History of the Massachusetts Bay Colony

Massachusetts Bay Colony was a British settlement on the East Coast of North America in the 17th and 18th century. It was located in what is now modern-day central New England.

Who Founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony?

Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded by the Massachusetts Bay Company. The company, which was strongly Puritan, was granted a charter by Charles I on March 4, 1629 to engage in trade in New England. When the charter was issued, it neglected to say that the company members were required to stay in England to conduct their meetings. In August, the company held a series of meetings in Cambridge where they voted to take advantage of this omission and move the entire company to New England, according to the book “The Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony”:

“The men reasoned that if they company continued to meet in England, the king could find things to quarrel about and could possibly take back the charter. This had happened to the Virginia Company of London. Taking the charter with them to America would remove much of the king’s power to interfere in their affairs. The company could erect a self-governing religious commonwealth. It would allow the leaders to create the kind of society they wanted, a “City of God in the wilderness.”

In April of 1630, the Puritans, led by one of the company’s stockholders, John Winthrop, left their homes in Boston, England and sailed from Southampton to the New World. The fleet of 12 ships reached the shores of Massachusetts on June 12 and landed at Salem. The existing colony in Salem did not have enough food or shelter to accommodate the 700-800 new colonists, according to Governor Thomas Hutchinson’s book “The History of Massachusetts”:

“The Arabella arrived at Salem the 12th of June. The common people immediately went ashore, and regaled themselves with strawberries, which are very fine in America, and were then in perfection. This might give them a favourable idea of the produce of the country; but the gentlemen met with enough to fill them with concern. The first news they had, was of a general conspiracy, a few months before, of all the indians as far as Narragansett, to extirpate the English. Eighty persons out of about three hundred had died in the colony the winter before, and many of those that remained were in a weak, sickly condition. There was not corn enough to have lasted above a fortnight, and all other provisions were scant. They had not above three of four months to look out proper places for settlements, and to provide shelter against the severity of the winter. With this prospect of difficulties, great enough for them to encounter, sickness began among them. Being destitute of necessary accommodations, they dropped away one after another…Before December, they had lost two hundred of their number, including a few who died upon their passage. The governor, and some of the principal persons, left Salem the 17th of June, and travelled through the woods to Charlestown, about twenty miles, to look for a convenient place for their chief town, which they had determined should be in some part of the bay or harbour between Natasket and Cambridge….”

The Puritans finally settled in Charlestown, across the river from the Shawmut peninsula, which is now modern day Boston. Although they had finally settled, the colony still suffered due to a lack of fresh water. Little did Winthrop know, a friend he had attended the University of Cambridge with back in England, William Blackstone, was living on the nearby Shawmut peninsula. Blackstone, a member of the failed Dorchester colony, had moved to the peninsula after the remaining members of his colony returned to England. After Blackstone heard of Winthrop’s arrival from his Native-American friends, the two met and Blackstone invited the puritans to live with him on the peninsula. Winthrop accepted the offer and the Puritans began construction on their settlement.

"Gov. John Winthrop -- In honor of the birthday of Governor John Winthrop, born June 12, 1587," wood engraving, circa 1860-1880

“Gov. John Winthrop — In honor of the birthday of Governor John Winthrop, born June 12, 1587,” wood engraving, circa 1860-1880

One of the colonists, Thomas Dudley, proposed that they name the new town Boston after their hometown in England.

By the mid 1630s, the Puritans had invited hundreds of more colonists over from England and were taking over the area. After they took control over all but 50 acres of the land Blackstone believed was his, Blackstone decided to sell his remaining land back to the Puritans, which later became Boston Common, and moved to what is now Rhode Island.

In 1632, the colonists officially made Boston the capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

More Puritans continued to travel over from England and the number of colonies in Massachusetts multiplied to a total of four: Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven. These colonies included many villages that consisted of houses, a community garden and a meetinghouse for church services. Schools were soon built, including the first American public school called the Boston Latin School, and laws were passed requiring a school in every town with more than 50 inhabitants. In 1643, the four colonies formed a military alliance, known as the New England Confederation, to help defend themselves from Native American attacks.

The colonists felt it was their mission to help “civilize” this New World as well as the Native-Americans who lived there. The original seal of the Massachusetts Bay Colony even depicted an image of a Native-American saying “Come over and help us.”

Diseases brought by the colonists started to ravage the Native American population. By 1650, about 90 percent of the Native Americans living in New England died due to disease. Growing resentment between Native Americans and settlers eventually led to King Phillip’s War in 1675, which completely wiped out the Wampanoag and Narragansett tribes. The Native Americans that survived the war either fled to the west or surrendered and were sold into slavery.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony seal

The original Massachusetts Bay Colony seal

While the Native American population declined, the number of colonists flourished. By 1676, Boston had 4,000 residents. The colonists continued to build up the city, constructing its first post office in 1639, the first bank in 1674 and published its first American newspaper in 1690 titled “Publick Occurrences: Both Foreign and Domestick.”

Colonists also declared war on local wildlife that they deemed a threat, such as the local wolf popular, according to the book “Disguised as the Devil: A History of Lyme Disease and Witch Accusations”:

“Wolves were considered flat out pests. They became the pariah of the wilderness – dark, insidious predators biting at the heels of civilization. They had a price on their heads from almost the moment of contact with the English colonists. Well nourished on deer meat, this thriving wolf population was unfortunately not discerning enough to know a domesticated animal from their wild prey. When they began to add pork, beef, and mutton to their diet, it was not tolerated. In 1678 Salem Village was rimmed by a set of wolf traps. The last wolf bounty in Massachusetts was paid in the nineteenth century at the end of a successful eradication program that took over 200 years to complete.”

The population of Boston continued to grow in the 17th and early 18th century, despite small-pox outbreaks in 1690, 1702 and 1721. By 1730, Boston had over 13,000 residents. Many of Boston’s most famous buildings were built during this time period, such as the Old State House in 1713, Old North Church in 1723, Old South Meetinghouse in 1729 and Faneuil Hall in 1742. By 1750, Boston’s population had risen to 15,000 people.

