March 30 (March 20, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Deodat Lawson, former minister at Salem Village who arrived in the Village the previous day to investigate the witchcraft issue himself, conducts the regular Sunday services at the Village church. After congregation sings the first psalm of the morning service, the afflicted girl Abigail Williams shouts “Now stand up, and name your text” at Lawson. He does so, and she replies “It is a long text.” Later, during Lawson’s sermon, Mrs. Bathshua Pope, also among the afflicted, shouts “Now there is enough of that,” and Abigail Williams cries out that she sees the specter of the accused witch Martha Corey sitting on the beam suckling a yellow 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 people sitting near her keep her from yelling out the way Abigail and Pope did. During the afternoon service, which Lawson also leads, there are fewer such interruptions, but Abigail does shout “I know no doctrine you had; if you did name one, I have forgot it” to Lawson. These interruptions, especially coming from women and young girls, are very unusual for Puritan church services, which are ordinarily very quiet, respectful affairs.

New Mexico: Governor Diego de Vargas write to the viceroy, the Conde de Galve, and reports that he has peacefully subdued the local Suma Indians. These Indians, though local to the area and traditionally hunter-gatherers, had been living among the Pueblos who had come from New Mexico to El Paso with the Spanish after the Pueblo Revolt. Some of them had rebelled shortly before Vargas came to the area and gone off on their own, keeping in contact with the few Sumas still living with the Pueblos and possibly stealing horses from the Pueblo settlements, though the horse thieves might have been Apaches instead. Indeed, it is not clear if they missing horses had been stolen at all, and Vargas reports that it is more likely that they had stampeded. They were found in the bosque and Vargas ordered them rounded up.

As for the rebellious Sumas, Vargas reports that he sent a priest at El Paso, Father Antonio Guerra, to find the leader of the rebellious Sumas and try to convince him to bring his people back into the Spanish fold. He offered Guerra a military escort but the priest turned it down and consented himself with a few Spanish-speaking Indians as guides and interpreters. When Guerra found the rebel leader, he was able to convince him to come back and meet with Governor Vargas, who promised him and his people amnesty and said they would be allowed to build their own town at a site of their choosing. They agreed and came back shortly to pick the site and begin work on irrigation works, with the assistance of Father Guerra, which Vargas reports is complete at the time of his letter.

Vargas closes the letter with a reminder that since the Sumas are indigenous to the El Paso area, they will remain there in this new town even if he is successful at reconquering New Mexico and the Pueblos return there with the Spanish. He further requests that the viceroy send a bell, vestments, a missal, and all the other necessary supplies for a new church to be built in the town.

Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on March 30 (March 20, o.s.)  
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