August 31 (August 21, o.s.)

Jamaica: John White, President of the Council, dies. He is succeeded by John Bourden.

New Mexico: Governor Vargas and the reconquest expedition leave the outpost of Fray Cristóbal in the morning and travel as far as the Pueblo of Senecú, the southernmost of the Rio Grande Pueblos. They camp for the night in front of the abandoned settlement, which was destroyed by the Apaches in 1675.

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August 30 (August 20, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Three teenage girls from Andover begin to have fits reminiscent of the ones suffered by the well-known afflicted girls in Salem Village who have played such a prominent role in the witchcraft trials.  The first to suffer is sixteen-year-old Martha Sprague, soon followed by her thirteen-year-old stepcousin Rose Foster.  Rose is also the niece of Daniel Eames of Boxford, who was examined on witchcraft charges on August 13 but refused to confess.  His mother Rebecca Eames, Rose’s grandmother, has since confessed to witchcraft herself.

The first people the girls accuse of causing their fits are relatives of theirs by marriage, four daughters of Mary Bridges.  Bridges, who was charged with witchcraft on July 28 and confessed soon after, is the sister of Martha’s stepfather (and Rose’s great-uncle) Moses Tyler.

Mexico: Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora, the most prominent public intellectual in Mexico City, writes a letter to Admiral Andrés de Pez, commander of the Armada de Barlovento stationed on the Gulf coast, describing the riot of June 8 and laying the blame for it on the Indians of the city, who, in his telling, reacted to the viceroy’s heroic efforts to supply the city with grain in the face of severe shortage by plotting the uprising using the grain shortage as a pretext. This is by now the standard explanation of the riot believed by the Spanish authorities in Mexico, despite the lack of clear evidence of such a conspiracy in the testimony assembled by the court convened to try suspected rioters in June.

New Mexico: In accordance with Governor Vargas’s orders of the previous night, Roque Madrid leaves the expedition’s camp at La Cruz de Anaya early in the morning with the livestock in order to reach the river before the animals get too tired.  The remainder of the expedition leaves a bit later in the morning and makes it to the outpost of Fray Cristóbal on the Rio Grande without any trouble despite the length of the journey.  When they get there they find Madrid, who also made the trip with no trouble.  The united group, thankful to God and glad to have made it through the Jornada del Muerto, the most dangerous part of the trip north, in one piece, camps by the river for the night.

Published in: on August 30, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

August 29 (August 19, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Five people convicted of witchcraft at the third session of the Court of Oyer and Terminer are brought to Gallows Hill in Salem to be hanged.  They include Martha Carrier of Andover, convicted on August 3 and since accused by several more confessors of being a key figure in the witchcraft conspiracy; John Willard and John Proctor, both of Salem Village, also convicted on August 3; George Jacobs of Salem Village, convicted on August 4; and George Burroughs, convicted on August 5.  Burroughs, the Maine clergyman who has been at the center of the stories told by confessors for quite some time, is by far the most prominent person to be convicted so far, and throngs of spectators gather to watch his execution (as they similarly gathered to watch his trial).  John Proctor’s wife Elizabeth, also convicted of witchcraft by the court, had her sentence deferred because she is pregnant.

All the condemned handle themselves with dignity as they are led up to the gallows.  Willard and Proctor give short but powerful speeches before being hanged proclaiming their innocence and forgiving their accusers while asking God for forgiveness for all their true sins.  Burroughs, an experienced preacher, gives an even more powerful speech proclaiming his own innocence, ending it by perfectly reciting the Lord’s Prayer.  (Inability to recite this prayer correctly is commonly believed to be proof of witchcraft, and was one of the key pieces of evidence used to convict Willard.)  Burroughs’s speech is so effective that many spectators are profoundly moved, even to tears, and the authorities fear that the enormous crowd may turn in the minister’s favor and stop his execution.  The execution does proceed, however, and as soon as it is done the still restless crowd begins to murmur, prompting the prominent pro-court Boston minister Cotton Mather, observing from horseback, to try to regain the loyalty of the gathered spectators by pointing out that Burroughs was not an ordained minister and that the Devil can appear in the form of “an Angel of Light.”  This exhortation is effective, and the crowd calms down enough for the executions to continue.

