People, Place, and Time

Telling my family's stories

Declaration of Error in the Salem Witchcraft Trials

We whose names are under-written, being in the year 1692 called to serve as jurors in court at Salem, on trial of many who were by some suspected guilty of doing acts of witchcraft upon the bodies of sundry persons, we confess that we ourselves were not capable to understand, nor able to withstand, the mysterious delusions of the powers of darkness and Prince of the air, but were, for want of knowledge in ourselves and better information from others, prevailed with to take with such evidence against the accused, as, on further consideration and better information, we justly fear was insufficient for the touching the lives of any (Deut. xvii) whereby we fear we have been instrumental, with others, though ignorantly and unwittingly, to bring upon ourselves and this people of the Lord the guilt of innocent blood; which sin the Lord saith in Scripture he would not pardon (2 Kings xxiv. 4)—that is, we suppose, in regard to his temporal judgments. We do therefore hereby signify to all in general, and to the surviving sufferers in special, our deep sense of, and sorrow for, our errors in acting on such evidence to the condemning of any person; and do hereby declare, that we justly fear that we were sadly deluded and mistaken—for which we are much disquieted and distressed in our minds, and do therefore humbly beg forgiveness, first of God, for Christ’s sake, for this our error, and pray that God would impute the guilt of it to ourselves nor others, and we also pray that we may be considered candidly and aright by the living sufferers, as being then under a strong and general delusion, utterly unacquainted with, and not experienced in, matters of that nature.

We do hereby ask forgiveness of you all, whom we have justly offended, and do declare, according to our present minds, we would none of us do such things again, on such grounds, for the whole world—praying you to accept of this in way of satisfacton for our offense, and that you would bless the inheritance of the Lord, that he may be entreated for the land.
Thomas Fisk, Foreman
John Batcheler
Thomas Fisk, Jr.
John Dane
Joseph Evelith
Thomas Pearly, Sr.
John Peadbody
Thomas Perkins
Samuel Sayer
Andrew Eliot
Henry Herrick, Sr.

 

Declaration of Regret for Part Taken in Salem Witchcraft Trials, Circulated and Signed by the Jurors (Reprinted in various sources)

John Batchelor (signed here) > John Batchelor > Benjamin Batchelor > Capt. Benjamin Batchelor > Benjamin Batchelor > Dennis Fay Batchelor > Mary Elizabeth Batchelor > Emma Jane Lashelle > Minnie Mae Oberheim > Earl Ritenour > Elmer Ritenour > Etc.

 

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About Hattifattener

Age: 37 Lives: All over the place. Education: PhD, linguistics, UBC.

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This entry was posted on November 30, 2010 by in Uncategorized and tagged , .
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