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)  


  1. […] question Abigail Faulkner, who refused to confess to witchcraft when she was initially examined on August 11 but was accused once again by William Barker in his confession on August 29.  This time she […]

  2. […] 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 […]

  3. […] arrest of Johnson and two of her children.  (Faulkner is already in jail; she was questioned on August 11 but refused to […]

  4. […] of the additional fifty soldiers expected from Nueva Vizcaya who had not arrived at El Paso as of August 21, when Vargas left to lead the main body of the reconquest expedition.  In it he expresses his […]

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