|People and Topics||Biographical Data|
Lieutenant Governor William Stoughton was appointed Chief Justice of the court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692. He ruled over the trials with the determination to eradicate all witches from Massachusetts Bay Colony - heavily influenced by his conservative religious convictions. When the court was dissolved, Stoughton continued to enjoy political success and never apologized for his role in the trials.
William Stoughton: Chief Justice of the Court of Oyer and Terminer
Written by Julie Zeveloff
History 209, An Undergraduate Course, Cornell University
Instructor: Professor Mary Beth Norton
Fall Semester, 2006
William Stoughton: Chief Justice of the Court of Oyer and Terminer
The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 represents a particularly dark time in early American history. Gossip and accusations wreaked havoc in Essex County, Massachusetts. After four months of legal proceedings, over twenty people had perished by noose, stones, or in jail cells. Governor William Phips instituted a Court of Oyer and Terminer in order to effectively deal with the excess of accusations. This tribunal became the mechanism by which accused witches were systematically tried and sent to their deaths. At the head of the court sat William Stoughton, a dour, ascetic character who was raised in a Puritan household and guided through life by political ambition. In his lifetime, Stoughton served as a minister, a military officer, and a public servant, and a judge.
Stoughton was a hardliner who actively pursued conviction and punishment for the accused witches who came through the doors of his courtroom. As head of the special tribunal which heard these cases, it was entirely within his power to achieve his goals. One biographical account concludes; “Not withstanding the excitement of the time, there can be no doubt, that, if Stoughton had been as zealous to procure the acquittal as he was to bring about the conviction of the accused, this black page in the history of New England and of humanity could nave never been written.”1 Who was William Stoughton, and how did he develop such a severe and vindictive courtroom manner of conduct? This paper will seek to summarize Stoughton’s life and courtroom experience, and to explain his behavior in this context.
Accounts vary on Stoughton’s birth place and date, but he was likely born on September 30th, 16312 in either Dorchester, Massachusetts, or in England.3 His father, Israel Stoughton, was one of the original settlers of Dorchester. Israel held several prominent positions within the community, including selectman, commander of a military company during the Pequot War of 1637, and a seat on the Governor’s Council. Israel was also an ambitious businessman; he constructed the first corn mill in New England. According to History of the Town of Dorchester, “the position which he occupied in the affairs of the colony and the plantation, points him out as a man of superior intelligence and large property.”4
In 1635, Israel sat on a committee to examine the accounts of Governor Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. History of the Town of Dorchester states that Israel enraged the Governor and the Governor’s Council by “publishing a pamphlet denying them some of the powers they claimed”5. Israel was subsequently “disinabled for beareing any publ office in the comonwealth, within this jurisdic-on, for the space of three yeares, for affirmeing the Assistants were noe magistrates,”6 according to the General Court Records cited in John Langdon Sibley’s Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University. The disability lasted until 1636, at which time he was elected to the Governor’s Council and chosen to “command the Pequod expedition.”7 Israel and his troops nearly decimated the Pequot tribe and returned to Dorchester in triumph. In 1644, Israel went to England where he “became intimate with some leaders or the Revolution.”8 He remained committed to that cause until his death in Lincoln, Massachusetts in 1645. Little is known about Israel’s personality and beliefs, but he appears to have been “of the rigid Puritan school”9 and placed a high value on education. The Harvard College Records state that Israel left to his only surviving son, William, “’halfe’ of his library ‘for his incouragt to apply himself to studies, especially to the holy Scriptures; unto wch they are mostly helpful.’”10
Like Israel, who protested the government in a pamphlet, William’s mother Elizabeth Clarke also challenged authorities. In 1649, she joined a group of female petitioners from Boston and Dorchester on behalf of midwife Alice Tilly. Tilly was accused of causing “the deaths of many of her patients, adults and babies alike,”11 according to an article by Mary Beth Norton in The William and Mary Quarterly. The petition called for the authorities to allow Tilly to continue practicing midwifery without posting bail. William was surely influenced by both Israel and Elizabeth’s political activism and willingness to challenge government and judicial proceedings. Indeed, he too criticized and challenged the colonial government several times throughout his life.
