Salem Witch Hunt.

The hunt and Trials of suspected Witches of Salem.

The Witchcraft Craze happened throughout Europe from the 1300-1600's, caused from the King William's War ravaging the regions of Nova Scotia, New York and Quebec. The war had caused the Americans to send out refugees to the counties of Essex and the Salem Village in the Massechusettes Bay colonies.

The refugees had created a strain on the resources of the counties causing the village families of Salem and Essex to rival between other families tied to wealth. This quarreling had the Puritan villagers believe it was the work of the Devil.

Trials of the Salem Witch Hunt

The trials of the accused lasted only from February 1692 to May 1693. The main factors that started and fueled the trials were politics, religion, family feuds, economics, and the imaginations and fears of the people. After Reverend Samuel Parris moved from England bringing with him a slave he got from a trip to Barbados, Tibuta and then later was anointed Minister of Salem in 1689, the villagers did not like him. Believing he was greedy and crude. The Minister of the county is to be paid from taxes along with free fire wood. Minister Parris took it upon himself to take more than he had warranted from his job title, upsetting the town that has been split into two parts. One part of the villagers that intend to stay in Salem because of generations of wealth their family has brought, and then the second part is of the villagers that wish to leave Salem and seek refuge in a better town.

Reverend Parris had a daughter Elizabeth living with him along with an orphaned little girl whom he was uncle to, Abigail Williams. While the children were being schooled he did not believe in letting the children 'play' calling it an act of idleness, which allowed the Devil to work his mischief. The children had very little entertainment so they took on a lot of reading. One genre of books happened to be very popular among the girls; White magic rituals, Fortune telling and Prophecy.

One form of rituals the girls read about was circle forming, which they practiced quite frequently. Reverend Parris' slave would also accompany the girls in these circles which also included fortune telling and telling tales It is suspected that Elizabeth and Abigail grew frightened of their future revealings causing them to act out in a rather unusual manner. Reverend Parris took them to a family physician and found nothing physically wrong with the girls. He then claimed it to be the workings of dark magic. The girls then named Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborn as suspects.

Those accused:

Found guilty and executed

Found guilty and pardoned

Found guilty and escaped

Pled guilty and pardoned

  • Ann (Alcock) Foster—died in custody, December 1692
  • Mary (Foster) Lacey Sr.
  • Rebecca (Blake) Eames
  • Abigail Hobbs
  • Mary (Clements) Osgood

Refused to enter a plea and pressed to death

Found not guilty

  • Abigail (Wheeler) Barker
  • Mary Barker
  • William Barker, Jr.
  • Mary Bridges, Jr.
  • Mary (Tyler) Bridges, Sr.
  • Sarah Bridges
  • Sarah (Smith) Buckley
  • Sarah (Aslebee) Cole
  • Lydia Dustin—died in custody after trial
  • Sarah Dustin
  • Eunice (Potter) Frye
  • Sarah Hawkes, Jr.
  • Margaret Jacobs
  • Rebecca (Andrews) Jacobs
  • Elizabeth (Dane) Johnson, Sr.
  • Julie Kildunne
  • Mary Lacey, Jr.
  • Mary (Osgood) Marston
  • Hannah Post
  • Susannah Post
  • Mary (Allen) Toothaker
  • Hannah Tyler
  • Mary (Lovett) Tyler
  • Mercy Wardwell
  • Mary (Buckley) Witheridge

Died in custody


  • John Alden
  • Edward Bishop Jr.
  • Sarah (Wilds) Bishop
  • William Barker Sr.
  • Edward Farrington
  • Andrew Carrier
  • Katherine (Schneider) Cary
  • Phillip English
  • Mary (Hollingsworth) English

Released on bond

  • Dorcas Good
  • Sarah Carrier
  • Thomas Carrier Jr.
  • Dorothy Faulkner
  • Abigail Faulkner Jr.
  • Sarah (Lord) Wilson
  • Frances Hutchins
  • Margaret Prince
  • Elizabeth Dicer
  • Mary Rowe
  • Abigail Rowe

Evaded arrest, never tried

  • George Jacobs Jr.
  • Daniel Andrew

Named, but no arrest warrant issued

  • Anne (Wood) Bradstreet
  • Dudley Bradstreet
  • John Bradstreet
  • John Busse — minister in Wells, Maine
  • Francis Dane, minister in Andover, Massachusetts
  • Sarah (Noyes) Hale—wife of Rev. John Hale, minister in Beverly, Mass.
  • James How — husband of Elizabeth (Jackson) How
  • Hezekiah Usher
  • Mary (Spencer) Phips — wife of Massachusetts Governor William Phips
  • Sarah (Clapp) Swift
  • Margaret (Webb) Thatcher — mother-in-law of magistrate Jonathan Corwin

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