# 2.9: Cotton Mather (1663-1728)

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## Introduction

Born in Boston in 1663, Cotton Mather was the son of Increase Mather and the grandson of Richard Mather and John Cotton. This legacy of famous Puritan ministers and community leaders shaped Mather’s life and was the driving force behind many of his achievements. Encouraged in his early education and dedication to Puritanism by his father, he entered Harvard at age 12 and graduated with a BA and MA in 1678 at the age of 15. Ordained in 1685, he became the pastor of Second Church of Boston where he remained until his death. Often viewed as an aggressive, vain genius by his contemporaries, he had a stutter from childhood to early adulthood and suffered from various nervous conditions in his life. He lost three wives to death or insanity in his lifetime, and of the fifteen children he fathered only two survived to his death. Despite tragedies and controversy, he published over 400 works in his lifetime and is today seen as one of the most influential religious and historical writers from the seventeenth-century Puritan community.

Mather’s prolific writing career was matched by his willingness to explore all issues he felt impacted his Puritan community. He was a minister, historian, natural scientist, and prolific writer. He openly criticized the slave trade and encouraged the new science of smallpox inoculation while simultaneously endorsing the use of spectral evidence in trials of witchcraft and encouraging the mass destruction of the Native American population in New England. He was vilified later in his life for his endorsement of the Salem Witch Trials, although he did not personally participate in the proceedings. His writing, both historical and religious, hearkened back to the Puritan underpinnings of New England and worked to preserve Puritan theocracy in a community he viewed as becoming more concerned with secular political and social issues. More stylistically ornate than many of his contemporaries, Mather’s writing was also consistently thoughtful and effective in its use of rhetoric. No matter the subject, Mather showed a vast knowledge and deft use of language in all his work. Like previous authors in this anthology, such as William Bradford and John Winthrop, his Puritanism dominates his writing, and his admiration and reverence for such early colonial leaders is echoed throughout his life and writing.

The following excerpts come from two of his works, Wonders of the Invisible World and Decennium Luctuosum. Wonders of the Invisible World, first published in 1693, is Mather’s infamous defense of the Salem Witch Trials. During these trials, which lasted from February 1692 to May 1693 in the towns of Salem Town, Salem Village, Ipswich, and Andover in the Massachusetts colony, one hundred forty-four people were brought before the court, fifty-four confessed to witchcraft, nineteen were hanged, one man was pressed to death by heavy stones, and two dogs were executed — the community lived in fear. In his recounting and justification of the trials, trials he never attended, Mather gathered material from the court records available to systematically prove both the deeds of the Devil and God’s triumph in a court of law in New England while also asserting his right to speak on such matters and defending his position during the trials. The work examines the supernatural as reality, and it reveals anxieties over continued Puritan identification as God’s chosen people and a holy community to emulate. Mather, like many third generation New England residents, looked to such events to show God’s simultaneous displeasure and favor, and he relied on rhetorical argument structures, logical assertions based on contemporary belief, and the use of Biblical tropes and allusions to establish a narrative of affliction and triumph for his community. However, for Mather this triumph was short-lived. Community backlash condemning the trials began at the turn of the century, and much of Mather’s loss in popularity is attributed to the writing of this text in particular. In Decennium Luctuosum, Mather again turns to the justification of recent history, although the subject matter is less religious in nature. Recounting the war with Native Americans that raged in New England from 1688 to 1698, this history presents causes, justifications, and “remarkable occurrences” from this period in American colonialism. While it does attempt to present causes for the war from both sides, the excerpt here shows the way many English writers often portrayed Native Americans as murderous savages. It is filled with animalistic language used to demean Native Americans for its English audience, and offers a perspective not only into the historical events covered, but the English view of Native Americans in the late seventeenth century. In addition to representations of Native Americans, this excerpt also highlights the intelligence and rhetorical skill of Mather, who uses ancient and contemporary literary allusions throughout to cement his scholarly ethos to establish his reliability and knowledge for an audience of well-read and educated Puritans.
Cotton Mather

