Temples, the 
Church got Addition, and the Souls of Men got everlasting 



Benefits; I am not so vain as to say that any Wisdome or 
Vertue of mine did contribute unto this good order of things : 
But I am so just, as to say I did not hinder this Good. When 
therefore there have been those that pickt up little incoherent 
scraps and bits of my Discourses in this faithful discharge of 
my Ministry, and so traversted 1 'em in their abusive Pam- 
phlets, 2 as to perswade the Town that I was their common 
Enemy in those very points, wherein, if in any one thing 
whatsoever, I have sensibly approved my self as true V Serv- 
ant unto 'em as possibly I could, tho my Life and Soul had 
been at Stake for it, Yea to do like Satan himself, by sly, 
base, unpretending Insinuations, as if I wore not the Modesty 
and Gravity which became a Minister of the Gospel, I could 
not but think my self unkindly dealt withal, and the neglects 
of others to do me justice in this affair has caused me to con- 
clude this Narrative with complaints in another hearing of 
such Monstrous Injuries. 3 

1 Travestied. * See p. 332, below. 

3 The story of Margaret Rule is told again in Mather's Diary (I. 171 ff.) 
and in a way that throws fresh light on his relation to the case. 

"About a Week after the Beginning of September, being sollicitous to do some 
further Service, for the Name of God, I took a Journey to Salem. There, I not 
only sought a further Supply of my Furniture for my Church-History, but also 
endeavoured, that the complete History of the late Witchcrafts and Possessions 
might not bee lost. I judg'd that the Preservacion of that History might in a 
while bee a singular Benefit unto the Church, and unto the World, which made mee 
sollicitous about it. Moreover, I was willing to preach the Word of God unto 
the numerous Congregation at Salem; which I did, on both Parts of the Sabbath, 
not only with a most glorious Assistence of Heaven, but also with some Assur- 
ance of Good thereby to bee done among the People. But I had one singular 
Unhappiness, which befel mee, in this Journey. I had largely written three Dis- 
courses, which I designed both to preach at Salem, and hereafter to print. These 
Notes were before the Sabbath stolen from mee, with such Circumstances, that 
I am somewhat satisfied, The Spectres, or Agents in the invisible World, were the 
Robbers. This Disaster had like to have disturbed my Designs for the Sabbath; 
but God helped mee to remember a great part of what I had written, and to 
deliver also many other Things, which else I had not now made use of. So that 
the Divel gott nothing! 

"Among other things which entertained mee at Salem, one was, a Discourse 
with one Mrs. Carver, who had been strangely visited with some shining Spirits, 
which were good Angels, in her opinion of them. 

"She intimated several things unto mee whereof some were to be kept secret. 
Shee also told mee, That a new Storm of Witchcraft would fall upon the Coun- 
trey, to chastise the Iniquity that was used in the wilful Smothering and Covering 


A Letter to Mr. C. M. 

BOSTON, Jan. llth, 1693. 1 
Mr. Cotton Mather, 

Reverend Sir, I finding it needful on many accounts, I here 
present you with the Copy of that Paper, which has been so 
much Misrepresented, to the End that what shall be found 
defective or not fairly Represented, if any such shall appear, 
they may be set right, which Runs thus. 

September the 13th, 1693. 

In the Evening when the Sun was withdrawn, giving place to 
Darkness to succeed, I with some others were drawn by curiosity 
to see Margaret Rule, and so much the rather because it was reported 

Mr. M * would be there that Night : Being come to her Fathers 

House into the Chamber wherein she was in Bed, found her of a 

of the Last; and that many fierce Opposites to the Discovery of that Witchcraft 
would bee thereby convinced. 

"Unto my Surprise, when I came home, I found one of my Neighbours hor- 
ribly arrested by evil Spirits. I then beg'd of God, that Hee would help mee 
wisely to discharge my Duty upon this occasion, and avoid gratifying of the evil 
Angels in any of their Expectacions. I did then concern myself to use and gett 
as much Prayer as I could for the afflicted young Woman; and at the same time, 
to forbid, either her from accusing any of her Neighbours, or others from enquir- 
ing any thing of her. Nevertheless, a wicked Man wrote a most lying Libel to 
revile my Conduct in these matters; which drove mee to the Blessed God, with 
my Supplications that Hee would wonderfully protect mee, as well from unreason- 
able Men acted by the Divels, as from the Divels themselves. I did at first, it 
may bee, too much resent the Injuries of that Libel; but God brought good out 
of it; it occasioned the Multiplication of my Prayers before Him; it very much 
promoted the Works of Humiliation and Mortification in my Soul. Indeed, the 
Divel made that Libel an Occasion of those Paroxysms in the Town, that would 
have exceedingly gratify'd him, if God had not helped mee to forgive and forgett 
the Injuries done unto mee, and to bee deaf unto the Solicitations of those that 
would have had mee so to have resented the Injuries of some few Persons, as to 
have deserted the Lecture at the Old Meeting house. 

"When the afflicted young woman had undergone six Weeks of preternatural 
Calamities and when God had helped mee to keep just three Dayes of Prayer on 
her behalf, I had the Pleasure of seeing the same Success, which I used to have, 
on my third Fast, for such possessed People, as have been cast into my 

1 1694 of our present calendar. * Mather. . 


healthy countenance of about seventeen Years Old, lying very still, 
and speaking very little, what she did say seem'd as if she were Light- 
headed. Then Mr. M , Father and Son, came up and others 

with them, in the whole were about 30 or 40 Persons ; they being sat, 
the Father on a Stool, and the Son upon the Bedside by her, the Son 
began to question her, Margaret Rule, how do you do? then a pause 
without any answer. Question. What, do there a great many 
Witches sit upon you? Answer. Yes. Q. Do you not know that 
there is a hard Master? Then she was in a Fit; He laid his hand 
upon her Face and Nose, but, as he said, without perceiving Breath; 
then he brush'd her on the Face with his Glove, and rubb'd her 
Stomach (her breast not covered with the Bed-cloaths) and bid 
others do so too, and said it eased her, then she revived. Q. Don't 
you know there is a hard Master? A. Yes. Reply; Don't serve 
that hard Master, yqu know who. Q. Do you believe? Then again 
she was in a Fit, and he again rub'd her Breast, etc. (about this time 
Margaret Perd an attendant assisted him in rubbing of her. The 
Afflicted spake angerely to her saying don't you meddle with me, 
and hastily put away her hand) he wrought his Fingers before her 
Eyes and asked her if she saw the Witches? A. No. Q. Do you 

cares. God gave her a glorious Deliverance; The remarkable Circumstances 
whereof, I have more fully related, in an History of the whole Business. 

"As for my missing Notes, the possessed young Woman, of her own Accord, 
enquir'd whether I missed them not? Shee told mee, the Spectres brag'd in her 
hearing, that they had rob't mee of them; shee added,' Bee n't concern'd; for they 
confess, they can't keep them alwayes from you; you shall have them all brought 
you again. (They were Notes on Ps. 119. 19 and Ps. 90. 12 and Hag. 1. 7, 9. 
I was tender of them and often pray'd unto God, that they might bee return'd.) 
On the fifth of October following, every Leaf of my Notes again came into my 
Hands, tho' they were in eighteen separate Quarters of Sheets. They were 
found drop't here and there, about the Streets of Lyn; but how they came to 
bee so drop't I cannot imagine; and I as much wonder at the Exactness of their 

And under October 10th he adds: "On this Day, I also visited a possessed 
young Woman in the Neighbourhood, whose Distresses were not the least occa- 
sion of my being thus before the Lord. I wrestled with God for her : and among 
other things, I pleaded, that God had made it my Office and Business to engage 
my Neighbours in the Service of the Lord Jesus Christ; and that this young 
Woman had expressed her Compliance with my Invitations unto that Service; 
only that the evil Spirits now hindred her from doing what shee had vowd : and 
therefore that I had a sort of Right to demand her Deliverance from these in- 
vading Divels, and to demand such a Liberty for her as might make her capable 
of glorifying my Glorious Lord; which I did accordingly. In the close of this 
Day, a wonderful Spirit, in White and bright Raiment, with a Face unseen, 
appeared unto this young woman, and bid her count mee her Father, and re- 


believe? A. Yes. Q. Do you believe in you know who? A. Yes. 
Q. Would you have other people do so too, to believe in you know 
who? A. Yes. Q. Who is it that Afflicts you? A. I know not, 
there is a great many of them (about this time the Father question'd 
if she knew the Spectres? An attendant said, if she did she would 
not tell; The Son proceeded) Q. You have seen the Black-man, 
hant 1 you? A. No. Reply, I hope you never shall. Q. You have 
had a Book offered you, hant you? A. No. Q. The brushing of 
you gives you ease, don't it? A. Yes. She turn'd her selfe and a 
little Groan'd. Q. Now the Witches Scratch you and Pinch you, 
and Bite you, don't they? A. Yes. Then he put his hand upon 
her Breast and Belly, viz. on the Cloaths over her, and felt a Living 
thing, as he said, which moved the Father also to feel, and some 
others; Q. Don't you feel the Live thing in the Bed? A. No. 
Reply, that is only Fancie. Q. the great company of People increase 
your Torment, don't they? A. Yes. The People about were de- 
sired to withdraw. One Woman said, I am sure I am no Witch, I 
will not go; so others, so none withdrew. Q. Shall we go to Prayers? 
Then she lay in a Fit as before. But this time to revive her, they 
waved a Hat and brushed her Head and Pillow therewith. Q. Shall 
we go to Pray, etc. Spelling the Word. A. Yes. The Father went 

gard mee and obey mee, as her Father; for hee said, the Lord had given her to mee; 
and she should now within a few Dayes bee delivered. It proved, accordingly." 

And again in December (p. 178): "And one memorable Providence, I must 
not forgett. A young Woman being arrested, possessed, afflicted by evil Angels, 
her Tormentors made my Image or Picture to appear before her, and then made 
themselves Masters of her Tongue so far, that she began in her Fits to complain 
that I threatened her and molested her, tho' when shee came out of them, shee 
own'd, that they could not so much as make my dead Shape do her any Harm, 
and that they putt a Force upon her Tongue in her Exclamations. Her greatest 
Out-cries when shee was herself, were, for my poor Prayers to be concerned on 
her behalf. 

"Being hereupon extremely sensible, how much a malicious Town and Land 
would insult over mee, if such a lying Piece of a Story should fly abroad, that 
the Divels in my Shape tormented the Neighbourhood, I was putt upon some 
Agonies, and singular Salleys and Efforts of Soul, in the Resignation of my 
Name unto the Lord; content that if Hee had no further service for my Name, 
it should bee torn to pieces with all the Reproches in the world. But I cried 
unto the Lord as for the Deliverance of my Name, from the Malice of Hell, so 
for the Deliverance of the young Woman, whom the Powers of Hell had no-.v 
seized upon. And behold! Without any further Noise, the possessed Person, 
upon my praying by her, was delivered from her Captivity, on the very same 
Day that shee fell into it; and the whole Plott of the Divel, to reproach a poor 
Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, was defeated." 

1 Haven't, hain't. 


to Prayer for perhaps half an Hour, chiefly against the Power of the 
Devil and Witchcraft, and that God would bring out the Afflicters : 
during Prayer-time, the Son stood by, and when they thought she 
was in a Fit, rub'd her and brush'd her as before, and beckned to 
others to do the like; after Prayer he proceeded; Q. You did not 
hear when we were at Prayer, did you? A. Yes. Q. You dont hear 
always, you dont hear sometimes past a Word or two, do you? 
A. No. Then turning him about said, this is just another Mercy 
Short: Margaret Perd reply'd, she was not like her in her Fits. 
Q. What does she eat or drink? A. Not eat at all; but drink Rum. 
Then he admonished the young People to take warning, etc. Saying 
it was a sad thing to be so Tormented by the Devil and his Instru- 
ments: A Young-man present in the habit of a Seaman, reply'd 
this is the Devil all over. Than 1 the Ministers withdrew. Soon after 
they were gon the Afflicted desired the Women to be gone, saying, 
that the Company of the Men was not offensive to her, and having 
hold of the hand of a Young-man, said to have been her Sweet-heart 
formerly, who was withdrawing; She pull'd him again into his -Seat, 
saying he should not go to Night. 

September the 19th, 1693. 

This Night I renew'd my Visit, and found her rather of a fresher 
Countenance than before, about eight Persons present with her, she 
was in a Fit Screeming and making a Noise : Three or four Persons 
rub'd and brush'd her with their hands, they said that the brushing 
did put them away, if they brush'd or rub'd in the right place; there- 
fore they brush'd and rub'd in several places, and said that when they 
did it in the right place she could fetch her Breath, and by that they 
knew. She being come to her self was soon in a merry talking Fit. 
A Young-man came in and ask'd her how she did? She answered 
very bad, but at present a little better; he soon told her he must be 
gon and bid her good Night, at which she seem'd troubled, saying, 
that she liked his Company, and said she would not have him go till 
she was well; adding, for I shall Die when you are gon. Then she 
complained they did not put her on a clean Cap, but let her ly so 
like a Beast, saying, she should lose her Fellows. She said she won- 
dered any People should be so Wicked as to think she was not Afflicted, 
but to think she Dissembled. A Young-woman answered Yes, if 
they were to see you in this merry Fit, they would say you Dissem- 
bled indeed; She reply'd, Mr. M said this was her laughing time, 

she must laugh now: She said Mr. M had been there this 

Evening, and she enquired, how long he had been gon? She said, 

1 Then. 


he stay'd alone with her in the room half an Hour, and said that he 
told her there were some that came for Spies, and to report about 
Town that she was not Afflicted. That during the said time she had 
no Fit, that he asked her if she knew how many times he had Prayed 
for her to Day? And that she answered that she could not tell; 
and that he replyed he had Prayed for her Nine times to Day; the 
Attendants said that she was sometimes in a Fit that none could 
open her Joynts, and that there came an Old Iron-jaw'd Woman and 
try'd, but could not do it; they likewise said, that her Head could 
not be moved from the Pillow; I try'd to move her head, and found 
no more difficulty than another Bodies (and so did others) but was 
not willing to offend by lifting it up, one being reproved for endeavour- 
ing it, they saying angrily you will break her Neck; The Attend- 
ants said Mr. M would not go to Prayer with her when People 

were in the Room, as they did one Night, that Night he felt the 
Live Creature. Margaret Perd and another said they smelt Brim- 
stone; I and others said we did not smell any; then they said they 
did not know what it was: This Margaret said, she wishd she had 

been here when Mr. M was here, another Attendant said, if you 

had been here you might not have been permitted in, for her own 
Mother was not suffered to be present. 

Sir, after the sorest Affliction and greatest blemish to 
Religion that ever befel this Countrey, and after most Men 
began to Fear that some undue steps had been taken, and 
after His Excellency (with their Majesties Approbation 1 as 
is said) had put a stop to Executions, and Men began to hope 
there would never be a return of the like; finding these Ac- 
counts to contain in them something extraordinary, I writ 
them down the same Nights in order to attain the certainty of 
them, and soon found them so confirmed that I have (besides 
other Demonstrations) the whole, under the Hands of two 
Persons are ready to attest the Truth of it; but not satisfied 
herewith, I shewed them to some of your particular Friends, 

1 The answer to Governor Phips's letter of October 12 (see pp. 196-198, 
above) was indeed a royal order of January 26 "approving his action in stopping 
the proceedings against the witches in New England, and directing that in all 
future proceedings against persons accused of witchcraft or of possession by the 
devil, all circumspection be used so far as may be without impediment to the 
ordinary course of justice" what Frederick the Great would have called "a 
vague answer in the Austrian style that should mean nothing." It of course 
did not reach America till after the despatch of Sir William's letter of February 
21 (pp. 198-202, above). 


that so I might have the greater certainty: But was much 
surprized with the Message you sent me, that I should be 
Arrested for Slander, and at your calling me one of the worst 
of Lyars, making it Pulpit news with the Name of Pernicious 
Libels, etc. This occasion'd my first Letter. 

September the 29th, 1693. 
Reverend Sir, 

I having written from the Mouths of several Persons, who affirm 
they were present with Margaret Rule, the 13th Instant, her Answers 
and Behaviours, etc. And having shewed it to several of my Friends, 
as also yours, and understanding you are offended at it; This is to 
acquaint you, that if you and any one particular Friend, will please 
to meet me and some other Indifferent Person with me, at Mr. Wil- 
kins, or at Ben. Harris's, 1 you intimating the time, I shall be ready 
there to read it to you, as also a further Account of proceedings the 
19th Instant, which may be needful to prevent Groundless prejudices, 
and let deserved blame be cast where it ought; From, 

Sir, yours in what I may, ^ ~ 

I ix. u. 


The effects of which, Sir, (not to mention that long Letter 
only once read to me) was, you sent me word you would meet 
me at Mr. Wilkins, but before that Answer, at yours and your 
Fathers complaint, I was brought before their Majesties Jus- 
tice, by Warrant, as for Scandalous Libels against your self, 
and was bound over to Answer at Sessions; I do not remember 
you then objected against the Truth of what I had wrote, but 
asserted it was wronged by omissions, which if it were so was 
past any Power of mine to remedy, having given a faithful 
account of all that came to my knowledge; And Sir, that you 
might not be without some Cognisance of the reasons why I 
took so much pains in it, as also for my own Information, if 
it might have been, I wrote to you my second Letter to this 

November the 24th, 1693. 
Reverend Sir, 

Having expected some Weeks, your meeting me at Mr. Wilkins ac- 
cording to what you intimated to Mr. J. M. 2 and the time draw- 

1 The two Boston booksellers'. 

2 It is perhaps idle to guess at the identity of this gentleman; but his initials 
suggest the Rev. Joshua Moodey, whose kindlier attitude toward witches and 


ing near for our meeting elsewhere, I thought it not amiss to give you 
a Summary of my thoughts in the great concern, which as you say 
has been agitated with so much heat. That there are Witches is not 
the doubt, the Scriptures else were in vain, which assign their Pun- 
ishment to be by Death; But what this Witchcraft is, or wherein it 
does consist, seems to be the whole difficulty: And as it may be 
easily demonstrated, that all that bear that Name cannot be justly 
so accounted, so that some things and Actions not so esteemed by the 
most, yet upon due examination will be found to merit no better 

In your late Book you lay down a brief Synopsis of what has 
been written on that Subject, by a Triumvirate of as Eminent Men 
as ever handled it (as you are pleas'd to call them) Viz. Mr. Perkins, 1 
Gaule, 2 and Bernard 3 consisting of about 30 Tokens to know them 
by, many of them distinct from, if not thwarting each other : Among 
all of which I can find but one decisive, Viz. That of Mr. Gaule, 
Head IV. and runs thus; Among the most unhappy Circumstances 
to convict a Witch, one is a maligning and oppugning the Word, Work, 
or Worship of God, and by any extraordinary Sign seeking to seduce 
any from it, see Deu. 13. 1, 2. Mat. 24. 24. Acts. 13. 8, 10. 2 Tim. 
3. 8. Do but mark well the places, and for this very property of 
thus opposing and perverting, they are all there concluded Arrant 
and absolute Witches. 4 

This Head as here laid down and inserted by you, either is a 
Truth or not; if not, why is it here inserted from one of the Trium- 
virate, if it be a Truth, as the Scriptures quoted will abundantly tes- 
tifie, whence is it that it is so little regarded, tho it be the only Head 
well proved by Scripture, or that the rest of the Triumvirate should 
so far forget their Work as not to mention it. It were to be unjust 
to the Memory of those otherwise Wise Men, to suppose them to 
have any Sinister design; But perhaps the force of a prevailing 
opinion, together with an Education thereto Suited, might over- 

their defenders may be inferred from his course in the case of Philip English 
(see pp. 187-188, note), and who, though early in 1693 he returned to Ports- 
mouth, was still often in Boston. Nor may it be forgotten that the initials of 
the Rev. Increase Mather are by the printer constantly made "J. M." 

1 See above, p. 304, note 3. 

1 See above, p. 216, note 1, and p. 219. 

3 See above, p. 304, note 5. 

4 To the end of the paragraph the words are Gaule's. Calef is quoting 
them, not from Gaule's book, but from Mather's Wonders; for Gaule numbers 
this rule, not IV., but X., and the introductory words ("Among the most un- 
happy Circumstances to convict a witch, one is") are not his, but Mather's 
and there are other slight departures from Gaule's wording. 


shadow their Judgments, as being wont to be but too prevalent in 
many other cases. But if the above be Truth, then the Scripture is 
full and plain, What is Witchcraft? And if so, what need of his next 
Head of Hanging of People without as full and clear Evidence as in 
other Cases? Or what need of the rest of the Receipts of the Trium- 
virate? what need of Praying that the Afflicted may be able to dis- 
cover who tis that Afflicts them? or what need of Searching for Tet's 
for the Devil to Suck in his Old Age, or the Experiment of saying the 
Lords Prayer, etc. Which 1 a multitude more practised in some 
places Superstitiously inclin'd. Other Actions have been practised 
for easing the Afflicted, less justifiable, if not strongly savouring of 
Witchcraft it self, viz. Fondly Imagining by the Hand, etc., to drive 
off Spectres, or to knock off Invisible Chains, or by striking in the 
Air to W T ound either the Afflicted or others, etc. I write not this to 
accuse any, but that all may beware believing, That the Devil's 
bounds are set, which he cannot pass, That the Devils are so full of 
Malice, That it cant be added to by Mankind, That where he hath 
Power, he neither can nor will omit Executing it, That 'tis only the 
Almighty that sets bounds to his rage, and that only can Commis- 
sionate him to hurt or destroy any. 

These last, Sir, are such Foundations of Truth, in my esteem, 
that I cannot but own it to be my duty to ascert them, when call'd 
tho' with the hazard of my All : And consequently to detect such as 
these, That a Witch can Commissionate Devils to Afflict Mortals, 
That he can at his or the Witches pleasure Assume any Shape, That 
Hanging or Chaining of Witches can lessen his Power of Afflicting, 
or restore those that were at a distance Tormented, with many others 
depending on these; all tending, in my esteem, highly to the Dis- 
honour of God, and the Indangering the well-being of a People, and 
do further add, that as the Scriptures are full that there is Witch- 
craft, (ut sup.) so 'tis as plain that there are Possessions, and that 
the Bodies of the Possest have hence been not only Afflicted, but 
strangely agitated, if not their Tongues improved to foretell futuri- 
ties, etc. and why not to accuse the Innocent, as bewitching them; 
having pretence to Divination to gain credence. This being reason- 
able to be expected, from him who is the Father of Lies, to the end 
he may thereby involve a Countrey in Blood, Mallice, and Evil, sur- 
mising which he greedily seeks after, and so finally lead them from 
their fear and dependence upon God to fear him, and a supposed 
\Vitch thereby attaining his end upon Mankind; and not only so, 
but Natural Distemper, as has been frequently observed by the 
Judicious, have so operated as to deceive, more than the Vulgar, as 



is testified by many Famous Physicians, and others. And as for 
that proof of Multitudes of Confessions, this Countrey may be by 
this time thought Competent Judges, what credence we ought to 
give them, having had such numerous Instances, as also how obtain'd. 
And now Sir, if herein be any thing in your esteem valuable, 
let me intreat you, not to account it the worse for coming from so 
mean a hand; which however you may have receiv'd Prejudices, etc., 
Am ready to serve you to my Power; but if you Judge otherwise 
hereof, you may take your own Methods for my better Information. 
Who am, Sir, yours to command, in what I may; R. C. 1 

In Answer to this last, Sir, you replyed to the Gentleman 
that presented it, that you had nothing to Prosecute against 
me; and said as to your Sentiments in your Books, you did not 
bind any to believe them, and then again renew'd your promise 
of meeting me, as before, tho' not yet performed. Accordingly, 
tho' I waited at Sessions, there was none to object ought 
against me, upon which I was dismissed. This gave me some 
reason to believe that you intended all should have been for- 
gotten; But instead of that, I find the Coals are fresh blown 
up, I being supposed to be represented, in a late Manuscript, 
More Wonders of the, etc., as Traversing 2 your Discourse in 
your Faithful discharge of your Duty, etc. And such as see 
not with the Authors Eyes, rendred Sadducees and Witlins, 3 
etc., and the Arguments that square not with the Sentiments 
therein contain'd, Buffoonary; rarely no doubt, agreeing with 
the Spirit of Christ, and his dealings with an unbelieving 
Thomas, yet whose infidelity was without compare less ex- 
cusable, but the Author having resolved long since, to have 
no more than one single Grain of Patience, with them that 
deny, 4 etc., the Wonder is the less. It must needs be that 
offences come, but wo to him by whom they come. To vin- 
dicate my self therefore from such false Imputations, of Satan- 
like insinuations, and misrepresenting your Actions, etc., and 
to vindicate your self, Sir, as much as is in my Power from 
those Suggestions, said to be Insinuated, as if you wore not 
the Modesty and Gravity, that becomes a Minister of the 
Gospel ; which it seems, some that never saw the said Narra- 

1 By a misprint the original has "P. C." 

1 Travestying. See p. 323, above. 

1 See p. 318, above. See p. 123, above. 


lives, report them to contain; I say, Sir, for these reasons, I 
here present you with the first Coppy that ever was taken, 
etc. And purpose for a Weeks time to be ready, if you shall 
intimate your pleasure, to wait upon you, either at the place 
formerly appointed, or any other that is indifferent to the End; 
that if there shall appear any defects in that Narrative, they 
may be amended. 

Thus, Sir, I have given you a genuine account of my Senti- 
ments and Actions in this Affair; and do request and pray, 
that if I err, I may be shewed it from Scripture, or sound 
Reason, and not by quotations out of Virgil, nor Spanish 
Rhetorick. For I find the Witlings mentioned, are so far 
from answering your profound questions, that they cannot 
so much as pretend to shew a distinction between Witchcraft 
in the Common notion of it, and Possession; Nor so much as 
to demonstrate that ever the Jews or primitive Christians did 
believe, that a Witch could send a Devil to Afflict her Neigh- 
bours; but to all these, Sir, (ye being the Salt of the Earth, 
etc.) I have reason to hope for a Satisfactory Answer to him, 
who is one that reverences your Person and Office; And am, 
Sir, yours to Command in what I may, 

R. C. 

BOSTON, January the 15th, 169f . 
Mr. R. C. 

Whereas you intimate your desires, that what's not fairly, 
(I take it for granted you mean truly also,) represented in a 
Paper you lately sent me, containing a pretended Narrative 
of a Visit by my Father and self to an Afflicted Young woman, 
whom we apprehended to be under a Diabolical Possession, 
might be rectified : I have this to say, as I have often already 
said, that I do scarcely find any one thing in the whole Paper, 
whether respecting my Father or self, either fairly or truly 
represented. Nor can I think that any that know my Parents 
Circumstances, but must think him deserving a better Char- 
acter by far, than this Narrative can be thought to give him. 
When the main design we managed in Visiting the poor 
Afflicted Creature, was to prevent the Accusations of the 
Neighbourhood, can it be fairly represented that our design 
was to draw out such Accusations, which is the representation 


of the Paper? We have Testimonies of the best Witnesses and 
in Number not a few, That when we asked Rule whether she 
thought she knew who Tormented her? the Question was but 
an Introduction to the Solemn charges which we then largely 
gave, that she should rather Dye than tell the Names of any 
whom she might Imagine that she knew. Your Informers have 
reported the Question, and report nothing of what follows, as 
essential to the giving of that Question: And can this be 
termed a piece of fairness? Fair it cannot be, that when Min- 
isters Faithfully and Carefully discharge their Duty to the 
Miserable in their Flock, little bits, scraps and shreds of their 
Discourses should be tackt together to make them contemtible, 
when there shall be no notice of all the Necessary, Seasonable, 
and Profitable things that occur'd, in those Discourses; And 
without which, the occasion of the lesser Passages cannot be 
understood; And yet I am furnished with abundant Evi- 
dences, ready to be Sworn, that will possitively prove this part 
of unfairness, by the above mention'd Narrative, to be done 
both to my Father and self. Again, it seems not fair or reason- 
able that I should be expos'd, for which your self (not to say 
some others) might have expos'd me for, if I had not done, Viz. 
for discouraging so much Company from flocking about the 
Possest Maid, and yet, as I perswade my self, you cannot but 
think it to be good advice, to keep much Company from such 
haunted Chambers; besides the unfairness doth more appear, 
in that I find nothing repeated of what I said about the ad- 
vantage, which the Devil takes from too much Observation 
and Curiosity. 

In that several of the Questions in the Paper are so Worded, 
as to carry in them a presupposal of the things inquired after, 
to say the best of it is very unfair : But this is not all, the Nar- 
rative contains a number of Mistakes and Falshoods; which 
were they willful and design'd, might justly be termed gross 
Lies. The representations are far from true, when 'tis affirm'd 
my Father and self being come into the Room, I began the 
Discourse; I hope I understand breeding a little better than 
so: For proof of this, did occasion serve, sundry can depose 
the contrary. 

'Tis no less untrue, that either my Father or self put the 
Question, how many Witches sit upon you? We always 


cautiously avoided that expression; It being contrary to our 
inward belief : All the standers by will (I believe) Swear they 
did not hear us use it (your Witnesses excepted) and I tremble 
to think how hardy those woful Creatures must be, to call the 
Almighty by an Oath, to so false a thing. As false a repre- 
sentation 'tis, that I rub'd Rule's Stomach, her Breast not 
being covered. The Oath of the nearest Spectators, giving a 
true account of that matter will prove this<to be little less than 
a gross (if not a doubled) Lie; and to be somewhat plainer, it 
carries the Face of a Lie contrived on purpose (by them at 
least, to whom you are beholden for the Narrative) Wickedly 
and Basely to expose me. For you cannot but know how much 
this Representation hath contributed, to make People believe 
a Smutty thing of me; I am far from thinking, but that in 
your own Conscience you believe, that no indecent Action of 
that Nature could then be done by me before such observers, 
had I been so Wicked as to have been inclin'd to what is Base. 
It looks next to impossible that a reparation shoud be made 
me for the wrong done to, I hope, as to any Scandal, an un- 
blemish'd, tho' weak and small Servant of the Church of God. 
Nor is what follows a less untruth, that 'twas an Attendant 
and not my self who said, if Rule knows who Afflicts her, yet 
she wont tell. I therefore spoke it that I might incourage 
her to continue in that concealment of all Names whatsoever; 
to this I am able to furnish my self with the Attestation of 
Sufficient Oaths. Tis as far from true, that my apprehension 
of the Imp, about Rule, was on her Belly, for the Oaths of the 
Spectators, and even of those that thought they felt it, can 
testify that 'twas upon the Pillow, at a distance from her Body. 
As untrue a Representation is that which follows, Viz. That it 
was said unto her, that her not Apprehending of that odd pal- 
pable, tho' not visible, Mover was from her Fancy, for I en- 
deavoured to perswade her that it might be but Fancy in 
others, that there was any such thing at all. Witnesses every 
way sufficient can be produced for this also. 'Tis falsely repre- 
sented that my Father felt on the Young-woman after the ap- 
pearance mentioned, for his hand was never near her; Oath 
can sufficiently vindicate him. 'Tis very untrue that my 
Father Prayed for perhaps half an Hour, against the power of 
the Devil and Witchcraft, and that God would bring out the 


Afflictors. Witnesses of the best Credit, can depose, that his 
Prayer was not a quarter of an Hour, and that there was no 
more than about one clause towards the close of the Prayer, 
which was of this import; And this clause also was guarded 
with a singular wariness and modesty, Viz. If there were any 
evil Instruments in this matter God would please to discover 
them : And that there was more than common reason for that 
Petition I can satisfie any one that will please to Inquire of 
me. And strange it is, that a Gentleman that from 18 to 54 
hath been an Exemplary Minister of the Gospel; and that 
besides a station in the Church of God, as considerable as any 
that his own Country can afford, hath for divers years come 
off with Honour, in his Application to three Crown 'd Heads, 
and the chiefest Nobility of three Kingdoms, Knows not yet 
how to make one short Prayer of a quarter of an hour, but in 
New-England he must be Libell'd for it. There are divers 
other down-right mistakes, which you have permitted your 
self, I would hope not knowingly, and with a Malicious design, 
to be receiver or Compiler of, which I shall now forbear to 
Animadvert upon. As for the Appendix of the Narrative I 
do find myself therein Injuriously treated, for the utmost of 
your proof for what you say of me, amounts to little more than, 
viz. Some People told you, that others told them, that such 
and such things did pass, but you may assure yourself, that 
I am not unfurnish'd with Witnesses, that can convict the 
same. Whereas you would give me to believe the bottom of 
these your Methods, to be some dissatisfaction about the com- 
monly receiv'd Power of Devils and Witches; I do not only 
with ah 1 freedom offer you the use of any part of my Library, 
which you may see cause to peruse on that Subject, but also 
if you and any else, whom you please, will visit me at my 
Study, yea, or meet me at any other place, less inconvenient 
than those by you propos'd; I will with all the fairness and 
calmness in the World dispute the point. I beg of God that 
he would bestow as many Blessings on you, as ever on myself, 
and out of a sincere wish, that you may be made yet more 
capable of these Blessings, I take this occasion to lay before 
you the faults (not few nor small ones neither) which the 
Paper contained, you lately sent me in order to be Examined 
by me. In case you want a true and full Narrative of my 


Visit, whereof such an indecent Traversty (to say the best) 
hath been made, I am not unwilling to communicate it, in 
mean time must take liberty to say, J Tis scarcely consistent 
with Common Civility, much less Christian Charity, to offer 
the Narrative, now with you, for a true one, till you have a 
truer, or for a full one, till you have a fuller. Your Sincere 
(tho Injur'd) Friend and Servant, 


The Copy of a Paper Received with the above Letter. 

I do Testifie that I have seen Margaret Rule in her Afflic- 
tions from the Invisible World, lifted up from her Bed, wholly 
by an Invisible force, a great way towards the top of the Room 
where she lay; in her being so lifted, she had no Assistance 
from any use of her own Arms or Hands, or any other part of 
her Body, not so much as her Heels touching her Bed, or rest- 
ing on any support whatsoever. And I have seen her thus 
lifted, when not only a strong Person hath thrown his whole 
weight a cross her to pull her down ; but several other Persons 
have endeavoured, with all their might, to hinder her from 
being so raised up, which I suppose that several others will 
testifie as well as my self, when calTd unto it. Witness my 


We can also Testifie to the substance of what is above 
Written, and have several times seen Margaret Rule so lifted 
up from her Bed, as that she had no use of her own Lims to 
help her up, but it was the declared apprehension of us, as 
well as others that saw it, impossible for any hands, but some 
of the Invisible World to lift her. 




We whose Names are under-writted do testifie, That one 
Evening when we were in the Chamber where Margaret Rule 
then lay, in her late Affliction, we observed her to be, by an 


Invisible Force, lifted up from the Bed whereon she lay, so 
as to touch the Garret Floor, while yet neither her Feet, nor 
any other part of her Body rested either on the Bed, or any 
other support, but were also by the same force, lifted up from 
all that was under her, and all this for a considerable while, 
we judg'd it several Minutes; and it was as much as several 
of us could do, with all our strength to pull her down. All 
which happened when there was not only we two in the Cham- 
ber, but we suppose ten or a dozen more, whose Names we 
have forgotten, 


William Hudson Testifies to the substance of Thorntons 
Testimony, to which he also hath set his Hand. 

BOSTON, Jan. 18, 1693. 1 
Mr. Cotton Mather, 
Reverend Sir, 

Yours of the loth Instant, I receiv'd yesterday; and soon 
found I had promised my self too much by it, Viz, Either con- 
currence with, or a denial of those Fundamentals mentioned 
in mine, of Novem. the 24th, finding this waved by an Invita- 
tion to your Library, etc. I thank God I have the Bible, and 
do Judge that sufficient to demonstrate that cited Head of 
Mr. Gaule to be a Truth, as also those other Heads mentioned, 
as the Foundations of Religion. And in my apprehension, if 
it be asked any Christian, whether God governs the World, 
and whether it be he only can Commissionate Devils, and such 
other Fundamentals, He ought to be as ready as in the Ques- 
tion, who made him? (a little Writing certainly might be of 
more use, to clear up the controverted points, than either 
looking over many Books in a well furnish'd Library, or than a 
dispute, if I were qualified for it; the Inconveniencies of Pas- 
sion being this way best avoided) And am not without hopes 
that you will yet oblige me so far, as to consider that Letter, 
and if I Err, to let me see it by Scripture, etc. 

Yours, almost the whole of it, is concerning the Narrative 
I sent to you, and you seem to intimate as if I were giving 

1 1694 of new style. 


