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Massachusetts Court of Oyer and Terminer Records, 1692-1694, 1710-1716, 1843, undated

 Collection
Identifier: DEP 01

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

Please note that the physical collection has been returned to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

The collection contains legal documents from the Essex County Court of Massachusetts, Court of Oyer and Terminer, for the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692. Documents include declarations, arrest warrants, summonses, mittmuses, and a death warrant. The documents have been left in their original order, with the item number included in prentices. Documents have been indexed by name--conducting another search by individual name(s) will narrow down your search to specific documents. It should be noted that the numbering of the documents is not consecutive, there is a gap between 125 and 136, in Volume One, which resulted from a numbering error when the manuscripts were removed from the scrapbook volumes. An appendix with the materials indexed alphabetically by individual, can be found at the end of the finding aid. All descriptions of the documents, and their authors, have come from Bernard Rosenthal's book Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt. Hands refers to the person whose handwriting has been identified in the document, for example, "hand #2 Stephen Sewall" means that the second set of handwriting has been identified as belonging to Stephen Sewall. This collection has been divided into two series. For a more printer friendly finding aid, see the Abridged Finding Aid in the external documents.

Series I. Volume One contains the contents from scrapbook number one. It should also be noted that documents 11 and 12 are one item; documents 113 and 114 are one item; documents 138 and 139 are one item; items 142 and 143 are one item; items 153 and 154 are one item; documents 182 and 183 are one item; and documents 186 and 187 are one item. Item 177 was not included in the original inventory (see Appendix), it is in box 4, folder 37.

Series II. Volume Two contains the contents from scrapbook number two. It should be noted that documents #115 and #126 are not related to the 1692-1693 witchcraft trials.

Dates

  • 1692-1694, 1710-1716, 1843, undated

Creator

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for reserach.

Extent

4.01 Linear Feet (13 boxes )

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The collection contains legal documents from the Essex County Court of Massachusetts, Court of Oyer and Terminer, for the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692. Documents include declarations, arrest warrants, summonses, mittmuses, and a death warrant. The documents have been left in their original order, with the item number included in prentices. It should be noted that the numbering of the documents is not consecutive, there is a gap between 125 and 136, in Volume One, which resulted from a numbering error when the manuscripts were removed from the scrapbook volumes. An appendix with the materials indexed alphabetically by individual, can be found at the end of the finding aid. This collection has been divided into two series.

Series List

Series I. Volume One

Series II. Volume Two

Physical Location

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This material was placed on deposit with the Essex Institute by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts from December 1980 until January 2023.

Existence and Location of Copies

Microfilm copies of this material is available in the Phillips Library, microfilm #100, reels 1 and 2.

Digital reproductions of the collection are available electronically through the University of Virginia’s Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project, at http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/archives/ecca.html.

Bibliography and Related Collections

Boyer, Paul S. and Stephen Nissenbaum, eds. The Salem Witchcraft Papers: Verbatim Transcripts of the Legal Documents of the Salem Witchcraft Outbreak of 1692; Compiled and Transcribed in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration, Under the Supervision of Archie N. Frost; Edited and With an Introd. and Index. New York: Da Capo Press, 1977.

Rosenthal, Bernard, et al eds. Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Salem Witchcraft Trials Records, 1691-1693. MSS 401

United States Works Progress Administration. Transcriptions of the Records of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County Massachusetts.

Exhibition History

The Salem Witch Trials 1692, Peabody Essex Museum, September 26, 2020 to April 4, 2021. Box 1, Folder 2; Box 1, Folder 3; Box 1, Folder 12; Box 1, Folder 36; Box 2, Folder 31; Box 2, Folder 37; Box 3, Folder 42, item 1; Box 3, Folder 42, item 2; Box 4, Folder 23; Box 4, Folder 29; Box 5, Folder 39; Box 6, Folder 1; Box 7, Folder 13; Box 7, Folder 31; Box 12, Folder 28; Box 13, Folder 37.

The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming, Peabody Essex Museum, September 18 2021 to March 20, 2022. Box 2, Folder 20; Box 3, Folder 27; Box 7, Folder 46; 8, Folders 6, 7,8, 9, 13, 15, 17, 20, 24; Box 12, Folders 30, 32; Box 9, Folder 1.

On This Ground: Being and Belonging in America, Peabody Essex Museum, opened March 12, 2022-. Box 1, Folder 10; Box 1, Folder 34.

The Salem Witch Trials: The Towne Sisters, Peabody Essex Museum, September 10, 2022-. Box 1, Folder 40; Box 2, Folder 42; Box 3, Folder 42; Box 7, Folder 13; Box 7, Folder 31.

Title
Massachusetts Court of Oyer and Terminer Records, 1692-1713, 1843
Author
Hilary Streifer
Date
January 2020
Description rules
Dacs
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Phillips Library Repository

Contact:
Peabody Essex Museum
306 Newburyport Turnpike
Rowley MA 01969 USA