Transcription Updates

Bernard Rosenthal
Binghamton University

Selected errors so far noted in Salem Witchcraft Papers continued:

10. Much confusion and inaccurate attribution has occurred in confusing Bridget Bishop with Sarah Bishop. In an entry from SWP, I, 95-97, Sarah Bishop is incorrectly identified as Bridget Bishop. For clarification of this complex identification problem, see David L. Greene, "Salem Witches I: Bridget Bishop," American Genealogist, vol. 57, no. 3 (July 1981), pp. 129-138. See also by Greene corrections to this essay, "Bridget Bishop Correction," American Genealogist, vol. 58, no. 3 (July 1982), p. 163. The incorrect entry, which should indicate Sarah rather than Bridget Bishop appears as follows:

(The Rev. John Hale et al. v. Bridget Bishop)

John Hale of Beverly aged about 56 yeares [torn] & saith that about 5 or 6 years ago e Christian the wife of John Trask (living in Salem bounds bordering on the abovesaid Beverly) beeing in full comunion in o'r Church came to me to [de] sier that Goodwife Bishop her Neighb'r wife of Edw: Bishop Jun'r might not be permitted to receive the Lords Supper in our church till she had given her the said Trask satisfaction for some offences that were against her.viz because the said Bishop did entertaine people in her house at unseason-able houres in the night to keep drinking and playing at shovel-board whereby discord did arise in other families & young people were in danger to bee corrupted & that the s'd Trask knew these things & had once gon into the house & fynding some at shovel-board had taken the peices thay played with & thrown them into the fyre & had reprooved the said Bishop for promoting such disorders, But received no satisfaction from her about it.

I gave s'd Christian Trask direction how to proceed farther in this matter if it were clearly prooved And indeed by the information I have had otherwise I doe fear that if a stop had not been putt to those disorders s'd Edw. Bishop's house would have been a house of great prophainness & iniquity.

But as to Christian Trask the next news I heard of her was that she was distracted & asking her husband Trask when she was so taken [he told] mee shee was taken distracted that night after shee [came from] my house when shee complained against Goody Bishop. [continued on page 96]

She continueing some time Distracted wee sought the Lord by fasting & prayer & the Lord was pleased to restore the s'd [Trask] to the use of her reason agen. I was s'th her often in [her] distraction (& took it then to bee only distraction, yet fearing sometimes somw't worse) but since I have seen the fitts of those bewitched at Salem Village I call to mind some of hers to be much like some of theirs.

The said Trask when recovered as I understood it did manifest strong suspicion that shee had been bewitched by the s'd Bishop's wife & showed so much aversness from having any conversation that I was then troubled at it hopeing better of s'd Goody Bishop at that time for wee have since [torn] At length s'd Christian Trask [was] agen in a distracted fit on a Sabboth day in the forenoon at the publ [i]ck meeting to o'r public desturbance & so continued sometimes better sometimes worse unto her death, manifesting that shee under temptation to kill her selfe or somebody else.

I enquired of Marg'rt Ring who kept at or nigh the house, what shee had observed of s'd Trask before this last distraction shee told [mee.] Goody Trask was much given to reading & search the pro-phecys of scrip[ture].

The day before shee made that disturbance in the meeting [house she[e] came home & said shee had been w'th Goody Bishop & that they two were now friend or to that effect.

I was oft praying w'th & councelling of Goody Trask before her death and not many days before her end being there shee seemed more rationall & earnestly desired Edw: Bishop might be sent for that shee might make friends with him, I asked her if shee had wronged Edw. Bishop shee said not that shee knew of unless it were in taking his shovel-board pieces when people were at play w'th them & throwing them into the fyre & if she did evill in it she was very sorry for it & desiered he would be friends with her or forgive her. this was the very day before she dyed, or a few days before. Her distraction (or bewitching) continued about a month and in those intervalls wherein shee was better shee earnestly desired prayers & the Sabboth befere she dyed I received a note for prayers on her behalf w'ch her husband said was written by her selfe & I judge was her owne hand writing beeing well acquainted with her hand.

As to the wounds she dyed of I observed 3 deadly ones; apeice of her wind pipe cutt out. & another wound above that threww the [continued on page 97]

windpipe & Gullet & the veine they call jugular. So that I then judge & still doe apprehend it impossible for her w'th so short a pair of cissars to mangle her selfe so without some extraordinary work of the devill or witchcraft

signed. 20. may 1692 by
*John Hale.
To severall parts of this testimony can wittness Maj'r Gidney. Mr Paris Joseph Hirrek Ju'r & his wife Thomas Raiment & his wife John Traske Marget King, Hanah wife of Cornell Baker, [Miles & others.

As also about the s'd Goody Bishop Capt W'm Raiment, his son W'm Raiment about creatures strangely dying. James Kettle, & the abovs'd Jos: Hirreck & Tho: Raiment about sundry actions that [have] the apearance of witchcraft.
(Reverse) Deposition 16 John Hale

( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 p. 39)

11. In SWP, I, 52 the narrative of John Alden is identified as by John Alden. The same attribution is made by George Lincoln Burr in Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases 1648-1706. However, the author is uncertain. The narrative is written about Alden in the third person, and no surviving evidence suggests that he wrote it. It was possibly written by Robert Calef.

12. SWP, III, 756, reads as follows: The Deposition of Sam: Parris aged about thirty & nine years testifyeth & saith that Eliz: Hubbard were most grevously & severall times tortured during the examination of Sarah Good, Sarah Osburne & Tituba Indian before the Magistrates at Salem Village I. March. 1691/2

The actual manuscript reads:

The Deposition of Sam: Parris aged about thirty & nine years testifyeth & saith that Eliz: Parris junr & Abigail Williams & Ann Putnam junr & Eliz: Hubbard were most grievously & severall times....

On page 61 of Salem Story the age of Richard Carrier is given as 28, based on the transcription in Boyer and Nissenbaum, Salem Witchcraft Papers, Vol. 2, p. 526. Based on the research of Pamela Worden, this age is in error and that Carrier was 18. The transcription in Boyer and Nissenbaum's edition is incorrect. Richard Carrier was 18.

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