Characters, Reflections, and Libell's, etc. concerning your self 
and Relations; all which were as far from my thoughts, as 
ever they were in writing after either your self, or any other 
Minister. In the front you declare your apprehension to be, 
that the Afflicted was under a Diabolical Possession, and if so, 
I see not how it should be occasioned by any Witchcraft (unless 
we ascribe that Power to a Witch, which is only the Preroga- 
tive of the Almighty, of Sending or Commissionating the Devils 
to Afflict her.) But to your particular Objections against the 
Narrative; and to the first my intelligence not giving me any 
further, I could not insert that I knew not. And it seems im- 
probable that a Question should be put, whether she knew (or 
rather who they were) and at the same time to charge her, 
and that upon her Life, not to tell, and if you had done so, I 
see but little good you could promise your self or others by it, 
she being Possest, as also having it inculcated so much to her 
of Witchcraft. And as to the next Objection about company 
flocking, etc., I do profess my Ignorance, not knowing what 
you mean by it. And Sir, that most of the Questions did carry 
with them a presupposing the things inquired after, is evident, 
if there were such as those relating to the Black-man and a 
Book, and about her hearing the Prayer, etc. (related in the 
said Narrative, which I find no Objection against.) As to 
that which is said of mentioning your self first discoursing and 
your hopes that your breeding was better (I doubt it not) nor 
do I doubt your Father might first apply himself to others; 
but my intelligence is, that you first spake to the Afflicted or 
Possessed, for which you had the advantage of a nearer ap- 
proach. The next two Objections are founded upon mistakes: 
I find not in the Narrative any such Question, as how many 
Witches sit upon you? and that her Breast was not covered, in 
which those material words "with the Bed-Cloaths" are wholly 
omitted; I am not willing to retort here your own Language 
upon you; but can tell you, that your own discourse of it 
publickly, at Sir W. P.'s 1 Table, has much more contributed 
to, etc. As to the Reply, if she could she would not tell, 
whether either or both spake it it matters not much. Neither 
does the Narrative say you felt the live thing on her Belly; 
tho I omit now to say what further demonstrations there are 

i Sir William Phips's. 


of it. As to that Reply, that is only her fancy, I find the word 
"her" added. And as to your Fathers feeling for the live 
Creature after you had felt it, if it were on the Bed it was not 
so very far from her. And for the length of his Prayer, pos- 
sibly your Witnesses might keep a more exact account of the 
time than those others, and I stand not for a few Minutes. 
For the rest of the Objections I suppose them of less moment, 
if less can be (however shall be ready to receive them, those 
matters of greatest concern I find no Objections against). 
These being all that yet appear, it may be thought that if the 
Narrative be not fully exact, it was as near as Memory could 
bear away; but should be glad to see one more perfect (which 
yet is not to be expected, seeing none writ at the time). You 
mention the appendix, by which I understand the Second Visit, 
and if you be by the possessed belyed (as being half an hour 
with her alone, excluding her own Mother, and as telling her 
you had Prayed for her Nine times that day, and that now 
was her Laughing time, she must Laugh now) I can see no 
Wonder in it; what can be expected less from the Father of 
Lies, by whom, you Judge, she was possest. 

And besides the above Letter, you were pleased to send me 
another Paper containing several Testimonies of the Possessed 
being lifted up, and held a space of several Minutes to the 
Garret floor, etc., but they omit giving the account, whether 
after she was down they bound her down : or kept holding her : 
And relate not how many were to pull her down, which hinders 
the knowledge what number they must be to be stronger than 
an Invisible Force. Upon the whole, I suppose you expect I 
should believe it; and if so, the only advantage gain'd, is that 
which has been so long controverted between Protestants and 
Papists, whether Miracles are ceast, will hereby seem to be 
decided for the latter; it being, for ought I can see, if so, as 
true a Miracle as for Iron to swim, and that the Devil can 
work such Miracles. 

But Sir, leaving these little disputable things, I do again 
pray that you would let me have the happiness of your appro- 
bation or confutation of that Letter before referred to. 

And now, Sir, that the God of all Grace may enable us 
Zealously to own his Truths, and to follow those things that 
tend to Peace, and that yourself may be as an useful Instru- 


ment in his hand, effectually to ruin the remainders of Heathen- 
ish and Popish Superstitions, is the earnest desire and prayer 
of yours to command, in what I may. 

R. C. 1 


An Impartial Account of the most Memorable Matters of Fact, 
touching the supposed Witchcraft in New England* 

Mr. Parris had been some years a Minister in Salem- Vil- 
lage, 3 when this sad Calamity (as a deluge) overflowed them, 
spreading it self far and near: He was a Gentleman of Liberal 
Education, and not meeting with any great Encouragement, 
or Advantage in Merchandizing, to which for some time he 
apply'd himself, betook himself to the work of the Ministry; 
this Village being then vacant, he met with so much Encour- 
agement, as to settle in that Capacity among them. 

After he had been there about two years, he obtained a 
Grant from a part of the Town, that the House and Land he 
Occupied, and which had been Alotted by the whole People 
to the Ministry, should be and remain to him, etc. as his own 
Estate in Fee Simple. This occasioned great Divisions both 
between the Inhabitants themselves, and between a consider- 
able part of them and their said Minister, which Divisions were 
but as a beginning or Prseludium to what immediately followed. 

It was the latter end of February 169 1, 4 when divers 
young Persons belonging to Mr. Parris's Family, and one or 

1 Between this letter and the pages of Calef's book which here follow there 
intervene (1) further letters from him to Mather and to other Boston ministers, 
on whom he urges his views, (2) a body of documents relating to the controversy 
between the Rev. Mr. Parris and his disaffected parishioners at Salem Village 
between the period of the witch-trials and his removal, (3) an epistolary discus- 
sion as to the theory of witchcraft between Calef and a Scotsman named Stuart. 

2 /. e., the witchcraft at Salem in 1692. 

3 As to Parris and Salem Village, and in general as to the Salem witchcraft, 
which is the subject of the rest of Calef's narrative, see the introduction and notes 
to Lawson's Brief Account (pp. 147-164, above). That account (as also the 
parallel narrative of Hale, at pp. 413 ff., below) should be constantly compared 
with the present one. 

4 1692 of our calendar. 


more of the Neighbourhood, began to Act, after a strange 
and unusual manner, viz. as by getting into Holes, and creep- 
ing tinder Chairs and Stools, and to use sundry odd Postures 
and Antick Gestures, uttering foolish, ridiculous Speeches, 
which neither they themselves nor any others could make 
sense of; the Physicians that were called could assign no 
reason for this; but it seems one of them, 1 having recourse to 
the old shift, told them he was afraid they were Bewitched; 
upon such suggestions, they that were concerned applied 
themselves to Fasting and Prayer, which was attended not 
only in their own private Families, but with calling in the 
help of others. 

March the llth. Mr. Parris invited several Neighbouring 
Ministers to join with him in keeping a Solemn day of Prayer 
at his own House; the time of the exercise those Persons were 
for the most part silent, but after any one Prayer was ended, 
they would Act and Speak strangely and Ridiculously, yet 
were such as had been well Educated and of good Behaviour, 
the one, a Girl of 11 or 12 years old, 2 would sometimes seem 
to be in a Convulsion Fit, her Limbs being twisted several 
ways, and very stiff, but presently her Fit would be over. 

A few days before this Solemn day of Prayer, Mr. Parris's 
Indian Man and Woman 3 made a Cake of Rye Meal, with 
the Childrens Water, and Baked it hi the Ashes, and as is 
said, gave it to the Dog; this was done as a means to Dis- 
cover Witchcraft ; 4 soon after which those ill affected or afflicted 
Persons named several that they said they saw, when in their 
Fits, afflicting of them. 

1 Doubtless Dr. William Griggs, of Salem Village, whose wife's niece, a 
maid in his household, was one of the "afflicted." 

1 Abigail Williams, Farm's niece. 

* West-Indian slaves, brought back with him from Barbadoes. 

4 It was suggested by the wife of a neighbor. When, a fortnight later, she 
was disciplined by the village church for this dabbling in superstition, Parris 
himself wrote in the church-record book: "It is 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 was suspected; Nay, it never 
broke forth to any considerable Light, until diabolical Means was used, by the 
making of a cake by my Indian Man, who had his Directions from this our Sister 
Mary Sibly; since which Apparitions have been plenty, and exceeding much 
Mischief hath followed." (Upham, Salem Witchcraft, II. 95; Hanson, Danverg, 
p. 289, quoted by Drake.) 


The first complain'd of, was the said Indian Woman, 
named Tituba. She confessed that the Devil urged her to 
sign a Book, which he presented to her, and also to work 
Mischief to the Children, etc. She was afterwards Committed 
to Prison, and lay there till Sold for her Fees. 1 The account 
she since gives of it is, that her Master did beat her and other- 
ways abuse her, to make her confess and accuse (such as he 
call'd) 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. 2 

The Children complained likewise of two other Women, 
to be the Authors of their Hurt, Viz. Sarah Good, who had long - 
been counted a Melancholy or Distracted Woman, and one 
Osburn, an Old Bed-rid Woman; which two wereJPersons so 
ill thought of, that the accusation was the more readily be- 
lieved; and after Examination before two Salem Magistrates, 3 
were committed: 

March the 19th, Mr. Lawson (who had been formerly a 
Preacher at the said Village) came thither, and hath since set 
fourth in Print an account of what then passed, about which 
time, as he saith, they complained of Goodwife Cory, and 
Goodwife Nurse, Members of the Churches at the Village and 
at Salem, many others being by that time Accused. 

March the 2lst, Goodwife Cory was examined before the 
Magistrates of Salem, at the Meeting House in the Village, 
a throng of Spectators being present to see the Novelty. Mr. 
Noyes, one of the Ministers of Salem, began with Prayer, 
after which the Prisoner being call'd, in order to answer to 
what should be Alledged against her, she desired that she might 
go to Prayer, and was answered by the Magistrates, that they 
did not come to hear her pray, but to examine her. 
The number of the Afflicted were at that time about Ten, 

1 /. e., to meet her prison expenses. She lay there for a year and a month. 

1 Besides the documents of Tituba' s case printed in the Records of Salem 
Witchcraft (I. 41-50), a much fuller report of her examination (March 1-2, 1692) 
strangely differing from that already printed, is appended to Drake's edition of 
Mather and Calef (The Witchcraft Delusion in New England, III. 185-195). 

1 On March 1, before John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin. From this 
point to his entry of April 3 Calef's narrative rests wholly on that of Lawson. ' 


Viz. Mrs. Pope, Mrs. Putman, Goodwife Bibber, and Good- 
wife Goodall, Mary Wolcott, Mercy Lewes (at Thomas Put- 
mans) and Dr. Griggs Maid, and three Girls, Viz. Elizabeth 
Parris, Daughter to the Minister, Abigail Williams his Neice, 
and Aim Putman, which last three were not only the begin- 
ners, but were also the chief in these Accusations. These 
Ten were most of them present at the Examination, and did 
vehemently accuse her of Afflicting them, by Biting, Pinching, 
Strangling, etc. And they said, they did in their Fits see her 
likeness coming to them, and bringing a Book for them to 
Sign ; Mr. Hathorn, a Magistrate of Salem, asked her, why she 
Afflicted those Children? she said, she did not Afflict them; 
he asked her, who did then? she said, " I do not know, how 
should I know?" she said, they were Poor Distracted Creatures,' 
and no heed to be given to what they said; Mr. Hathorn and 
Mr. Noyes replied that it was the Judgment of all that were 
there present, that they were bewitched, and only she (the 
Accused) said they were Distracted: She was Accused by 
them, that the Black Man Whispered to her in her Ear now 
(while she was upon Examination) and that she had a Yellow 
Bird, that did use to Suck between her Fingers, and that the 
said Bird did Suck now in the Assembly; order being given 
to look in that place to see if there were any sign, the Girl 
that pretended to see it said, that it was too late now, for she 
had removed a Pin, and put it on her Head, it was upon 
search found, that a Pin was there sticking upright. When 
the Accused had any motion of their Body, Hands or Mouth, 
the Accusers would cry out, as when she bit her Lip, they 
would cry out of being bitten, if she grasped one hand with 
the other, they would cry out of being Pinched by her, and 
would produce marks, so of the other motions of her Body, 
as complaining of being Prest, when she lean'd to the seat 
next her, if she stirred her Feet, they would stamp and cry 
out of Pain there. After the hearing the said Cory was com- 
mitted to Salem Prison, and then their crying out of her 

March the 24th, Goodwife Nurse was brought before Mr. 
Hathorn and Mr. Curwin (Magistrates) in the Meeting House. 
Mr. Hale, Minister of Beverly, began with Prayer, after which 
she being Accus'd of much the same Crimes made the like an- 


swers, asserting her own Innocence with earnestness. The 
Accusers were mostly the same, Tho. Putmans Wife, etc. com- 
plaining much. The dreadful Shreiking from her and others, 
was very amazing, which was heard at a great distance; she 
was also Committed to Prison. 

A Child of Sarah Goods was likewise apprehended, being 
between 4 and 5 years Old. The Accusers said this Child bit 
them, and would shew such like marks, as those of a small 
Sett of Teeth upon their Arms; as many of the Afflicted as the 
Child cast its Eye upon, would complain they were in Tor- 
ment; which Child they also Committed. 

Concerning these that had been hitherto Examined and 
Committed, it is among other things observed by Mr. Lawson 
(in Print 1 ) that they were by the Accusers charged to belong 
to a Company that did muster in Arms, and were reported 
by them to keep Days of Fast, Thanksgiving and Sacraments; 
and that those Afflicted (or Accusers) did in the Assembly 
Cure each others, even with a touch of their 'Hand, when 
strangled and otherways tortured, and would endeavour to 
get to the Afflicted to relieve them thereby (for hitherto they 
had not used the Experiment of bringing the Accused to touch 
the Afflicted, in order to their Cure) and could foretel one 
anothers Fits to be coming, and would say, look to such a 
one, she will have a Fit presently and so it happened, and that 
at the same time when the Accused person was present, the 
Afflicted said they saw her Spectre or likeness in other places 
of the Meeting House Suckling 2 of their Familiars. 

The said Mr. Lawson being to Preach at the Village, after 
the Psalm was Sung, Abigail Williams said, " Now stand up 
and name your Text"; after it was read, she said, "It is a long 
Text." Mrs. Pope in the beginning of Sermon said to him, 
" Now there is enough of that." In Sermon, he referring to his 
Doctrine, Abigail Williams said to him, " I know no Doctrine 
you had, if you did name one I have forgot it." Ann Put- 
man, an afflicted Girl, said, There was a Yellow Bird sate on 
his Hat as it hung on the Pin in the Pulpit. 

March 31, 1692. Was set apart as a day of Solemn Hu- 
miliation at Salem, upon the Account of this Business, on 
which day Abigail Williams said, That she saw a great number 

1 See above, pp. 162164. 2 "Sucking" in original; corrected in Errata. 


of Persons in the Village at the Administration of a Mock 
Sacrament, where they had Bread as read as raw Flesh, and 
red Drink. 

April 1. Mercy Lewis affirmed, That she saw a man in 
white, with whom she went into a Glorious Place, viz. In her 
fits, where was no Light of the Sun, much less of Candles, 
yet was full of Light and Brightness, with a great Multitude 
in White Glittering Robes, who Sang the Song in 5. Rev. 9. 
and the 110 and 149 Psalms; And was grieved that she might 
tarry no longer in this place. This White Man is said to have 
appeared several times to others of them, and to have given 
them notice how long it should be before they should have 
another Fit. 

April the 3d. Being Sacrament Day at the Village, Sarah 
Cloys, Sister to Goodwife Nurse, a Member to one of the 
Churches, was (tho' it seems with difficulty prevail'd with 
to be) present; but being entred the place, and Mr. Parris 
naming his Text, 6 John, 70. Have not I chosen you Twelve, 
and one of you is a Devil (for what cause may rest as a doubt 
whether upon the account of her Sisters being Committed, 
or because of the choice of that Text) she rose up and went out, 
the wind shutting the Door forcibly, gave occasion to some 
to suppose she went out in Anger, and might occasion a sus- 
picion of her; however she was soon after complain 'd of, 
examin'd and Committed. 

April the \\th. By this time the number of the Accused 
and Accusers being much encreased, was a Publick Examina- 
tion at Salem, Six of the Magistrates with several Ministers 
being present; 1 there appeared several who complain'd against 
others with hidious clamors and Screechings. Goodwife Proc- 
tor was brought thither, being Accused or cryed out against; 
her Husband coming to attend and assist her, as there might 

1 Among them was Samuel Sewall, who wrote in his diary for that day : 
"Went to Salem, where, in the Meeting-house, the persons accused of Witch- 
craft were examined; was a very great Assembly; 'twas awfull to see how the 
afflicted persons were agitated. Mr. Noyes pray'd at the beginning, and Mr. 
Higginson concluded." In the margin he has later added: "Vae, Vae, Vae, 
Witchcraft" i. e., "woe, woe, woe!" So many (seven) of the magistrates were 
present that the court took the form of a "council" (the highest of colonial tri- 
bunals), under the presidency of Deputy-governor Danforth (Records of Salem 
Witchcraft, I. 101; Hutchiason, Massachusetts, second ed., II. 27-30). 


be need, the Accusers cryed out of him also, and that with 
so much earnestness, that he was Committed with his Wife. 
About this time besides the Experiment of the Afflicted fall- 
ing at the sight, etc., they put the Accused upon saying the 
Lords Prayer, which one among them performed, except in 
that petition, Deliver us from Evil, she exprest it thus, Deliver 
us from all Evil. This was lookt upon as if she Prayed against 
what she was now justly under, and being put upon it again, 
and repeating those words, Hallowed be thy name, she exprest 
it, Hollowed be thy Name, this was counted a depraving the 
words, as signifying to make void, and so a Curse rather then 1 
a Prayer, upon the whole it was concluded that she also could 
not say it, etc. Proceeding in this work of examination and 
Commitment, many were sent to Prison. As an Instance, see 
the following Mittimus: 

To their Majesties Goal-keeper 2 in Salem. 

You are in Their Majesties Names hereby required to take into 
your care, and safe custody, the Bodies of William Hobs, and Deb- 
orah 3 his Wife, Mary Easty, the Wife of Isaac Easty, and Sarah 
Wild, the Wife of John Wild, all of Topsfield; and Edward Bishop 
of Salem-Village, Husbandman, and Sarah his Wife, and Mary Black, 
a Negro of Lieutenant Nathaniel Putmans of Salem-Village; also 
Mary English the Wife of Philip English, Merchant in Salem; 4 who 
stand charged with High Suspicion of Sundry Acts of Witchcraft, 
done or committed by them lately upon the Bodies of Ann Putman, 
Mercy Lewis 5 and Abigail Williams, of Salem-Village, whereby great 
Hurt and Damage hath been done to the Bodies of the said Persons, 
[as] according to the complaint of Thomas Putman and John Buxton 
of Salem-Village, Exhibited Salem, Apr 21, 1692, appears, whom you 
are to secure in order to their further Examination. Fail not. 



Dated SALEM, April 22, 1692. 

1 1. e., than. This spelling was then usual. 2 Jail-keeper. 3 Deliverance. 

4 Mary Esty, aged 56, was a sister of Rebecca Nurse and Sarah Cloyse. 
We shall meet her again. As to these Topsfield cases, see above, p. 237, note 1. 
Edward Bishop, aged 44, was probably a step-son of Bridget Bishop (see above, 
pp. 223-229, and below, p. 356), and his wife was a daughter of John Wilds. On 
Mary Black, see Chandler, American Criminal Trials, I. 427, and Upham, Salem 
Witchcraft, II. 136-137. As for Mary English, see below, p. 371, 

* "Mary" in original; corrected in Errata, 


To Marshal George Herrick of Salem Essex. 

You are in their Majesties Names hereby required to convey 
the above-named to the Goal at Salem. Fail not. 


Dated SALEM, Apr 22, 1692. 

The occasion of Bishops being cry'd out of 1 was, he being 
at an Examination in Salem, when at the Inn an afflicted 
Indian 2 was very unruly, whom he undertook, and so man- 
aged him, that he was very orderly, after which in riding home, 
in company of him and other Accusers, the Indian fell into a 
fit, and clapping hold with his Teeth on the back of the Man 
that rode before him, thereby held himself upon the Horse, 
but said Bishop striking him with his stick, the Indian soon 
recovered, and promised he would do so no more; to which 
Bishop replied, that he doubted not, but he could cure them 
all, with more to the same effect; immediately after he was 
parted from them, he was cried out of, etc. 

May 14, 1692. Sir William Phips arrived with Commis- 
sion from Their Majesties to be Governour, pursuant to the 
New-Charter; which he now brought with him; the Ancient 
Charter having been vacated by King Charles, and King 
James (by which they had a power not only to make their 
own Laws; but also to chuse their own Governour and Officers;) 
and the Countrey for some years was put under an absolute 
Commission-Government, till the Revolution, 3 at which time 
tho more than two thirds of the People were for reassuming 
their ancient Government, (to which they had encouragement 
by His then Royal Highness's Proclamation) yet some that 
might have been better imployed (in another Station) 4 made 
it their business (by printing, as well as speaking) to their 

1 I.e., cried out against, accused. 

* The afflicted Indian, i. e., Parris's John: it is clearly a misprint. 

* /. e., the English Revolution and the overthrow in New England of the 
Andros government (1689). 

4 He doubtless means especially Cotton Mather. So, at least, Mather 
assumes in his reply (his letter in Some Few Remarks, etc., pp. 46-47) and vigor- 
ously denies that he opposed the reassumption. 


utmost to divert them from such a settlement; and so far 
prevailed, that for about seven Weeks after the Revolution, 
here was not so much as a face of any Government; but 
some few Men upon then 1 own Nomination would be called 
a Committee of Safety; but at length the Assembly prevailed 
with those that had been of the Government, to promise that 
they would reassume; and accordingly a Proclamation was 
drawn, but before publishing it, it was underwritten, that 
they would not have it understood that they did reassume 
Charter-Government; so that between Government and no 
Government, this Countrey remained till Sir William arrived; 
Agents being in this time impowered in England, which no 
doubt did not all of them act according to the Minds or In- 
terests of those that impowered them, which is manifest by 
their not acting jointly in what was done; so that this place 
is perhaps a single Instance (even in the best of Reigns) of a 
Charter not restored after so happy a Revolution. 

This settlement by Sir William Phips his being come Gov- 
ernour put an end to all disputes of these things, and being 
arrived, and having read his Commission, the first thing he 
exerted his Power in, was said to be his giving Orders that 
Irons should be put upon those in Prison; for tho for some 
time after these were Committed, the Accusers ceased to cry 
out of them; 1 yet now the cry against them was renewed, 
which occasioned such Order; and tho there was partiality 
in the executing it (some having taken them off 2 almost as 
soon as put on) yet the cry of these Accusers against such 
ceased after this Order. 3 

May 24. Mrs. Gary of Charlestown, was Examined and 
Committed. Her Husband Mr. Nathaniel Gary 4 has given 
account thereof, as also of her Escape, to this Effect, 

1 See p. 348, note 1. 

2 Doubtless a misprint for "having them taken off." 

3 The reason for the irons was the assertion of the "afflicted" that their 
sufferings did not cease till the accused were thus in fetters. An account of the 
prison-keeper (Hanson, Danvers, p. 290) has such items as: "May 9th. To 
Chains for Sarah Good and Sarah Osborn, 14s. May 23d, To Shackles for 10 
Prisoners. May 29th, to 1 pr. Irons." See also Records of Salem Witchcraft, 
II. 212, 213. Even little Dorcas Good was put into chains. 

4 Captain Nathaniel Gary was a shipmaster, a man of ability and promi- 
nence, later a member of the General Court and a justice. 


I having heard some days, that my Wife was accused of Witch- 
craft, being much disturbed at it, by advice, we went to Salem- 
Village, to see if the afflicted did know her; we arrived there, 24 
May, it happened to be a day appointed for Examination; accord- 
ingly soon after our arrival, Mr. Hathorn and Mr. Curwin, etc., went 
to the Meeting-house, which was the place appointed for that Work, 
the Minister began with Prayer, and having taken care to get a 
convenient place, I observed, that the afflicted were two Girls of 
about Ten Years old, 1 and about two or three other, of about eight- 
een, one of the Girls talked most, and could discern more than the 
rest. The Prisoners were called in one by one, and as they came in 
were cried out of, etc. The Prisoner was placed about 7 or 8 foot 
from the Justices, and the Accusers between the Justices and them; 
the Prisoner was ordered to stand right before the Justices, with an 
Officer appointed to hold each hand, least they should therewith 
afflict them, and the Prisoners Eyes must be constantly on the Jus- 
tices; for if they look'd on the afflicted, they would either fall into 
their Fits, or cry out of being hurt by them; after Examination of 
the Prisoners, who it was afflicted these Girls, etc., they were put 
upon saying the Lords Prayer, as a tryal of their guilt; after the 
afflicted seem'd to be out of their Fits, they would look steadfastly 
on some one person, and frequently not speak; and then the Justices 
said they were struck dumb, and after a little time would speak again; 
then the Justices said to the Accusers, " which of you will go and 
touch the Prisoner at the Bar?" then the most couragious would ad- 
venture, but before they had made three steps would ordinarily fall 
down as in a Fit; the Justices ordered that they should be taken up 
and carried to the Prisoner, that she might touch them; and as soon 
as they were touched by the accused, the Justices would say, they are 
well, before I could discern any alteration; by which I observed that 
the Justices understood the manner of it. Thus far I was only as 
a Spectator, my Wife also was there part of the time, but no notice 
taken of her by the afflicted, except once or twice they came to her 
and asked her name. 

But I having an opportunity to Discourse 2 Mr. Hale 3 (with 
whom I had formerly acquaintance) I took his advice, what I had 
best to do, and desired of him that I might have an opportunity to 
speak with her that accused my Wife; which he promised should be, 
I acquainting him that I reposed my trust in him. 

Accordingly he came to me after the Examination was over, 
and told me I had now an opportunity to speak with the said Accuser, 

1 Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam. - Talk with. 

The Rev. John Hale, of Beverly. As to his part in the trials see below, p. 369. 


viz. Abigail Williams, a Girl of 11 or 12 Years old; but that we could 
not be in private at Mr. Parris's House, as he had promised me; we 
went therefore into the Alehouse, where an Indian Man attended us, 
who it seems was one of the afflicted: to him we gave some Cyder, 
he shewed several Scars, that seemed as if they had been long there, 
and shewed them as done by Witchcraft, and acquainted us that his 
Wife, who also was a Slave, was imprison'd for Witchcraft. 1 And 
now instead of one Accuser, they all came in, who began to tumble 
down like Swine, and then three Women were called in to attend 
them. We in the Room were all at a stand, to see who they would 
cry out of; but in a short time they cried out, Gary; and immediately 
after a Warrant was sent from the Justices to bring my Wife before 
them, who were sitting in a Chamber near by, waiting for this. 

Being brought before the Justices, her chief accusers were two 
Girls; my Wife declared to the Justices, that she never had any 
knowledge of them before that day; she was forced to stand with her 
Arms stretched out. I did request that I might hold one of her 
hands, but it was denied me; then she desired me to wipe the Tears 
from her Eyes, and the Sweat from her Face, which I did; then she 
desired she might lean her self on me, saying, she should faint. 

Justice Hathorn replied, she had strength enough to torment 
those persons, and she should have strength enough to stand. I 
speaking something against their cruel proceedings, they commanded 
me to be silent, or else I should be turned out of the Room. The 
Indian before mentioned, was also brought in, to be one of her 
Accusers : being come in, he now (when before the Justices) fell down 
and tumbled about like a Hog, but said nothing. The Justices asked 
the Girls, who afflicted the Indian? they answered she (meaning my 
Wife) and now lay upon him; the Justices ordered her to touch him, 
in order to his cure, but her head must be turned another way, least 
instead of curing, she should make him worse, by her looking on 
him, her hand being guided to take hold of his; but the Indian took 
hold on her hand, and pulled her down on the Floor, in a barbarous 
manner; then his hand was taken off, and her hand put on his, and 
the cure was quickly wrought. I being extreamly troubled at their 
Inhumane dealings, uttered a hasty Speech (That God would take 
vengeance on them, and desired that God would deliver us out of the 
hands of unmerciful men.) Then her Mittimus was writ. I did 
with difficulty and charge obtain the liberty of a Room, but no Beds 
in it; if there had, could have taken but little rest that Night. She 
was committed to Boston Prison; but I obtained a Habeas Corpus 
to remove her to Cambridge Prison, which is in our County of Mid- 

1 Gary is speaking, of course, of "John Indian" and Tituba. 


dlesex. Having been there one Night, next Morning the Jaylor put 
Irons on her legs (having received such a command) the weight of 
them was about eight pounds; these Irons and her other Afflictions, 
soon brought her into Convulsion Fits, so that I thought she would 
have died that Night. I sent to intreat that the Irons might be 
taken off, but all intreaties were in vain, if it would have saved her 
Life, so that in this condition she must continue. The Tryals at 
Salem coming on, I went thither, to see how things were there man- 
aged; and finding that the Spectre-Evidence was there received, 
together with Idle, if not malicious Stories, against Peoples Lives, I 
did easily perceive which way the rest would go; for the same Evi- 
dence that served for one, would serve for all the rest. I acquainted 
her with her danger; and that if she were carried to Salem to be 
tried, I feared she would never return. I did my utmost that she 
might have her Tryal in our own County, I with several others 
Petitioning the Judge for it, and were put in hopes of it; but I soon 
saw so much, that I understood thereby it was not intended, which 
put me upon consulting the means of her escape; which thro the 
goodness of God was effected, and she got to Road Island, 1 but soon 
found her self not safe when there, by reason of the pursuit after 
her; from thence she went to New-York, along with some others 
that had escaped their cruel hands; where we found his Excellency 
Benjamin Fletcher, Esq; Governour, who was very courteous to us. 
After this some of my Goods were seized in a Friends hands, with 
whom I had left them, and my self imprisoned by the Sheriff, and 
kept in Custody half a day, and then dismist; but to speak of their 
usage of the Prisoners, and their Inhumanity shewn to them, at the 
time of their Execution, no sober Christian could bear; they had 
also tryals of cruel mockings; which is the more, considering what a 
People for Religion, I mean the profession of it, we have been; those 
that suffered being many of them Church-Members, and most of 
them unspotted in their Conversation, till their Adversary the Devil 
took up this Method for accusing them. 


May 31. Captain John Aldin 3 was Examined at Salem, 
and Committed to Boston Prison. The Prison-Keeper seeing 

1 Rhode Island. "July 30, 1692. Mrs. Gary makes her escape out of Cam- 
bridge-Prison, who was Committed for Witchcraft." (Sewall, Diary, I. 362.) 

"Jonathan" in original: corrected to "Nathaniel" in Errata. 

* See above, pp. 170, note 2, and 178, note 6. Captain Alden, Indian fighter, 
naval commander, now at seventy a man of wealth, was one of the leading figures 
of New England. 


such a Man Committed, of whom he had a good esteem, was 
after this the more Compassionate to those that were in Prison 
on the like account; and did refrain from such hard things to 
the Prisoners, as before he had used. Mr. Aldin himself has 
given account of his Examination, in these Words. 

An Account how John Aldin, Senior, was dealt with at Salem-Village. 

John Aldin Senior, of Boston, in the County of Suffolk, Mar- 
riner, on the 28th Day of May, 1692, was sent for by the Magistrates 
of Salem, in the County of Essex, upon the Accusation of a company 
of poor distracted, or possessed Creatures or Witches; and being 
sent by Mr. Stoughton, 1 arrived there the 31st of May, and appeared 
at Salem-Village, before Mr. Gidney, 2 Mr. Hathorn, and Mr. Cur- 

Those Wenches being present, who plaid their jugling tricks, 
falling down, crying out, and staring in Peoples Faces; the Magis- 
trates demanded of them several times, who it was of all the People 
in the Room that hurt them? one of these Accusers pointed several 
times at one Captain Hill, there present, but spake nothing; the 
same Accuser had a Man standing at her back to hold her up; he 
stooped down to her Ear, then she cried out, Aldin, Aldin afflicted 
her; one of the Magistrates asked her if she had ever seen Aldin, 
she answered no, he asked her how she knew it was Aldin? She 
said, the Man told her so. 

Then all were ordered to go down into the Street, where a Ring 
was made; and the same Accuser cried out, "there stands Aldin, a 
bold fellow with his Hat on before the Judges, he sells Powder and 
Shot to the Indians and French, and lies with the Indian Squaes, 
and has Indian Papooses." Then was Aldin committed to the Mar- 
shal's Custody, and his Sword taken from him; for they said he 
afflicted them with his Sword. After some hours Aldin was sent for 
to the Meeting-house in the Village before the Magistrates; who re- 
quired Aldin to stand upon a Chair, to the open view of all the 

The Accusers cried out that Aldin did pinch them, then, when he 
stood upon the Chair, in the sight of all the People, a good way dis- 
tant from them, one of the Magistrates bid the Marshal to hold open 
Aldin's hands, that he might not pinch those Creatures. Aldin asked 

1 The lieutenant-governor soon to be head of the special court for the trial 
of the witches. See above, p. 183, note 2, and p. 199. 

2 Bartholomew Gedney, of Salem, the third magistrate, was, like his col- 
leagues, an assistant of the province. 


them why they should think, that he should come to that Village to 
afflict those persons that he never knew or saw before? Mr. Gidney 
bid Aldin confess, and give glory to God; Aldin said he hoped he 
should give glory to God, and hoped he should never gratifie the Devil; 
but appealed to all that ever knew him, if they ever suspected him 
to be such a person, and challenged any one, that could bring in any 
thing upon their own knowledge, that might give suspicion of his 
being such an one. Mr. Gidney said he had known Aldin many 
Years, and had been at Sea with him, and always look'd upon him 
to be an honest Man, but now he did see cause to alter his judgment: 
Aldin answered, he was sorry for that, but he hoped God would 
clear up his Innocency, that he would recall that judgment again, 
and added that he hoped that he should with Job maintain his In- 
tegrity till he died. They bid Aldin look upon the Accusers, which 
he did, and then they fell down. Aldin asked Mr. Gidney, what 
Reason there could be given, why Aldin's looking upon him did not 
strike him down as well; but no reason was given that I heard. But 
the Accusers were brought to Aldin to touch them, and this touch 
they said made them well. Aldin began to speak of the Providence 
of God in suffering these Creatures to accuse Innocent persons. Mr. 
Noyes asked Aldin why he would offer to speak of the Providence of 
God. God by his Providence (said Mr. Noyes) governs the World, 
and keeps it in peace; and so went on with Discourse, and stopt 
Aldin's mouth, as to that. Aldin told Mr. Gidney, that he could 
assure him that there was a lying Spirit in them, for I can assure you 
that there is not a word of truth in all these say of me. But Aldin 
was again .committed to the Marshal, and his Mittimus written, 
which was as follows. 

To Mr. John Arnold, Keeper of the Prison in Boston, in the County 
of Suffolk. 

Whereas Captain John Aldin of Boston, Marriner, and Sarah 
Rice, Wife of Nicholas Rice of Reding, Husbandman, have been 
this day brought before us, John Hathorn and Jonathan Curwin, 
Esquires; being accused and suspected of perpetrating divers acts 
of Witchcraft, contrary to the form of the Statute, in that Case made 
and provided : These are therefore in Their Majesties, King William 
and Queen Marys Names, to Will and require you, to take into your 
Custody, the bodies of the said John Aldin, and Sarah Rice, and 
them safely keep, until they shall thence be delivered by due course 
of Law; as you will answer the contrary at your peril; and this shall 
be your sufficient Warrant. Given under our hands at Salem 
Village, the 31st of May, in the Fourth Year of the Reign of our 


Sovereign Lord and Lady, William and Mary, now King and Queen 
over England, etc., Anno Dom. 1692. 



To Boston Aldin was carried by a Constable, no Bail would be 
taken for him; but was delivered to the Prison-keeper, where he re- 
mained Fifteen Weeks; 1 and then observing the manner of Tryals, 
and Evidence then taken, was at length prevailed with to make his 
Escape, and being returned, was bound over to Answer at the Superior 
Court at Boston, the last Tuesday in April, Anno 1693. And was 
there cleared by Proclamation, none appearing against him. 


At Examination, and at other times, 'twas usual for the 
Accusers to tell of the black Man, or of a Spectre, as being 
then on the Table, etc. The People about would strike with 
Swords, or sticks at those places. One Justice broke his Cane 
at this Exercise, and sometimes the Accusers would say, they 
struck the Spectre, and it is reported several of the accused 
were hurt and wounded thereby, though at home at the same 

The Justices proceeding in these works of Examination, and 
Commitment, to the end of May, there was by that time 
about a Hundred persons Imprisoned upon that Account. 

June 2. A special Commission of Oyer and Terminer hav- 
ing been Issued out, to Mr. Stoughton, the New ' Lieutenant 
Governour, Major Saltonstall, Major Richards, Major Gidny, 
Mr. Wait Winthrop, Captain Sewall, and Mr. Sergeant; 2 
These (a Quorum of them) sat at Salem this day; where the 

1 Captain Alden's case seems to have made a great stir. On July 20 there 
was held a special "Fast at the house of Capt. Alden, upon his account." Judge 
Sewall read a sermon, and Willard, Allen, and Cotton Mather prayed, then Cap- 
tain Hill and Captain Scottow; "concluded about 5. aclock." (Sewall, Diary, 
I. 361-362.) A year later, on June 12, 1693, Sewall records: "I visit Capt. 
Alden and his wife, and tell them I was sorry for their Sorrow and Temptations 
by reason of his Imprisonment, and that [I] was glad of his Restauration." 

2 See above, pp. 183-185, 196-198. These gentlemen were all members of 
the new Council of the province. Saltonstall, out of dissatisfaction with the 
proceedings, early withdrew (see above, p. 184), and was later himself accused 
(Sewall's Diary, I. 373). Jonathan Corwin took his place. A quorum was five. 
All the judges had had experience in the colony's Court of Assistants; but none 
had had a legal training. 


most that was done this Week, was the Tryal of one Bishop, 
alias Oliver, of Salem; who having long undergone the repute 
of a Witch, occasioned by the Accusations of one Samuel Gray: 
he about 20 Years since, having charged her with such Crimes, 
and though upon his Death-bed he testified his sorrow and 
repentance for such Accusations, as being wholly groundless; 
yet the report taken up by his means continued, and she being 
accused by those afflicted, and upon search a Tet, as they call 
it, being found, she was brought in guilty by the Jury; she 
received her Sentence of Death, and was Executed, June 10, 
but made not the least Confession of any thing relating to 
Witchcraft. 1 

June 15. Several Ministers in and near Boston, having 
been to that end consulted by his Excellency, 2 exprest their 
minds to this effect, viz. 

