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Tituba's Confession: The Multicultural Dimensions of the 1692 Salem Witch-Hunt
by Elaine G. Breslaw
Tituba's Confession: The Multicultural Dimensions of the 1692 Salem Witch-Hunt
Elaine G. Breslaw
Updated: February 1st, 2013
Tituba's Confession: The Multicultural Dimensions of the 1692 Salem Witch-Hunt
Elaine G. Breslaw, University of Tennessee
Abstract. This study examines Tituba's role in the Salem, Massachusetts, witch scare of 1692. It rejects the notion that Tituba was an African American or was involved in occult activities prior to February 1692 but stresses the multiethnic fac- tors in her behavior and the influence of her American Indian background on the Puritan response. Her confession, blending elements from English, African, and American Indian notions of the occult and linking folk practices to an elite concept of the devil, was of particular significance in the shaping of this bizarre event.
The events of 1692 at Salem, Massachusetts, continue to attract scholarly and popular attention. Contemporary historians classify the witch scare as an episode in either social-political development or gender conflict. Such a focus permits a fuller discussion of economic development in Massachu- setts (viewed as a conflict between a new mercantile order and an older agricultural society), of the political and legal instability resulting from the Glorious Revolution in England (1688-89), or of fears engendered by the rising incidence of Indian attacks.' Other works clarify our understanding of the relationship between gender boundaries and the dynamics of social, economic, and political change that ushered in the modern era.2 Often lost in these scholarly analyses, however, are the ethnic-cultural factors that shaped the belief systems of the people involved. Of particular interest are the contributions of the slave woman Tituba: her character, her behavior, and the story she told as the first to confess to the practice of ~itchcraft.~
Tituba was a pivotal character whose ethnic background and behavior merit deeper examination than they have received. Her confession, blend- ing elements from English, African, and American Indian notions of the
Ethnohistory 44:3 (summer1997).Copyright 0by the American Society for Ethno- history.
occult, was of key significance in the shaping of the bizarre events at Salem. It subsequently became a model for others desperate to save their lives." Although many details in their stories were embellished and transformed by Puritan fantasies, fears, and cultural biases, the inspiration for and framework of their accounts of witchcraft stemmed from Tituba's story. By bridging the gap between her syncretic notions and the Puritan concept of evil, these reformulations, in turn, heightened the sense of impending doom surrounding the witch-hunt and propelled it into new channels.
In her confession Tituba, "an Indian Woman Servant to Mr. Samuel Parris of Salem village," convinced the Salem authorities that the devil had invaded their societ~.~
Her importance for the ensuing events lies not in the occult activities that she supposedly inspired before 1692 but in the content and impact of her confession in March of that year.6 She not only confirmed their fears of a conspiracy of Satan's followers but was the first to implicate others outside the Salem community and to suggest that men and members of the elite were part of the conspiracy. Of even greater significance, Tituba supplied the evidence of a satanic presence legally necessary to launch a witch-hunt. Had she remained silent, the trials might not have occurred or, at the least, would have followed a different course.
Tituba's credibility to her Salem audience was enhanced by her iden- tification as an American Indian whose culture had long been associated with demonic power? Her story thus acquired verisimilitude not just from fantastic details that could be integrated into the Puritan belief system but from their assumed evil source. Although the content of her testimony and its relationship to Puritan perceptions of American Indians are seldom mentioned in the literature of Salem, the substance of Tituba's story, com- bined with the local fear of Indians, alerted the Puritan worthies to the dangers lurking in their community.
Most writers have assumed that Tituba was either African or of mixed American Indian and African descent, but nothing in the records indi- cates that she was anything but Indian. In 1974 Chadwick Hansen pointed out that all extant contemporary references to Tituba call her an Indian.8 Tituba the half Indian, half African was the invention of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his 1868 verse drama Giles Corey of the Salem Farms, and unfortunately that fiction entered the historical literature? In the century following she was gradually transformed into an African. Deodat Lawson, John Hale, and Robert Calef, all contemporaries of the events, repeat the terminology of the official documents and refer to Tituba and her husband, John, only as Indians.lo
If Tituba and John had been of mixed Indian-African parentage, they would have been identified as "Negro" and not Indian in the Salem records.
Whites assumed that anyone with any African features was a Negro.ll During the Salem investigation two African Americans were clearly iden- tified as such: Mary Black, a slave in Benjamin Putnam's household, and Candy, Margaret Hawkes's servant from Barbad~s.'~
Tituba, unlike Mary or Candy, was called an Indian for reasons that apparently were visible and obvious to their contemporaries.
Little is known about Tituba's background beyond the fact that she and another slave, John Indian, who became her husband, were brought from Barbados by Samuel Parris, a merchant who later became a clergy- man.13 Whether Tituba and John were born in Barbados is not known, nor are their ages evident in the Salem records. Barbadian sources indicate that the most t rob able place of origin for Indian slaves in Barbados was the northeastern coast of South America, where settlements of Dutch-allied Arawaks were likely prey for England's slave traders.14 A reference to the name Tattuba on a 1676 deed supports the Barbadian connection.15 This Tattuba, a child at the time, is most likely the Tituba whom P,arris brought to Massachusetts. Thus Tituba was between thirteen and eighteen years old when she arrived in Boston in 1680 and was no more than thirty during the witch trials.
On Barbados, Tituba had been exposed to the African influences omnipresent there. She was a product of an emergent Creole culture, marked by planter indifference to the religious and cultural lives of the slaves.16 As a result, non-Christian and occult practices flourished on the island. The slaves' "idolatrous ceremonies and customs in honor of their God who is mainly the devil" appalled Felix Sporri, a Calvinist visitor of the 1660s.l' Thomas Walduck, another observer, said that the slaves' ac- tivities were led by the "obia" (traditionally an African healer), who was known to torment others and cause "lameness, madness, loss of speech, loss of the use of all their limbs." The planters, he thought, occasionally participated in these ceremonies.l8
Slaves, whether of American Indian or African ancestry, easily inte- grated and reformulated the ideas and techniques of English witchcraft and other religious practices without violating their essential worldview. Conversely, as Walduck demonstrates, they introduced their white masters to new magical practices without altering the substance of English folklore or theology. In the seventeenth century supernatural omens and techniques associated with witchcraft were accepted and adapted by Europeans, Afri- cans, and Indians regardless of their origin. The functions of the practices varied, but the borrowed forms provided a nonverbal language understood by both slaves and masters.19
Although familiar with various African and European magicoreli- gious practices, Tituba had not necessarily lost all sense of her Indian cul- ture. Seventeenth-century planters depended on American Indian methods of food preparation and possibly of healing.20 Arawaks and other South American Indians feared malevolent spirits that lived in the bush, could change shape at will, and had the power to kill or to cause excruciating pain, and whites in Barbados noted the rituals, trances, herbs, and poisons thought to provide protection against these spiritsF1 Even if the few Indians on the island could not remember a time spent among their own people, Indian "Magick and ways of Divination" persistedF2 Tituba's familiarity with practices derived from three cultures can be deduced from the events of 1692.