### Full Text

Wonders of the Invisible World: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/etas/19/

## Wonders of the Invisible World: Author’s Defense

‘Tis, as I remember, the learned Scribonius who reports that one of his acquaintance, devotedly making his prayers on behalf of a person molested by evil spirts, received from these evil spirits a horrible blow over the face: And I may myself expect not few or small buffetings from evil spirits for the endeavors wherewith I am now going to encounter them. I am far from insensible that at this extraordinary time of the Devil’s coming down in great wrath upon us there are too many tongues and hearts thereby set on fire of hell that the various opinions about the witchcraft which of later time have troubled us are maintained by some with so much cloudy fury as if they could never be sufficiently stated unless written in the liquor wherewith witches use to write their covenants; and that he who becomes an author at such a time had need be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear. The unaccountable forwardness, asperity, untreatableness, and inconsistency of many persons every day gives a visible exposition of that passage, “An evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul,” and illustration of that story, “There met him two possessed with devils, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.” To send abroad a book among such Readers were a very unadvised thing if a man had not such reasons to give as I can bring for such an undertaking. Briefly, I hope it cannot be said “They are all so:” No, I hope the body of this people are yet in such a temper as to be capable of applying their thoughts to make a right use of the stupendous and prodigious things that are happening among us. And because I was concerned when I saw no abler hand emitted any essays to engage the minds of this people in such holy, pious, fruitful improvements as God would have to be made of His amazing dispensations now upon us, therefore it is that one of the least among the children of New England has here done what is done. None but the Father who sees in secret knows the heartbreaking exercises wherewith I have composed what is now going to be exposed, lest I should in any one thing miss of doing my designed service to His glory, and for His people; But I am now somewhat comfortably assured of His favorable acceptance; and, I will not fear; what can a Satan do unto me!

Having performed something of what God required in laboring to suit His words with His works, at this day among us, and therewithal handled a theme that has been sometimes counted not unworthy the pen even of a king, it will easily be perceived that some subordinate ends have been considered in these endeavors.

I have indeed set myself to countermine the whole plot of the Devil against New England, in every branch of it, as far as one of my darkness can comprehend such a work of darkness. I may add that I have herein also aimed at the information and satisfaction of good men in another country a thousand leagues off, where I have, it may be, more, or however more considerable, friends than in my own; And I do what I can to have that country now, as well as always, in the best terms with my own. But while I am doing these things, I have been driven to do a little something likewise for myself; I mean, by taking off the false reports and hard censures about my opinions in these matters, the parters portion which my pursuit of peace has procured me among the keen. My hitherto unvaried thoughts are here published; and I believe they will be owned by most of the ministers of God in these colonies: not can amends be made me for the wrong done me by other sorts of representations.

In fine, for the dogmatical part of my discourse, I want no defense; for the historical part of it, I have a very great one. The Lieutenant Governor of New England, having perused it, has done me the honor of giving me shield under the umbrage whereof I now dare to walk abroad.

“The Trial of Martha Carrier at The Court of Oyer and Terminer, Held by Adjournment at Salem, August 2, 1692”

I. Martha Carrier was indicted for the bewitching of certain persons, according to the form usual in such cases. Pleading not guilty to her indictment; there were first brought in a considerable number of the bewitched persons who not only made the court sensible of an horrid witchcraft committed upon them, but also deposed that it was Martha Carrier, or her shape, that grievously tormented them, by biting, pricking, pinching and choking of them. It was further deposed that while this Carrier was on her examination before the magistrates, the poor people were so tortured that every one expected their death upon the very spot, but that upon the binding of Carrier they were eased. Moreover the look of Carrier then laid the afflicted people for dead; and her touch, if her eye at the same time were off them, raised them again. Which things were also now seen upon her trial. And it was testified that upon the mention of some having their necks twisted almost round, by the shape of this Carrier, she replied, “It’s no matter though their necks had been twisted quite off.”