That they were affected with the deplorable state of the 
afflicted; That they were thankful for the diligent care of the 
Rulers, to detect the abominable Witchcrafts, which have 
been committed in the Country, praying for a perfect discovery 
thereof. But advised to a cautious proceeding, least many 
Evils ensue, etc. And that tenderness be used towards those 
accused, relating to matters presumptive and convictive, and 
also to privacy in Examinations, and to consult Mr. Perkins 
and Mr. Bernard, 3 what tests to make use of in the Scrutiny : 
That Presumptions and Convictions ought to have better 
grounds, than the Accusers affirming that they see such per- 
sons Spectres afflicting them : And that the Devil may afflict 
in the shape of good Men; and that falling at the sight, and 
rising at the touch of the Accused, is no infallible proof of 
guilt; That seeing the Devils strength consists in such Accusa- 
tions, our disbelieving them may be a means to put a period 
to the dreadful Calamities; Nevertheless they humbly recom- 
mend to the Government, the speedy and vigorous prosecu- 

1 As to the trial of Bridget Bishop see above, pp. 223-229. Before her last 
marriage she had been a widow Oliver. The testimony against her includes the 
deposition of a Samuel Gray (Records of Salem Witchcraft, I. 152-153) as to her 
bewitching to death his child some fourteen years before. Of his repentance at 
his death, which must have been recent when Calef wrote, the writer doubtless 
speaks from personal knowledge. 

* See above, p. 194. J See above, p. 304, notes 3, 5. 


tion of such as have rendered themselves obnoxious, according 
to the direction given in the Laws of God, and the wholesome 
Statutes of the English Nation, for the Detection of Witch- 

This is briefly the substance of what may be seen more at 
large in Coses of Conscience, (ult.) 1 And one of them 2 since 
taking occasion to repeat some part of this advice, Wonders of 
the Invisible World, p. 83, declares, (notwithstanding the Dis- 
satisfaction of others) that if his said Book may conduce to 
promote thankfulness to God for such Executions, he shall 
rejoyce, etc. 

The 30#i of June, the Court according to Adjournment 
again sat; five more were tried, viz. Sarah Good and Rebecca 
Nurse, of Salem-Village ; Susanna Martin of Amsbury; Eliza- 
beth How of Ipswich; and Sarah Wildes of Topsfield; these 
were all condemned that Sessions, and were all Executed on the 
19th of July. 3 

At the Tryal of Sarah Good, one of the afflicted fell in a 
Fit, and after coming out of it, she cried out of the Prisoner, 
for stabing her in the breast with a Knife, and that she had 
broken the Knife in stabbing of her, accordingly a piece of the 
blade of a Knife was found about her. Immediately informa- 
tion being given to the Court, a young Man was called, who 
produced a Haft and part of the Blade, which the Court having 
viewed and compared, saw it to be the same. And upon in- 
quiry the young Man affirmed, that yesterday he happened 
to break that Knife, and that he cast away the upper part, 
this afflicted person being then present. The young Man was 

1 The full text of the document, that is, may be found at the end of Increase 
Mather's Cases of Conscience (London, 1693). With that book, or from it, it 
has been often reprinted. In his life of Phips (and in its reprint in his Magnolia) 
Cotton Mather tells us that it was drawn up by himself; but it doubtless em- 
bodied a compromise. Increase Mather calls it "the humble Advice which twelve 
Ministers concurringly presented before his Excellency and Council," and it 
entitles itself "The Return of several Ministers consulted by his Excellency, and 
the Honourable Council, upon the present Witchcrafts in Salem Village." 

* Cotton Mather, of course. 

3 As to the trials of Susanna Martin and Elizabeth How see above, pp. 229- 
240, and records there cited. The documents for those of Sarah Good, Rebecca 
Nurse, Sarah Wildes, may be found in Records of Salem Witchcraft (I. 11-34, 
76-99, 180-189), but for the two last more fully in the Historical Collections of 
the Topsfield Historical Society (XIII. 80-92). 


dismist, and she was bidden by the Court not to tell lyes; 
and was improved (after as she had been before) to give Evi- 
dence against the Prisoners. 

At Execution, Mr. Noyes urged Sarah Good to Confess, 
and told her she was a Witch, and she knew she was a Witch, 
to which she replied, "you are a Iyer; I am no more a Witch 
than you are a Wizard, and if you take away my Life, God 
will give you Blood to drink." 

At the Tryal of Rebecka Nurse, this was remarkable that the 
Jury brought in their Verdict not Guilty, immediately all the 
accusers in the Court, and suddenly after all the afflicted out 
of Court, made an hideous out-cry, to the amazement, not 
only of the Spectators, but the Court also seemed strangely 
surprized; one of the Judges exprest himself not satisfied, an- 
other of them as he was going off the Bench, said they would 
have her Indicted anew. The chief Judge said he would not 
Impose upon the Jury; but intimated, as if they had not well 
considered one Expression of the Prisoners, when she was upon 
Tryal, viz. That when one Hobbs, who had confessed her self 
to be a Witch, was brought into the Court to witness against 
her, the Prisoner turning her head to her, said, " What, do you 
bring her? she is one of us," or to that effect; this together 
with the Clamours of the Accusers, induced the Jury to go 
out again, after their Verdict, not Guilty. But not agreeing, 
they came into the Court, and she being then at the Bar, her 
words were repeated to her, in order to have had her explanation 
of them, and she making no Reply to them, they found the 
Bill, and brought her in Guilty; these words being the Induce- 
ment to it, as the Foreman has signified in writing, as follows. 

July 4, 1692. I Thomas Fisk, the Subscriber hereof, being one 
of them that were of the Jury the last week at Salem-Court, upon the 
Tryal of Rebecka Nurse, etc., being desired by some of the Relations 
to give a Reason why the Jury brought her in Guilty, after her Ver- 
dict not Guilty; I do hereby give my Reasons to be as follows, viz. 

When the Verdict not Guilty was, the honoured Court was 
pleased to object against it, saying to them, that they think they let 
slip the words, which the Prisoner at the Bar spake against her self, 
which were spoken in reply to Goodwife Hobbs and her Daughter, 
who had been faulty in setting their hands to the Devils Book, as 
they have confessed formerly ; the words were " What, do these per- 


sons give in Evidence against me now, they used to come among us." 
After the honoured Court had manifested their dissatisfaction of the 
Verdict, several of the Jury declared themselves desirous to go out 
again, and thereupon the honoured Court gave leave; but when we 
came to consider of the Case, I could not tell how to take her words, 
as an Evidence against her, till she had a further opportunity to put 
her Sense upon them, if she would take it; and then going into Court, 
I mentioned the words aforesaid, which by one of the Court were 
affirmed to have been spoken by her, she being then at the Bar, but 
made no reply, nor interpretation of them; whereupon these words 
were to me a principal Evidence against her. 


When Goodwife Nurse was informed what use was made 
of these words, she put in this following Declaration into the 

These presents do humbly shew, to the honoured Court and 
Jury, that I being informed, that the Jury brought me in Guilty, 
upon my saying that Goodwife Hobbs and her Daughter were of our 
Company; but I intended no otherways, then as 1 they were Prisoners 
with us, and therefore did then, and yet do judge them not legal 
Evidence against their fellow Prisoners. And I being something 
hard of hearing, and full of grief, none informing me how the Court 
took up my words, and therefore had not opportunity to declare 
what I intended, when I said they were of our Company. 


After her Condemnation she was by one of the Ministers 
of Salem excommunicated; 2 yet the Governour saw cause to 
grant a Reprieve, which when known (and some say imme- 
diately upon granting) the Accusers renewed their dismal out- 
cries against her, insomuch that the Governour was by some 
Salem Gentleman prevailed with to recall the Reprieve, and 
she was Executed with the rest. 

1 1. e., than that. ; 

2 By Mr. Noyes, of whose church in Salem Town she was a member. Says 
the church record: "1692, July 3. After sacrament, the elders propounded to 
the church, and it was, by an unanimous vote, consented to, that our sister 
Nurse, being a convicted witch by the Court, and condemned to die, should be 
excommunicated; which was accordingly done in the afternoon, she being 
present." (Upham, Salem Witchcraft, II. 290.) Upham, himself long pastor 
of this church, has drawn a powerful picture of the probable scene. 


The Testimonials of her Christian behaviour, both in the 
course of her Life, and at her Death, and her extraordinary 
care in educating her Children, and setting them good Ex- 
amples, etc., under the hands of so many, are so numerous, that 
for brevity they are here omitted. 1 

It was at the Tryal of these that one of the Accusers cried 
out publickly of Mr. Willard Minister in Boston, 2 as afflicting 
of her; she was sent out of the Court, and it was told about 
she was mistaken in the person. 

August 5. The Court again sitting, six more were tried 
on the same Account, viz. Mr. George Burroughs, sometime 
minister of Wells, John Procter, and Elizabeth Procter his 
Wife, with John Willard of Salem- Village, George Jacobs 
Senior, of Salem, and Martha Carryer of Andover; 3 these 
were all brought in Guilty and Condemned; and were all 
Executed Aug. 19, except Procter's Wife, who pleaded Preg- 
nancy. 4 

Mr. Burroughs was carried in a Cart with the others, 
through the streets of Salem to Execution; when he was upon 
the Ladder, he made a Speech for the clearing of his Innocency, 
with such Solemn and Serious Expressions, as were to the 
Admiration of all present; his Prayer (which he concluded by 
repeating the Lord's Prayer,) was so well worded, and uttered 
with such composedness, and such (at least seeming) fervency 
of Spirit, as was very affecting, and drew Tears from many 
(so that it seemed to some, that the Spectators would hinder 

*Two of these testimonials, one of them signed by thirty-eight of her 
neighbors, are printed by Upham (Salem Witchcraft, II. 271-272), and more ex- 
actly, from the still extant MSS., in the Historical Collections of the Topsfield 
Historical Society (XIII. 57-58) and with them the touching evidence of the 
neighbors who first bore her the news of her accusation. 

1 See above, pp. 22, 184, and 186, note 3. 

8 As to the trials of Burroughs and Goodwife Carrier see above, pp. 215-222, 
241-244, and records there cited. Those relating to Procter and his wife, to 
Willard, and to Jacobs may be found in Records of Salem Witchcraft (I. 60-74, 
99-117, 266-279, 253-265). The testimonials on behalf of the Procters are re- 
printed (with corrections) by Upham (Salem Witchcraft, II. 305-307). As to 
Willard other papers will be found in Dr. S. A. Green's Groton in the Witchcraft 
Times (Groton, 1883), pp. 23-29. The documents relating to Jacobs are to be 
found also in the Collections of the Essex Institute (II. 49-57), where (and in I. 
52-56) are further details as to him and his household. 

4 For Brattle's account of their execution see above, p. 177. 


the Execution). The accusers said the black Man stood and 
dictated to him; as soon as he was turned off, Mr. Cotton 
Mather, being mounted upon a Horse, addressed himself to 
the People, partly to declare, that he was no ordained Minis- 
ter, and partly to possess the People of his guilt; saying, That 
the Devil has often been transformed into an Angel of Light; 
and this did somewhat appease the People, and the Execu- 
tions went on; when he was cut down, he was dragged by the 
Halter to a Hole, or Grave, between the Rocks, about two 
foot deep, his Shirt and Breeches being pulled off, and an old 
pair of Trousers of one Executed, put on his lower parts, he 
was so put in, together with Willard and Carryer, one of his 
Hands and his Chin, and a Foot of one [of] them being left 
uncovered. 1 

John Willard had been imployed to fetch in several that 
were accused; but taking dissatisfaction from his being sent, 
to fetch up some that he had better thoughts of, he declined 
the Service, and presently after he himself was accused of the 
same Crime, and that with such vehemency, that they sent 
after him to apprehend him; he had made his Escape as far 
as Nashawag, 2 about 40 Miles from Salem; yet "'tis said those 
Accusers did then presently tell the exact time, saying, now 
Willard is taken. 

John Procter and his Wife being in Prison, the Sheriff 
came to his House and seized all the Goods, Provisions, and 
Cattle that he could come at, and sold some of the Cattle at 
half price, and killed others, and put them up for the West- 
Indies; threw out the Beer out of a Barrel, and carried away 
the Barrel ; emptied a Pot of Broath, and took away the Pot, 
and left nothing in the House for the support of the Children : 
No part of the said Goods are known to be returned. Procter 
earnestly requested Mr. Noyes to pray with and for him, but 

1 "This day," writes Judge Sewall in his diary, "George Burrough, John 
Willard, Jno. Procter, Martha Carrier and George Jacobs were executed at Salem, 
a very great number of Spectators being present. Mr. Cotton Mather was 
there, Mr. Sims, Hale, Noyes, Chiever, etc. All of them said they were innocent, 
Carrier and all. Mr. Mather says they all died by a Righteous Sentence. Mr. 
Burrough by his Speech, Prayer, protestation of his Innocence, did much move 
unthinking persons, which occasions their speaking hardly concerning his being 
executed." In the margin he later added "Dolefull Witchcraft!" 

2 Nashaway, an old name of Lancaster. 


it was wholly denied, because he would not own himself to be 
a Witch. 

During his Imprisonment he sent the following Letter, in 
behalf of himself and others. 

SALEM-PRISON, July 23, 1692. 
Mr. Mather, Mr. Allen, 
Mr. Moody, Mr. Willard, and 
Mr. Bailey. 1 

Reverend Gentlemen. 

The innocency of our Case with the Enmity of our Accusers 
and our Judges, and Jury, whom nothing but our Innocent Blood 
will serve their turn, having Condemned us already before our Tryals, 
being so much incensed and engaged against us by the Devil, makes 
us bold to Beg and Implore your Favourable Assistance of this our 
Humble Petition to his Excellency, That if it be possible our Inno- 
cent Blood may be spared, which undoubtedly otherwise will be 
shed, if the Lord doth not mercifully step in. The Magistrates, Min- 
isters, Jewries, 2 and all the People in general, being so much inraged 
and incensed against us by the Delusion of the Devil, which we 
can term no other, by reason we know in our own Consciences, we 
are all Innocent Persons. Here are five Persons who have lately 

1 By "Mr. Mather" is unquestionably meant Increase Mather. He alone, 
as the senior in age and in dignity, could with propriety be thus given the first 
place; and his son, if named at all, would have been identified as "Mr. Cotton 
Mather." That he is not named at all needs no explanation to those who have 
read his own words as to accusers and accused and his complaints as to the blame 
heaped upon himself. Of Moody, Willard, Bailey, we have perhaps seen enough 
in earlier pages to guess why such an appeal might with hope be addressed to 
them. The Boston Tory Joshua Broadbent, writing on June 21 from New York, 
reported that "Mrs. Moody, Parson Moody 's wife, is said to be one" of the 
witches. (Calendar of State Papers, Colonial, 1689-1692, p. 653.) Of Allen, the 
well-to-do minister of the First Church, who seems to have been a man of much 
caution, it may be well to remember that prior to 1678 he had owned the estate 
at Salem Village since occupied, but not yet in full ownership, by the Nurses, 
Procter's near neighbors, and that he was doubtless personally known to the 
petitioner. Bailey, who had come to America in 1683, had at first assisted Wil- 
lard at the South Church, and, after a pastorate at Watertown, was now Allen's 
assistant at the First. 

* Juries. It should not be overlooked that in these trials of 1692 the jurors 
were chosen from among church-members only, not, as later, from all who had 
the property to make them voters under the new charter. The act establish- 
ing this qualification for the jurors was not passed till November 25. (See 
Goodeli in Mass. Hist. Soc., Proceedings, second series, I. 67-68.) 


confessed themselves to be Witches, and do accuse some of us, of 
being along with them at a Sacrament, since we were committed into 
close Prison, which we know to be Lies. Two of the 5 are (Carriers 
Sons 1 ) Young-men, who would not confess any thing till they tyed 
them Neck and Heels 2 till the Blood was ready to come out of their 
Noses, and 'tis credibly believed and reported this was the occasion 
of making them confess that 3 they never did, by reason they said 
one had been a Witch a Month, and another five Weeks, and that 
their Mother had made them so, who has been confined here this 
nine Weeks. My son William Procter, when he was examin'd, be- 
cause he would not confess that he was Guilty, when he was Innocent, 
they tyed him Neck and Heels till the Blood gushed out at his Nose, 
and would have kept him so 24 Hours, if one more Merciful than the 
rest, had not taken pity on him, and caused him to be unbound. 
These actions are very like the Popish Cruelties. They have already 
undone us in our Estates, and that will not serve their turns, without 
our Innocent Bloods. If it cannot be granted that we can have our 

1 Richard and Andrew, sons of Martha Carrier, of Andover. (See above, 
pp. 241-244.) Richard was 18. 

2 As to this form of torture see above, p. 102 and note 1. For some of the 
evidence extorted by it in this case see Records of Salem Witchcraft, p. 198. The 
use of torture in cases of witchcraft had been recommended by Perkins, the 
Puritan oracle, and yet more warmly by King James; and despite protesting 
jurists it came into use. Even Coke, who maintains that "there is no Law to 
warrant tortures in this land, nor can they be justified by any prescription," 
has to add "being so lately brought in" (Institutes, III., cap. 2). As to its actual 
use in English witch-trials see Notestein, Witchcraft in England, index, *. v. 
"Torture." But Massachusetts law, from 1641 on, had straitly forbidden it ex- 
cept, after conviction, to extort the names of accomplices; and even then forbade 
"such tortures as be barbarous and inhumane" (see Body of Liberties, par. 45; 
ed. of 1660, p. 67; ed. of 1672, p. 129). If in 1648 the highest court of the colony, 
learning with admiration of the achievements of Matthew Hopkins in England, 
was "desirous that the same course which hath been taken in England for the 
discovery of witches, by watchinge, may also be taken here," and ordered, in 
the case of a witch, that "a strict watch be set about her every night, and that 
her husband be confined to a private room, and watched also" (Records of Massa- 
chusetts, III. 126), their phrasing betrays how little they understood the rigor of 
the English method. In 1692 even Cotton Mather declared himself "farr from 
urging the un-English method of torture" (Mather Papers, p. 394), though he 
urged on the judges "whatever hath a tendency to put the witches into con- 
fusion," such as "Crosse and Swift Questions." But the procedure of that day, 
like our own, drew a line between what might be used in the courts and what 
might be permitted to extra-judicial inquiry, and we shall see yet more of methods 
used at Salem to extort confession. 

3 That which. 


Trials at Boston, we humbly beg that you would endeavour to have 
these Magistrates changed, and others in their rooms, begging also 
and beseeching you would be pleased to be here, if not all, some of 
you at our Trials, hoping thereby you may be the means of saving 
the shedding our Innocent Bloods, desiring your Prayers to the Lord 
in our behalf, we rest your Poor Afflicted Servants, 


He pleaded very hard at Execution, for a little respite of 
time, saying that he was not fit to Die ; but it was not granted. 

Old Jacobs being Condemned, the Sheriff and Officers 
came and seized all he had, his Wife had her Wedding Ring 
taken from her, but with great difficulty obtained it again. 
She was forced to buy Provisions of the Sheriff, such as he had 
taken, towards her own support, which not being sufficient, 
the Neighbours of Charity relieved her. 1 

Margaret Jacobs being one that had confessed her own 
Guilt, and testified against her Grand-Father Jacobs, Mr. 
Burroughs, and John Willard, She the day before Executions, 
came to Mr. Burroughs, acknowledging that she had belyed 
them, 2 and begged Mr. Burroughs Forgiveness, who not only 

1 7. e., out of charity the neighbors relieved her. 

1 How she was brought to confess she herself told in a brave paper : 

"The humble declaration of Margaret Jacobs unto the honoured court now 
sitting at Salem, sheweth 

"That whereas your poor and humble declarant being closely confined here 
in Salem jail for the crime of witchcraft, which crime, thanks be to the Lord, 
I am altogether ignorant of, as will appear at the great day of judgment. May 
it please the honoured court, I was cried out upon by some of the possessed per- 
sons, as afflicting of them; whereupon I was brought to my examination, which 
persons at the sight of me fell down, which did very much startle and affright me. 
The Lord above knows I knew nothing, in the least measure, how or who afflicted 
them; they told me, without doubt I did, or else they would not fall down at 
me; they told me if I would not confess, I should be put down into the dungeon 
and would be hanged, but if I would confess I should have my life; the which 
did so affright me, with my own vile wicked heart, to save my life made me make 
the confession I did, which confession, may it please the honoured court, is alto- 
gether false and untrue. The very first night after I had made my confession, 
I was in such horror of conscience that I could not sleep, for fear the Devil should 
carry me away for telling such horrid lies. I was, may it please the honoured 
court, sworn to my confession, as I understand since, but then, at that time, 
was ignorant of it, not knowing what an oath did mean. The Lord, I hope, in 
whom I trust, out of the abundance of his mercy, will forgive me my false for- 


forgave her, but also Prayed with and for her. She wrote the 
following Letter to her Father. 

From the Dungeon in Salem-Prison, August 20, 92. 

Honoured Father, 

After my Humble Duty Remembred to you, hoping in the Lord 
of your good Health, as Blessed be God I enjoy, tho in abundance of 
Affliction, being close confined here in a loathsome Dungeon, the 
Lord look down in mercy upon me, not knowing how soon I shall be 
put to Death, by means of the Afflicted Persons; my Grand-Father 
having Suffered already, and all his Estate Seized for the King. The 
reason of my Confinement is this, I having, through the Magistrates 
Threatnings, and my own Vile and Wretched Heart, confessed sev- 
eral things contrary to my Conscience and Knowledg, tho to the 
Wounding of my own Soul, the Lord pardon me for it; but Oh! the 
terrors of a wounded Conscience who can bear. But blessed be the 
Lord, he would not let me go on in my Sins, but in mercy I hope so 
my Soul would not suffer me to keep it in any longer, but I was 
forced to confess the truth of all before the Magistrates, who would 
not believe me, but tis their pleasure to put me in here, and God knows 
how soon I shall be put to death. Dear Father, let me beg your 
Prayers to the Lord on my behalf, and send us a Joyful and Happy 
meeting in Heaven. My Mother poor Woman is very Crazey, and 

swearing myself. What I said was altogether false, against my grandfather, 
and Mr. Burroughs, which I did to save my life and to have my liberty; but the 
Lord, charging it to my conscience, made me in so much horror, that I could not 
contain myself before I had denied my confession, which I did, though I saw 
nothing but death before me, choosing rather death with a quiet conscience, 
than to live in such horror, which I could not suffer. Whereupon my denying 
my confession, I was committed to close prison, where I have enjoyed more felicity 
in spirit a thousand times than I did before in my enlargement. 

"And now, may it please your honours, your poor and humble declarant 
having, in part, given your honours a description of my condition, do leave it to 
your honours pious and judicious discretions to take pity and compassion on my 
young and tender years; to act and do with me as the Lord above and your hon- 
ours shall see good, having no friend but the Lord to plead my cause for me; 
not being guilty in the least measure of the crime of witchcraft, nor any other 
sin that deserves death from man; and your poor and humble declarant shall 
forever pray, as she is bound in duty, for your honours' happiness in this life, 
and eternal felicity in the world to come. So prays your honours declarant. 


The document is preserved by Hutchinson, and may be found in the first 
chapter of his second volume (or in Poole's reprint of an earlier draft, N. E. 
Hist, and Gen. Register, XXIV. 402-403). 


remembers her kind Love to you, and to Uncle, viz. D. A. 1 So 
leaving you to the protection of the Lord, I rest your Dutiful Daughter, 


At the time appointed for her Tryal, she had an Impos- 
thume in her head, which was her Escape. 2 

September 9. Six more were tried, and received Sentance 
of Death, viz. Martha Cory of Salem-Village, Mary Easty of 
Topsfield, Alice Parker and Ann Pudeater of Salem, Dorcas 
Hoar of Beverly, and Mary Bradberry of Salisbury. 3 Septem- 
ber 16, Giles Cory was prest to Death. 

September 17. Nine more received Sentance of Death, viz. 
Margaret Scot of Rowly, Good wife Redd of Marblehead, 
Samuel Wardwell, and Mary Parker of Andover, also Abigail 
Falkner of Andover, who pleaded Pregnancy, Rebecka Eames 
of Boxford, Mary Lacy, and Ann Foster of Ajidover, and Abi- 
gail Hobbs of Topsfield. 4 Of these Eight were Executed, 

1 Daniel Andrew, the kinsman and neighbor who had fled with her father. 
He had been a leading man, a teacher, a deputy to the General Court, and appar- 
ently a staunch opponent of the panic. As to the crazed mother, see p. 371, 
below, and the grandmother's petition in Mass. Hist. Soc., Collections, V. 79 (or 
in Chandler's American Criminal Trials, I. 431-432). 

* For a little more of her story see below, p. 371. She was acquitted in 
January, but had to remain in jail, even after the governor by proclamation 
had freed the prisoners (May, 1693), for want of means to pay her prison fees. 
A stranger, touched with compassion on hearing of her case, advanced the money 
and was in time repaid. (Upham, Salem Witchcraft, II. 353-354.) 

3 The papers relating to Ann Pudeater (Records of Salem Witchcraft, II. 12- 
22) have been embodied in a study of her case by G. F. Chever in the Collections 
of the Essex Institute (II. 37-42, 49-54). The widow Dorcas Hoar seems to 
have earned some suspicion by an interest in fortune-telling (Records of Salem 
Witchcraft, I. 235-253), and, though she confessed, she was condemned; but she 
had potent friends. "A petition is sent to Town," says Sewall in his Diary on 
September 21, "in behalf of Dorcas Hoar, who now confesses. Accordingly an 
order is sent to the Sheriff to forbear her Execution." "This is," he adds, "the 
first condemned person who has confess'd." The aged Mrs. Bradbury, daughter 
of John Perkins of Ipswich and wife of Captain Thomas Bradbury of Salisbury, 
was not only one of the most socially eminent but one of the most venerated 
women of her region, and her arrest enlisted in her defence the public sentiment 
of all the district (see Records of Salem Witchcraft, II. 160-174). She was aided 
to escape from prison, and so from death. 

4 For the Andover and Topsfield cases reference may again be made to Mrs. 
Bailey's Historical Sketches of Andover and to vol. XIII. of tlrs Collections of the 
Topsfield Historical Society as well as to the Records of Salem Witchcraft. The 


September 22, viz. Martha Cory, Mary Easty, Alice Parker, 
Ann Pudeater, Margaret Scot, Willmet Redd, Samuel Ward- 
well, and Mary Parker. 

Giles Cory pleaded not Guilty to his Indictment, but would 
not put himself upon Tryal by the Jury (they having cleared 
none upon Tryal) and knowing there would be the same Wit- 
nesses against him, rather chose to undergo what Death they 
would put him to. In pressing his Tongue being prest out 
of his Mouth, the Sheriff with his Cane forced it in again, 
when he was dying. He was the first in New-England, that 
was ever prest to Death. 1 

The Cart going up the Hill with these Eight to Execution, 
was for some time at a sett ; the afflicted and others said, that 
the Devil hindred it, etc. 

Martha Cory, Wife to Giles Cory, protesting her Inno- 
cency, concluded her Life with an Eminent Prayer upon the 

Wardwell having formerly confessed himself Guilty, and 
after denied it, was soon brought upon his Tryal; his former 
Confession and Spectre Testimony was all that appeared 
against him. At Execution while he was speaking to the Peo- 
ple, protesting his Innocency, the Executioner being at the 
same time smoaking Tobacco, the smoak coming in his Face, 
interrupted his Discourse, those Accusers said, the Devil hin- 
dred him with smoak. 

Mary Easty, Sister also to Rebecka Nurse, when she took 

papers as to Wilmot Redd, or Reed, are in the Records (II. 97-106); Margaret 
Scott's seem lost. The examinations of Mary Lacy and Ann Foster should be 
studied in Hutchinson's chapter as well as in the Records (II. 135-142), and see 
also p. 244, above, and pp. 418-419, below. 

1 This was, of course, the old English "peine forte et dure" for those who, in 
cases of petty treason or of felony, will not "put themselves upon the country," 
or, as Coke has it, "when the offender standeth mute, and refuseth to be tryed 
by the common law of the land." (See Pollock and Maitland, History of English 
Law, second ed., II. 650-652.) Whether in Giles Corey's case this was mere 
proud protest or had some ulterior end is not yet clear. The theory that he hoped 
thereby to save himself from attainder and preserve his right to bequeath his 
property has been learnedly contested by G. H. Motore (see especially his Final 
Notes on Witchcraft in Massachusetts, New York, 1885, pp. 40-59). As to Giles 
Corey see also p. 250, above, and Records of Salem Witchcraft, II. 175-180. The 
missing report of his examination is printed at the end of Calef's book in the 
editions of 1823, 1861, and 1866. 


her last farewell of her Husband, Children and Friends, was, 
as is reported by them present, as Serious, Religious, Distinct, 
and Affectionate as could well be exprest, drawing Tears from 
the Eyes of almost all present. It seems besides the Testi- 
mony of the Accusers and Confessors, another proof, as it was 
counted, appeared against her, it having been usual to search 
the Accused for Tets; upon some parts of her Body, not here 
to be named, was found an Excrescence, which they called a 
Tet. Before her Death she put up the following Petition: 

To the Honorable Judge and Bench now sitting in Judicature in 
Salem and the Reverend Ministers, humbly sheweth, That whereas 
your humble poor Petitioner being Condemned to die, doth humbly 
beg of you, to take it into your Judicious and Pious Consideration, 
that your poor and humble Petitioner knowing my own Innocency 
(blessed be the Lord for it) and seeing plainly the Wiles and Subtilty 
of my Accusers, by my self, cannot but judge charitably of others, 
that are going the same way with my self, if the Lord step not 
mightily in. I was confined a whole Month on the same account 
that I am now condemned for, and then cleared by the Afflicted per- 
sons, as some of your Honours know, and in two days time I was 
cried out upon by them, and have been confined, and now am con- 
demned to die. The Lord above knows my Innocency then, and 
likewise doth now, as at the great day will be known to Men and 
Angels. I Petition to your Honours not for my own Life, for I know 
I must die, and my appointed time is set; but the Lord he knows it 
is, if it be possible, that no more Innocent Blood be shed, which un- 
doubtedly cannot be avoided in the way and course you go in. I 
question not, but your Honours do to the utmost of your powers, 
in the discovery and detecting of Witchcraft and Witches, and would 
not be guilty of Innocent Blood for the World; but by my own 
Innocency I know you are in the wrong way. The Lord in his in- 
finite Mercy direct you in this great work, if it be his blessed will, 
that Innocent Blood be not shed; I would humbly beg of you, that 
your Honours would be pleased to Examine some of those confess- 
ing Witches, I being confident there are several of them have belyed 
themselves and others, as will appear, if not in this World, I am sure 
in the World to come, whither I am going; and I question not, but 
your selves will see an alteration in these things : They say, my self 
and others have made a league with the Devil, we cannot confess. 
I know and the Lord he knows (as will shortly appear) they belye 
me, and so I question not but they do others; the Lord alone, who 
is the searcher of all hearts, knows that as I shall answer it at the 


A^ ''*>? i>^ A. -^t 

***$|< { c *~) &'< 

y* "J /C? 
, /u-'ic ff {'nejt te-tukFff 


From the original at the Essex County Court House, Salem. 
(The lower part of the plate shows the conclusion of the 
petition, on the reverse of the page) 


Tribunal Seat, that I know not the least thing of Witchcraft, there- 
fore I cannot, I durst not belye my own Soul. I beg your Honours 
not to deny this my humble Petition, from a poor dying Innocent 
person, and I question not but the Lord will give a blessing to your 
Endeavours. MARY ESTY. 

After Execution Mr. Noyes turning him to the Bodies, 
said, what a sad thing it is to see Eight Firebrands of Hell 
hanging there. 

In October 1692, One of Wenham 1 complained of Mrs. 
Hale, whose Husband, the Minister of Beverly, had been very- 
forward in these Prosecutions, but being fully satisfied of his 
Wives sincere Christianity, caused him to alter his Judgment; 
for it was come to a stated Controversie, among the New- 
England Divines, whether the Devil could Afflict in a good 
Man's shape; it seems nothing else could convince him: yet 
when it came so near to himself, he was soon convinc'd that 
the Devil might so Afflict. 2 Which same reason did after- 

1 Mary Herrick. At least the following remarkable tale of hers (first pub- 
lished in the N. E. Hist, and Gen. Register, XXVII. 55) must have had to do with 
Mr. Hale's change of view: 

"An Account Received from the mouth of Mary Herrick aged about 17 
yeares having been Afflicted [by] the Devill or some of his instruments, about 2 
month. She saith she had oft been Afflicted and that the shape of Mrs. Hayle 
had been represented to her, One amongst others, but she knew not what hand 
Afflicted her then, but on the 5th of the 9th [i. e., November] She Appeared again 
with the Ghost of Gooddee Easty, and that then Mrs. Hayle did sorely Afflict 
her by pinching, pricking and Choaking her. On the 12th of the 9th she Came 
again and Gooddee Easty with her and then Mrs. Hayle did Afflict her as formerly. 
Sd Easty made as if she would speake but did not, but on the same night they 
Came again and Mrs. Hayle did sorely Afflict her, and asked her if she thought 
she was a Witch. The Girl answered no, You be the Devill. Then said Easty 
sd and speake, She Came to tell her She had been put to Death wrongfully and 
was Innocent of Witchcraft, and she Came to Vindicate her Cause and she Cryed 
Vengeance, Vengeance, and bid her reveal this to Mr. Hayle and Gerish, and then 
she would rise no more, nor should Mrs. Hayle Afflict her any more. Memorand : 
that Just before sd Easty was Executed, She Appeared to sd Girl, and said I 
am going upon the Ladder to be hanged for a Witch, but I am innocent, and be- 
fore a 12 Month be past you shall believe it. Sd Girl sd she speake not of this 
before because she believed she was Guilty, Till Mrs. Hayle appeared to her and 
Afflicted her, but now she believeth it is all a Delusion of the Devil. 
"This before Mr. Hayle and Gerish 14th of the 9th 1692." 
"Gerish" means the Rev. Joseph Gerrish, of Wenham, who is doubtless here 
the scribe. 

2 But see (at pp. 404, 405, below) Hale's own account of this change of view. 


wards prevail with many others; and much influenced to the 
succeeding change at Tryals. 1 

October 7. (Edward Bishop and his Wife having made 
their Escape out of Prison) this day Mr. Corwin the Sheriff, 
came and Seiz'd his Goods, and Cattle, and had it not been 
for his second Son (who borrowed Ten Pound and gave it him) 
they had been wholly lost, the Receipt follows; but it seems 
they must be content with such a Receipt as he would give 

Received this 7th day of October 1692, of Samuel Bishop of the 
Town of Salem, of the County of Essex, in New-England, Cordwainer, 
in full satisfaction, a valuable Summ of Money, for the Goods and 
Chattels of Edward Bishop, Senior, of the Town and County afore- 
said, Husbandman; which Goods and Chattels being seized, for that 
the said Edward Bishop, and Sarah his Wife, having been committed 
for Witchcraft and Felony, have made their Escape; and their Goods 
and Chatties were forfeited unto their Majesties, and now being in 
Possession of the said Samuel Bishop; and in behalf of Their Majes- 
ties, I do hereby discharge the said Goods and Chatties, the day and 
year above written, as witness my hand, 


But before this the said Bishops Eldest Son, having Mar- 
ried into that Family of the Putmans, 2 who were chief Prose- 
cutors in this business; he holding a Cow to be branded lest 
it should be seiz'd, and having a Push or Boyl upon his Thigh, 
with his straining it broke; this is that that was pretended to 
be burnt with the said Brand; and is one of the bones thrown 
to the Dogmatical to pick, in Wonders of the Invisible World, 
P. 143. 3 the other, of a Corner of a Sheet, pretended to be taken 
from a Spectre, it is known that it was provided the day before, 
by that Afflicted person, and the third bone of a Spindle is 
almost as easily provided, as the piece of the Knife; so that 
Apollo needs not herein be consulted, 4 etc. 

1 Hole's whole book (see below, pp. 397-432) is a commentary on this passage. 

1 His wife was a daughter of John Putnam, brother of Nathaniel and uncle 
of Deacon Edward and of the Thomas whose wife and daughter were of the 
"afflicted." As to the Bishops see (besides Upham) Essex Institute Collections, 
XLII. 146 ff. 

a At pp. 247-248, above. 

4 /. e., it needs no oracle to explain the matter; see p. 248, note 1. 


Mr. Philip English and his Wife having made their Escape 
out of Prison, Mr. Corwin the Sheriff seiz'd his Estate, to the 
value of about Fifteen Hundred Pound, which was wholly 
lost to him, except about Three Hundred Pound value, (which 
was afterward restored.) 1 

After Goodwife Hoar was Condemned, her Estate was seiz'd, 
and was also bought again for Eight Pound. 

George Jacobs, Son to old Jacobs, 2 being accused, he fled, 
then the Officers came to his House, his Wife was a Woman 
Crazy in her Senses and had been so several Years. She it 
seems had been also accused; there were in the House with 
her only four small Children, and one of them suck'd, her 
Eldest Daughter 3 being in Prison; the Officer perswaded 
her out of the House, to go along with him, telling her she 
should speedily return, the Children ran a great way after 
her crying. 

When she came where the Afflicted were, being asked, they 
said they did not know her, at length one said, don't you know 
Jacobs the old Witch, and then they cry'd out of her, and fell 
down in their Fits; she was sent to Prison, and lay there Ten 
Months, the Neighbours of pitty took care of the Children 
to preserve them from perishing. 