In late December 1691 or early January 1692 Parris's daughter Betty and Abigail Williams, a niece living in his house, began to exhibit strange physical symptoms. The girls, aged nine and eleven, complained of painful pinching, crept under chairs, tried to crawl into holes, fell into fits, and babbled. Dr. William Griggs diagnosed the "evil hand," the work of the devil, and because the responsibility for spiritual cures lay with the church, the Reverend Parris initiated a series of prayers and a fast day and called on other ministers to assist himF3
Unbeknownst to Parris, Mary Sibley, a neighbor, appealed to the two Indians in his household to use countermagic to help the girls. On 25 Feb- ruary 1692, after several weeks of watching them suffer, Tituba and John, under Sibley's supervision, prepared a "witchcake," a concoction of rye meal and the girls' urine baked in ashes, and fed it to a dog. Supposedly, the dog was a "familiar," the animal companion of a witch. According to English folklore, the dog, bewitched by the cake, would reveal the name of the witch who was afflicting the girlsF4
The ritual use of bodily substances such as hair, nail parings, and urine was common in folk and tribal cultures, including that of the English "cun- ning people."25 The cooking of human excretions with other substances, such as ashes or even Indian corn or European wheat, was typical of South American Indian sympathetic magic. Bodily fluids were occasionally boiled to divine the identity of an evildoer, as in English folklore, but they were mixed and cooked with other substances to provide protection against witchcraftF6 Tituba may have thought that the witchcake would cure Betty and Abigail or at least protect them against further injury. She willingly complied with Sibley's suggestion that she prepare it.
It was logical for Sibley to approach Tituba and John instead of making the witchcake herself. Because Tituba lived in the Parris household, she could readily collect samples of Betty's and Abigail's urine. In addition, Sibley may have perceived the two Indians as more familiar with occult powers than she was. It was a common percepti~n.~' Cotton Mather was hardly alone in describing Indians as Satan's "most devoted . . . children," who evoked evil spirits in their wigwams.28 Such fears had been revived in New England when violent conflict with Indians resumed in 1690, at the outset of King William's War (1689-98). Young Mercy Short of Salem, re- cently released from captivity, contributed to a growing panic with stories of Indian cannibalism and devil worship.29 Mary Toothaker testified in July 1692 that the devil had appeared to her "in the shape of a Tawny man," a common descriptor for American Indians.3O
It is unlikely that Tituba or John were known for their skill in magic before 1692.3~ There is no documentary or trial evidence that Tituba par- ticipated in occult rituals before that year. On the contrary, there is every indication that she lived an unremarkable life until the last week of Febru- ary 1692. Had she been a "cunning person," the close-knit Puritans would have known-and told-about it. Yet no one accused her of wronging her neighbors or the Parrises before Abigail Williams and Parris himself de- nounced her at the end of February, after the preparation of the witchcake.
Various writers since the nineteenth century would have us believe that Tituba introduced the girls to some forbidden magical pra~tices.3~ The allegation is groundless. Betty and Abigail had been dabbling in the occult and admitted having tried to tell their fortunes by using an egg and a glass (much like reading tea leaves). But they implicated no adult, nor did Parris accuse Tituba of introducing his daughter to the occult. He con- curred with others that "when this witchcraft came upon the stage there was no suspicion of Tituba." 33
Only one witness blamed Tituba for acts of witchcraft that took place before the witchcake incident of 25 February. Most of Tituba's accusers traced their tortures at her hands to that day. In early depositions Elizabeth Hubbard claimed that Tituba's specter had first come to her then, and the younger Ann Putnam cited the same day. Only Abigail Williams, who men- tioned the possibility of several visitations in February, was less precise.34 No earlier date was suggested. Many others accused of witchcraft in 1692 faced complaints of malefice or divination dating months or years earlier, but Tituba did not.3s
The attempt at countermagic brought disaster. Betty and Abigail were frightened by their inadvertent involvement in the appeal to satanic power. After the witchcake episode, their symptoms became more extreme: they felt tortured by invisible hands and began to see the ghosts of murder victims. Moreover, two teenagers, Ann Putnam and Elizabeth Hubbard (Dr. Grigg's niece), began to complain of seeing similar apparitions. Ac- cording to John Hale, only in March did adults begin to behave oddly and to blame their torments on b specter^."^^ The first two women to claim that apparitions were pinching them, within two weeks of the witchcake inci- dent, were Thomas Putnam's wife, Ann, and their servant Mercy Lewis?'
Parris apparently believed in the efficacy of the witchcake, because only when he had found out about it, probably a day or two afterward, did he abandon his cautious campaign to exorcise the afflicted girls through prayer and demand that they reveal their t0rmentors.3~ Abigail, the younger Ann Putnam, and Elizabeth Hubbard pointed to Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne, two quarrelsome and disagreeable women who fit the popular image of a witch, and Tituba.
Weeks later, on 27 March, Parris would publicly chastise Mary Sibley for her part in raising the devil in Massachusetts. In light of the girls' accusations, he ignored her complicity for the m0rnent.3~ Instead of perse- cuting her, a church member and white woman, Parris turned to Tituba, a credible devil worshiper only by virtue of her ethnicity, for evidence of a diabolical plot. When questioned privately by Parris and some visiting ministers, Tituba denied being a witch. Subsequently she was either beaten by Parris or severely pressured to confess, and to avoid further punish- ment, she finally did.40 On 29 February she was arrested on suspicion of having practiced witchcraft. The full import of her confession would not be revealed until after she was questioned by the magistrates.
Examined in the makeshift court in the meetinghouse from I to 5 March, Tituba at first disavowed "familiarity" with any "evil spirit" and denied that she had hurt the children, even though the devil had come to her and commanded her service. Instead, she implicated the two Salem women who had been arrested with her, as well as two Boston women whose names were unknown to her and one "tall man of Bo~ton."~' "They hurt the children and then lay all upon me," she protested. In the next breath she admitted hurting the children herself but charged that the four women and the man had forced her to do so by threatening her life and "worse" if she refused. She humbly apologized for her behavior: "I was Sorry & . . . would doe Soe noe more, but .. .would feare God."
Under close questioning by Judge John Hathorne, Tituba told of reluc- tantly pinching Elizabeth Hubbard, Betty Parris, and Abigail Williams and of threatening the younger Ann Putnam with a knife; the women "would have had me kill Thomas Putnam's Child last night." She reported meeting a hog (sometimes a black dog), a red rat, and a black one (one transcript has instead a red and a black cat), who told her to "serve" them. She de- scribed the Salem goodwives' familiars. Good had a yellow bird, a wolf, and a cat. Osborne "had a thing with a head like a woman with 2 leggs and wings," which Abigail Williams had seen turn "into the shape of goodie osburn" herself; she also had "a thing all over hairy, all the face hayry & a long nose & I don't know how to tell how the face looks w'th two Leggs, itt goeth upright & is about two or three foot high & goeth upright like a man and last night itt stood before the fire in Mr. parris's hall." The pair of witch women, Tituba said, were "very strong & pull me & make me goe w'th them"; sometimes all three rode on a stick or pole, with Tituba in front.
