Nathaniel Saltonstall, Sr. (1639 - 1707) MP

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Col. & Justice Nathaniel Saltonstall "Salem Witch Trials"'s Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Ipswich, MA, USA
Death: Died in Haverhill, MA, USA
Occupation: town clerk, colonel in militia, judge, Colonel in Militia
Managed by: Michael Reid Delahunt, art teacher & lexicographer
Last Updated:

About Nathaniel Saltonstall, Sr.

Wikipedia says [downloaded March 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_Saltonstall]:

Col. Nathaniel Saltonstall (also spelled Nathanial Saltonstall) (c. 1639 – 1707) was selected as a judge for the special Court of Oyer and Terminer, a specific court responsible for the trial and sentence of people, mostly women, for the crime of witchcraft in Massachusetts during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. He is most famous for his resignation from the court, and though he left no indication of his feelings toward witchcraft, he is considered to be one of the more principled men of his time.

Born in Ipswich, Massachusetts, in about 1639, to Richard Saltonstall (1610 – 1694), he was the grandson of Sir Richard Saltonstall. He graduated from Harvard in 1659, beginning the family tradition of higher education at this university. On December 29, 1663, Nathaniel Saltonstall married Elizabeth Ward, who was 18 years old, and acquired from her father, John Ward, the estate later known as the Saltonstall Seat. Two of their children were Col. Richard Saltonstall (1672 – 1714), and Gurdon Saltonstall (1666 – 1724), later the governor of Connecticut.

In 1668, Nathaniel began his career in town affairs when he was appointed town clerk. Robert Moody quotes that, according to a single surviving record book, he was "firm and effective in law enforcement, and yet, where allowed discretion by law, humane and flexible." His involvement in judicial affairs and apparent good reputation made him eligible to serve in the Salem Witch Trials, and he was appointed a judge along with six other men on May 27, 1692. There is no evidence, however, of his attendance at any of the examinations. Indeed, he resigned from the Court of Oyer and Terminer around June 8, 1692, the same time as Bridget Bishop's trial and sentence for witchcraft. Presumably, he was "displeased with the handling of the Bishop case", and for some time afterward remained "very much dissatisfied with the proceedings."

In addition to town judiciary service, he was a member of the local militia, responsible in part for frontier defense against Native Americans, and he reached the rank of Colonel.

Nathaniel Saltonstall died May 21, 1707, in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

-------------------- From: Geneological and family history of modern New York by Wm. Richard Cutter

"...was assistant member of the governor's council and judge;"

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Col. & Justice Nathaniel Saltonstall "Salem Witch Trials"'s Timeline

1639
1639
Ipswich, MA, USA
1663
December 29, 1663
Age 24
1666
March 27, 1666
Age 27
Haverhill, Massachusetts
1668
September 17, 1668
Age 29
Haverhill, Middlesex, Massachusetts
1672
1672
Age 33
1707
May 21, 1707
Age 68
Haverhill, MA, USA
????
- 1659
Cambridge, Massachusetts