About this time a New Scene was begun, one Joseph Bal- 
lard of Andover, whose Wife was ill (and after died of a Fever) 
sent to Salem for some of those Accusers, to tell him who * 

1 Philip English was the foremost ship-owner of Salem, a man of large wealth; 
and exceptional prominence. He had come in early life from the island of Jersey 
and at Salem had married, in 1675, the daughter and heiress of the merchant 
William Hollingworth. His wife, now thirty-nine, a lady of education and re- 
finement, was arrested on April 22 (see p. 347, above) and on April 30 a warrant 
was issued for himself, but he could not be found. Detected, however, in his 
Boston hiding-place, he was on May 31 committed, but was allowed to give bail, 
and with his wife was kept in loose custody at Boston. As to their escape thence, 
see above, pp. 178, 186, note 3; and for their story in general the articles by 
G. F. Chever in the Essex Institute's Collections, I., II., Salem Witchcraft Records, 
I. 189-193, the evidence of William Beale appended by Drake to his ed. of 
Mather and Calef (III. 177-185), the documents printed in the Publications of the 
Colonial Society of Massachusetts, X. 17-20, a letter of Dr. Bentley in Mass. 
Hist. Soc., Collections, first ser., X. 64-66, and a passage from his diary quoted , 
by R. D. Paine in The Ships and Sailors of Old Salem (New York, 1909), pp. ' 

8 See above, pp. 360, 364. * Margaret. See pp. 364-366. 


afflicted his Wife; others did the like: Horse and Man were 
sent from several places to fetch those Accusers who had the 
Spectral sight, that they might thereby tell who afflicted those 
that were any ways ill. 

When these came into any place where such were, usually 
they fell into a Fit; after which being asked who it was that 
afflicted the person, they would, for the most part, name one 
whom they said sat on the head, and another that sat on the 
lower parts of the afflicted. Soon after Ballard's sending (as 
above) more than Fifty of the People of Andover were com- 
plained of, for afflicting their Neighbours. Here it was that 
many accused themselves, of Riding upon Poles through the 
Air; Many Parents believing their Children to be Witches, 
and many Husbands their Wives, etc. When these Accusers 
came to the House of any upon such account, it was ordinary 
for other young People to be taken in Fits, and to have the 
same Spectral sight. 

Mr. Dudley Bradstreet, 1 a Justice of Peace in Andover, 
having granted out Warrants against, and Committed Thirty 
or Forty to Prisons, for the supposed Witchcrafts, at length 
saw cause to forbear granting out any more Warrants. Soon 
after which he and his Wife were cried out of, himself was (by 
them) said to have killed Nine persons by Witchcraft, and 
found it his safest course to make his Escape. 

A Dog being afflicted at Salem- Village, those that had the 
Spectral sight being sent for, they accused Mr. John Brad- 
street (Brother to the Justice) that he afflicted the said Dog, 
and now rid upon him : He made his Escape into Pescattequa- 
Government, 2 and the Dog was put to death, and was all of 
the Afflicted that suffered death. 

At Andover, the Afflicted complained of a Dog, as afflict- 
ing of them, and would fall into their Fits at the Dogs look- 
ing upon them; the Dog was put to death. 

A worthy Gentleman of Boston, being about this time ac- 
cused by those at Andover, he sent by some particular Friends 
a Writ to Arrest those Accusers in a Thousand Pound Action 
for Defamation, with instructions to them, to inform themselves 
of the certainty of the proof, in doing which their business was 

1 A son of the venerable Governor Bradstreet and himself a man of station. 
1 /. e., New Hampshire. 


perceived, and from thence forward the Accusations at Andover 
generally ceased. 1 

In October some of these Accusers were sent for to Glocester, 
and occasioned four Women to be sent to Prison, but Salem 
Prison being so full it could receive no more, two were sent 
to Ipswich Prison. In November they were sent for again 
by Lieutenant Stephens, who was told that a Sister of his was 
bewitched; in their way passing over Ipswich-bridge, they 
met with an old Woman, and instantly fell into their Fits: 
But by this time the validity of such Accusations being much 
questioned, they found not that Encouragement they had 
done elsewhere, and soon withdrew. 

These Accusers swore that they saw three persons sitting 
upon Lieutenant Stephens's Sister till she died; yet Bond was 
accepted for those Three. 

And now Nineteen persons having been hang'd, and one 
prest to death, and Eight more condemned, in all Twenty and 
Eight, of which above a third part were Members of some of 
the Churches in N. England, and more than half of them of a 
good Conversation in general, and not one clear'd; About 
Fifty having confest themselves to be Witches, of which not 
one Executed; above an Hundred and Fifty in Prison, and 
above Two Hundred more accused; The Special Commission 
of Oyer and Terminer comes to a period, 2 which has no other 
foundation than the Governours Commission, 3 and had pro- 
ceeded in the manner of swearing Witnesses, viz. By holding 
up the hand, (and by receiving Evidences in writing) accord- 
ing to the Ancient Usage of this Countrey; as also having 
then* Indictments in English. In the Tryals, when any were 
Indicted for Afflicting, Pining, and wasting the Bodies of par- 
ticular persons by Witchcraft; it was usual to hear Evidence 
of matter foreign, and of perhaps Twenty or Thirty years 
standing, about over-setting Carts, the death of Cattle, un- 

1 On this Andover episode see also pp. 180181, 241-244, above. 

2 Its last session was on September 22, though the court was not definitely 
dropped till the end of October. See above, p. 200 and note 1. 

3 The implication perhaps is that the governor exceeded his powers. That 
question has been much and hotly debated most learnedly by Mr. A. C. Goodell 
in his Further Notes on the History of Witchcraft in Massachusetts (Cambridge, 
1884), pp. 20 ff., and Dr. G. H. Moore in his Final Notes on Witchcraft in Massa- 
chusetts (New York, 1885), pp. 71-84. 


kindness to Relations, or unexpected Accidents befalling after 
some quarrel. Whether this was admitted by the Law of 
England, or by what other Law, wants to be determined; the 
Executions seemed mixt, in pressing to death for not pleading, 
which most agrees with the Laws of England, and Sentencing 
Women to be hanged for Witchcraft, according to the former 
practice of this Country, and not by burning, as is said to 
have been the Law of England. 1 And though the confessing 
Witches were many; yet not one of them that confessed their 
own guilt, and abode by their Confession were put to Death. 2 
Here followeth what account some of those miserable 
Creatures give of their Confession under their own hands. 

We whose Names are under written, Inhabitants of Andover, 
when as that horrible and tremendous Judgment beginning at Salem- 
Village, in the Year 1692, (by some) call'd Witchcraft, first breaking 
forth at Mr. Parris's House, several Young persons being seemingly 
afflicted, did accuse several persons for afflicting them, and many 
there believing it so to be; we being informed that if a person were 
sick, that the afflicted persons could tell, what or who was the cause 
of that sickness. - ; Joseph Ballard of Andover (his Wife being sick at 
the same time) he either from himself, or by the advice of others, 
fetch'd two of the persons call'd the afflicted persons, from Salem- 
Village to Andover. Which was the beginning of that dreadful 
Calamity that bef el us in Andover. ; And the Authority in Andover, 
believing the said Accusations to be true, sent for the said persons to 
come together, to the Meeting-house in Andover (the afflicted per- 

1 This is an error. In England, too, witches were hanged unless convicted 
of bewitching to death their husbands, when for husband-murder, "petty treason," 
they were burned (see Coke, Institutes, pt. III., cap. 2, 6, 101, and the records 
of the courts). Sir Matthew Hale indeed makes witchcraft "at Common Law" 
still "punished with death, as Heresie, by Writ De Haeretico Comburendo" (Pleas 
of the Crown, p. 6). But this, of course, was after trial by an ecclesiastical court; 
and since the Reformation ecclesiastical courts had not had cognizance of such 

1 This, the most striking feature of the Salem trials, is perhaps partially ex- 
plained by the closing suggestion of Cotton Mather's advice to the judges (Mather 
Papers, p. 396) : "What if some of the lesser Criminalls be onely scourged with 
lesser punishments, and also put upon some solemn, open, Publike and Explicitt 
renunciation of the Divil? ... Or what if the death of some of the offenders 
were either diverted or inflicted, according to the successe of such their renuncia- 
tion? " If it was unique that those who confessed escaped death, it was nothing 
unique that they should be reckoned "lesser Criminalls." 


sons being there.) After Mr. Bernard * had been at Prayer, we were 
blindfolded, and our hands were laid upon the afflicted persons, they 
being in their Fits, and falling into their Fits at our coming into their 
presence (as they said) and some led us and laid our hands upon them, 
and then they said they were well, and that we were guilty of afflict- 
ing of them; whereupon we were all seized as Prisoners, by a Warrant 
from the Justice of the Peace, and forthwith carried to Salem. And 
by reason of that suddain surprizal, we knowing our selves altogether 
Innocent of that Crime, we were all exceedingly astonished and 
amazed, and consternated and affrighted even out of our Reason; 
and our nearest and dearest Relations, seeing us in that dreadful 
condition, and knowing our great danger, apprehending that there 
was no other way to save our lives, as the case was then circumstanti- 
ated, but by our confessing our selves to be such and such persons, 
as the afflicted represented us to be, they out of tender love and pitty 
perswaded us to confess what we did confess. And indeed that 
Confession, that is said we made, was no other than what was sug- 
gested to us by some Gentlemen; they telling us, that we were 
Witches, and they knew it, and we knew it, and they knew that we 
knew it, which made us think that it w r as so; and our understanding, 
our reason, and our faculties almost gone, we were not capable of 
judging our condition; as also the hard measures they used w r ith us, 
rendred us uncapable of making our Defence; but said any thing and 
every thing which they desired, and most of what we said, was but 
in effect a consenting to what they said. Sometime after when we 
were better composed, they telling of us what we had confessed, we 
did profess that we were Innocent, and Ignorant of such things. 
And we hearing that Samuel Wardwell had renounced his Confession, 
and quickly after Condemned and Executed, some of us were told 
that we were going after Wardwell. 


It may here be further added concerning those that did 
Confess, that besides that powerful Argument, of Life (and 

lf The Rev. Thomas Barnard, associate minister at Andover. Dane, his 
senior, seems to have been averse to the proceedings. 

2 This is doubtless what Brattle calls (p. 189, above) "a petition lately offered 
to the chief Judge." The examination and confession of Mary Osgood may be 
found in Hutchinson's Massachusetts, II. ch. I. (or in Poole's reprint, N. E. Hist, 
and Gen. Register, XXIV. 398). She, the two Tylers, and Abigail Barker were 
tried and acquitted in January at the first session of the new Superior Court 
(see in vol. X. of the Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts the 
brief but valuable paper of John Noble, pp. 12-26). 


freedom from hardships and Irons not only promised, but also 
performed to all that owned their guilt), There are numerous 
Instances, too many to be here inserted, of the tedious Exami- 
nations before private persons, many hours together; they all 
that time urging them to Confess (and taking turns to per- 
swade them) till the accused were wearied out by being forced 
to stand so long, or for want of Sleep, etc. and so brought to 
give an Assent to what they said; they then asking them, 
Were you at such a Witch-meeting, or have you signed the 
Devil's Book, etc. upon their replying, yes, the whole was 
drawn into form as their Confession. 

But that which did mightily further such Confessions, was 
their nearest and dearest Relations urging them to it. j These 
seeing no other way of escape for them, thought it the best 
advice that could be given; hence it was that the Husbands 
of some, by counsel often urging, and utmost earnestness, and 
Children upon their Knees intreating, have at length prevailed 
with them, to say they were guilty. 1 

As to the manner of Tryals, and the Evidence taken for 
Convictions at Salem, it is already set forth in Print, by the 

1 The best commentary on these words is a remarkable paper which more 
than a century ago came into the hands of the Massachusetts Historical Society 
and was published in its Collections (second series, III. 221-225). As Dr. Bel- 
knap, who prepared it for publication, labelled it "Remainder of the account of 
the Salem Witchcraft" and seems to have meant it to be printed with Brattle's 
letter (see pp. 169-190, above), it is not improbable that, with that document, 
it had come from the family of Brattle and that it was originally his. In that 
case it is by no means impossible that in his hands Calef may have seen it and 
that from him he may have received the recantation printed just above. The 
added paper runs : 

"Salem, Oct. 19, '92. The Rev. Mr. I. Mather went to Salem [to visit] the 
confessours (so called) : He conferred with several of them, and they spake as 

[Then are narrated the explanations given by eleven of the women, the most 
suggestive being this :] "Goodwife Tyler did say, that when she was first appre- 
hended, she had no fears upon her, and did think that nothing could have made 
her confesse against herself; but since, she had found to her great grief, that 
she had wronged the truth, and falsely accused herself : she said, that when she 
was brought to Salem, her brother Bridges rode with her, and that all along the 
way from Andover to Salem, her brother kept telling her that she must needs 
be a witch, since the afflicted accused her, and at her touch were raised out of 
their fitts, and urging her to confess herself a witch; she as constantly told him, 


Reverend Mr. Cotton Mather, in his Wonders of the Invisible 
World, at the Command of his Excellency, Sir William Phips ; 
with not only the Recommendation, but thanks of the Lieu- 
tenant Governour; 1 and with the Approbation of the Rev- 
erend Mr. J. M. 2 in his Postscript to his Cases of Conscience ; 

that she was no witch, that she knew nothing of witchcraft, and begg'd of him 
not to urge her to confesse; however when she came to Salem, she was carried to 
a room, where her brother on one side and Mr. John Emerson on the other side 
did tell her that she was certainly a witch, and that she saw the devill before her 
eyes at that time (and accordingly the said Emerson would attempt with his hand 
to beat him away from her eyes) and they so urged her to confesse, that she wished 
herself in any dungeon, rather than be so treated : Mr. Emerson told her once 
and again, Well! I see you will not confesse! Well! I will now leave you, and 
then you are undone, body and soul forever : Her brother urged her to confesse, 
and told her that in so doing she could not lye; to which she answered, Good 
brother, do not say so, for I shall lye if I confesse, and then who shall answer 
unto God for my lye? He still asserted it, and said that God would not suffer 
so many good men to be in such an errour about it, and that she would be 
hang'd, if she did not confesse, and continued so long and so violently to urge 
and presse her to confesse, that she thought verily her life would have gone 
from her, and became so terrifyed in her mind, that she own'd at length almost 
any thing that they propounded to her; but she had wronged her conscience in 
so doing, she was guilty of a great sin in belying of herself, and desired to mourn 
for it as long as she lived : This she said and a great deal more of the like 
nature, and all of it with such affection, sorrow, relenting, grief, and mourning 
as that it exceeds any pen for to describe and expresse the same." 

The "Mr. John Emerson" of this episode was that clerical schoolmaster 
whom we have already met in New Hampshire (see p. 37, note 3), but who was 
now a teacher at Charlestown. (Sibley, Harvard Graduates, II. 471-474.) If so 
personal an activity of President Mather surprise, let it be remembered how 
widely the persecution was now striking. His parishioner Lady Phips was 
among the accused, and the Quaker John Whiting has a yet more startling sug- 
gestion: commenting in 1702 on the account just printed in Cotton Mather's 
Magnolia, he mentions the "two Hundred more accused, some of which of 
great Estates in Boston," and in the margin adds, "Query, Was not the Gover- 
nour's Wife, and C. M.'s Mother, some of them?" (Truth and Innocency De- 
fended, p. 140.) 

Yet not all dared to retract. "More than one or two of those now in Prison," 
writes Increase Mather (Cases of Conscience, Postscript), "have freely and credi- 
bly acknowledged their Communion and Familiarity with the Spirits of Darkness; 
and have also declared unto me the Time and Occasion, with the particular 
Circumstances of their Hellish Obligations and Abominations." 

1 For Cotton Mather's Wonders, with its imprimatur by Phips and its preface 
by Stoughton, see above, pp. 205 ff. 

2 Increase Mather : the printer seems unable to distinguish Calef 's / from 


whicMast Book was set forth by the consent of the Ministers 
in and near Boston. 1 

Two of the Judges have also given their Sentiments in 
these words, p. 147. 

The Reverend and worthy Author, having at the direction of 
his Excellency the Governour, so far obliged the Publick, as to give 
some account of the sufferings, brought upon the Countrey by 
Witchcrafts, and of the Tryals which have passed upon several exe- 
cuted for the same. 

Upon perusal thereof, We find the matters of Fact and Evi- 
dence truly reported, and a prospect given of the Methods of Con- 
viction, used in the proceedings of the Court at Salem. 


And considering that this may fall into the hands of such 
as never saw those Wonders, it may be needful to transcribe 
i.he whole account he has given thereof, without any variation 
(but with one of the Indictments annext to the Tryal of each). 2 

Thus far the Account given in Wonders of the Invisible 
World', in which setting aside such words as these, in the 
Tryal of G. B. viz., "They (i. e. the Witnesses) were enough to 
fix the character of a Witch upon him." 3 

In the Tryal of Bishop, these words, "but there was no 
need of them," i. e. of further Testimony. 4 

In the Tryal of How, where it is said, "and there came in 
Testimony of preternatural Mischiefs, presently befalling some 
that had been instrumental to debar her from the Communion, 
whereupon she was intruding." 6 Martin is call'd "one of 

l The book, with all its credulity, is in the main a vigorous and learned 
argument against improper methods for detecting witches, and chiefly against 
reliance on the testimony of the bewitched. Commended by the ministers, 
fourteen of whom sign the preface "to the Christian reader," it may have done 
something to allay the panic. But, though it is dated by the author "October 
3," the title-page date of 1693 suggests that, like his son's Wonders (see p. 207, 
note 1), it was long in the press or withheld from the public. 

1 As the pages of Mather's Wonders containing these trials are reprinted in 
full above (pp. 215-244), it is needless here to repeat them. They occupy pp. 
113-139 of Calef's book. Then comes what here follows. 

See p. 216. See p. 229. 6 See p. 237. 


the most impudent, scurrilous, wicked Creatures in the World." 
In his Account of Martha Carryer, he is pleased to call her "a 
Rampant Hag," l etc. 

These Expressions, as they manifest that he wrote more 
like an Advocate than an Historian, 2 so also that those that 
were his Imployers 3 were not mistaken in their choice of him 
for that work, however he may have mist it in other things. 

As in his owning (in the Tryal of G. B.) That the Testi- 
mony of the bewitched and confessors was not enough against 
the Accused, for it is known that not only in New-England, 
such Evidence has been taken for sufficient, but also in En- 
gland, as himself there owns, and will also hold true of Scotland, 
etc., they having proceeded upon such Evidence, to the taking 
away of the Lives of many, to assert that this is not enough is 
to tell the World that such Executions were but so many 
Bloody Murders; which surely was not his intent to say. 

His telling that the Court began to think that Burroughs 
stept aside to put on invisibility, is a rendring them so mean 
Philosophers, and such weak Christians, as to be fit to be im- 
posed upon by any silly pretender. 

His calling the Evidence against How trivial, and others 
against Burroughs, he accounts no part of his Conviction; and 
that of lifting a Gun with one Finger, its being not made use 
of as Evidence, renders the whole but the more perplext. 
(Not to mention the many mistakes therein contain'd.) 4 

Yet all this (and more that might have been hinted at) 
does not hinder, but that his Account of the manner of Trials 
of those for Witchcraft is as faithfully related as any Tryals 
of that kind, that was ever yet made publick; 5 and it may also 

1 See p. 244. 

2 The author had himself said, "I report matters not as an Advocate, but 
as an Historian." 

3 Phips, Stoughton, and the latter's fellow-judges. 

4 As to the insertion in Mather's account of evidence not given at the trial, 
and as to his errors of statement, see the careful analysis of Upham in his "Salem 
Witchcraft and Cotton Mather," pp. 46-48 (Historical Magazine, n. s., VI. 

B To those who know the wretched chap-books which have had to serve as 
records of the English witch-trials and these alone Calef was likely to know 
this will not seem high praise. The modern student can, however, compare for 
himself Mather's accounts with the court records and, where mere transcription 
is concerned, will find them faithful. 


be reasonably thought that there was as careful a Scrutiny, 
and as unquestion'd Evidences improved, as had been formerly 
used in the Tryals of others, for such crimes in other places. 
Tho indeed a second part might be very useful, to set forth 
which was the Evidence Convictive in these Tryals, for it is 
not supposed, that Roman tick or Ridiculous stories should have 
any influence, such as biting a Spectres Finger, so that the 
Blood flowed out, or such as Shattock's Story of 12 Years 
standing, which yet was presently 18 Years or more, and yet 
a Man of that excellent Memory, as to be able to recall a 
small difference his Wife had with another Woman, when 
Eighteen Years were past. 1 

4_ As it is not to be supposed that such as these could Influ- 
ence any Judge or Jury, so not unkindness to relations, or 
God's having given to one Man more strength than to some 
others, the over-setting of Carts, or the death of Cattle, nor 
yet Excrescencies (calFd Tets) nor little bits of Rags tied to- 
gether (calTd Poppets.) Much less any persons illness, or 
having their Cloaths rent when a Spectre has been well banged, 
much less the burning the Mares Fart, mentioned in the 
Tryal of How. 2 

None of these being in the least capable of proving the 
Indictment ; The supposed Criminals were Indicted for Afflict- 
ing, etc., such and such particular persons by Witchcraft,] to 
which none of these Evidences have one word to say, and the 
Afflicted and Confessors being declared not enough, the matter 
needs yet further explaining. 3 

1 See pp. 225-227. Shattuck, testifying in 1692, placed in 1680 his child's 
bewitchment, but "about 17 or 18 years after" the exposure of the witch. 

2 See pp. 239-240. 

3 The offense charged, in the indictments printed by Calef, was that the 
accused "wickedly and feloniously hath used certain detestable arts, called witch- 
crafts and sorceries, by which said wicked arts" the said bewitched "was and is 
tortured, afflicted, pined, consumed, wasted and tormented against the peace of 
our sovereign lord and lady, the King and Queen, and against the form of the 
statute in that case made and provided." This was the usual form; but four of 
the indictments extant (against Rebecca Eames, Samuel Ward well, Rebecca 
Jacobs, Records of Salem Witchcraft, II. 24, 143, 147-148, and William Barker's, 
preserved by Chandler, American Criminal Trials, I. 429) charge instead that 
the accused "wickedly and feloniously a covenant with the Evil Spirit the Devil 
did make," and in two of these "the statute of King James the First" is expressly 
named as contravened. That statute, indeed, punished alike with death those 


But to proceed, the General Court having sat and enacted 
Laws, particularly one against Witchcraft, assigning the Penalty 
of Death to any that shall feed, reward or employ, etc., Evil 
Spirits, though it has not yet been explained what is intended 
thereby, or what it is to feed, reward or imploy Devils, etc., 
yet some of the Legislators have given this instead of an 
Explanation, that they had therein but Copied the Law of 
another Country. 1 

who should "consult, covenant with, entertain, employ, feed, or reward any evil 
or wicked spirit," and the laws of Massachusetts made it death "if any man or 
woman be a witch (that is, hath or consulteth with a familiar spirit) " without a 
mention of harm to man or beast as element of the crime. That the indictments 
specify such harm was perhaps only because the public attorney Thomas Newton 
(succeeded on July 26 by Anthony Checkley) was fresh from English practice; 
but, as Calef implies, the proof should meet the indictment. Newton (1660- 
1721) had come to Boston in 1688. Mr. Goodell, who studied the originals, says 
the quoted indictments mentioning the English statute "appear to have been 
drawn in blank by him, and afterwards filled in by Checkley" (Further Notes, p. 
37). As to Newton see the study of Moore (Fined Notes, pp. 94-103). Edward 
Randolph says of him (V. 143) that he was "a person well known in the practice 
in the Courts in England and New England," while Checkley he calls "a man 
ignorant in the Laws of England." In 1691 Newton had been attorney general 
at New York. 

1 The laws of the colony had never ceased to be operative; and the first act 
passed (June 15, 1692) by the General Court under the new charter was for the 
continuance of these laws, "being not repugnant to the laws of England nor in- 
consistent with the present constitution," in full force till November 10. On 
October 29 the Court passed a general "act for the punishing of capital offenders," 
in which the old Massachusetts law as to witchcraft "If any man or woman be 
a witch, that is, hath or consulteth with a familiar spirit, they shall be put to 
death" retains its old place and wording. And on December 14, "for more 
particular direction in the execution of the law against witchcraft," the same 
General Court enacted the long English statute of 1604 (1 James I., cap. 12) 
omitting only the penalty of loss of "the privilege and benefit of clergy and sanc- 
tuary" and the clauses saving dower and inheritance to widow and heir of the 
convicted and providing that peers shall be tried by peers, substituting as the 
place of pillorying "some shire town" for "some market town upon the market 
day or at such time as any fair shall be kept there," and adding to the penalty 
(for the lighter degrees of sorcery) of imprisonment, pillory, and public confession 
of the offence, the clause: "which said offense shall be written in capital letters, 
and placed upon the breast of said offender." The commission creating the 
Court of Oyer and Terminer (May 27, 1692) antedated, however, all these laws, 
and instructed that body "to enquire of, hear and determine for this time, ac- 
cording to the law and custom of England and of this their Majesties' province, 
all and all manner of crimes." (For a learned study of witchcraft laws in England 
and New England see Moore's Notes on Witchcraft, pp. 3-11.) 


January 3. By vertue of an Act of the General Court, 
the first Superior Court was held at Salem, for the County of 
Essex, the Judges appointed were Mr. William Stoughton (the 
Lieutenant Governour) Thomas Danforth, John Richards, 
Wait Winthorp, 1 and Samuel Sewall, Esquires, Where Igno- 
ramus 2 was found upon the several Bills of Indictment against 
Thirty, and Billa Vera* against Twenty six more; of all these 
Three only were found Guilty by the Jewry upon Trial, two of 
which were (as appears by their Behaviour) the most senseless 
and Ignorant Creatures that could be found; 4 besides which 
it does not appear what came in against those more than 
against the rest that were acquitted. 5 

The Third was the Wife of Wardwell, who was one of the 
Twenty Executed, and it seems they had both confessed them- 
selves Guilty; but he retracting his said Confession, was tried 
and Executed ; 6 it is supposed that this Woman fearing her Hus- 
bands fate, was not so stiff in her denyals of her former Confes- 
sion, such as it was. These Three received Sentence of Death. 

At these Tryals some of the Jewry made Inquiry of the 
Court, what Account they ought to make of the Spectre Evi- 
dence? and received for Answer "as much as of Chips in 
Wort." 7 

January 31, 169|. The Superior Court began at Charles- 
town, for the County of Middlesex, Mr. Stoughton, Mr. Dan- 
forth, Mr. Winthorp, and Mr. Sewall Judges, where several 
had Ignoramus returned upon their Bills of Indictment, and 
Billa Vera upon others. 

In the time the Court sat, word was brought in, that a 
Reprieve was sent to Salem, 8 and had prevented the Execu- 
tion of Seven of those that were there Condemned, which so 
moved the chief Judge, 9 that he said to this effect, "We were 
in a way to have cleared the Land of these, etc., who it is ob- 

1 Winthrop. 2 "We do not know" i. e., no basis for prosecution. 

"A true bill." 

4 Elizabeth Johnson and Mary Post. Elizabeth Johnson (as to whom see 
also p. 420) was reprieved, and after six months' imprisonment was freed. Her 
grandfather, the Rev. Francis Dane, said of her "she is but simplish at the best." 
Mary Post and Sarah Wardwell likewise escaped death. 

8 And so the public attorney told the governor (see p. 201). 

See pp. 366-367. 7 I. e., as of less than no worth. 

8 By Governor Phips (see p. 201). Stoughton. 


structs the course of Justice I know not; the Lord be merciful 
to the Countrey," and so went off the Bench, and came no 
more that Court: The most remarkable of the Tryals, was 
of Sarah Daston, she was a Woman of about 70 or 80 Years 
of Age. To usher in her Tryal, a report went before, that if 
there were a Witch in the World she was one, as having been 
go accounted of, for 20 or 30 Years; which drew many People 
from Boston, etc., to hear her Tryal. There were a multitude 
of Witnesses produced against her; but what Testimony they 
gave in seemed wholly forreign, as of accidents, illness, etc., 
befalling them, or theirs after some Quarrel ; what these testi- 
fied was much of it of Actions said to be done 20 Years before 
that time. The Spectre-Evidence was not made use of in 
these Tryals, so that the Jewry soon brought her in not Guilty; 
her Daughter and Grand-daughter, and the rest that were 
then tried, were also acquitted. After she was cleared Judge 
Danforth Admonished her in these words, "Woman, Woman, 
repent, there are shrewd things come in against you"; she was 
remanded to Prison for her Fees, and there in a short time 
expired. One of Boston that had been at the Tryal of Daston, 
being the same Evening in company with one of the Judges 
in a publick place, acquainted him that some that had been 
both at the Tryals at Salem and at this at Charlestown, had 
asserted that there was more Evidence against the said Das- 
ton than against any at Salem, to which the said Judge con- 
ceeded, saying, That it was so. It was replied by that per- 
son, that he dare give it under his hand, that there was not 
enough come in against her to bear a just reproof. 1 

April 25, 1693. The first Superiour Court was held at 
Boston, for the County of Suffolk, the Judges were the Lieu- 
tenant Governour, Mr. Danforth, Mr. Richards and Mr. 
Sewall, Esquires. 

Where (besides the acquitting Mr. John Aldin by Procla- 
mation) the most remarkable was, what related to Mary Wat- 
kins, who had been a Servant, and lived about Seven Miles 
from Boston, having formerly Accused her Mistress of Witch- 

1 On Sarah Daston's case see documents printed in the Publications (X. 
12-16) of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts and the brief account of her 
trial by an eye-witness in the letter prefixed to the London edition of Increase 
Mather's Cases of Conscience. 


craft, and was supposed to be distracted, she was threatned 
if she persisted in such Accusations to be punished ; this with 
the necessary care to recover her Health, had that good effect, 
that she not only had her Health restored, but also wholly 
acquitted her Mistress of any such Crimes, and continued in 
Health till the return of the Year, and then again falling into 
Melancholly humours she was found strangling her self; her 
Life being hereby prolonged, she immediately accused her 
self of being a Witch; was carried before a Magistrate and 
committed. At this Court a Bill of Indictment was brought 
to the Grand Jury against her, and her confession upon her 
Examination given in as Evidence, but these not wholly satis- 
fied herewith, sent for her, who gave such account of her self, 
that they (after they had returned into the Court to ask some 
Questions) Twelve of them agreed to find Ignoramus, but the 
Court was pleased to send them out again, who again at com- 
ing in returned it as before. 

She was continued for some time in Prison, etc., and at 
length was sold to Virginia. 1 About this time the Prisoners 
in all the Prisons were released. 2 

To omit here the mentioning of several Wenches in Boston, 
etc., who pretended to be Afflicted, and accused several, the 
Ministers often visiting them, and praying with them, concern- 
ing whose Affliction Narratives are in being in Manuscript. 3 
Not only these, but the generality of those Accusers may have 
since convinc'd the Ministers by their vicious courses that 
they might err in extending too much Charity to them. 

The conclusion of the whole in the Massachusetts Colony 
was, Sir William Phips, Governour, being call'd home, before 
he went he pardon'd such as had been condemned, for which 
they gave about 30 Shillings each to the Kings Attorney. 4 

1 As to Mary Watkins see an article in the N. E. Hist, and Gen. Register 
(XLIV. 168 ff.). She lived at Milton, was white, and on August 11 was still in 
prison, but was asking the jail-keeper to provide a master to carry her "out of 
this country into Virginia." 

* I.e., on payment of fees. See pp. 343, 366. 

1 He means, of course, Mercy Short (see above, pp. 255 ff.) and Margaret 
Rule (see pp. 308-323). From this sentence it seems clear that this account of 
the Salem episode was written before the earlier pages of his book, which begins 
with the narrative of Margaret Rule and takes its title from it. 

4 Phips left for England November 17, 1694. (Sewall's Diary, I. 393.) 


In August 1697. The Superiour Court sat at Hartford, in 
the Colony of Connecticut, where one Mistress Benom was 
tried for Witchcraft, she had been accused by some Children 
that pretended to the Spectral sight; they searched her sev- 
eral times for Tets; they tried the Experiment of casting her 
into the Water, 1 and after this she was Excommunicated by 
the Minister of Wallinsford. 2 Upon her Tryal nothing ma- 
terial appearing against her, save Spectre Evidence, she was 
acquitted, as also her Daughter, a Girl of Twelve or Thirteen 
Years old, who had been likewise Accused ; but upon renewed 
Complaints against them, they both fled into New- York Gov- 
ernment. 3 

Before this the Government Issued forth the following 
Proclamation. 4 

By the Honourable the Lieutenant Governour, Council and Assembly of 
his Majesties Province of the Massachusetts Bay, in General Court 

Whereas the Anger of God is not yet turned away, but his Hand 
is still stretched out against his People in manifold Judgments, par- 
ticularly in drawing out to such a length the troubles of Europe, by 
a perplexing War; and more especially, respecting ourselves in this 
Province, in that God is pleased still to go on in diminishing our 
Substance, cutting short our Harvest, blasting our most promising 
undertakings more ways than one, unsetling of us, 6 and by his more 

1 See above, p. 21. * Wallingford. 

3 Of Winifred Benham, mother and daughter, Mr. Taylor (The Witchcraft 
Delusion in Colonial Connecticut, p. 155) learns only from "Records Court of 
Assistants (1 : 74, 77) " that they were in August, 1697, tried and acquitted at 
Hartford, and in October indicted on new complaints, the jury returning "Igno- 
ramus." They were doubtless the widow and daughter of that "Joseph Benham 
of New Haven," who in 1656/7 was married at Boston to Winifred King (N. E. 
Hist, and Gen. Register, XI. 203) and later became one of the first settlers of 
Wallingford. (See also Davis, History of Wallingford and Meriden, p. 412, cited 
by Levermore, in the New Englander, XLIV. 815.) 

4 For the interesting story of this proclamation see the Diary (I. 439-441) 
of Judge Sewall, who drafted its final form, and that of Cotton Mather (I. 211), 
who drew a rejected one. The draft itself, with a careful study of these proceed- 
ings, see in Moore's Notes on Witchcraft (pp. 14-19). 

6 The punctuation of the copy in the Massachusetts archives, as printed in 
a note to Sewall's Diary (I. 440), joins "more ways than one" to "unsettling of 


Immediate hand, snatching away many out of our Embraces, by 
sudden and violent Deaths, even at this time when the Sword is 
devouring so many both at home and abroad, and that after many 
days of publick and Solemn addressing of him, And altho consider- 
ing the many Sins prevailing in the midst of us, we cannot but 
wonder at the Patience and Mercy moderating these Rebukes; yet 
we cannot but also fear that there is something still wanting to 
accompany our Supplications. And doubtless there are some par- 
ticular Sins, which God is Angry with our Israel for, that have not 
been duly seen and resented by us, about which God expects to be 
sought, if ever he turn again our Captivity. 

Wherefore it is Commanded and Appointed, that Thursday the 
Fourteenth of January next be observed as a Day of Prayer, with 
Fasting throughout this Province, strictly forbidding all Servile 
labour thereon; that so all Gods People may offer up fervent Sup- 
plications unto him, for the Preservation, and Prosperity of his 
Majesty's Royal Person and Government, and Success to attend 
his Affairs both at home and abroad; that all iniquity may be put 
away which hath stirred God's Holy jealousie against this Land; 
that he would shew us what we know not, and help us wherein we 
have done amiss to do so no more; and especially that whatever 
mistakes on either hand have been fallen into, either by the body of 
this People, or any orders of men, referring to the late Tragedy, 
raised among us by Satan and his Instruments, thro the awful Judg- 
ment of God, he would humble us therefore 1 and pardon all the Errors 
of his Servants and People, that desire to love his Name and be at- 
toned to his Land; that he would remove the Rod of the wicked from 
off the Lot of the Righteous; that he would bring the American 
Heathen, and cause them to hear and obey his Voice. 

Given at Boston, Decemb. 17, 1696, in the 8th Year of his 
Majesties Reign. 


Upon the Day of the Fast in the full Assembly, at the 
South Meeting-House in Boston, one of the Honourable 
Judges, who had sat in Judicature in Salem, delivered in a 
Paper, 2 and while it was in reading stood up, But the Copy 
being not to be obtained at present, It can only be reported 
by Memory to this effect, viz. It was to desire the Prayers 

1 I.e., therefor. 

'Samuel Sewall. The exact wording of his paper he gives in his Diary 
(I. 445) : 

"Copy of the Bill I put up on the Fast day; giving it to Mr. Willard as he 


of God's People for him and his, and that God having visited 
his Family, etc., he was apprehensive that he might have 
fallen into some Errors in the Matters at Salem, and pray that 
the Guilt of such Miscarriages may not be imputed either to 
the Country in general, or to him or his family in particular. 

Some that had been of several Jewries, have given forth a Paper, Sign'd 
with their own hands in these words. 

