1st March
It was on this day...
1692 Salem Witch Hunt Begins

Salem Village, Massachusetts Bay Colony: It was on this day that Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba, an Indian slave from Barbados, are charged with the illegal practice of witchcraft. Tituba seems to have then confessed to the crime which led the authorities on their search for more witches.

It all began about a month earlier when 9-year-old Elizabeth Parris and 11-year-old Abigail Williams, the daughter and niece, respectively, of the Reverend Samuel Parris, showed signs of fits and other mysterious maladies. A doctor diagnosed witchcraft, which led the locals on their search for the possible cause of the witchery in their midst. In all about 150 people were incriminated including a 4 year old child...

A special court convened in June 1692 under Chief Justice William Stoughton. Bridget Bishop was the first to be convicted, she was hanged June 10. 13 other women and four men were executed at the gallows, one man, Giles Corey, was executed by 'crushing'. The evidence for their guilt seems to have been how the witnesses reacted to them during the trial.

October 1692 Governor William Phipps ordered the end of the horrible, sensational testimony. The executions ceased and all those facing the gallows were pardoned and those awaiting trial were released. Thus ending the Salem Witch trials.

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