New Mexico: At 2:00 am Governor Vargas sends Roque Madrid ahead of the main body of troops with the expedition’s livestock, ordering him to stop at the watering hole of El Muerto, which a reconnaissance the day before indicated only has barely enough water for the pack animals, then to leave in the afternoon and head for a spot along the Rio Grande called Fray Cristóbal.  Since it will take him more than a day to get there, he should camp along the way without water if he doesn’t find any left over from the recent rain.

When the rest of the camp wakes up later in the morning, Vargas notes that the weather seems good, with cloud cover and a north wind, and he gives orders to leave around 11:00 am.  The expedition reaches El Muerto and there meets Madrid, who is just about to leave with the animals.  Around 5:00 pm the whole group leaves and heads for Fray Cristóbal, getting as far as a place called La Cruz de Anaya, where they camp for the night.  Vargas orders Madrid to leave early in the morning with the animals so as to get to Fray Cristóbal with them before they are exhausted.

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August 28 (August 18, o.s.)

New Mexico: At dawn Governor Vargas, encamped at the waterhole of El Perrillo, sends the Pueblo Indian allies in his expedition ahead to the next waterhole, Las Peñuelas.  After the Franciscan missionaries who are traveling with the expedition conduct a mass, the whole group breaks camp and heads off to Las Peñuelas.  Shortly before they get there they run into Roque Madrid, whom Vargas sent ahead of the main group with the livestock the previous day to ensure that they would get some of the scarce water.  Madrid tells Vargas that there is plenty of water on account of the recent rain, which the governor already knows but is nevertheless grateful to hear.  When the expedition reaches Las Peñuelas Vargas orders the men to make camp and sends six of them on to the next waterhole, El Muerto, to see how much water is there.  In the evening one of the soldiers returns to Las Peñuelas and reports that there isn’t much water at El Muerto, barely enough for the pack animals.

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August 26 (August 16, o.s.)

Jamaica: The Council meets at Kingston and orders that a market be built there to be staffed by Edward Yeamans. Thomas Clarke is appointed interim Naval Officer to replace the late Thomas Lamb. Clarke is also appointed Collector of Customs. Deodatus Stanley is made bell-man of Kingston.

New Mexico: Governor Vargas and the complete reconquest expedition set out in the morning from the outpost of Robledo and march as far as the outpost of San Diego.  When they arrive, Vargas sends four soldiers ahead to a known watering hole called El Perrillo to see if there is enough water in it for the expedition to use.  They return around noon and report that there is some water there, but only enough to water the livestock.  Vargas therefore decides to make camp at San Diego, where there is access to the Rio Grande and therefore plenty of water.

Published in: on August 26, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

August 25 (August 15, o.s.)

Mexico: Luis Sánchez de Tagle, head of the Council of Merchants of New Spain, and his fellow councilors Juan Díaz de Posada and Juan de Urrutia y Lezama issue a report estimating the cost of the damage from the June 8 riot in Mexico City at more than 400,000 pesos.

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August 24 (August 14, o.s.)

New Mexico: Governor Vargas and his company of troops arrive at the outpost of Robledo at 6:00 pm after a smooth and uneventful journey from El Paso, which they left on August 21.  At Robledo they meet up with the rest of the troops from El Paso under the command of Roque Madrid who left on August 16.

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August 23 (August 13, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Daniel Eames of Boxford, who was accused of witchcraft by Elizabeth Johnson in her August 10 confession, appears before the Salem magistrates for questioning.  He steadfastly denies any involvement with witchcraft, despite the fits suffered by three of the afflicted girls in his presence and the claims of three confessors that he is one of their comrades in Satan’s service.  He says that the confessed witch Mary Toothaker did appear to him in a dream and try to get him to sign the Devil’s book, but insists that he refused.

Published in: on August 23, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

August 21 (August 11, o.s.)

