SWP No. 026: Sarah Carrier
(See also: Stephen Johnson -- Recognizance .)
(Examination of Sarah Carrier, Copy )
[+August 11, 1692. ]
Sarah Carrier being accused of witchcraft Confeseth as followeth that she hath been a witch Ever Since She was Six years Old that her Moth'r brought a red book to her and She touched it that her Moth'r Baptiz'd her in Andrew fostters pauster [= pasture] the day before She went to prison & that her Moth'r promised her she should not be hanged that her Mother taught her how to afflicte persons by pinching them or Setting on them that She began to afflict Sarah Phelps last Satterdy & that Betty Johnson was w'th her that her Moth'r gave her a Spear last Night & that She pricked Sarah Phelps & Ann Puttnam w'th it.
(Margin, right side) Sarah Carrier
( Essex Institute Collection, no. 24-5v, James Duncan Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.)
[The following text appears in a full transcription of the above document published in the [Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society], Third Seriees, vol. 1 (1825) taken from the original manuscript which has not been located.]
I Thought it meet to give you this broken account, hoping it may be of
some service. I am wholly unacquainted with affairs of this nature neither have
the benefit of books for forms &c. but being unadvisedly entered upon service I
am wholly unfit for, beg that my ignorance and failings may be as much covered
as conveniently may be; which will ever be acknowledged by
Your poor and unworthy servant,
I know not whether to make any returns. Bonds I have taken. The custos rotulorum I know not, &c.
To the Honoured Bartholomew Gedney, John Hathorne, Esq., or any of their Majesties’ Justices of the Peace
in Salem these humbly present.
(Essex Institute Collection, no. 24, 5v, James Duncan Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.)
(Examination of Sarah Carrier .)
[August 11, 1692]
Sarah Carrier's confesstion Aug. 11th, 1696 [corrected 1692].
It was asked Sarah Carrier by the Magistrates or Justices John Hawthorne Esq; and others: How long hast thou been a witch? A. Ever since I was six years old. Q. How old are you now? A. Near eight years old, brother Richard says, I shall be eight years old in November next. Q. Who made you a witch? A. My mother, she made me set my hand to a book. Q. How did you set your hand to it? A. I touched it with my fingers and the book was red, the paper of it was white. She said she never had seen the black man; the place where she did it was in Andrew Foster's pasture and Elizabeth Johnson junr. was there. Being asked who was there beside, she answered her Aunt Toothaker and her cousin. Being asked when it was, she said, when she was baptized. Q. What did they promise to give you? A. A black dog. Q. Did the dog ever come to you? A. No. Q. But you said you saw a cat once. What did that say to you? A. It said it would tear me in pieces if I would not set my hand to the book. She said her mother baptized her, and the devil or black man was not there, as she saw, and her mother said when she baptized her, thou are mine for ever and ever and amen. Q. How did you afflict folks? A. I pinched them, and she said she had no puppets, but she went to them that she afflicted. Being asked whether she went in her body or her spirit, she said in her spirit. She said her mother carried her thither to afflict. Q. How did your mother carry you when she was in prison? A. She came like a black cat. Q. How did you know that it was your mother? A. The cat told me so that she was my mother. She said she afflicted Phelp's child last saturday, and Elizabeth Johnson joined with her to do it. She had a wooden spear, about as long as her finger, of Elizabeth Johnson, and she had it of the devil. She would not own that she had ever been at the witch meeting at the village. This is the substance.
( Thomas Hutchinson, The History of the Province of Massachusetts-Bay, vol. 2, ed. Lawrence Shaw Mayo. (Harvard University Press, 1936). p. 34.)