November 7 (October 28, o.s.)

Connecticut: The Court of Oyer and Terminer, in accordance with the order of the Council given on October 13, meets in Fairfield to conduct a new trial of Elizabeth Clawson and Mercy Disborough on witchcraft charges.  The original trial ended on September 19 with a hung jury.  The Council’s order specified that the new trial be conducted with the same jury, but since one of the members of that jury, Thomas Knowles, is in New York, Joseph Rowland is selected in his place.

The evidence presented is much the same as in the original trial, with some additional testimony collected in the time since.  Among the new testimony offered is that of John Finch of Stamford, who testifies that shortly after an argument he had with Clawson about a year earlier his young daughter suddenly began screaming and crying without there being any obvious physical cause, and that she remained ill for about two weeks before dying.

After all the evidence, old and new, is presented, the jury retires for deliberations.  This time it is successful in reaching verdicts, finding Clawson not guilty and Disborough guilty.  Clawson is set free with the court compensating her for the time she spent in jail, while Disborough is sentenced to death.

Massachusetts: At a meeting of the colony’s council in Boston Lieutenant Governor William Stoughton raises the issue of the next meeting of the Court of Oyer and Terminer for witchcraft cases, of which he is the chief justice.  The court is scheduled to meet next week, but there has been a marked lack of enthusiasm for another session of the increasingly controversial court, and Stoughton has grown quite frustrated with the council’s diffident response to his proposals about it at several recent meetings.  When he brings it up this time the other members of the council respond with silence.

New Mexico: Governor Vargas, camped at Nacimiento Spring, sends Ventura, the Zuni man who helped to convince the people of Acoma to make peace with the Spanish on November 4, ahead to Zuni to tell the people there that the Spanish are coming but that they need not be afraid and should stay to meet with them rather than abandoning their pueblo, as a distressing number of pueblo groups have done upon hearing of the Spanish approach.  He gives Ventura a letter with this information in addition to the verbal message, and puts a rosary around his neck as a gesture of good faith.  He then gives him a good mule and sufficient supplies and sends him on his way.

The Spanish expedition then breaks camp and continues on its way, stopping and making camp at Las Peñuelas, which is halfway to El Morro, the next water hole on the way to Zuni.

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Published in: on November 7, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] reply that they have come to welcome Vargas, having received the letter he sent with Ventura on November 7, which pleased them greatly.  They give Vargas gifts of mutton, melons, and tortillas, then spend […]


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