August 14 (August 4, o.s.)

Connecticut: John Pettit testifies before the Court in Stamford that he heard Daniel Westcott’s wife say that Katharine Branch had told her that a “fine man” came to her and told her that her brother was dead and that he would not trouble her any more for three weeks.

Massachusetts: The Court of Oyer and Terminer meets in Salem Town. The grand jury meets first to hear evidence against Martha Corey, one of the earliest suspects to be accused back in March. Most of the evidence relates to her initial examination on March 21, and the grand jury deems it sufficient to issue two indictments against her. Her trial, however, is not scheduled.

The grand jury next considers the evidence against George Jacobs, the elderly man who was accused by his servant Sarah Churchwell and his granddaughter Margaret Jacobs in their confessions back in May. The grand jury finds the evidence against him convincing, and issues an indictment. The trial is held immediately afterward, and follows the usual pattern of testimony from the afflicted girls at the beginning, followed by testimony from confessors, particularly important in this case because of the close ties some of them have to the defendant. Joseph Flint, who spoke with Jacobs on May 11 about his granddaughter’s confession and got a response which could be interpreted as self-incriminating, also testifies. Finally, Marshal George Herrick reports on the results of a physical examination he and a jury of men did in May when they found a small growth under Jacobs’s right shoulder which, when they tested it by sticking it with a pin, did not bleed or show any other discharge and caused Jacobs no discomfort or even sensation. This suspicious growth could, the implication is, be a witch’s teat. The jury, with all this evidence to work with, has no trouble coming up with a guilty verdict.

Mexico/New Mexico: Benito de Noboa Salgado, the royal prosecutor, comments in a letter to the viceroy on the opinions of commanders in Nueva Vizcaya sent by the governor of that province on May 24. Although most of those opinions were somewhat pessimistic about Governor Vargas’s reconquest plans, Noboa notes that they arrived a bit too late, as Vargas’s plans were approved on May 28 and he has probably already left on the expedition. There is therefore nothing for the viceroy to do but file the letters with the other correspondence relating to Vargas’s plans and trust that Vargas knows what he’s doing.

Meanwhile, in Parral, the capital of Nueva Vizcaya, the governor orders his scribe to make copies of the muster lists from the musters of the previous day to send to the viceroy as proof that he has fulfilled his duty in supplying the requested fifty soldiers for the reconquest.

New Mexico: Governor Vargas sends an order to the military leaders of the pueblos in the El Paso area notifying them of his decision to send the first troops for the reconquest, including 100 Indian allies from their communities, off on August 16.  The soldiers are to assemble on the plaza in El Paso at 8:00 am on that day.

Published in: on August 14, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (2)  


  1. […] 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 […]

  2. […] October 6 (September 26, o.s.) Mexico/New Mexico: Governor Pardiñas of Nueva Vizcaya sends the viceroy, the Conde de Galve, the copies of the muster lists of the fifty soldiers he sent to Governor Vargas of New Mexico to aid in the reconquest of that province that he had made on August 14. […]

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