II. Before the trial of this prisoner, several of her own children had frankly and fully confessed not only that they were witches themselves, but that this their mother had made them so. This confession they made with great shows of repentance, and with much demonstration of truth. They related place, time, occasion; they gave an account of journeys, meetings and mischiefs by them performed, and were very credible in what they said. Nevertheless, this evidence was not produced against the prisoner at the bar, inasmuch as there was other evidence enough to proceed upon.

III. Benjamin Abbot gave in his testimony that last March was a twelvemonth, this Carrier was very angry with him, upon laying out some land near her husband’s: her expressions in this anger were that she would stick as close to Abbot as the bark stuck to the tree; and that he should repent of it afore seven years came to an end, so as Doctor Prescot should never cure him. These words were heard by others besides Abbot himself; who also heard her say, she would hold his nose as close to the grindstone as ever it was held since his name was Abbot. Presently after this, he was taken with a swelling in his foot, and then with a pain in his side, and exceedingly tormented. It bred into a sore, which was lanced by Doctor Prescot, and several gallons of corruption ran out of it. For six weeks it continued very bad, and then another sore bred in his groin, which was also lanced by Doctor Prescot. Another sore than bred in his groin, which was likewise cut, and put him to very great misery: he was brought unto death’s door, and so remained until Carrier was taken, and carried away by the constable, from which very day he began to mend, and so grew better every day, and is well ever since.

Sarah Abbot also, his wife, testified that her husband was not only all this while afflicted in his body, but also that strange, extraordinary and unaccountable calamities befell his cattle; their death being such as they could guess at no natural reason for.

IV. Allin Toothaker testified that Richard, the son of Martha Carrier, having some difference with him, pulled him down by the hair of the head. When he rose again he was going to strike at Richard Carrier but fell down flat on his back to the ground, and had not power to stir hand or foot, until he told Carrier he yielded; and then he saw the shape of Martha Carrier go off his breast.

This Toothaker had received a wound in the wars; and he now testified that Martha Carrier told him he should never be cured. Just afore the apprehending of Carrier, he could thrust a knitting needle into his wound four inches deep; but presently after her being seized, he was thoroughly healed.

He further testified that when Carrier and he some times were at variance, she would clap her hands at him, and say he should get nothing by it; whereupon he several times lost his cattle, by strange deaths, whereof no natural causes could be given.

V. John Rogger also testified that upon the threatening words of this malicious Carrier, his cattle would be strangely bewitched; as was more particularly then described.

VI. Samuel Preston testified that about two years ago, having some difference with Martha Carrier, he lost a cow in a strange, preternatural, unusual manner; and about a month after this, the said Carrier, having again some difference with him, she told him he had lately lost a cow, and it should not be long before he lost another; which accordingly came to pass; for he had a thriving and well-kept cow, which without any known cause quickly fell down and died.

VII. Phebe Chandler testified that about a fortnight before the apprehension of Martha Carrier, on a Lordsday, while the Psalm was singing in the Church, this Carrier then took her by the shoulder and shaking her, asked her, where she lived: she made her no answer, although as Carrier, who lived next door to her father’s house, could not in reason but know who she was. Quickly after this, as she was at several times crossing the fields, she heard a voice, that she took to be Martha Carrier’s, and it seemed as if it was over her head. The voice told her she should within two or three days be poisoned. Accordingly, within such a little time, one half of her right hand became greatly swollen and very painful; as also part of her face: whereof she can give no account how it came. It continued very bad for some days; and several times since she has had a great pain in her breast; and been so seized on her legs that she has hardly been able to go. She added that lately, going well to the house of God, Richard, the son of Martha Carrier, looked very earnestly upon her, and immediately her hand, which had formerly been poisoned, as is abovesaid, began to pain her greatly, and she had a strange burning at her stomach; but was then struck deaf, so that she could not hear any of the prayer, or singing, till the two or three last words of the Psalm.

VIII. One Foster, who confessed her own share in the witchcraft for which the prisoner stood indicted, affirmed that she had seen the prisoner at some of their witch-meetings, and that it was this Carrier, who perusaded her to be a witch. She confessed that the Devil carried them on a pole to a witch-meeting; but the pole broke, and she hanging about Carrier’s neck, they both fell down, and she then received an hurt by the fall, whereof she was not at this very time recovered.

