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Tiara Cook

Hist 1700-017, paper one


September 30, 2014
Salem Witch Trials: Titubas Case
The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings for people accused of witchcraft in
Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. This was a time when people believed
that a person could make a packed with the Devil to receive evil powers in exchange for their
soul.
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Puritans believed God and the Devil were equally real.
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It is believed that the devil would
find the weakest people to work for him. In this time it was assumed that the woman and
children were the weakest. Those who shadowed Satan were considered to be witches.
It began after young girls became ill and would throw a series of abnormal tantrums. In
late February of 1692, Reverend Samuel Parris called a doctor to check on his young daughter
Betty, and niece Abigail Williams. Both the girls were under the sickness. The children were
then diagnosed with being victims of witchcraft. Betty and Abigail soon had a group of girls with
this sickness. The thought of witchcraft soon aroused throughout Salem Village.
As panic attacked Massachusetts, a special court was arranged in Salem. This court was
created in June 1692 by Governor William Phips. The court was named Orar and Terminer, it
was designed only for the witch trials. The problem with this court is people could use spectral
evidence to accuse others of seeing ghostlike figures floating above individuals, and the court
would believe it. Another issue was the questions that were being asked. If one were on trial

1
D'Amario, Alison What led to the Salem Witch Trials Salem Witch Museum, 2012
<http://www.salemwitchmuseum.com/education/worldbook.php> (21 September 2014)
2
Discovery Education Life In Salem 1692 Religion and Witchcraft, 2013
<http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schooladventures/salemwitchtrials/life/religion.html> (28 September
2014)
for using witch craft, there was no way to prove you werent a witch. Many of the court
proceedings only asked about what they had done as a witch and whether or not the
defendants admitted to being a witch, the questions still insisted he or she was a witch.
One of the first three women to be put on trial was Tituba, Reverend Parris Barbados
servant. Reverend Parris purchased Tituba without knowledge of the voodoo practices she
would eventually carry out in Salem. The rumor is said that Tituba took Betty and Abigail out in
the woods and sang songs from her native land as the girls danced around naked. Singing,
dancing, or doing anything out of the ordinary was considered to be a sin to the Puritans.
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Tituba was eventually put on trial for causing pain to the young girls.
In Titubas trial, the first question was Why do you hurt these poor Children? What
harm have they done onto you? In response, Tituba answers They do no harm me I no hurt
them at all.
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But this answer does not satisfy the court. The magistrates then proceed in asking
questions about the Devil. At first the Barbados woman refuses to know anything about the
Devil, but as they keep pressing for information, the nervous woman talks about what she has
seen.
Tituba claims she has seen Satan and he was pressuring her to work for him. She told
the court it was a man-like creature who told Tituba to serve him. She starts to create this story
of the creature persuading the woman. He tells her about the sick girls, and if she doesnt work
for him, he will do worse to her. Tituba then tells the judges how she would harm the children
because the Devil figure was forcing her.

3
Discovery Education Life In Salem 1692 Religion and Witchcraft, 2013
<http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schooladventures/salemwitchtrials/life/religion.html> (28 September
2014)
4
The examination of Tituba, Tituba the Indian Womans Examination, 1 March 1692
<http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/ASA_TITX.HTM> (26 September 2014)
On trial, Tituba explains to the court how she is truly sorry for doing these actions and
she told the man she wasnt going to serve him any longer. As the officials remains asking her
questions, Tituba continues to talk about all the different figures that have come to her. She
tells about seeing a black dog, and a hog. The big black animals told Tituba to serve the devil
once again. In the hearing, she says the two animals have come to her four times.
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In all the
visits the dog and hog said if she doesnt serve the devil he will precede in doing awful things to
her. So Tituba says she persists to hurt more people.
What other creatures have you seen? the magistrates ask. The Barbados woman
replies with a small yellow bird. She claims that the bird stays with the horrible man who has
said if she works for him she can have the bird. What other creatures have you seen? they ask
her again. Tituba responds by saying I saw two cats, one red another black. Going on with her
story she says she has seen the cats twice. When Tituba describes the cats she illustrates how
the cats dragged her to harm the girls as they plead Tituba to serve the Devil.
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As the trial furthers, Tituba continues to speak about the man and the animals that
make her do bad things. She even ends up accusing Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne. Tituba
claims the man she sees have taken over these women and make them harm as well. Tituba
says the two women took her flying on a stick or pole to do harm to people. She also explains to
the judges how she has seen the women with the man and animals. Tituba says she has seen