Further questioning brought out more details about these witches' ap- pearance. The man had "white hayr" and wore black clothes but "some times Searge Coat of other Couler." One of the strange women wore "a black Silk hood w'th a White Silk hood under itt"; the other, shorter woman, dressed not as finely, wore a "Searge Coat w'th a White Cap." Suddenly, after listening quietly to Tituba's imaginative descriptions of these diabolical creatures, the children began to have "fits," and Tituba was asked who was hurting them. Three girls blamed Good's specter, and Tituba agreed. But Elizabeth Hubbard was so overcome that she denied knowing her tormentors; "they blinded hir." Tituba too seemed to fall into a trance and could no longer be questioned. The session abruptly and dramatically ended.
On the second day Tituba confessed to signing her mark in blood in a little book offered her by the "tall man of Boston." In the book she saw nine marks already made in red or yellow. One she knew belonged to Good, who she claimed had told her so in person on "the same day I came hither to prison." Another she took to be Osborne's, though Osborne would not admit it. The man had not told Tituba who had made the other seven. She herself had not signed the book immediately, because they were inter- rupted when "mistris [Elizabeth Parris] Called me into the other roome." Promising to return, the man had left her with a "pin tyed in a stick to doe it with." "And what," the examiner asked, "did he say to you when you made your mark?" Echoing a dominant theme of her confession, Tituba answered, "He sayd, Serve mee & always Serve mee."
Tituba's testimony was not merely the frightened response of a slave woman but, arguably, a sophisticated manipulation of her interrogators' deepest fears. She was sufficiently familiar with Puritan customs to know which questions required positive responses and what form they should take. When asked if she ever saw the devil, for instance, Tituba replied that he "came to me and bid me serve him." When more suspects were required, she indicated the four women and the man and then, probably sensing that a wider conspiracy would divert attention from herself, enlarged the group of evil ones to include seven more people.
Who were they? Tituba did not identify them definitely. The mystery of the seven, an effective diversion, also had a personal meaning for her. Among South American Indians, the Arawaks in particular, evil conflicted with social norms that deplored violence within the tribe; one did not curse members of one's own community. Thus evil beings were always identi- fied with strangers or distant ~illagers.4~
It was no accident that Tituba placed the Massachusetts evil beings in a faraway town and claimed not to know them.
The details she provided regarding the clothing and physical appear- ance of the various specters not only increased Tituba's credibility as a witness but also distracted her questioners. The tall man with white hair and black clothes that signaled a dignified status fit the description of many respectable, elderly men in Salem. In the imaginations of others the man would become a black man or an Indian, the personified devil to many Puri- tans, but he was not so in Tituba's testimony.43 A white man, quite possibly he represented her attempt to deflect attention from her Indian appearance and to direct it toward other whites. He may also have been meant as an indirect attack on Parris, a black-clothed white man who, significantly, had come from Boston.
During the second day of her hearing Tituba, responding to her in- quisitors' leading questions, told them about the devil's book that the man had wanted her to sign. After suggestive questions about a covenant, her story became more elaborate: The unidentified white man in black had said that he was God and that he wanted her to serve him for six years and to hurt the children. In return, she would be protected from harm and would receive "many fine things." With growing awareness of her power to create fear, and probably with malice, Tituba confessed to seeing the other names in the book. She had now supplied legal evidence of a satanic presence. Aroused to the magnitude of the conspiracy, the magistrates finally stopped tormenting her and commenced to search out the other malefactors. The witch-hunt had begun.
Witch-hunts in Puritan New England had been frustrated by a dis- junction between folk and elite concepts of Magical practices, both evil and benign, were essential to non-Christian belief systems, whether African, Indian, or European. These systems assumed that persons with occult powers could use their knowledge for good or evil. The evil power could be as pervasive as the good, but the good could be used to over- come evil ~orcerers.4~
To most people witchcraft was a practical method of protecting oneself against an evil neighbor. It was usually free of satanic influence and likewise was practiced with little regard for Christian tenets. Thus Mary Sibley's collaboration with Tituba and John in preparing the witchcake was consistent with folk tradition carried on without concern for orthodox theology.
Christian theologians and the more learned members of the commu- nity identified magic with satanic evil. They denied that ordinary people could manipulate occult forces without assistance from the devil or that such forces could be benign?6 Therefore the questioning of suspected witches concentrated on what they knew of a diabolical presence. Puri- tan divines, and the courts following their lead, needed evidence not of malefice but of satanic influence to convict people of practicing witchcraft. The Massachusetts legal system failed to secure convictions because few persons mentioned the devil in testimony or used his presence as a defense. Most of them spoke only of their misfortunes and personal injuries, not of a diabolical c~nspiracy.~' Tituba, however, linked folk practices to the elite concept of evil that included the required satanic presence. She not only told the magistrates what they wanted to hear about the devil's pact but embellished her story with ideas so strange and new as to convince them of a satanic invasion.
Some of Tituba's testimony was readily derived from English folk-
lore-night riding, marks in blood, specters-but much of it bespoke
Indian or African practices or alluded to qualities common to all three cul-
tures. The book was an artifact of literate societies and the devil a feature of
Christian theology. They would not be found in the precolonial American
Indian or African ~ultures.4~
The association of witchcraft with satanism,
with its promise of power over others, was surprisingly rare in the English
folk tradition and in New E11gland.4~
In responding to questions regarding Satan, Tituba included notions
characteristic of American Indian beliefs about the source of evil. In those
traditions magical power derived from an individual's inherent ability to
manipulate the mystical elements of the universe; it did not imply an im-
personal, supernatural energy.sO Among the Arawaks, for instance, evil was
believed to reside in individuals and to require no intermediate spiritual
force. Nevertheless, it could exist in different degrees of strength. The most
potent evil spirit, the kenaima, was a real person of flesh and blood, un-
like the christian devil.sl Thus Tituba gave the evil presence substance as a
persona, identifiable in her testimony as a white man in distant Boston.
Those confessing to the practice of witchcraft gradually modified
Tituba's description of this devil to forms more consistent with their own
conceptions. The white man then became a tawny or black specter. But at
first, under Tituba's sway, the accusing girls talked about a white man pre-
siding over a witches' sabbat, with women serving as his deacons.s2 As the
confessions became embellished with more elements from European tradi-
tions, the black devil shared the blame with the white one and the witch
took on a new form.
Tituba's suggestion about an evil man left men more vulnerable to accusation than in earlier years. Others sought to identify the male leader of the conspiracy from among their own. The first man to be investi- gated, toward the end of March, was tavern keeper John Pr~ctor?~
He was followed by at least thirty-nine men during the witch-hunt. Giles Corey was accused by the younger Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis, Abigail Williams, Mary Walcott, and Elizabeth Hubbard and arrested on 18 April.S4 TWO days later William Hobbs of Topsfield was accused and questioned.
Tituba's story made it possible for the magistrates to believe that a man like George Burroughs, a minister, could be responsible for the satanic presence in their community when he was accused by Hobbs's daughter Abigail and the younger Ann Putnam. A warrant for his arrest was issued on the last day of April.SS Burroughs was brought to Salem on 4 May, and by that time several more men were under arrest. Philip English, a prosperous Salem merchant, managed to escape the authorities, only to be captured in Boston.s6 On 10 May the two George Jacobses, father and son, and John Willard, all of Salem, were arrested. A few days later Roger Toothaker of Billerica was taken into custody.
