March 22 (March 12, o.s.)

Massachusetts: In the morning Edward Putnam, uncle of the afflicted girl Ann Putnam, and Ezekiel Cheever, another member of the Salem Village church, come to the house of Thomas Putnam, Ann’s father, to announce that they are planning to go to see Martha Corey, whom Ann has accused of afflicting her several times in the past three days. They tell Ann to pay attention to what Corey’s specter is wearing the next time she afflicts her, so that they can compare that to what Corey herself is wearing to tell if the spirit is really Corey. They then leave the Putnam house.

They come back in the early afternoon to see if Ann has been afflicted again and if she saw what the specter was wearing. She says that the spirit did indeed attack her, and that she identified herself as Corey, but that she blinded her so she couldn’t see what she was wearing and said she wouldn’t come again until night, when it would be too dark for her to see.

Though their plan for testing Ann’s accusation of Corey has fallen through, Putnam and Cheever go to Corey’s house anyway. When they get there she is the only person home, and she smiles and says she knows that they are there to talk to her about rumors that she is a witch, but that she can’t help what others say about her. They reply that they have come not just because of rumors, but because Ann has named her specifically. Corey then asks “But does she tell you what clothes I have on?” and repeats the question when the stunned men do not answer. They then tell her what Ann had said about being blinded and not being able to see the clothes of the spirit afflicting her, and Corey just smiles.

Putnam and Cheever remain at Corey’s house a while longer and talk to her more about witchcraft and the recent accusations. She says that they surely can’t think she’s a witch, since she’s a church member and therefore an unusually devout Christian. They respond that witches have even crept into the churches, and that outwardly professing faith is no proof of innocence. Corey also says that she doesn’t think there are any witches at all, and when Putnam and Cheever respond that they are quite sure the first three accused (Tituba the Indian, Sarah Osbourne, and Sarah Good) are guilty, she says that they are just “idle slothful persons” and there’s no need to use the Devil to explain their flaws. She does say that the Devil has come down amongst the people of New England, and that God has forsaken them. Putnam and Cheever then leave.

At night, Ann Putnam is afflicted again by what she claims to be the specter of Martha Corey.

Published in: on March 22, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on March 22 (March 12, o.s.)  
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