Excerpt: ...he would have convicted the Prisoner. It is quite
doubtful, however, whether the above testimony of Evans was given
in, at the trial; for the next clause, in the same paragraph, is
Sarah Wilson's confession, that: "The night before Mr. Burroughs
was executed, there was a great meeting of the witches, nigh
Sargeant Chandlers, that Mr. Burroughs was there, and they had the
sacrament, and after they had done, he took leave, and bid them
stand to their faith, and not own any thing. Martha Tyler saith the
same with Sarah Wilson, and several others." The testimony of these
two confessing witches, "and several others," relating, as it did,
to what was alleged to have happened "the night before Mr.
Burroughs was executed," could not have been given at his trial,
nor until after his death. Yet, as but three other confessing
witches are mentioned in the files of this case, Mather must have
relied upon this Memorandum to make up the "eight" said, by him, to
have testified, "in the prosecution of the charge" against
Burroughs. Hale, misled, perhaps, by the Memorandum, uses the
indefinite expression "seven or eight." We know that one of the
confessing witches, who had given evidence against Burroughs,
retracted it before the Court, previous to his execution; but
Mather makes no mention of that fact. To go back to the barrel Mr.
Burroughs lifted. I have stated the substance of the whole
testimony relating to the point. Mather characterizes it, thus, in
his report of the trial: "There was evidence likewise brought in,
that he made nothing of taking up whole barrels, filled with
molasses or cider, in very disadvantageous positions, and carrying
them off, through the most difficult places, out of a canoe to the
shore." He made up this statement, as its substance and phraseology
show, from Willard's deposition, then lying before him. In his use
of that part of the evidence, in particular, as of the whole
evidence, generally, the reader can judge whether he exhibited...
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