April 30 (April 20, o.s.)

Massachusetts: The Salem magistrates and a group of local ministers question Abigail Hobbs in jail to get further information on her dramatic confession the day before. She says that before her examination she was visited by the specter of Judah White, a girl from Jersey in the Channel Islands who was a maidservant of Joseph Ingersoll in Maine, where Hobbs met her and got to know her well, but now lives in Boston. White’s specter was wearing “fine clothes” and appeared along with the specter of Sarah Good. The two apparitions urged Hobbs not to confess and told her that Sarah Osbourne was also a witch. Hobbs also admits to hurting Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis and Abigail Williams by sticking thorns into wooden dolls representing them, causing them to attribute their pain to her. Furthermore, while during her examination she denied attending the witches’ sacrament on March 31, she now admits that she did attend and partake of the red bread and red wine there.

In the evening, Ann Putnam claims to be afflicted by the apparition of a minister, with which she carries on an extended conversation while he tortures her in a vain attempt to get her to sign his book and join up with Satan. She tells him that he should be ashamed, a minister like him, to be persuading people to join the Devil when he should be teaching children to fear God. He refuses to identify himself for a long time, but eventually relents and says that his name is George Burroughs (a former minister in Salem Village now living in Maine), that he has had three wives and killed the first two with witchcraft, along with the wife and child of his fellow former Salem Village minister Deodat Lawson and “a great many soldiers” in Maine. He further says that he made Abigail Hobbs a witch and that he is no mere witch, but a conjurer, apparently a higher rank in the Devil’s forces.

Around midnight another afflicted girl, Mercy Lewis, sees a new apparition too. A gray-haired old man appears to her and tells her that he is George Jacobs, a resident of Salem Village, and that he has had two wives. He then beats her with a stick to try to get her to sign his book, but she refuses.

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Published in: on April 30, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (3)  

3 Comments

  1. […] Putnam, the afflicted girl of Salem who first claimed to see the apparition of George Burroughs on April 20, sees the specter of the clergyman, now held in custody at Thomas Beadle’s tavern in Salem […]

  2. […] Jacobs, the elderly Salem Village resident whose specter appeared to Mercy Lewis on the night of April 20. At the urging of Mercy, Churchwell confesses to having signed the Devil’s book, and accuses […]

  3. […] return to his former congregation in Maine.  He was first accused of witchcraft by Ann Putnam on April 20, formally charged on April 30, brought to Salem on May 4, and questioned on May 9.  He was then […]


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