What Is Mary Johnson's Role In The Salem Witch Trials

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in New England had reached a truly tumultuous point. So much so, that by 1692 male religious dissenters were often met with the same scrutiny as socially ostracized women. In the annals of the Salem Witch Trials no other case best exemplifies this notion than the execution of the Reverend George Burroughs. Burroughs had been the Puritan minister from 1680 until his departure in 1683. Unlike the later Reverend Samuel Paris, Burroughs was not an ordained minister, but he had assumed the ministry for the rural Salem village. That being said, Burroughs often found himself at odds with Salem villagers over tithe and the payment of his salary. Some, in Salem Village, did not support Burroughs, and; in turn, they refused to pay tithe. Because of…show more content…
Mary Johnson was a home servant, and she had run afoul of the law prior to her execution for witch craft in 1648, thus marking her as a social pariah. In 1646, Johnson was convicted of thievery, and she was sentenced to a public whipping for this offense. Hence, she was widely known within the community as a woman who had broken social convention and sinned against Christ by violating one of the Ten Commandments. Unquestionably, this offence cast her into the role of a social outsider and as a religious dissenter. The records for Johnson’s actual trial and conviction are shockingly lacking. Realistically, the only evidence that survives to the present is found in the Connecticut state Archives. According to the Archives, “The Jury finds the Bill of Indictment against Mary Johnson, that by her owne confession shee is guilty of familiarity with the Deuill.” While this single notation does confirm the charges of witch craft against her, it does not reveal the specific accusations against her; nevertheless, this single case of witchcraft proved to profoundly influence future witch craft…show more content…
A devil, accordingly, did for her many services.Her master blamed her for not carrying out the ashes, and a devil afterwards would clear the hearth of ashes for her. Her master sending her to drive out the hogs that sometimes broke into their field, a devil would scare the hogs away and make her laughed to see how it feared them. She confessed that she had murdered a child and committed uncleanness both with men and with devils. In the time of her imprisonment, the famous Mr. Smith was at great pains to promote her conversion from the devil to God, and she was, by the best observers, judged very penitent both before her execution and after it, and she went out of the world with comfortable hopes of mercy from God through the merit of our Savior. Being asked what she built her hopes upon, she answered, "Upon these words: 'Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, ' and these: 'There is a fountain set open for sin and uncleanness '."And she died in a frame extremely to the satisfaction of them that were spectators
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