April 2 (March 23, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Deodat Lawson, former minister in Salem Village now visiting the village to investigate the witchcraft outbreak, visits Ann Carr Putnam, the wife of Thomas Putnam who has recently begun to be afflicted like her young daughter Ann, at her home. She is lying in bed recovering from a fit when he arrives, and when she and Thomas request that he pray with her he obliges. Soon, however, she descends into a new fit, in which she seems to accuse Nurse of afflicting her and to argue with Nurse over biblical verses. She then starts to seek a passage that will get Nurse to go away, and eventually settles on the third chapter of Revelation, which she asks Lawson to read. Lawson is hesitant to use scripture as countermagic in this way, but he decides to try it just this once as an experiment. He begins to read, and Putnam’s fit ends before he is finished reading the first verse. Thomas Putnam and the other visitors at the house tell Lawson that Ann has often been brought out of her fits in this manner.

Meanwhile, Thomas Putnam’s brother Edward and cousin Jonathan file a complaint against Rebecca Nurse for afflicting Ann Carr Putnam, her daughter Ann, and Abigail Williams, another of the afflicted girls. They also file a separate complaint against Dorothy Good, the young daughter of accused witch Sarah Good, already charged and imprisoned, for bewitching the afflicted girls Ann Putnam and Mary Walcott. Ann has been accusing Good of tormenting her since March 3, but Mary only began to do so recently. Since Mary is seventeen, and therefore old enough to have her testimony accepted in court, while Ann is only twelve, it is only now that there is sufficient basis for filing a complaint against Dorothy Good.

Published in: on April 2, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on April 2 (March 23, o.s.)  
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