The Salem Witch Trials of 1692
The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witch craft in colonial Massachusetts. The trials started in Salem in 1692 and after that they spread all over the world. Most towns thought that there was witch craft going on. The witch trials are an important historical event as it resulted in the deaths of dozens of innocent people.There are many different stories as to how witchcraft began,some say it started in Salem .Other people say it started on the night of the devouring. The repercussions of this event can still be felt globally.
The suspicion of witch craft in Salem Village, Massachusetts began in January 1692 when a group of girls began to act strangely (The Salem Witch Trials, eyewitness to history). The town could not explain the seizures, random screaming, and trance states that affected the girls. The doctors were summoned in to examine the girls but could not find cause of the behaviour. The community reasoned that it must be the work of Satan. Witches had invaded Salem. The girls were given a trial then later were put to death. After this many of the people of Salem were accused of witch craft,some were burned while others were hung (First Salem witch hanging). They were not given fair trial. Nobody was sure where the witch craft started or how it came about but some of the older towns people said that the magic was always there it just had not been activated by the right person yet (Blumburg).They thought that the right person must of came along and that it had to be a new person in town and somebody who had the power of getting other people to help in witchcraft. The only logical person who they could think of that fit this description was Martha Corey.(First Salem witch hanging)
The Trial of Martha Corey was on Friday March 11, 1692 it was a day of fasting and prayer in Salem. The accusation shocked those who heard it because Martha Corey (Good wife Corey) was a new but upstanding member of the community. Immediately a somebody was sent to the Corey farm to question Martha hoping to clear her name. Martha Corey's sarcastic response to her being accused caused her immediate arrest. In the courtroom Maratha’s accusers writhed in agony as they were forced by an unseen power to mimic the witch's every movement. When Martha shifted her feet they did too,when Martha bit her lip they were compelled to.
"On, Monday, the 21st of March,the magistrates of Salem appointed to
come to examination of Good wife Corey. And about twelve of the clock
they went into the meeting house,which was thronged with spectators.
Mr. Noyes began with a very pertinent and pathetic prayer, and Good wife
Corey being called to answer to what was alleged against her, she desired
to go to prayer, which was much wondered at, in the presence of so many
hundred people. The magistrates told her they would not admit it; they
came not there to hear her pray, but to examine her in what was alleged
against her. The worshipful Mr. Hawthorne asked her why she afflicted
those children. She said she did not afflict them. He asked her, 'Who did
then?' She said, 'I do not know; how should I know?” (Lawson) Martha was portraying that she had no clue as to what was going on and that she was being accused of something that she did not do. But if Martha truly was innocent then why would she not pray and why would she not fight and show more passion that she was not a witch. Some of the people in the town started to come forward and telling things about Martha, because they believed she was a witch crop failures or infant deaths -local villagers were quick to accuse each other of witchcraft (Milton). They would say that she has a book of spells and that she tried to convince young girls into doing magic with her, the younger the girls were the easier it would be to harvest their magic. Others would say that she had a little yellow bird that she would put in her hand...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document