A Guide to the Primary Sources of the Salem Witch Trials
People Accused of Witchcraft in 1692
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For each person accused during the Salem witchcraft trials, you can access a large number (not all!) of the primary sources on-line, detailing what happened to them, as available in the original legal records and contemporary accounts. This is not an absolute definitive list, but it will get you started. The columns on the right will give you an idea of what kinds evidence exists in the case of each person as found in Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt.
Help using these primary sources
If you are trying to understand what happened to a specific person, please download this helpful guide concerning what sort of information you can find in the primary sources in each of these categories.

Accused: Lydia Dustin, of ReadingReturn
No. 96: Complaint of Jonathan Walcott & Thomas Putnam v. George Burroughs, Lydia Dustin, Susannah Martin, Dorcas Hoar, Sarah Morey, and Philip English                
No. 98: Warrant for the Apprehension of Lydia Dustin, and Officer's Return                
No. 114: Mittimus for Susannah Martin, Lydia Dustin, Dorcas Hoar, & Sarah Morey                
No. 216: Census of Prisoners and Dates of Prison Transfers                
No. 255: Deposition of Abigail Hobbs, Deliverance Hobbs, & Mary Warren v. George Burroughs, Sarah Good, Sarah Osburn, Bridget Bishop, Giles Cory, Rebecca Nurse, Elizabeth Procter, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Abigail Soames, John Procter, & Lydia Dustin                
No. 743: Mittimus for Lydia Dustin, Sarah Dustin, Mary Colson, Elizabeth Colson, & Sarah Cole (of Lynn), and Officer's Return                
No. 792: Deposition of Mercy Lewis v. Philip English, Mary English, Lydia Dustin, Elizabeth Johnson Jr., & Thomas Farrar Sr.                
No. 833: Court Record of the Trial of Lydia Dustin                
No. 856: Account for Payment Submitted by Israel Cheever, Jailkeeper                
What kind of primary source evidence does a check in each column indicate?
  • Complaint or Arrest - Either a formal complaint or an arrest warrant against this person exists.
  • Examination - An account of an examination (interrogation) or confession before local magistrates or in prison exists.
  • Imprisonment - A mittimus to move this person to/from jail, a recognizance or bond to release the person from jail, a reference in a jailer's bill, or a request for compensation for time spent in jail exists.
  • Evidence Entered - At least one deposition, statement, testimony or petition from any proceeding (preliminary hearing, grand jury or trial) for or against this person exists.
  • Grand Jury or Indictment - A deposition, statement or testimony sworn before the grand jury of inquest, a physical examination of the body of this person, or an indictment brought before a grand jury exists.
  • Jury Trial - An entry in a court record book or a contemporary account of the trial exists.
  • Conviction - A death warrant indicating that the person was convicted, a notation about the case in a record book of the conviction, a statement that the person was convicted in either a request for reversal of attainder or for compensation from the Crown exists.
  • Execution - The return of an officer on a death warrant, a statement that the person was executed in a request for reversal of attainder or for compensation from the Crown, or an entry in Samuel Sewall's diary exists.
  • Restitution - Accounts submitted for restitution, orders for payment to survivors, acts for reversal of attainder or for payments of restitution, proclamations clearing the accused

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