We whose names are under written, being in the Year 1692 
called to serve as Jurors, in Court at Salem, on Tryal of many, who 
were by some suspected Guilty of doing Acts of Witchcraft upon 
the Bodies of sundry Persons: 

We confess that we our selves were not capable to understand, 
nor able to withstand the mysterious delusions of the Powers of 
Darkness, and Prince of the Air; but were for want of Knowledge in 
our selves, and better Information from others, prevailed with to take 
up with such Evidence against the Accused, as on further considera- 
tion, and better Information, we justly fear was insufficient for the 
touching the Lives of any, Deut. 17. 6, whereby we fear w r e have 
been instrumental with others, tho Ignorantly and unwittingly, to 
bring upon our selves, and this People of the Lord, the Guilt of Inno- 
cent Blood; which Sin the Lord saith in Scripture, he would not 
pardon, 2 Kings 24. 4, that is we suppose in regard of his temporal 
Judgments. We do therefore hereby signifie to all in general (and 
to the surviving Sufferers in especial) our deep sense of, and sorrow 
for our Errors, in acting on such Evidence to the condemning of any 

And do hereby declare that we justly fear that we were sadly 
deluded and mistaken, for which we are much disquieted and dis- 

pass'd by, and standing up at the reading of it, and bowing when finished; in the 

"Samuel Sewall, sensible of the reiterated strokes of God upon himself and 
family; and being sensible, that as to the Guilt contracted upon the opening of 
the late Commission of Oyer and Terminer at Salem (to which the order for this 
Day relates) he is, upon many accounts, more concerned than any that he knows 
of, Desires to take the Blame and shame of it, Asking pardon of men, And es- 
pecially desiring prayers that God, who has an Unlimited Authority, would par- 
don that sin and all other his sins, personal and Relative: And according to 
his infinite Benignity, and Sovereignty, Not Visit the sin of him, or of any other, 
upon himself or any of his, nor upon the Land : But that He would powerfully 
defend him against all Temptations to Sin, for the future; and vouchsafe him 
the efficacious, saving Conduct of his Word and Spirit." 


tressed in our minds; and do therefore humbly beg forgiveness, first 
of God for Christ's sake for this our Error; And pray that God would 
not impute the guilt of it to our selves, nor others; and we also 
pray that we may be considered candidly, and aright by the living 
Sufferers as being then under the power of a strong and general 
Delusion, utterly unacquainted with, and not experienced in matters 
of that Nature. 

We do heartily ask forgiveness of you all, whom we have justly 
offended, and do declare according to our present minds, we would 
none of us do such things again on such grounds for the whole World; 
praying you to accept of this in way of Satisfaction for our Offence; 
and that you would bless the Inheritance of the Lord, that he may 
be intreated for the Land. 






Mr. C. M. having been very forward to write Books of 
Witchcraft, has not been so forward either to explain or defend 
the Doctrinal part thereof, and his belief (which he had a 
Years time to compose) he durst not venture so as to be copied. 2 

'This ends the book, as first written; but the author adds a "Postscript," 
called out by the publication, in 1697, of Cotton Mather's life of Sir William 
Phips, who had died in London early in 1695. Not the achievements of Sir 
William, thinks Calef, but Increase Mather's negotiation in England and his 
procuring of the new charter, "are the things principally driven at in the book," 
and "another principal thing is to set forth the supposed witchcrafts in New- 
England, and how well Mr. Mather the Younger therein acquitted himself." 
Wherefore, after freeing his mind as to the matter of the charter, he takes up 
Mather's allegations as to the Salem episode, and, pointing out that, "tho this 
Book pretends to raise a Statue in Honour of Sir William, yet it appears it was 
the least part of the design of the Author to Honour him, but rather to Honour 
himself, and the Ministers," since by so printing the advice of the ministers (see 
above, p. 356) "as to give a full Account of the cautions given him, but design- 
edly hiding from the Reader the Incouragements and Exhortations to proceed," 
it really throws the blame upon Phips, he devotes the remaining pages, here re- 
printed, to Cotton Mather's real views and their influence. The Life of Phips, 
now a rare book, is reprinted in Mather's Magnolia. 

1 In a part of his book not here reprinted (pp. 85 ff.) Calef speaks more fully 
of this paper, lent him early in 1695, but on condition of its return within a fort- 


Yet in this of the Life of Sir William he sufficiently testifies 
his retaining that Heterodox belief, seeking by frightfull stories 
of the sufferings of some, and the refined sight of others, etc., 
P. 69 to obtrude upon the World, and confirm it in such a 
belief, as hitherto he either cannot or will not defend, as if the 
Blood already shed thereby were not sufficient. 

Mr. I. Mather, in his Cases of Conscience, P. 25, tells of a 
Bewitched Eye, and that such can see more than others. 
They were certainly bewitched Eyes that could see as well 
shut as open, and that could see what never was, that could 
see the Prisoners upon the Afflicted, harming of them, when 
those whose Eyes were not bewitched could have sworn that 
they did not stir from the Bar. The Accusers are said to have 
suffered much by biting, P. 73. And the prints of just such 
a set of Teeth, as those they Accused, had, but such as had 
not such bewitch'd Eyes have seen the Accusers bite themselves, 
and then complain of the Accused. It has also been seen 
when the Accused, instead of having just such a set of Teeth, 
has not had one in his head. They were such bewitched Eyes 
that could see the Poisonous Powder (brought by Spectres 
P. 70.) And that could see in the Ashes the print of the Brand, 
there invisibly heated to torment the pretended Sufferers 
with, etc. 

These with the rest of such Legends have this direct ten- 
dency, viz. To tell the World that the Devil is more ready to 
serve his Votaries, by his doing for them things above or 
against the course of Nature, shewing himself to them, and 
making explicit contract with them, etc., than the Divine 
Being is to his faithful Servants, and that as he is willing, so 
also able to perform their desires. The way whereby these 
People are believed to arrive at a power to Afflict their Neigh- 
bours, is by a compact with the Devil, and that they have a 
power to Commissionate him to those Evils, P. 72. However 
Irrational, or Inscriptural such Assertions are, yet they seem 

night and uncopied. It was perhaps the MS. described by Poole (Memorial 
History, II. 152, note) as now in the possession of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, and called "Cotton Mather's belief and practice in those thorny difficul- 
ties which have distracted us in the day of temptation" having "marginal 
reflections in another hand." [Since the foregoing words were written, this con- 
jecture has been proved true. See above, p. 306, note 1.] 


a necessary part of the Faith of such as maintain the belief 
of such a sort of Witches. 

As the Scriptures know nothing of a covenanting or com- 
missioning Witch, so Reason cannot conceive how Mortals 
should by their Wickedness arrive at a power to Commission- 
ate Angels, Fallen Angels, against their Innocent Neighbours. 
But the Scriptures are full in it, and the Instances numerous, 
that the Almighty, Divine Being has this prerogative to make 
use of what Instrument he pleaseth, in Afflicting any, and 
consequently to commissionate Devils: And tho this word 
commissioning, in the Authors former Books, might be thought 
to be by inadvertency; yet now after he hath been caution'd 
of it, still to persist in it seems highly Criminal. And there- 
fore in the name of God, I here charge such belief as guilty 
of Sacriledge in the highest Nature, and so much worse than 
stealing Church Plate, etc., As it is a higher Offence to steal 
any of the glorious Attributes of the Almighty, to bestow them 
upon Mortals, than it is to steal the Utensils appropriated to 
his Service. And whether to ascribe such power of commis- 
sioning Devils to the worst of Men, be not direct Blasphemy, 
I leave to others better able to determine. When the Phari- 
sees were so wicked as to ascribe to Beelzebub, the mighty 
works of Christ (whereby he did manifestly shew forth his 
Power and Godhead) then it was that our Saviour declared 
the Sin against the Holy Ghost to be unpardonable. 

When the Righteous God is contending with Apostate 
Sinners, for their departures from him, by his Judgments, as 
Plagues, Earthquakes, Storms and Tempests, Sicknesses and 
Diseases, Wars, loss of Cattle, etc. Then not only to ascribe 
this to the Devil, but to charge one another with sending or 
commissionating those Devils to these things, is so abomina- 
ble and so wicked, that it requires a better Judgment than mine 
to give it its just denomination. 

But that Christians so called should not only charge their 
fellow Christians therewith, but proceed to Tryals and Execu- 
tions; crediting that Enemy to all Goodness, and Accuser of 
the Brethren, rather than believe their Neighbours in their 
own Defence; This is so Diabolical a Wickedness as cannot 
proceed, but from a Doctrine of Devils; how far damnable it 
is let others discuss. Tho such things were acting in this 


Country in Sir Williams time, yet p. 65. there is a Discourse 
of a Guardian Angel, as then over-seeing it, which notion, 
however it may suit the Faith of Ethnicks, 1 or the fancies of 
Trithemius; 2 it is certain that the Omnipresent Being stands 
not in need as Earthly Potentates do, of governing the World 
by Vicegerents. And if Sir William had such an Invisible 
pattern to imitate, no wonder tho some of his Actions were 
unaccountable, especially those relating to Witchcraft: For 
if there was in those Actions an Angel super-intending, there 
is little reason to think it was Gabriel or the Spirit of Mercury, 
nor Hanael the Angel or Spirit of Venus, nor yet Samuel the 
Angel or Spirit of Mars; Names feigned by the said Trithe- 
mius, etc. It may rather be thought to be Apollyon, or Abad- 

Ob]. 3 But here it will be said, "What, are there no Witches? 
Do's not the Law of God command that they should be extir- 
pated? Is the Command vain and Unintelligible?" Sol.* 
For any to say that a Witch is one that makes a compact 
with, and Commissions Devils, etc., is indeed to render the 
Law of God vain and Unintelligible, as having provided no 
way whereby they might be detected, and proved to be such; 
And how the Jews waded thro this difficulty for so many 
Ages, without the Supplement of Mr. Perkins and Bernard 
thereto, would be very mysterious. But to him that can 
read the Scriptures without prejudice from Education, etc., 
it will manifestly appear that the Scripture is full and Intelligi- 
ble, both as to the Crime and means to detect the culpable. 
He that shall hereafter see any person, who to confirm People 
in a false belief, about the power of Witches and Devils, pre- 
tending to a sign to confirm it, such as knocking off of invisible 
Chains with the hand, driving away Devils by brushing, strik- 
ing with a Sword or Stick, to wound a person at a great dis- 
tance, etc., may (according to that head of Mr. Gauls, quoted 
by Mr. C. M. and so often herein before recited, and so well 
proved by Scripture) conclude that he has seen Witchcraft , 

1 Pagans. 

2 A German abbot and scholar who in the early sixteenth century wrote 
most credulously about witches and angels. 

* Objection. 4 Solution. 


If Baalam became a Sorcerer by Sacrifizing and Praying 
to the true God against his visible people ; Then he that shall 
pray that the afflicted (by their Spectral Sight) may accuse 
some other Person (whereby their reputations and lives may 
be indangered) such will justly deserve the Name of a Sorcerer. 
If any Person pretends to know more then 1 can be known 
by humane means, and professeth at the same time that they 
have it from the Black-Man, i. e. the Devil, and shall from 
hence give Testimony against the Lives of others, they are 
manifestly such as have a familiar Spirit; and if any, knowing 
them to have their Information from the Black-Man, shall be 
inquisitive of them for their Testimony against others, they 
therein are dealing with such as have a Familiar-Spirit. 

And if these shall pretend to see the dead by their Spec- 
tral Sight, and others shall be inquisitive of them, and receive 
their Answers what it is the dead say, and who it is they ac- 
cuse, both the one and the other are by Scripture Guilty of 

These are all of them crimes as easily proved as any what- 
soever, and that by such proof as the Law of God requires, so 
that it is no Unintelligible Law. 

But if the Iniquity of the times be such, that these Crim- 
inals not only Escape Indemnified, 2 but are Incouraged in 
their Wickedness, and made use of to take away the Lives of 
others, this is worse than a making the Law of God Vain, it 
being a rendring of it dangerous, against the Lives of Inno- 
cents, and without all hopes of better, so long as these Bloody 
Principles remain. 

As long as Christians do Esteem the Law of God to be 
Imperfect, as not describing that crime that it requires to be 
Punish'd by Death; 

As long as men suffer themselves to be Poison'd in their 
Education, and be grounded in a False Belief by the Books of 
the Heathen; 

As long as the Devil shall be believed to have a Natural 
Power, to Act above and against a course of Nature; 

As long as the Witches shall be believed to have a Power 
to Commission him; 

As long as the Devils Testimony, by the pretended afflicted, 

1 7. e., than. * Unpunished. 


shall be received as more valid to Condemn, than their Plea 
of Not Guilty to acquit; 

As long as the Accused shall have their Lives and Liberties 
confirmed and restored to them, upon their Confessing them- 
selves Guilty; 

As long as the Accused shall be forc't to undergo Hardships 
and Torments for their not Confessing; 

As long as Tets for the Devil to Suck are searched for upon 
the Bodies of the accused, as a token of guilt; 

As long as the Lords Prayer shall be profaned, by being 
made a Test, who are culpable; 

As long as Witchcraft, Sorcery, Familiar Spirits, and Nec- 
romancy, shall be improved to discover who are Witches, etc., 

So long it may be expected that Innocents will suffer as 

So long God will be Daily dishonoured, And so long his 
Judgments must be expected to be continued. 




THE Rev. John Hale (1636-1700), a native of the colony 
and a graduate of Harvard in its class of 1657, had since 1665 
been pastor at Beverly, the parish lying north of Salem, from 
which it was severed by a narrow arm of the sea, and at the 
west adjoining yet more closely Salem Village, through which 
lay the land route connecting Beverly with Salem and with 
Boston. Many of those connected with the beginnings of the 
witch panic had, prior to the erection of the Village parish, 
been in attendance at the Beverly church. Some were still 
so; and the spreading suspicion soon invaded this parish itself. 
It was not strange, then, that from the first, as we have seen 
already, Hale's interest in the proceedings was close and atten- 
tive. 1 There can be no question that, as Calef says, "he had 
been very forward in these Prosecutions," and, like his neigh- 
bor pastors Parris and Noyes, had held the most credulous 
views as to the worth of the testimony of the "afflicted." 
How those views changed after the accusation of his loved and 
honored wife we have also seen; 2 and of all this he himself 
tells us with a touching sincerity in the pages now to follow. 
His little book is no apology, but a manly attempt to make 
amends for what he now felt to be error by setting forth to 
others what he had learned. Judge Sewall, who likewise had 
repented of his error and likewise frankly owned it, records in 

1 See above, pp. 158, 184, 342, 344, 350, 369. More than once (as against 
Bridget Bishop and Dorcas Hoar) he himself became a witness as to the reputa- 
tion or career of the accused. That already then there was thought of his writing 
upon the subject may perhaps be inferred from Cotton Mather's letter quoted on 
p. 206 ; and see also p. 214. 

2 See p. 369, and note 1. 


his diary on November 19, 1697, when he was on a visit to 
Salem : " Mr. Hale and I lodg'd together : He discours'd me 
about writing a History of the Witchcraft; I fear lest he go 
into the other extream." 

The Rev. John Higginson (1616-1708), the aged senior 
pastor of Salem, who writes for Hale the introduction, is also 
no stranger to us; 1 and we have seen what reason there is to 
think him hesitant all along as to the proceedings. Yet how 
far he had been from incredulity as to human dealings with 
the Devil appears not only from his own words here, but from 
the materials he furnished Increase Mather for his Providences* 
Perhaps he, too, consulted Judge Sewall as to his part in the 
little book; for before the words just cited the latter writes: 
"Mr. Higginson comes as far as Brother's to see me; which 
I wonder'd at." 

Though completed early in 1698 since Higginson had 
read it before signing his introduction on March 23 the book, 
as may be seen from its imprint, was not published till 1702, 
after Hale's death. Perhaps that was its author's wish: so, 
Judge Sewall tells us, 3 Higginson withheld his treatise on 
periwigs. The Modest Enquiry is now one of the rarest books 
in the literature of witchcraft. Its single reimpression (Boston, 
1771) is said to be yet rarer than the original. Happily, that 
part of the book which narrates the story of the Salem episode 
was taken up by Cotton Mather into his Magnalia (at the end 
of his Book VI.) ; and from that work, though it gives Hale 
due credit, it is often quoted as if Mather's own. 4 

1 See above, pp. 245, 248, note 2. * Mather Papers, pp. 282-287. 

Diary, I. 463-464. 

4 As to Hale's career see a memoir in Mass. Hist. Soc., Collections, third series, 
VII. 255-269; also Sibley, Harvard Graduates, I. 509-520, and authorities there 


A Modest Enquiry Into the Nature of Witchcraft, and How Per- 
sons Guilty of that Crime may be Convicted: And the means 
used for their Discovery Discussed, both Negatively and Af- 
firmatively, according to Scripture and Experience. 

By John Hale, Pastor of the Church of Christ in Beverley, Anno 
Domini 1697. 

When they say unto you, seek unto them that have Familiar Spirits 
and unto Wizzards, that peep, etc., To the Law and to the 
Testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is 
because there is no light in them. Isaiah VIII. 19. 20. 
That which I see not teach thou me, Job 34. 32. 

Boston in N. E. Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, for Benjamin 
Eliot under the Town House. 1702. 1 

Any general Custom against the Law of God is void. St. 
Germans, Abridgment of Common Law. Lib. 1. C. 6. 

Omnium legum est inanis censura nisi Divinse legis imaginem 
gerat. 2 Finch, Common Law. Lib. 4. C. 3. 

Where a Law is grounded upon a Presumption, if the Pre- 
sumption fail the Law is not to be holden in Conscience. 
Abridgment of C. Law. Lib. 1. C. 19. 3 

An Epistle to the Reader. 

IT hath been said of Old, That Time is the Mother of 
Truth, and Truth is the Daughter of Time. It is the Preroga- 
tive of the God of Truth, to know all the truth in all things at 
once and together: It is also his Glory to conceal a matter, 
Prov. 25. 2, And to bring the truth to light in that manner and 
measure, and the times appointed, as it pleaseth him; it is 

1 Title-page of original. 

2 "No law hath any validity unless it bear the image of divine law." 
1 Reverse of title-page. 



our duty in all humility, and with fear and trembling, to search 
after truth, knowing that secret things belong to God, and 
only things revealed belong to us, and so far as they are re- 
vealed; for in many things it may be said, what God is doing 
we know not now; but we, or others that succeed us, shall 
know hereafter. Omitting other Examples, I shall Instance 
only in the matter of Witchcraft, which on the Humane side, 
is one of the most hidden Works of Darkness, managed by the 
Rulers of the darkness of this World, to the doing of great 
spoil amongst the Children of men: And on the Divine side, 
it is one of the most awful and tremendous Judgments of God 
which can be inflicted on the Societies of men, especially when 
the Lord shall please for his own Holy Ends to Enlarge Satans 
Commission in more than an ordinary way. 

It is known to all men, that it pleased God some few years 
ago, to suffer Satan to raise much trouble amongst us in that 
respect, the beginning of which was very small, and looked 
on at first as an ordinary case which had fallen out before at 
several times in other places, and would be quickly over. 
Only one or two persons belonging to Salem Village about 
five miles from the Town being suspected were Examined, etc. 
But in the progress of the matter, a multitude of other persons 
both in this and other Neighbour Towns, were Accused, Ex- 
amined, Imprisoned, and came to their Trials, at Salem, the 
County Town, where about Twenty of them Suffered as 
Witches; and many others in danger of the same Tragical End : 
and still the number of the Accused increased unto many 
Scores; amongst whom were many Persons of unquestionable 
Credit, never under any grounds of suspicion of that or any 
other Scandalous Evil. This brought a general Consternation 
upon all sorts of People, doubting what would be the issue of 
such a dreadful Judgment of God upon the Country ; but the 
Lord was pleased suddenly to put a stop to those proceedings, 
that there was no further trouble, as hath been related by 
others. But it left in the minds of men a sad remembrance of 
that sorrowful time; and a Doubt whether some Innocent Per- 
sons might not Suffer, and some guilty Persons Escape. There 
is no doubt but the Judges and Juries proceeded in their In- 
tegrity, with a zeal of God against Sin, according to their 
best light, and according to Law and Evidence; but there is 


a Question yet unresolved, Whether some of the Laws, Customs 
and Principles used by the Judges and Juries in the Trials of 
Witches in England (which were followed as Patterns here) 
were not insufficient and unsafe. 

As for my Self, being under the Infirmities of a decrepit 
Old Age, I stirred little abroad, and was much disenabled 
(both in body and mind) from Knowing and judging of Occur- 
rents and Transactions of that time: But my Reverend 
Brother Mr. Hale, having for above Thirty Years been Pastor 
of the Church at Beverly (but Two Miles from Salem, where 
the Tryals were) was frequently present, and was a diligent 
Observer of all that passed, and being one of a Singular Pru- 
dence and Sagacity, in searching into the narrows of things : 
He hath (after much deliberation) in this Treatise, related the 
Substance of the Case as it was, and given Reasons from Scrip- 
ture against some of the Principles and Practises then used in 
the Tryals of Witchcraft; and said something also in a Posi- 
tive way, and shewing the right Application that is to be made 
of the whole, and all this in such a pious and modest Manner, 
as cannot be offensive to any, but may be generally acceptable 
to all the lovers of Truth and Peace. 

I am the more willing to accompany him to the Press, be- 
cause I am perswaded such a Treatise as this is needful and 
useful, upon divers accounts. As, 

1. That the Works of God may be known; and that God 
may be more acknowledged and adored, in his Justice, and in 
his Mercy: in his Justice, by letting loose Evil Angels, to 
make so great a spoyl amongst us as they did, for the Punish- 
ment of a declining People: And in his Mercy, by Counter- 
manding of Satans Commission, and keeping of him in Chains 
of restraint, that he should proceed no further. Psal. 83, last. 

2. That the Truth of things may be more fully known, so 
far as God shall please to reveal the same in the use of lawful 
means; for the Judgments of God are a great deep, and he is 
wont to make known truth by degrees ; and Experience teach- 
eth us, there is need of more to be said than hath been yet, 
for the clearing up of difficulties about the matter of Witch- 
craft. We ought to be fellow helpers to the truth. 3 Epistle 
of John, 8. v. 

3. That whatever Errors or Mistakes we fell into, in the 


dark hour of Temptation that was upon us, may be (upon 
more light) so discovered, acknowledged and disowned by us, 
as that it may be a matter of Warning and Caution to those 
that come after us, that they may not fall into the like. 1 Cor. 
10. 11. Fcdix quern faciuni aliena pericula cautum. 1 

4. And that it may Occasion the most Learned and Pious 
men to make a further and fuller Enquiry into the matter of 
Witchcraft, especially into the positive part, How Witches 
may be so discovered, that innocent persons may be preserved, 
and none but the guilty may suffer. Prov. 17. 15. 

Verily whosoever shall by the Grace of God be enabled to 
Contribute further light in this matter, will do good Service 
to God and Men in his Generation. 

I would also propound and leave it as an Object of Con- 
sideration to our Honoured Magistrates and Reverend Minis- 
ters, Whether the ^Equity of that Law in Leviticus, Chap. 4, 
for a Sin offering for the Rulers and for the Congregation, in 
the case of Sins of Ignorance, when they come to be known, 
be not Obliging, and for direction to us in a Gospel way. 

Now the Father of Lights and Mercies grant unto us, that 
Mercy and Truth may meet together, that righteousness and 
peace may kiss each other, that the Glory of God may dwell 
in our Land; and that it may be said of New England, The 
Lord Bless thee, Habitation of Justice and Mountain of 

Finally, That the Blessing of Heaven may go along with 
this little Treatise to attain the good Ends thereof, is, and 
shall be the Prayer of him who is daily waiting for his Change, 
and looking for the Mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ unto 

Eternal Life. 


March 23d, Pastor of the Church, of Salem. 

1697, 8. dltatis 82. 2 

The Preface to the Christian Reader. 

THE Holy Scriptures inform us that the Doctrine of God- 
liness is a great Mystery, containing the Mysteries of the 

1 "Happy the man whom the perils of others make cautious." 
1 "In the 82d year of his age." As to the aged senior pastor of Salem see 
p. 398. 


Kingdom of Heaven: Mysteries which require great search 
for the finding out : And as the Lord hath his Mysteries to 
bring us to Eternal Glory; so Satan hath his Mysteries to 
bring us to Eternal Ruine: Mysteries not easily under- 
stood, whereby the depths of Satan are managed in hidden 
wayes. So the Whore of Babylon makes the Inhabitants of 
the Earth drunk with the Wine of her Fornication, by the 
Mystery of her abominations, Rev. 17. 2. And the man of 
Sin hath his Mystery of iniquity whereby he deceiveth men 
through the working of Satan in signes and lying wonders, 
2 Thes. 2. 3, 7, 9. 

And among Satans Mysteries of iniquity, this of Witch- 
craft is one of the most difficult to be searched out by the Sons 
of men ; as appeareth by the great endeavours of Learned and 
Holy men to search it out, and the great differences that are 
found among them, in the rules laid down for the bringing to 
light these hidden works of darkness. So that it may seem 
presumption in me to undertake so difficult a Theam, and to 
lay down such rules as are different from the Sentiments of 
many Eminent writers, and from the Presidents and practices 
of able Lawyers; yea and from the Common Law it self. 

But my Apology for this undertaking is; 

1. That there hath been such a dark dispensation by the 
Lord, letting loose upon us the Devil, Anno. 1691 and 1692, 1 
as we never experienced before : And thereupon apprehending 
and condemning persons for Witchcraft; and nextly acquit- 
ting others no less liable to such a charge; which evidently 
shew we were in the dark, and knew not what to do ; but have 
gone too far on the one or other side, if not on both. Hereupon 
I esteemed it necessary for some person to Collect a Summary 
of that affair, with some animadversions upon it, which might 
at least give some light to them which come after, to shun 
those Rocks by which we were bruised, and narrowly escaped 
Ship wrack upon. And I have waited five years for some 
other person to undertake it, who might doe it better than I 
can, but find none; and judge it better to do what I can, than 
that such a work should be left undone. Better sincerely 
though weakly done, then not at all, or with such a byas of 
prejudice as will put false glosses upon that which was man- 

1 "1691" because the troubles began before March 25. 


aged with uprightness of heart, though there was not so great 
a spirit of discerning, as were to be wished ^in so weighty a 

2. I have been present at several Examinations and Tryals, 
and knew sundry of those that Suffered upon that account in 
former years, and in this last affair, and so have more advan- 
tages than a stranger, to give account of these Proceedings. 

3. I have been from my Youth trained up in the knowl- 
edge and belief of most of those principles I here question as 
unsafe to be used. The first person that suffered on this ac- 
count in New-England, about Fifty years since, was my Neigh- 
bour, and I heard much of what was charged upon her, and 
others in those times; and the reverence I bore to aged, 
learned and judicious persons, caused me to drink in their 
principles in these things, with a kind of Implicit Faith. Quo 
semel est imbuta recens servabit odor em, Testa diu. 1 A Child 
will not easily forsake the principles he hath been trained up 
in from his Cradle. 

But observing the Events of that sad Catastrophe, Anno 
1692, I was brought to a more strict scanning of the principles 
I had imbibed, and by scanning, to question, and by question- 
ing at length to reject many of them, upon the reasons shewed 
in the ensuing Discourse. It is an approved saying Nihil 
certius, quam quod ex dubio fit cerium? No truth more certain 
to a man, than that which he hath formerly doubted or denied, 
and is recovered from his error, by the convincing evidence of 
Scripture and reason. Yet I know and am sensible, that 
while we know but in part, man is apt in flying from a discov- 
ered error, to run into the contrary extream. 

Intidit in Scyllam qui vult vitare Charybdim. 3 

The middle way is commonly the way of truth. And if 
any can shew me a better middle way than I have here laid 
down, I shall be ready to embrace it : But the conviction must 
not be by vinegar or drollery, but by strength of argument. 

4. I have had a deep sence of the sad consequence of mis- 

1 Literally, "the fresh-made pot will long retain the odor in which once 'tis 
steeped." The line is from Horace. 

Laterally, "nothing is surer than what out of doubt is made sure." 
"Into Soylla falls he who tries to keep clear of Charybdis." 


takes in matters Capital; and their impossibility of recover- 
ing when compleated. And what grief of heart it brings to a 
tender conscience, to have been unwittingly encouraging of the 
Sufferings of the innocent. And I hope a zeal to prevent for 
the future such sufferings is pardonable, although there should 
be much weakness, and some errors in the pursuit thereof. 

5. I observe the failings that have been on the one hand, 
have driven some into that which is indeed an extream on the 
other hand, and of dangerous consequences, viz. To deny any 
such persons to be under the New Testament, who by the 
Devils aid discover Secrets, or do work wonders. Therefore 
in the latter part of this discourse, I have taken pains to prove 
the Affirmative, yet with brevity, because it hath been done 
already by Perkins of Witchcraft. 1 Glanvil his Saducismus 
Triumphatus, 2 Pt. 1. p. 1 to 90 and Pt. 2. p. 1 to 80. Yet I 
would not be understood to justify all his notions in those dis- 
courses, but acknowledge he hath strongly proved the being 
of Witches. 

6. I have special reasons moving me to bear my testimony 
about these matters, before I go hence and be no more; the 
which I have here done, and I hope with some assistance of 
his Spirit, to whom I commit my self and this my labour, 
even that God whose I am and whom I serve: Desiring his 
Mercy in Jesus Christ to Pardon all the Errors of his People 
in the day of darkness; and to enable us to fight with Satan 
by Spiritual Weapons, putting on the whole Armour of God. 

And tho' Satan by his Messengers may buffet Gods Chil- 
dren, yet there's a promise upon right Resisting, he shall flee 
from them, Jam. 4. 7. And that all things shall work together 
for the good of those that Love the Lord, Rom. 8. 28. So that I 
believe Gods Children shall be gainers by the assaults of Satan, 
which occasion'd this Discourse; which that they may, is the 
Prayer of, Thine in the Service of the Gospel. 


BEVERLY, Decemb. 
15th, 1697. 

1 See above, p. 304, note 3. 

2 Saducismus Triumphatus was the name given Glanvill's book in the en- 
larged edition (1681) brought out after the author's death by Henry More. In 
later impressions the word becomes Sadducismus. As to Glanvill, see above, p. 5. 




Chapter I. 

Sect. 1. The Angels who kept not their First Estate, by 
Sin against God, lost their primitive purity, and glorious Ex- 
cellency, as to their moral qualifications, and became unclean, 
wicked, envious, lyars, and full of all wickedness, which as 
Spirits they are capable of. Yet I do not find in Scripture 
that they lost their natural abilities of understanding or power 
of Operation. 

1. As for their Understanding, they are called Daimon 
(which we Translate Devil) because they are full of wisdom, 
cunning, skill, subtilty and knowledge. He hath also the 
name of Serpent from his subtilty, 2 Cor. 11. 3. And his 
knowledge in the Scriptures, and wittiness to pervert them, 
appears by his quoting Scripture to our Saviour when he 
tempted him. Mat. 4. 

And as there be many Devils, and these active, quick, swift 
and piercing Spirits, so they going to and fro in the earth, 
and walking up and down in it, have advantages to know all 
the actions of the Children of men, both open and secret, their 
discourses, consultations, and much of the inward affections 
of men thereby; though still its Gods prerogative immediately 
to know the heart. Jer. 17. 10. 

2. As to their natural power as Spirits, its very great, if 
not equal to that of the Holy Angels: For, 

1. They are called Principalities and Powers. Rom. 8. 38. 
Eph. 6. 12. Col. 2. 14, 15, compared with Heb. 2. 14, 15. 
Now these are names given to the Holy Angels. Eph. 1. 21, 
and 3. 10. 

2. They are called, Rulers of the darkness of this world, the 
Prince of the power of the Air. Eph. 6. 12 and 2. 2. 

3. Such was their power that they contended with Michael 
and the Angels about the Body of Moses. 2 Pet. 2. 11. 
Jude 9. That is, as I conceive, about preventing the Burial 
of the Body of Moses: For it's said, Deut. 34. 6, The Lord 
buri(jd him, and no man knoweth of his Sepulcher to this day. 


That is, he did it by the Ministry of Angels (for the Lord gave 
the Law, Exod. 20. 1, and that it was by the Ministry of 
Angels, see Gal. 3. 19. so probably was the burial of Moses's 
Body) and the Devils endeavour if possible, to discover 
Moses's Body, or place of its burial, that they might draw 
Israel to commit Idolatry in worshipping at his Tomb (as our 
Popish Fore-fathers did at Thomas Beckets in Kent) from the 
Veneration they had to him as their Law giver. 

4. The Devils actings against Job, Chap. 1 and 2, and what 
he did to the Gadarene Swine, etc., Shew his great power. So 
that we may conclude, had the Devils liberty to reveal all 
that they know of the affairs of mankind, or to do all that is 
in their power to perform, they would bring dreadful confu- 
sions and desolations upon the World. 

Sect. 2. The way God governs Devils is by Chains. 2 Pet. 
2. 4. Jude 6 ver. Rev. 20. 1, 2, 7, 8, whereby they are kept 
Prisoners. Men are governed by Laws, by convictions of 
Conscience. Rom. 2. 12, 13, 14, 15. By Scripture Rules, 
Humane Laws, and also by Gods Spirit. 1 John 2. 20. But 
Devils have no such Laws, or tenderness of Conscience to 
bridle or restrain them. But the Lord hath his Chains, 
which are called Everlasting, and are always lasting; so that 
they are never wholly without a Chain. This Chain is some- 
times greater and shorter, other times lesser and longer, as the 
Lord pleaseth, for his own Glory, Rev. 20. 1, 2, 7, 8. For as 
the wrath of man praiseth the Lord, and the remainder of wrath he 
doth restrain, Psal. 76. 10, So may we say of the Devils wrath. 

Sect. 3. The Devil is full of malice against man, and frames 
his designs against him, chiefly to destroy his Soul, as, 1 Pet. 
5. 8, 2 Cor. 11. 3, and other Scriptures abundantly testify. 
Hence probably at sometimes he doth not all the hurt to mans 
Body that he could, lest thereby he should awaken man to 
repentance and prayer; he seeks to keep men in a false peace. 
Luk. 11. 21. Yet at other times he disturbs and afflicts 
men in Body and Estate; as Scripture and experience shew. 
Among the Devices Satan useth to ruine man, one is to allure 
him into such a familiarity with him, that by Sorceries, In- 
chantments, Divinations, and such like, he may lead them 
Captive at his pleasure. This snare of his we are warned 
against, Deut. 18. 10, 11, and in other Scriptures. This Sin 


of men hearkening after Satan in these ways, is called Witch- 
craft; of which it is my purpose to treat: But first I shall 
speak something Historically what hath been done in New 
England, in prosecution of persons suspected of this Crime. 

Sect. 4. Several persons have been Charged with and 
suffered for the Crime of Witchcraft in the Governments of 
the Massachusetts, New Haven, or Stratford 1 and Connecti- 
cut, from the year 1646 to the year 1692. 

Sect. 5. The first was a Woman of Charlestown, Anno 
1647 or 48. 2 She was suspected partly because that after 
some angry words passing between her and her Neighbours, 
some mischief befel such Neighbours in their Creatures, or 
the like : partly because some things supposed to be bewitched, 
or have a Charm upon them, being burned, she came to the 
fire and seemed concerned. 

The day of her Execution, I went in company of some 
Neighbours, 3 who took great pains to bring her to confession 
and repentance. But she constantly professed her self inno- 
cent of that crime: Then one prayed her to consider if God 
did not bring this punishment upon her for some other crime, 
and asked, if she had not been guilty of Stealing many years 
ago; she answered, she had stolen something, but it was long 
since, and she had repented of it, and there was Grace enough 
in Christ to pardon that long agoe; but as for Witchcraft she 
was wholly free from it, and so she said unto her Death. 

Sect. 6. Another that suffered on that account some time 
after, was a Dorchester Woman. 4 And upon the day of her 

1 I. e., "New Haven (or Stratford) " : Hale was not sure (see p. 410) whether 
the case in mind was at New Haven or at Stratford. Stratford, though so near 
New Haven, was under the Connecticut government. Under that of New Haven 
there were, so far as is known, no witch-executions. 

2 Margaret Jones, executed at Boston on June 15, 1648. See Winthrop, 
Journal, II. 344-345 (of the edition in this series, II. 397 of ed. of 1853), 
and Poole in Memorial History of Boston, II. 135-137; also, above, p. 363, note 
2 for it was doubtless to Margaret Jones that the resolution as to "watch- 
inge" referred, and it suggests that her accusation too may have been the out- 
come of the witch-hunt which had just been raging in the Puritan counties of 
England. She was not, as thinks Hale, the first New England victim; in Con- 
necticut Alse Young was hanged, May 26, 1647. 

a The writer was then a boy of twelve. 

4 Doubtless that "H. Lake's wife, of Dorchester, whom," as Nathaniel 
Mather in 1684 wrote to his brother Increase of having heard, "the devill drew in 


Execution Mr. Thompson Minister at Brantry, 1 and J. P. 2 
her former Master took pains with her to bring her to repen- 
tance, And she utterly denyed her guilt of Witchcraft: yet 
justifyed God for bringing her to that punishment: for she 
had when a single woman played the harlot, and being with 
Child used means to destroy the fruit of her body to conceal 
her sin and shame, and although she did not effect it, yet she 
was a Murderer in the sight of God for her endeavours, and 
shewed great penitency for that sin; but owned nothing of 
the crime laid to her charge. 

Sect. 7. Another suffering in this kind was a Woman of 
Cambridge, against whom a principal evidence was a Water- 
town Nurse, who testifyed, that the said Kendal (so was the 
accused called) did bewitch to Death a Child of Goodman 
Genings of Watertown; for the said Kendal did make much 
of the Child, and then the Child was well, but quickly changed 
its colour and dyed in a few hours after. The Court took this 
evidence among others, the said Genings not knowing of it. 
But after Kendal was Executed (who also denyed her guilt 
to the Death,) Mr. Rich. Brown knowing and hoping better 
things of Kendal, asked said Genings if they suspected her to 
bewitch their Child, they answered No. But they judged the 
true cause of the Childs Death to be thus, viz. The Nurse 
had the night before carryed out the Child and kept it abroad 
in the Cold a long time, when the red gum was come out upon 
it, and the Cold had struck in the red gum, and this they 
judged the cause of the Childs death." And that said Kendal 
did come in that day and make much of the Child, but they 
apprehended no wrong to come to the Child by her. After 
this the said Nurse was put into Prison for Adultery, and there 
delivered of her base Child, and Mr. Brown went to her and 
told her, It was just with God to leave her to this wickedness 

by appearing to her in the likenes, and acting the part of a child of hers then 
lately dead, on whom her heart was much set." (See Mather Papers, p. 58, and 
Poole in N. E. Hist, and Gen. Register, XXIV. 3, note.) Mather had lived in 
Dorchester prior to his migration to England, about 1650; but, as he had been 
in constant communication with friends in America, it is not at all sure that his 
knowledge of this case antedates his leaving. In Hale's account there seems some 
confusion with the case of Mary Parsons (p. 410). 