Stoughton attended Harvard College, where he studied divinity. After his gradation in 1650, he went to England where he earned a Master of Arts and a Fellowship at Oxford. In 1662, Stoughton lost his Fellowship as a result of the Restoration of King Charles II, and returned to New England. Upon his return, he assisted the aged Increase Mather in his ministerial duties. This relationship sparked a friendship between Stoughton and both Increase Mather and his son, Cotton. Both of these men would influence Stoughton’s courtroom decisions during the witchcraft trials. Stoughton declined numerous requests take Increase’s place and “minister the Dorchester or Cambridge churches,”12 according to an article by Richard Johnson in American National Biography Online.
Stoughton shirked the ministry in favor of politics, and held a range of prestigious positions within the colony. In History of the Town of Dorchester, Ebenezer Clapp surmises that “it is not unlikely that [Stoughton’s] future greatness began to dawn upon him, and he decided not to commit himself to a profession that was then considered so sacred, so enduring, and so difficult to resign, as the clerical.”13 He was appointed to the office of Commissioner of the United Colonies from 1674 until 1676, and again from 1680 until 1686. He served as Deputy President of Massachusetts Bay Colony under Joseph Dudley, his “warm friend” 14and political ally, according to Sibley’s Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University. Johnson states that Stoughton and Dudley were political moderates who “urged accommodation to English regulation,”15 instead of stiff opposition to the Massachusetts charter, which would have brought the colony under greater control under the Crown.
Stoughton continued to serve as Deputy President under Sir Edmund Andros, the royal governor sent by England to oversee colonial affairs in late 1686. When the citizens of Massachusetts rebelled against Andros in 1689 in reaction to the Glorious Revolution in England, Stoughton distanced himself from Andros in order to save his political reputation. Stoughton joined with several members of Andros’ council in denouncing the former governor in a document titled A Narrative of the Proceedings of Sir Edmond Androsse and his Complices. According to this document, “Innumerable were the evil Effects that from hence were continually growing up amongst us”16 during Andros’ tenure. Grievances included that “the Governour did so quickly neglect the great number of the Council,” that “the Debates in Council were not so free as ought to have been,”17 and that “the Greatest Rigour and Severity was too often used towards the soberest sort of People.”18 A shrewd politician, Stoughton was quick to form and abandon political alliances in order to further his own ambitions.
Stoughton was present on the Maine frontier in 1688 when the Second Indian War broke out. Along with other members of Andros’ council, Stoughton was responsible for arming the militia and ordering attacks and seizure of the Wabanakis. This move proved disastrous when the Wabanakis retaliated by kidnapping sixteen English settlers. Andros’ Council charged Stoughton with settling a prisoner exchange, which he failed to do “for reasons that remain obscure,”19 according to Mary Beth Norton in In the Devil’s Snare. Stoughton returned to Boston and soon after, four of the English captives were killed. In 1687, Stoughton presided over a dispute settlement in Falmouth, Maine. Instead of negotiating a resolution, Stoughton attacked one litigant for defaming Edward Tyng, one of Stoughton’s fellow council members. Norton concludes that “the picture of a man certain of his judgments and unwilling to entertain any opposition is confirmed by every fragment of surviving evidence about the chief justice’s conduct during the witchcraft trials.”20
Stoughton enjoyed a close relationship with Increase and Cotton Mather, who were ministers and prominent figures in Massachusetts Bay politics. When Increase was in England trying to negotiate a new charter for the colonies, his son Cotton wrote to him that “’Mr. Stoughton is a real friend to New-England, and willing to make any amendment for the miscarriages of the late government.’”21 Increase recommended that Stoughton be given the commission of Lieutenant Governor under Sir William Phips, and this stipulation was subsequently included in the charter drafted in England in 1691. According to Peter Hoffer in The Salem Witchcraft Trials, when Phips arrived in mid-May of 1692, the Colony was “teetering on the brink of chaos”22 . This was due to a major witchcraft scandal raging in Salem and several surrounding towns. Phips almost immediately appointed Stoughton as Chief Justice of the Court of Oyer and Terminer, the special tribunal to set up to hear witchcraft cases. Stoughton retained the position of Chief Justice nearly until his death in 1701.
