June 17 (June 7, o.s.)

Connecticut: Early in the morning Daniel Westcott goes to Jonathan Selleck, one of the commissioners in Stamford, and reports that the day before he went to Elizabeth Clawson’s house and talked to her about the witchcraft accusations his servant Katherine Branch had made against her. He asked her if she would be ducked to determine her guilt or innocence, and she answered that she would do it if John Bishop, the minister in Stamford, said that it was a reliable method, but otherwise no. Westcott then pointed out that she had told the court she never went to bed in anger but that this couldn’t be true, since she was still angry with him. He asked her if she was, in fact, still angry with him, and her only answer was “What do you think?”

Westcott further explains to Selleck that after he went home Katharine began having worse fits than she had been having lately, and that when he tried to restrain her she pulled his hair and something like a cord hit him in the face. His child was also mysteriously taken out of bed.

Jamaica: Shortly before noon a massive earthquake hits the island, practically destroying the capital and largest city, Port Royal. Although the rest of the island is only slightly affected, Port Royal, which is located at the tip of a long, sandy peninsula, is devastated. A major part of the city slides right into the sea, probably as the result of the tremors destabilizing the loose sand on which it is built. A huge tidal wave coming in from the ocean causes further destruction. Out of a population of roughly 6500 people, about 2000 die immediately as a result of the earthquake. Disease, helped in its rapid spread by the fact that the city cemetery had been shaken up, releasing old corpses to float in the water around the town along with the new, soon claims another 2000 lives. The physical town is reduced to a tiny island cut off from the remaining peninsula.

As soon as the tremors cease, widespread looting and violence breaks out throughout the remaining city, further increasing the death toll. Though the authorities are eventually able to stop the chaos, the city is in terrible shape.

Massachusetts: Job Tookey, a sailor from Beverly accused of witchcraft on June 4 and questioned by the Salem magistrates then, appears before them again for further questioning. He denies being guilty of any witchcraft, and when asked if he said he saw the Devil he says he doesn’t know what he said. He then looks at the afflicted girls and they fall into terrible fits and begin accusing him of various murders, including that of one Gamaliel Hawkins in Barbados whom Mary Warren accuses Tookey of killing by sticking a pin into an image of him. Some of the girls claim to see the spirit’s of Tookey’s alleged victims calling out for vengeance against him. This evidence is good enough for the magistrates, who order Tookey sent to jail.

New Mexico: Governor Vargas sends a copy of the proceedings in his jurisdictional dispute with Joaquín de Hinojosa, the president in capite and interim ecclesiastical judge ordinary of the province, to the viceroy, the Conde de Galve, along with a long letter explaining his view of the development of the dispute so far and his position on the jurisdictional issue.  As per his agreement with the apostolic notary Agustín de Colina on June 2, he lets Hinojosa look over the copy, made on June 16 by the order of Juan Páez Hurtado, the secretary of government and war, and offers to send along any statement Hinojosa wishes to make laying out his view of the dispute for the viceroy.  Hinojosa thanks him for his courtesy but declines to send anything, instead repeating once more his request for his own copy of the proceedings, which the governor once more refuses.  Hinojosa decides that his only option is to call a meeting of the council of Franciscans of the province and have the council request a copy of the proceedings, figuring that the governor is unlikely to refuse such a request, and that if he does the members of the council can serve as witnesses to his action.  He therefore calls a meeting of the council for June 22.

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Published in: on June 17, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (7)  

7 Comments

  1. […] 18 (June 8, o.s.) Jamaica: The Council, meeting in the wake of the earthquake on June 7, orders the embargo on shipping lifted but with the provision that any sloop passing the fort at […]

  2. […] 19 (June 9, o.s.) New Mexico: Governor Vargas, following up on his June 17 letter to the Conde de Galve, sends him another letter excitedly reporting that he has been talking […]

  3. […] of the Guernsey, anchored at Port Royal, notes in his log that the number of people killed in the June 7 earthquake was around 2000. Published […]

  4. […] try to recover six cannon from Walker’s Fort that sank into the sea during the earthquake on June 7. Published […]

  5. […] Mexico: The meeting of the council of Franciscans in New Mexico called by Father Hinojosa on June 17 takes place. As Hinojosa intended in calling the meeting, the council goes to governor Vargas and […]

  6. […] Mexico: The viceroy, the Conde de Galve, receives Governor Vargas’s letters of June 17 and 19 setting forth his side of his dispute with Father Hinojosa over the lands of the Indians.  […]

  7. […] on the dispute between Governor Vargas and Father Hinojosa described in Vargas’s letters of June 17 and 19.  Overall he accepts Vargas’s version of the story, and says that the Spanish […]


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