Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,075 pages of information about Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II.

Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. Parris, was nine years of age.  She seems to have performed a leading part in the first stages of the affair, and must have been a child of remarkable precocity.  It is a noticeable fact, that her father early removed her from the scene.  She was sent to the town, where she remained in the family of Stephen Sewall, until the proceedings at the village were brought to a close.  Abigail Williams, a niece of Mr. Parris, and a member of his household, was eleven years of age.  She acted conspicuously in the witchcraft prosecutions from beginning to end.  Ann Putnam, daughter of Sergeant Thomas Putnam, the parish clerk or recorder, was twelve years of age.  The character and social position of her parents gave her a prominence which an extraordinary development of the imaginative faculty, and of mental powers generally, enabled her to hold throughout.  This young girl is perhaps entitled to be regarded as, in many respects, the leading agent in all the mischief that followed.  Mary Walcot was seventeen years of age.  Her father was Jonathan Walcot (vol. i. p. 225).  His first wife, Mary Sibley, to whom he was married in 1664, had died in 1683.  She was the mother of Mary.  It is a singular fact, and indicates the estimation in which Captain Walcot was held, that, although not a church-member, he filled the office of deacon of the parish for several years before the formation of the church.  Mercy Lewis was also seventeen years of age.  When quite young, she was, for a time, in the family of the Rev. George Burroughs:  and, in 1692, was living as a servant in the family of Thomas Putnam; although, occasionally, she seems to have lived, in the same capacity, with that of John Putnam, Jr., the constable of the village.  He was a son of Nathaniel, and resided in the neighborhood of Thomas and Deacon Edward Putnam.  Mercy Lewis performed a leading part in the proceedings, had great energy of purpose and capacity of management, and became responsible for much of the crime and horror connected with them.  Elizabeth Hubbard, seventeen years of age, who also occupies a bad eminence in the scene, was a niece of Mrs. Dr. Griggs, and lived in her family.  Elizabeth Booth and Susannah Sheldon, each eighteen years of age, belonged to families in the neighborhood.  Mary Warren, twenty years of age, was a servant in the family of John Procter; and Sarah Churchill, of the same age, was a servant in that of George Jacobs, Sr.  These two last were actuated, it is too apparent, by malicious feelings towards the families in which they resided, and contributed largely to the horrible tragedy.  The facts to be exhibited will enable every one who carefully considers them, to form an estimate, for himself, of the respective character and conduct of these young persons.  It is almost beyond belief that they were wholly actuated by deliberate and cold-blooded malignity.  Their crime would, in that view, have been without a parallel in monstrosity of wickedness, and beyond what can be imagined of

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Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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