In 1694, Governor Phips was recalled to England. Johnson states that Stoughton once again played a role in deriding his former superior by “quietly help[ing] to gather evidence for the charges of maladministration”23 against Phips. From the time of Phips’ removal, Stoughton acted as Commander-in-Chief of the Colony until his death in Dorchester on July 7th, 1701. He never married, and in his will he left his considerable estate to his church in Dorchester and to “’Harvard College at Cambridge, the place of my first public education, (which nursery of good learning hath been so inestimable blessing to the Church and the people of God in this wilderness…),’”24 according to the Harvard College Records.
The Witchcraft Trials
The Reverend Samuel Parris and his family arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1689. Born in Barbados and educated at Harvard College, Parris took over the pulpit of the Salem church at a time when tensions were high among the factions of Salem citizenry. Rifts were growing between residents of urbanized Salem Town and agrarian Salem Village. In Puritan settlements like Salem, the church stood at the center of society, and church proceedings subsequently became politicized. In the two decades prior to the breakout of the witchcraft trials, three ministers had passed through Salem. In each case, one faction pledged to support the minister while the other voiced strong opposition. All three ministers left in the face of growing hostility from those who opposed them. Salem Village lacked a concrete system of government and court system, and citizens often turned towards the minister to resolve disputes. It was under these circumstances that Samuel Parris took on the role of minister.25
During the frigid New England winter of 1691, Parris’ daughter Betty and niece Abigail Williams fell ill. Parris consulted Dr. William Griggs, who observed the girls’ strange symptoms and attributed the illness to witchcraft.26 In A Further Account of the Tryals of the New England Witches, the Reverend Increase Mather recalled a visit to the home of Samuel Parris to observe the girls’ bizarre afflictions. He wrote, “In the beginning of the Evening I went to give Mr. P. a Visit. When I was there, his Kinswoman, Abigail Williams, (about 12 Years of Age) had a grievous fit; she was at first hurried with violence to and fro in the…sometimes making as if she would fly, stretching up her Arms as high as she could…”27 Accusations began to fly. Several more girls and women in the community started to experience similar fits and make witchcraft accusations against neighbors in Salem. The witch-hunt expanded with incredible speed and by May of 1692, new accusations were arising on a daily basis. People who were accused of practicing witchcraft were jailed. Two county magistrates, acting as Justices of the Peace, were called on to conduct examinations. According Hoffer, “the tidal wave of accusations overwhelmed the institutions of criminal justice that had, until now, served the colony adequately.”28 It was in light of this situation that Governor Phips established the special Court of Oyer and Terminer.
The Court of Oyer and Terminer consisted of nine men in total; several had acted as justices under the Court of Assistants that had been established under the old charter. The other members were prominent Massachusetts figures as well. According to the new charter issued by the Crown, the justices were supposed to conform to English law in all court decisions. English law, however, did not concretely define evidence or provide standards for legal proof. Indeed, at the end of seventeenth century, “juries in England were still treated to a mixture of rumor, supposition, lies, tall tales, and personal spite,”29 Hoffer states. The colonial courts were no different. Witchcraft cases also raised additional questions in regard to admissibility of evidence. Witchcraft was a “hidden crime” which took place in an “invisible world.”30 Therefore, the justices had no concrete evidence to look at, but were forced to rely on prejudicial accounts given by accusers such as the afflicted girls and women of Salem Village. The question thus arose of whether spectral evidence could be admissible in the courtroom.
