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The Salem witchcraft papers, original volumes edited by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum (1977) / revised, corrected, and augmented by Benjamin C. Ray and Tara S. Wood (2010)

Abigail Somes

(Warrant for Arrest of Abigail Somes )

To Constable peter Osgood

You are in theire Majest's names hereby required to apprehen and forthwith bring before us Abigaile Soames Single Woman, now Liveing at the house of Sam'l Gaskill in Salem; who stand accused of Sundry acts of #[Sundry] Witchcraft, (or high suspition there of) donne or Committed by her Lately. on the Body of Mary Warren & faile not

Dated Salem, May the 13'th 1692
[Pbar ] us *John Hathorne ] Assis't
*Jonathan. Corwin ] Assis't
(Reverse) Abigaile Soames
I heave Aprehended the person of Abigall Soams Acordinge to warrante exprest on the other side and heave broughte hir to the how of mr Thomas Beadles [pbar ]r me *Peter Osgood Constable in Selem
May the 13; 1692.
( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2 Page 50 )

(Examination of Abigail Somes , May 13, 1692, at Salem)

Upon the glance of her Eye she struck Mary Warren into a dreadful fit at her first appearance, and s'd Warren continually Crying out that it was this very Woman tho She knew her not before, only affirmed that She herself in apparition and told her that her name was Soams and also that this was the very woman that had afflicted her all this Day, and that. she met her as she was comeing in att the gate, and bit her exceedingly att her first Examining there was found in her Apron a great Crotching Needle about the midle of it near her Belly, which was plucked out by one of the Standers by. by ord'r of the Magistrates, which the s'd Soams affirmed. She knew not how it came there; Mary Warren affirmed that she never saw the s'd woman before only in apparition, and then she told her that her Name was Abigail Soames and that she was sister to John Soams of Preston Cooper and that she lived att Gaskins, and that she had lain Bedrid a year. Being asked whether she was Sister to John Soams she answered peremptorily she would not tell for all was false that Warren said furthermore Warren affirmed that she told her that she was she s'd Soams was the Instrumental means of the Death of Southwick: Upon which s'd Soams casting her Eye on Warren [pincht] her into a dreadful fitt, and bitt her so dreadfully that the Like was never seen on any of the aflicted, which the s'd Warren Charged the s'd Soams with doeing off, saying that the s'd Soams told her this day she would be the death of her further Warren Affirms that she the s'd Soams ran two pinns into her side this day, which being plucked out the blood ran out after them. Goody Gaskin being present att this examination affirmed she had kept her Bed for most part these thirteen months. Warren further affirms she told her that when She did goe abroad att any time it was in the Night which Goody Gaskin being present Confirmed the same that that was the usual time off her goeing abroad -- further more Warren affirmed that this Abigail Soams would have had her to have made a bargain with her, telling her if she would not tel of her being a sickly woman, she would not afflict her any more, and that then She should goe along with her, for this s'd Soams told her she was her God, Upon w'ch Warren answered she would not keep the Devils Councel. Soams told her she was not a Devil but she was her God. Q. Mary Warren is this true: A. It is nothing but the truth. Soams being asked who hurt Warren in the time of her fitt she answered it was the Enemy hurt her. I have been said she myself Distracted many atime, and my [senses] have gone from me, and I thought I have seen many a Body hurt mee, and might have accused many as well as she doth. I Really thought I had seen many persons att my Mothers Campe at Glowster, and they greatly aflicted me as I thought. Soams being Commanded while Warren was in a dreadful fit, to take Warren by the hand, the said Warren immediately recovered; This Experiment was tryed three times over and the Issue the same. Warren after a Recovery being commanded to touch the s'd Soams altho she Assayed severall times to do it with great Earnestness she was not able, But fell down into a dreadful fit. Upon which the s'd Soams being Commanded take Warren by the hand, she immediately recovered her again. Warren affirming she felt something soft in her hand (her Eyes then being first shut) which revived her very heart. Warren being asked what the Reason was she could not Come to touch Soams affirmed she saw the apparition of Somes come from her Body, and would meet her, and thrust her with Vialunce back again, not suffring her to Come near her -- Sometimes Soams, would say it was Distraction in talking she would often Laugh, upon which Laughing the aflicted person would presently fal into a fitt. Soams being asked whether she thought this was Witchcraft or whether there were any Witches in the world, answered she did not know anything but said itt was the Enemy or some other Wicked person or the Enemy himself that forces persons to afflict her att this time, presently this Warren fell into a trance comeing out of which she affirmed that Soams told her in the Prime of her trance that she would thrust an Awl into her very heart and would kil her this night. Soams could never cast her Eye upon Warren, but immediately she struck her down, and one time she affirmed s'd Soams struck her such a Blow as almost killed, which made the s'd Warren break out into abundance of tears. Soams being Charged with it, instead of bewailing itt Broke forth into Laughter. Warren being also afflicted by the [wringing] of her mouth after a strange and prodigious manner, Soams being Commanded to look upon her in that fit, premptorily answered she would not. Soams being by him ordered to turn her face about to look on the afflicted, which being accordingly done she shut her Eyes Close, and would not look on her being then ordered to touch her She did and immediately Warren Recovered, which no sooner done but Soams opened her Eyes and looked on the afflicted; and struck her into another most dreadful and horible fit, and in this manner she practised her Witchcrafts several times before the Court. Mary Warren Looking on her affirmed this to be the very woman that had so often afflicted her dureing the Examination and Charged her with it to her face. sometimes dureing the Examination Soams would put her oun foot behind her other leg, and immediately Warrens Legs would be Crossed and that it was impossible for the strongest man there to [uncrosst] them, without Breaking her Leggs, as was seen by many present After this Examination Warren says the apparition of Proctor , Nurse and Burroughs , that appeared before her, and Burroughs bitt her which bite was seen by many. Also Burroughs att the same time appeared to Margaret Jacobs who was then present, and told her as Jacobs affirmed, that her Grandfather would be hanged Upon which the s'd Jacobs wept. it was also observed by the Rev'd Mr Noyse , that after the needle was taken away from Soams, that Warren was neither bit. not pinched by the s'd Soams, but [pincht] so dreadfully on her throght that she cryed out she was almost killed.

( Suffolk Court Records Case No. 2703 Page 25 )


(Mary Warren v. Abigail Somes )

The Deposition of Mary Warren who Testifieth & saith that Abigaill Somes of Gloster hath often aflickted mee by bitting pricking & pinching of mee & halling me about under the Table & s'd Somes s'd she had been bed Riden a twelvmoneth or their about & that she had never been out in the Day time [in that] time but had been very often abroad in the night & when she was sent for to the village, I see her Aflict Ann Putnam & Mary walcot

owned before the Grand Jury upon the oath she had taken Jan'y 6'th 1692

Attests. *Robert Payne , foreman:

( Suffolk Court Records -- Case No. 2703 Page 25 )


(Indictment v. Abigail Somes )

Essex in the Province of the Massathusetts Bay in New Eng'd//

Anno R R's & Reginae Gulielmi & Mariae Angliae &c Quarto Annoq'e Do[mbar ]i: 1692

The Jurors For Our Sovereign Lord & Lady the King & Queen doe present that Abigaill Soames of Salem Late of Glosster in the County of Essex Singlewoman upon the thirteenth Day of May in the yeare afores'd & Divers other Dayes & times as well before as after Certain Detestable arts Called Witchcrafts & sorceries Wickedly and felloniously hath used practised and Exiercised att & in the Towne of Salem in the County of Essex afores'd in upon & against One Mary Warren of Salem Single Woman by which Said Wicked acts the Said Mary Warren the day & yeare afores'd and Divers other Dayes & Times both before & after was & is Consumed Pined Wasted & Tormented Against the peace of Our Sovereign Lord & Lady the King & Queen Thier Crowne & Dignity & The Laws in that Case made and provided.

Witnesses

Mary Warren

Mary Walcott

Eli. Hubbard

(Reverse) Ignoramus

*Robert. Payne

Foreman

( Suffolk Court Records -- Case No. 2703 Page 25 )