A much higher proportion of men were accused of practicing witch- craft during the Salem crisis than during previous witch scares. In his study of pre-1692 incidents John Demos finds four women accused to every mans7 On the other hand, of the identifiable accused in 1692, the ratio was fewer than three to one (104 women and 40 men). Moreover, the men accused at Salem faced greater danger to their lives. Only one of twenty- two accused men had been executed in all of New England before 1692." In 1692 five of the forty accused men were hanged. The statistics regard- ing women are comparable. Of the 104 women arrested in 1692,14 were executed.j9
As the crisis abated after October, a more conventional attitude pre- vailed. During 1693 a much smaller proportion of accused men were even tried by the courts. Indeed, "it was only at the height of the Salem outbreak that the secular authorities relinquished to any significant degree their as- sumption that witches were women."60 But for a while Tituba's words shook their basic understanding of the servants of Satan. Her influential confession not only widened the witch-hunt to include a greater propor- tion of men but extended it beyond Salem. Abigail Hobbs was brought from Topsfield on 18 April on suspicion of having practiced witchcraft; on the strength of the "afflicted" girls' complaints her mother, Deborah, two other women, and another man from Topsfield were also arrested. The list of accused outsiders included Mary Easty (sister of Rebecca Nurse, one of the more respectable, elderly church members in the town), Sarah Wild, and Nehemiah Abbott Jr.61 By the end of May complaints had been heard about men and women in several Massachusetts communities-Andover, Rumney Marsh, Malden, Marblehead, Lynn, and Beverly-and had begun to spread to Boston. Thus Tituba's suggestion about an evil force from a distant community in the form of a member of the upper class had sent the Salem magistrates far afield to find the coconspirators. Neither social status nor geographic location provided immunity from persecution, any more than gender A new conception of the witch, based partly on Indian belief, emerged following Tituba's confession.
The Indian woman had sketched the portrait of a witch who could fly through the air, take animal or human form, and submit to oaths and ordeals involving other spirits. These characteristics were all common to witches from Africa to Asia and throughout Ameri~a.6~
Thus Tituba de-
scribed the metamorphosis of Sarah Good's spirit into a hog and a dog. She
had also seen animals change into the tall man and then back into animals,
sometimes a hog and sometimes "a great black dogge," in a manner typical
of the European witch and of the South American kenaima, who could put
his spirit into the body of any animal he wished, even a mythical one.
The supposed ability of witches to fly on a stick or pole was almost universal. Both European and African traditions told of witches riding on sticks at night to attend secret meetings and to take part in misanthropic rit~als.6~
Although the witches' meeting was another universal phenome- non, the details varied from culture to culture. Tituba's testimony contained some significant deviations from Puritan concepts.
Tituba drew on the common traditions when she told the magistrates of riding on a "poal" to Boston, with Osborne and Good behind her, to meet the other witches she could not name. But she denied knowing the way to their destination; she had seen neither "trees nor path, but was pres- ently there."65 In her account, it was as though her spirit had left her body and been transported instantaneously, unlike the Anglo-African witch sail- ing over the clouds on a stick. She may well have been recalling some vestige of the folklore of her background.
Many Indians of the Americas believed in a dream soul that could leave the body during sleep and visit faraway places. Indeed, every animate object was thought to have a spiritual quality that could leave it during sleep (as well as death) but could return to it only during sleep. Events that occurred during that dream state were considered tangible experiences of the ~pirit.6~
Thus Tituba's story of a witches' meeting may well have re- enacted a dream state during which her spirit went to a distant city. Oddly, during her examination on 2 March she stated that she "was never att Boston," contradicting otherwise consistent testimony. Did she mean that her physical presence had not been there, only her dream soul? Or did the danger of admitting to such a meeting induce her to detach herself from the conspirators? For only the evil ones conspired in Boston. Hers was a reluctant collaboration.
Tituba alluded to other apparent dream states. She stated that the tall man had first visited her some two months before, just as she was about to fall asleepF7She may actually have had such a nightmare when Betty Parris became ill in December. In her account of this dream, evil took the shape of a man similar to the minister Samuel Parris. Thus Tituba, primed to believe that evil was at work in Salem, may have conceived that he had arrived from Boston to threaten her periodically in the lean-to of Parris's house.
More important, Tituba t laced the evil one in Boston-outside the Salem community. By doing so, she evoked the Guianese concept of the malevolent persona who inhabits a different village from its victim. On the other hand, the Puritans, obsessed with the intrusion of evil into their own community, transformed Tituba's suggestion about a distant meeting into one held within their village. From the beginning of April through the trial of George Burroughs in August, every accuser claimed that the witches met nearby. Abigail Hobbs described a meeting in a field near the Parris house, and Abigail Williams said that she had seen many people assembled in the village to mock the Christian sacramentsF8
These confessions conformed more closely to Puritan concepts in two ways: they set contact with the devil in Salem itself, and they pictured the meetings as mockeries of sacred rites. Their purpose was to destroy the Christian commonwealth. The Puritans gradually reshaped Tituba's vision of an evil stranger to fit their own vision of a satanic presence. But the ori- gins of the conspiracy initiated by outsiders still lay in a distant place. Many of those said to attend the meetings came from other towns or were new- comers to SalemF9 Tituba's testimony, although modified and distorted in the retelling, continued to inspire confessions and accusations.
A significant Caribbean feature of Tituba's testimony was the hairy imp: "A thing all over hairy, all the face hayry & a long nose . . .w'th two Leggs, itt goeth upright & is about two or three foot high." 70 This creature was most likely based on the Guianese kenaimas, often described as little people who lived deep in the forest and came out at night to attack other people. Similarly, the evil spirit of the Ashanti of West Africa was suppos- edly covered with long hair, with bloodshot eyes, and was known to sit on the branches of a tree, dangling his legs.71 The Jamaican Creole spirit came to be known as a duppy, "a malicious vindictive, imp-like spirit that haunts forests and burying grounds, a figure very likely derived from a combina- tion of African and Amerindian beliefs." 72 The mention of these foreign creatures heightened the villagers' fear and motivated subsequent accusers to describe strange imps that attended their mocking of the sacraments.
The Indian and English concepts of magic and evil resembled each other closely enough that the details of Tituba's story were reinterpreted and incorporated into the English framework of belief.73 That Tituba's commitment to the tall man was written in her blood evoked the canni- balism and bloodsucking associated with European witchcraft lore. In her mind that blood oath may have been a remnant of the memory of West Indian practices, of the sealing of compacts with blood among Africans or of the holding of the color red as a talisman against sickness and disease among Indian~?~
Tituba also added details not implied in the questions posed to her. She spoke of a yellow bird and later of a green and white bird, of the black dog, of the two rats (or cats, as a second version of her testimony has and of the hog. The dog appeared in many other testimonies and halluci- nations, as did the yellow bird, which probably had special significance for Tituba. The Arawaks of Guiana took birds to be magical messengers. The goatsucker or nightjar, the supernatural ancestor of the Tetebetana clan that uttered a weird piercing call at night, was held in awe by many Guiana Indian~.'~ Were the birds of Tituba's fantasy memories of her earlier exis- tence? Did they represent an appeal to her guardian spirit for assistance? Certainly, others found these allusions useful. There was abundant material in Tituba's story for accused witches to draw on, and much of it appeared, with variations, in subsequent confessions.