Both Increase and Cotton Mather gave serious consideration to the question of the admissibility of spectral evidence, but father and son diverged in their opinions. In A Further Account of the Tryals of the New England Witches, Increase poses the question: “Whether not may Satan appear in the Shape of an Innocent and Pious, as well as of a Nocent and Wicked Person, to afflict such as suffer by Diabolical Molestation?”31 He answers in the affirmative and backs his argument with citations from history and the Bible. He thus makes the case because specters can appear in the shapes of innocent people, that spectral evidence should not be admitted in the courtroom. On the other hand, Cotton firmly believed that the Devil stood behind “ye horrible witchcrafts among us,”32 and that spectral evidence strengthened the cases before the court. In a letter to John Foster, a member of Phips’ council, Mather wrote, “A very great use is to bee made of the spectral impressions upon the sufferers. They Justly Introduce, and Determine, an Enquiry into the circumstances of the person accused; and they strengthen other presumptions.”33 Cotton stressed that no suspect should be condemned on spectral evidence alone, given the slim chance that a specter might actually appear as an innocent person. He ultimately reasoned that the strongest form of evidence was a confession from an alleged witch.34
The Hon'ble William Stoughton Esq'r Cheif Justice
As Chief Justice of the special tribunal, Stoughton played a dominant role in the court proceedings. Given Stoughton’s close friendship with Cotton Mather, in addition to fervent Puritan background and his political ambitions, it is not surprising that Stoughton decided to admit spectral evidence in his courtroom. “Stoughton was in full sympathy with Cotton Mather,”35 states Charles Upham in Witchcraft at Salem Village. Both men believed that God would not allow specters to take on the forms of innocent people, so anyone who was seen in the form of a specter was indeed guilty. By making this exception, Stoughton provided additional grounds on which the court could convict accused witches. He was anxious to cleanse the community of supernatural afflictions, and spectral evidence implicated more people and strengthened existing cases. In response to Cotton Mather’s Wonders of the Invisible World, which expounded Cotton’s views on spectral evidence, Stoughton wrote:
Having now perused so happy and fruitful a composure, upon such a subject, at this juncture of time, and considering the place that I hold in the Court of Oyer and Terminer, still laboring and proceeding in the trial of the persons accused and convicted for witchcraft, I find that I am more nearly and highly concerned than as a meer ordinary reader to express my obligation and thankfulness to you for so great pains; and cannot but hold myself many ways bound, even to the utmost of what is proper for me, in my present publick capacity, to express my singular approbation thereof.36
In Witchcraft at Salem Village, Charles Upham describes the division of opinion between those who “maintained that the Devil could employ only the spectres of persons in league with him; others affirmed, that he could send upon his evil errands the spectres of innocent persons, without their consent or knowledge.”37 He notes that Chief Justice Stoughton dogmatically held on to the former opinion, “against the judgment of many others, arbitrarily established it as a rule of the Court, and peremptorily instructed juries to regard it as binding upon them in making their verdicts.”38 This rule led to inevitable verdicts of “guilty” for many of the prisoners.
Stoughton’s zealous courtroom mentality is evidenced by other sources as well. Thomas Brattle, a Harvard-educated Boston merchant who witnessed the witchcraft trials, described Stoughton’s instructions to the jury in a letter to “some clerical correspondent”39 of unknown identity in October of 1692. At the trial of Bridget Bishop, the first accused witch to face judgment, Stoughton told the jury “not to mind whether the bodies of the said afflicted were pined and consumed… but whether the said afflicted did not suffer from the accused such afflictions as naturally tended to their being pined and consumed. This, (said he) is a pining and consuming in the sense of the law.”40 Brattle continued to criticize the tyrannical behavior of Stoughton on the bench; “The chief Judge is very zealous in these proceedings, and says, he is very clear as to all that hath as yet been enacted by this Court, and, as far as I could ever perceive, is very impatient in hearing anything that looks another way.”41
During the trial of Rebecca Nurse, a highly regarded elderly church member, Stoughton was displeased when the jury initially returned with a verdict of “not guilty.” He intervened by telling the jury to reconsider Nurse’s statement “What, do these persons give in evidence against me now, they used to come among us.”42 According to a declaration by Thomas Fisk, a member of the jury, “When the Verdict not Guilty was, the honoured Court was pleased to object against it.”43 The jury was sent out to reconsider its earlier decision. Nurse was asked to clarify her statement, but being“old and hard of hearing,” she did not understand and failed to explain herself. The jury returned a second time with a “guilty” verdict, and Nurse was executed some two weeks later.
Even before the trial of Rebecca Nurse, people were beginning to question the admissibility of spectral evidence. In mid-June, two weeks prior to Nurse’s trial, thirteen New England ministers, led by the Reverend Samuel Willard, asked Cotton Mather to draft a letter later titled “Return of Several Ministers.” The intention of the letter was to ask the justices to stop admitting spectral evidence in the trials. However, as seen earlier, Cotton actually supported the use of spectral evidence. Therefore, the final paragraph of the letter, which “Mather had undoubtedly written on his own,”44 called the “speedy and vigorous prosecution” of Bridget Bishop “obnoxious,” but did not actually condemn the trials.45 While the intent of the other ministers was to end the use of spectral evidence in the court, Cotton Mather altered the message to obscure its meaning and perhaps to support his friend Stoughton.
