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English Project

Use For Salem Witch Trial Notes

Slide 1 Occurred in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft-the Devil's magic-and 20 were executed.
Slide 2 Many practicing Christians believed that the devil could give certain people known as witches the power to harm others in return for their loyalty. King William's war to colonists created a strain on Salem's resources.
This aggravated existing rivalries between families with ties to the wealth and agriculture. In January of 1692 Reverend Parris' daughter age 9 and two friends ages 11 started having fits. They blamed them on three women, their slave Tituba, Sarah Good, a homeless begger and Sarah Osborne an elderly impoverished woman.
Slide 3 All three women were brought before magistrates and interrogated for several days starting on March 1, 1692. Both Osborne and Good claimed innocence however, Tituba confessed that the devil came to her and made her serve him. This caused many false
accusations to be made over the next few months. Charges against Martha Corey, a local church member, made people feel as though if she could be a witch then anyone could. Charges were even made against Sarah Good's four year old daughter, Dorthy.
Slide 4 Five judges, including three close friends of Cotton Mather, were appointed to the court. Chief Justice, and most influential member of the court, was a gung-ho witch hunter named William Stoughton. Mather urged Stoughton and
the other judges to credit confessions and admit "spectral evidence" (testimony by afflicted persons that they had been visited by a suspect's specter). Ministers were looked to for guidance by the judges, who were generally without legal training on matters pertaining to witchcraft. Mather's advice was heeded. the judges also decided to allow the so-called "touching test"
defendants were asked to touch afflicted persons to see if their touch, as was generally assumed of the touch of witches, would stop their contortions) and examination of the bodies of accused for evidence of "witches' marks" (moles or the like upon which a witch's familiar might suck)
Slide 5 The first accused witch to be brought to trial was Bridget Bishop.At Bishop's trial on June 2, 1692, a field hand testified that he saw Bishop's image stealing eggs and then saw her transform herself into a cat.
A villager named Samuel Grey told the court that Bishop visited his bed at night and tormented him. Numerous other villagers described why they thought Bishop was responsible for various bits of bad luck that had befallen them. Bishop's jury returned a verdict of guilty. One of the judges, Nathaniel Saltonstall, resigned from the court.Chief Justice Stoughton signed Bishop's death warrant, and on June 10, 1692, Bishop was carted to Gallows Hill and hanged.
Slide 6 Rebecca Nurse was a pious, respected woman who apparently attacked both Ann Putnam Jr. and Abigail Williams in mid-March of 1692. Nurse's jury returned a verdict of not guilty however Chief Stoughton made them reconsider. On July 19, 1692 Nurse rode with
four other convicted willows to Gallows Hill and was hanged.
Created by: lyndsay.barthe



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