Massachusetts Bay Colony Government and Religion:

From the moment they landed in the New World, the Massachusetts Bay colonists worked tirelessly to establish a government that was not only efficient but one that also reflected their personal and religious ideals, according to the book “Massachusetts: Mapping the Bay State Through History”:

“While the Pilgrims were occupied with the problems of survival, the better organized and provisioned Puritans who founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony came with a mission, to establish their own shining ‘citty [sic] upon a Hill,’ free of the sin and corruption of the land and society they were leaving. They moved quickly to establish their political and religious – and eventually, geographical – authority, with confidence based on their religious faith and the later economic success that they took as a sign of divine consent.”

Religion and government were deeply intertwined in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and only the most devout Puritans could participate in governmental affairs, according to the book “Politics and Religion in the United States”:

“While everyone in the community was a member of a congregation and was expected to attend services and support the church, only those who went through the arduous process of demonstrating their spiritual regeneration could become full-covenant members, thus gaining a say in both ecclesiastical and secular government. The civil government had authority over everyone in the community, but was controlled by the minority of the population that had achieved full church membership.”

The Puritans were highly intolerant of other religions and came to the New World specifically to escape religious persecution and create their own community where they could live only among like-minded people. As a result, the Puritans frequently persecuted other colonists who didn’t share their religious views, especially Quakers, according to the book “Politics and Religion in the United States”:

“At first, Quaker missionaries who came to Massachusetts to spread their views were simply banished. However, as Quakers kept coming, harsher punishments were introduced for them, such as cutting off their ears or boring a hole in their tongues with a hot iron – and then banishing them. When even this didn’t stop Quaker missionary activity, the death penalty was added. Between 1659 and 1661, four Quakers were put to death by the Puritans. It appeared that the persecution would become even more deadly; however, in 1661, King Charles II intervened and prohibited any corporal punishment of Quakers.”

After the establishment of the English Commonwealth in 1649, the colonists also declared Massachusetts a commonwealth, although they had no authority to do so. The Cromwell government in control of England at the time did little to respond to this move.

After King Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660, the British government attempted to take more control of the Massachusetts Bay Colony by sending a series of royal commissions, first in 1664 and then again in 1676, to settle land disputes and reform the colony’s administrations. The colony rebuffed each commission, but, once again, the British government didn’t respond to or attempt to punish the colony for these acts of defiance.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony did receive bad news though in 1684, when its charter was revoked due to repeated violations of the charter’s terms. These violations include running an illegal mint, establishing religious laws and discriminating against Anglicans and Quakers.

In 1685, King James II decided to reign in these rebellious New England colonies by merging all of them together to form the Dominion of New England and, in 1686, appointed Sir Edmund Andros as its governor. Andros immediately set to work proposing new taxes, pushing aside the General Council and forbidding town meetings. When word reach Boston, in April of 1689, that King James II had been overthrown by William of Orange, a mob formed in Boston and they quickly seized and ousted the royal officials and put the former Puritan leadership back in power.

In 1691, a compromise was made over the unpopular Dominion of New England and a new charter was issued. This new charter united the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Plymouth Colony and Maine Colony into one single colony and called for a Royal Governor and elected assembly to be established. The charter also restricted religious-based laws, such as the church membership requirement needed to become a voter, extended religious tolerance to other Protestant denominations, required oaths to be taken to the king and not the government of Massachusetts and tightened the British government’s overall control over the colony, which caused much anxiety among the colonists. The Puritans worried that their religion, and they themselves, were once again under attack. This anxiety is considered to be one of the many underlying causes that sparked the Salem Witch Trials in 1692.

In the mid 1700s, the government’s expenses during the French and Indian War, which took place between 1754-1763, brought in a whole new set of problems for both England and the colonists, according to the book “Massachusetts: Mapping the Bay State Through History”:

“At the end of what was known in America as the French and Indian War, the British economy was on the brink of collapse. British statesmen, notably George Grenville, first lord of the treasury (the equivalent of prime minister), after deciding that the government’s budget could be cut no further and an increase in taxes at home was out of the question, turned to the colonies as a source of revenue – the same colonies whose exports were up, who continued to flaunt British mercantile policies, whose per capita income may have been as much as twice that of England’s, and who, at least from the British point of view, contributed little or nothing toward their own support.”

A series of unpopular taxes and acts that were intended to make money off of the colony, such as the Stamp Act of 1765, the Declaratory Act and the Townshend Act, eventually set the American Revolution into motion and, in the end, resulted in the British government losing control of the colony.

Massachusetts Bay Colony Economy:

By the mid-18th century, Massachusetts Bay Colony had grown into a successful colony with a large trade industry that exported fish, lumber and farm products to Europe. Yet, in the early years, the colony not only struggled to supply enough of these products to meet the demand in Europe but was actually hesitant to engage in trade with Europe at all, fearing it would hurt the health, autonomy and independence of the colony, according to the book “Building the Bay Colony”:

“Many Puritans initially feared that these endeavors could pull their communities into the transatlantic world too quickly, distract them from the virtues of husbandry, lead to unhealthy levels of profit, and become ‘a prison and constant calamity’ as a result of the individual’s spending his life ‘in doing little good at all to others, though he should grow rich by it himself’…By satisfying the local market before endeavoring to reach more profitable export venues with these valuable commodities, Puritan pioneers set an important precedent: they would fully meet local needs first. This decision, perhaps more than any other, shaped the contours of Massachusetts’s seventeenth-century economic development. It made what we might call ‘persistent economic localism’ a customary, and quite fertile, Puritan value.”

"A South East View of the Great Town of Boston in New England in America," etching by John Carwitham, circa 1730-1760

“A South East View of the Great Town of Boston in New England in America,” etching by John Carwitham, circa 1730-1760

Things quickly changed though in 1640 when the colony suffered its first economic depression and the settlers decided to pursue the exportation of its goods, especially beef, to Europe and the West Indies, according to the book “Disguised as the Devil”:

“Many early frontier towns in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, like Sudbury, were set up on inland meadows specifically as cow towns. The domestic beef market became a key part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s economy that would later shift focus from the depressed domestic market to provide an important commodity for early trade with the West Indies.”

In fact, exporting domestic beef became so profitable for the colony that in 1692, Salem Sheriff George Corwin spent a great deal of his time barreling up meat from the confiscated cattle of accused Salem witches and shipping it off to the West Indies.

