The second person to be convicted of being a witch and the first to confess during the Connecticut Witch Hunts which began in 1647, was Mary Johnson of Wethersfield, Connecticut.
Mary Johnson was working as a house servant in Hartford, Connecticut in 1646, where she was accused of theft. She soon moved on to Wethersfield, where she also worked as a servant.
There, she was once again accused of thievery and was brought before the local minister, Samuel Stone, who whipped her for her crime. During her punishment, she revealed that she was discontent with her many chores and that “…a devil was wont to do her many services.” She also confessed that she was guilty of witchcraft, admitted to “uncleanness with men and Devils,” and even to the “murder of a child.” Curiously, she was not charged with murder or adultery but was charged with “familiarity with the Devil” and was sentenced to death.
She was convicted on December 7, 1648, and imprisoned in Hartford, Connecticut. It was soon found that she pregnant, and her execution was delayed. She was hanged in June 1650.
Her son was then given over to the prison keeper, Nathaniel Rescew, who was paid 15 pounds to take care of and educate the boy. When he was old enough, he served as an indentured servant for Rescew until he was 21.
© Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated December 2020.
Salem, Massachusetts Witchcraft Hysteria