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Salem Witch Trials

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The Salem Witch Trials

In Salem, the witch trials lasted for a relatively short time, roughly one year, but the persecution of witches had been going on for centuries. During the time, people were accused on multiple accounts of witchcraft and were held in trial to determine their punishment. As for George Burroughs, his conviction and execution resulted from gossip, which led to the formation of accusations for his previous life events that eventually led to his persecution.

George Burroughs had various circumstances that were used against him, which ultimately led to his conviction. First, Burroughs was a non-ordained minister that was not supported by the church, nor did he segregate his services to one faith, but was open to all. Second, there were many accounts that he possessed inhuman abilities; the strength to carry a barrel of molasses alone and hold up the seven foot barrel of a gun with just his pointer finger in the muzzle, as well as traveling long distances within an unbelievable amount of time. These abilities seemed even closer to impossibility because of George Burroughs' own size and stature. Next, George Burroughs had had two spouses die by the time that he was brought trial. Along with the deaths, there were many reported accusations of Burroughs visiting townspeople in visions. In these visions, some witnesses said that Burroughs approached them asking if they would touch or sign his book, others stated that he took the witness to the top of the mountains promising them the kingdoms of the world. Also, witnesses stated that in the same visions, if they did not comply with Burroughs then he tortured and tormented them; they claimed to have witnessed the apparitions of Burroughs' dead spouses and the warnings that they were given along with information that Burroughs had killed Mrs. Lawson and Ann Putnam, two townspeople. Another's account places Burroughs sounding a trumpet and summoning his followers where they received the sacraments during a ritual of witchcraft; Burroughs was placed as being the "Black Man" or wizard of the witch group. Finally, Burroughs was often seen fleeing scenes of Indian raids with only a few survivors safely alongside, however; accusers claimed that Burroughs bewitched the few with him and their safety was only a result of curse.

In defense to all these accusations, George Burroughs did not have much to say to prove his innocence. Regarding his physical abilities, the accusation of Burroughs' strength became false with the information that even very strong men could not easily lift the gun themselves nor lift a barrel by one's self. As for his ability to travel long distances in a shorter amount of time, Burroughs stated that he had traveled with a partner, but accusers denounced that claim and stated that his partner had to have been the devil. As for other witness statements, their was



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