Tituba's behavior at the end of her first day of testimony, when she claimed to be blind and went into a trance, would have been unusual for an English witch. Since the Reformation, in English and continental Euro- pean belief, victims of witchcraft exhibited strange symptoms, but witches themselves did not go into trances, any more than priests did in the exer- cise of their 0ffices.7~ In the African and Indian rituals of 1670s Barbados, however, the shaman or obeah did undergo possession of the spirit, with a resulting trance, while uncovering witch~raft.7~
For the peoples of the Caribbean, therefore, the trance was a familiar part of magicoreligious ceremonies, but the Puritans associated it with conjuring and devil wor- ship.79 Tituba's sudden blindness was taken as a sign that she herself was bewitched by the others, even though she did not immediately claim to be victim.
To protect herself Tituba now reverted to remembered concepts and practices and cunningly confessed to promoting an evil conspiracy that had merely been suspected. Cultural differences in the use of language made her
confession that much easier. Whereas in Puritan society deception for per- sonal gain or for self-preservation was equated with satanic practices, in Indian cultures a reluctance to contradict others and the use of metaphori- cal language were cultivated as diplomatic arts.80 Thus Tituba's confession was a ploy to confirm Puritan anxieties, to shift blame to outsiders, and to distract her tormentors with the fear of evil. By locating the evil forces not only in Boston strangers but also in the two Salem women arrested with her, Tituba supported the allegations of the Parris and Putnam families. By appearing to collaborate with her own accusers, she demonstrated the
correct deference to her betters.
By 5 March, the last day of Tituba's testimony, the magistrates had
most of the pieces to the satanic plot: the devil's book, a cabal of night-
riding witches, malefice. The few elements they lacked were not yet forth-
coming, however, for Tituba offered no information about sexual orgies
and suggested no relation between her witches' coven and Christian cere-
mony. Either such ideas were too distant from Tituba's Indian worldview al
or, if she had learned them during her Puritan indoctrination, she forgot
them under the stress of questioning.
The idea of the "black mass" or witches' sabbat was integral to Euro-
pean witch-hunts of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Zealous religious
reformers and inquisitors imagined the witches' sabbat as the site of wild
dancing and revels, a secret nocturnal assembly "presided over by Satan,
where sexual orgies were performed and babies wasted and eaten."s2 The
stories that unfolded in Salem were no less fantastic. Abigail Williams
claimed to see the witches on the day set aside for a public fast. In a spe-
cial ceremony held "at an house in the Village," she said, they parodied
the Lord's Supper by taking "Red Bread and Red Drink." The next day
Mercy Lewis confirmed Abigail's report.83 Contradicting the conventional
description of the devil as a black man, the girls, cued by Tituba's story,
portrayed him as a white man who presided over a congregation at prayer.
What began early in March 1692 as the story of a nocturnal meeting
of nine witches, some of whom had flown to Boston on a pole, had by
the summer of that year given rise to the stereotype of a devil-worshiping
witch who mocked the most sacred features of Chri~tianity.~~
Stories spread about the inversion of church services, complete with baptisms, into a satanic cult and the transubstantiation of bread and wine into flesh and blood under a new malevolent leader, a white man. Cotton Mather noted this transformation: "The Witches do say, that they form themselves much after the manner of Congregational Churches; and that they have a Baptism and a Supper, and Officers among them, abominably Resembling those of OUT Lord."
In outline that witches' sabbat followed Tituba's fantasy, but its de- tails represented a Puritan reformulation. The story told by the girls was elaborated by the accused, who, for a variety of reasons, confessed to prac- ticing witchcraft and participating in a diabolical alliance. The multiethnic dimensions of Tituba's confession had fueled a satanic plot that grew in- creasingly sinister in the retelling.
The Massachusetts magistrates, captives of their cultural milieu, did not consciously note the alien quality of Tituba's story. Her extraordinary fantasy about a satanic presence, based partly on Indian concepts of evil, partly on Creolized Caribbean beliefs, and partly on English witchcraft, was sufficiently familiar to be accepted by them. Creatively integrated into their framework of belief, it allowed the Puritans (and most historians since) to see Tituba as a simple slave trapped by forces beyond her control, a passive victim.86 Her confession, evidence to the Puritans of a diabolical conspiracy, thus saved her life even as it simultaneously elevated the level of fear.
I On these themes see Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft (Cambridge, MA, 1974); Alan Krohn, Hysteria: The Elusive Neurosis (New York, 1978), 163-66; James E. Kenses, "Some Unex- plored Relationships of Essex County Witchcraft to the Indian Wars of 1675 and 1689," Essex Institute Historical Collections 120 (1984): 179-212; David Thomas Konig, Law and Society in Puritan Massachusetts: Essex County, 1629-1692 (Chapel Hill, NC, 1979); and Richard Slotkin, Regeneration through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600-1860 (Middletown, CT, 1973), chap. 5. See also Wallace Notestein, A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 1718 (New York, I~II),280; and Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic (New York, 1971), 526-34. For a review of the literature on Salem witchcraft see David D. Hall, "Witchcraft and the Limits of Interpretation," New England Quarterly 58 (1985): 253-81. A few studies put more emphasis on intellectual analysis: Richard Godbeer, The Devil's Dominion: Magic and Reli- gion in Early New England (New York, 1992); Larry D. Gragg, The Salem Witch Crisis (New York, 1992); David D. Hall, Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Beliefs in Early New England (New York, 1989); and Bernard Rosenthal, Salem Story: Reading the Witch Trials of1692 (Cambridge, MA, 1993).
2 See especially Jane Kamensky, "Words, Witches, and Women Trouble: Witch- craft, Disorderly Speech, and Gender Boundaries in Puritan New England," Essex Institute Historical Collections 128 (1992): 286-307; Carol F. Karlsen, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England (New York, 1987); and Lyle Koehler, A Search for Power: The "Weaker" Sex in Seventeenth- Century New England (Chicago, 1980). On European women see especially Allison P. Coudert, "The Myth of the Improved Status of Protestant Women: The Case of the Witchcraze," in The Politics of Gender in Early Modern Europe, ed. Jean R. Brink, Allison P. Coudert, and Maryanne C. Horowitz (Kirksville, MO, 1989), 62-65; and Christina Larner, Enemies of God: The Witchhunt in Scotland (Baltimore, MD, 1981), 64.
3 A few scholars have ventured to focus on Tituba and the effect of her testimony, but they offer little analysis of its content. See, for example, Chadwick Hansen, Witchcraft at Salem (New York, 1969), 37-38; Richard P. Gildrie, The Profane, the Civil, and the Godly: The Reformation of Manners in Orthodox New England, 1679-1749 (University Park, PA, 1994), 169-70; Gragg, Salem Witch Crisis, 5254; and Rosenthal, Salem Story, 21-31. An earlier, more pointed attempt to evaluate the details of Tituba's confession is George Chever, "Prosecution of Philip English and His Wife for Witchcraft," Historical Collections of the Essex institute i(1860): 73-78; 244-45.