Massachusetts: The Salem magistrates question the young confessors from Andover who were interviewed by Dudley Bradstreet the previous day.  They all tell the same stories they did before, which implicate others in witchcraft and give various accounts of diabolical baptisms and sacraments.  The magistrates also question Abigail Faulkner, the aunt of one of the confessors, Elizabeth Johnson.  Faulkner, however, refuses to confesses, despite the entreaties of her niece and the fits suffered by the afflicted girls.  Touch tests are performed in which the girls recover as soon as Faulkner touches them, but she still maintains her innocence.  The judges point out that, despite her statements of sympathy for the afflicted, she remains dry-eyed while watching their sufferings.

Faulkner says in her defense that the Devil is impersonating her to afflict the girls directly, a common line of argument by the accused but one that the judges have consistently rejected.  She also points out that she recently looked at the afflicted when they came to Andover just as she is looking at them now without causing the sort of fits they are now suffering, but the judges brush that argument aside, saying that that was before she began to afflict them.

Since Faulkner continues to obstinately maintain her innocence, she is sent to jail to await the next session of the Court of Oyer and Terminer.

Mexico: Juan de los Santos, the Indian shoemaker accused of being a leader of the June 8 riot whose trial began on June 30, is convicted on account of the enormous amount of evidence brought by the prosecution over the seven weeks of his trial, despite the arguments of his attorney, Juan Félix de Gálvez, that Santos, so severely lame that he can only walk on his knees, has been spotted by witnesses in an improbable number of widely spaced places around the same time. Santos is brought to the plaza in his neighborhood, San Juan, and hanged. His head is then cut off to be displayed publicly as a warning to others.

Mexico/New Mexico: Following Noboa’s advice of August 14, the Conde de Galve orders that Governor Pardiñas’s letter of May 24 and its enclosed documents be filed with the other correspondence relating to Governor Vargas’s reconquest plans.

New Mexico: Governor Vargas, who has been waiting in El Paso for the fifty soldiers he is expecting from Nueva Vizcaya while the main body of his troops is at the outpost of Robledo under the command of Roque Madrid, decides he’s waited long enough and should take the remainder of his own troops up to Robledo to get on with the reconquest.  He appoints his secretary of government and war, Juan Páez Hurtado, commander of the troops when they arrive, and gives him orders to have them immediately cross the river and find a good campsite.  He orders his lieutenant governor, Luis Granillo, to help Páez with the crossing and to accompany him and the fifty soldiers as far as the outpost of Estero Largo, but to then turn back and return to El Paso to govern the province.  Páez will then continue with the troops, and should plan to arrive at Santo Domingo Pueblo in twelve days.  When he gets there he is to send messengers to the governor to get further orders.

To carry out these orders, Vargas tells Granillo about the supplies he has left for the soldiers when they arrive, and gives him the key to a chest full of chocolate and sugar for them.  Since Páez will be commanding the troops from Nueva Vizcaya, Vargas appoints Alfonso Rael de Aguilar as secretary of government and war and takes him along with his own body of troops.  He also sends a letter to the viceroy explaining what he is doing.

At 4:00 pm the troops assemble on the plaza in El Paso and the governor mounts his horse.  The soldiers depart, accompanied by some Franciscan missionary priests to provide for the spiritual needs of the expedition and reclaim the reconquered territories for the Catholic faith.  The expedition crosses the Rio Grande and gets as far as Ancón de Fray García, where Vargas orders a halt for the night and the men make camp.

Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (4)  

August 20 (August 10, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Sarah Carrier and Thomas Carrier Jr., the younger children (7 and 10 years old respectively) of Martha Carrier, who was convicted of witchcraft on August 3, are examined by the Andover magistrate Dudley Bradstreet. Both quickly confess to witchcraft, as their older brothers Richard and Andrew did on July 22, and say that their mother baptized them as witches, then name various other family members, most of whom have already been accused, as fellow witches. The children are otherwise not very forthcoming, and they deny attending any witchcraft gatherings in Salem Village, though Thomas admits to attending one in Andover.

Bradstreet also examines twenty-two-year old Elizabeth Johnson of Andover, who also confesses and offers a much more detailed account of a meeting of witches in Salem Village presided over by George Burroughs as well as naming more witches, including one Daniel Eames of Boxford.

Published in: on August 20, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (2)