IX. One Lacy, who likewise confessed her share in this witchcraft, now testified, that she and the prisoner were once bodily present at a witch-meeting in Salem Village; and that she knew the prisoner to be a witch, and to have been at a diabolical sacrament, and that the prisoner was the undoing of her and her children by enticing them into the snare of the devil.

X. Another Lacy, who also confessed her share in this witchcraft, now testified, that the prisoner was at the witch-meeting, in Salem Village, where they had bread and wine administered unto them.

XI. In the time of this prisoner’s trial, one Susanna Sheldon in open court had her hands unaccountably tied together with a wheel-band so fast that without cutting it, it could not be loosed: it was done by a specter; and the sufferer affirmed it was the prisoner’s.

Memorandum. This rampant hag, Martha Carrier, was a person of whom the confessions of the witches, and of her own children among the rest, agreed that the devil had promised her she should be Queen of Hell.

Cotton Mather

Decennium Luctuosum

## Author’s Introduction

Decennium Luctuosum

AN HISTORY OF Remarkable Occurrences, In the Long War, Which NEW-ENGLAND hath had with the Indian Savages, From the Year 1688 to the Year 1698. Faithfully Composed and Improved.

Infandum, — Jubes Renovare Dolorem[1]

### INTRODUCTION.

Twenty-three years have rolled away since the Nations of Indians within the confines of New England, generally began a fierce war, upon the English inhabitants of that country. The flame of war then raged through a great part of the country, whereby many whole towns were laid in ashes, and many lives were sacrificed. But in little more than one year’s time, the United Colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and with their united endeavors, bravely conquered the savage. The evident hand of heaven appearing on the side of a people whose hope and help was alone in the Almighty Lord of Hosts, extinguished whole nations of the savages at such a rate, that there can hardly any of them now be found under any distinction upon the face of the Earth. Only, the face of our northern and eastern regions in that war, was very distinct from that of the rest. The desolations of the war had overwhelmed all the settlements to the northeast of Wells. And when the time arrived, that all hands were weary of the war, a sort of peace was patched up, which left a body of Indians not only with horrible murders unrevenged, but also, in the possession of no little part of the country with circumstances which the English might think not very honorable. Upon this peace, the English returned unto their plantations; their number increased; they stocked their farms, and sow’d their fields; they found the air as healthful, as the earth was fruitful; their lumber and their fishery became a considerable merchandize; continual accessions were made unto them, until ten or a dozen towns, in the province of Maine, and the county of Cornwall, were suddenly started up into something of observation.

But in the year 1688 the Indians which dwelt after the Indian manner among them, commenced another war upon these plantations, which hath broke them up, and strangely held us in play for ten years together. In these ten years, there hath been a variety of remarkable occurrences; and because I have supposed that a relation of those occurrences may be acceptable and profitable to some of my countrymen, I shall now with all faithfulness endeavour it. With all faithfulness, I say; because tho’ there should happen any circumstantial mistake in our story, (for ’tis a rare thing for any two men, concerned in the same action to give the story of it, without some circumstantial difference) yet even this also I shall be willing to retract and correct, if there be found any just occasion: But for any one material error, in the whole composure, I challenge the most sagacious malice upon Earth to detect it while minds are yet too fresh as to allow the detection of it. I disdain to make the apology, once made by the Roman historian; “Nemo Historicus non aliquid mentitus, et habiturus sum mendaciorum Comites, quos Historiae et eloquentiae miramur Authores.”[2] No, I will write with an irreproachable and incontestable veracity; and I will write not one thing, but what I am furnished with so good authority for, that any reasonable man, who will please to examine it, shall say, I do well to insert it as I do: And I will hope, that my Reader hath not been studying of Godefridus de Valle’s book, De Arte Nihil Credendi; about the art of believing nothing. Wherefore, having at the very beginning thus given such a knock upon thy head, O malice, that thou canst never with reason hiss at our history, we will proceed unto the several articles of it.

