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Summarise The Salem Witchcraft Papers: verbatim transcripts of the Legal Documents of the Salem Witchcraft Outbreak of 1692 Essay Example

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A Summary of The Salem Witchcraft Papers:

. A witch hunt was carried out and all three women were brought before the local magistrates and interrogated. Osborne and Good pleaded innocent. Tituba confessed, «The Devil came to me and bid me serve him.» Describing images of dogs, cats, birds and a «black man» wanting his book signed. She admitted signing the book and existence of other witches intending Puritans destruction. The three women were jailed. Charges against Martha Corey, a staunch member of the Church, greatly shocked the community. Her daughter was questioned, her timid answers taken as confession. The grilling got serious when Deputy Governor Thomas Danforth attended the hearings. It increased the number of those accused. Governor William Phipps in May 27, 1692, ordered the establishment of a Special Court to hear and decide related cases, the first one being Bridget Bishop, who was found guilty and hanged. A plea to disallow spectral evidence was dismissed and more people were sentenced and hanged. The plea was later addressed, no further arrests made and many accused released. Special Court was replaced by Superior Court of Judicature. However the damage had been done.1This legal allegory provides a trial that took place in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. Hundreds of people were accused of witchcraft, and 20 executed. The colony would later admit the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted. Christians and others believed the Devil could give people the power to harm others. Witchcraft was practiced through Europe from the 1300s to the end of the 1600s. English rulers started a war with France in the American colonies in 1689, King William’s War to colonists, ravaging regions of New York upstate, Nova Scotia and Quebec, sending refugees to different parts of the colony. Those displaced strained Salem’s resources increasing rivalry between the rich and the poor. Another Controversy brewed over Reverend Samuel Parris, first ordained minister in 1689, who was unpopular due to his greedy nature and rigid ways. The effects of Witchcraft started taking its toll in January of 1692 when Reverend Parris’ daughter and niece started having illusions. They would scream, throw things, utter peculiar sounds. A local doctor blaming the supernatural. Ann Putnam experienced the same. Pressure from magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hawthorne, made the girls blame three women: Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne


Boyer, Paul, and Stephen Nissenbaum. The Salem Witchcraft:Verbatim transcripts of the Legal Documents of the Salem Witchcraft Outbreak of 1692. 111 vols.Boston:Da Capo Press, (1977)

1The history of Saleem witchcraft : www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1916888.com//http:// as assessed on 23rd February 2013.