Important Persons in the Salem Court Records

People and TopicsBiographical Data

Elizabeth Parris

At nine years old, Elizabeth Parris, daughter of Salem Village minister Rev. Samuel Parris, played a key role in the beginnings of the witchcraft trials. Curious to know her future marital status , Elizabeth, together with her cousin Abigail Williams, cautiously experimented with fortune telling. Her behavior led to the first three accusations of witches. Trying to shield the involvement of his immediate family, the Rev. Samuel Parris, took Abigail from home and placed her in the home of Stephen Sewall in Salem, where she eventually recovered. She could not have predicted that these innocent attempts at predicting the future would lead to the largest and most deadly witch-hunt in American history.

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