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Salem Witch Trials Timeline


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Salem Witch Trials Timeline - After the Trials

Timeline:  Before 1692 | January 1692 | February 1692 | March 1692 | April 1692 | May 1692 | June 1692 | July 1692 | August 1692 | September 1692 | October 1692 | November/December 1692 | 1693 | The Aftermath

The Aftermath

November 26, 1694: Rev. Samuel Parris apologized to his congregation for his part in the events of 1692 and 1693, but many members remained opposed to his ministry there, and the church conflict continued.

1694?: Philip English began to fight in court for return of his considerable estate after his wife, Mary English, died in childbirth. Sheriff George Corwin had confiscated his property and had not made payments to the English crown as was required, instead likely using the proceeds on English's valuable property for himself.

1695: Nathaniel Saltonstall, the judge who had resigned from the Court of Oyer and Terminer, apparently over the admission of spectral evidence, found himself defeated for reelection to the General Court. William Stoughton was elected with one of the highest vote totals in the same election.

April 3, 1695: Five of six churches met and urged Salem Village to mend their divisions and urged that if they could not do so with Rev. Parris still serving as pastor, that his moving on would not be held against him by other churches. The letter noted the illness of Rev. Parris' wife, Elizabeth.

November 22, 1695: Francis Nurse, widower of Rebecca Nurse, died at age 77.

1696: George Corwin died, and Philip English put a lien on the corpse based on Corwin's seizure of property from English during the Salem Witch trials.

July 14, 1696: Elizabeth Eldridge Parris, wife of Rev. Samuel Parris and mother of Elizabeth (Betty) Parris, died.

January 14, 1697: The Massachusetts General Court declared a day of fasting and reflection for the Salem witch trials. Samuel Sewell, one of the judges of the Court of Oyer and Terminer, wrote the proclamation, and made a public confession of his own guilt. He set aside one day a year until his death in 1730 to fast and pray for forgiveness for his part in the trials.

April 19, 1697: Elizabeth Proctor's dowry was restored to her by a probate court. It had been held by heirs of her husband, John Proctor, because her conviction made her ineligible for her dowry.

1697: Rev. Samuel Parris was forced out of his position at Salem Village Church. He took a position in Stow, Massachusetts, and was replaced at the Salem Village church by Rev. Joseph Green, who helped to heal the rift in the congregation.

1697: France and England ended the Nine Years' War and thus King William's War or the Second Indian War in New England also ended.

1699: Elizabeth Proctor married Daniel Richards of Lynn.

1700: Abigail Faulkner, Jr. asked the Massachusetts General Court to reverse her conviction.

1700: Cotton Mather's Wonders of the Invisible World was republished by Robert Calef, a merchant in Boston who added considerable material criticizing the original and the trials, retitling it More Wonders of the Invisible World. Because it was so critical of beliefs about witches and of the clergy, he could not find a publisher in Boston and had it published in England. Cotton Mather's father and colleague at North Church, Increase Mather , burned the book publicly.

1702: The 1692 trials were declared to have been unlawful by the Massachusetts General Court. That same year, a book completed in 1697 by Beverley minister John Hale about the trials was published posthumously as A Modest Inquiry Into the Nature of Witchcraft.

1702: Salem Village church recorded the deaths of Daniel Andrew and two of his sons from smallpox.

1702: Captain John Alden died.

1703: The Massachusetts legislature passed a bill disallowing the use of spectral evidence in court trials. The bill also restored citizenship rights ("reversed attainder," which would allow those individuals or their heirs to exist again as legal persons, and thus file legal claims for return of their property seized in the trials) for John and Elizabeth Proctor and Rebecca Nurse, on whose behalf petitions had been filed for such restoration.

1703: Abigail Faulkner petitioned the court in Massachusetts to exonerate her of the charge of witchcraft. The court agreed in 1711.

February 14, 1703: Salem Village church proposed revoking the excommunication of Martha Corey; a majority supported it but there were there were 6 or 7 dissenters. The entry at the time implied that therefore the motion failed but a later entry, with more details of the resolution, implied that it had passed.

August 25, 1706: Ann Putnam Jr., in formally joining the Salem Village church, publicly apologized "for the accusing of several persons of a grievous crime, whereby their lives were taken away from them, whom, now I have just grounds and good reason to believe they were innocent persons..."

1708: Salem Village establishes its first school house for the village's children.

1711: The legislature of the Province of Massachusetts Bay restored all rights to those who had been accused in the 1692 witch trials. Included were George Burroughs, John Proctor, George Jacob, John Willard, Giles and Martha Corey, Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Good, Elizabeth How, Mary Easty, Sarah Wilds, Abigail Hobbs, Samuel Wardell, Mary Parker, Martha Carrier, Abigail Faulkner, Anne Foster, Rebecca Eames, Mary Post, Mary Lacey, Mary Bradbury and Dorcas Hoar.

The legislature also gave compensation to the heirs of 23 of those convicted, in the amount of £600. Rebecca Nurse's family won compensation for her wrongful execution. Mary Easty's family received £20 compensation for her wrongful execution; her husband, Isaac, died in 1712. Mary Bradbury's heirs received £20. George Burroughs's children received compensation for his wrongful execution. The Proctor family received £150 in compensation for the conviction and execution of family members. One of the largest settlements went to William Good for his wife Sarah -- against whom he had testified -- and their daughter Dorcas, imprisoned at 4 or 5 years old. He said that the imprisonment of Dorcas had "ruined" her and that she had been "no good" after that.

Also in 1711, Elizabeth Hubbard, one of the main accusers, married John Bennett in Gloucester. They were to have four children.

March 6, 1712: Salem church reversed the excommunication of Rebecca Nurse and Giles Corey

1714: Philip English helped finance an Anglican church near Salem and refused to pay local church taxes; he accused Rev. Noyes of murdering John Proctor and Rebecca Nurse.

1716: England held its last trial for witchcraft; the accused were a woman and her 9-year-old daughter.

1718: Philip English's legal claims, for compensation for seizure of his property during the witch trials, were finally settled.

1736: England and Scotland abolished witchcraft prosecution on the order of King George II.

1752: Salem Village changed its name to Danvers; the King overruled this decision in 1759 and the village ignored his order.

July 4, 1804: Nathaniel Hathorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts, great-great-grandson of John Hathorne, one of the Salem witch trials judges. Before achieving fame as a novelist and short story writer, he added a "w" to his name making it "Hawthorne." Many have speculated that he did that to distance himself from an ancestor whose actions embarrassed him; Hathorne's name is spelled as Hawthorne in some of the 1692 transcripts (example: Ann Doliver, June 6). Hawthorne's contemporary, Ralph Waldo Emerson, was a descendant of Mary Bradbury, among the accused witches at Salem in 1692.

1952: American playwright Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible, a play that fictionalized the Salem witch trial events of 1692 and 1693, and served as an allegory for the then-current blacklisting of communists under McCarthyism.

1957: The remaining accused who had not been previously legally exonerated were included in an act in Massachusetts, clearing their names. Although only Ann Pudeator was mentioned explicitly, the act also exonerated Bridget Bishop, Susannah Martin, Alice Parker, Wilmott Redd and Margaret Scott.

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