October 27 (October 17, o.s.)

Connecticut: Several ministers in Connecticut, asked for their opinions on the witchcraft trials in Fairfield by Governor Treat in preparation for reconvening the court there as suggested by the Council on October 13, reply that they have a few objections to the types of evidence offered at the trials.  They find swimming tests for witchcraft “unlawful and sinful” and therefore inappropriate as evidence, and state that the unusual excrescences found on the two women’s bodies should not be considered witches’ teats until they are examined by “able physicians” rather than the committees of women appointed by the court.  As for the testimony of Katharine Branch, the servant girl whose apparent afflictions were the catalyst for the whole affair, the ministers note that considerable evidence was presented at the initial trials casting doubt on her reliability, and they add that they are skeptical about the sort of spectral evidence presented in her testimony, given that human senses are fallible and the Devil is quite able to deceive.  They do, however, say that they find her fits “something strange” and say that they deserve “further inquiry.”  As for the testimony of other witnesses about such things as cattle falling ill after encounters with the women, they find the connection to witchcraft “slender and uncertain.”

New Mexico: Governor Vargas and his troops leave their campsite at Santa Ana Pueblo and march to the hacienda of Mejía, where they meet up with the rest of their expedition.  They find that everything is fine there and that all the soldiers and supplies got there safely.

Published in: on October 27, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on October 27 (October 17, o.s.)  
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