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Original Documents Related to the Salem Witchcraft Trials and "Young Goodman Brown"

Excerpts from Texts
Illustrations
Trial Documents
Maps
Autographs

Excerpts from Texts

  • In these excerpts from Cotton Mather's The Wonders of the Invisible World, 1693, he presents his understanding and explanation of the events of Salem's witchcraft episode.
  • Excerpts from Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi Americana (Boston, 1702).
  • “Preface to the Christian Reader” from Rev. John Hale’s A Modest Inquiry IntoThe Nature Of Witchcraft, 1702. “Among Satans Mysteries of iniquity, this of Witchcraft is one of the most difficult to be searched out by the Sons of men….”
  • From Chapter 1 of A Modest Enquiry, Into The Nature Of Witchcraft by John Hale. “Had the Devils liberty to reveal all that they know of the affairs of mankind, or to do all that is in their power to perform, they would bring dreadful confusions and desolations upon the World.”
  • Excerpt from Charles W. Upham’s Salem Witchcraft (1867). Upham comments on the “afflicted children,” the principal actors in the Salem tragedy.

Illustrations

Title Page of Cotton Mather's  <I>The Wonders of the Invisible World </I>
Title Page of Cotton Mather's The Wonders of the Invisible World
Cotton Mather's defense of the Salem Witchcraft Trials portrayed those involved as caught in a battle between the forces of good and evil in the New World.  
Title Page, Cotton Mather's <I/>Magnalia Christi Americana</I>, 1702.  London: Printed for Thomas Parkhurst, at the Bible and three crowns in Cheapside, 1702.
Title Page, Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi Americana, 1702. London: Printed for Thomas Parkhurst, at the Bible and three crowns in Cheapside, 1702.
"The Great Works of Christ in America"óMather's history of colonial Massachussetts is a major work of early New England history through the Puritan imagination. In the General Introduction Mather states: "I WRITE the WONDERS of the CHRISTIAN RELIGION, flying from the depravations of Europe, to the American Strand; and, assisted by the Holy Author of that Religion, I do with all conscience of Truth, required therein by Him, who is the Truth itself, report the wonderful displays of His infinite Power, Wisdom, Goodness, and Faithfulness, wherewith His Divine Providenee hath irradiated an Indian Wilderness."  (courtesy of The Boston Public Library.)
Title Page, <I/>The Whole Booke of Psalms,</I>
Cambridge, 1640. ©The Huntington Library
Title Page, The Whole Booke of Psalms, Cambridge, 1640. ©The Huntington Library
The "Bay Psalm Book," the name generally given to The Whole Booke of Psalms, was the authorized hymnal of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the first book printed in the English colonies. John Cotton wrote the Preface and Richard Mather, John Eliot, and Thomas Weld did the translation.  (courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA)
<I/>A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft,</I> 1697, by John Hale.
A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft, 1697, by John Hale.
Title Page of Rev. John Hale's brief history of the Salem Witchcraft trials, A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft, 1697. Hale was the Pastor of the Church in Beverly, Massachusetts until 1700 and an ardent supporter of the witch hunts of 1692. His opinion changed, however, when his second wife, Sarah (Noyes), was accused.  (courtesy of The Beverly Historical Society)
Charles Upham's <I/>Salem Witchcraft<I>
Charles Upham's Salem Witchcraft
Title Page from Charles Upham's Salem Witchcraft (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Arrest Warrant for Alice Parker and Ann Pudeator
Arrest Warrant for Alice Parker and Ann Pudeator
Arrest Warrant for Alice Parker and Ann Pudeator, Peabody Essex Museum Photo (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Death Warrant and Execution of Bridget Bishop, Peabody Essex Museum Photo
Death Warrant and Execution of Bridget Bishop, Peabody Essex Museum Photo
Death Warrant and Execution of Bridget Bishop, Peabody Essex Museum Photo (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)

Trial Documents

Examination of Rebecca Eames and Mary Lacey, Sr., page 1
Examination of Rebecca Eames and Mary Lacey, Sr., page 1
 (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Examination of Rebecca Eames and Mary Lacey,Sr., page 2
Examination of Rebecca Eames and Mary Lacey,Sr., page 2
 (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)

Maps

Map of Salem Village in 1692 by W.P. Upham, 1866.
Map of Salem Village in 1692 by W.P. Upham, 1866.
From Charles W. Uphamís Salem Witchcraft (1867)  (courtesy of the University of Virginia.)
Perley's Map of Gallows Hill and Area
Perley's Map of Gallows Hill and Area
Perley's Map of Gallows Hill and Area (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Map of Salem Village by Sidney Perley
Map of Salem Village by Sidney Perley
Map from Sidney Perley's The History of Salem Massachusetts, Vol. 2, (1924). The map shows the "Salem Farms" area that is known as the Town of Danvers today. It was here that the witchcraft hysteria of 1692 actually began.  (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)

Autographs

Autograph of John Hathorne from Perley's <I>History of Salem</I>
Autograph of John Hathorne from Perley's History of Salem
 (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Autograph of Jonathan Corwin from Perley's <I>History of Salem</I>
Autograph of Jonathan Corwin from Perley's History of Salem
 (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Samuel Parris Autograph
Samuel Parris Autograph
 (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)



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