4 The question of why the other accused persons confessed has received a great deal of attention, but little credit has been given to Tituba's behavior as a model. See Chadwick Hansen, "Andover Witchcraft and the Causes of the Salem Witchcraft Trials," in The Occult in America: New Historical Perspec- tives, ed. Howard Kerr and Charles L. Crow (Urbana, IL, 1983), 50; Karlsen, Devil in the Shape, 39-42, 50-52; Koehler, Search for Power, 398; Herbert Lev- enthal, In the Shadow of the Enlightenment: Occultism and Renaissance Science in Eighteenth-Century America (New York, 1976), 71; and Richard Weisman, Witchcraft, Magic, and Religion in 17th-Century Massachusetts (Amherst, MA,
1984), 96-97. 5 Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Witchcraft Papers: Verbatim Tran-
scripts, ;vols. (~e\; York, 1977), 3: 755 (hereafter SWP).
6 All references to Tituba's testimony in this article are taken from the transcripts reprinted in SWP, 2: 361-62, 3: 745-57. The dearth of Indian women's voices in the written records makes her confession a unique document. On the difficul- ties of extracting evidence about American Indian women from literary sources see Clara Sue Kidwell, "Indian Women as Cultural Mediators," Ethnohistory 39
(1992): 97-107. 7 On the association of Indians and devil worship see Alden T. Vaughan, "Early English Paradigms for New World Natives," Proceedings of the American Anti- quarian Society 102 (1992): 35-40; Alfred A. Cave, "Indian Shamans and En- glish Witches in Seventeenth-Century New England," Essex Institute Historical Collections 128 (1992): 242-49; William Kellaway, The New England Company, 1649-1776: Missionary Society to the Indians (London, 1961), 82-83; William S. Simmons, "Cultural Bias in the New England Puritan Perception of Indians," William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 38 (1981): 56-64; Slotkin, Regeneration through Violence, 128-45,199; and Charles W. Upham, Salem Witchcraft, z vols. (1867; rpt. Boston, 1971), I: 8. 8 Chadwick Hansen, "The Metamorphosis of Tituba, or Why American Intel- lectuals Can't Tell an Indian Witch from a Negro," New England Quarterly 47 (1974): 3-12. 9 Ibid., 6-11. On the other hand, the most recent fictional work on Tituba at- tempts to rescue the Tituba-as-African theme and use her as a metaphor for twentieth-century African American women. See Maryse CondC, I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, trans. Richard Philcox (Charlottesville, VA, 1992). The African motif is also the foundation of Peter Hoffer's highly dramatized narra- tion of the Salem happenings, Devil's Disciples: Makers of the Salem Witchcraft
Trials (Baltimore, MD, 1996), esp. 1-16, 205-10. Hoffer bases his argument solely on the similarity of the first syllable of Tituba's name to a single Yoruba word, but he cannot explain why, if she were an African, she is so consistently identified as an Indian in the seventeenth-century records.
10 George Lincoln Burr, ed., Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 1648-1706 (New York, 1914), 162,413; Robert Calef, More Wonders of the invisible World (1700; rpt. Boston, 1828), 238-39.
11 Lorenzo Johnston Greene, Negro in Colonial New England (New York, 1968),
198. 12 SWP, I: 113, 179; Calef, More Wonders, 93; Upham, Salem Witchcraft, 2: 136,
215. See also William D. Piersen, Black Yankees: The Development of an Afro- American Subculture in Eighteenth-Century New England (Amherst, MA, 1988), 70-71.
13 Larry D. Gragg, "The Barbados Connection: John Parris and the Early New England Trade with the West Indies," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 140 (1986): 103-11; Barbados Archives, Wills and Testaments, ~~6114, 453-55. See also G. Andrews Moriarty, "Genealogical Notes on the Rev. Samuel Parris of Salem Village," Essex institute Historical Collections 49 (1913): 354-55. For commentary on Tituba and John's married status see John Hale, "A Mod- est Inquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft" (1702), in Burr, Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 413; Calef, More Wonders, 238; and Upham, Salem Witchcraft,
14 Elaine G. Breslaw, "Prices-His Deposition: Kidnapping Amerindians in Guy- ana, 16~4," Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society 39 (1991): 47-
51. On slave-catching ventures in South America see Neil L. Whitehead, Lords of the Tiger Spirit: A History of the Caribs in Colonial Venezuela and Guyana
(Providence, RI, 1988), 180-86. On the Arawak Indians of South America see
W. Edwards and K. Gibson, "An Ethnohistory of Amerindians in Guyana," Ethnohistory 26 (1979): 161-75; William Henry Brett, lndian Tribes of Guiana: Their Condition and Habits (London, 1868); "A Description of Guyana," in Colonising Expeditions to the West lndies and Guiana, 1623-1667, ed. Vincent Harlow (London, 1925), 132-48; Fred Olson, On the Trail of the Arawaks (Norman, OK, 1974); James Rodway, Guiana: British, Dutch, and French (London, 1912); and Irving Rouse, "The Arawak," in Handbook of South American Indians, ed. Julian H. Steward, 7 vols. (New York, 1963), 4: 507-46.
15 Barbados Archives, Recopied Deeds, RB~/IO, 451. See also Elaine G. Breslaw,
"The Salem Witch from Barbados: In Search of Tituba's Roots," Essex Insti-
tute Historical Collections 128 (1992): 217-38. A similar name, Tutuba, appears
among the eighteenth-century maroons (runaway African slaves) of Guiana,
who absorbed local Indians during the formative years of their society. See
Richard Price, First-Time: The Historical Vision of an Afro-American People
(Baltimore, MD, 1983), 9,144-45,162. Price argues that Tutuba's descendants
attempted to clarify their ancestor's racial origins by claiming that she was
not "red" (light-skinned) but "absolutely black," implying that the name had
strictly African and not Indian roots. Despite the explicitly African ending uba,
Tituba and Tutuba may both be traceable to an Arawak clan, the Tetebetanas,
in the Orinoco-Amacura River valleys in the seventeenth century. See Everard
F. im Thurn, Among the Indians of Guiana (London, 1883), 183. Such names, with their combined American Indian, African, and Spanish roots, reflect the
multicultural influences in the circum-Caribbean area. For additional informa- tion regarding Tituba's South American name origins see Elaine G. Breslaw, Tituba, Reluctant Witch of Salem: Devilish Indians and Puritan Fantasies (New York, 1996), 12-14.
16 On Caribbean Creole culture see Joseph J. Williams, Voodoos and Obeahs: Phases of West India Witchcraft (New York, 1932); Eugene D. Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made (New York, 1974), 209-10; Roger Bas- tide, African Civilisation in the New World, trans. Peter Green (New York, 1971); Lawrence W. Levine, Black Culture and Black Consciousness: Afro-American Folk Thought from Slavery to Freedom (New York, 1977); Sidney W. Minz and Richard Price, "An Anthropological Approach to the Afro-American Past: A Caribbean Perspective" (Philadelphia, 1976), 18-21; Margaret E. Crahan and Franklin W. Knight, eds., Africa and the Caribbean: The Legacies of a Link (Baltimore, MD, 1979), 8-9; and Edward Brathwaite, The Development of Cre- ole Society in Jamaica, 1770-1820 (Oxford, 1971). On Barbados in particular see Jerome Handler and Frederick W. Lange, Plantation Slavery in Barbados: An Archeological and Historical Investigation (Cambridge, MA, 1978), 33; P. F. Campbell, The Church in Barbados in the Seventeenth Century (St. Michael, Barbados, 1982), 82-83; and Neville Connell, trans., "Father Labat's Visit to Barbados in 1700," Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society 24 (1957): 168. 17 A. Gunkel and J. Handler, "A Swiss Medical Doctor's Description of Barba- dos in 1661: The Account of Felix Christian Sporri," Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society 33 (1966): 7. 18 Walduck, a military officer stationed in Barbados, noted that both American Indians and Africans used image magic with such materials as clay, wax, and dust fashioned into a form, which they then stuck with a variety of objects to cause pain. See "T. Walduck's Letters from Barbados, 1710," Journal of the Bar- bados Museum and Historical Society 15 (1948): 148-49. Jerome S. Handler iden- tifies several types of obeah practitioners in Barbados, from approved healers and diviners to the most antisocial sorcerers, in "Slave Medicine and Obeah in Barbados" (paper presented at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY, October ~qqz), 11-16. 19 Bastide, African Civilisation, 30. See also Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll, 181; Harry Hoetink, "The Cultural Links," in Crahan and Knight, Africa and the Caribbean, 28; and Levine, Black Culture, 60.