Slavery also played an important role in the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s economy. Starting in 1644, Boston merchants began to engage in the Triangle Trade, a three-stop trade route in which merchants imported slaves from Africa, sold them in the West Indies and then bought sugar to bring back to Massachusetts to make molasses and rum. Some Massachusetts merchants, such as Captain John Turner, who built the House of Seven Gables in Salem, chose to forgo importing slaves from Africa and instead sold fish to plantation owners in the West Indies as food for the slaves and then bought sugar from these same plantation owners to import to Massachusetts. Many wealthy Massachusetts colonists also bought and sold slaves themselves for household labor in Massachusetts. In fact, in 1641, Massachusetts became the first state in the North American colonies to make slavery legal when John Winthrop helped write a law allowing slavery in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony trade activities continued into the 18th century, although the importation of slaves came to an end after slavery was slowly phased out in Massachusetts starting in 1780. The colony’s prosperous trade industry even played a pivotal role in the American Revolution when Britain attempted to tighten its grip on New England’s trade activities as a way to raise revenue. When the government’s activities began to hurt the local economy and threaten the colonist’s autonomy, the colonists responded by boycotting British imports, protesting the government’s actions through acts of rebellion like the Boston Tea Party and eventually declared war on Britain in order to earn their independence.


“The History of Massachusetts, Volume I”; Thomas Hutchinson; 1764

“The Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company”; Barbara A. Moe; 2003

“Disguised as the Devil: A History of Lyme Disease and Witch Accusations;” M. M. Drymon; 2008

“Politics and Religion in the United States”; Michael Corbett, Julia Corbett-Hemeyer, J. Matthew Wilson

“Massachusetts: Mapping the Bay State Through History : Rare and Unusual Maps”; Vincent Virga, Dan Spinella; 2011

“Building the Bay Colony: Local Economy and Culture in Early Massachusetts”; James E. McWilliams; 2007

Encyclopedia Britannica: Massachusetts Bay Colony: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/368431/Massachusetts-Bay-Colony

Citizen Information Service: Historical Sketch: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/cis/cismaf/mf2.htm

The Sons of Liberty: Who Were They and What Did They Do?

The Sons of Liberty was a group of political dissidents that formed in the North American British colonies during the early days of the American Revolution.

The original purpose of the Sons of Liberty was to protest the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765, which was a tax that required printed materials in the colony, such as newspapers and legal documents, to be published on paper produced in London and embossed with the revenue stamp. The colonists resented the Stamp Act and felt that being taxed without their consent was a violation of their rights as British citizens.

The Loyal Nine:

When the Sons of Liberty first started, in the summer of 1765, it was originally known as the Loyal Nine, which consisted of nine Boston shopkeepers and artisans:

John Avery Jr, distiller
Henry Bass, merchant and cousin to Samuel Adams cousin
Thomas Chase, distiller
Thomas Crafts, painter
Stephen Cleverly, brazier
Benjamin Edes, printer of the Boston Gazette
Joseph Field, ship captain
John Smith, brazier
George Trott, jeweler

The ninth member was either Henry Welles, a mariner, or Joseph Field, master of a vessel.

How the Sons of Liberty Got Their Name:

The term “the Sons of Liberty” actually came from a debate over the Stamp Act in Parliament in February of 1765, during which Irishman Isaac Barre made a speech defending the colonists and criticizing the British government’s actions against them, according to the book “The Eve of the Revolution”:

“[Were] they nourished by your indulgence? They grew by your neglect of them. As soon as you began to care about them, that care was exercised in sending persons to rule over them, in one department and another… sent to spy out their liberty, to misrepresent their actions and to prey upon them; men whose behaviour on many occasions has caused the blood of these sons of liberty to recoil within them…”

When the group officially expanded and adopted the name “The Sons of Liberty” is not known since the secretive group left virtually no paper trail.

The Stamp Act Riot:

"The Bostonians Paying the Excise-man, or Tarring and Feathering," print by Philip Dawe, circa 1774

“The Bostonians Paying the Excise-man, or Tarring and Feathering,” print by Philip Dawe, circa 1774

What is known about the group is that in August of 1765, the Loyal Nine acquired the help of Ebenezer McIntosh, a local cordwainer and leader of the South End Pope’s Day Company (Pope’s Day was the Boston colonial version of Guy Fawkes Day) to pull off its first protest, according to the book “A True Republican: The Life of Paul Revere”:

“On the morning of August 14, 1765, Bostonians witnessed a ritual of protest similar to the mocking, world-turned-upside-down festivities of the Pope’s Day processions. The Loyal Nine prepared effigies of Andrew Oliver, the stamp master, and Lord Bute, the king’s favorite, who, though out of office since the end of 1763, was considered the instigator of the unpopular revenue measures. McIntosh’s men, mostly artisans from the lower ranks of the craft hierarchy, laborers and mariners, hung the effigies from a large elm tree at Essex and Orange Streets in the South End, a tree soon to become famous as Liberty Tree. A label on the breast of Oliver’s effigy praised liberty and denounced ‘Vengence on the Subvertors of it,’ and another label warned: ‘He that takes this down is an enemy to his country.’ At sunset, forty or fifty artisans and tradesman took down the effigies and carried them in a procession to Andrew Oliver’s dock, where the mob leveled a building they believed would be the stamp offce, and then to Fort Hill, where they burned the figures. In his journal, John Boyle stressed that the procession was ‘followed by a great concourse of people, some of the highest reputation, and in the greatest order.’ At this point, the less genteel members of the mob, led my McIntosh and angered by Thomas Hutchinson’s attempts to disperse them, proceeded to wreak havoc on Andrew Oliver’s house, pulling down fences, breaking windows, looking glasses, and furniture, stripping his trees of fruit, and drinking his wine.”

The following night, August 15, the mob formed a blockade in front of Governor Thomas Hutchinson’s mansion, demanding that he denounce the Stamp Act in his official letters to London. Hutchinson, a loyalist who had written “The History of the Province of Massachusetts-Bay” in which he condemned a revolt by Boston citizens in 1689 against the rule of governor Sir Edmund Andros, refused. A few weeks later, on August 26, the mob returned. After attacking the homes of William Story, deputy register of the Vice-Admiralty Court, and Benjamin Hallowell, comptroller of customs, they then attacked Hutchinson’s house. Hutchinson and his family were able to escape the home just minutes before the mob arrived. Upon breaking into the mansion, the mob destroyed Hutchinson’s furniture, wrecked the garden, tore out the windows, walls, wainscoting, tiles and even tore down the cupola on the roof. In addition, they stole the contents of his wine cellar, £900 in sterling, every valuable object in his home and destroyed his collection of books and papers from his research for his history book.

