Important Persons in the Salem Court Records

People and TopicsBiographical Data

Rebecca Nurse

Rebecca Nurse was an elderly and respected member of the Salem Village community. She was accused of witchcraft by several of the "afflicted" girls in the Village in March of 1692. Although a large number of friends, neighbors and family members wrote petitions testifying to her innocence, she was tried for acts of witchcraft in June, 1692. The jury first returned a "not guilty" verdict, but was told to reconsider, and then brought in a verdict of "guilty." Governor Phips pardoned her, but was later persuaded to reverse his decision by several men from Salem. She was excommunicated from the Salem church and hanged on July 19, 1692. Her house in Danvers, the former Salem village, still stands and is open to visitors. A large monument also marks her grave in the Nurse family cemetery on the grounds.

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