March 24 (March 14, o.s.)

Jamaica: The Council meets in Port Royal. Samuel Bernard, Peter Beckford, and Nicholas Lawes complain that they have been misrepresented in England by partisans of Lord Inchiquin as disloyal, which the Council unanimously declares untrue. Letters from King William and Queen Mary are read, and various orders regarding fortification are issued. It is decided that martial law will cease on March 30.

Massachusetts: Martha Corey, recently accused of bewitching Thomas Putnam’s daughter Ann, comes to the Putnams’ house as she has been requested to do. Immediately after she enters the house, Ann falls into severe fits and accuses Corey of tormenting her, then says that she sees a yellow bird suckling between Corey’s index and middle fingers. At her examination on March 1, Tituba described Sarah Good’s animal familiar as a similar yellow bird that suckled in this manner. Ann moves toward Corey to see the bird better, but Corey rubs the spot with her finger and Ann can see nothing. She then says that Corey put her hands upon Mrs. Bathshua Pope’s face in church the previous day, and when she demonstrates how by putting her hands over her own eyes they become so strongly attached that they can’t be pulled off.

Once Ann manages to release her hands from her face, she says she sees a spit in the fire with a man on it, and that Corey is turning the spit. Mercy Lewis, the Putnams’ nineteen-year-old maidservant, pokes a stick where Ann says she sees the spit, and Ann says that it disappears and then quickly reappears. Mercy says she will hit it with a stick again, but Ann warns her that she will regret it. She does anyway, and immediately cries out that her arm hurts terribly, which Ann explains is the result of Corey’s specter hitting it with an iron rod. With Mercy seemingly in terrible pain and Ann still suffering from her fits, the adult Putnams ask Corey to leave. She does.

Mercy Lewis, however, continues to suffer. She sees shadows that look like women but she can’t identify them, and she begins to have fits like Ann’s. In the evening she is sitting in a chair and begins to be mysteriously drawn toward the fire even though two men are holding onto the chair. Thomas Putnam’s brother Edward has to step in front of the fire and lift her up with all his strength to keep her from going in. Around 11:00 pm her fits finally stop.

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Published in: on March 24, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

One Comment

  1. […] bird between her fingers, as Ann Putnam also claimed to see when Corey visited the Putnam house on March 14. Ann Putnam herself says that she sees a similar yellow bird sitting on Lawson’s hat, but the […]


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