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SWP No. 005: Nehemiah Abbott Jr.

(See also: Sarah Wilds -- Warrant .)

SWP No. 5.1

(Examination of Nehemiah Abbott, Jr. )

[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 windows 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 magistrates 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.

John Hawthorne
Jona. Corwin { Assistants.

( Thomas Hutchinson, The History of the Province of Massachusetts-Bay, vol. 2, ed. Lawrence Shaw Mayo. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1936. p. 35. )

Salem Witchcraft Papers