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Chronology from Salem Possessed

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Salem Village in the Seventeenth Century: A Chronology

1626 Founding of the town of Salem

1630’s Settlement begins in the “Salem Farms” region of the town.

1653 Thomas Putnam, Jr., born to Lieutenant Thomas and Ann Holyoke Putnam

1669 Joseph Putnam born to Lieutenant Thomas and Mary Veren Putnam

1672 “Salem Farms” becomes the separate parish of Salem Village; James Bayley hired as its first preacher.

1679 Bayley resigns amidst criticism by some Salem Villagers

1680 George Burroughs hired as the new Village preacher

1683 Burroughs leaves Salem Village

1684 Deodat Lawson hired to succeed Burroughs as preacher

1686 Death of Thomas Putnam; a challenge to his will fails

1686-87 Futile effort to ordain Lawson and form a Village church

1688 Deodat Lawson leaves the Village; Samuel Parris arrives

1689 April: Governor Edmund Andros overthrown in a coup at Boston November: Formation of the Salem Village church and ordination of Samuel Parris as its minister

1690 Marriage of Joseph Putnam to Elizabeth Porter

1691 October: Opponents of Parris win control of the Salem Village parish Committee

1692 January to May: Witchcraft afflictions, accusations, arrests June to September: Witchcraft trials and executions

1693 Parris’s supporters and his opponents jockey for positions

1694 March: The pro-Parris group regains control of the parish Committee

1695 April: An ecclesiastical council, meeting at Salem Village under the leadership of the Reverend Increase Mather, hints that Parris should resign; eighty-four of Parris’s Village opponents petition the council members to take a stronger stand; death of Mary Veren Putnam

May: The council members recommend more forcibly that Parris resign; 105 of Parris’s Village backers sign a petition in his behalf

June: The Salem Village church endorses Parris, who agrees to stay on; Thomas Putnam, Jr., unsuccessfully challenges Mary Veren Putnam’s will

1696 July: Resignation of Samuel Parris

1697 Parris leaves the Village; Joseph Green replaces him

1699 Deaths of Thomas Putnam, Jr., and his wife

1752 Salem Village becomes the independent town of Danvers


Boyer, Paul and Stephen Nissenbaum. A Study of Witchcraft Hysteria Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft. MJF Books: New York, 1974.

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