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WITCH TRIALS
and our family
Page 17

 

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WITCH ACCUSER, ANNE PUTNAM, REPENTS

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Anne was born on 18 Oct 1680 in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts,
And it was she, who was the primary accuser during the Salem witch trials.
Ann claimed to have been afflicted by sixty-two people. She testified
against several in court and offered many affidavits.
Her father,
Thomas Putnam, was the chief filer of complaints in the village,
and maintained complete control over the actions of the two
afflicted girls living in his house. Most of the afflicted and the
accusers were in some way related to the Putnam family. Ann Putnam Sr.,
Ann's mother, would also become afflicted at times, and was in court
almost as much as her daughter and servant. People from miles around
to the courtroom to watch their performances. of the "afflicted".
Twelve-year-old Ann Putnam was in many ways the leader of the “circle girls,
the young girls whose accusations sparked the Salem witch trials.

 

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During the winter of 1692, the circle girls gathered secretly at Reverend Parris’s house for
evenings of storytelling and magic with the Parris slave, Tituba. One of the fortune-telling games
was to drop an egg white into a glass of water and see what shape it took. One evening, Ann
saw the shape of a coffin. Soon afterwards Ann, Betty Parris, and Abigail Williams started
behaving strangely—babbling, convulsing, or staring blankly.

 

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Once diagnosed as victims of witchcraft, the girls were asked to identify their tormentors. Ann
pointed fingers at Sarah Good and Sarah Osburne. She was also quick to testify against
Tituba, claiming an apparition of the West Indian slave had tormented her.

 

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Ann’s next accusation surprised the village. She claimed to have been tormented by the spirit
of Martha Corey, a solid member of the church. Despite the lack of hard evidence, Martha
was sent to prison and was eventually hanged. But Ann’s bold accusation had sparked the
fear that any one of the villagers could be a witch.

 

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Ann accused many more in the coming months, including four year old Dorcas Good.
Ann's parents, Thomas and Ann, also accused dozens of townspeople of witchcraft, most of
whom were enemies of the influential Putnam family. Two of Ann’s most shocking
accusations, against the pious Rebecca Nurse and the former Salem pastor George
Burroughs, may have been provoked by old family disputes.

 

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For those paying close attention to the following confession
I'd suggest you take note of the fact, that while Anne
"confesses"
she never actually takes any of the blame herself.
Instead, she says, in effect, that the devil made her do it.

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The confession of Anne Putnam

when she was received to communion:
Aug 25, 1706.

I desire to be humbled before God for yt sad and humbling providence
that befell my fathers family in the year about 92, yt I then being in
my childhood should by such a providence of God be made an
instrument for yt accuseing of severall persons of a grievous crime
wherby their lives were taken away from them, whom now I have just
grounds and good reason to believe they were innocent persons, and
yt it was a great delusion of Satan yt deceived me
in that sad time,
whereby I justly fear I have been instrumental with others tho'
ignorantly and unwittingly
to bring upon myself & this land the
guilt of innocent blood Though what was said or done by me against
any person I can truly and uprightly say before God & man I did it
not out of any anger, malice, or illwill to any person for I had no
such thing against one of them; but what I did was ignorantly being
deluded by Satan.
And particularly as I was a chief instrument of
accuseing of Goodwife Nurse and her two sisters I desire to lye
in the dust & to be humbled for it in that I was a cause with
others of so sad a calamity to them & their familys, for which
cause I desire to lye in ye dust & earnestly begg fforgiveness
of God & from all those unto whom have given just cause of sorrow
& offence, whose relations were taken away or accused.

(Signed)
Anne Putnam.

Ye confession was read before ye congregation together
with her relation Aug: 25. 1706.& she acknowledged it.
-- J. Greene. Past'r.

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1957; Massachusetts General Court resolved "that no disgrace or
cause for distress" be borne by descendants of accused witches.

(Daily News Record - 8/19/1993) See PBS movie Three Sovereigns for
Sarah for the story of Sarah and her sisters. Available on video.
1997; Place of burial has not ever been found, earliest known
gravestone of the Salem refugees at Framingham and belongs to her
son Benjamin Bridges.
(Framingham Town Historian - Steve Herring)

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E MAIL ME
PAGE 1
WITCHTRIALS
MARY
(PERKINS)
BRADBURY
PAGE 2
WITCHTRIALS
MARY
BRADBURY
Part 2
PAGE 3
WITCHTRIALS
ELIZABETH
KNAPP
PAGE 4
WITCHTRIALS
ELIZABETH
KNAPP
Part 2
PAGE 5
WITCHTRIALS
SUSANNAH
(NORTH)
MARTIN
PAGE 6
WITCHTRIALS
REBECCA
(TOWNE)
NURSE
PAGE 7
WITCHTRIALS
MARY
(BLISS)
PARSONS
Part1
PAGE 8
WITCHTRIALS
MARY
PARSONS
Part 2
PAGE 9
WITCHTRIALS
SARAH
WILSON
SR. & JR.
Part 1
PAGE 10
WITCHTRIALS
SARAH
WILSON
Part 2
PAGE 11
WITCHTRIALS
MARY
(TOWNE)
ESTEY
PAGE 12
WITCHTRIALS
INFANT DAUGHTER
DEWOLF
PAGE 13
WITCHTRIALS
SARAH
(TOWNE)
CLOYCE
Part 1
PAGE 14
WITCHTRIALS
SARAH
CLOYCE
Part 2
PAGE 15
WITCHTRIALS
ELIZABETH
(HUTCHINS)
HART
PAGE 16
WITCHTRIALS
ANNE
PUTNAM
PAGE 18
WITCHTRIALS
EARLY
CT
LAWS



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