## ARTICLE. I. The Occasion and Beginning of the War

IF Diodorus Siculus had never given it as a great rule of history, “Historiae primum Studium, primaria{que} consideratio esse videtur, insoliti gravis{que} Casus principio causas investigare,”[3] yet my Reader would have expected that I should begin the history of our war, with an history of the occurrences and occasions which did begin the war. Now, Reader, I am at the very first fallen upon a difficult point; and I am in danger of pulling a war upon myself, by endeavoring of thy satisfaction. In truth, I had rather be called a coward than undertake myself to determine the truth in this matter: but having armed myself with some good authority for it, I will transcribe two or three reports of the matter, now in my hands, and leave it to thy own determination.

One account, I have now lying by me, written by a gentleman of Dover; in these Terms:

“The Eastern Indians, and especially those of Saco, and Ammonoscoggin, pretend many reasons, for the late quarrel against the English, which began this long and bloody war.

1. Because the English refused to pay that yearly tribute of corn agreed upon in the Articles of Peace formerly concluded with them by the English Commissioners.

2. Because they were invaded in their fishery at Saco River by certain gentlemen, who stopped the fish from coming up the river with their nets and sains. This they were greatly affronted at; saying, they thought (though the English had got away their lands as they had, yet) the fishery of the rivers had been a privilege reserved entire unto themselves.

3. Because they were abused by the English in suffering, if not turning, their cattle over to a certain island to destroy their corn.

4. But the fourth, and main, provocation was the granting or patenting of their lands to the English; at which they were greatly enraged; threatening the surveyor, to knock him on the head, if he came to lay out any lands there.

5. To these may be added the common abuses in trading; viz. drunkenness, meaning, etc. which such as trade much with Indians are seldom innocent of.”

Doubtless, these Indian allegations may be answered with many English vindications. But I shall at present intermeddle no further in order to offer another account, which also I have in my hands, written by a gentleman.

It runs in such terms as these:

It will be readily acknowledged that here was enough done to render the Indians inexcusable for not coming in upon the proclamation, which Sir Edmond Andros, then Governor of New England, immediately emitted thereupon, requiring them to surrender the murderers now among them. A Spaniard that was a soldier would say that if we have a good cause, the smell of gunpowder in the field is as sweet as the incense at the altar. Let the Reader judge after these things what scent there was in the gunpowder spent for nine or ten years together in our war with the Indian savages.

Now, that while we are upon this head, we may at once dispatch it, I will unto these two Accounts add certain passages of one more; which was published in September 1689.

“Such were the obscure measures taken at that time of day, that the rise of this war, hath been as dark as that of the River Nilus; only the generality of thinking people through the country can remember when, and why, everyone did foretell a war. If any wild English (for there are such as well as of another nation) did then begin to provoke and affront the Indians, yet those Indians had a fairer way to come by right than that of bloodshed; nothing worthy of, or calling for, any such revenge was done unto them. The most injured of them all (if there were any such) were afterwards dismissed by the English with favors that were then admirable even to ourselves; and these too, instead of surrendering the persons, did increase the numbers of the murderers. But upon the revolution of the government [April 1689] the state of the war became wholly new: and we are more arrived unto righteousness as the light, and justice as the noon day. A great sachem of the east, we then immediately applied ourselves unto, and with no small expenses to ourselves, we engaged him to employ his interest for a good understanding between us and the party of Indians then in hostility against us. This was likely the only way of coming at those wandering savages: But that very sachem, now treacherously, of an ambassador became a traitor, and annexed himself, with his people, to the heart of our enemies, which have since been ravaging, pillaging, and murdering at a rate which we ought to count intolerable. The Penacook Indians, of whom we were jealous, we likewise treated with; and while we were by our kindnesses and courtesies endeavoring to render them utterly inexcusable if ever they sought our harm, even then did these also, by some evil instigation (the Devils, no doubt!) quickly surprise a plantation, where they had been civilly treated a day or two before, and commit at once more plunder and murder than can be heard with any patience.”

