Salem witch trials Essay

Submitted By sasukethebeast
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In the Salem witch trials Mary Easty was mentioned and that caused her to be a major part of this event. Mary Easty was the daughter of William Towne, of Yarmouth, Norfolk County, and New England, where she was baptized on August 24, 1634. Easty was about 58 years old and was married to Isaac Easty, with whom she had seven children. Mary was a pious and very well respected member of Salem, and her accusation came as a surprise. Isaac lived and owned a large valuable farm. Easty's parting communications with her husband and children were said by those who were present to have been "as religious, serious, distinct, and affectionate as could be expressed, drawing tears from the eyes of almost all present. Two of Easty's sisters, Rebecca Nurse, and Sarah Cloyse were also accused of Witchcraft during the Salem outbreak, although there is more than enough evidence that all three were innocent. The three Towne sisters, Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Cloyce and Mary Easty, were all daughters and wives of Topsfield men eventually to be killed by Putnam women in 1692 on behalf of Putnam men. Mary Easty was not a member of Salem Town or Village, but a resident of Topsfield, a settlement just north of the Village had spread the trails between members of Salem Village and Topsfield since 1639 when the General Court of Massachusetts gave permission to Salem, to expand northward in the direction of the Ipswich River. Easty was accused on Page 2
April 21, tested on the 22nd, and imprisoned after denying her guilt. Magistrate John Hawthorne aggressively questioned Easty, or more likely tried to lead her to a confession by questioning. During the exam, when Easty clasped her hands together the hands of Mary Lewis, one of the afflicted were clenched and not released until Easty reopened her hands, and when she tilted her head the afflicted girls cried out to have her straighten her neck, because as long as her head was tilted their necks were broken. Easty was sentenced to prison after her examination. For a reason not sure of in any of the remaining records, Easty after spending two months in prison was released by the court on the 18th of May. On the 20th Mary Lewis spent the entire day experiencing fits of abnormal behaviors, during which time she said she was being strangled and claimed “they will kill Easty out right.” That evening a second warrant was issued for Easty's arrest. Once Easty was back in prison with chains Lewis's misbehaviors stopped. Easty was tried and sentenced to death on September 9th. While Easty remained in jail waiting for her September 9 trial, she and her sister, Sarah Cloyce made a petition to the magistrates in which they asked for a fair trial. They suggested that the judges ought to serve as their counsel and that they be allowed that person to testify on their behalf. Easty hoped her good reputation in Topsfield and the words of her minister might help her case in Salem. The sisters asked that the testimony of accusers and other "witches" be dismissed considering it was predominantly spectral evidence that lacked legality. The sisters hoped that the judges would be forced to use a real source testimony against ambiguous spectral evidence. Easty's Petition did not change the minds of the court nor the…