In early October, Increase Mather penned a document entitled Cases of Conscience which condemned the use of spectral evidence in no uncertain terms. He wrote that witchcraft should be equated with other felonious crimes, and the quality of evidence should be the same in all serious cases, regardless of supernatural nature. The document states that while it is more difficult to prove that someone is a witch without relying on spectral evidence to some degree, “nor yet that any other means should be used for the discovery of Witches than what may be used for the finding out of Murderers, Adulterers, and other Criminals.”46 According to Sibley’s Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, in response to both the document and to mounting pressure against the “bigoted zeal”47 with which Stoughtonwas leading the Court, Governor Phips immediately ordered the Court of Oyer and Terminer to stop admitting spectral evidence and stayed the executions of five jailed convicts. Robert Calef reports in Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases that when Stoughton found out about the cancelled executions, he responded, “We were in a way to have cleared the land of these, etc., who it is obstructs the course of Justice I know not; the Lord be merciful to the Countrey,”48 and “so went off the bench; and came no more to the court.”49
By mid-October, Phips finally notified his superiors in England of the crisis, and by the end of October, he dissolved the Court entirely. In a letter from Phips addressed “To the Rt. Honble the Earle of Nottingham at Whitehall,” in which Phips explains the chain of events and attempts to exonerate himself. He states that when he gave the order to stay the executions,“The Lieut. Gov. upon this occasion was inraged and filled with passionate anger and refused to sitt upon the bench in a Superior Court…”50 Unlike Stoughton’s fellow justice Samuel Sewall, who later issued a public apology for the errors of the court, Stoughton refused to do the same. In The History of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, Thomas Hutchinson writes that:
The chief justice, Mr. Stoughton, being informed of this action of one of his brethren, observed for himself that, when he sat in judgment, he had the fear of God before his eyes and gave his opinion according to the best of his understanding; although it might appear afterwards, that he had been in an error, yet he saw no necessity of a public acknowledgment of it.51
Thus came to an end the Salem witchcraft trials and the Stoughton’s reign of tyranny as Chief Judge of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. He continued on as the head of the revised Massachusetts court system, but under an altered set of rules which did not admit spectral evidence and had a significantly lower rate of conviction.52
It is impossible to make definitive claims about William Stoughton’s harsh behavior based on the relatively sparse number of primary documents available from the late seventeenth century. However, given the information that can be gathered on the events of Stoughton’s life, it is possible to draw some general conclusions about the reasons behind his severe courtroom comportment. Stoughton grew up in a Puritan household with politically active parents who placed a high value on education. During his childhood, both his mother and father were involved with political and judicial proceedings in the colony, and Stoughton’s political career was surely influenced by his parents’ actions. Although he craftily avoided direct confrontations with Governors Andros and Phips, Stoughton co-wrote petitions against both men which ultimately led to their deposals. Stoughton followed closely in the footsteps of his father in other ways as well, holding several important political and military positions in the colony. Religion clearly played a fundamental role in Stoughton’s upbringing; he studied divinity, assisted the Reverend Increase Mather, and nearly became a minister. When the witchcraft crisis was blamed on the Devil, Stoughton must have believed it was his duty to cleanse Salem of the Devil’s work.
One interpretation of Stoughton’s rash behavior and vehemence for conviction comes from In the Devil’s Snare by Mary Beth Norton. Norton states that the conviction of Rebecca Nurse (and others) was remarkable not only because of Stoughton’s “influential insistence that a specter could not represent an innocent person,” but also because of “his consequent outspoken belief in the guilt of anyone who was so represented.”53 She counters that the authorities of Massachusetts Bay Colony truly believed that the Devil was behind the misfortunes which had befallen them, from failed military campaign against the Indians in Maine to the current witchcraft crisis. Thus, by rashly pursuing and quickly convicting accused witches, Stoughton and his fellow judges believed they were aggressively combating the Devil.54 This interpretation has merit especially when one considers the terror which the Indian wars instilled in the frontier settlers. Stoughton was partially responsible for the failed military campaign which led to the Second Indian War, and he was unable to successfully negotiate the prisoner exchange. Thus, his courtroom severity can be interpreted as an attempt to make up for past failures to protect the colony.
