The Salem Journal: The People

Witches' Remise

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Reverend Parris Plummets in Failure

By Taylor B

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Reverend Samuel Parris lost his position as minister in Salem, Massachusetts because of trust. Reverend Parris's niece Abigail Williams and daughter Elizabeth Parris were accusers for the Salem Witch Trials. Reverend Parris was a minister who supported them. Once the girls could not be trusted any supporters of the girls also could not be trusted. Reverend Parris was eventually asked to leave Salem in 1697, which is where he had lived for 17 years.

Another reason why Parris could not be trusted was that a letter arrived written by Thomas Brattle (a wealthy Harvard-educated merchant and prestigious scientist). The letter questioned the prosecution of witches. Thomas did not understand how spectral evidence could be admitted. He pointed out some errors in court like 1. That the girls only get hysterical when they were in court, 2. They never accused anyone related to them. In fact many people who were accused never knew the girls, and 3. Thomas did not understand why the judges bullied the accused. The letter also had a list of people in London who agreed with Thomas. Eventually people did not trust Reverend Parris and they took away his position of minister and kicked him out of Salem. When Parris left he still thought he did the right thing.

Reverend Parris was a witness in many trials who testified in the girls favor of the girls suffering. He testified about the attacks of Rebecca Nurse. He testified at a trial when Rebecca's hands were freed, 'some of the afflicted were pinched and upon the motion of Nurse's head and fingers some of the girls were tortured". Reverend Parris also testified against Rebecca Nurse because he believed that Rebecca was in some kind of bigger plot or scheme to root out Christianity. Reverend Parris had some disputes against Rebecca because if the disputes against Rebecca's husband, Francis. People thought the reason he testified against Rebecca because of the disputes with her husband about salary and firewood. Parris had many business disputes with the family of the accused. People are thinking he wants revenge on these families.

When Reverend Parris first learned about Abigail and Elizabeth's case he made all the doctors come to try to find the problem but none of them knew. Eventually, one doctor suggested that witches were involved. Since Elizabeth was the daughter of a Reverend, the whole group of ministers decided to keep this case secret. After the girls came out of their trance, their behavior was a lot different. They were calling out, saying random things all sorts of strange stuff. But when they came to their senses, they would not reveal who "witched" them/ Later they finally agreed to tell. They said it was Reverend Parris's slave Tituba. But Tituba did not get hanged. The only reason she got out of there was that she admitted she was a witch and named other people witches.

Samuel Parris grew up into the family of a cloth merchant. HE was the youngest of six sons and was born in London. Parris began his adult life as a plantation owner in Barbados. He was unsuccessful there so he moved on. HE eventually moved to Massachusetts in 1680 to find a new future. In 1689 he married and became a minister for Salem. He brought back two slaves for Barbados with him. One named John and another named Tituba.

Reverend Parris was an overall not so good man. He accused some people for revenge and other people just because he thought they were "witches". He never had any proof and was mean to people. If Parris thought that what the girls were doing was just a game the Salem Witch Trials would not have been as bad if not non-existent.

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