Members of the Sons of Liberty

Members of the Sons of Liberty: 1st Row: Samuel Adams • Benedict Arnold • John Hancock • Patrick Henry • James Otis, Jr. 2nd Row: Paul Revere • James Swan • Alexander McDougall • Benjamin Rush • Charles Thomson 3rd Row: Joseph Warren • Marinus Willett • Oliver Wolcott • Christopher Gadsden • Haym Salomon

For a number of years after the Stamp Act riot, the Sons of Liberty organized annual celebrations to mark the event, which consisted of parades and gatherings at the Liberty Tree on Boston Common or large dinners, known as “Liberty dinners,” under a tent at the Liberty Tree Tavern in Dorchester.

By the end of 1765, Sons of Liberty groups had sprouted up in every state in the colony. Women also joined the cause by forming local chapters of the Daughters of Liberty, which organized spinning groups to spin cloth and supported a boycott against British imports.

Members of the Sons of Liberty:

Due to the secret nature of the Sons of Liberty, the group never kept any official rosters of its members. Yet, in 1869 a handwritten list titled “An Alphabetical List of the Sons of Liberty Who Dined at the Liberty Tree, Dorchester Aug. 14, 1769” was donated to the Massachusetts Historical Society. This list of over 300 names was compiled by an attendee of the event, William Palfrey, and was donated by his grandson on the 100th anniversary of the event. The names on the list are as follows:

Adams, Samuel
Adams, John, Esq.
Avery, John, Esq.
Avery, John, Jr.
Appleton, Nath.
Austin, Benj., Esq.
Austin, Samuel
Ayres, Joseph
Abbot, Samuel
Avis, Samuel

Brattle, Thos.
Bradford, John, Capt.
Bowes, Nicholas
Barber, Nath.
Bant, William
Boyer, Peter
Barrell, Joseph
Balch, Nath.
Blake, John, Capt.
Blanchard, Caleb
Brimmer, Martin
Brimmer, Hermon
Black, Andrew
Burt, Benjamin
Brigden, Zachary
Bowes, William
Bruce, Stephen
Bass, Moses Belcher
Bass, Henry
Boynton, Richard, Capt.
Breck, William
Barrett, Samuel
Bradford, Jos., Jr.
Brown, John
Baker, John
Brattle, Brig. General
Bowdoin, James, Hon.
Burdet, Benj.
Barnard, Benj.
Brackett, Joshua
Bell, William
Belcher, Sarson
Boardman, Win.
Boweyer, Dan.
Bowman, Rev. Dan.
Barrett, John, Esq.
Burbeck, William
Billings, Richard
Brown, Enoch
Binney, Capt.
Bryant, .lames
Bryant, John

Cushing, Mr. Speaker
Cooper, William
Cushing, John
Church, Benj.
Church, Benj., Jr.
Church, Edward
Cleverly, Stephen
Carnes, Edward
Cobb, Capt.
Collins, Ezra
Copely, John
Cudworth, Benj.
Cudworth, Nath.
Cheever, Wm. Downe
Colson, David
Colson, Adam
Cunningham, Major
Cunningham, James
Chardon, Peter, Esq.
Cranch, Richard
Cunningham, Jno.
Cazneau, Andrew, Esq.
Carter, James
Cattle, Wm., Esq., Carolina,
Crofts, Thomas
Cheever, Ezek., Jr., Esq.
Chase, Thomas
Cunningham, William
Crane, John
Clap, Ebenezer
Cox, Lemuel
Carnes, Joseph
Dana, Richard, Esq.
Dickinson, Mr., brother to the farmer.
Dawes, Thomas, Capt.
Dennie, William
Davis, William
Deshon, Moses, Esq.
Dalton, James, Capt.
Dalton, Peter Roe
Davis, Edward
Dashwood, Capt.
Dorr, Ebenezer
Don-, Harbottle
Dean, John, Capt.
Davis, Caleb
Davis, Aaron
Davis, Robert
Danforth, Samuel, Dr.
Davis, Solomon
Dolbeare, Benj.
Dorrington, John, Capt.
Dickman, William
Doane, Elisha, Major

Erving, John, Hon.
Erving, George, Esq.
Edes, Benjamin
Edwards, John
Eliot, Deacon
Eliot, Joseph, Jr.
Edes, Thomas
Emmes, Samuel
Edwards, Alex.

Freeman, Jon., Capt.
Fleet, Thomas
Fleet, John
Foster, Deacon
Foster, Timothy
Foster, Bossenger
Foster, William
Fitch, Timothy
Flagg, Josiah
Fowle, William
Farmer, Paul

Greenleaf, William
Gore, John, Capt.
Gore, John, Jr.
Green, George
Gill, John
Gill, Moses
Grant, Samuel
Green, Francis
Gardner. Joseph, Dr.
Greenleaf, John
Gardner, John
Gridley, Col.
Green, Joshua
Green, Edward
Greenwood, Capt.
Griffiths, John
Gooding, Benj.
Griffen, Wm., Esq., of Virginia.
Green, John
Green, Joseph
Greenleaf, Oliver
Greenleaf, Stephen
Greene, Benj., Jr.
Gray, William
Gwin, Capt, Newbury
Gooding, Joseph
Gray, Lewis
Greaton, John
Green, Nath.
Gardner, Thomas, member for Cambridge.

Hancock, John, Esq.
Henshaw, Joshua, Esq.
Hopkins, Caleb, Capt.
Head. John
Heath, William, Capt.
Hill, Henry
Henshaw, Joseph
Henshaw, Joshua, Jr.
Henderson, Joseph
Hatch, Jabez
Homer, John, Capt.
Holmes, Benj. Mulbury
Holmes, Nath.
Hichborn, Thomas
Hichborn, Thomas, Jr.
Harris, Samuel
Henchman, Samuel
Harkins, John
Henshaw, Andrew
Hamock, Charles
Hill, Alexander
Hill, John, Esq.
Holbrook, Samuel
How, Samuel
Houghton, John
Hickling, William
Hall, Joseph
Homes, William, Esq.
Henshaw, Daniel
Hinckley, John
Hunt, Mr., Schoolmaster.