20 Jerome S. Handler, "Amerindian Slave Population of Barbados in the Seven- teenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries," Caribbean Studies 8 (1969): 47-51; Handler, "Slave Medicine," 5. See also Breslaw, Tituba, Reluctant Witch, 45-51. 21 The most important source on Arawak belief systems is the nineteenth-century text of im Thurn, Among the Indians, 328-34,341-70. See also Raphael Karsten, The Civilization of the South American Indians, with Special References to Magic and Religion (1926; rpt. London, 1968); Andrew Landers, "American Indian or West Indian: The Case of the Coastal Amerindians of Guyana," Caribbean Studies 16 (1976): 121-rr; and Lewis Spence, "Brazil: The Arawaks," in Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. James Hastings (New York, 1926), 2: 85.
22 "Walduck's Letters," 148-49. 23 Calef, More Wonders, 224; Deodat Lawson, "A Brief and True Narrative of Witchcraft at Salem Village" (1692), in Burr, Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases,
24 Samuel Parris, "Records of Salem Village Church, March 27, 1692," in Salem Village Witchcraft: A Documentary Record of Local Conflict in Colonial New En- gland, ed. Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum (Belmont, CA, 1972), 278. See also Calef, More Wonders, 225; and Upham, Salem Witchcraft, I: 405.
25 The practice of sympathetic magic postulated a connection between all parts of the ~h~sical
world. Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, 437-38, de- scribes a belief in the cosmos as "an organic unity in which every part bore a sympathetic relationship to the rest," and thus the nail parings or urine con- tinued to be connected to the person. Therefore manipulating one substance would affect the other. See also Bastide, African Civilisation, 103; Williams, Voo- doos and Obeahs, 163-64; im Thurn, Among the Indians, 349; Robert Galbreath, "Explaining Modern Occultism," in Kerr and Crow, Occult in America, 16; and Alvin 0.Thompson, Colonialism and Underdevelopment in Guyana, 1580-1803 (Bridgetown, Barbados, 1987), 12.
26 Karsten, Civilization of the South American Indians, 190, 202, describes several procedures similar to the preparation of the witchcake. See also Walter E. Roth, An Inquiry into the Animism and Folk-Lore of the Guiana Indians (Washington,
DC, 1915), 356. 27 Simmons, "Cultural Bias," 64 -68; Kenses, "Some Unexplored Relationships," 186-91. 28 Quoted in Godbeer, Devil's Dominion, 192. 29 Slotkin, Regeneration through Violence, 124-29 See also Cotton Mather, "Brand Plucked from the Burning" (1693), in Burr, Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 255-87. 30 SWP, 2: 768-69. 31 There is little evidence of John's complicity in earlier occult practices, but his role at Salem is different from Tituba's and requires a separate analysis. 32 That Tituba was a practitioner of the occult in some form has been assumed by many historians, starting with Upham, Salem Witchcraft, 2: 3. See, for example, Leventhal, In the Shadow, 68-69; James Duncan Phillips, Salem in the Seven- teenth Century (Boston, 1933), 292; Piersen, Black Yankees, 81; and especially Marion Starkey, Devil in Massachusetts (New York, 1949), 34-36. 33 SWP, 2: 587; see Parris, "Records of Salem Village Church," 278-79. 34 SWP, 2: 612, 3: 708, 756. 35 See especially the testimonies against Bridget Bishop, Mary Bradbury, Sarah Good, and Ann Pudeator in SWP, I: 92-94,124-25; 2: 368-69, 375. 36 Hale, "Modest Inquiry," 414. Compare, for instance, the four accusers during the examination of Tituba on I March and the larger number of "afflicted" complaining about Martha Corey on 19 March; the latter group included the Ann Putnams (mother and daughter), Mrs. Pope, Goodwives Bibber and Good- all, Mary Walcott, and the original three girls. SWP, I: 247; Lawson, "Brief and True Narrative," 143-46; swp, 3: 745,756. 37 SWP, I: 260; 3: 603-4. 38 Hale, "Modest Inquiry," 414. 39 Parris, "Records of Salem Village Church," 278. 40 We have only Calef's word that the beating took place (More Wonders, 225), but there is no doubt that Tituba was pressured to give evidence. Hale con- firms that she was questioned before the warrant was issued and before she was brought before the magistrates ("Modest Inquiry," 414). The use of vio- lence against accused witches was not unusual in 1692. The successful use of
force against Tituba ~robabl~
encouraged the later tortures. For a discussion of the use of torture and psychological pressure in 1692 see Godbeer, Devil's Dominion, 206-11.
41 SWP, 3: 749, 752; Hale, "Modest Inquiry," 413-16.
42 Im Thurn, Among the Indians, 328-34. See also Landers, "American Indian," 121-31; Peter Rivikre, "Factions and Exclusions in Two South American Village Systems," in Witchcraft Confessions and Accusations, ed. Mary Douglas (Lon- don, 1970), 245-56; and Thompson, Colonialism and Underdevelopment, 12. 43 See especially Lawson, "Brief and True Narrative," 156, 159-61; and Calef, More Wonders, 246,254, 284.
44 On the differences between popular and elite beliefs regarding the occult see Godbeer, Devil's Dominion, 35-46; George L. Kittredge, Witchcraft in Old and New England (1929; rpt. New York, 1956), 7-22; and Joseph Klaits, Servants of Satan: The Age of the Witch Hunts (Bloomington, IN, 1985), 173. 45 Handler and Lange, Plantation Slavery, 213. See also Orlando Patterson, The Sociology of Slavery: An Analysis of the Origins, Development, and Structure of Negro Slave Society in Jamaica (London, 1967), 183; and John Mbiti, African Religions and Philosophy (New York, 1969), 158-61.
46 According to Edward Phillip's 1671 lexicography, witchcraft was "a certain evill art, whereby with the assistance of the Devil, or evill Spirits, some Wonders may be wrought which exceed the common Apprehension of Men." Quoted in Samuel Drake, Witchcraft Delusion in New England, 3 vols. (Roxbury, MA, 1866), I: xi. On the history of this notion see Norman Cohn, Europe's Inner Demons: An Enquiry Inspired by the Great Witch-Hunt (New York, 1975), 225- 57; Klaits, Servants of Satan, 22-47; Brian P. Levack, The Witchhunt in Early Modern Europe, rd ed. (New York, 1gq5), 29-44; and Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, 253-79.
