Examination of Rebecca Nurse 

The examination of Rebekah Nurse at Salem Village
24. mar. 1691/2
Mr. Hathorne: What do you say (speaking to one afflicted) have you seen this Woman hurt you?
Yes, she beat me this morning
Abigail, Have you been hurt by this Woman?
Ann Putman in a grievous fit cried out that she hurt her.
H. Goody Nurse, here are two An: Putman the child & Abigail Williams complains of your hurting them What do you say to it?
N. I can say before my Eternal father I am innocent, & God will clear my innocency.
H. Here is never a one in the Assembly but desires it, but if you be guilty Pray God discover you.
Then Hen: Kenny rose up to speak.
H. Goodman Kenny, what do you say ?
Then he entered his complaint & farther said that since this Nurse came into the house he was seized twice with an amazed condition
H. Here are not only these but, here is the wife of Mr. Thomas Putman who accuseth you by credible information & that both of tempting her to iniquity, & of greatly hurting her.
N. I am innocent & clear & have not been able to get out of doors these 8. or 9. days.
H. Mr. Putman: give in what you have to say
Then Mr. Edward Putman gave in his relate
H. Is this true Goody Nurse
N. I never afflicted no child never in my life
H. You see these accuse you, is it true?
N. No.
H. Are you an innocent person relating to this Witchcraft?
Here Thomas Putman’s wife cried out, Did you not bring the Black man with you, did you not bid me tempt God & dye How oft have you eat and drunk your own damnation. What do you say to them?
N. Oh Lord help me, & spread out her hands, & the afflicted were greviously vexed
H. Do you not see what a solemn condition these are in? When your hands are loose the persons are afflicted.
Then Mary Walcott (who often heretofore said she had seen her, but never could say or did say that she either bit or pinched her, or hurt her) & also Eliz: Hubbard under the like circumstances both openly accused her of hurting them
H. Here are these 2 grown persons now accuse you, what say you? Do not you see these afflicted persons, & hear them accuse you?
N. The Lord knows I have not hurt them: I am an innocent person
H. It is very awful to all to see these agonies & you an old Professor thus charged with contracting with the Devil by the [a] effects of it & yet to see you stand with dry eyes when there are so many whet --
N. You do not know my heart
H. You would do well if you are guilty to confess & give Glory to God
N. I am as clear as the child unborn
H. What uncertainty there may be in apparitions I know not, yet this with me strikes hard upon you that you are at this very present charged with familiar spirits: this is your bodily person they speak to: they say now they see these familiar spirits com to your bodily person, now what do you say to that ?
N. I have none, Sir:
H. If you have confess & give glory to God I pray God clear you if you be innocent, & if you are guilty discover you And therefore give me an upright answer: have you any familiarity with these spirits?
N. No, I have none but with God alone.
H. How came you sick for there is an odd discourse of that in the mouths of many --
N. I am sick at my stomach --
H. Have you no wounds
N. I have none but old age
H. You do Know whither you are guilty, & have familiarity with the Devil, & now when you are here present to see such a thing as these testify a black man whispering in your ear, & birds about you what do you say to it
N. It is all false. I am clear.
H. Possibly you may apprehend you are no witch, but have you not been led aside by temptations that way
N. I have not
H. What a sad thing it is that a church member here & now another of Salem, should be thus accused and charged.
Mrs. Pope fell into a grievous fit, & cried out a sad thing sure enough: And then many more fell into lamentable fits.
H. Tell us have not you had visible appearances more than what is common in nature?
N. I have none nor never had in my life.
H. Do you think these suffer voluntary or involuntary.
N. I cannot tell.
H. That is strange every one can judge.
N. I must be silent.
H. They accuse you of hurting them, & if you think it is not unwillingly but by design, you must look upon them as murderers.
N. I cannot tell what to think of it
Afterwards when this was, some what insisted on she said, “I do not think so”. She did not understand aright what was said.
H. Well then give an answer now, do you think these suffer against their wills or not
N. I do not think these suffer against their wills
H. Why did you never visit these afflicted persons
N. Because I was afraid I should have fits too
Note Upon the motion of her body fits followed upon the complainants abundantly & very frequently
H. Is it not an unaccountable case that when you are examined these persons are afflicted?
N. I have got no body to look to but God
Again upon stirring her hands the afflicted persons were seized with violent fits of torture
H. Do you believe these afflicted persons are bewitched?
N. I do think they are.
H. When this Witchcraft came upon the stage there was no suspicion of Tituba (Mr Paris's Indian woman) she professed much love to that child Betty Paris, but it was her apparition did the mischief, & why should not you also be guilty, for your apparition doth hurt also?
N. Would you have me belie my self? --
She held her Neck on one side, & accordingly so were the afflicted taken
Then Authority requiring it Sam: Paris read what he had in characters taken from Mr. Thomas Putman’s wife in her fits
H. What do you think of this?
N. I cannot help it, the Devil may appear in my shape.
This is a true account of the sum of her examination but by reason of great noises by the afflicted & many speakers, many things are pre-termitted [omitted]
Nurse held her neck on one side & Eliz: Hubbard (one of the sufferers) had her neck set in that posture whereupon another Patient Abigail Williams cried out set up Goody Nurses head the maid's neck will be broke & when some set up Nurses head Aaron Wey observed that Betty Hubbard’s was immediately righted.

Salem Village March. 24'th 1691/2

The Reverend Mr. Samuel Parris being desired to take in writing the Examination of Rebekah Nurse hath Returned itt as aforesaid
Upon heareing the afores'd and seeing what wee then did see together with the Charge of the persons then present -- wee Committed Rebekah Nurse the wife of fran's Nurce of Salem village unto their Majestys Goale in Salem as p a Mittimus then given out, in order to farther Examination
*John Hathorne [unclear: ] Assis'ts
*Jonathan. Corwin
(Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)