December 22 (December 12, o.s.)

Jamaica: The Council meets in Port Royal.  The councilors order that supplies and slaves be provided to the militia in the windward (eastern) part of the island to assist in suppressing a slave rebellion, and that all militia colonels are to be warned to take care to prevent similar uprisings in their districts.  Captain Michael Hollingsworth is to be arrested and tried at the next general court.  Military supplies at Port Royal are to be inventoried, HMS Mordaunt is to be supplied, and preparations are to be made to entertain the new governor for a week upon his arrival.

Massachusetts: A bill putting forth a new law on witchcraft, a quite pressing issue in the colony at the moment, is introduced in the assembly.  The proposed statute is nearly identical to the prevailing law in England, which was passed in 1604 and which stipulates the death penalty for occult practices resulting in death or bodily injury.  It differs from the English law, however, in omitting the section preserving rights of inheritance for heirs of executed witches, a change made to protect George Corwin, the Essex County sheriff, who has already seized most of the estates of the witches executed during the current crisis.

New Mexico: Roque Madrid, whom governor Vargas left on December 13 with most of the reconquest expedition’s livestock and orders to proceed at a leisurely pace to El Paso so as to minimize further losses, arrives at El Paso around noon.  Although he was careful not to put too much stress on the animals, he couldn’t help but lose a few of them given their condition.  Vargas is understanding and grateful that as many animals were saved as possible.

Published in: on December 22, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] 24 (December 14, o.s.) Massachusetts: The assembly passes the witchcraft bill introduced on December 12. Published […]

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