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The next morning the Boys awoke refreshed and ready for more abuse despite the copious amount of Scotch Mike and Bone sucked down the night before. AHHH the quality of a fine single malt ! Since Bone had been married to a witch and they were in the neighbourhood, Mike and Bone decided head south and back to Massachusetts to check out Ellen's ancestral roots in Salem !!!
Slummin' in Salem
was the Salem Witch Trials all about !?!
From June through September of 1692, nineteen men
and women, all having been convicted of witchcraft, were carted to Gallows Hill,
a barren slope near
Why did this travesty of justice occur?
Why did it occur in
Salem Town Meeting Place
the heck really happened ? In 1688, John Putnam, one of the most influential
The Salem that became the new home of Parris was in the midst of change: a mercantile elite was beginning to develop, prominent people were becoming less willing to assume positions as town leaders, two clans (the Putnam's and the Porters) were competing for control of the village and its pulpit, and a debate was raging over how independent Salem Village, tied more to the interior agricultural regions, should be from Salem, a center of sea trade.
Sometime during February of the exceptionally cold winter of
1692, young Betty Parris became strangely ill. She dashed about, dove under
furniture, contorted in pain, and complained of fever. The cause of her symptoms
may have been some combination of stress, asthma, guilt, boredom, child abuse,
epilepsy, and delusional psychosis.
The symptoms also could have been caused, as Linda Caporael argued in a 1976
article in Science magazine, by a disease called "convulsive ergotism" brought
on by ingesting rye--eaten as a cereal and as a common ingredient of
bread--infected with ergot. (Ergot
is caused by a fungus which invades developing kernels of rye grain, especially
under warm and damp conditions such as existed at the time of the previous rye
Convulsive ergotism causes violent fits, a crawling sensation on the skin, vomiting, choking, and--most interestingly--hallucinations. The hallucinogenic drug LSD is a derivative of ergot.) Many of the symptoms or convulsive ergotism seem to match those attributed to Betty Parris, but there is no way of knowing with any certainty if she in fact suffered from the disease--and the theory would not explain the afflictions suffered by others in Salem later in the year.
Talk of witchcraft increased when other playmates of Betty, including eleven-year-old Ann Putnam, seventeen-year-old Mercy Lewis, and Mary Walcott, began to exhibit similar unusual behavior. When his own nostrums failed to effect a cure, William Griggs, a doctor called to examine the girls, suggested that the girls' problems might have a supernatural origin. The widespread belief that witches targeted children made the doctor's diagnosis seem increasing likely.
By this time, suspicion had already begun to focus on Tituba, who had been known to tell the girls tales of omens, voodoo, and witchcraft from her native folklore.
Meanwhile, the number of girls afflicted continued to grow, rising to seven with the addition of Ann Putnam, Elizabeth Hubbard, Susannah Sheldon, and Mary Warren. According to historian Peter Hoffer, the girls "turned themselves from a circle of friends into a gang of juvenile delinquents." ( Many people of the period complained that young people lacked the piety and sense of purpose of the founders' generation.) The girls contorted into grotesque poses, fell down into frozen postures, and complained of biting and pinching sensations. In a village where everyone believed that the devil was real, close at hand, and acted in the real world, the suspected affliction of the girls became an obsession.
Downtown Salem Town
Sometime after February 25 and February 29, when arrest warrants were issued against Tituba and two other women, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams named their afflictors and the witch-hunt began. The consistency of the two girls' accusations suggests strongly that the girls worked out their stories together.
Soon Ann Putnam and Mercy Lewis were also reporting seeing "witches flying through the winter mist." The prominent Putnam family supported the girls' accusations, putting considerable impetus behind the prosecutions.
The first three to be accused of witchcraft were Tituba,
Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborn. Tituba was an obvious choice, Good was a beggar
and social misfit who lived wherever someone would house her, and Osborn was
old, quarrelsome, and had not attended church for over a year. The Putnam's
brought their complaint against the three women to county magistrates Jonathan
Corwin and John Hathorne, who scheduled examinations for the suspected witches
The matter might have ended with admonishments were it not
for Tituba. After first adamantly denying any guilt, afraid perhaps of being
made a scapegoat, Tituba claimed that she was approached by a tall man from
Salem Witchcraft Memorial
Soon, according to their own reports, the spectral forms of other women began attacking the afflicted girls. Martha Corey, Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Cloyce, and Mary Easty were accused of witchcraft.
