American History / Salem Witch Trials
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Autor: anton 19 December 2010
Words: 615 | Pages: 3
Salem Witch Trials
In a town called Salem, Massachusetts, many people were accused of being a witch and conjering the devil with spirits. When John Hale examined them, they were said to be "beyond the power of Epileptic fils or natural disease to effect". Girls were screaming, throwing things, uttering strange sounds and contorting themselves into peculiar positions. The devil was "suggested" when the girls would cover their
ears while the preacher was preaching and praying for them.
In 1692, the first person was accused. Reverend Parris' daugther, niece
and others began accusing people for the simple fact that they either didn't think something was possible, it didn't have an explantion, or to get back as someone. Once people started to hear about what was goin on, they started to accuse people as well. The woods were then off-limits because people were "conjering the devil," and anyone who was caught there was immediately
On January 20th, 1692, nine year-old Elizabeth Parris and eleven year-old Abigale Williams began to exhibit strange behavior, including blasphenous screaming, convulsive seizures, trance-like states and mysterious spells. Within a short time others began to demonstrate this same behavior. In mid - Fedruary, physicians began to conclude that the girls were under the influence of saten because there was no explanation. In late - February, Prayer services were held, and a man named John Indian, baked a cake (they called it Witch Cake) made with rye bread, and the accused girls urine. This cake was meant to reveal the identities of the witches to the afflicted girls. The girls named three women. They were Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne. Neither one of these people were actually guilty, but Tituba confessed on March 1st for practicing witch craft. They all went to prison until their trial.
Over the next few weeks many other people came up with reasons stating they were in harm of witches. Many community members were accused. On March 19th, the first person was denounced as a witch and on May 10th, Sarah Osborne died in prison. Many more were placed in prison for witchery. On May 27th, the governor set up a court system with 7 judges to try the witchcraft cases. What the people didn't know at that time was that they would be hung if they didn't confess, but if they did, they would only be left with the loss of dignity, a bad name and hated or feared by many . Bridget Bishop was the first person to be found guilty and sentenced to death on June 2, 1662.
On October 8th, after 20 people had already been excuted , Tomas brattle wrote a letter to the governor criticizing the trials. This letter had a great impact on him, so he ordered reliance on spectral and intangible evidence to no longer be allowed in trials. This ment that if there was no physical evidence, that it doesn't count.
In September, a man named Giles Corey, an 80 year-old farmer from the southeast end of Salem, Refused to pled guilty. The judges mistakenly believed that it provided for the torturing punishment called "peine forteet aure". This was where a person was slowly crushed by pilling stones on a board that was laid upon his or her body. After 2 days of rocks being pilled on Giles, he still had not plead guilty and he died in pain.
A number of people were accused during the witch trials. 19 people were hung, 4 people died in prison and 1 person was pressed to death. Not one person deserved this.
On November 25th the rest of the trials were held, and because of the new rule, not one was convicted, and the trails were over.
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