Important Persons in the Salem Court Records

People and TopicsBiographical Data


Tituba Indian holds one of the most infamous (yet still debated) places in the history of the Salem Witchcraft Trials. Tituba was an Indian slave in the service of Reverend Samuel Parris, in whose home the diagnosis of witchcraft was first made. She was the first accused (along with Sarah Osborne) and was also the first to confess. Tituba's confession set a precedent and pattern that would run the course of the trials -- accused witches confessed and then became accusers themselves, thereby validating the previous accusations and the need for continuing investigations and trials, as the court desired. Though Tituba was not executed for her participation as a "detestable Witch," she was forced to languish in jail for thirteen months after Parris refused to pay her imprisonment costs. She was finally freed from jail when an unknown person redeemed her jail fees and took her from the Village. Nothing is known about her life beyond Salem Village.

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