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Testimony at Witchcraft Trial

September 9, 1692 — Massachusetts


The humble petition of Mary Easty unto his excellencies Sir William Phipps to the honoured Judge and Bench now sitting In Judicature in Salem and the Reverend ministers humbly sheweth that whereas your poor and humble petitioner being condemned to die do humbly beg of you to take it into your judicious and pious considerations that your poor and humble petitioner knowing my own innocency blessed be the Lord for it and seeing plainly the wiles and subtility of my accusers by myself can not but judge charitably of others that are going the same way of myself if the Lord steps not mightily in I was confined a whole month upon the same account that I am condemned now for and then cleared by the afflicted persons as some of your honours know and in two days time I was cried out upon by them and have been confined and now am condemned to die the Lord above knows my innocency then and likewise does now as at the great day will be known to men and angels — I petition to your honours not for my own life for I know I must die and my appointed time is set but the Lord he knows it is that if it be possible no more innocent blood may be shed which undoubtedly cannot be avoid in the way and course you go in I question not but your honours does to the utmost of your powers in the discovery and detecting of witchcraft and witches and would not be guilty of innocent blood for the world but by my own innocency I know you are in the wrong way the Lord in his infinite mercy direct you in this great work if it be his blessed will that no more innocent blood be shed I would humbly beg of you that your honors would be pleased to examine this afflicted persons strictly and keep them apart some time and like-wise to try some of these confessing witches. I being confident there is several of them has belied themselves and others as will appear if not in this world I am sure in the world to come whither I am now agoing and I question not but you’ll see an alteration of these things they say myself and others having made a league with the devil we cannot confess I know and the Lord knows as will shortly appear they belie me and so I question not but they do others the Lord above who is the searcher of all hearts knows that as I shall answer it at the tribunal seat that I know not the least thing of witchcraft therefore I cannot I dare not belie my own soul I beg your honers not to deny this my humble petition from a poor dying innocent person and I question not but the Lord will give a blessing to your endeavors.

To his Excellency Sir William Phipps: Governor and to the honoured Judge and Magistrates now setting in Judicature in Salem.

Mary Easty Petition



Source: The Puritans in America: A Narrative Anthology, ed. Andrew Delbanco and Alan Heimert (Cambridge: Harvard University Press) 1985, pp. 345-346.