Harris, Stephen
Harris, Stephen, Jr.
Hinckley, Ebenezer
Hoskins, William
Hill, Dr.
Hewes, Robert
Honeywell, Richard
Horry, Thomas

I, J.
Jackson, Joseph, Esq.
Inches, Henderson
Jeffries, John, Dr.
Jan-is, Charles, Dr.
Johonnot, Francis
Jones, Deacon
Jarvis, Edward
Jackson, Joseph
Ingraham, Duncan
Jeffries, David, Esq.
Johonnot, Zechary, Esq.
Johonnot, Gabriel
Johonnot, Andrew
Jones, William
Ingersol, John
Jenkins, John

Kent, Benj., Esq.
Knox, Thomas
Knox, Thomas
Kennedy, William
Kneeland, Barth.

Langdon, John
Lucas, John
Lovell, James
Lasinby, Joseph
Langdon, John, Jr.
Langdon, Timothy
Leach, John
Laggett, Thomas
Loring, John
Loring, Caleb
Leverett, John, Capt.
Leverett, Thomas
Lowell, John

Mason, Jonathan
Marshall, Thomas, Colonel
Marston, John, Capt.
May, John
May, Ephraim
Malcom, Daniel, Capt.
Matchett, John, Capt.
Molineaux, William
May, Aaron
McDaniel, Jacob
Morton, Joseph
Morton, Dimond
McDaniel, Hugh
Miller, Charles
McLain, John

Noyes, Nathaniel

Otis, James, The Hon. jr.
Otis, Samuel Allyne
Otis, Joseph

Pemberton, Samuel, Esq.
Partridge, Samuel, Capt.
Pitts, John
Pitts, James, The Hon.
Pitts, William
Pitts, James Jr.
Palfrey, William
Prince, Job, Capt.
Parker, Daniel
Perkins, James, Jr.
Peck, Thomas Handasyd
Pattin, William, Capt.
Peirpont, Robert
Proctor, Edward
Proctor, Samuel
Pool, Fitch
Pulling, John, Jr.
Price, Thos. Maurice, Capt.
Pico, Joshua
Palmes, Richard
Pecker, James, Dr.
Price, Ezekiel
Proctor, John
Phillips, William, Esq.
Pierce, Isaac
Power, Mr., Carolina.
Pierce, Mr., Carolina.

Quincy, Samuel, Esq.
Quincy, Josiah

Ruddock, John, Esq.
Revere, Paul
Rand, Isaac, Dr.
Ray, Caleb
Richardson, James
Reid, Mr., Secretary to Gov.
Franklin, Jerseys.
Read, William, Esq.
Ruggles, Samuel
Robinson, Lemuel
Ratcliffe, Mr., Carolina.
Roberts, Peter

Swift, Samuel, Esq.
Sweetser, John, Jr.
Smith, John
Spear, Nathan
Spear, David
Salter, Richard
Savage, Habijah
Savage, John
Smith, William
Symmes, Eb., Capt.
Symmes, John
Spooner, William
Sharp, Gibbins
Scott, John
Simpson, Ebenezer
Snelling, Jona., Major
Sprague, John, Dr.
Spooner, George
Soley, John
Scollay, John, Esq.
Storey, Elisha, Dr.
Sellon, Samuel
Seaver, Ebenezer
Surcomb, Richard
Stanbridge, Henry
Scott, William
Searle, Samuel
Stoddard, Jonathan
Scott, James, Capt.

Trott, George
Trott, Jonathan
Turner, William
Thompson, Major
Trott, Samuel
Trott, Thomas
Turell, Joseph
Tyler, Joseph
Tyler, Roval, Hon.
Tyler, Thomas, Esq.
Tileston, Capt.
Thompson, James
Tuckerman, Edward
Tileston, John
Tileston, Thomas

Vose, Joseph
Vernon, Fortescue

Whitwell, Samuel
Welles, Arnold, Esq.
Waldo, Joseph
Wendell, John Mico
Wendell, Oliver
Welsh, John
Warren, Joseph, Dr.
Webb, Joseph
Walley, Thomas
Waldo, Daniel
Wyer, Robert, Capt.
Whitwell, William
Wheelwright, Job
Wheatly, Nath.
Waldo, John
Wendell, Jacob
Waters, Josiah, Capt.
White, Benjamin
Williams, Joseph, Colonel
White, William, Capt.

Young, Thomas, Dr.

Paul Revere, one of the most famous members of the Sons of Liberty, was reportedly admitted to the group because he had many qualities that they found desirable in their members, according to the book “A True Republican: The Life of Paul Revere”:

“Esther Forbes wrote that the leaders of the Revolution in Boston admitted Paul Revere into their society ‘because they wished the sympathy of the large artisan class with whom he was immensely popular, and he represented an important point of view.’ His position as a respected master artisan whose ties of business and friendship connected him to Boston’s artisans, mariners, merchants and Freemasons surely made Paul Revere a desirable member of the patriot cause…Revere’s Masonic experience taught him both to know when to defer to those of superior authority and achievement and when and how to exercise leadership. Revere had also learned to appreciate the opportunity of enlightening his mind through reading, discussion, and fellowship with like-minded men. Revere’s standing in the community, his personality, and his Masonic experience would all make him a worthy member of the patriot circle.”

Public Reaction to the Sons of Liberty:

Newspapers across the colonies praised the Sons of Liberty, calling them “the only guardians and protectors of of the rights and liberties of America” and encouraged them to continue their activities. Yet, the general public were not as enamored with the group, according to the book “The Founding of a Nation”:

“The glowing picture of the Sons of Liberty presented by the newspapers was not accepted by many alarmed Americans who looked upon them as nothing but dangerous, and all too often drunken, mobs. Naturally they kept such opinions to themselves or wrote of them in private letters to friends whom they could trust. There is no doubt that the leaders often found the mobs hard to control. In New York, even children paraded at night carrying effigies and candles. Mobs sometimes appeared on the streets in daytime, as upon the occasion when a British naval lieutenant said that John Holt of the New York Gazette ought to be sent to England and hanged ‘for the licentiousness of his papers.’ For three days mobs paraded the streets, threatening to murder the lieutenant, and order was not restored until General Gage provided the commanders of the naval vessel with extra arms.”