During a March 20 church service, Ann Putnam suddenly shouted, "Look where Goodwife Cloyce sits on the beam suckling her yellow bird between her fingers!" Soon Ann's mother, Ann Putnam, Sr., would join the accusers. Dorcas Good, four-year-old daughter of Sarah Good, became the first child to be accused of witchcraft when three of the girls complained that they were bitten by the specter of Dorcas. (The four-year-old was arrested, kept in jail for eight months, watched her mother get carried off to the gallows, and would "cry her heart out, and go insane.") The girls accusations and their ever more polished performances, including the new act of being struck dumb, played to large and believing audiences.
Stuck in jail with the damning testimony of the afflicted
girls widely accepted, suspects began to see confession as a way to avoid the
Phips created a new court, the "court of oyer and terminer,"
to hear the witchcraft cases. Five
judges, including three close friends of Cotton Mather, were appointed to the
court. Chief Justice, and most
influential member of the court, was a gung-ho witch hunter named William
Stoughton. Mather urged
Salem Witchcraft Memorial
The first accused witch to be brought to trial was Bridget
Bishop. Almost sixty years old,
owner of a tavern where patrons could drink cider ale and play shuffleboard
(even on the Sabbath), critical of her neighbors, and reluctant to pay her
bills, Bishop was a likely candidate for an accusation of witchcraft. The fact
that Thomas Newton, special prosecutor, selected Bishop for his first
prosecution suggests that he believed the stronger case could be made against
her than any of the other suspect witches. At Bishop's trial on
As the summer of 1692 warmed, the pace of trials picked up. Not all defendants were as disreputable as Bridget Bishop. Rebecca Nurse was a pious, respected woman whose specter, according to Ann Putnam, Jr. and Abagail Williams, attacked them in mid March of 1692. Ann Putnam, Sr. added her complaint that Nurse demanded that she sign the Devil's book, then pinched her. Nurse was one of three Towne sisters, all identified as witches, who were members of a Topsfield family that had a long-standing quarrel with the Putnam family. Apart from the evidence of Putnam family members, the major piece of evidence against Nurse appeared to be testimony indicating that soon after Nurse lectured Benjamin Houlton for allowing his pig to root in her garden, Houlton died. The Nurse jury returned a verdict of not guilty, much to the displeasure of Chief Justice Stoughton, who told the jury to go back and consider again a statement of Nurse's that might be considered an admission of guilt (but more likely an indication of confusion about the question, as Nurse was old and nearly deaf). The jury reconvened, this time coming back with a verdict of guilty.
Persons who scoffed at accusations of witchcraft risked
becoming targets of accusations themselves.
One man who was openly critical of the trials paid for his skepticism
with his life. John Proctor, was an
opinionated tavern owner who openly denounced the witch-hunt.
Testifying against Proctor were Ann Putnam, Abagail Williams, Indian John
(a slave of Samuel Parris who worked in a competing tavern), and
eighteen-year-old Elizabeth Booth, who testified that ghosts had come to her and
accused Proctor of serial murder. Proctor fought back, accusing confessed
witches of lying, complaining of torture, and demanding that his trial be moved
No execution caused more unease in
Among the thirty accusers of Burroughs was nineteen-year-old Mercy Lewis, a refugee of the frontier wars. Lewis, the most imaginative and forceful of the young accusers, offered unusually vivid testimony against Burroughs. Lewis told the court that Burroughs flew her to the top of a mountain and, pointing toward the surrounding land, promised her all the kingdoms if only she would sign in his book (a story very similar to that found in Matthew 4:8). Lewis said, "I would not writ if he had throwed me down on one hundred pitchforks." At an execution, a defendant in the Puritan colonies was expected to confess, and thus to save his soul. When Burroughs on Gallows Hill continued to insist on his innocence and then recited the Lord's Prayer perfectly (something witches were thought incapable of doing), the crowd reportedly was "greatly moved." The agitation of the crowd caused Cotton Mather to intervene and remind the crowd that Burroughs had had his day in court and lost.
One victim of the
They were the last victims of the witch-hunt.
Salem Burial Ground
By early autumn of 1692,
By the time the witch-hunt ended, nineteen convicted witches were executed, at least four accused witches had died in prison, and one man, Giles Corey, had been pressed to death. About one to two hundred other persons were arrested and imprisoned on witchcraft charges. Two dogs were executed as suspected accomplices of witches.
