Abigail Williams Essay

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Abigail Williams, aged 11 in 1692, played a major role as a prominent accuser in the Salem Witch trials. She was one of the girls who made the first witchcraft accusations in Salem village at the end of February 1692. She and her 9 year-old cousin Betty Parris were entertained by magic, voodoo and fortune telling from Tituba, her Uncle Reverend Samuel Parris’s Indian salve. Both Abigail and Betty began to exhibit strange behaviour by mid-January 1692. They behaved erratically and exhibited extreme physical contortions, described as “at first [she] hurried with Violence to and fro in the room sometimes making as if she would fly, stretching up her arms as high as she could, and crying “Whish, Whish, Whish!” several times. Presently after she said there was Good and said “Do you not see her? Why there she stands!” and she said Good offered her the book, but she was resolved she would not take it, saying often “I won’t, I won’t, I won’t, take it, I do not know what Book it is: I am sure it is none of God’s Book, it is the Devil’s Book, for ought I know.”” Parris and other ministers prayed that Abigail and Betty would regain their health but when their behaviours continued, Parris asked Dr. William Griggs to examine them. He concluded that the girls were under the influence of an “Evil Hand”; in other words, were victims of witchcraft. The topic of witchcraft soon began to spread in the village and when their frightening behaviours continued, the townspeople begged the girls to name their wicked tormentors. On March 1692, Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne were accused for afflicting Abigail, Betty and other girls such as Ann Putnam Jr. They were three social outcasts despised and distrusted by the town; a slave, an old woman who had married her slave and homeless beggar. Abigail and the local girls appeared at the trial hearings. Tituba, frightened after being

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