"A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practised at Boston," print, circa 1774

“A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practised at Boston,” print, circa 1774. Print shows two men tarring and feathering a British customs officer and forcing him to drink tea. The man holding the teapot is wearing a hat with number 45 on it, a symbol referring to the John Wilkes case of 1763. The other man is holding a noose and carrying a club. The large bow in his hat indicates his membership in the Sons of Liberty.

After nearly a year of protests, the Sons of Liberty were finally victorious in March of 1766 when Parliament decided to repeal the Stamp Act. The group organized celebrations across the city to mark the occasion, which included bonfires, fireworks, celebratory cannon fire, ringing church bells and decorating ships and houses with flags and streamers.

Since the group’s primary objective was to protest the Stamp Act, it disbanded after the act was repealed. Yet, the group was revived two years later when the passage of the Townshend Act threatened the colonist’s rights once again, according to the book “Revolts, Protests, Demonstrations, and Rebellions in America”:

“In 1768, the Townshend Revenue Act was passed, placing special taxes on common goods such as lead, paint, glass, paper and tea. The Townshend Act garnered an even quicker response from colonists than the Stamp Act. The newly revived Sons of Liberty embarked on a two-year campaign against the Townshend Acts, playing a vital role in spreading rebellion throughout the colonies. In Boston, the Sons of Liberty invited hundreds of citizens to dine with them each August 14 to commemorate the first Stamp Act uprising. In Charlestown, the Sons of Liberty held their meetings in public, so that all could attend and listen. This helped spread the word of resistance to ordinary folks, including the illiterate who could not read pamphlets, newspapers or petitions….The Sons of Liberty helped to establish and enforce a boycott on British goods, causing trade to dry up. It was not long before the British merchants stepped in on behalf of the colonies and the Townshend Acts were repealed in 1770, except for the tax on tea. This would lead to one of the most infamous chapters of American history, the Boston Tea Party.”

The Boston Tea Party:

This controversy over the tea tax was made worse by the passage of the Tea Act of 1773, which allowed for tea sold by British companies to be shipped directly to the colonies and sold at a discount. As the tax on tea was still in place, this act was a subtle way to persuade colonists to comply with the tax. The act served two purposes, it helped prop up the struggling East India Company, whose sales had taken a huge hit when the colonists started to boycott imported tea after the passage of the Townshend Act, and it goaded colonists into complying with the tax.

The colonists were not pleased. They saw through the British government’s plan and the Sons of Liberty groups across the colonies responded by chasing away the tea ships in New York and Philadelphia or abandoning the cargo on the docks in Charlestown. In Boston, the group threatened captains with tarring and feathering until the whole issue came to a head in December of 1773, when colonists refused to let three cargo ships carrying British tea, the Dartmouth, the Eleanor and the Beaver, dock in Boston harbor and unload its cargo.

A series of meetings were held, first at Faneuil Hall, then at the Old South Meetinghouse when the number of attendees grew too big for Faneuil Hall to accommodate. During the meetings, a series of proposals and counter-proposals were explored but ultimately, on December 16th, Hutchinson refused to send the ships back to England and ordered the colonists to stop blocking the ships from landing. According to various sources, the Sons of Liberty had anticipated this response and activated their secret plan to rush to the harbor where they rowed out to the ships and threw 90,000 pounds of tea into the harbor. This protest became the group’s most famous act of rebellion.

The identity of all the participants in the Boston Tea Party is not completely known but it has been confirmed that at least four of the Loyal Nine: Thomas Chase, Thomas Crafts, Benjamin Edes and Stephen Cleverly, as well as several Sons of Liberty: including Paul Revere and Thomas Young, participated.

The Sons of Liberty continued to be active until the American Revolution ended in 1783 and the group finally disbanded.


Massachusetts Historical Society: Sons of Liberty: http://www.masshist.org/objects/cabinet/august2001/august2001.html

History.org; Terms of Estrangement: Who Were the Sons of Liberty?; Benjamin L. Carp; 2012: http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/winter12/liberty.cfm

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum: Sons of Liberty: http://www.bostonteapartyship.com/sons-of-liberty

“The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism;” Edited by John Breuilly, 2013

“The Founding of a Nation: A History of the American Revolution, 1763-1776;” Merrill Jensen; 1968

“Revolts, Protests, Demonstrations, and Rebellions in American History, Volume 1;” Edited by Steven Laurence Danver; 2011

“The Eve of the Revolution;” Carl Becker; 1918

“A True Republican: The Life of Paul Revere”; Jayne E. Triber; 2001

Elizabeth Proctor: The Salem Witch Trials Widow

Elizabeth Proctor, wife of Salem Village farmer John Proctor, was accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692.

The Proctors were a wealthy family who lived on a large rented farm on the outskirts of Salem Village, in what is now modern day Peabody. Elizabeth, Proctor’s third wife, married Proctor in April of 1674, two years after the death of his second wife, Elizabeth Thorndike.

Elizabeth Proctor, whose maiden name was Bassett, was also the granddaughter of Goody Burt, a folk healer from Lynn who had been tried, but acquitted, on charges of witchcraft over 30 years earlier.

In the spring of 1692, after some of the afflicted girls began having fits and claimed that invisible forces were tormenting them, the Proctor’s servant, Mary Warren, began showing the same symptoms. John Proctor, who believed the afflicted girls were just pretending to be afflicted, accused Warren of faking her symptoms and threatened to beat her if she continued.

Warren’s fits quickly stopped but as soon as John Proctor left on business a few days later, her symptoms returned and she joined the ongoing witch trials as a witness.