1 Braintree. 

2 Probably John Phillips of Dorchester the conjecture is Farmer's. 


as a Punishment for her Murdering goody Kendal by her false 
witness bearing. But the Nurse dyed in Prison, and so the 
matter was not farther inquired into. 

There was another Executed, of Boston Anno 1656. for 
that crime. 1 And two or three of Springfield, one of which 
confessed; and said the occasion of her familiarity with Satan 
was this : She had lost a Child and was exceedingly discontented 
at it and longed; Oh that she might see her Child again! 
And at last the Devil in likeness of her Child came to her bed 
side and talked with her, and asked to come into the bed to 
her, and she received it into the bed to her that night and 
several nights after, and so entred into covenant with Satan 
and became a Witch. 2 This was the only confessor in these 
times in that Government. 

Sect. 8. Another at Hartford, viz. Mary Johnson, men- 
tioned in Remarkable Providences, p. 62, 63, 3 Confessed her 
self a Witch. Who upon discontent and slouthfulness agreed 
with the Devil to do her work for her, and fetch up the Swine. 
And upon her immoderate laughter at the running of the 
Swine, as the Devil drove them, as she her self said, was sus- 
pected and upon examination confessed. I have also heard 
of a Girl at New Haven or Stratford, that confessed her guilt. 4 
But all others denyed it unto the death unless one Greensmith, 
at Hartford. 5 

Sect. 9. But it is not my purpose to give a full relation 
of all that have suffered for that Sin, or of all the particulars 

1 Mrs. Ann Hibbins, widow of one of the foremost men in Boston and said 
to have been a sister of Governor Bellingham. (See Records of Massachusetts, 
IV., pt. 1, p. 269; Hutchinson, Massachusetts, second ed., I. 187-188; Me- 
morial History of Boston, II. 138-141.) 

1 This was the case of Mary Parsons and her husband Hugh, whom she 
accused (1651). (See Drake, Annals of Witchcraft, pp. 64-72, and especially the 
appended papers of Hugh Parsons's case, pp. 219-258. The originals of these 
papers are now in the New York Public Library. Others, from the Suffolk court 
files, are printed in the N. E. Hist, and Gen. Register, XXXV. 152-153.) 

1 Not in the Remarkable Providences of Increase Mather, but in the Memorable 
Providences of Cotton Mather at the pages named (see above, pp. 135-136). 

4 Probably that "Goody Bassett" who was on trial at Stratford in 1651 
(Connecticut Records, I. 220), and of whom we know from testimony given at 
New Haven in 1654 (New Haven Records, II. 83) that she was condemned and 
that she confessed. 

6 See above, pp. 19-20. 


charged upon them, which probably is now impossible, many 
witnessing Viva voce, those particulars which were not fully 
recorded. But that I chiefly intend is to shew the principles 
formerly acted upon in Convicting of that Crime; which were 
such as these. 

1. The first great principle laid down by a person Eminent 
for Wisdom, Piety and Learning 1 was; That the Devil could 
not assume the shape of an innocent person in doing mischief 
unto mankind: for if the Lord should suffer him in this he 
would subvert the course of humane Justice, by bringing men 
to suffer for what he did in their Shapes. 

2. Witchcraft being an habitual Crime, one single witness 
to one Act of Witchcraft, and another single witness to an- 
other such fact, made two witnesses against the Crime and the 
party suspected. 

3. There was searching of the bodies of the suspected for 
such like teats, or spots (which writers speak of) called the 
Devils marks; and if found, these were accounted a presump- 
tion at least of guilt in those that had them. 

4. I observed that people laid great weight upon this; 
when things supposed to be bewitched were burnt, and the 
suspected person came to the fire in the time of it. 2 Although 
that Eminent person above said 3 condemned this way of 
tryal, as going to the Devil to find the Devil. 

5. If after anger between Neighbours mischief followed, 
this oft bred suspicion of Witchcraft in the matter. In fine, 
the presumptions and convictions used in former times were 
for substance the same which we may read of in Keeble of the 

1 When in 1669 the Connecticut court asked the ministers their opinion as 
to this point, they answered in almost these words (see Taylor, The Witchcraft 
Delusion in Colonial Connecticut, p. 58). This opinion is said to be in the hand- 
writing of the Rev. Gershom Bulkeley, the author of Will and Doom. But it does 
not follow that he was its author, much less that he was the originator of this 
dictum. Whatever its source, it is to be suspected that it had originally nothing 
to do with "spectral evidence," but was only a protest against such pleas as that 
of the bishop who, caught under the bed of a nun, maintained later that the cul- 
prit was only the Devil impersonating him. On Bulkeley and his rational atti- 
tude toward later charges of witchcraft, see his Will and Doom (Conn. Hist. Soc., 
Collections, III.), introduction and pp. 233-235. 

* See above, p. 239, note 1. 

3 See above, in paragraph 1. 


Common Law, 1 and in Bernard, 2 and other Authors of that 

Sect. 10. About 16 or 17 years since was accused a Woman 
of Newbury, 3 and upon her tryal the Jury brought her in 
Guilty. Yet the Governour Simon Bradstreet Esq. and some 
of the Magistrates repreived her, being unsatisfyed in the 
Verdict upon these grounds. 

1. They were not satisfyed that a Specter doing mischief 
in her likeness, should be imputed to her person, as a ground 
of guilt. 

2. They did not esteem one single witness to one fact, 
and another single witness to another fact, for two witnesses, 
against the person in a matter Capital. She being reprived, 
was carried to her own home, and her Husband (who was 
esteemed a Sincere and understanding Christian by those that 
knew him) desired some Neighbour Ministers, of whom I was 
one, to meet together and discourse his Wife; the which we did : 
and her discourse was very Christian among us, and still 
pleaded her innocence as to that which was laid to her charge. 
We did not esteem it prudence for us to pass any definitive 
Sentance upon one under her circumstances, yet we inclined 
to the more charitable side. 

In her last Sickness she was in much darkness and trouble 
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 some contempt upon his 
word. And in fine, she sought her pardon and comfort from 
God in Christ, and dyed so far as I understood, praying to 
and resting upon God in Christ for Salvation. 

Sect. 11. The next that Suffered was an Irish Woman of 
Boston, 4 suspected to bewitch John Goodwins Children, who 
upon her Tryal did in Irish (as was testified by the Interpreters) 
confess her self guilty, and was condemned out of her own 

1 What is meant, as is clear from Kale's later quotations, is Keble's Assis- 
tance to Justices. See above, p. 163, note 2. 

1 See above, p. 304, note 5. * Mrs. Morse. See above, pp. 23-31. 

4 Goody Glover. See above, pp. 100 S. 


mouth; (as Christ saith, Luk. 19. 22. Out of thine own mouth 
will I Judge thee.) The History of which is published by 
Mr. Cotton Mather, (and attested by the other Ministers of 
Boston and Charlstown.) in his Book, Entituled, Memorable 
Providences, Printed Anno 1689. 1 Thus far of the History 
of Witches before the year, 1692. 

Chapter II. 

I. In the latter end of the year 1691, 2 Mr. Samuel Paris, 
Pastor of the Church in Salem-Village, had a Daughter of 
Nine, and a Neice of about Eleven years of Age, sadly Afflicted 
of they knew not what Distempers; and he made his applica- 
tion to Physitians, yet still they grew worse: And at length 
one Physitian gave his opinion, that they were under an Evil 
Hand. This the Neighbours quickly took up, and concluded 
they were bewitched. He had also an Indian Man servant, 
and his Wife who afterwards confessed, that without the 
knowledge of their Master or Mistress, they had taken some 
of the Afflicted persons Urine, and mixing it with meal had 
made a Cake, and baked it, to find out the Witch, as they 
said. After this, the Afflicted persons cryed out of the Indian 
Woman, named Tituba, that she did pinch, prick, and griev- 
ously torment them, and that they saw her here and there, 
where no body else could. Yea they could tell where she was, 
and what she did, when out of their humane sight. These 
Children were bitten and pinched by invisible agents; their 
arms, necks, and backs turned this way and that way, and 
returned back again, so as it was impossible for them to do of 
themselves, and beyond the power of any Epileptick Fits, or 
natural Disease to effect. Sometimes they were taken dumb, 
their mouths stopped, their throats choaked, their limbs 
wracked and tormented so as might move an heart of stone, 
to sympathize with them, with bowels of compassion for them. 
I will not enlarge in the description of their cruel Sufferings, 
because they were in all things afflicted as bad as John Good- 
wins Children at Boston, in the year 1689. So that he that 

1 See above, pp. 91 ff. 

2 /. e., in February and March of the year we call 1692. As to all this story 
see above the parallel narratives of Lawson (pp. 147 ff.) and Calef (pp. 341 ff.). 


will read Mr. Mathers Book of Memorable Providences, page 3, 
etc., may Read part of what these Children, and afterwards 
sundry grown persons suffered by the hand of Satan, at Salem 
Village, and parts adjacent, Anno 1691, 2. Yet there was 
more in these Sufferings, than in those at Boston, by pins in- 
visibly stuck into their flesh, pricking with Irons, (As in part 
published in a Book Printed 1693, viz. The Wonders of the 
Invisible World). 1 Mr. Paris seeing the distressed condition 
of his Family, desired the presence of some Worthy Gentle- 
men of Salem, and some Neighbour Ministers to consult to- 
gether at his House; who when they came, and had enquired 
diligently into the Sufferings of the Afflicted, concluded they 
were preternatural, and feared the hand of Satan was in them. 

II. The advice given to Mr. Paris by them was, that he 
should sit still and wait upon the Providence of God to see 
what time might discover; and to be much in prayer for the 
discovery of what was yet secret. They also Examined Tituba, 
who confessed the making a Cake, as is above mentioned, and 
said her Mistress in her own Country was a Witch, and had 
taught her some means to be used for the discovery of a Witch 
and for the prevention of being bewitched, etc. But said that 
she her self was not a Witch. 

III. Soon after this, there were two or three private Fasts 
at the Ministers House, one of which was kept by sundry 
Neighbour Ministers, and after this, another in Publick at the 
Village, and several days afterwards of publick Humiliation, 
during these molestations, not only there, but in other Con- 
gregations for them. And one General Fast by Order of the 
General Court, observed throughout the Colony to seek the 
Lord that he would rebuke Satan, and be a light unto his 
people in this day of darkness. 2 

But I return to the History of these troubles. In a short 
time after other persons who were of age to be witnesses, were 
molested by Satan, and in their fits cryed out upon Tituba 
and Goody 0. and S. G. 3 that they or Specters in their Shapes 
did grievously torment them; hereupon some of their Village 

1 See above, pp. 205 ff. 

1 This fast, enacted on May 6, was celebrated on May 26, 1692 (Massachu- 
setts Acts and Resolves, VII. 459). 
* Sarah Osborn and Sarah Good. 


Neighbours complained to the Magistrates at Salem, desiring 
they would come and examine the afflicted and accused to- 
gether; the which they did: the effect of which examination 
was, that Tituba confessed she was a Witch, and that she with 
the two others accused did torment and bewitch the com- 
plainers, and that these with two others whose names she 
knew not, had their Witch-meeting together; relating the 
times when and places where they met, with many other cir- 
cumstances to be seen at large. Upon this the said Tituba 
and 0. and S. G. were committed to Prison upon suspicion of 
acting Witchcraft. After this the said Tituba was again ex- 
amined in Prison, and owned her first confession in all points, 
and then was her self afflicted and complained of her- fellow 
Witches tormenting of -her, for her confession, and accusing 
them, and being searched by a Woman, she was found to have 
upon her body the marks of the Devils wounding of her. 

IV. Here were these things rendred her confession credi- 
ble. (1.) That at this examination she answered every ques- 
tion just as she did at the first. And it was thought that if 
she had feigned her confession, she could not have remembred 
her answers so exactly. A lyar we say, had need of a good 
memory, but truth being always consistent with it self is the 
same to day as it was yesterday. (2.) She seemed very peni- 
tent for her Sin in covenanting with the Devil. (3.) She be- 
came a sufferer her self and as she said for her confession. 
(4.) Her confession agreed exactly (which was afterwards veri- 
fied in the other confessors) with the accusations of the afflicted. 
Soon after these afflicted persons complained of other persons 
afflicting of them in their fits, and the number of the afflicted 
and accused began to increase. And the success of Tituba's 
confession encouraged those in Authority to examine others 
that were suspected, and the event was, that more confessed 
themselves guilty of the Crimes they were suspected for. And 
thus was this matter driven on. 

V. I observed in the prosecution of these affairs, that 
there was in the Justices, Judges and others concerned, a con- 
scientious endeavour to do the thing that was right. And to 
that end they consulted the Presidents 1 of former times and 
precepts laid down by Learned Writers about Witchcraft. 

1 Precedents. 


As Keeble on the Common Law, Chapt. Conjuration, (an Author 
approved by the Twelve Judges of our Nation.) 1 Also Sir 
Mathew Hales Tryal of Witches, Printed Anno 1682. 2 Glan- 
vils Collection of sundry tryals in England and Ireland, in the 
years 1658, 61, 63, 64, and 81. 3 Bernards Guide to Jurymen, 4 
Baxter and R. Burton, their Histories about Witches and their 
discoveries. 5 Cotton Mather's Memorable Providences relating 
to Witchcrafts, Printed Anno 1689. 

VI. But that which chiefly carried on this matter to such 
an height, was the increasing of confessors till they amounted 
to near about Fifty : and four or six of them upon their tryals 
owned their guilt of this crime, and were condemned for the 
same, but not Executed. And many of the confessors con- 
firmed their confessions with very strong circumstances: As 
their exact agreement with the accusations of the afflicted; 
their punctual agreement with their fellow confessors; their 
relating the times when they covenanted with Satan, and the 
reasons that moved them thereunto; their Witch meetings, 
and that they had their mock Sacraments of Baptism and the 
Supper, in some of them ; their signing the Devils book : and 
some shewed the Scars of the wounds which they said were 
made to fetch blood with, to sign the Devils book; and some 

1 See above, p. 163, note 2. "Conjuration" is the heading given by Keble 
to his section on witchcraft (pp. 217-220). 

2 The account is not Sir Matthew's own, nor yet an official record, but one 
taken down "for his own satisfaction" "by a Person then Attending the Court," 
and so did not till 1682 find its way into print. As we have seen (p. 215, note 1) 
it was embodied by Cotton Mather in his Wonders. 

3 See above, pp. 5-6. 

4 See above, p. 304, note 5. 

5 Baxter's Certainty of the Worlds of Spirits (1691), really a collection of 
witch stories, has been earlier described (p. 98, note 2). The name of "R. Bur- 
ton," or "R. B.," the pseudonym under which the prolific London publisher 
Nathaniel Crouch concealed his identity, is attached to a multitude of chap- 
books; but that here in question was undoubtedly his The Kingdom of Darkness 
(London, 1688), a pictorial "history of daemons, specters, witches, apparitions, 
possessions, disturbances, and other wonderful and supernatural delusions, mis- 
chievous feats, and malicious impostures of the Devil," "together with a preface 
obviating the common objections and allegations of the Sadduces and Atheists 
of the age." It is, in other words, a credulous hodge-podge of all the older witch 
and devil tales that could be packed into its duodecimo pages; tales made vivid 
by its startling frontispiece and the crude but awful woodcuts that adorn its 


said they had Imps to suck them, and shewed Sores raw where 
they said they were sucked by them. 

VII. I shall give the Reader a tast of these things in a 
few Instances. The Afflicted complained that the Spectres 
which vexed them, urged them to set their Hands to a Book 
represented to them (as to them it seemed) with threatnings 
of great torments, if they signed not, and promises of ease if 
they obeyed. 

Among these D. H. 1 did as she said (which sundry others 
confessed afterwards) being overcome by the extremity of her 
pains, sign the Book presented, and had the promised ease; and 
immediately upon it a Spectre in her Shape afflicted another 
person, and said, I have signed the Book and have ease, now 
do you sign, and so shall you have ease. And one day this 
afflicted person pointed at a certain place in the room, and 
said, there is D. H., upon which a man with his Rapier struck 
at the place, though he saw no Shape ; and the Afflicted called 
out, saying, you have wounded her side, and soon after the 
afflicted person pointed at another place, saying, there she is; 
whereupon a man struck at the place, and the afflicted said, 
you have given her a small prick about the eye. Soon after 
this, the said D. H. confessed her self to be made a Witch by 
signing the Devils Book as above said; and declared that she 
had afflicted the Maid that complained of her, and in doing 
of it had received two wounds by a Sword or Rapier, a small 
one about the eye, which she shewed to the Magistrates, and 
a bigger on the side of which she was searched by a discreet 
woman, who reported, that D. H. had on her side the sign of 
a wound newly healed. 

This D. H. confessed that she was at a Witch Meeting at 
Salem Village, where were many persons that she named, 
some of whom were in Prison then or soon after upon suspicion 
of Witchcraft: And the said G. B. 2 preached to them, and 
such a Woman was their Deacon, and there they had a Sacra- 

~ VIII. Several others after this confessed the same things 

Deliverance Hobbs called by error "Deborah" on p. 347. The court 
record of her examination may be found in Records of Salem Witchcraft, II. 186- 

1 George Burroughs. 


with D. H. In particular Goody F. 1 said (Inter alia*) that 
she with two others (one of whom acknowledged the same) 
Rode from Andover to the same Village Witch meeting upon 
a stick above ground, and that in the way the stick brake, and 
gave the said F. a fall : whereupon, said she, I got a fall and 
hurt of which I am still sore. I happened to be present in 
Prison when this F. owned again her former confession to the 
Magistrates. And then I moved she might be further ques- 
tioned about some particulars: It was answered, the Magis- 
trates had not time to stay longer; but I should have liberty 
to Examine her farther by my self; The which thing I did; 
and I asked her if she rode to the Meeting on a Stick; she 
said, yea. I enquired what she did for Victuals ; she answered 
that she carried Bread and Cheese in her pocket, and that she 
and the Andover Company came to the Village before the 
Meeting began, and sat down together under a tree and eat 
their food, and that she drank water out of a Brook to quench 
her thirst. And that the Meeting was upon a plain grassy 
place, by which was a Cart path, and sandy ground in the path, 
in which were the tracks of Horses feet. And she also told 
me how long they were going and returning. And some time 
after told me, she had some trouble upon her spirit, and when 
I enquired what? she said, she was in fear that G. B. and M. C. 3 
would kill her; for they appeared unto her (hi Spectre, for 
their persons were kept in other Rooms in the Prison) and 
brought a sharp pointed iron like a spindle, but four square, 
and threatned to stab her to death with it; because she had 
confessed her Witchcraft, and told of them, that they were with 
her, and that M. C. above named was the person that made 
her a Witch. About a month after the said F. took occasion 
to tell me the same Story of her] fears that G. B. and J8|. C. 4 
would kill her, and that the thing was much upon her Spirits. 
IX. It was not long before M. L. 5 Daughter of said F. 
confessed that she rode with her Mother to the said Witch 

1 Ann Foster. See above, pp. 244, 366. As her son later alleged, she 
"suffered imprisonment twenty-one weeks and upon her Try all was condemned 
for supposed witchcraft . . . and died in prison." 

* "Among other things." 

1 Martha Carrier. See above, pp. 241-244. 

4 Doubtless a printer's error for M. C. (Martha Carrier). 

1 Mary Lacy. See pp. 244, 366. Though condemned, she escaped death. 


Meeting, and confirmed the substance of her Mothers Confes- 
sion. At another time, M. L. junior the Grand Daughter, 
aged about seventeen years, confesseth the substance of what 
her Grand mother and Mother had related, and declareth, 
that when they with E. C. 1 rode on a stick or pole in the Air, 
She the said Grand-Daughter with R. C. 2 Rode upon another; 
(and she said R. C. acknowledged the same) and that they sat 
their hands to the Devils Book. And (inter alia) said, " 
Mother, why did you give me to the Devil?" twice or thrice 
over. The Mother said, she was sorry at the heart for it, it 
was through that wicked one. Her Daughter bid her repent 
and call upon God. And said, " Oh Mother, your wishes are 
now come to pass! for how often have you wished that the 
Devil would fetch me away alive?" And then said, "Oh! my 
heart will break within me"; Then she wept bitterly, crying 
out, "0 Lord comfort me, and bring out all the Witches." And 
she said to her Grandmother, a O Grandmother, why did you 
give me to the Devil? Why did you perswade me, Grand- 
mother do not deny it." Then the Grandmother gave account 
of several things about their confederates and acts of Witch- 
crafts too long to rehearse. 

Chapter III. 

Nextly I will insert the Confession of a man about Forty 
years of Age, W. B., 3 which he wrote himself in Prison, and 
sent to the Magistrates, to confirm his former Confession to 
them, viz. 

God having called me to Confess my sin and Apostasy in that 
fall in giving the Devil advantage over me appearing to me like a 
Black, in the evening to set my hand to his Book, as I have owned 
to my shame. He told me that I should not want so doing. At 
Salem Village, there being a little off the Meeting-House, about an 
hundred five Blades, 4 some with Rapiers by their side, which was 
called and might be more for ought I know by B and Bu. 5 and the 

1 Again a misprint for M. C. (see Mary Lacy's testimony in Records of Salem 
Witchcraft, II. 140: "her mother Foster, Goody Carrier and herself rid upon a 
pole to Salem Village meeting"). 

2 Richard Carrier, son of Martha. 3 William Barker, of Andover. 
4 Bravoes. B Bishop and Burroughs? 


Trumpet sounded, and Bread and Wine which they called the Sacra- 
ment, but I had none; being carried over all on a Stick, never being 
at any other Meeting. I being at Cart a Saturday last, all the day, 
of Hay and English Corn, the Devil brought my Shape to Salem, 
and did afflict M. S. 1 and R. F. 2 by ditching my Hand; and a Sab- 
bath day my Shape afflicted A. M. 3 and at night afflicted M. S. and 
A. M. E. I. 4 and A. F. 8 have been my Enticers to this great abomi- 
nation, as one have owned and charged her to her Sister with the 
same. And the design was to Destroy Salem Village, and to begin 
at the Ministers House, and to destroy the Church of God, and to 
set up Satans Kingdom, and then all will be well. And now I hope 
God in some measure has made me something sensible of my sin and 
apostasy, begging pardon of God, and of the Honourable Magistrates 
and all Gods people, hoping and promising by the help of God, to set 
to my heart and hand to do what in me lyeth to destroy such wicked 
worship, humbly begging the prayers of all Gods People for me, I 
may walk humbly under this great affliction and that I may procure 
to my self, the sure mercies of David, and the blessing of Abraham. 

Concerning this Confession. (1) Note it was his own free 
act in Prison. (2) He saith the Devil like a Black. This he 
had before explained to be like a Black man. (3) That on a 
certain day was heard in the Air the sound of a Trumpet at 
Salem Village nigh the Meeting-House, and upon all enquiry 
it could not be found that any mortal man did sound it. (4) 
The three persons he saith the Devil in his Shape afflicted, 
had been as to the times and manner afflicted as he confesseth. 

(5) That E. I. confessed as much as W. B. chargeth her with. 

(6) Many others confessed a Witch Meeting, or Witch meet- 
ings at the Village as well as he. 

Note also that these Confessors did not only witness against 
themselves, but against one another; and against many if not 
all those that Suffered for that Crime. As for example, when 

1 Martha Sprague. 2 Rose Foster. * Abigail Martin. 

4 Elizabeth Johnson. Her daughter, of the same name, was also accused 
and confessed (see p. 382, note 4, above). 

1 Abigail Falkner. She and her sister Elizabeth Johnson were daughters of 
the Rev. Francis Dane (or Deane), senior pastor at Andover, who seems from 
the first to have stood against the panic and who was largely instrumental in 
ending it. All those here accused were Andover folk, neighbors of Barker. 
See as to them Mrs. Bailey's chapter on "Witchcraft at Andover" (in her His- 
torical Sketches of Andover). 


G. B. 1 was Tryed, seven or eight of these Confessors severally 
called, said, they knew the said B. and saw him at a Witch- 
Meeting at the Village, and heard him exhort the Company 
to pull down the Kingdom of God, and set up the Kingdom of 
the Devil. He denied all, yet said he justified the Judges and 
Jury in Condemning of him ; because there were so many posi- 
tive witnesses against him : But said he dyed by false Witnesses. 
I seriously spake to one that witnessed (of his Exhorting at the 
Witch Meeting at the Village) saying to her; You are one that 
bring this man to Death, if you have charged any thing upon 
him that is not true, recal it before it be too late, while he is 
alive. She answered me, she had nothing to charge her self 
with, upon that account. 

M. C. 2 had to witness against her, two or three of her own 
Children, and several of her Neighbours that said they were 
in confederacy with her in their Witchcraft. 

A. F. 3 Had three of her Children, and some of the Neigh- 
bours, her own Sister, and a Servant, who confessed themselves 
Witches, and said, she was in confederacy with them: But 
alas, I am weary with relating particulars; those that would 
see more of this kind, let them have recourse to the Records. 

By these things you see how this matter was carried on, 
viz. chiefly by the complaints and accusations of the Afflicted, 
Bewitched ones, as it was supposed, and then by the Confes- 
sions of the Accused, condemning themselves, and others. 
Yet experience shewed that the more there were apprehended, 
the more were still Afflicted by Satan, and the number of Con- 
fessors increasing, did but increase the number of the Accused, 
and the Executing some, made way for the apprehending of 
others; for still the Afflicted complained of being tormented by 
new objects as the former were removed. So that those that 
were concerned, grew amazed at the numbers and quality of 
the persons accused and feared that Satan by his wiles had in- 
wrapped innocent persons under the imputation of that Crime. 

1 George Burroughs. 2 Martha Carrier. 

3 Abigail Falkner (see pp. 366, 420). "She was urged," says the record, 
"to confes the truth for the creddit of hir Town," but "she refused to do it, saying 
God would not require her to confess that that she was not guilty of" (Records 
of Salem Witchcraft, II. 128-135, where may also be found the evidence against 
her). She was condemned, but not executed. 


And at last it was evidently seen that there must be a stop put, 
or the Generation of the Children of God would fall under that 

Henceforth therefore the Juries generally acquitted such 
as were Tried, fearing they had gone too far before. And Sir 
William Phips, Governour, Reprieved all that were Condemned, 
even the Confessors, as well as others. And the Confessors 
generally fell off from their Confessions; some saying, they 
remembred nothing of what they said; others said they had 
belied themselves and others. Some brake Prison and ran 
away, and were not strictly searched after, some acquitted, 
some dismissed and one way or other all that had been accused 
were set or left at liberty. 

And although had the times been calm, the condition of 
the Confessors might have called for a melius inquirendum; 1 
yet considering the combustion 2 and confusion this matter 
had brought us unto ; it was thought safer to under do than over 
do, especially in matters Capital, where what is once compleated 
cannot be retrieved : but what is left at one time, may be cor- 
rected at another, upon a review and clearer discovery of the 
state of the Case. Thus this matter issued somewhat abruptly. 

Chapter IV. 

Here was generally acknowledged to be an error (at least 
on the one hand) but the Querie is, Wherein? 

[A.] 1. I have heard it said, That the Presidents 3 in England 
were not so exactly followed, because in those there had been 
previous quarrels and threatnings of the Afflicted by those 
that were Condemned for Witchcraft ; but here, say they, not 
so. To which I answer. 

1. In many of these cases there had been antecedent per- 
sonal quarrels, and so occasions of revenge; for some of those 
Condemned, had been suspected by their Neighbours several 
years, because after quarrelling with their Neighbours, evils 
had befallen those Neighbours. As may be seen in the Printed 
Tryals of S. M. and B. B. 4 and others: See Wonders of the In- 

1 "Better investigation" i. e., & writ for a fresh inquiry. 

1 Excitement. J Precedents. 

4 Susannah Martin and Bridget Bishop. 


visible World, Page 105 to 137. 1 And there were other like 
Cases not Printed. 

2. Several confessors acknowledged they engaged in the 
quarrels of other their confederates to afflict persons. As one 
Timothy Swan suffered great things by Witchcrafts, as he 
supposed and testifyed. And several of the confessors said 
they did so torment him for the sake of one of their partners 
who had some offence offer' d her by the said Swan. And others 
owned they did the like in the behalf of some of their con- 
federates. 2 

3. There were others that confessed their fellowship in 
these works of darkness, was to destroy the Church of God (as 
is above in part rehearsed) which is a greater piece of revenge 
then 3 to be avenged upon one particular person. 

[A.] 2. It may be queried then, How doth it appear that 
there was a going too far in this affair. 

1. By the numbers of the persons accused which at length 
increased to about an hundred and it cannot be imagined that 
in a place of so much knowledge, so many in so small a com- 
pass of Land should so abominably leap into the Devils lap 
at once. 

2. The quality of several of the accused was such as did 
bespeak better things, and things that accompany salvation. 
Persons whose blameless and holy lives before did testify for 
them. Persons that had taken great pains to bring up their 
Children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord : Such as 
we had Charity for, as for our own Souls: and Charity is a 
Christian duty commended to us. 1 Cor. 13 Chapt., Col. 3. 
14, and in many other Scriptures. 

3. The number of the afflicted by Satan dayly increased, 
till about Fifty persons were thus vexed by the Devil. This 
gave just ground to suspect some mistake, which gave advan- 
tage to the accuser of the Brethren 4 to make a breach upon us. 

4. It was considerable 5 that Nineteen were Executed, and 
all denyed the Crime to the Death, and some of them were 

1 At pp. 223-236, above. 

* Timothy Swan, aged thirty, died early in February, 1692/3 (N. E. Hist. 
and Gen. Reg., II. 380; Mrs. Bailey, Historical Sketches of Andover, p. 237). 
s Than. 4 1. e., Satan (see Rev. xii. 10). 

B Deserving of consideration. 


knowing persons, and had before this been accounted blame- 
less livers. And it is not to be imagined, but that if all had 
been guilty, some would have had so much tenderness as to 
seek Mercy for their Souls in the way of Confession and sorrow 
for such a Sin. And as for the condemned confessors at the 
Bar (they being reprieved) we had no experience whether they 
would stand to their Self-condemning confessions, when they 
came to dye. 

5. When this prosecution ceased, the Lord so chained up 
Satan, that the afflicted grew presently well. The accused are 
generally quiet, and for five years since, we have no such 
molestations by them. 

6. It sways much with me that I have since heard and read 
of the like mistakes in other places. As in Suffolk in England 
about the year 1645 was such a prosecution, until they saw 
that unless they put a stop it would bring all into blood and 
confusion. 1 The like hath been in France, till 900 were put 
to Death, 2 And in some other places the like; So that N. 
England is not the only place circumvented by the wiles of the 
wicked and wisely Serpent in this kind. 

Wierus de Prcestigiis Demonum, p. 678, 3 Relates, That an 
Inquisitor in the Subalpine Valleys, enquired after Women 
Witches, and consumed above an hundred in the Flames, and 
daily made new offerings to Vulcan of those that needed Hele- 
bore more than Fire, 4 Until the Country people rose and by 
force of Arms hindred him, and refer the matter to the Bishop. 
Their Husbands, men of good Faith, affirmed that in that very 
time they said of them, that they played and danced under a 
tree, they were in bed with them. 

1 The famous witch-hunt in which Matthew Hopkins was the leading spirit 

J What is in thought is doubtless the boast of Nicolas Remy (Remigius), 
on the title-page of his Daemonolatreia (1595), that his book rests on the trials of 
nine hundred, put to death for witchcraft within fifteen years; but this was in 
Lorraine, not yet a part of France, though in close relations with it. 

1 Lib. VI., cap. 20, of this notable book by which the eminent Rhenish 
physician Wierus (Johann Weyer, 1515-1588) gave to the zeal of the witch-haters 
its first effective check. This passage, however, he borrows bodily from the 
Parergon Juris (VIII. 22) of an earlier opponent of witch persecution, the Italian 
jurist Andrea Alciati. 

4 I. e., those crazed more than criminal: hellebore was counted a cure for 


R. Burton of Witches, etc. p. 158, 1 Saith, That in Chelms- 
ford in Essex, Anno 1645, were Thirty tryed at once before 
Judge Coniers, and Fourteen of them hanged, and an hundred 
more contained in several Prisons in Suffolk and Essex. 

If there were an Error in the proceedings in other places, 
and in N. England, it must be in the principles proceeded upon 
in prosecuting the suspected, or in the misapplication of the 
principles made use of. Now as to the case at Salem, I con- 
ceive it proceeded from some mistaken principles made use 
of; for the evincing whereof, I shall instance some principles 
made use of here, and in other Countrys also, which I find 
defended by learned Authors writing upon that Subject. 2 

Chapter XVIII. 

I shall conclude this Discourse with some Application of 
the whole. 

1. We may hence see ground to fear, that there hath been 
a great deal of innocent blood shed in the Christian World, 
by proceeding upon unsafe principles, in condemning persons 
for Malefick Witchcraft. 3 

2. That there have been great sinful neglects in sparing 
others, who by their divinings about things future, or discover- 
ing things secret, as stollen Goods, etc., or by their informing 
of persons and things absent at a great distance, have implored 
the assistance of a familiar spirit, yet coloured over with 
specious pretences, and have drawn people to enquire of them : 
A sin frequently forbidden in Scripture, as Lev. 19. 31 and 
20. 6, Isa. 8. 19, 20. and yet let alone, and in many parts of 

1 See p. 416, note 5. "Burton" has merely inserted into his Kingdom of 
Darkness (pp. 148-159) the contents of the contemporary True and Exact Re- 
lation (1645) which narrates this Essex persecution. 

2 The following chapters (V.-XVII.) are devoted to the nature of witch- 
craft and the proper means for its detection. 

3 "Black Witches, or Malefick Witches," explains Hale a little earlier, are 
those "who by their enchantments do call in the Devils aid, for revenge, to do 
hurt to the bodies and health of their neighbours, or to their cattle, goods, and the 
like. These are the persons commonly called Witches, and against whom the 
spirits of men and the laws of men are most bent, for their prosecution and 


the World, have been countenanced in their diabolical skill and 
profession; because they serve the interest of those that have 
a vain curiosity, to pry into things God hath forbidden, and 
concealed from discovery by lawful means. And of others 
that by their inchantments, have raised mists, strange sights, 
and the like, to beget admiration, and please Spectators, etc., 
When as 1 these divinations and operations are the Witchcraft 
more condemned in Scripture than the other. 

3. But to come nigher home, we have cause to be humbled 
for the mistakes and errors which have been in these Colonies, 
in their Proceedings against persons for this crime, above 
fourty years ago and downwards, upon insufficient presump- 
tions and presidents 2 of our Nation, whence they came. I do 
not say, that all those were innocent, that suffered in those 
times upon this account. But that such grounds were then 
laid down to proceed upon, which were too slender to evidence 
the crime they were brought to prove; and thereby a founda- 
tion laid to lead into error those that came after. Ma)- we 
not say in this matter, as it is, Psal. 106. 6. We have sinned 
with our fathers? And as, Lam. 5. 7. Our fathers have sinned 
and are not, and we have born their iniquities? And whether 
this be not one of the sins the Lord hath been many years 
contending with us for, is worthy our serious enquiry. If the 
Lord punished Israel with famine three years for a sin of mis- 
guided zeal fourty years before that, committed by the breach 
of a Covenant made four hundred years before that: 2 Sam. 
21. 1, 2, Why may not the Lord visit upon us the misguided 
zeal of our Predecessors about Witchcraft above fourty years 
ago, even when that Generation is gathered to their Fathers. 

4. But I would come yet nearer to our own times, and be- 
wail the errors and mistakes that have been in the year 1692. 
In the apprehending too many we may believe were innocent, 
and executing of some, I fear, not to have been condemned; 
by following such traditions of our fathers, maxims of the 
Common Law, and Presidents 2 and Principles, which now we 
may see weighed in the balance of the Sanctuary, are found 
too light. I heartily concur with that direction for our pub- 
lick prayers, emitted December 17, 1696, by our General 
Assembly, in an order for a general Fast, viz. " That God 

1 7. e., "whenas" : whereas. * Precedents. 


would shew us what we know not, and help us wherein we have 
done amiss, to do so no more: And especially that whatever 
mistakes on either hand, have been fallen into, either by the 
body of this people, or any order of men, referring to the late 
tragedy raised among us by Satan and his Instruments, through 
the awful Judgment of God: He would humble us therefore, 
and pardon all the errors of his Servants and People, that 
desire to love his Name, and be attoned to his land." I am 
abundantly satisfyed that those who were most concerned to 
act and judge in those matters, did not willingly depart from 
the rules of righteousness. But such was the darkness of that 
day, the tortures and lamentations of the afflicted, and the 
power of former presidents, that we walked in the clouds, 
and could not see our way. And we have most cause to be 
humbled for error on that hand, which cannot be retrieved. 
So that we must beseech the Lord, that if any innocent blood 
hath been shed, in the hour of temptation, the Lord will not 
lay it to our charge, but be merciful to his people whom he 
hath redeemed, Deut. 21. 8, And that in the day when he 
shall visit, he will not visit this sin upon our land, but blot it 
out, and wash it away with the blood of Jesus Christ. 