5
The examination of Tituba, Tituba the Indian Womans Examination, 1 March 1692
<http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/ASA_TITX.HTM> (26 September 2014)
6
The examination of Tituba, Tituba the Indian Womans Examination, 1 March 1692
<http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/ASA_TITX.HTM> (26 September 2014)
the two women use much witchcraft on the young girls and they make her use witchcraft as
well.
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As Titubas examination comes to an end, she claims of seeing figures next to Sarah
good and Sarah Osborne. The servant woman defines the figures as big with long legs and
wings. Titubas confessions of doing works with the Devil have caused her and many other
people to be in fear for their life.
In Titubas trial it appeared as she was scared of being sent to her death so she made up
stories to match the questions she was being asked. The questions that were asked were less
than fair. No matter how many times Tituba said she never worked with the Devil, the court
kept pressing on as if she was trying to hide working with him. It would seem to show in
Titubas case, her fear got the better of her. Therefore, out of fear, Tituba told the court exact
answers to their questions.
Although, when a person is being asked or told they did something over and over again,
many people would start to believe its true. In society this happens often. For example, if
someone was told they were unintelligent multiple times, they would start believing they were
unintelligent. As for Tituba, being asked countless times about her encounters with the Devil, it
could have persuaded her mind to think she actually was seeing Satan.
Over the next several months more than two-hundred men, women, and children were
accused of witchcraft. The first convicted witch was Bridget Bishop; she was hung June 10
th
on

7
The examination of Tituba, Tituba the Indian Womans Examination, 1 March 1692
<http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/ASA_TITX.HTM> (27 September 2014)
Gallows Hill.
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Eighteen others were executed by hanging after Bishop and one man by the name
of Corey Giles was pressed to death. In all, twenty people died throughout the year. Fortunately
for Tituba, she was one of the first three women to be put on trial and not be sentenced to
death.
The Salem Witch Trials end when William Phips disbands the Orar and Terminer court in
October 1692 after he realized spectral evidence wasnt a good enough reason to be found
guilty. A new court was founded January 1693 to continue these cases but did not use spectral
evidence.
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8
History, Salem Witch Trials The Hysteria Spreads, 2014 <http://www.history.com/topics/salem-witch-trials> (28
September 2014)
9
Blumberg, Jess A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials One town's strange journey from paranoia to pardon 23
October 2007 <http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/a-brief-history-of-the-salem-witch-trials-
175162489/?no-ist=&page=2> (23 September 2014)
Bibliography
D'Amario, Alison What led to the Salem Witch Trials Salem Witch Museum, 2012
<http://www.salemwitchmuseum.com/education/worldbook.php> (21 September
2014)
Discovery Education Life In Salem 1692 Religion and Witchcraft, 2013
<http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schooladventures/salemwitchtrials/life/religion
.html> (28 September 2014)
The examination of Tituba, Tituba the Indian Womans Examination, 1 March 1692
<http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/ASA_TITX.HTM> (26 September
2014)
History, Salem Witch Trials The Hysteria Spreads, 2014
<http://www.history.com/topics/salem-witch-trials> (28 September 2014)
Blumberg, Jess A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials One town's strange journey from
paranoia to pardon 23 October 2007 <http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/a
-brief- history-of-the-salem-witch-trials-175162489/?no-ist=&page=2> (23 September
2014)