Illustration of the Meetinghouse of the First Church in Salem Village, published in the New England Magazine, Volume 5, in 1892

The meetinghouse of the first church in Salem Village, illustration published in the New England Magazine, Volume 5, in 1892

In late March, two of the afflicted girls, Mercy Lewis and Abigail Williams, claimed Elizabeth Proctor visited them at night in spirit form and tormented them. On April 4th, John Walcott and Nathaniel Ingersoll filed an official complaint against Elizabeth Proctor, on behalf of Abigail Williams, John Indian, Mary Walcott, Ann Putnam and Mercy Lewis, and a warrant was issued for her arrest. After she was apprehended, Elizabeth Proctor was brought to the Salem Village meetinghouse on April 11th and examined by Judge Thomas Danforth, according to court records:

Q. Elizabeth Proctor! you understand whereof you are charged, viz. to be guilty of sundry acts of witchcraft; what say you to it? Speak the truth, and so you that are afflicted, you must speak the truth, as you will answer it before God another day. Mary Walcott! doth this woman hurt you?
A. I never saw her so as to be hurt by her.
Q. Mary Lewis! does she hurt you? — Her mouth was stopped.
Q. Ann Putnam, does she hurt you? — She could not speak.
Q. Abigail Williams! does she hurt you? — Her hand was thrust in her own mouth.
Q. John! does she hurt you?
A. This is the woman that came in her shift and choked me.
Q. did she ever bring the book?
A. Yes, Sir.
Q. What to do?
A. to write.
Q. What, this woman?
A. Yes, Sir.
Q. Are you sure of it?
A. Yes, Sir. — Again, Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam were spoke to by the court, but neither of them could make any answer, by reason of dumbness or other fits.
Q. What do you say Goody Proctor to these things?
A. I take God in heaven to be my witness, that I know nothing of it, no more than the child unborn.

As the examination continued, Elizabeth Proctor’s accusers began to shift their attention to Elizabeth’s servant, Mary Warren, and her husband, John Proctor:

Q. Abigail Williams! does this woman hurt you?
A. Yes, Sir, often.
Q. Does she bring the book to you?
A. Yes.
Q. What would she have you do with it?
A. To write in it and I shall be well. — Did not you, said Abigail, tell me, that your maid had written?
A.(Proctor) Dear Child, it is not so. There is another judgement, dear child.
Then Abigail and Ann had fits. By and by they cried out, look you there is Goody Proctor upon the beam. By and by, both of them cried out of Goodman Proctor himself, and said he was a wizard. Immediately, many, if not all of the bewitched, had grievous fits.
Q. Ann Putnam! who hurt you?
A. Goodman Proctor and his wife too. — Afterwards some of the afflicted cried, there is Proctor going to take up Mrs. Pope’s feet. — And her feet were immediately taken up.
Q. What do you say Goodman Proctor to these things?
A. I know not, I am innocent.
Abigail Williams cried out, there is Goodman Proctor going to Mrs. Pope , and immediately, said Pope fell into a fit. — You see the devil will deceive you; the children could see what you was going to do before the woman was hurt. I would advise you to repentance, for the devil is bringing you out. Abigail Williams cried out again, there is Goodman Proctor going to hurt Goody Bibber; and immediately Goody Bibber fell into a fit. There was the like of Mary Walcott , and divers others. Benjamin Gould gave in his testimony, that he had seen Goodman Corey and his wife, Proctor and his wife, Goody Cloyce, Goody Nurse, and Goody Griggs in his chamber last Thursday night. Elizabeth Hubbard was in a trance during the whole examination. During the examination of Elizabeth Proctor, Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam, both made offer to strike at said Proctor; but when Abigail’s hand came near, it opened, whereas it was made up into a fist before, and came done exceeding lightly, as it drew near to said Proctor, and at length with open and extended fingers, touched Proctor’s hood very lightly. Immediately Abigail cried out, her fingers, her fingers, burned, and Ann Putnam took on most greviously, of her head, and sunk down.

It is not known exactly why the afflicted girls targeted Elizabeth Proctor, but in the 1953 play, The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, Abigail Williams is depicted as having an affair with John Proctor and becomes jealous of Elizabeth Proctor, prompting her to accuse Elizabeth of witchcraft. The age difference between Abigail, 11, and John, 60, makes this unlikely and there’s no proof that Abigail Williams even knew Elizabeth or John Proctor before the witch hysteria. Yet, Miller wrote in an essay in the New Yorker in 1996 that it was a moment during Elizabeth Proctor’s examination, when Abigail raises her hand to strike Elizabeth, that convinced him that John and Abigail had an affair:

“In this remarkably observed gesture of a troubled young girl, I believed, a play became possible. Elizabeth Proctor had been the orphaned Abigail’s mistress, and they had lived together in the same small house until Elizabeth fired the girl. By this time, I was sure, John Proctor had bedded Abigail, who had to be dismissed most likely to appease Elizabeth. There was bad blood between the two women now. That Abigail started, in effect, to condemn Elizabeth to death with her touch, then stopped her hand, then went through with it, was quite suddenly the human center of all this turmoil.”

Not only were John Proctor and Mary Warren accused, the following month, three of the Proctor’s children, William, Benjamin and Sarah were also accused and arrested, as was Elizabeth Proctor’s sister, Mary Bassett DeRich, and her sister-in-law Sarah Bassett. Sarah Proctor and Sarah Bassett were both accused on May 21st by John and Thomas Putnam, on behalf of Abigail Williams, Mary Walcott, Mercy Lewis and Ann Putnam, and arrested shortly after. Benjamin Proctor was accused a few days later on May 23rd, by Nathaniel Ingersoll and Thomas Rayment, on behalf of Mary Warren, Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Hubbard, and arrested by Marshal Deputy John Putnam. William Proctor was accused on May 28th by Mary Walcott and Susannah Sheldon and arrested by constable John Putnam.

Although Mary Warren wasn’t one of Elizabeth’s original accusers, she testified against both Elizabeth and John Proctor during their trials, claiming that their spirits beat, pinched and choked her at night, according to court records:

“The Deposition of Mary Warren aged about 20 years do testefieth and saith I have often seen the apparition of Elizabeth Procter the wife of John proctor among the witches and she hath often tortured me most greviously by biting me and choking me and pinching me and pressing my stomach tell the blood came out of my mouth and also upon the day of her examination I saw her torture Mary Walcott, Mercy Lewis, Ann Putnam, Elizabeth Hubbard, Abigail Williams and she hath ever since at times tortured me most greviously Mary Warren owned this here testimony to be the truth before the Jurors of Inquest this 30 of June 1692.”