5. I would humbly propose whether it be not expedient, 
that some what more should be publickly done then 1 yet 
hath, for clearing the good name and reputation of some that 
have suffered upon this account, against whom the evidence 
of their guilt was more slender, and the grounds for charity 
for them more convincing. And this (in order to our obtain- 
ing from the Lord farther reconciliation to our land,) and that 
none of their surviving relations, may suffer reproach upon 
that account. I have both read and heard of several in En- 
gland, that have been executed for Capital crimes, and after- 
wards upon sence of an error in the process against them, 
have been restored in blood and honour by some publick act. 
My Lord Cook 2 relates a story. A man going to correct a 
Girle his Neice, for some offence, in an upper room, the Girle 
strove to save her self, till her nose bled, and wiping it with a 
cloath, threw the bloody cloath out at the window, and cryed 
Murder; and then ran down staires, got away and hid her self. 
Her Uncle was prosecuted by her friends upon suspicion of 

1 Than. J Sir Edward Coke, 


Murdering her, because she could not be found. He declared 
that she made her escape, as above said. Then time was al- 
lowed him to bring her forth, but he could not hear of her 
within the time, and fearing he should dy if she could not be 
found, procures another Girle very like her, to appear in Court, 
and declare she was his Neice that had been missing : But her 
relations examine this counterfeit, until they find her out, and 
she confesseth she was suborned and counterfeited the true 
Neice. Upon these presumptions the man was found guilty 
of Murdering his Neice, and thereupon executed. And after 
his execution his true Neice comes abroad and shews her self 
alive and well. Then all that saw it were convinced of the 
Uncles innocency, and vanity of such presumptions. The 
Printing and Publishing of this relation Vindicates the good 
name of the Uncle, from the imputation of the crime of Murder. 
And this is one end of this present discourse, to take off (so 
far as a discourse of this nature can) infamy from the names 
and memory of such sufferers in this kind, as do not deserve 
the same. 

6. Here it may be suitable for us to enquire, What the 
Lord speaks to us by such a stupendeous providence, in his 
letting loose Satan upon us in this unusual way? Arts. 1. We 
may say of this, as our Saviour said of his washing his disciples 
feet, Joh. 13. What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shall 
know hereafter. The Judgments of the Lord are a great deep, 
Psal. 36. 6. How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways 
past finding out. 2. Yet somewhat of his counsel at present 
for our instruction may be known, by comparing the Word 
and works of God together. 

1. As when Joshua the high Priest though an holy chosen 
man of God, stood before the Angel, Satan stood at his right 
hand to resist him, or to be his adversary : And the advantage 
Satan had was by the filthy garments Joshua was clothed 
with before the Angels : That is, some iniquity which yet was 
not passed away, Zech. 3. 1, 3, 4. So we may say here were 
among Gods own Children filthy garments. The sins of Luke- 
warmness, loss of our first love, unprofitableness under the 
Gospel, slumbering and sleeping in the wise, as well as foolish 
Virgins, worldliness, pride, carnal security, and many other 
sins. By these and such like sins the accuser of the Breth- 


ren got advantage to stand at our right hand (the place of 
an Accuser in Courts of Justice) and there accuse us and 
resist us. 

2. When the Egyptians refused to let Israel go to sacrifice 
and keep a feast to the Lord in the Wilderness : The Lord cast 
upon [them] the fierceness of his wrath, by sending Evil Angels 
among them, Psal. 78. 49. Egypts sins were (1 .) Coveteousness ; 
they would not let Israel go, because they gained by their 
labours. (2.) Contempt of God and his Instituted Worship, 
and Ordinances. They did not count them of such concern- 
ment, that Israel should go into the Wilderness to observe them. 
Both these sins have too much increased in our Land. (1.) 
Coveteousness, an inordinate love of the World gave Satan 
advantage upon us. (2.) Contempt of Gods Worship and In- 
stituted Ordinances. The Errand of our Fathers into this 
Wilderness, was to Sacrifice to the Lord; that is, to worship 
God in purity of heart and life, and to wait upon the Lord, 
walking in the faith and order of the Gospel in Church fellow- 
ship; that they might enjoy Christ in all his Ordinances. But 
these things have been greatly neglected and despised by many 
born, or bred up in the Land. We have much forgotten what 
our Fathers came into the Wilderness to see. The sealing 
Ordinances of the Covenant of Grace in Church-Communion 
have been much slighted and neglected; and the fury of this 
Storm raised by Satan hath fallen very heavily upon many 
that lived under these neglects. The Lord sends Evil Angels 
to awaken and punish our negligence : And to my knowledge 
some have been hereby excited to enter into the Chamber of 
Gods Ordinances, to hide themselves, until the indignation be 
over past. 

3. David when he removed the Ark from Kirjathjearim, 
had the Ark put into a new Cart, which should have been car- 
ried by the Kohathites. Numb. 3. 31. And David thought 
this was right, until the Lord slew Uzza for touching the Ark : 
But then he looked more exactly into the will of God; and 
confesseth that the Lord made a breach upon them, because 
they sought him not after the due order, 1 Chron. 13. 5, 7, 9, 
10, and 15. 11, 12, 13. Had not the Lord made that breach 
upon them, they had persisted securely in their error. So I 
may say in this case. In the prosecution of Witchcraft, we 


sought not the Lord after the due order; but have proceeded 
after the methods used in former times and other places, until 
the Lord in this tremendous way made a breach upon us. 
And hereby we are made sensible that the methods formerly 
used are not sufficient to prove the guilt of such a crime. And 
this I conceive was one end of the Lords letting Satan loose to 
torment and accuse so many; that hereby we may search out 
the truth more exactly. For had it not been for this dreadful 
dispensation, many would have lived and dyed in that error, 
which they are now convinced of. 

4. The Lord delivered into the hand of Satan the Estate, 
Children, and Body of Job, for the tryal of Jobs faith and 
patience, and proof of his perfection and uprightness. So the 
Lord hath delivered into Satans hand mens Children and 
Bodies, yea names and estates into Satans hand for the tryal 
of their faith and patience, and farther manifestation of the 
sincerity of their professions. 

7. 1 From that part of the discourse which shews the power 
of Satan to torment the bodies, and disturb the minds of those, 
he is let loose upon, Chap. 6, I would infer, that Satan may 
be suffered so to darken the minds of some pious Souls, as to 
cause them to destroy themselves by drowning, hanging, or 
the like. And when he hath so far prevailed upon some, that 
formerly lived a Christian life, but were under the prevalency 
of a distracting Melancholy at their latter end, We may have 
Charity that their Souls are Saved, notwithstanding the sad 
conclusion of their lives. I speak not to excuse any that 
having the free use of their reason willingly destroy themselves, 
out of pride, discontent, impatience, etc. Achitophel who out 
of height of Spirit because his Counsel was not followed, and to 
prevent Davids executing of him, for his rebellion and treason, 
destroyed himself, hath left his name to stink unto all genera- 
tions. 2 And Judas who for his unparalelled treachery in be- 
traying his Master, and the Lord of life, was justly left to 
hange himself ; and the rope breaking or slipping he fell down 
head long, or with his face down ward, so that he burst asunder 
in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out, Math. 27. 5. with 
Act. 1. 13, left by his sin and punishment in the last act of 

1 Such is the numbering of the original. 

*The story of Ahithophel is to be found in II Samuel xv.-rvii. 


his life the black character of a Son of perdition. But those 
that being out of their right minds, and hurried by an evil 
Spirit, as persons under a force to be their own executioners, J 
are not always to be ranked with these. 

8. Seeing we have been too fierce against supposed Male-* 
fick Witchcraft, let us take heed we do not on the contrary 
become too favourable to divining Witchcraft: And become 
like Saul who was too zealous against the Gibeonites, and at 
last turned to seek after one that had a familiar Spirit, to his 
own destruction. Let us not, if we can help it, suffer Satan 
to set up an ensuring office for stolen Goods. That after he 
hath brought the curse of God into the house of the thief, by 
tempting him to steal, he may not bring about the curse into 
the houses of them from whom the goods were stolen, by allur- 
ing them to go to the god of Ekron to enquire. That men may 
not give their Souls to the Devil in exchange, for his restoring 
to them their goods again, in such a way of divination. The 
Lord grant it may be said of New England, as is prophecyed 
of Judah, Mic. 5.12. / will cut off Witchcrafts out of thine hand, 
and thou shalt have no more soothsayers. 

9. Another extream we must beware of, is, viz. Because 
our fathers in the beginning times of this Land, did not see so 
far into these mysteries of iniquity, as hath been since discov- 
ered, Let us not undervalue the good foundations they laid 
for God and his people, and for us in Church and Civil Govern- 
ment. For Paul that eminent Apostle knew but in part; no 
wonder then, if our Fathers were imperfect men. In the 
purest times in Israel, there were some Clouds^of ignorance 
over-shadowing of them. Abraham, David, and the best 
Patriarchs were generally ignorant of the sin of Polygamy. 
And although Solomon far exceeded Nehemiah in wisdom; yet 
Nehemiah saw farther into the evil of Marrying Outlandish 
Women, than that wisest of Kings, and meer fallen men. 
Neh. 13. 26. Josiah kept the Passeover more exactly, than 
David, and all the Reforming Kings of Judah, 2 Chron. 35. 18. 

All the godly Judges and Kings of Judah were unacquainted 
with, and so negligent of the right observation of the feast of 
Tabernacles, until it came to Nehemiahs time : And he under- 
stood and revived an ordinance of God, that lay buried in 
oblivion, near about a thousand years. Now he that shall 


reject all the good in doctrine and practice, which was main- 
tained, professed and practiced by so many Godly leaders, be- 
cause of some few errors found among them, will be found to 
fight against God. A dwarf upon a giants shoulders, can see 
farther than the giant. 

It was a glorious enterprize of the beginners of these Col- 
onies, to leave their native Country to propagate the Gospel : 
And a very high pitch of faith, zeal, and courage that carryed 
them forth, to follow the Lord into this wilderness, into a land 
that was not sown. Then was New England holiness to the 
Lord, and all that did devour them, or attempted so to do, did 
offend, and evil did come upon them. And the Lord did 
graciously remember this kinchiess of their Youth, and love of 
their Espousals; In granting them many eminent tokens of 
his favour; by his presence with them in his Ordinances, for 
the Conversion of Souls, and edifying and comforting the hearts 
of his Servants : By signal answering their prayers in times of 
difficulty: By protecting them from their Enemies; By guid- 
ing of, and providing for them in a Desart. And the Lord will 
still remember this their kindness unto their Posterity, unless 
that by their Apostasy from the Lord, they vex his Holy Spirit, 
to turn to be their Enemy : And thereby cut off the Entail of 
his Covenant Mercies; which God forbid. Oh that the Lord 
may be with us, as he was with our Fathers; and that he may not 
leave us, nor forsake us! 



To those who know what elements made up the earliest 
population of Virginia it is needless to point out why there we 
find no such abiding fear of the Devil and his minions as among 
the religious exiles of New England. There no Mosaic law 
was enacted into statute; and the well-known Cavalier sym- 
pathies of the colony suggest why the mid-century witch- 
panic of England's Presbyterian counties found there no echo. 
Fear of witches, indeed, Virginia did not wholly escape; biri 
her witch-terrors found their source in folk-lore more than jn 
theology, and, though her courts could not keep altogether 
clear of the matter, their influence seems to have been almost 
wholly a restraining one. The testimony of their records has, 
in part at least, been diligently ferreted out, 1 and the historian 
of the social and economic life of the colony has summarized 
it in a lucid chapter 2 which is the best introduction to the single 
episode here to be narrated. By the middle of the century the 
bandying of the abusive name of "witch" was calling forth 
actions for slander and vigorous rulings by the courts; and in 
1656 a clergyman from Scotland brought against one William 
Harding the only legal process which is known to have ended 
in conviction and a penalty ten stripes and banishment from 
the county. Suits enough from that time on there were; but 
they were brought by the accused for damages, or failed to 
convince the jury. Especially that southeastern region known 

1 Notably by Mr. Edward W. James, who published his gleanings first in 
the William and Mary College Historical Quarterly (I.-IV. 1892-1896), then in 
the Lower Norfolk County Virginia Antiquary (I.-III.). 

2 Philip Alexander Bruoe, Institutional History of Virginia in the Seventeenth 
Century, I. 276-289. 



as "Lower Norfolk County," and, above all, its eastern strip, 
along the Atlantic, which in 1691 became Princess Anne 
County, seems to have been disturbed by these suspicions. 
There in 1675 and 1679 juries of women had been impanelled 
to search Jane Jenkins and Alice Cartwright, " according to the 
118th chapter of Dalton," for the Devil's marks; 1 and there 
in 1698 Anne Byrd appealed in vain to a court against wild 
charges of "riding" her neighbors as a witch. In that same 
year Grace Sherwood, wife of James Sherwood, planter, a 
woman in middle life whose father, John White, had long 
dwelt there as carpenter and planter, was accused by one 
John Gisburne of bewitching his hogs and cotton. She with 
her husband brought an action for slander, but lost it, and was 
unsuccessful against Anthony Barnes, who charged her with 
ing his wife and then escaping through the keyhole in the 
suape of a black cat. It was this Grace Sherwood against 
whom in 1706 was brought that culminating action for witch- 
craft to which belong the following papers. Her story has 
been often told and often with a generous use of the imagina- 
tion. More than once the records have been printed, as by 
President Gushing of Hampden-Sidney in the Collections (I. 
67-68) of the Virginia Historical and Philosophical Society 
and by Henry Howe in his Historical Collections of Virginia 
(Charleston, 1845), pp. 436-438; but most fully and carefully 
by Edward W. James, whose pages in the William and Mary 
College Quarterly (III. 190-192, 242-245; IV. 18-20) have fur- 
nished our text. It has, however, been collated afresh with 
the record at Princess Anne by the editor of the present vol- 
ume and not without correction. It will be noticed that the 

1 What is meant is of course that paragraph of Michael Dalton's many- 
editioned handbook of procedure, The Countrey Justice, which, prescribing tests 
for the detection of witches, avers that the witch's imp, or familiar, "hath some 
big or little teat upon their body, and in some secret place, where he sucketh 
them." "And besides their sucking, the Devil leaveth other marks upon their 
body," which "being pricked will not bleed, and be often in their secretest parts, 
and therefore require diligent and careful search." 


court clerk uses a sort of short-hand, abbreviating sometimes 
by a lavish use of "superiors" (as "som d " for "summoned," 
"Ex 1 *" for "Excellency"), sometimes by mere omission of 
letters. The peculiarities of the text are such that in this 
instance we have preserved forms which it is now more usual 
to expand into shapes more easily legible; but the obscurer 
signs (as "y" for "th," or "ff" for "F," or the stroke above 
a final "con" to make it "cion") have not been reproduced. 1 

1 Though the old record book through which these entries are scattered is 
still in good condition, the passages relating to this interesting case are begin- 
ning to suffer from wear, and from the first four lines of the entry for July 5, 
which come at the bottom of a page, a few words have crumbled away, and 
are preserved only by the transcripts. In the margin of the entry for May 2 
are the words "Ag* Grace Sherwood for witchcraft," and in that of the entry 
for June 6 the words " Bousch Att r for Queen vs. Sherwood " 


Princess Ann ss. At a Court held the 3 d of Jaw* 170f . 

Whereas Luke Hill and uxor 1 Som d Grace Sherwood to 
this Court 2 in Suspetion of witchcraft and she fayling to 
apear it is therefore ord r that attachm* to the Sherr 3 do Issue 
to Attach her body to ans r the s d Som next Court. 

[Under February 6, 1705/6.] 

Suite for Suspition of witchcraft brought by Luke Hill 
ag* Grace Sherwood is ord r to be referr till to rnorr . 

[Under February 7, 1705/6.] 

Whereas a Compl* was brought ag* Grace Sherrwood on 
Suspition of witchcraft by Luke Hill, etc. : and the matter 
being after a long time debated and ord r that the s d Hill pay 
all fees of this Compl* and that the s d Grace be here next 
Court to be Searched according to the Compl* by a Jury of 
women to decide the s d Diff err : and the Sherr is Likewise ord r 
to Som an able Jury accordingly. 

[Under March 7, 1705/6.] 

Present: Col Edward Moseley, Lieu* [Col] Adam Thor- 
rowgood, Maj r Henry Sprat, Cap tn Horatio Woodhouse, M r 
Jn Cornick, Cap tn Henry Chapman, M r W m Smith, M r Jn 
Richason, Cap tn Geo : Handcock, Justices. 

1 Luke Hill and wife. Against them in December, 1705, Grace Sherwood 
had brought action for assault and battery, claiming 50 of damages and receiving 
twenty shillings. What this affray may have had to do with the charge of witch- 
craft does not appear. 

*The court was the county court, its members a group of "gentlemen of 
the county, called justices of the peace." Their names appear just below, in the 
entry for March 7. Such a panel of the court heads the record of each of the 
sessions named, but its repetition has seemed unnecessary. Grace Sherwood's 
case was only one of many dealt with at each session. Usually only four or five 
justices were present. * Sheriff. 


Whereas a Complaint have been [made] to this Court by 
Luke Hill and his wife that one grace Sherrwood of this County 
was and Have been a Long time Suspected of witchcraft and 
have been as Such Represented wherefore the Sherr at the last 
Court was ord d to Som a Jury of women to this Court to Serch 
her on the s d Suspicion, She assenting to the Same. And after 
the Jury was impannelld and Sworn and Sent out to make 
Due inquirery and Inspection into all Cercumstances, After a 
Mature Consideracion They bring in this verditt : wee of the 
Jury have Serch" Grace Sherwood and have found Two things 
like titts w th Severall other Spotts : Eliz h Barnes, forewoman, 
Sarah Norris, Marg rtt Watkins, Hannah Dinnis, Sarah Good- 
acre, Mary Burgess, Sarah Sergeant, winifred Davis, Ursula 
Henly, Ann Bridg 8 , Ezable waples, Mary Cotle. 1 

[Under May 2, 1706.] 

Whereas a former Compl* was brought ag* Grace Sherwood 
for Suspicion of Witchcraft, w ch by the Atturny Gen r11 Report 
to his Ex cl y in Councill was to 2 Generall and not Charging her 
with any perticular Act, therefore represented to them that 
Princess Ann Court might if they thought fitt have her ex- 

1 At this point the court reached the limit of its powers, and Luke Hill, 
doubtless at its instance, petitioned the highest tribunal of the colony, the General 
Court, i. e., the Governor and Council, informing them that "one Grace Sher- 
wood of Princess Anne County being suspected of witchcraft upon his complaint 
to that county court that she had bewitched the petitioner's wife, the court 
ordered a jury of women to search the said Grace Sherwood who upon search 
brought in a verdict against the said Grace, but the court not knowing how to 
proceed to judgment thereon, the petitioner prays that the Attorney Generall 
may be directed to prosecute the said Grace for the same." But the attorney 
general, to whom on March 28 the matter was referred, reported on April 16 
that he found the charge too general and that the county court ought to have 
made a fuller examination of the matters of fact, and that "pursuant to the 
directions and powers to County Courts given by a late act of Assembly" they 
ought, if they thought there was sufficient cause, to have committed the accused 
to the general prison of the colony, "whereby it would have come regularly before 
the Generall Court." Wherefore he suggested "that the said County Court do 
make a further Enquiry into the matter," and, if they find cause for action, to 
follow the said law; and it was ordered that a copy of his report "be sent to the 
court of Princess Anne County for their direction in the premises." (Cf. Palmer's 
Calendar of Virginia, State Papers, I. 100 : at some points this corrects Mr. James's 
readings, at others needs correction by them.) 


amined De Novo, and the Court Being of Oppinion that there 
is great Cause of Suspicion Doe therefore ord r that the Sherr 
take the Said Grace into his Safe Costody untill She Shall give 
bond and Security for her Appearance to the next Court to 
be examined Denovo and that the Constable of that precinkt 
go with the Sherr and Serch the Sd graces House and all Sus- 
picious places Carfully for all Images 1 and Such like things 
as may any way Strengthen The Suspicion, and it is likewise 
Ordered that the Sherr Som an Able Jury of Women, also all 
Evidences as Cann give in anything ag* her in Evidence, in 
behalf of our Soveraign Lady the Queen, To Attend the next 
Court Accordingly. 

[Under June 6, 1706.] 

Whereas Grace Sherwood of this County have been Com- 
plained of as a person Suspected of Witchcraft, and now being 
Brought before this Court in ord r for examinacion, this Court 
have therefore requested m r Maxm 11 Boush to present In- 
formacion ag* her as Councill in behalf of our Soveraign Lady 
the Queen in order to her being brought to a regular Try all. 

Whereas an Informacion in Behalf of her Mag ty was pre- 
sented by Luk Hill, to the Court in pursuance To M r Gen r11 
Att rys Tomson report on his Excell cy ord in Councill the 16 th 
Aprill Last About Grace Sherwood being Suspected of Witch- 
craft, have thereupon Sworn Severall Evidences ag* her by 
w 4 * it Doth very likely appear. 

[Under June 7, 1706.] 

Whereas at the Last Court an ord r was past that the Sherr 
should Sommons an able Jury of Women to Serch Grace Sher- 
wood on Suspicion of witchcraft, w ch although the Same was 
performed by the Sherr yet they refused And did not appear, 
it is therefore ord r that the Same persons be againe Som d by the 

1 Such "images," of course, as witches were believed to make of those they 
wished to afflict (see above, pp. 104, 163, 219, 228). "They have often," says 
Dalton, whose book these justices doubtless had open before them, "Pictures 
of Clay or Wax (like a Man, etc., made of such as they would bewitch) found in 
their House, or which they roast, or bury in the Earth, that as the Picture con- 
sumes, so may the parties bewitched consume." 


Sherr for their Contempt To be Dealt w th according to the 
uttmost Severity of the Law, and that a new Jury of Women 
be by him Som d To appear next Court to Serch her on the 
aforesaid Suspicion, and that he likewise Som all evidences 
that he Shall Be informed of as materiall in the Complaint, 
and that She continue in the Sherr Costody unless She give 
good bond And Security for her Appearance at the next Court, 
and that She be of the Good behaviour towards her Majestic 
and all her Leidge people in the mean time. 

[Under July 5, 1706.] 

Present, Mr Jn Richason, Cap tn Jn Moseley, Cap tn Henry 
Chapman, Cap tn W m Smyth, Justices. 

Whereas for this Severall Courts the Business between luke 
hill and Grace Sherwood on Suspicion of witchcraft have Been 
for Severall things omitted, perticularly for want of a Jury to 
Serch her, and the Court being Doubtfull That they Should 
not get one this Court, and being willing to have all means 
possible tryed either to acquit her or to Give more Strength to 
the Suspicion that She might be Dealt w th as Deserved, there- 
fore it was Ord rd that this Day by her own Consent to be 
tried in the water by Ducking, 1 but the weather being very 
Rainy and Bad Soe that possibly it might endanger her health, 
it is therefore ord rd that the Sherr request the Justices pre- 
cisely to appear on wednessday next by term of the Clock at 
the Court house, and that he Secure the body of the Sd Grace 
till that time to be forth Coming, then to be Dealt w th as 
afore sd. Jn Richason, Henry Chapman. 2 

[Under July 10, 1706.] 

Whereas Grace Sherwood being Suspected of witchcraft 
have a long time waited for a Fit uppertunity For a Further 
Examinacion, and by her Consent and Approbacion of this 
Court, it is ord r that the Sherr take all Such Convenient assis- 
tance of boats and men as Shall be by him thought Fitt, to 
meet at Jn Harpers plantacion in ord r to take the Sd Grace 
forthwith and put her into above mans Debth and try her how 

1 As to this water ordeal for witches see above, p. 21, and note 3. 

1 These gentlemen were doubtless a committee charged with the matter. 


She Swims Therein, alwayes having Care of her life to preserve 
her from Drowning, and as Soon as She Comes Out that he 
request as many Ansient and Knowing women as possible he 
Cann to Serch her Carefully For all teats spotts and marks 
about her body not usuall on Others, and that as they Find the 
Same to make report on Oath To the truth thereof to the 
Court, and further it is ord r that Som women be requested to 
Shift and Serch her before She goe into the water, that She 
Carry nothing about her to cause any Further Suspicion. 

Wheras 1 on complaint of Luke hill in behalf of her 
Majesty that now is ag* Grace Sherwood for a person Suspected 
of witchcraft, and having had Sundry Evidences Sworne ag* 
her, proving Many Cercumstances to which She could not 
make any excuse or Little or nothing to say in her own Behalf, 
only Seemed to Rely on what the Court should Doe, and there- 
upon consented to be tryed in the Water and Likewise to be 
Serched againe, w h experim* 8 being tryed and She Swiming 
when therein and bound Contrary To Custom and the Judg* of 
all the Spectators, and afterwards being Serched by Five 
antient weomen who have all Declared on Oath that She is not 
like them nor noe Other woman that they knew of, having two 
things like titts on her private parts of a Black Coller, being 
Blacker than the Rest of her Body, all which Cercumstance 
the Court weighing in their Consideracion Doe therefore ord r 
that the Sherr take the Sd Grace Into his Costody and to Com- 
mit her body to the Common Goal of this County there to 
Secure her by irons, or otherwise there to Remaine till Such 
time as he Shall be otherwise Directed in ord r for her coming 
to the Common Goale of the country 2 to bee brought to a 
Future Tryall there. 3 Edward Moseley and M r . Richason. 4 

1 This entry is made later on the same day : the court had merely taken a 
recess for the "ducking." 

1 1. e., at Williamsburg. See p. 439, note 1. 

s If, at the next session of the General Court, Grace Sherwood came up for 
trial, the records are missing, and probably perished in the burning of the State 
Courthouse in 1865. She at least survived the trial; for in 1708 she was confess- 
ing judgment for six hundred pounds of tobacco, and in 1733 willing her estate 
to her three sons. It is not till 1740 that the proving of that will shows her 

4 Perhaps the committee that drafted this verdict. 



Abbot, Abiel, History of Andaver, 180 n., 
242 n. 

Abbot, Benjamin, testifies against 
Martha Carrier, 241, 242. 

Abbot, Nehemiah, testifies against 
Elizabeth How, 239. 

Abbot, Sarah, testimony, 242. 

Abraham, 431. 

Acosta, Joseph, 245; Natural and Moral 
History of the Indies, 245 n. 

Adams and Stiles, History of Ancient 
Wethersfield, 48 n. 

Addington, Isaac, proclamation for 
day of prayer, 385, 386. 

Admonitio de Superstitionibus Magicis 
vitandis, by Nicholas Hemming, 247, 
247 n. 

Ady, Thomas, A Candle in the Dark, 
222, 222 n.; A Perfect Discovery of 
Witches, 222, 222 n. 

Ahithophel, story of, 427 n. 

Albany, N. Y., destruction of docu- 
ments in fire at, 43. 

Alciati, Andrea, Italian jurist, 424 n.; 
opposes witch persecution, 424 n. 

Alden, John, of the Mayflower, 170 n. 

Alden, Capt. John, 187 n., 188 n., 
352 n. ; suspected of witchcraft, 170, 
170 n., 171, 178, 178 n.; account of 
trial for witchcraft, 352-355; fast at 
house of, 355 n.; Judge Sewall reads 
sermon for, 355 n.; prayer for, 355 n.; 
acquittal, 383. 

Alden, Rev. Lucius, describes house of 
George Walton, 61 n. 

Allen, Rev. James, 362, 362 n.; min- 
ister of First Church in Boston, 97, 
97 n., 118. 

Allen, John, testifies against Susanna 
Martin, 230, 231. 

Allen, Small, member of grand jury, 86. 

Allyn, John, secretary of the colony of 
Connecticut, 34 n. 

Amazeen, John, an Italian, 62, 74; ar- 
rests George Walton, 76 n. 

America and West Indies, Calendar of 

State Papers, 76 n. 
American Antiquarian Society, 255, 

255 n., 256 n.; Proceedings, 91 n., 
186 n., 197 n., 207 n., 215 n.; Dr. 
Samuel F. Haven, librarian of, 256, 

256 n.; Isaiah Thomas, president of, 
256 n.; papers of Samuel Mather 
in, 256 n. 

American Criminal Trials, Chandler, 
347 n., 380 n. 

American Historical Magazine, 18 n. 

Andover, Mass., cases of witchcraft, 
180, 180 n., 371-374, 419-422; Dane, 
Rev. Francis, pastor at, 420 n. 

Andover, Historical Sketches of, by S. L. 
Bailey, 180 n., 242 n., 366 n., 420 n., 
423 n. 

Andover, History of, by Abiel Abbot, 
180 n., 242 n. 

Andover, Witchcraft at, by Sarah Loring 
Bailey, 420 n. 

Andrew, Daniel, 366 n. 

Andros government, 76 n.; overthrow 
in New England, 348 n. 

Annals of Witchcraft, by S. G. Drake, 
31 n., 410 n. 

Another Brand Pluck' d Out of the Burn- 
ing, 258 n. 

Anthony, Allard, sheriff of New York, 

Apollonius of Tyana, 302, 302 n. 

Arnold, John, prison keeper, warrant 
for prisoners, 354-355. 

Ashcom, Charles, accuses Margaret 
Mattson of witchcraft, 86. 

Assemblies Catechism, The, by John 
Cotton, 113. 

Assistance to Justices of the Peace, 
An, by Joseph Keble, 411, 412, 
412 n. 

Atkinson, John, testifies against Su- 
sanna Martin, 231. 

Atkinson, Sarah, testifies against Su- 
sanna Martin, 234, 235. 




Aves, Samuel, testimony relative to 

case of Margaret Rule, 337. 
Ayres, Good wife, 21 n. 

Bailey, Rev. John, 362, 362 n.; min- 
ister at Watertown, Conn., 124 n. 

Bailey, Sarah Loring, Historical 
Sketches of Andover, 180 n., 242 n., 
366 n., 420 n., 423 n.; Witchcraft at 
Andover, 420 n. 

Baillehache, Jean de, 10 n. 

Baker, Thomas, service as juror, 44, 
44 n. 

Balding, Thomas, attestation of, 87. 

Ballard, Joseph, asks accusers who af- 
flicted wife, 371-372, 374. 

Ballard, Mrs. Joseph, 180, 180 n., 371- 

Barbadoes : Hooton, Oliver, merchant 
of, 69; Parris, Rev. Samuel, engaged 
in West Indian trade, 153 n. 

Barefoot, Capt. Walter, deputy col- 
lector for province of New Hamp- 
shire, 67, 67 n., 72; witness of stone 
throwing in house of George Walton, 

Barker, Abigail, account of confession, 

Barker, William, preservation of in- 
dictment, 380 n.; confesses witch- 
craft, 419-422. 

Barnard, Rev. Thomas, 375, 375 n. 

Barnes, Anthony, accuses Grace Sher- 
wood of witchcraft, 436. 

Barnes, Elizabeth, forewoman of wo- 
man jury, 439. 

Barnes, John, member of grand jury, 
85, 86. 

Bassett, Goodwife, confesses witchcraft, 
410 n. 

Batcheler, John, juryman at Salem 
trials, 388. 

Baxter, Richard, 92; The Certainty of 
the Worlds of Spirits, 98, 98 n., 208, 
320 n., 416, 416 n. 

Bayard, Nicholas, marries Judith Var- 
leth, 19 n. 

Beale, William, 371 n. 

Beard, 4. 

Beaumond, Mr., see Baillehache, Jean de. 

Belknap, Dr. Jeremy, 291, 376 n.; 
The Remainder of the Account of the 
Salem Witchcraft, 376 n. 

Bellingham, Gov. Richard, 410 n. 

Bellomont, Earl of, governor of Massa- 
chusetts and New York, 292 n. 

Benham, Joseph, 385 n. 

Benham, Winifred, acquitted of witch- 
craft, 385, 385 n. 

Bentley, Rev. William, 187 n., 371 n. 

Bernard, Rev. Richard, 330, 330 n., 
412; Guide to Grand-Jurymen . . . 
in cases of Witchcraft, 163, 304 n., 
416, 416 n.; rules for detection of 
witches, 205. 

Berwick, Me., 259 n. 

Beverly, Mass., Rev. John Hale, min- 
ister at, 397. 

Bezac, Edward, member of petty jury, 

Bibber, Sarah, addicted to fits, 154, 
154 n., 155, 344. 

Biles, William, attended Council, 85. 

Biographical Dictionary, Eliot, 293 n. 

Bishop, Bridget (alias Oliver), 249, 378, 
419 n., 422, 422 n.; trial for witch- 
craft, 223-228, 229, 397, 397 n.; 
false accusations against, 356, 356 n. 

Bishop, Edward, 347 n.; husband of 
Bridget, 225; accused of witchcraft, 
347; escapes from prison with wife, 

Bishop, George, New England Judged, 
35 n.; 43 n., 44 n. 

Bishop, Samuel, 370. 

Black, G. F., xviii, 207 n. 

Black, Mary, a negro, accused of witch- 
craft, 347. 

Black-Man, appearance of, 309, 310, 

Black witchcraft, 425, 425 n. 

Blathwayt, William, letter to, 198 n. 

Bly, John, testifies against Bridget 
Bishop, 225, 228. 

Bly, William, testifies against Bridget 
Bishop, 228. 

Bodleian Library, 150 n. 

Body of Liberties, Massachusetts laws, 
181 n., 363 n. 

Bolton, Robert, History of the County of 
Westchester, 42 n. 

Borden, Matthew, witness of stone 
throwing in house of George Walton, 

Boston, Mass. : Mather, Increase, min- 
ister of North Church, 3; Old South 



Church, 22 n., 97, 97 n., 118, 177, 
186 n. ; Morse, William, wife tried 
for witchcraft, 31 n.; Broughton, 
Thomas, merchant at, 37 n.; Allen, 
James, minister at First Church, 97, 
97 n., 118; Moodey, Joshua, associ- 
ate minister of First Church, 97, 97 n., 
118; Willard, Rev. Samuel, pastor 
of Old South Church, 97, 97 n., 118; 
Public Library, 151; Thacher, Rev. 
Thomas, first minister of Old South 
Church, 177 n.; justices, 185; Wil- 
son, Rev. John, first minister at, 
213, 213 n.; Mather, Cotton, re- 
plies to ministers at, 214, 214 n.; 
Jones, Margaret, executed at, 408, 
408 n. 

Boston, History and Antiquities of, 
151 n., 295 n. 

Boston, Memorial History of, W. F. 
Poole in, 256, 256 n., 292 n., 295 n., 
307 n., 408 n., 410 n. 

Boston Record Commissioners' Reports, 
291 n., 295 n. 

Boush, Maximilian, prosecutes Grace 
Sherwood, 440. 

Boyle, Robert, 16; governor of the Cor- 
poration for the Spread of the Gospel 
in New England, 16 n.; Philosophi- 
cal Works, 16 n. 

Bracy, Thomas, attestation of, 87. 

Bradbury, Capt. Thomas, 366 n. 

Bradbury, Mary, convicted of witch- 
craft, 185 n., 366, 366 n. 

Bradford, William, 187 n. 

Bradstreet, Capt. Dudley, justice of 
the peace, 180, 180 n.; accused of 
witchcraft, 372. 

Bradstreet, Gov. Simon, 372 n., 412; 
condemns proceedings against witch- 
craft, 184. 

Braintree, Mass.: Fiske, Rev. Moses, 
minister at, 109 n.; Thompson, min- 
ister at, 409, 409 n. 

Brand pluck'd out of the Burning, A, 
by Cotton Mather, xiii, 258 n., 259- 
287; introduction to, 255-258. 

Branford, Conn., 137 n.; Rev. Abra- 
ham Pierson, minister at, 139, 139 n. 
See also Tocutt. 

Brattle, Thomas, 168, 186 n., 187 n., 
188 n., 248 n., 291, 376 n.; member 
of Royal Society, 167; treasurer of 

Harvard College, 167; biographical 
sketch, 167, 168; introduction to 
letter of, 167, 168; Letter of, 169- 

Bridgers, Ann, member of woman jury, 

Brigham, C. S., librarian of American 
Antiquarian Society, xiii, 256 n. 

Bristol, R. I., Rev. Benjamin Wood- 
bridge, minister at, 65, 65 n. 

Broadbent, Joshua, Boston Tory, 362 n. 

Brookhaven, L. I., case of witchcraft 
from, 43. 

Brookhaven, Town of, Records, 44 n. 

Broughton, Thomas, merchant of Bos- 
ton, 37 n. 

Brown, William, wife strangely af- 
flicted by Susanna Martin, 234. 

Bruce, Philip Alexander, Institutional 
History of Virginia in the Seventeenth 
Century, 435, 435 n. 

Brunning, John, Memorable Providences 
published by, 93. 

Bulkeley, Rev. Gershom, Witt and 
Doom, 411 n. 

Burgess, Mary, member of woman 
jury, 439. 

Burroughs, Rev. George, 241 n., 378, 
379, 417-419; execution of, 177 n., 
215-222, 360-361; graduate of Har- 
vard College, 215n.; minister at 
Wells, Me., 215 n.; accused of afflict- 
ing Ann Lawson by witchcraft, 217, 
218; treatment of wife and daughter, 
220, 221 ; speech declaring innocence, 
360-361; testimony against, 421, 
421 n. 

Burton, R., The Kingdom of Darkness, 
416, 416 n., 425, 425 n. 

Buxton, John, complaint of, 347. 

Byfield, N., condemns proceedings 
against witchcraft, 184. . 

Byrd, Anne, charged with witchcraft, 

Caen, France, 10, 10 n. 

Calamy, Edmund, Continuation, 150 n. 

Calef, Judge John, funeral sermon for, 
293 n. 

