This Date in History:
February 28 ~ March 1, 1692 … The Salem Witch Tragedy begins in earnest. First arrests made March 1.
Months later …
Time: Sundown, October 11, 1692.
Place: A desolate, barren Hilltop overlooking Salem Towne in the English Provincial Colony of Massachusetts Bay.
Other: The Hilltop is under Siege. A Cannonade of Thunder escalates and encroaches from the West, reverberating through the Skies over Salem Village, a rural inland Parish of the Towne, alleged to be menaced by the Devil.
A Chorus of Crickets, chirping in Unison and unmoved by the competing Din of the chilling northeasterly Winds brushing the Earth with dead and dying Leaves, grows Step for Step with the approaching Fire Volleys in Volume and Intensity.
A Dialogue ensues between Marcus and The Prisoner, whom Nature has brought together, forcing them to confront one another alone atop the dark Hill.
The Prisoner is bound to a Tree by the Will and Hand of Marcus, who addresses his Charge by the respectful Moniker “Teacher.”
Marcus is a minor public Official whose Duty it is to draught and execute Warrants for the Arrest of those accused of the infamous Crime of Witchcraft, acting at the Command and under Authority of his Master, Sir William Stoughton, Chief Judge of the ad Hoc Court of Oyer & Terminer, assembled at Salem Towne for the Purpose of hearing Charges against those so charged and of determining the Innocence or Guilt and the Fate of the same.
Said Chief Judge is away at Boston and due to return on the following Day. Before departing for Boston, the Judge had left his faithful Deputy with express Orders to draught and execute Warrants for the Arrest of any and all Persons accused by any Person of Witchcraft during his brief Absence. He had also ordered his Protégé to effect the Arrest of anyone else who, per his own Judgment, poses an imminent Threat of further Evil upon the already afflicted Community.
To these Purposes, the Judge has entrusted Marcus with his official Seal and all Power and Authority vested therein. Further, the Judge has caused to be posted upon the Door of the Church at Salem Village written Notice, under said Seal, to all Persons of his Protégé’s pro Tempore, ad Hoc Office. Said official Bull was also nailed upon the Door of Marcus’s single-Room Bachelor House, also situated at Salem Village.
In the Exercise of these extraordinary Emergency Powers, Marcus has arrested and detained said Prisoner at the Place and in the Manner aforesaid on Charges, not of Witchcraft, but of Heresy and High Treason, for positing Ideas critical of the Prosecution and Execution of those accused of Witchcraft.
Proclaiming that such subversive Conduct, by its Nature as such, reveals its Source as Evil incarnate … the Devil itself … Marcus reasoned that such an expansive Interpretation of his Grant of Authority was not only justified, but imminently necessary for the Preservation of the public Health, Safety and general Welfare of his afflicted adopted Community.
Marcus, rather than pressing a Determination to have The Prisoner convicted and executed, implores his Captive to recant the alleged heretical and treasonous Postulations in Exchange for that Being’s Release and the Withdrawal of said capital Charges. The Prisoner agrees to do so, but only upon the satisfactory Performance of a certain Term on the Part of his Arrestor, which Terms do not include his bodily Release and the Withdrawal of said criminal Charges.
To Date, nineteen Persons … thirteen Women and six Men … have been hanged until dead on Charges of Witchcraft, and one Man pressed to Death by the Weight of many Stones for refusing, for the Benefit of his familial Heirs, to enter a Plea of Guilt or Innocence to the same Charge. Two Women, one Man and an unnamed infant Child have perished in Captivity. One more Woman would suffer that same Fate some Moons hence.
Marcus keeps vigilant Watch on the western Horizon as its Silhouette becomes one with the darkening Sky.
~ THE GODDESS & THE DEVIL, The Situation
[click pic for more]
Posted on February 28, 2013, in Knotty Knuggets, The Goddess & The Devil and tagged 1692, history, Salem Mass., Salem Witch Trials, The Goddess & The Devil, Witch Scare, Wotch Hunt. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.