The "Afflicted" Girls
Taken from http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/people?group.num=G07
- Sarah Bibber
- Elizabeth Booth
- Sarah Churchill: "Sarah Churchill (or Churchwell), a 25 year-old woman originally from Maine, was both an accuser and a confessor during the Salem witchcraft crisis. She is most noted for the accusations of witchcraft against her abusive employer, the elderly George Jacobs Sr., and for her admission that her confession to witchcraft was a pretense to save herself from the gallows -- a strategy that succeeded."
- Elizabeth Hubbard: "Elizabeth Hubbard was seventeen in the spring of 1692 when she and three other girls started accusing people of witchcraft. Like many of the other "afflicted" girls in Salem Village, she was an orphan and lived with her great-aunt and uncle, Dr. William Giggs. Elizabeth played an active role throughout the trials as one of the leading accusers. Her afflictions, fits, trances and testimony all contributed to the conviction and execution of many of the nineteen executed innocent people."
- Mercy Lewis: "Mercy Lewis Born in Falmouth, Maine in 1675, Mercy Lewis lost both her parents to Indian attacks and became an orphan at a young age. Dislocated from her family, like many of the accusing girls in Salem Village, she resided first as a servant with Reverend George Burroughs and then later with the family of Thomas Putnam to whom she was distantly related. As a friend of Ann Putnam and the other girls involved in the witchcraft accusations, Mercy herself became one of the most consistent and vocal accusers during the 1692 witchcraft trials in Salem."
- Elizabeth Parris: "At nine years old, Elizabeth Parris, daughter of Salem Village minister Rev. Samuel Parris, played a key role in the beginnings of the witchcraft trials. Curious to know her future marital status , Elizabeth, together with her cousin Abigail Williams, cautiously experimented with fortune telling. Her behavior led to the first three accusations of witches. Trying to shield the involvement of his immediate family, the Rev. Samuel Parris, took Abigail from home and placed her in the home of Stephen Sewall in Salem, where she eventually recovered. She could not have predicted that these innocent attempts at predicting the future would lead to the largest and most deadly witch-hunt in American history."
- Ann Putnam Jr.: "Ann Putnam, Jr. played a crucial role in the witchcraft trials of 1692. She was twelve years old at the time, and she was one of the first to join Betty Parris and Abigail Williams as an "afflicted child". Though she is easily despised for her role as one of the most persistent accusers in the trials, it is important to view her in the context of her socially prominent family. Her mother was also afflicted, and her father and many other Putnams gave testimony against the accused during the trials. When attempting to make a judgment on Ann, it is important to remember that she was very young and impressionable and thus easily influenced by her parents and other adults. Fourteen years later she admitted that she had lied, deluded by the Devil."
- Susanna Sheldon
- Mary Warren: "Born twenty years before the Salem Witch Trials began, Mary Warren became one of the most rigorous accusers -- and also a defender and confessor, a unique role among the accusing girls of Salem Village. As the servant of John and Elizabeth Procter, opponents of the trials who thought that the accusers should be punished, Mary encountered much resistance from the two regarding her participation in the trials. Most significantly, Warren introduced the possibility of fraud on the part of the accusing girls when she stated that they "did but dissemble." Arthur Miller's play The Crucible focuses on this unique aspect of Mary Warren's behavior. After her own confession, Warren more actively participated in the accusations, including those against the Procters. She was released from jail in June, 1692."
- Mary Walcott: Mary Walcott, the daughter of Jonathan Walcott, commander of the Village militia and the brother-in-law of Thomas Putnam, was a key accuser in the Salem Witch Trials. Walcott was closely related to the Thomas Putnam family; her aunt was Ann Putnam,Sr. and her cousin was Ann Putnam, Jr. Although Mary Walcott was one of the circle of accusing girls, by the end of the trials she had attracted sixteen spectral torturers."
- Abigail Williams: "Abigail Williams was one of the main accusers in the Salem Witch trials. The 11-year-old niece of Reverend Samuel Parris showed signs of fits and hysterics in mid-January 1692. She and her 9-year-old cousin Betty were the first two afflicted girls in Salem Village. Abigail gave formal testimony at 7 cases, and she was involved in as many as 17 capital cases."