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Salem Witchcraft Papers

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SWP No. 5.1

(Examination of Nehemiah Abbott, Jr. )

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[April 22, 1692 ]

The examination of Nehemiah Abbot , at a court at Salem village,
by John Hawthorne and Jonathan Corwin Esqrs. 22nd April 1692 .

What say you, are you guilty of witchcraft, of which you are sus-
pected , or not? No Sir, I say before God, before whom I stand, that
I know nothing of witchcraft. Who is this man? Ann Putman named
him. -- Mary Walcot said she had seen his shape. What do you say to
this? I never did hurt them. Who hurt you Ann Putman ? That man.
I never hurt her. Ann Putman said, he is upon the beam. Just such a
discovery of the person carried out, and she confessed; and if you
would find mercy of God, you must confess. -- If I should confess
this, I must confess what is false. Tell how far you have gone, who
hurts you? I do not know, I am absolutely free. As you say, God
knows. If you will confess the truth, we desire nothing else that you
may not hide you guilt, if you are guilty, and therefore confess if so.
I speak before God that I am clear from this accusation. What, in all
respects? Yes in all respects. Doth this man hurt you? Their mouths
were stopped. You hear several accuse you, though one cannot open
her mouth. I am altogether free. Charge him not unless it be he. This
is the man say some, and some say he is very like him. How did you
know his name? He did not tell me himself, but other witches told
me. Ann Putman said, it is the same man, and then she was taken with
a fit. Mary Walcot , is this the man? He is like him, I cannot say it is
he. Mercy Lewis said it is not the man. They all agreed, the man had
a bunch on his eyes. Ann Putman , in a fit, said, be you the man? ay,
do you say you be the man? did you put a mist before my eyes?
Then he was sent forth till several others were examined. When he was
brought in again, by reason of much people, and many in the win-
dows so that the accusers could not have a clear view of him, he was
ordered to be abroad, and the accusers to go forth to him and view
him in the light, which they did, and in the presence of the magis-
trates and many others discoursed quietly with him, one and all
acquitting him, but yet said he was like that man, but he had not the
wen they saw in his apparition, Note, he was a hilly faced man and
stood shaded by reason of his own hair, so that for a time he seemed
to some by-standers and observers, to be considerably like the person
the afflicted did describe.

Mr. Samuel Parris , being desired to take in writing the examina-
tion of Nehemiah Abbot , hath delivered it as aforesaid, and upon
hearing the same did see cause to dismiss him.