June 2 (May 23, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Nathaniel Ingersoll and Thomas Rayment appear before the Salem magistrates, John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin, to file witchcraft charges against Benjamin Proctor, the son of John and Elizabeth Proctor, already imprisoned in Boston on witchcraft charges; Mary DeRich, Elizabeth Proctor’s sister; and Sarah Pease, the wife of a weaver in Salem Town. Hathorne and Corwin issue warrants for the arrest of all three, who are swiftly apprehended.

The magistrates also go to Thomas Beadle’s tavern in Salem Town to question Mary Easty, who is being held there after being rearrested on a new warrant following her release on May 18. They ask her about Mercy Lewis’s reports, confirmed by some of the other afflicted girls who visited her, that she afflicted Mercy after her release for not rescinding her witchcraft accusations against her. She does not confess, and the magistrates decide to keep her imprisoned on the strength of the girls’ accusations.

Now that Governor William Phips has arrived with a new charter for Massachusetts, there is a recognized authority under which trials may be held, and though Governor Phips has not yet made any arrangements for convening any courts, the magistrates expect him to soon and therefore begin preparing for trials of the first suspects to be accused on February 29. They take depositions of the key witnesses to the early fits of the first girls to be afflicted: Abigail Williams (one of the girls), Samuel Parris (the minister in Salem Village and owner of the accused Indian slave Tituba), Thomas Putnam(father of the afflicted girl Ann Putnam), and Ezekiel Cheever (note-taker at the examinations of the first suspects). They also take depositions regarding the much more recent complaints against Mary Easty.

Meanwhile, Governor Phips, in Boston, attempts to stem the flood of reports of afflictions by accused witches already in jail by ordering that they be put in chains.

New Mexico: The secretary of government and war, Juan Páez Hurtado, comes to the church of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Paso in the morning to inform Father Joaquín de Hinojosa of Governor Vargas’s denial of his petition of May 31 asking for copies of the proceedings in response to his earlier petition of May 16.  He brings with him the four officials designated by the governor to serve as witnesses: Francisco de Anaya Almazán, Juan García de Noriega, Juan Lucero de Godoy, and Fernando Durán y Chaves.  When they arrive and Páez informs Hinojosa of the governor’s decision, the clergyman is furious and emphatically denies that he is attempting to usurp royal authority.  He sends his secretary and apostolic notary, Agustín de Colina, to the governor to deliver his response, and instructs him to get the four witnesses to the delivery of the governor’s decision to bear witness to the delivery of the response as well.

When Colina arrives, the governor greets him politely and offers him a seat.  He refuses to hear Hinojosa’s response, however, and says that he has already made his decision and that if Hinojosa wishes to continue with this matter he will have to take it up with the viceroy.  He also refuses to bring in the four witnesses.  Colina objects that even a post would listen to him, and that no judge would simply refuse to listen the way Vargas has just done.  The governor responds that the viceroy will listen to whatever the Franciscan fathers senior have to say about the matter, but that it is out of his own hands now.

Colina, by now quite angry at the governor’s obstinacy, jumps up from his chair and begins shouting.  Upset that he has been unable to get the four witnesses Hinojosa wanted, he declares that his witnesses are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  Vargas remains serene and asks Colina to calm down.  When he does, the governor agrees to call in the witnesses, and when they arrive Colina relates his message that Vargas should give him a copy of the proceedings to give to Hinojosa.  Vargas still refuses, but says that he will send a copy to the viceroy and let Hinojosa look over it before he sends it.  This satisfies Colina, and he and the governor converse amiably.

At lunch time Hinojosa sends a plate of refreshments to Vargas, who sends a message back thanking him.  In the afternoon the governor goes to the church to celebrate the novena of Our Lady of the Conquest, and when he arrives Colina comes out to greet him and he kisses the priest’s hand as a sign of respect.

Later in the afternoon, Colina goes looking for the four witnesses to get them to sign a statement that the governor refused to listen to Hinojosa’s response in the morning.  He is able to get Juan Lucero de Godoy to sign, but Fernando Durán y Chaves, though he states that Colina’s account is true, refuses to sign, saying that he once saw eight men in New Mexico beheaded over a signature.  He cannot locate the other two.

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Published in: on June 2, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (3)  

3 Comments

  1. […] now torment her directly because she is chained in jail (as per the order of Governor Phips on May 23), she says that she brought another specter with her to do the afflicting.  Warren didn’t […]

  2. […] Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Paso to sign a statement attesting that Governor Vargas refused on June 2 to let Colina present him with Father Hinojosa’s response to the governor’s refusal to […]

  3. […] in accordance with the agreement between Vargas and the apostolic notary Agustín de Colina on June 2.  The four officials who served as witnesses both to that meeting and to Páez’s […]


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