Each of these three women was examined by local Salem officials before they were sent off to await trial in a Boston jail. The girls, who these witches had supposedly inflicted sickness upon, were also present during these trials to show the court how much pain the three women had caused. During the trial Sarah Good kept insisting that she was not guilty but rather that she had been wrongly accused.
While Good and Osborne were trying to defend themselves, Tituba confessed, most likely in fear of her Master, Reverend Parris. Sarah Good and Osborn would have me hurt the children but I would not. The children still were not able to come up with names for their perpetrators until a little thirteen-year-old girl, Ann Putnam, cried out the name of Martha Corey.
Corey, like Osborne, was not poor at all. While she was being tried, Martha Corey had the audacity to laugh at questions presented to her. The number of women accused was monumental, and the court had very little time to examine each accusation thoroughly. Soon, anyone who was called a witch was jailed, whether it was a man, woman, child, or adult. Everyone jumped at the mention of a witch, afraid that they would be the next person to become a possessed victim of their mysterious black magic.
The villagers went from the four-year-old girl to seventy-one-year-old Rebecca Nurse followed by forty-seven-year-old Elizabeth Proctor. At this point, anyone who was a family member of an accused witch was most likely to wind up in jail also. Next, John Proctor became the first male to be charged for being a witch because he stood by his belief that his wife was innocent and spoke out against the court.
The Salem Witchcraft Trials were completely outrageous, convicting women with no solid evidence other than a villager saying that they themselves had seen the person practicing black magic.
No one in the court bothered to think that the witnesses could be lying and presenting false testimonies. After John Proctor a long list of alleged witches followed. Mary Easty and Sarah Cloyce, sisters of Rebecca Nurse who had expressed their negative feelings about the trials were locked up in jail. The most shocking was the arrest of George Burroughs, the onetime pastor of Salem Village church.
While accusations were occurring as routine events for the people of Salem, some came to think that perhaps this outbreak was not related to witchcraft after all. A few in the village had doubted the validity of the trials from the beginning, and as time went on they felt more confident and sure that their beliefs were true. Most ministers of Salem warned the government against accepting these testimonies from the very start of the trials.
They said the spirits the girls saw could be just hallucinations resulting from their sickness, or they could be the Devil in disguise, but the government officials simply ignored them.
Justice Nathanial Saltonstall also apparently disagreed with the ways of the court because he resigned from his position after the first witchcraft trial. Chief Justice Stoughton, however, thought that the evil spirits would not disguise themselves to people who were willing to cooperate with them. Now that the accusations were flying back and forth in full swing, anybody and everybody came to the court to put their two cents in.
Hundreds of these local residents came into the court to help testify against crimes alleged witches had committed years, even decades, before. Although many people volunteered to come forward and speak out against these witches, they were very concerned about maleficium, the ability of a witch to do harm to another person through supernatural means.
They were afraid that after testifying against the witch that she may put an evil spell on them. Another concern was that the possessed would be forced to sign a Satanic pact, and if they did not do so then the witches would inflict pain upon them until they did. The number of accusations is what made the Salem case different from any other case of witchcraft. After the executions began in , officials began to deal with the problem of credibility by ignoring any accusations made against the wealthy, well-to-do members of the Salem society.
At this point, close to two hundred people had been accused of witchcraft, and more than twenty-five people had died because of the trials. Twenty-six villagers, eleven of whom were Putnams, voted to give Parris a parsonage, a barn, and two acres of land.
The Puritans believed a witch was a person who made a pact with the devil, thus giving the devil permission to use her body to harm others and lure them into his service.
While witches can be either male or female, approximately 78 percent of the accused in Salem were women. While they did not subscribe to the prevailing European view of women being inherently more evil than men, womanhood and witchcraft were linked to the Puritan interpretation of evil and sin. But since it was known that this signing was done in secret, no witnesses came forth during the trials. However, confessions were the next best thing.
What better proof that witches was among the godly in Salem than a confession? Since men and women thought differently about sin and guilt, they language they used in their confessions varied.
Women were more likely to interpret their own sin as an unspoken covenant with Satan, a spiritual renunciation of God. Many essay topics concerning the Salem witch trials can be derived from the multitude of information that we have, thanks to the documentation presented from the court transcripts themselves and the testimonies of the villagers who lived through that time of hysteria. In Salem in , those who were tried as witches were accused for many different reasons, including not going to church, being a recluse or expressing support for others who were accused.
Even aiding Wabanaki Indians in the recent wars could have put you on trial as a witch. Talking to yourself or any other "odd" behavior could have landed you an accusation. An effective essay on the witch trials can discuss the reasons many were accused as witches in Salem.
An essay on modern-day "witch hunts" could include any lessons that we as a society have learned from the Salem witch trials. Examples of modern-day "witch hunts" include the communist hunts and the events of the early s that inspired "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller. Another example is the McMartin preschool abuse trial of the late s.
During that trial, witnesses who would lie were planted on the witness stand and exonerating evidence was concealed.
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The Salem Witch trials started in resulted in 19 executions and accusations of witchcraft. It was one of the first of many hysterical moments that this country would go on to see. It all started in with a girl who was having "fits and convulsions" to which the only diagnosis was 3/5(5). Salem Witch Trials Essay. By Lauren Bradshaw. November 23, Example Essays. The Salem Witch Trials, of , occurred in Salem Massachusetts. This is a case where people accused other people of witchcraft. Tags: example essay, history essays, Salem Witch Trials essays, Salem Witch Trials research paper.