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Salem Witch Trials: Sarah Good

During the Salem Witch Trials, one of the first ‘witches’ to be accused was Sarah Good, who caught the eye of a group of young girls responsible for sparking the witch hunts. Since the woman was a bit strange and homeless, it was easy for the villagers to imagine that she was a witch , she was not like the other Puritans. In this article, you will learn what happened to Sarah Good during the Salem Witch Trials.

Sarah Good walked about Salem with her kids by her side , begging from place to place. If she was not given anything, she would walk away mumbling to herself. Many believed that she was speaking ‘curses’ to the people that denied her requests. When the crops failed to grow and livestock started to die, many felt it was the doing of Sarah Good.
 
Sarah Good had an examination on March 1, 1692 with two other accused witches , Sarah Osburne and Tituba , a Caribbean slave that worked at a local reverend’s home. During the session of questioning, Ann Putnam, Betty Parris, and Abigail Williams started to squeal and experience fits. Sarah could only plead for her innocence and told the questioners that she was falsely accused. But, Tituba named her as a witch and several villagers came forth to testify against her , one being her own husband.

Sarah was sent to prison. About three weeks later, Ann Putnam accused Sarah’s five-year-old daughter, Dorothy (or Dorcas), of practicing witchcraft. During an examination, the young child ‘confessed’ by displaying her imagination to the fullest. She said that she was indeed a witch with her mother. She showed a red spot on her finger (that was mostly likely a bite from a flea) and told the magistrates that it came from a snake that her mother had given her. The small child was sent to prison and was chained to a wall.
 
The trial of Sarah Good took place on June 30 and even though no solid evidence existed besides the claims of the girls, she was given a guilty verdict. When asked why she muttered to herself after leaving a neighbor’s door empty handed after begging, she replied that she was only reciting the Ten Commandments. When asked to repeat the Commandments at her trial, she was unable to recite a single one.

At the time of her sentencing, Good was pregnant with her second child. She gave birth while awaiting her execution. The infant died a short time thereafter in the Ipswich Jail. Sarah’s five-year-old daughter was also accused of witchcraft and became the youngest person to go to jail during the Salem Witch Trials. Several months later, the child was released from jail.

Sarah and four other women were hung on July 19, 1692. Just before the hanging, the other women broke into prayer and asked God to forgive the accusers. Sarah did not show any signs of forgiveness. The local minister Reverend Nicholas Noyes tried his hardest to get her to confess. Sarah’s reply was “I am no more a witch than you are a wizard, and if you take away my life, God will give you blood to drink.”
 
Twenty-five years after the death of Sarah Good, Reverend Noyes is said to have died of internal bleeding , choking on his own blood.