Dr. Michael Faubion History 2313.01
05 November 2014
Salem Witch Trials Essay
Throughout history various events have struck the foundation of humanity in many ways. One such event know as The Salem Witch Trials, had many people in various communities in turmoil. It started in 1692, in a small village named Salem, were residents were experiencing bizarre symptoms that no physician could medically explain at the time. Since most of the early settlers were religious folk and believed that any misfortunes in the village could be attributed to the work of the devil, they had come to a conclusion that witchcraft had stricken Salem. Many of the cases in Salem were merely false accusations, but almost all had resulted in various examinations and in many cases individuals were put to death.
Although Salem was not the first settlement to showcase witchcraft one record states that the children of John Goodwin in Boston were plagued by unknown causes. The children all had the same pains in the exact spot at the same time, and had several fits that could not be explained. Cotton Mather stated “Skilful physicians were consulted for their help, and particularly our worthy and prudent friend Dr. Thomas Oakes, who found himself so affronted [non-plussed] by the distempers of the children, that he concluded nothing but an hellish witchcraft could be the original [origin] of these maladies.”1 Mr. Goodwin had accused a woman by the name of Glover, he had no real evidence she was the cause of his children’s fits, but was taken into custody on the account of how wretched she looked. They took her into custody and questioned her, she did not deny the interest of enchanting the children and had a suspicious behavior while apprehended. They concluded she was the cause of the children’s mishaps and was sentenced to death.
One early case in Salem, was the daughter and niece of Mr. Samuel Parris who were the first to experience unnatural behavior. These children were bitten and pinched by invisible agents; their arms, neck, and backs turned his way and that way, and returned back again, so as it was impossible for them to do of themselves, and beyond the power of any epileptic fits, or natural disease to effect.2During the fits of the children they would cry out the name of their servant Tituba, and therefore accused her of bewitching them. Tituba had confessed to taking urine of the afflicted person and using it to make a cake.