Reader, having so placed these three accounts as to defend my teeth, I think I may safely proceed with our story. But because Tacitus teaches us to distinguish between the mere occasions and the real causes of a war, it may be some will go a little higher up in their enquiries. They will enquire, whether nobody seized a parcel of wines that were landed at a French plantation to the Eastward? Whether an order were not obtained from the King of England, at the instance of the French Ambassador, to restore these wines? Whether upon the vexation of this order, we none of us sent new line for the bounds of the province? Whether we did not contrive our new line, so as to take in the country of Monsieur St. Casteen? Whether Monsieur St. Casteen, flying from our encroachments, we did not seize upon his arms, and goods, and bring them away to Pemmaquid? And, who were the we which did these things? And whether, the Indians, who were extremely under the influence of St. Casteen, that had married a Sagamore’s daughter among them, did not from this very moment begin to be obstreperous? And, whether all the sober English in the country did not from this very moment foretell a war? But for any answer to all these enquiries, I will be myself a Tacitus.

## THE TRIAL OF MARTHA CARRIER AT THE COURT OF OYER AND TERMINER, SALEM, AUGUST 2, 1692

Martha Carrier was Indicted for the bewitching certain Persons, according to the Form usual in such Cases, pleading Not Guilty, to her Indictment; there were first brought in a considerable number of the bewitched Persons; who not only made the Court sensible of an horrid Witchcraft committed upon them, but also deposed, That it was Martha Carrier, or her Shape, that grievously tormented them, by Biting, Pricking, Pinching and Choaking of them. It was further deposed, That while this Carrier was on her Examination, before the Magistrates, the Poor People were so tortured that every one expected their Death upon the very spot, but that upon the[Pg 155] binding of Carrier they were eased. Moreover the Look of Carrier then laid the Afflicted People for dead; and her Touch, if her Eye at the same time were off them, raised them again: Which Things were also now seen upon her Tryal. And it was testified, That upon the mention of some having their Necks twisted almost round, by the Shape of this Carrier, she replyed, Its no matter though their Necks had been twisted quite off.

II. Before the Trial of this Prisoner, several of her own Children had frankly and fully confessed, not only that they were Witches themselves, but that this their Mother had made them so. This Confession they made with great Shews of Repentance, and with much Demonstration of Truth. They related Place, Time, Occasion; they gave an account of Journeys, Meetings and Mischiefs by them performed, and were very credible in what they said. Nevertheless, this Evidence was not produced against the Prisoner at the Bar, inasmuch as there was other Evidence enough to proceed upon.

III. Benjamin Abbot gave his Testimony, That last March was a twelvemonth, this Carrier was very angry with him, upon laying out some Land, near her Husband’s: Her Expressions in this Anger, were, That she would stick as close to Abbot as the Bark stuck to the Tree; and that he should repent of it afore seven Years came to an End, so as Doctor Prescot should never cure him. These Words were heard by others besides Abbot himself; who also heard her say, She would hold his Nose as close to the Grindstone as ever it was held since his Name was Abbot. Presently after this, he was taken with a Swelling in his[Pg 156] Foot, and then with a Pain in his Side, and exceedingly tormented. It bred into a Sore, which was launced by Doctor Prescot, and several Gallons of Corruption ran out of it. For six Weeks it continued very bad, and then another Sore bred in the Groin, which was also lanced by Doctor Prescot. Another Sore then bred in his Groin, which was likewise cut, and put him to very great Misery: He was brought unto Death’s Door, and so remained until Carrier was taken, and carried away by the Constable, from which very Day he began to mend, and so grew better every Day, and is well ever since.

Sarah Abbot also, his Wife, testified, That her Husband was not only all this while Afflicted in his Body, but also that strange extraordinary and unaccountable Calamities befel his Cattel; their Death being such as they could guess at no Natural Reason for.

IV. Allin Toothaker testify’d, That Richard, the son of Martha Carrier, having some difference with him, pull’d him down by the Hair of the Head. When he Rose again, he was going to strike at Richard Carrier; but fell down flat on his Back to the ground, and had not power to stir hand or foot, until he told Carrier he yielded; and then he saw the shape of Martha Carrier, go off his breast.