Calef, Robert, a Boston merchant, xiii, 
152 n., 153 n., 201 n., 215 n., 380 n., 
397, 413 n.; More Wonders of the 
Invisible World, 124 n., 207, 208, 



289-393, 294 n.; free from supersti- 
tion, 291; biographical sketch, 291- 
295; arrival in America, 292; auto- 
graphs, 292 n.; article by W. S. Har- 
ris on, 292n.-293n., 295 n.; chil- 
dren of, 293, 295 n. ; Cotton Mather's 
reference to book of, 293-294; re- 
tires to Roxbury, 294-295; burial- 
place, 295; reprints of book, 295; 
memoir by S. G. Drake, 295 n.; wife 
of, 295 n.; aim in writing book, 297; 
call to vindicate the truth, 301 ; com- 
parison of the powers of God and the 
Devil, 301; evils arising from doc- 
trine of devils and witchcraft, 303- 
304; letters to Cotton Mather, 329- 
333, 338-341; letters from Cotton 
Mather, 333-337; opinion of Cotton 
Mather, 388, 388 n. 

Calef, Robert, Jr., xiii, 291, 291 n.-292, 
292 n., 295 n. 

Calef pedigree, 291 n.-293 n. 

Calendar of State Papers, Colonial, A mer- 
ica and West Indies, 76 n., 198 n., 
201 n., 202 n., 362 n. 

Cambridge Jests, The, 112. 

Cambridge Platonism, 5, 246. 

Camerarius, Philip, 4. 

Candle in the Dark, A, by Thomas Ady, 
222, 222 n. 

Carlton, William, 295. 

Carpenter, Samuel, member of grand 
jury, 85; attended Council, 88. 

Carrier, Andrew, 363 n. 

Carrier, Martha, of Andover, 241, 
241 n., 379, 418, 418 n., 419 n.; trial 
and execution, 177 n., 241-244, 360, 
360 n., 361, 361 n.; accused of witch- 
craft, 241-244, 421, 421 n.; asserts 
innocence, 241 n.; own children tes- 
tify against, 421, 421 n. 

Carrier, Richard, 243, 363 n., 419, 
419 n. 

Cartesian philosophy, 171. 

Carthage, Fourth Council of, 303, 303 n. 

Cartwright, Alice, 436. 

Gary, Captain Nathaniel, 349 n.; ac- 
count of wife's trial for witchcraft, 

Gary, Mrs. Nathaniel, imprisoned fof 
witchcraft, 178-180; account of trial 
for witchcraft, 349-352; escape from 
Cambridge prison, 352 n. 

Cases of Conscience, by Increase Mather, 
149, 194 n., 304 n., 357, 357 n., 377, 
377 n., 383 n., 389. 

Casus Medicinales, by Balthasar Ti- 
maus von Guldenklee, 319 n. 

Certainty of the Worlds of Spirits, The, 
by Richard Baxter, 98, 98 n., 208, 
320 n., 416, 416 n. 

Chamberlain, Elizabeth, marries Mar- 
tin Lumley, 56. 

Chamberlain, Richard, 35 n., 76 n.; 
lodged at house of George Walton, 
35 n.; biographical sketch, 55-57; 
Lithobolia or Stone-Throwing Devil, 

Chambers, Robert, Domestic Annals of 
Scotland, 300 n. 

Chandler, American Criminal Trials, 
347 n. ; William Barker's indictment 
preserved by, 380 n. 

Chandler, Phebe, accuses Martha Car- 
rier of witchcraft, 243. 

Chapman, Capt. Henry, justice of the 
peace, 438, 441. 

Charlestown, Mass.: Morton, Charles, 
minister at, 97, 97 n.; witchcraft 
cases, 349, 382. 

Chever, G. F., articles by, 371 n. 

Chiever, Mr., present at Salem execu- 
tions, 361 n. 

Christmas celebration, Puritan horror 
of, 274, 274 n. 

Christ's Fidelity the only Shield against 
Satan's Malignity, by Rev. Deodat 
Lawson, 158 n., 159 n. 

Church of England, 168. 

Chyrurgion, treatise of, 319, 319 n. 

City Island, L. I. Sound, 47 n. 

Clark, Elizabeth, affidavit of, 61 n. 

Clark, Mary, 151 n. 

Clark, Miss, see Mrs. Towne. 

Clark, Walter, deputy governor of 
Rhode Island, 69, 69 n.; witness of 
stone throwing in house of George 
Walton, 69, 69 n. 

Clarke, Samuel, 4; Mirrour . . . of 
Examples, 10 n. 

Claypoole, James, 86. 

.Clayton, William, attended Council, 85. 

Cloyse, Sarah, 161, 161 n., 347 n.; 
committed for witchcraft, 346. 

Cock, John, 87. 

Cock, Lasse, attended Council, 85, 86. 



Coffin, Joshua, History of Newbury, 
31 n. 

Coke, Institutes, 374 n. 

Cole, Ann, afflicted with fits, 18; ef- 
fect of demons on, 18, 20 n.; influ- 
ence of Dutch family on, 18-19; 
story of, 18-21, 113. 

Cole, Matthew, killed by lightning, 
20 n. 

Collet, Jeremiah, member of petty jury, 

Cologne, Henricus ab Heer, physician 
of, 266, 266 n. 

Colonial Entry Books, 198 n., 202 n. 

Colonial Records of Connecticut,, 135 n. 

Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 
Publications, 371 n., 375 n. 

Colve, Gov. Anthony, dismisses case 
against Katharine Harrison, 52 n. 

Coman, Richard, testifies against Brid- 
get Bishop, 225. 

Common Law, by Joseph Keble, 412, 

Connecticut, witch cases, 18 n.; Al- 
lyn, John, secretary of the colony 

, of, 34 n.; Court of Assistants, 
48 n.; Winthrop, John, governor of, 
93 n. 

Connecticut as a Colony and as a Stale, 
by F. Morgan, 18 n. 

Connecticut t ColonialRecords,'L9n.,42Q.., 
48 n., 135 n., 410 n. 

Connecticut, Colonial, The Witchcraft 
Delusion in, by J. M. Taylor, 18 n., 
48 n. 

Connecticut Historical Society, Col- 
lections, 411 n. 

Connecticut, Witchcraft in, by C. H. 
Levermore, 52 n. 

Continuation, by Edmund Calamy, 
150 n. 

Cook, Arthur, witness to stone throw- 
ing in house of George Walton, 69, 
69 n. 

' Cook, John, accuses Bridget Bishop of 
witchcraft, 224. 

Coolin, Annakey, accuses Margaret 

Mattson of witchcraft, 87. 
( Corey, Giles, 154 n., 250, 295; pressed 
to death, 366, 367, 367 n. 

Corey, Martha, convicted of witch- 
craft, 154-156, 157, 343-344, 366, 

Cornell University, President White 
Library, 160 n. 

Cornick, John, justice of the peace, 

Corwin, Jonathan, member of Court 
of Assistants, 158, 158 n.; of Court 
of Oyer and Terminer, 178, 178 n., 
185 n., 353, 355. 

Coscinomancy, 181 n. 

Cotle, Mary, member of woman jury, 

Cotton, Rev. John, 137 n.; law of 
Moses as codified by, 42; Cotton 
Mather, grandson of, 91; Milk for 
Babes, 113; The Assemblies Cate- 
chism, 113; preacher to Indians, 309, 
309 n. 

Cotton Mather and Salem Witchcraft, by 
W. F. Poole, 91, 91 n. 

Cotton Mather, the Puritan Priest, by 
Barrett Wendell, 91, 91 n. 

Countrey Justice, The, by Michael Dai- 
ton, 163 n., 304 n., 436, 436 n. 

Court of Assistants, 355 n. 

Court of Assizes, description of, 43, 
43 n. 

Court of Oyer and Terminer, see Oyer 
and Terminer, Court of. 

Cranfield, Edward, first royal governor 
of New Hampshire, 60. 

Criminal Law of England, The Use of 
Torture in, 102 n. 

Crocker, Hannah Mather, granddaugh- 
ter of Cotton Mather, 255, 255 n., 
256 n. ; gift of Mather papers, 256 n. 

Crouch, Nathaniel, publisher, 416 n. 

Cudworth, Ralph, Intellectual System, 
246 n. 

Cummings, Isaac, depositions of, 239, 

"Curiosities," by Cotton, Mather, 245- 

Curwin, Jonathan, see Corwin. 

Gushing, President, Hampden-Sidney 
College, 436. 

Daemonolatreia, by Nicolas Remy, 424, 
424 n. 

Dalton," Michael, 440 n.; The Coun- 
trey Justice, 163 n., 304 n., 436, 
436 n. 

Dane, Deliverance, account of confes- 
sion, 374-375. 



Dane, John, juryman at Salem trials, 

Dane, Rev. Francis, pastor at Andover, 
420 n. 

Danforth, Thomas, deputy governor 
of Massachusetts, condemns proceed- 
ings against witchcraft, 184; judge 
of Superior Court, 382, 383. 

Danvers, Mass., see Salem Village. 

Danvers, Hanson, 342 n. 

Danvers Highlands, 152 n., 153 n. 

Darter, Edward, member of petty 
jury, 86. 

Daston, Sarah, death of, 383; impris- 
oned for witchcraft, 383, 383 n. 

Davenport, Rev. John, 5, 137 n.; bio- 
graphical sketch, 12 n. 

David, King of Israel, 429, 431. 

Davis, History of WaUingford and Meri- 
den, 385 n. 

Davis, Winifred, member of woman 
jury, 439. 

Day, John, member of grand jury, 

Dean, J. W., article in New England 
Historical and Genealogical Register, 
58 n. 

Declaration of the Ground of Error, A, 
etc., by George Fox, 81 n. 

De Hceretico Comburendo, 374 n. 

Delaware, The Swedish Settlements on 
the, by Amandus Johnson, 83 n. 

Delaware County, Pennsylvania, His- 
tory of, by Smith, 84 n., 87 n., 88 n. 

Delaware River, colony of William 
Penn on the, 82, 83; Swedish colony 
on the, 83. 

Delft, Devil appears in shape of a boy 
at, 137. 

De Magnetica Vulnerum Curatione, by 
Jan Baptista van Helmont, 319 n. 

Demons, effect on Ann Cole, 18, 20 n.; 
effect on Elizabeth Knap, 22, 23; 
haunt house of William Morse, 23- 
32; cause disturbance in house of 
Mr. Mompesson, 32 n.; feats of, 59, 
60; appear in various forms to 
Martha Goodwin, 110-126; appear 
to wife of Thomas Putnam, 156-158; 
persecute Mercy Short, 261-268, 269, 
270, 271, 272, 275, 277, 278, 279, 280, 
282, 285, 286; description of, 297- 

Dennis, Hannah, member of woman 
jury, 439. 

Desborough, Nicholas, of Hartford, 
strangely molested, 33-34. 

Deusing, Antonius, treatise by, 319 n. 

Devils, see Demons; Satan. 

Devils, The Doctrine of, by John Wag- 
staffe, 6. 

Dialogues, Pope Gregory, 4. 

Diary of Cotton Mather, edited by 
Worthington C. Ford, 91 n.; see also 
Mather, Cotton, j 

Dictionary of Vulgar Terms, by Grose, 
300 n. 

Discoverie of Witches, by Thomas Potts, 
163 n., 219 n. 

Diseases ascribed to witchcraft, 319 n. 

Doctrine of Devils proved to be the 
Grand Apostacy of these Later Times, 
The, William Sewel, translator of, 
82 n. 

Documents and Records relating to 
the Province of New Hampshire, 
61 n. 

Documents relating to the Colonial His- 
tory of New York, 19 n. 

Dow, George Francis, Records and Files 
of the Quarterly Courts of Essex 
County, 151; records case of Eliza- 
beth How, 237 n. 

Downer, Robert, accuses Susanna Mar- 
tin of witchcraft, 232, 232 n. 

Drake, S. G., 153 n., 295; Annals of 
Witchcraft, xviii, 31 n., 52 n., 410 n.; 
editor of The Witchcraft Delusion in 
New England, 151 n., 208, 343 n.; 
memoir of Calef, 295 n. 

Drystreet, Henry, accuses Margaret 
Mattson of witchcraft, 86; member 
of grand jury, 86. 

Ducket, Thomas, member of grand 
jury, 85. 

Dudley, Joseph, judge in New York, 
195 n. 

Duke's Laws, 43 n. 

Dunton, John, 148, 207. 

Dutch Calvinism, leaders of, 41. 

Duxbury, Mass., effects of thunder- 
storm at, 14-15. 

Eames, Rebecca, convicted of witch- 
craft, 366; indictment extant, 380. 
Earl, Mr., of Colchester, story of, 9. 




Earle, Robert, testimony relative to 
case of Margaret Rule, 337. 

Easthampton, Mass., case of witch- 
craft at, 42; Elizabeth Garlick in- 
dicted for witchcraft at, 42; letter 
from Governor Winthrop, 42 n. 

Easthampton, Town of, Records of the, 
42 n. 

East Riding, L. I., 45, 45 n. 

Eaton, Theophilus, governor of New 
Haven colony, 140, 140 n. 

Eliot, Biographical Dictionary, 293 n. 

Eliot, Edmund, testifies against Su- 
sanna Martin, 233, 234. 

Elliott, Andrew, juryman at Salem 
trials, 388. 

Elson, Abraham, 19 n. 

Emerson, John, clerical schoolmaster 
at Salem, 37 n., 377 n. 

Enchantments Encountered, by Cotton 
Mather, 205. 

Endicot, Dr. Zorobbabel, 250. 

Endicott, John, governor of Massachu- 
setts, 250 n. 

England, punishment of witches in, 
374 n.; witchcraft in, 215 n. 

England and Ireland, Collection of sun- 
dry tryals in, by Joseph Glanvil, 416. 

English, Mary, 347 n.; accused of 
witchcraft, 347. 

English, Philip, 151 n., 347; imprison- 
ment and escape, 178, 178 n., 187, 
371; arrested for witchcraft, 371 n.; 
biographical sketch, 371 n. 

English, Mrs. Philip, 188 n. 

English Law, History of, by Pollock and 
Maitland, 367 n. 

Episcopius, disbeliever in witchcraft, 41. 

Essay for the Recording of Illustrious 
Providences, by Increase Mather, 6, 
6 n., 8-38, 65 n., 1 13, 303, 398, 410 n. 

Essex, England, persecution of witches 
in, 425, 425 n. 

Essex County, Records and Files of the 
Quarterly Courts of, edited by George 
Francis Dow, 151. 

Essex Institute, Proceedings, 153 n. ; 
Collections, 198 n., 360 n., 370 n., 
371 n. 

Esty, Isaac, 347. 

Esty, Mary, xiv, 347 n.; accused and 
convicted of witchcraft, 347, 366, 
367; petition to judges, 368-369. 

Eton College, 9. 

Euer, Robert, foreman of grand jury, 

Evans, Nathaniel, member of petty 

jury, 86. 
Evelith, Joseph, juryman at Salem 

trials, 388. 

Falkner, Abigail, conviction, 366; ac- 
cused of witchcraft, 420, 420 n.; 
children testify against, 421, 421 n.; 
neighbors testify against, 421, 421 n. 

Farmington, Conn., Samuel Hooker, 
pastor at, 19, 19 n. 

Farnworth, Richard, Witchcraft Cast 
out from the Religious Seed and Israel 
of God, 81 n., 82. 

Faustus, Dr., stories of, 137. 

Fisher, John, member of grand jury, 

Fisk, Thomas, reasons for judging Re- 
becca Nurse guilty, 358-359; fore- 
man of jury at Salem trials, 388. 

Fisk, Thomas, Jr., juryman at Salem 
trials, 388. 

Fisk, William, juryman at Salem trials, 

Fiske, John, New France and New En- 
gland, 153 n. 

Fiske, Rev. Moses, minister at Brain- 
tree, 109 n. 

Flower, Enock, member of grand jury, 

Ford, Worthington C., 306 n.; Diary 
of Cotton Mather, edited by, 91 n. 

Foster, Ann, confesses her share in 
witchcraft, 244; conviction, 366, 
367 n.; attends witch meeting, 418; 
imprisonment, 418, 418 n., 419 n. 

Foster, Rose, afflicted by witchcraft, 
420, 420 n. 

Fowler, S. P., 295; account in Proceed- 
ings, Essex Institute, 153n.; Salem 
Witchcraft, 207. 

Fox, George, A Declaration of the 
Ground of Error, etc., 81 n.; power 
to detect witchcraft, 81, 82. 

Foxcroft, Francis, condemns proceed- 
ings against witchcraft, 184. 

France, nine hundred executed for 
witchcraft, 424, 424 n. 

French, attack upon frontier towns, 



Frith, Dr., apparitions appearing to, 9. 

Fry, Deacon, wife imprisoned for witch- 
craft, 180. 

Further Account of the Tryals of the New- 
England Witches, 148, 149 n. 

Garland, John, service as juror, 45. 

Garlick, Elizabeth, indicted for witch- 
craft, 42. 

Gaule, John, rector of Great Stough- 
ton, England, 216, 216 n., 239, 304 n., 
330; rules for detection of witches, 
205; Select Cases of Conscience touch- 
ing Witches and Witchcrafts, 216 n., 
219, 219 n., 221. 

Gedney, Major Bartholomew, member 
of Court of Oyer and Terminer, 170, 
170 n., 185, 353, 353 n., 355. 

Genealogical Dictionary, by Savage, 
100 n. 

Gerrish, Rev. Joseph, 369 n. 

Gibbons, John, member of petty jury, 

Gisburne, John, accuses Grace Sher- 
wood of witchcraft, 436. 

Glanvil, Joseph, 98, 98 n.; A Blow 
at Modern Sadducism, 5; defence 
of ghosts and witches, 5; Saddu- 
cismus Triumphatus, 6, 6 n., 33 n., 
405 n.; Collection of Modern Rela- 
tions, or, Collection of Sundry tryals 
in England and Ireland, 33 n., 262 n., 

Glover, Goodwife, 412, 412 n.; trial for 
witchcraft, 103-106, 111, 124 n. 

Good, Dorcas, a child, 160, 160 n.; put 
in chains, 349 n. 

Good, Sarah, 414, 414 n.; imprison- 
ment, 159, 159 n.; afflicts Mercy 
Short, 259, 260, 260 n.; child ac- 
cused of witchcraft, 345; chains for, 
349 n.; trial and execution of, 357- 

Goodacre, Sarah, member of woman 
jury, 439. 

Goodall, Goodwife, 155; affliction of, 

Goodell, A. C., Further Notes on the 
History of Witchcraft in Massachu- 
setts, 373 n. 

Goodwin, Benjamin, 100 n., 124 n. 

Goodwin, Hannah, 100 n. 

Goodwin, John, a mason, 99, 294; 

wife distinguished for virtue and 
piety, 99; children afflicted, 99-128, 
129, 143, 255, 276, 276 n., 412, 

poodwin, John, Jr., 100 n., 124 n. 

Goodwin, Martha, 100 n.; demons ap- 
pear in various forms to, 110-126; 
ministers pray for, 118, 121. 

Goodwin, Mercy, 100 n. 

Goodwin, Nathaniel, 100 n. 

Goulart, Simon, 4. 

Granite Monthly, 293 n. 

Graves, Thomas, condemns proceed- 
ings against witchcraft, 184. 

Gray, Samuel, accuses Bridget Bishop 
of witchcraft, 224; false testimony 
against Bridget Bishop, 356, 356 n. 

Great Minifords Island, 47. 

Green, Dr. S. A., Groton in the Witch- 
craft Times, 360 n. 

Greensmith, Nathaniel, executed at 
Hartford, 20, 20 n. 

Greensmith, Rebecca, imprisonment, 
19, 19 n.; executed for witchcraft, 20, 
20 n. 

Gregory, Pope, Dialogues, 4. 

Grevius, demonstrates iniquity of tor- 
ture, 41. 

Griggs, Dr. William, physician to 
Salem Village, 154, 154 n., 155,342 n., 

Griscom, Andrew, member of grand 
jury, 85. 

Grose, Dictionary of Vulgar Terms, 
300 n. 

Groton, town of, 188 n. 

Groton in the Witchcraft Times, by Dr. 
S. A. Green, 360 n. 

Guard, Robert, accused of witchcraft, 

Guide to Grand Jury Men, by Richard 
Bernard, 163 n., 416, 416 n. 

Guldenklee, Balthasar Timaus von, 
Casus Medicinales, 319 n. 

Gummere, Amelia Mott, Witchcraft and 
Quakerism, by, 81 n., 88 n. 

Haart, Balthazer de, service as juror, 

Hadley, Mass., story of Philip Smith, 

deacon of the church at, 131-134. 
Haigue, William, attended Council, 




Hale, Rev. John, 70 n., 152 n., 158, 
158 n., 184, 206, 214 n.; present at 
Salem executions, 361 n.; changes 
views on witchcraft, 369-370; credu- 
lous of witchcraft, 397; graduate of 
Harvard College, 397; minister at 
Beverly, 397; witness against Dorcas 
Hoar and Bridget Bishop, 397, 397 n.; 
biographical sketch, 397, 398; ca- 
reer of, 398 n.; A. Modest Inquiry, 

Hale, Sir Matthew, 374 n.; English 
witch-trial, 215 n.; Trial of Witches, 
416, 416 n. 

Hall, George, reformation of, 11. 

Hall, Mary, trial and release from 
charge of witchcraft, 44-48. 

Hall, Ralph, trial and release from 
charge of witchcraft, 44-48; charged 
with murder of George Wood and 
child, 46. 

Hall case, first printed in the National 
Advocate, 43. 

Hallett, William, loses place by open- 
ing house to Baptist preaching, 44 n.; 
service as juror, 44, 44 n. 

Hampden-Sidney College, President 
Gushing, 436. 

Handcock, Capt. George, justice of the 
peace, 438. 

Hanson, Danvers, 342 n., 349 n. 

Harding, William, 435. 

Hardy, Thomas, of Portsmouth, 236, 
236 n. 

Harper, John, 441. 

Harris, Benjamin, a bookseller, 152. 

Harris, W. S., article in the Granite 
Monthly on Robert Calef, 292 n.- 
293 n., 295 n. 

Harrison, James, attended Council, 85. 

Harrison, Katharine, order relating to 
removal from West Chester, 49-51; 
trial, 48; given liberty to remain 
in West Chester, 51-52; Governor 
Colve dismisses case against, 52 n. 

Harrison papers, 43. 

Hartford, Conn., witchcraft cases, 18, 
18 n., 19, 19 n., 20, 20 n., 33-34, 135, 
135 n., 136, 385, 410, 410 n.; Stone, 
Samuel, teacher in church, 19, 19 n. ; 
Greensmith, Nathaniel and Rebecca, 
execution of, 20, 20 n.; Desborough, 
Nicholas, strangely molested at, 33- 

34; Johnson, Mary, trial of, 135, 
135 n., 136; woman sentenced to be 
whipped, 135 n. 

Hartford, A Case of Witchcraft in, by 
C. J. Hoadly, 18 n. 

Hartford, History of the First Church in, 
19 n. 

Hartlib, Samuel, biographical sketch, 
v 12 n. 

Harvard College: Mather, Increase, 
president of, 3, 15n.-16n.; Mather, 
Cotton, fellow of, 15n.-16n.; Brat- 
tle, Thomas, treasurer of, 167; Lev- 
erett, president of, 167; Burroughs, 
Rev. George, graduate, 215 n.; Hale, 
Rev. John, graduate, 397. 

Harvard University, Biographical 
Sketches of the Graduates of, Sibley, 
3 n., 93 n., 168 n., 183 n., 215 n., 
377 n., 398 n. 

Hastings, John, foreman of petty jury, 

Hathorn, John, see Hawthorne. 

Haven, Dr. Samuel F., librarian of the 
American Antiquarian Society, 256, 
256 n. 

Hawthorne, John, 160, 206; magis- 
trate at Salem Village, 155, 155 n., 
156, 158 n., 160; assistant, 344, 347, 
348, 355. 

Hawthorne, Susanna, 187 n. 

Haynes, Rev. Joseph, 19, 19 n. 

Heer, Henricus ab, physician of Co- 
logne, 266, 266 n. 

Helmont, Jan Baptista van, De Mag- 
netica Vulnerum Curatione, 319n.; 
Tractatus de Morbis, 319 n. 

Hemming, Nicholas, Admonitio de Su- 
perstitionibus Magicis vitandis, 247, 
247 n. 

Hendrickson, Jacob, enters into a re- 
cognizance for wife's appearance, 85, 

Hendrickson, Yeshro (Gertrude), trial 
for witchcraft, 85. 

Henly, Ursula, member of woman jury, 

Herrick, Henry, juryman at Salem 
trials, 388. 

Herrick, Mary, complaint against Mrs. 
Hale, 369, 369 n. 

Hewes, William, member of petty jury, 



Hibbins, Ann, executed for witchcraft, 
410, 410 n. 

Higginson, Rev. John, 160, 160 n., 206; 
minister at Salem, 245, 248 n., 398; 
Epistle regarding witchcraft, 399- 

Hill, Captain, 353. 

Hill, Luke, sues Grace Sherwood for 
witchcraft, 438, 438 n,, 439 n., 440, 

Historical Collections, Topsfield Histor- 
ical Society, 151 n. 

Historical Essay concerning Witchcraft, 
by Dr. Hutchinson, 222 n. 

Historical Magazine, 42 n., 57, 61 n., 
91 n., 379 n. 

Historical Series, by W. Elliot Wood- 
ward, 208, 295. 

Historical Sketches of Andover, by Sarah 
Loring Bailey, 180 n., 420 n. 

Historical Society, Massachusetts, Pro- 
ceedings, 151. 

Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 
Memoirs of, 83 n. 

History and Antiquities of Boston, 151 n. 

History of Andover, by Abiel Abbot, 
180 n. 

History of Delaware County, Pennsyl- 
vania, by Smith, 84 n., 87 n., 88 n. 

History of Massachusetts, by Hutchin- 
son, 151 n. 

History of Newbury, by Joshua Coffin, 
31 n. 

History of the First Church in Hartford, 
by Walker, 19 n. 

Hoadly, C. J., A Case of Witchcraft in 
Hartford, 18 n. 

Hoar, Dorcas, conviction for witch- 
craft, 366, 366 n.; estate seized, 371; 
Hale, Rev. John, witness against, 397, 
397 n. 

Hobbs, Abigail, conviction for witch- 
craft, 366. 

Hobbs, Deliverance, accuses Bridget 
Bishop, 224; warrant for, 347; at- 
tends witch meeting, 417, 417 n., 418. 

Hobbs, William, accused of witchcraft, 

Hobs, Deborah, see Hobbs, Deliverance. 

Holland, conjurer in, 137; status of 
witchcraft in, 41. 

Holmes, Thomas, attended Council, 

Holy Duties of the Devout Soul, The, 
282, 282 n. 

Hondorff, 4. 

Hooker, Rev. Samuel, pastor at Farm- 
ington, 19, 19 n. 

Hooton, Oliver, merchant, of Barba- 
does, 69; witness of stone throwing, 

Hopkins, Matthew, 363 n. ; witch- 
finder, 216 n., 423, 423 n. 

Hortado, Antonio, dwelling near the 
Salmon Falls, 37. 

Hortado, Mary, narrative told by Rev. 
Joshua Moodey, 37 n.; sundry ap- 
paritions of Satan, 37, 38. 

How, Elizabeth: Dow, F. G., records 
case of, 237 n.; loyalty of blind hus- 
band and daughter, 237 n. ; denied 
admission into Ipswich church, 237, 
237 n., 238; accusations against, 
237-240; trial and execution, 237- 
240, 357, 379; baptized by Devil, 

How, James, 240. 

How, John, accuses Elizabeth How of 
witchcraft, 238, 239. 

Howe, Henry, Historical Collections of 
Virginia, 436. 

Howell, Southampton, 42 n., 44 n. 

Howell, H., publisher, 208. 

Hubbard, Elizabeth, maid, 154, 154 n. 

Hunt, Josiah, 48 n. 

Hunt, Thomas, appears in behalf of 
Katharine Harrison, 48 n., 50; com- 
plaint against a woman, 48, 48 n. 

Hussey, John, witness of stone throw- 
ing, 69. 

Hutchinson, Francis, Historical Essay 
concerning Witchcraft, 222 n. 

Hutchinson, Gov. Thomas, information 
relating to William Morse, 31 n.; 
History of Massachusetts, 43 n., 150- 
151, 232 n., 241 n., 375 n., 410 n. 

Icarus, 302, 302 n. 

Indian, apparition of Black-Man to, 
309; afflicted by witchcraft, 348, 
348 n. 

Indian medicine-men, 42. 

Indians, troubles occasioned by, 16; at- 
tack upon frontier towns, 199; cap- 
ture Mercy Short, 259 n. ; in Mexico, 



Indians in New England, A Brief His- 
tory of the War with, by Increase 
Mather, 16 n. 

Indies, Natural and Moral History of 
the, by Joseph Acosta, 245 n. 

Ingersol, Nathaniel, deacon of church 
in Salem Village, 152, 153, 153 n. 

Institutes, Coke, 363 n., 374 n. 

Intellectual System, by Ralph Cud- 
worth, 246 n. 

Ipswich, Mass. : Powell, Caleb, trial of, 
31 n.; How, Elizabeth, denied ad- 
mission to church, 237, 237 n., 238; 
witchcraft case, 237-240. 

Israel, kings of, 429, 431. 

Jacobs, George, trial and execution, 177, 
360, 361; accused of witchcraft, 371; 
wife accused, 371. 

Jacobs, Margaret, confesses to false 
testimony, 364-366; imprisoned for 
witchcraft, 364 n., 365; acquittal of, 
366, 366 n. 

Jacobs, Rebecca, indictment extant, 
380 n. 

James I., statute of, 83, 84, 380 n. 

James, Edward W., William and Mary 
College Quarterly, 435 n., 436, 439 n. 

Jeffrey, George, hit by stone, 75. 

Jenkins, Jane, 436. 

Jennings, Samuel, governor of West 
Jersey, 69, 69 n.; witness of stone 
throwing at George Walton's, 69, 
69 n. 

Job, 430. 

John Carter Brown library, 93 n. 

John, Indian slave of Rev. Samuel 
Parris, 153 n., 351 n. 

Johnson, Amandus, The Swedish Set- 
tlements on the Delaware, 83 n. 

Johnson, Elizabeth, imprisonment, 
135 n., 382, 382 n.; accused of witch- 
craft, 420, 420 n. 

Johnson, Mary, Magnolia contains 
story of, 135 n.; information from 
Samuel Stone concerning, 135 n., 
136; trial, 135, 135 n., 136; con- 
fesses witchcraft, 410, 410 n. 

Jones, Hannah, accused by George 
Walton of witchcraft, 60 n., 61 n., 
73 n., 75 n.; not punished, 76 n. 

Jones, Margaret, executed at Boston, 
Mass., 408, 408 n. 

Joshua, 427. 

Josiah, 431. 

Judas Iscariot, 430. 

Jurors, at Philadelphia, 85, 86; Massa- 
chusetts act establishing qualifica- 
tion for, 362 n.; testimony from 
Fisk, 358. 

Jury, woman, 439. 

Justification, Treatise of, by Samuel 
Willard, 113. 

Justin Martyr, 302; Quaestiones et 
Responsiones ad Orthodoxos, 302 n. 

Juxon, Richard, life of, 11. 

Keble, Joseph, 163 n.; Statutes, 163; 

An Assistance to Justices of the Peace, 

163 n., 411, 412, 412 n.; Common 

Law, 412, 416. 

Keith, governor of Pennsylvania, 83. 
Kembal, John, accuses Susanna Martin 

of witchcraft, 232-233, 234. 
Kendal, Goodwife, accused of witch- 
craft, 409, 410. 
Kieft, Gov. William, fear of Indian 

medicine-men, 42. 
King, Winifred, 385 n. 
Kingdom of Darkness, by R. Burton, 

416, 416 n., 425, 425 n. 
King Philip's war, 4. 
Kinsman, John, member of petty 

jury, 86. 
Knapp, Elizabeth, 183, 183 n., 187 n.; 

story of, 21-23; effect of demons on, 

22, 23. 

Lacy, Mary, confesses share in witch- 
craft, 244; convicted of witchcraft, 
366, 367 n.; attends witch meeting, 
418, 418 n., 419, 419 n. 

Lacy, Mary, Jr., attends witch meet- 
ing, 419. 

Lake, H., of Dorchester, reference to 
wife, 408 n., 409 n. 

Lancashire witches, 219, 219 n. 

Lancaster, Mass., 361 n. 

Lane, Francis, testifies against Eliza- 
beth How, 240. 

Late Memorable Providences, by Cotton 
Mather, 92. 

Lawson, Ann : Burroughs, Rev. George, 
accused of afflicting by witchcraft, 



Lawson, Rev. Deodat, 167, 214 n., 
215 n., 413 n.; A Brief and True Nar- 
rative of Witchcraft at Salem, Mass., 
145-164, 341 n.; London edition of 
Salem sermon, 147 n., 149; Moore, 
G.H., letter from, 150, 150 n.; sermon 
on witchcraft, 158, 158 n.; Christ's Fi- 
delity the only Shield against Satan's 
Malignity, 158 n., 159 n.; wife of, 
218, 218 n. 

Lawson, Thomas, 150. 

Leisler, Jacob, service as juror, 44 n., 45. 

Leverett, president of Harvard Col- 
lege, 167. 

Levermore, C. H., "Witchcraft in Con- 
necticutt," in the New Englander, 
18 n, 52 n., 385 n. 

Lewes, Mercy, maid, 154, 154 n., 155, 
347; accuses witches of impiety, 160, 
161; affliction of, 344; vision, 346. 

Libanius, 303, 303 n. 

Libraries of the Mathers, by Julius H. 
Tuttle, 256 n. 

Library of American Biography, 261 n. 

Library of American Literature, 149 n. 

Library of Old Authors, by John Rus- 
sell Smith, 7, 149 n., 207. 

Lightning, changes needle of compass, 

Lince, Denis, member of grand Jury, 

Lincoln, Dr. Charles H., 256 n. 

Lithobolia, by Richard Chamberlain, 
58-77; dedicated to Martin Lumley, 

London Gazette, 300 n. 

Long Island, witchcraft in, 42; given 
name of Yorkshire, 45 n. 

Long Island Witts, Early, 44 n. 

Longfellow, Henry W., 170 n. 

Lonicer, 4. 

Louder, John, accuses Bridget Bishop 
of witchcraft, 226, 227. 

Louis XIV., 189 n. 

Lovelace, Francis, 49, 51, 52. 

Lower Norfolk County Virginia Anti- 
quary, 435 n. 

Lumley, Martin, marries Elizabeth 
Chamberlain, 56; Lithobolia dedi- 
cated to, 58, 59. 

Lunt, W. W., student of Calef pedigree, 
293 n. 

Luther, Martin, 10. 

Lynde, Joseph, member of the Coun- 
cil, 178, 178 n. 

Magnolia, by Cotton Mather, 16 n., 
24 n., 126 n., 134 n., 135 n., 208, 
259 n., 309, 309 n., 357 n., 377 n., 
388 n., 398. 

Maitland, see Pollock. 

Martha's Vineyard, 309 n. 

Martin, Abigail, afflicted by witch- 
craft, 420, 420 n. 

Martin, George, 233. 

Martin, Susanna, 229, 229 n., 422, 
422 n. ; accusations relating to witch- 
craft, 230-235; strangely afflicted, 
234; protests innocence, 236; trial 
and execution, 229-236, 357. 

Martin, Walter, member of petty jury, 

Mary Magdalen, 120. 

Mason, John, grant of land in New 
Hampshire to, 55, 76 n. 

Mason, Robert, proprietorship in New 
Hampshire recognized, 56, 57. 

Massachusetts: Stoughton, William, 
lieutenant-governor, 93 n., 183 n., 
212 n.; laws, 181 n.; archives, 186 n.; 
Mather, Increase, agent for restora- 
tion of charter, 193; witchcraft con- 
ditions, 196-202, 408, 408 n.; Endi- 
cott, John, first governor, 250 n.; 
Phips, Sir William, arrival with new 
charter, 348-349. 

Massachusetts Centinel, 88. 

Massachusetts, Colonial Society of, 
Publications, 371 n., 375 n., 383 n. 

Massachusetts, Final Notes on Witch- 
craft in, by G. H. Moore, 202 n., 
367 n. 

Massachusetts, Further Notes on the His- 
tory of Witchcraft in, by A. C. Good- 
ell, 373 n. 

Massachusetts Historical Society: Ma- 
ther Papers, 18 n.; Collections, 18 n. 
91 n., 168, 168 n., 366 n., 371 n. 
376 n., 389 n., 398 n.; Proceedings 
12 n., 41 n., 76 n., 151, 195 n., 202 n. 
222 n., 262 n., 291 n., 292 n., 306 n. 
307 n. 

Massachusetts, History of, by Thomas 
Hutchinson, 43 n., 232 n., 241 n., 
346 n., 375 n. 

Massachusetts, Records of, 363 n. 



Mather, Rev. Cotton, 91, 141 n., 148 n., 
153 n., 160 n., 177, 177 n., 206, 211, 
219 n.,222 n., 241 n., 245-250, 261 n., 
267 n., 270 n., 272 n., 273, 273 n., 
276, 276 n., 280, 280 n., 282, 282 n., 
284, 284 n., 293 n., 316 n., 348 n., 
389 n., 397 n. ; fellow of Harvard Col- 
lege, 15 n.-16 n.; Memorable Prov- 
idences, 15 n., 92, 93-126, 205, 320 n., 
410 n., 413, 414, 416; The Wonders 
of the Invisible World, 15 n., 149 n., 
150 n., 196 n., 204, 205-208, 209- 
251, 255, 293, 295, 297, 297 n., 304, 
330 n., 357, 370, 377, 377 n., 378, 
378 n., 414, 416, 422, 423; Mag