Salem Witch Trials Research Paper

explanatory Essay
1043 words
1043 words

The harsh realities of life in the rural Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts generated from the aftermath of war with France in 1689. The people of Salem feared attacks from neighboring Native American tribes. Fear of catching the recent small pox epidemic flowed throughout the entire town. During the 14th century in Europe, people began to believe in the supernatural. Practicing the devil’s way was said to give certain humans the power to harm others in return for their loyalty. This wrongful practice began to spread throughout the world. Suspicion and resentment towards fellow neighbors and the fear of outsiders caused an outbreak known as the Salem Witch Trials. In 1692, Elizabeth Paris and Abagail Williams became ill. Elizabeth …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Describes the harsh realities of life in the rural puritan community of salem, massachusetts generated from the aftermath of war with france in 1689.
  • Describes how elizabeth paris and abagail williams became ill in 1692. the doctor of the salem village diagnosed the girls with bewitchment.
  • Describes the three women who afflicted witchery on elizabeth paris and abagail williams. tituba was a slave woman who confessed to seeing the devil.
  • Explains that sarah good and osborne claimed their innocence, but tituba confessed. martha corey and rebecca nurse were accused of witchery.
  • Describes bridget bishop as the first official victim of the salem witch trials. she was hung on june 10, 1692 at gallows hill.
  • Narrates how the community questioned the truth behind the trials. john proctor's third wife, elizabeth, was also accused of witchcraft.
  • Narrates how john alder jr. was accused of witchcraft while passing through salem while on his way to his hometown of boston. he was arrested and put in jail for 15 weeks, escaped to new york where he was later found innocent.
  • Narrates how the elderly giles corey was arrested, but refused to plead guilty or not guilty. he was stripped naked and forced to lay on the ground.

Both Sarah Good and Osborne claimed their innocence, but Tituba confessed. The women were thrown into jail and for months after, several accusations were made. Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse were both known as an upstanding member of the church and community, until they were accused of witchery. Even Sarah Good’s four-year-old daughter, Dorothy, was questioned and suspected of being a witch. Her answers were given as evidence to the magistracy. By May of 1692, the number of cases grew by the dozens. Governor William Phipps setup a special court and trial system to determine whether the accused were innocent or guilty. The first person to go trial was Bridget Bishop. The girls accused her of hurting them physically and trying to make them sign a pact with the devil. During her trial, she repeatedly told the judge as defense to herself that she was innocent. Bishop said, “I know nothing of it, I have done no witchcraft…I am as innocent as the child unborn”. By the end of her trail, she was found guilty and convicted of witchery. Bridget Bishop was hung on June 10, 1692 at Gallows Hill. She is known as the first official victim of the Salem Witch …show more content…

She was arrested. Following her arrest, many members of the community signed a petition for her to be released. She was looked upon as a well-respected member of the community. The petition failed and on July 19th Rebecca Nurse was found guilty and then executed. After her execution, the people of the community began to question the actual truth behind the trials. A total of five more people were hung in July. John Proctor’s third wife, Elizabeth, was also accused of witchcraft. When John began to defend his beloved wife, the community and authorities began to point fingers. John’s former server, Mary Warran, told the magistrates that Proctor had beaten her for putting up a prayer bill. She then accused him of making her touch the devil’s book. The Proctor’s were sent to trial on August 5, 1962. They were found guilty and sentenced to death. John Proctor was hung on August 19, 1962. Elizabeth was pregnant at the time. She was granted reprieve until after she gave birth to her baby. Another person who was accused of witchcraft was John Alder Jr. The accusations were made by a child. John Alder Jr. was passing through Salem while on his way to his hometown of Boston. The child spotted John Alder Jr. accused him of witchery. John was arrested and put in jail for 15 weeks. A few of his close friends bailed him out and he escaped to New York where he was later found innocent. By the end of August, five

Get Access