47 Godbeer, Devil's Dominion, esp. 162-74.
48 Geoffrey Parrinder, Witchcraft: European and African (London, 1963), 128.
49 Leventhal, In the Shadow, 122; Hansen, Witchcraft in Salem, 37; Godbeer, Devil's Dominion, 18; Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, 255. 50 On the South American Indian concept of evil see Marc Simmons, Witchcraft in the Southwest: Spanish and Indian Supernaturalism on the Rio Grande (Lincoln, NE, 1974), 14; William Curtis Farabee, The Central Caribs (Philadelphia, 1924), 75; and Ake Hultkrantz, The Religions of the American Indians, trans. Monica Setterwall (Berkeley, CA, 1979), 32-33. 51 See especially im Thurn, Among the Indians, 328-34; Landers, "American In- dian," 121-22; and Lawrence E. Sullivan, Icanchu's Drum: An Orientation to Meaning in South American Religions (New York, 1988), 445-47. 52 Lawson, "Brief and True Narrative," 160-61; SWP, I: 164, 2: 659. 53 SWP, 2: 680. 54 Ibid., I: 239. 55 Ibid., I: 151. 56 Ibid., I: 313-15. 57 John Putnam Demos, Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England (New York, 1982), 60. 58 Ibid., 62. 59 Of the twenty-two men accused before 1692, ten were suspect by association with an accused woman; the major exceptions were John Godfrey of Andover
and Henry Wakely of Wethersfield, Connecticut. In 1692 some of the men, such as John Proctor and Philip English, were accused before the women in their families, and others, particularly Nehemiah Abbott, George Burroughs, John Willard, John Alden, Nicholas Flood, and Job Tookey, had no association with the women suspected of witchcraft. There is no detailed analysis of the backgrounds of all the men accused at the time. Information on many of them is available in Karlsen, Devil in the Shape; and Boyer and Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed.
60 Karlsen, Devil in the Shape, 50.
61 SWP, 2: 429.
62 Karlsen sees the attacks on elite women as part of a trend to discredit women
who inherited property or were successful in business (Devil in the Shape, 116). Tituba's evidence gave impetus to this class bias. Her words rang true to people already primed to see diabolical action in the growing number of such women in the community.
63 Parrinder, Witchcraft: European and African, 128-40; Simmons, Witchcraft in the Southwest, 55-59, 88.
64 Examples are reported by James Axtell, The European and the Indian: Essays in the Ethnohistory of Colonial North America (New York, 1981), 73; Par- rinder, Witchcraft: European and African, 38-39,128-40; Williams, Voodoos and Obeahs, 129; Notestein, History of Witchcraft, 237; Larner, Enemies of God, 10; and Cohn, Europe's Inner Demons, 206-23.
65 SWP, 3: 751.
66 On the Arawak interpretation of dreams see im Thurn, Among the Indians, 329,
343-49, 358-59; and Sullivan, lcanchu's Drum, 241-43. 67 SWP, 3: 750. 68 Ibid., 2: 423. Ann Foster later confirmed Abigail Hobbs's story (ibid., 2: 343).
See also Boyer and Nissenbaum, Salem Village Witchcraft, 99, 103-5; SWP, I:
164,172, 409-11. 69 Breslaw, Tituba, Reluctant Witch, 144. 70 SWP, 3: 752. 71 Landers, "American Indian," 131; Williams, Voodoos and Obeahs, 130. 72 Patterson, Sociology of Slavery, 204. 73 The reinterpretation and incorporation of alien traits also occurred among the
Spaniards and Indians in Central America, as described by Julian Pitt-Rivers, "Spiritual Power in Central America," in Douglas, Witchcraft Confessions, 19799; and Simmons, Witchcraft in the Southwest, 39-54. For similar transference between Algonquian Indians and the French in Canada see Richard White,
The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region,
1650-1815 (New York, IY~I), 50-93.
74 The blood practices were noted among maroon societies in Guiana in the eigh- teenth century and may well have been found earlier in Barbados. See Richard Price, Maroon Societies: Rebel Slave Communities in the Americas (Baltimore, MD, 1979), 301-2. On the American Indian use of red paint and its origin in blood rituals see Roth, Inquiry into the Animism, 290; and Karsten, Civilization of the South American Indians, 4, 40-42.
75 SWP, 3: 752.
76 Im Thurn, Among the Indians, 119,183; Roth, Inquiry into the Animism, 274-75.
77 Weisman, Witchcraft, Magic, and Religion, 63-64. Carlo Ginzburg, in Night
Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,
trans. John Tedeschi and Anne Tedeschi (1966; rpt. Baltimore, MD, 1983), 17- 21, finds that trancelike behavior did continue in the folk traditions of Italy as late as the sixteenth century.
78 On the role of the trance in African religions see Parrinder, Witchcraft: European and African, 128-30; and Bastide, African Civilisation, 120-22. On the Indians see im Thurn, Among the Indians, 343-49, 358-59; and Hultkrantz, Religions of the American Indians, 87-90.
79 Cotton Mather, "Memorable Provinces Relating to Witchcraft and Posses- sions" (1689), in Burr, Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 115.
80 On Indian diplomacy and strategies for survival see Axtell, The European and the Indian, 79; Elise M. Brenner, "To Pray or to Be Prey: That Is the Question: Strategies for Cultural Autonomy of Massachusetts Praying Town Indians," Ethnohistory 27 (1980): 135-52; Gerald Sider, "When Parrots Learn to Talk and Why They Can't: Domination, Deception, and Self-Deception in Indian-White Relations," Comparative Studies in Society and History 29 (1987): 3-23; and Simmons, "Cultural Bias," 72. On the Puritan attitude toward lies see Hansen, Witchcraft at Salem, chap. 6 ("ACountry Full of Lies"); Demos, Entertaining Satan, 77-79; and Karlsen, Devil in the Shape, 147. 81 Pitt-Rivers, "Spiritual Power," 198. 82 Norman Cohn, "Myths of Satan and His Human Servants," in Douglas, Witchcraft Confessions, 11. On the growth of these legends see especially Cohn, Europe's Inner Demons, 225-57; and Klaits, Servants of Satan, 173. See also Richard P. Gildrie, "Salem Witchcraft Trials as a Crisis of Popular Imagina- tion," Essex Institute Historical Collections 128 (1992): 284. 83 The report of these events is in Lawson, "Brief and True Narrative," 160-61. 84 On the similarities between Congregational practice and these supposed satanic rites see Richard Godbeer, "Chaste and Unchaste Covenants: Witchcraft and Sex in Early Modern Culture," in Wonders of the Invisible World, 1600-1900, ed. Peter Benes (Boston, 1995), 62-69. 85 Cotton Mather, "Wonders of the Invisible World" (1693), in Burr, Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 246. See also Chever, "Prosecution of Philip English," 73-78.
86 Tituba was held in the Boston jail until April 1693, was never tried for any crime, and finally, when Parris refused to take her back into his household, was sold for the cost of her imprisonment to an as-yet-unidentified person. Her subsequent fate is unknown. See Calef, More Wonders, 343.