THE FIRST WARRANT
 
 
 
     During the winter of 1691-92, Abigail Williams, the eleven-year old niece and Elizabeth (Betty) the daughter of minister Samuel Parris began to meet with Tituba, their slave, to listen to her tell strange and forbidden tales of magic and island lore. The girls knew that by listening to these tales, they were violating strict Puritan morality. 

     Eventually, Abigail, Elizabeth and Tituba were joined by four other girls; Elizabeth Hubbard, Ann Putnam, Mary Walcott and Mercy Lewis. The story-telling continued in Samuel Parris's house until the girls started to exhibit strange behavior. Samuel Parris called upon Dr. Griggs to examine the girls for any medical problems, of which none were found.

     Again, in mid-January, Dr. Griggs examined the girls and, frustrated by the lack of any medical explanation, Dr. Griggs concluded that the "hand of evil" was upon the girls. The afflicted girls were questioned relentlessly by their parents and ministers to determine who their tormentors were.

     Finally, the girls named Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne as the perpetrators of their "bewitchment" and on February 29, 1692, arrest warrants were issued for Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne for the bewitchment of Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams. Tituba's first of many examinations began on March 1, 1692 which were held under the authority of John Hawthorne and Jonathon Corwin.

     Tituba confessed to being a witch and offered "evidence" that Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne were fellow witches. Tituba was placed in jail where she would remain until her jail bill was paid. (prisoners had to pay for their food, lights, drink and blankets) Tituba's jail bill was paid by an unknown person and she was released and disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again.
 

 

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