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Judge John Hathorne

3BD Heidorn

Ben Johns

on 5 October 2012

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Transcript of Judge John Hathorne

Ben Johns, Avi Durling, Anthony Bonacio Judge John Hathorne John Hathorne served as a judge and magistrate during the trials as a result of his political skills and religious devotion.

As judge, he interrogated suspected witches and determined their sentences.

He was 51 years old at the time of the trials. Background Place in Society John Hathorne was born to a wealthy family on August 5, 1641 in Salem, Massachusetts. Upper Class He served as a local magistrate in Salem. He was selected by Governor Sir William Phips to be a judge in the witch trials.

He had success as a merchant, and even had his own ship to trade goods. Family John Hathorne married Ruth Gardner in 1674..

They had 6 children together.

John is the great-great grandfather of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

John's father, William Hathorne was a magistrate who gained fame for his persecution of Quakers. Judge or Prosecution? John Hathorne was known for his "guilty until proven innocent" way of running trials.

Hathorne often asked the accused to name others practicing their craft.

This method of prosecution perpetuated the witch hunt.

Due to these tactics, 19 people were killed and only one was acquitted. Dialogue This is an excerpt from Hathorne's prosecution of Sarah Good. Hathorne: What evil spirit have you familiarity with?

Good: None.

Hathorne: Have you made no contract with the devil?

Good: No.

Hathorne: Why do you hurt these children?

Good: I do not hurt them. I scorn it.

Hathorne: Who do you imploy then to do it?

Good: I imploy no body.

Hathorne: What creature do you imploy then?

Good: No creature. I am falsely accused. Reputation Due to his political skills, Hathorne was able to develop a reputation as a clear minded leader.

Hathorne was able to maintain his position as a magistrate for many years because of this reputation.

Also, His military position as a colonel earned him respect as a soldier in the community. Regards as a Christian The community of Salem had a shared belief that the Devil could influence humans to do evil against the community and church. (Witchcraft would be an example...)

Due to this shared belief, the people of Salem supported Hathorne's decisions and regarded him as a godly man, as he was doing God's work by cleansing the community of the Devil's influences. Why was he respected? Hathorne today is seen as unjust and cruel because of not giving the accused enough of a voice in the trials.

His status in the time is justifiable due to the naivety of the society at the time. They strongly believed that souls had been corrupted by the devil and John Hathorne devoted himself to exterminate these threats. After Death After Hathorne Died on May 10, 1717 his popularity declined as society outgrew these fears of witchcraft.

In fact Hathorne's Grandson Nathaniel sought to break off any relations with his grandfather by making a slight alteration to his last name, changing it to Hawthorne.

Nathaniel hoped that as a result he would not be associated with his grandfather out of embarrassment of his part in the trials. Flow of the Courtroom The witch hearings were a communal event.

The accused would have to answer all of the judges questions before the entire town.

Often, witnesses or others with testimonies would be called upon to verify information or identify the accused. Fatal Grudge: George Burroughs George Burroughs was a minister in Salem until he was removed by John Hathorne.

Burroughs was later sentenced to death for witchcraft by Hathorne. Works Cited Buhr, Chris. “John Hathorne.” Umkc.edu. Ed. Katherine Sutcliffe. N.p., 9 Sept. 2009.

Web. 24 Sept. 2012.


“Judge Hathorne.” Cryinnocentsalem.com. Word, n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2012.



Kirk, Devan. “John Hathorne.” Virginia.edu. Ed. Benjamin Ray. University of Virginia,

2002. Web. 24 Sept. 2012. <http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/saxon-



Reynolds, Cuyler, ed. “Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:.”

Schenectadyhistory.org. Schenectady Digital History Archive, 2009. Web. 29 Sept.

2012. <http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/families/hmgfm/west-1.html>.
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