After their arrests, many of the Proctor’s friends banded together and signed a petition declaring them innocent and asked for their release:

“We whose names are under written having several years known John Proctor and his wife do testify that we never heard or understood that they were ever suspected to be guilty of the crime now charged upon them and several of us being their near neighbours do testify that to our apprehension they lived christian life in their family and were ever ready to help such as stood in need of their help
Nathaniel Felton sen: and mary his wife
Samuel Marsh and Prescilla his wife
James Houlton and Ruth his wife
John Felton
Nathaniel Felton jun
Samuell Frayll and an his wife
Zachriah Marsh and mary his wife
Samuel Endecott and hanah his wife
Samuell Stone
George Locker
Samuel Gaskil & provided his wife
George Smith
Ed Edward: Gaskile”

Neither the petition, nor the letter John Proctor sent to the Boston clergy in July pleading that the trials be moved to Boston, helped their situation. On August 5th, both Elizabeth and John Proctor were found guilty and sentenced to death. Since Elizabeth was pregnant at the time of her conviction, her execution was postponed until after she gave birth. John Proctor pleaded for more time as well, claiming he was too ill for the execution, but was hanged on August 19th.

On January 27, 1693, Elizabeth Proctor gave birth to a boy and named him John Proctor III, after his father. Although she had given birth, Elizabeth was not immediately executed, for reasons unknown.

In May of that same year, after the witch hysteria had died down and most of the prisoners had been released due to a lack of evidence, Governor Phipps released the remaining prisoners, which included Elizabeth Proctor.

Although she was free from jail, as a convicted witch Elizabeth was still guilty in the eyes of the law and therefore had no legal rights. To make matters worse, John Proctor’s will made no mention of Elizabeth, most likely because he expected she would be executed along with him. As a result, she was penniless, according to the book “The Salem Witch Trials: A Day By Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege”:

“Elizabeth Proctor, condemned but freed with her newborn (if he survived), found her late husband’s farm picked clean. John Proctor’s will made no mention of his widow, so Elizabeth had not a penny from it, neither her widow’s third nor the dowry that she had brought to the marriage. When she protested, her stepchildren ignored even her prenuptial contract and replied that she could not inherit, for, being condemned to hang, she was dead in the law.”

Even if Elizabeth were able to inherit John’s estate, there wasn’t much left of it since most of it had been confiscated while John and Elizabeth were in prison, according to Robert Calef in his book “More Wonders of the Invisible World”:

“John Procter and his wife being in prison, the sheriff came to his house and seized all the goods, provisions, and cattle that he could come at, and sold some of the cattle at half price, and killed others, and put them up for the West-Indies; threw out the beer out of a barrel, and carried away the barrel; emptied a pot of broth, and took away the pot, and left nothing in the house for the support of the children: No part of the said goods are known to be returned.”

Elizabeth’s luck finally began to improve in March of 1694-5, when court records indicate that the will of John Proctor was admitted to probate in the Probate Court of Essex County under the complaint of Thomas and Elizabeth Very (John Proctor’s eldest daughter from his marriage to Elizabeth Thorndike). On April 15, 1695, the committee reported a division of the estate according to the will. There is no record confirming it, but it can only be assumed by this event that John Proctor’s legal rights, which had been stripped when he was convicted, had at some point been restored and therefore his family finally had access to what was left of his estate.

It was shortly after this event, in May of 1696, when Elizabeth Proctor petitioned the General Court to restore her own legal rights. In doing so, she asked for the rights to her husband’s estate or at the very least, the dowry she brought to the marriage:

“To the Honourable General Court Assembled at Boston May twenty
seventh 1696

the Humble petition of Elizabeth Proctor widow and relict of John Proctor of Salem deceased humbly sheweth that in the year of our Lord 1692 when many persons in Salem and in other towns there about were accused by some evil disposed or strangely influenced persons as being witches or for being guilty of acting witch-craft my sd husband John Proctor and myself were accused as such and we both: my sd husband and myself were so far proceeded against that we were condemned but in that sad time of darkness before my said husband was executed it is evident somebody had contrived a will and brought it to him to sign where in his whole estate is disposed of not having regard to a contract in writing made with me before marriage with him; but so it pleased god to order by his providence that although the sentence was executed on my dear husband yet through gods great goodness to your petitioner I am yet alive; since my husbands death the said will is proved and approved by the Judge of probate and by that kind of disposal the whole estate is disposed of; and although god hath Granted my life yet those that claim my said husbands estate by that which they call a will will not suffer me to have one penny of the estate neither upon the account of my husbands contract with me before marriage nor yet upon the account of the dowry which as I humbly conceive doth belong or ought to belong to me by the law for they say that I am dead in the law and therefore my humble request and petition to this honoured General Court is that by an act of this honoured court as god hath content renewed my life and through gods goodness without fear of being put to death upon that sentence you would be pleased to put me into a capacity to make use of the law to recover that which of right by law I ought to have for my necessary suple and support that as I your petitioner am one of his majesties subjects I may have the benefit of his laws so humbly praying that god would direct your honours in all things to do that which may be most pleasing to him I subscribe

your honours humble petitioner

Elizabeth Proctor
Read. 10 th June. 1696. in Council”

According to the court records, on April 19, 1697, the court restored Elizabeth’s legal rights and returned her dowry to her.

Not much is known about Elizabeth Proctor after this time period except that on September 22, 1699, Elizabeth married her second husband, Daniel Richards, in Lynn, Massachusetts.

In 1711, the Massachusetts legislature passed a bill restoring some of the names of the accused and awarded the Proctor family £150 in restitution for their imprisonments and John Proctor’s death.

There are no death records for Elizabeth, nor records of her youngest children, in Lynn, indicating that the family may have moved to another town. Her death date and location of her grave are unknown.


“More Wonders of the Invisible World”, Robert Calef, 1700

“Salem Story: Reading the Witch Trials of 1692″; Bernard Rosenthal; 1993

“History of Salem, Massachusetts”; Sidney Perley; 1924

“The Salem Witch Trials: A Reference Guide”; K. David Goss; 2007

“The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-day Chronicle Of A Community Under Siege”; Marilynne K. Roach; 2004

Why I Wrote the Crucible; Arthur Miller; The New Yorker Magazine; October 21 1996

“December Meeting, 1884. ‘Instructions’ of Malden, 1776; The Rev. Peter Thacher, D.D.; Manuscripts Relating to Witchcraft; Letter from Governor Phips; Petition of Elizabeth Proctor; Petition of the Parkers; Answers concerning Witchcraft; Questions concerning Witchcraft; Answers concerning Witchcraft; Trumbull Papers” is an article from Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 1: http://archive.org/stream/jstor-25079627/25079627_djvu.txt

University of Virginia; Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project; Case File for Elizabeth Proctor: http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/texts/tei/BoySal2R?div_id=n106