Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pardoning of Witches

We had a question concerning the pardoning of witches. While researching this question I found out that the Provincial Laws of 1692-1693 2nd session has “An Act Against Conjuration Witchcraft and Dealing with Evil and Wicked Spirits.”

In 1711 by
Chapter 80 of the resolves some people prosecuted for witchcraft received money for damages. Chapter 145 of the Resolves of 1957 relative to the witchcraft trial mentioned “Ann Pudeator and certain other persons.” Chapter 122 of the Acts of 2001 lists Ann Pudeator, Bridget Bishop, Susannah Martin, Alice Parker, Margaret Scott and Wilmot Redd.

A reference librarian at Salem Public Library found a web site that mentions the fact these are the last six people that were absolved of their guilt in being witches.

The State Library has these books and others about the Salem witch trials:
  1. Francis, Richard. Judge Sewall's Apology: the Salem Witch Trials and the Forming of the American Conscience. F67 .S525 2005

  2. Hill, Frances. The Salem Witch Trial Reader. BF 1576 H55

  3. We Walked in Clouds and Could not See our Way. KFM 2478.8 .W5 L43 19984

  4. [Materials Issued by the Salem Witch Trials Tercentenary] State Library Special Collections Souvenir no. 29

*The Dawn of Tolerance in Massachusetts: Public Repentence of Judge Samuel Sewall for his Action in the Witchcraft Trials by Albert Herter, 1942. Mural given to the General Court by Albert Herter and former Governor Christian Herter. It hangs in the House of Representatives chamber.

Naomi Allen
Reference Librarian