May 27 (May 17, o.s.)

Massachusetts: A jury of inquest summoned by Salem Constable John Putnam to investigate the death the previous night of Daniel Wilkins examines the body of the deceased and finds several bruises and puncture wounds on the back. The jury therefore concludes that Wilkins died “an unnatural death” by witchcraft.

Meanwhile, Constable Putnam brings the prime suspect in Wilkins’s death, John Willard, to Salem Village, having found him in Nashaway, far to the west. A warrant for Willard’s arrest was issued on May 10 but he fled to Nashaway and was not found until now. Marshall George Herrick immediately writes to John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin, the Salem magistrates, who are in Boston for the swearing-in of Governor William Phips.

At night, a new girl in Salem Village joins the ranks of the afflicted. Eighteen-year-old Elizabeth Hubbard begins to have fits in which she sees Mary Warren, who confessed to witchcraft on April 19, bring her a book to sign. When she refuses Warren’s specter tells her that if she signs she “will be well,” since Warren herself did and she is well. Warren is of course currently in jail, so her specter’s arguments are dubious at best, and Elizabeth continues to refuse to sign.

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Published in: on May 27, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on May 27 (May 17, o.s.)  
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