A period of atonement began in the colony following the
release of the surviving accused witches. Samuel Sewall, one of the judges,
issued a public confession of guilt and an apology. Several jurors came forward
to say that they were "sadly deluded and mistaken" in their judgments. Reverend
Samuel Parris conceded errors of judgment, but mostly shifted blame to others.
Parris was replaced as minister of
As Mike and Bone heard about the gruesome story of religious intolerance they noticed that Salem, just had a bad "ju-ju" about it. It was definitely something that you could not see or hear, but feel.
When the Boys related their story to other that had visited Salem, they too related that Salem has a "bad feel".
The House of the Seven Gables
As the Boys headed back to their car, they walked down Turner Street where the famous House of the Seven Gables can be found. This home is the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion (built in 1668), and was the inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, named the House of the Seven Gables. Hawthorne, who was the great-grandson of John Hathorne, one of the judges whom executed the nineteen "Witches" in 1692. Nathaniel was so embarrassed by the family scandal that he added a "w" to his last name. Much of his writings was a refutation of the religious intolerance of his Great-Grandfather.
With the nasty taste of Salem around them, the Boys thought that they would leave icky, ooky, speaky, spooky of Salem and visit the Adams Family in Braintree !
The Adams Family ! John Adams Birthplace
Peacefield, the Adams Homestead
Just south of Boston the Mike and Bone
stopped in Quincy at Peacefield, also called Old House, is a historic home
formerly owned by second United States President John Adams, his son John Quincy
Adams and other members of the
Peacefield was the home and farm of
John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) author of the Constitution of the
A Presidential Visit for Mike and Bone !
The oldest portion of the house was built in 1731 by Leonard
Vassall, a sugar-planter from
During the subsequent 12 years, with
The house was given by the
It was in this Parlour that on July 4, 1824, John Adams whispered his last words: "Thomas Jefferson survives." But Jefferson had died at Monticello a few hours earlier. It was also ironic that John Q Adams was president at that time.
With the story of the 2nd and 6th presidents fresh in their tiny brains, the Boys thought that they would take a pilgrimage a further back in history down the coast in Plymouth!
Setting sail on the Mayflower !
Mike and Bone made it to Plymouth early afternoon and started at the Pier to see the recreation of the Mayflower and get stoned at Plymouth Rock.
Mike and Bone, Rocking at Plymouth
As Mike and Bone oggled at the Rock they didn't realize that
there are no contemporary references to the Pilgrims' landing on a rock at
Site-Seeing Samoset !
As the Boys wandered around town they wondered:
Who the heck were the Pilgrims anyways ?!? The Pilgrims were English Separatists who founded (1620) Plymouth Colony in New England. In the first years of the 17th century, small numbers of English Puritans broke away from the Church of England because they felt that it had not completed the work of the Reformation. They committed themselves to a life based on the Bible. Most of these Separatists were farmers, poorly educated and without social or political standing. One of the Separatist congregations was led by William Brewster and the Rev. Richard Clifton in the village of Scrooby in Nottinghamshire. The Scrooby group emigrated to Amsterdam in 1608 to escape harassment and religious persecution. The next year they moved to Leiden, where, enjoying full religious freedom, they remained for almost 12 years. In 1617, discouraged by economic difficulties, the pervasive Dutch influence on their children, and their inability to secure civil autonomy, the congregation voted to emigrate to America. Through the Brewster family's friendship with Sir Edwin Sandys, treasurer of the London Company, the congregation secured two patents authorizing them to settle in the northern part of the company's jurisdiction. Unable to finance the costs of the emigration with their own meager resources, they negotiated a financial agreement with Thomas Weston, a prominent London iron merchant. Fewer than half of the group's members elected to leave Leiden. A small ship, the Speedwell, carried them to Southampton, England, where they were to join another group of Separatists and pick up a second ship. After some delays and disputes, the voyagers regrouped at Plymouth aboard the 180-ton Mayflower. It began its historic voyage on Sept. 16, 1620, with about 102 passengers--fewer than half of them from Leiden. After a 65-day journey, the Pilgrims sighted Cape Cod on November 19. Unable to reach the land they had contracted for, they anchored (November 21) at the site of Provincetown. Because they had no legal right to settle in the region, they drew up the Mayflower Compact, creating their own government. The settlers soon discovered Plymouth Harbor, on the western side of Cape Cod Bay and made their historic landing on December 21; the main body of settlers followed on December 26. The term Pilgrim was first used by William Bradford to describe the Leiden Separatists who were leaving Holland. The Mayflower's passengers were first described as the Pilgrim Fathers in 1799.
