Did You Know???
All of the women who confessed to witchcraft in Salem lived, and all of the women who denied the witchcraft charges were hanged.
1700 – Abigail Faulkner, Sr. requests that the Massachusetts General Court reverse the attainder on her name.
1702 – The General Court declares the 1692 trials unlawful.
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.
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…”
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.
Abigail Faulkner, Sr. 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.
1706 – Ann Putnam, Jr., one of the “afflicted girls”, publicly apologizes for her actions in the witch trials of 1692.
1708 – Salem Village establishes its first school house for the village’s children.
1711 – Massachusetts colony passes a legislative bill restoring the rights and good names of those accused of witchcraft. These included Reverend George Burroughs, John Proctor, George Jacobs, Sr., John Willard, Giles and Martha Corey, Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, Mary Easty, Sarah Wildes, Abigail Hobbs, Samuel Wardwell, Sr., Mary Ayer Parker, Martha Carrier, Abigail Faulkner, Sr, Ann Foster, Rebecca Eames, Mary Post, Mary Lacey, Sr., Mary Bradbury, and Dorcas Hoar.
The Massachusetts legislature also gave compensation to the heirs of 23 of those convicted, in the amount of £600. 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 years-old. He said that the imprisonment of Dorcas had “ruined” her and that she had been “no good” after that.
March 6, 1712 – Salem Village 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 also accused Reverend 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.
1957 – Massachusetts formally apologizes for the events of 1692. The remaining accused who had not been previously legally exonerated were included in an act clearing their names. Although only Ann Pudeator was mentioned explicitly, the act also exonerated Bridget Bishop, Susannah Martin, Alice Parker, Wilmot Redd and Margaret Scott.
November 16, 1988 – The Boston City Council recognized the injustice done to Ann Glover 300 years earlier, and proclaimed that day “Goody Glover Day”, condemning what had been done to her.
1992 – On the 300th anniversary of the trials, a witchcraft memorial designed by James Cutler is dedicated in Salem.