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Sarah Good: A Salem Witch

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by

James Stray

on 6 April 2011

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Transcript of Sarah Good: A Salem Witch

Sarah Good Life Story Trial Her father, John Solart died and left the family money
Her mother remarried and didn't give any of the money to the daughters
She married a man named Daniel Poole, who left her with debt when he died
Her second husband, William Good had to pay the debts
They became homeless and had to beg
First warrant for her arrest was issued February 29th, 1692
Executed on July 9th, 1692 First "witch" to testify
Accused of hurting children
W. Good affirmed that she was a witch
"...enemy against all that is good..."
Tituba named her as a witch
When S. Good accused other "witches", the afflicted children said that yes, the others were witches, but still accused S. Good
S. Good was imprisoned while pregnant, and she lost the child
Dorcas Good was also accused and imprisoned Testimonies Social Marginalization Economic Marginalization It was strange that she did not receive money from her father's estate
Poole, her first husband, was "his own man" before marrying Sarah
On her second marriage, she had to pay her first husband's debts
She rented rooms in the houses of several community members
She was strange and unpleasant--people considered her a nuisance
S. Good's life as a beggar took it's toll on her and she appeared much older than she was
She was not a respected member of society, and only one person stood up for her when she was tried
Even her husband accused her, and although her daughter did not directly say that S. Good was a witch, the girl's tetimony was taken as an accusation When S. Good's father dies, all of the money is left to his widow and his eldest son. The will intended for all of his children to receive a share, but when the mother remarried, she kept her children's inheritance.
S. Good's second husband was responsible for paying the first husband's debts, which left them with very little money.
She "gave" all of her dowry to William to make up for the debts her first husband had left her, but the courts never gave her the money that her mother took.
They became homeless, and were a drain on the community.
The economic issues brought about by the debts and the inheritance troubles affected how W. Good and the whole community saw her. Gender Issues Middle-aged or old women without sons or brothers were often accused
For the Puritans, the ideal virtuous woman was subservient to men
Women threatened the social order when they disrupted the flow of property or land from father to son
Women who defied social norms were accused as witches
A woman could be either neighborly or sinful--S. Good was not neighborly.
The definition of appropriate behavior differed based on the social class and race of the woman, but men were still above them
The unfriendly attitude of some older women was like a sign of refusal to accept their place in the social order--deviance was akin to witchcraft Conclusions Sarah Good was accused of witch-craft for both social and economic reasons
She fit the gender stereotypes that marked a woman as a witch
Her foul disposition as well as her status as a beggar made it easier for people to jump to the conclu-sion that Sarah Good was in league with the Devil
Her trial set the stage for the trials of many other women and men--it set a precedent for how the trials would run Included stories of physical torment from several young girls as well as other townspeople
Told how generally awful S. Good was, saying she was "spiteful" and "of a turbulent spirit"
Tituba said that S. Good told her to kill someone with a knife
One person claimed to have seen apparitions of S. Good and her unborn child--the child accused its mother of murdering it
Thomas and Sarah Gadge claimed that S. Good killed some of their cows using witchcraft because they could find no natural cause
Full transcript