The tight-knit community was at a loss to explain the convulsive seizures, blasphemous screaming, and trance-like states that afflicted the youngsters. The physicians called in to examine the girls could find no natural cause of the disturbing behavior. If the source of the affliction The Salem Village Meeting House where the trials took place was not attributable to a physical malady, the community reasoned that it must be the work of Satan.
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In an effort to explain by scientific means the strange afflictions suffered by those "bewitched" Salem residents ina study published in Science magazine in cited the fungus ergot found in rye, wheat and other cerealswhich toxicologists say can cause symptoms such as delusions, vomiting and muscle spasms.
In January9-year-old Elizabeth Betty Parris and year-old Abigail Williams the daughter and niece of Samuel Parris, minister of Salem Village began having fits, including violent contortions and uncontrollable outbursts of screaming.
After a local doctor, William Griggs, diagnosed bewitchment, other young girls in the community began to exhibit similar symptoms, including Ann Putnam Jr. The Hysteria Spreads The three accused witches were brought before the magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne and questioned, even as their accusers appeared in the courtroom in a grand display of spasms, contortions, screaming and writhing.
Though Good and Osborn denied their guilt, Tituba confessed. Likely seeking to save herself from certain conviction by acting as an informer, she claimed there were other witches acting alongside her in service of the devil against the Puritans.
As hysteria spread through the community and beyond into the rest of Massachusetts, a number of others were accused, including Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse—both regarded as upstanding members of church and community—and the four-year-old daughter of Sarah Good.
In Maythe newly appointed governor of Massachusetts, William Phips, ordered the establishment of a special Court of Oyer to hear and Terminer to decide on witchcraft cases for Suffolk, Essex and Middlesex counties.
Presided over by judges including Hathorne, Samuel Sewall and William Stoughton, the court handed down its first conviction, against Bridget Bishop, on June 2; she was hanged eight days later on what would become known as Gallows Hill in Salem Town.
Five more people were hanged that July; five in August and eight more in September. Conclusion and Legacy Though the respected minister Cotton Mather had warned of the dubious value of spectral evidence or testimony about dreams and visionshis concerns went largely unheeded during the Salem witch trials.
Trials continued with dwindling intensity until earlyand by that May Phips had pardoned and released all those in prison on witchcraft charges.
In Januarythe Massachusetts General Court declared a day of fasting for the tragedy of the Salem witch trials; the court later deemed the trials unlawful, and the leading justice Samuel Sewall publicly apologized for his role in the process.
The damage to the community lingered, however, even after Massachusetts Colony passed legislation restoring the good names of the condemned and providing financial restitution to their heirs in Start your free trial today.The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February and May More than people were accused, nineteen of whom were found guilty and executed by hanging (fourteen women and five men).
Those accused of witchcraft in Salem belonged to affluent families. Some of them had politically powerful connections. We will write a custom essay sample on What caused the hysteria in Salem in ? specifically for you. Create a timeline of the events of the Salem Witch Trials; Understand the concept of multiple interpretations of history could no longer be admitted in witchcraft trials.
On October 29, Phipps prohibited further arrests and released many accused witches. you can ask your students to write a short essay underlining some of the.
Start studying Historical Trials Unit 1 Study Guide (Salem Witch Trials) - Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The strains of moving from a Puritan utopia to a royal colony further played out in the witchcraft hysteria that hit the coastal town of Salem Village (now the town of Danvers, MA) in A collection of images, documents, essays, maps, links, games, and other information pertaining to the Salem Witch Trials of The Salem Witchcraft Trials of Essays, primary documents, biographical sketches, chronology, images, and other documents relating to the trials for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts.