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SWP No. 6.3

(Examination of John Alden, as Published by Robert Calef)

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[May, 31, 1692 ]

John Aldin Senior , of Boston, in the County of Suffolk, Mar-
iner , on the 28th Day of May, 1692, was sent for by the Magi-
strates of Salem, in the County of Essex, upon the Accusation of a
company of poor distracted, or possessed Creatures or Witches;
and being sent by Mr. Stoughton , arrived there the 31st of May,
and appeared at Salem-Village, before Mr. Gidney , Mr. Hathorn,
and Mr. Curwin.

Those Wenches being present, who plaid their jugling tricks,
falling down, crying out, and staring in Peoples Faces; the Magi-
strates demanded of them several times, who it was of all the People
in the Room that hurt them? one of these Accusers pointed several
times at one Captain Hill , there present, but spake nothing; the
same Accuser had a Man standing at her back to hold her up; he
stooped down to her Ear, then she cried out, Aldin , Aldin afflicted
her; one of the Magistrates asked her if she had ever seen Aldin ,
she answered no, he asked her how she knew it was Aldin ? She
said, the Man told her so.

Then all were ordered to go down into the Street, where a Ring
was made; and the same Accuser cried out, “there stands Aldin , a
bold fellow with his Hat on before the Judges, he sells Powder and
Shot to the Indians and French, and lies with the Indian Squaes,
and has Indian Papooses.” Then was Aldin committed to the Marshal's
Custody, and his Sword taken from him; for they said he afflicted
them with his Sword. After some hours Aldin was sent for to the
Meeting-house in the Village before the Magistrates; who required
Aldin to stand upon a Chair, to the open view of all the People.

The Accusers cried out that Aldin did pinch them, then, when
he stood upon the Chair, in the sight of all the People, a good way
distant from them, one of the Magistrates bid the Marshal to hold
open Aldin's hands, that he might not pinch those Creatures. Aldin
asked them why they should think that he should come to that
Village to afflict those persons that he never knew or saw before?
Mr. Gidney bid Aldin confess, and give glory to God; Aldin said
he hoped he should give glory to God, and hoped he should never
gratifie the Devil; but appealed to all that ever knew him, if they
ever suspected him to be such a person, and challenged any one,
that could bring in any thing upon their own knowledge, that might
give suspicion of his being such an one. Mr. Gidney said he had
known Aldin many Years, and had been at Sea with him, and al-
ways look'd upon him to be an honest Man, but now he did see cause
to alter his judgment: Aldin answered, he was sorry for that, but
he hoped God would clear up his Innocency, that he would recall
that judgment again, and added that he hoped that he should with
Job maintain his Integrity till he died. They bid Aldin look upon
the Accusers, which he did, and then they fell down. Aldin asked
Mr. Gidney , what Reason there could be given, why Aldin's looking
upon him did not strike him down as well; but no reason was given
that I heard. But the Accusers were brought to Aldin to touch them,
and this touch they said made them well. Aldin began to speak of
the Providence of God in suffering these Creatures to accuse Inno-
cent persons. Mr. Noyes asked Aldin why he would offer to speak of
the Providence of God. God by his Providence (said Mr. Noyes )
governs the World, and keeps it in peace; and so went on with Dis-
course , and stopt Aldin's mouth, as to that. Aldin told Mr. Gidney ,
that he could assure him that there was a lying Spirit in them, for I
can assure you that there is not a word of truth in all these say of
me. But Aldin was again committed to the Marshal, and his Mittimus
written, which was as follows.

( Robert Calef. More Wonders of the Invisible World, Display’d in Five Parts. (London: Nath. Hillard, 1700), pp. 98–100 ).