September 22 (September 12, o.s.)

Connecticut: Daniel Westcott appears before the commissioners in Stamford and testifies about a history of quarrels between his family and Elizabeth Clawson, whom his servant Katharine Branch has accused of bewitching her.  He says the problems began a few years back when his wife Abigail made an arrangement with Clawson to do an exchange of labor, but gave her three quarters of a pound of wool to spin rather than the agreed-upon half a pound.  Daniel Westcott weighed the wool and confronted Clawson with the discrepancy, after which point, he says, she seized upon any pretext to argue and quarrel with him and his wife.  Soon afterwards, the Westcotts’ eldest daughter Johanna began to scream at night and point to a mysterious sow she saw that no one else could see.  This continued for about three weeks, until Johanna was sent to Fairfield and her troubles stopped.

Abigail Westcott also testifies to the commissioners about several incidents between her and Elizabeth Clawson, including one time when Clawson threw stones at her and others when she upbraided her for her fine clothes.  The Westcotts’ Indian slave boy testifies as well about a time when Kate Branch was in a fit and he held her hands, during which time a string mysteriously appeared around her neck.  Abigail Westcott confirms that she saw the marks of the string on Kate’s neck after her husband cut it off.

Also appearing before the commissioners is Thomas Penoyer, who gives some further details about the incident described by Mary Newman on June 30 in which her sheep died mysteriously after a quarrel with Elizabeth Clawson.  He says it took place about four years back, before he went to England.  He also mentions another incident between Newman and Clawson the next summer after he returned, when Clawson confronted Newman about Newman’s daughter stealing fruit from the Clawsons’ land.

Jamaica: The Council meets to review the government’s accounts.  There is a balance of 390 pounds.

New Mexico: As Governor Vargas, camped at an arroyo near Galisteo Pueblo, is saddling up before dawn for his planned attack on Pecos Pueblo, he hears two shots ring out in the distance.  Since he has ordered his own men not to shoot, he realizes that the shots are probably the customary signal of an approaching squad of troops indicating to a camp that they are arriving to carry out an order.  Sure enough, shortly afterward Juan Páez Hurtado arrives with six men and reports to the governor that he arrived at Santa Fe the previous evening after leaving El Paso on September 5 with the fifty reinforcements sent from Nueva Vizcaya, and has continued on as per the instructions left for him at the Santa Fe campsite.  He says that the rest of his men will arrive by the afternoon.  Vargas therefore orders that the attack on Pecos be postponed until the next day, so that the whole force can go together.

To prepare for the attack, Vargas sends some of the Indian allies he acquired in Santa Fe to scout around and see if the people of Pecos or their Apaches alllies are anywhere around.  One of the scouts, named Nicolás, returns late in the day to tell the governor that he saw tracks left by two Apaches who came to scout out the camp the previous night.  He also reports that he and two other scouts found a horse that the Apaches apparently left behind because it was tired.  Vargas rewards him and his companions by granting them joint ownership of the horse.

At around 5:00 pm, Vargas orders the camp to depart to move a bit closer to Pecos in preparation for the attack.  Around 9:00 pm, the troops reach a flat area surrounding a mountain that the scouts say is the closest place the group can get to Pecos without being seen.  Vargas therefore calls a halt and orders camp to be made, with the soldiers to be ready for a dawn attack on the pueblo.

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Published in: on September 22, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on September 22 (September 12, o.s.)  
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