This Toothaker, had Received a wound in the Wars; and he now testify’d, that Martha Carrier told him, He should never be Cured. Just afore the Apprehending of Carrier, he could thrust a knitting Needle into his wound, four inches deep; but presently after her being siezed, he was throughly healed.

He further testify’d, that when Carrier and he some[Pg 157]times were at variance, she would clap her hands at him, and say, He should get nothing by it; whereupon he several times lost his Cattle, by strange Deaths, whereof no natural causes could be given.

V. John Rogger also testifyed, That upon the threatning words of this malicious Carrier, his Cattle would be strangely bewitched; as was more particularly then described.

VI. Samuel Preston testify’d, that about two years ago, having some difference with Martha Carrier, he lost a Cow in a strange Preternatural unusual manner; and about a month after this, the said Carrier, having again some difference with him, she told him; He had lately lost a Cow, and it should not be long before he lost another; which accordingly came to pass; for he had a thriving and well-kept Cow, which without any known cause quickly fell down and dy’d.

VII. Phebe Chandler testify’d, that about a Fortnight before the apprehension of Martha Carrier, on a Lords-day, while the Psalm was singing in the Church, this Carrier then took her by the shoulder and shaking her, asked her, where she lived: she made her no Answer, although as Carrier, who lived next door to her Fathers House, could not in reason but know who she was. Quickly after this, as she was at several times crossing the Fields, she heard a voice, that she took to be Martha Carriers, and it seem’d as if it was over her head. The voice told her, she should within two or three days be poisoned. Accordingly, within such a little time, one half of her right hand, became greatly swollen, and very painful; as also part of her Face; whereof she can give no account how[Pg 158] it came. It continued very bad for some dayes; and several times since, she has had a great pain in her breast; and been so siezed on her leggs, that she has hardly been able to go. She added, that lately, going well to the House of God, Richard, the son of Martha Carrier, look’d very earnestly upon her, and immediately her hand, which had formerly been poisoned, as is abovesaid, began to pain her greatly, and she had a strange Burning at her stomach; but was then struck deaf, so that she could not hear any of the prayer, or singing, till the two or three last words of the Psalm.

VIII. One Foster, who confessed her own share in the Witchcraft for which the Prisoner stood indicted, affirm’d, that she had seen the prisoner at some of their Witch-meetings, and that it was this Carrier, who perswaded her to be a Witch. She confessed, that the Devil carry’d them on a pole, to a Witch-meeting; but the pole broke, and she hanging about Carriers neck, they both fell down, and she then received an hurt by the Fall, whereof she was not at this very time recovered.

IX. One Lacy, who likewise confessed her share in this Witchcraft, now testify’d, that she and the prisoner were once Bodily present at a Witch-meeting in Salem Village; and that she knew the prisoner to be a Witch, and to have been at a Diabolical sacrament, and that the prisoner was the undoing of her, and her Children, by enticing them into the snare of the Devil.

X. Another Lacy, who also confessed her share in this Witchcraft, now testify’d, that the prisoner was at the Witch-meeting, in Salem Village, where they had Bread and Wine Administred unto them.[Pg 159]

XI. In the time of this prisoners Trial, one Susanna Sheldon, in open Court had her hands Unaccountably ty’d together with a Wheel-band, so fast that without cutting, it could not be loosed: It was done by a Spectre; and the Sufferer affirm’d, it was the Prisoners.

Memorandum. This Rampant Hag, Martha Carrier, was the person, of whom the Confessions of the Witches, and of her own Children among the rest, agreed, That the Devil had promised her, she should be Queen of Heb.

1. A partial quote from Virgil’s Aeneid – “A grief too great to be told [o Queen] you bid me renew.”
2. Translation – “The historian did not say a lie, and if there are lies in this I will have the company of those who admire the authors of history and eloquence.”
3. Translation – “When first studying history, the primary consideration seems to be the unusually grave case that first caused the study.”

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