Ah, but we have only begun with the accusations!
Please recall, that during Abigail’s first interview with the Reverend Lawson, she sees a shape enter the room. This shape was none other that a charitable woman of 71 years of age. It appears as though this matriarch of the Nurse homestead. The Nurse family had bonded together and through 20 or more years of hard labor, were becoming landowners of quite a large piece of property. The Puritans believed that you died at the same status you were born; they did not believe that through hard work a family could change their social status. The Nurse homestead was therefore looked upon strangely by the community but nothing could be proven as to why they so easily were able to succeed in life.
When Abigails sees the Shape of old Rebecca Nurse taunting her, the Reverend Lawson is saddened. Rebecca, being a hard working and charitable member of the community, is a far reach for witchcraft accusations. Soon though, all of the girls pick up on this news and start to wail that Rebecca Nurse is coming to them as a Shape and terrorizing them. The mother of Ann Putnam joins in this spectacle and is now the first adult to be in the throes of bewitchment.
The Porters, upstanding citizens in the community both in religion and social status, pay a visit to their friend Rebecca Nurse and find her very ill in bed. When the Porters tell Rebecca about their visit, she is very surprised. After awhile the Porters leave the Nurse homestead and tell the accusers that Rebecca Nurse is innocent of witchcraft. Meanwhile, during Martha Corey’s trial, the girls cry out Rebecca’s name at least two hundred times. The community is forced by this to override the Porters report, and issue an arrest warrant for old Rebecca Nurse. When Rebecca stands before the Magistrate Hathorne, she is asked “Are you an innocent person relating to this witchcraft?”, before Rebecca could answer the girls go crazy with shrieks and convulsions. Finally, Rebecca answers when the noise boils down, “O Lord, help me!” and spread her hands. At this time girls again go crazy and begin to duplicate every move made by Rebecca as though completely possessed. This was taken as a sign of her practicing her witchcraft. Magistrate Hathorne watches Rebecca Nurse closely and makes the opinion that she must be guilty as any innocent woman should be weeping at such allegations. The reasoning here, witches do not have tears, hence Rebecca Nurse is most definitely a witch.
The charge was read to Rebecca Nurse, not just for witchcraft but for being a murderer as well. Children had been “appearing” to the elder Ann Putnam and telling her it was the Witch Nurse who had murdered them. Rebecca denied all charges, and finally at noon, Hathorne had her led from the meeting house as the daily sermon was about to begin.
The Villagers had taken to getting little of their work done on these days and were known to picnic in pastures before the days sermon was to begin. The witch trials were much to exciting to miss!
Not everyone though agreed with Lawson who’s sermon had the entire community “Arm yourselves against Satan and pray, pray, pray for these innocent girls. Allow no pardon to the witchcraft and devil’s work which is occurring in Salem Village” John Proctor, had come to town to pick up his beloved, Mary Warren and during the sermon gave voice to some very strong and very public remarks about the girls. “They should be at the whipping post – soon they will have us all be devils and witches.” He felt the witches were the bedeviled girls themselves. “Hang them” he stated. Such a statement never should have been shouted in public in Salem Village.
Sorry John Proctor… you just put your name on the list… and it was your own suggestion!
In connection with modern day fiber arts, it should be noted that Salem Village, as well as being a farming community, was set up as a fishing port. The knitted sweater is quite young as a form of garment; the first known sweaters date back only to the 17th century. Fisherman wore hand-knitted sweaters so they could stay warm and free to move about their boats without being caught on the rigging and other parts of the boat. Sweaters knit for and worn by fishermen were known as Guernseys or Ganseys. Each village had its signature pattern. Sadly, one of the reasons for this was to help identify the bodies of men who dissappear at sea. A classic guernsey pattern is shown below in this wonderful Penny Straker Pattern "John's Guernsey Pattern" knit using worsted weight wool. Hey, wait a minute, "John's Guernsey Pattern", John Proctor suggesting the hanging... what a coincidence.... hmmmm....
"Witch" Yarn is On Sale Today at the Yarn and Fiber Company?
Sale Dates and Times:
October 8, 2008, 12:00 PM EST through October 8, 2008 11:59 AM EST
Yarn Sale - In Stock Quantities Only:
Dream in Color Pattern of the Day
Poll results for - Oct 7-8
Question: Your favorite Halloween Treat is?
- Eating Candy Corn by the handfuls -30%
- Hiding giant bags of candy around the house and trick or treating all year long - 35%
- Telling your friends you like their mask secretly knowing they aren't wearing one - 20%
- Reading about the Salem Witch Trials on this blog :) - 25%
And Finally - The Rules of the Sale:
All items purchased on sale are final sales. Sale applies to in-stock items only. In the event that an item cannot be found in our physical inventory a substitution or refund will be offered. The sale discount cannot be combined with other discounts. Each weekday, a new sale will be announced through our blog at 12:00 EST. Please try to checkout by 11:59 AM EST to be sure to receive the sale price.