Searching for a Pub in Plymouth City Center
Having landed at
The Pilgrims Monument
In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620.
As the Boys wandered around town, the conversation went from history, to politics and naturally to religion !
Dickering with the Clergy in the first Unitarian Church in the US
As the Boys wandered around town, the conversation went from history, to politics and naturally to religion ! Checking out the Church in City Center, the Boys encountered the Minister of the Church. Once the Minister was convinced that the Boys weren't going to rob them, that all had a lovely chat on the mysteries of the next live. Being and Apathetic-Agnostic (don't know-don't care) Bone gave the minister grief on the "Counting conundrum in Genesis.
You know where Adam was the first person, then Eve, they had to kids, Cain and Abel. Cain slew Abel (who obviously was that able!),, was banished by Adam and Eve, left them crossed into the Bekaa Valley, went into a Village and married a women. Somewhere the math just "dont't" add up!!
The Minister wisely side-step that simple logic question and soon after ushered the Boys out of the Church, whereas the Boys wandered into the Churches Graveyard, marveling at the headstone dated back to the 1600's !
Pilgrims of Grave Concern
By 4:00PM Mike and Bone had covered pretty much the entire town and had toured most of the expected spots as Plymouth Rock, so the boys pondered their next strategic move.
A view of the Atlantic Coast from Plymouth
When you think about New England, what is one of spot you think about? Was is that part that makes Massachusetts's look like a fishhook? Well Cape Cod of course !! With the boys just mile from the entrance to the Cape, they thought what better place to end the day than at the tip of New England, Province Town !!
Bone looking for fish just for the Halibut on Cape Cod National Seashore !
It turns out Cape Cod is a pretty big Cape !! It takes almost two hours to drive from the entrance to P-Town (as the locals call it.) As the Boys were driving up, they started to worry about finding lodging, so when they crossed a National Park Tourist Station, they stopped for info.
The Park Rangers were quite unhelpful as the Boys were to find out. They assured Mike and Bone that there were plenty of Room, and even gave the Boys the number to a Motel 6 which was the VERY end of the Cape.
Plus, they mentioned that P-Town had been settled by Portuguese Fisherman, there were great Portuguese Restaurants !
It was perfect !!! Exactly what the Boys were looking for, new food (Portuguese), an eclectic motel at the end. and a kool party town !!!
Yep! Mike and Bone were gonna make P-Town stand for "Party !!"
The Sun setting as the Boys make it to P-Town
Using their cell phones the Boys booked a room at the Motel 6 (not nearly as cool and Kathleen Kennedy's Bunkhouse in Maine)
Looking at the brochure on P-Town Portuguese restaurants, they noticed that the one that seemed to be the most recommended was right next door to their Motel, yet more good news!!!
This night was gonna be one heckuva good night !!
After checking in, Mike and Bone immediately walked over to the Portuguese Restaurant, were seated discovered that their waiter was not from Portugal, but more likely from San Francisco. NOT that there is anything wrong with that ! Plus, you find Gays quite often in the Service Industry in Tourist Towns, hey look at Key West !
Sadly, Portuguese food wasn't' really all that fancy, different, or good, and left no impression on the Boys, so by 8:00PM, they left the Restaurant, their new admirer "Gus" and were ready to PARTY !!!
Overly "Provincial" Province Town
Err "Mike, where's the Babes !!??!! Walking into downtown P-Town, which was now completely dark but very crowded, it took a few minutes for their eyes to adjust. They started to bop in and quickly bop out of all the bars, because they didn't see no women?! They then noticed that there were no women,,,, ANY where in the crowded streets !!!?!!!
With a dawning horror of realization, Mike and Bone now realized what the Park Ranger didn't tell them about P-Town, the "P" doesn't stand for Province, Portuguese, or even Party,,,,,it stands for "Princess" !!!!
They finally realized that P-Town is all Gay !!! (Not, that there is anything wrong with that!)
The Boys had a "Gay" old time in P-Town !?!
After the shocking turn of events, Mike and Bone decided to call it an early night at the unheard of time of 10:00PM !!
It had been a long day anyways, they certainly were not going to find anybody to flirt with (or that they would want to flirt with !), so with some trepidation they went to the Motel 6. On the way back to their room, the Boys stopped at a Hardware Store, bought two rolls of duct tape, and applied liberally to their rear ends in case a of rampaging horde of gays broke into their room !
Hey !! it could happen !!
And you can't be too careful you know !!!