Another interesting aspect of Stoughton’s character is his seeming obsession with power. He embarked on an ambitious political career at a young age. He was a fickle friend to both Andros and Phips, whom he turned his back on when their regimes collapsed. Charles Upham comments that “all administrative, legislative, judicial, and military powers were concentrated in [Stoughton’s] person and wielded by his hand.”55 Indeed, Stoughton was a power-hungry individual in all respects, although his military and judicial shortcomings indicate that he was not necessarily qualified to hold so many positions. His penchant for power extended into his courtroom, where he “conducted the trials, all along, with a spirit that bears the aspect of animosity,”56 according to Upham.
The lasting impression of William Stoughton is that of a Puritan Ebenezer Scrooge; nasty, controlling, vindictive, and lonely. He is almost an ideal figure to have led the Court of Oyer and Terminer, which turned innocent citizens into witches, ripe for hanging. Indeed, his stubborn views on spectral evidence shaped the decisions of the court. Even after the trials had ended and other participants realized the mistakes they had made, Stoughton refused to acknowledge that he had committed a single error. Charles Upham writes that the Court of Oyer and Terminer “scatter[ed] destruction, ruin, terror, misery and death over the country,”57 and as chief justice of that tribunal, William Stoughton was the impetus behind it all.John Langdon Sibley, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, Vol. I 1642-1648 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: William Sever University Bookstore, 1873), 200. American National Biography Online article by Richard R. Johnson gives this date of birth; Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University by John Langdon Sibley states that he was born in “1631 or 1632.” ANBO by Richard R. Johnson states that Stoughton was born “probably in England;” BSGHU by John Langdon Sibley states that he was probably born in Dorchester. Ebenezer Clapp, Jr, History of the Town of Dorchester, Massachusetts (Boston, Massachusetts: David Clapp, Printer, 1859), 83. Ibid., 84. John Langdon Sibley, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, 194n. Ebenezer Clapp, Jr, History of the Town of Dorchester, Massachusetts 84. Ibid., 85. Ibid., 85. John Langdon Sibley, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, 194n. Mary Beth Norton, “’The Ablest Midwife That Wee Knowe in the Land’: Mistress Alice Tilly and the Women of Boston and Dorchester, 1649-1650”, The William and Mary Quarterly vol 55, 1998, 111. Richard R. Johnson, “Stoughton, William,” American National Biography Online, February 2000. Ebenezer Clapp, Jr, History of the Town of Dorchester, Massachusetts, 204. John Langdon Sibley, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, 199. Richard R. Johnson, “Stoughton, William,” American National Biography Online, February 2000. William Stoughton et al., “A Narrative of the Proceedings of Sir Edmond Androsse,” Boston, Massachusetts, 1691, 4. Ibid. Ibid. Mary Beth Norton, In the Devil’s Snare, (New York City, New York: Random House Books, 2002), 95. Ibid., 198 John Langdon Sibley, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, 200. Peter Charles Hoffer, The Salem Witchcraft Trials, (Kansas: University of Kansas Press, 1997), 70. Richard R. Johnson, “Stoughton, William,” American National Biography Online, February 2000. William Dana Orcutt, Narrative History of Good Old Dorchester (Cambridge, Massachusetts: John Wilson & Son, University Press, 1893), 105. Peter Charles Hoffer, The Salem Witchcraft Trials, 16. Ibid.,36. Increase Mather, A Further Account of the Tryals of the New England Witches, (London, England: The Raven, 1693), 55. Peter Charles Hoffer, The Salem Witchcraft Trials, 68. Ibid., 74. Ibid., 75 Increase Mather, A Further Account of the Tryals of the New England Witches, 1693, 55. Cotton Mather, Autograph Letter of Cotton Mather, on Witchcraft, 17 June 1692, presented to the Literary and Historical Society by Samuel Sewall. Ibid. Peter Charles Hoffer, The Salem Witchcraft Trials, 81. Charles Upham, Witchcraft at Salem Village Vol. II, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Wiggins & Lunt, 1867), 250. Cotton Mather, The Wonders of the Invisible World, 1693. Reprinted in Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 1648-1706. George Lincoln Burr, Ed. New York, 1914, 213. Charles Upham, Witchcraft at Salem Village Vol. II, 356. Ibid. Letter of Thomas Brattle, 8 October 1692. Reprinted in Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 1648-1706. George Lincoln Burr, Ed. New York, 1914, 167. Ibid., 188. Ibid., 184. Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, The Salem Witchcraft Papers: “Rebecca Nurse executed 19 July 1692.” Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, The Salem Witchcraft Papers: “Rebecca Nurse executed 19 July 1692.” Peter Charles Hoffer, The Salem Witchcraft Trials, 93. Ibid. Increase Mather, Cases of Conscience, 1693, 50. John Langdon Sibley, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, Vol. I, 200. Robert Calef, More Wonders of the Invisible World, 1700. Reprinted in Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 1648-1706. George Lincoln Burr, Ed. New York, 1914, 383. Ibid. William Phips, “Letters of Governor Phips,” Boston, 21 February 1693. . Reprinted in Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 1648-1706. George Lincoln Burr, Ed. New York, 1914, 201. Thomas Hutchinson, The History of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, Boston, Massachusetts: 1774, 47. Mary Beth Norton, In the Devil’s Snare, 291. Ibid., 226. Ibid. John Langdon Sibley, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, Vol. I, 201n. Charles Upham, Witchcraft at Salem Village Vol. II, 355. John Langdon Sibley, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, Vol. I, 201n.
Boyer, Paul and Stephen Nissenbaum, Eds. “Rebecca Nurse executed 19 July 1692.” The Salem Witchcraft Papers. Vol II. Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project. 14 November 2006 http://etext.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft/texts/transcripts
Brattle, Thomas. “Letter of Thomas Brattle, F.R.S., 1692.” Burr 165-191.
Burr, George Lincoln, Ed. Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases 1648-1706. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1914.
Calef, Robert. “More Wonders of the Invisible World.” Burr 289-347.
Clapp, Jr,, Ebenezer. History of the Town of Dorchester, Massachusetts. Boston, Massachusetts: David Clapp, Printer, 1859.
Hoffer, Peter Charles. The Salem Witchcraft Trials. Kansas: University of Kansas Press, 1997.
Hutchinson, Thomas. The History of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay. Boston, Massachusetts, 1774.
Johnson, Richard R. Stoughton, William. February 2000. American National Biography Online. 4 November 2006 www.anb.org/articles.
Mather, Cotton. Autograph Letter of Cotton Mather, on Witchcraft. 17 June 1692. Cornell University Witchcraft Collection. 10 November 2006 http://historical.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/witch/docviewer?did=120
Mather, Cotton. “The Wonders of the Invisible World, 1693.” Burr 203-253.
Mather, Increase. A Further Account of the Tryals of the New England Witches, to which is added Cases of Conscience. London: Printed for J. Dunton, at the Raven, 1693. Cornell University Witchcraft Collection. 10 November 2006 http://historical.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/witch/docviewer?did=111
Norton, Mary Beth. “’The Ablest Midwife That Wee Knowe in the Land’: Mistress Alice Tilly and the Women of Boston and Dorchester, 1649-1650.” The William and Mary Quarterly 55 (1998): 105-135.
Norton, Mary Beth. In the Devil’s Snare. New York: Random House Books, 2002.
Orcutt, William Dana. Narrative History of Good Old Dorchester. Cambridge, Massachusetts: John Wilson and Son, University Press, 1893.
Phips, William. “Letters of Governor Phips to the Home Government, 1692-1693.” Burr 191-203.
Sibley, John Langdon. Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University. Vol. I, 1642-1648. Cambridge, Massachusetts: William Sever University Bookstore, 1873.
Stoughton, William, Thomas Hinckley, Wart. Winthrop, Barthol. Gedney, Samuel Shrimpton. A Narrative of the Proceedings of Sir Edmond Androsse and his Complices. Boston, 1691.
Upham, Charles. Witchcraft at Salem Village. Vol. II. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Wiggins and Lunt, 1867.