May 23 (May 13, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Mary Warren, the former afflicted girl turned confessed witch now in jail in Salem Town, accuses Abigail Soames, a woman from Gloucester living in the house of the Quaker Samuel Gaskill in the Town while she recovers from smallpox, of bewitching her.  Soames is brought to Thomas Beadle’s tavern to be questioned by the Salem magistrates.  Warren is afflicted by terrible fits during Soames’s examination, and is at various points found to have several pins stuck into her body.  When Soames is asked to explain this she suggests that “the Enemy” is hurting Warren.  She then says that she too has been “distracted many a time” and that she herself may be a victim of witchcraft, perhaps at the hands of some people she knows in Gloucester.

Soames is then asked to take Warren by the hand, and as soon as she does Warren’s fits stop.  This experiment is tried three more times, and the result is the same.  When Warren recovers from one of her fits she is asked to touch Soames, but although she tries several times she is unable to, instead falling into fits when she tries.  Soames then takes her hand again and she recovers, just as before, even though her eyes are closed and she only feels “something soft” in her hand that ends her fits. Warren is then asked why she couldn’t touch Soames and she replies that Soames specter came out when she tried and pushed her back.  The magistrates ask Soames if she thinks this is witchcraft or, indeed, if she believes there are witches in the world at all, but she only repeats that “the Enemy or some other wicked person” was harming Warren, and beyond that she knows nothing.  Soames continues to be questioned and given various tests, including touching Warren, and the responses continue to be the same: Warren is afflicted by terrible fits whenever Soames does anything, but immediately recovers when Soames touches her.  Throughout this questioning Soames breaks out into occasional laughter, which perplexes the magistrates.  After they are finished questioning Soames, Warren says she sees the apparitions of John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse and George Burroughs, and that Burroughs bites her.  The bite mark is visible to many in the room.

Mexico/New Mexico: The Conde de Galve orders that copies of all of the letters from Governor Vargas regarding his plans for the reconquest of New Mexico, along with the comments on them of the royal prosecutor Benito de Noboa Salgado, be sent to the Junta of the Treasury, the group of prominent officials with whom he meets occasionally to make important decisions, in preparation for a meeting on the proposal.

Published in: on May 23, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on May 23 (May 13, o.s.)  
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