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Mary Easty

Mary Easty, a wife and a mother of seven, was well respected in Salem. She was a kind, religious woman whose dignified demeanor fit the strict Puritan mold. But even she was not safe from the hysteria. In April 1692, she was accused of witchcraft.
 
The accusation shocked the village. Unlike some of the other alleged witches, she was not a social outcast or an outspoken woman who may have offended the villagers. Perhaps the accusation was inspired by envy—the Eastys owned a valuable farm in Salem—or maybe Mary was a likely target after the conviction of her sister, Rebecca Nurse.
 
Mary was calm and respectful during her examination, but the afflicted girls’ cries were insistent, and she was sent to prison. She was set free a few days later, but Mercy Lewis cried out that Easty’s apparition was strangling her. Her fit was so severe, Mary was put back into jail.
 
On September 9, Mary Easty was tried and condemned despite her plea: “I never complied, but prayed against [Satan] all my days ? I will say it, if it was my last time, I am clear of this sin.” Before her execution, she wrote a letter to the judges asking that “no more innocent blood be shed.” Her letter raised sympathy and doubt in Salem Village, but could not prevent the last round of hangings.
 
Easty and seven others were carted to Gallows Hill on September 22. John Calef described the scene in More Wonders of the Invisible World:
 
Mary Easty, Sister also to Rebecka Nurse, when she took her last farewell of her Husband, Children and Friends, was, as is reported by them present, as Serious, Religious, Distinct, and Affectionate as could well be expressed, drawing Tears from the Eyes of almost all present.


In Mary Easty’s letter to the judges, whom does she say knows she is innocent? Read an excerpt from Mary Easty’s letter.
 
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