Hezekiah Usher (1639 - 1697)

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Birthplace: Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
Death: Died in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts
Managed by: GM
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Hezekiah Usher

Hezekiah Usher (1639 - 1697), son of Hezekiah Usher (1615 - 1676) and Mary Alford (1618 - 1693), a Boston merchant, was accused of witchcraft by Susannah Sheldon, one of the "afflicted girls". Influential friends spirited him out of the country for a while, probably to Barbados, "where printers had to move their presses from time to time from Boston when British taxes pressed too hard."

"By March they began accusing members of the Village Church, and next they began to accuse persons who did not even live in Salem Village. Phillip English, a wealthy shipowner; George Burroughs, who had an estate in England; Hezekiah Usher, a wealthy merchant; the widow of Jacob Sheafe - another wealthy merchant; the wife of Rev. John Hale (but this was squashed because the Rev. Hale had helped start the trials); Captain John Alden, Nathaniel Saltonstall--who had quit the court; and the wife of the Governor, Lady Phips. Now many of these individuals were only accused, and not charged, but it seems that some motive lay behind the accusations. These girls did not know all the persons whom they charged. In fact, when John Alden was brought before them they could not identify him. A man behind one of the girls whispered in her ear and she then identified him. When asked what the man had told her she admitted that he had pointed out Alden, but the identification and accusation stood..."

Sources

  • Maine, Indian Land Speculation, and the Essex County Witchcraft Outbreak of 1692 By Emerson W. Baker and James Kences from Maine History, volume 40, number 3, Fall 2001 (pp. 159-189).
  • Savage, James. "A Genealogical Dictionary of The First Settlers of New England, Before 1692, Volume #4". Tyson - Varleet. "USHER, HEZEKIAH, Boston, s. of the preced. m. prob. Dec. 1676, Bridget, wid. of Leonard Hoar, wh. had been Presid. of Harv. Coll. and d. of that lady Alicia, wid. of John Lisle, the regicide, wh. had most cruelly been execut. 2 Sept. preced. thro. infamous abuser of the Stat. against treasons, after the suppress. on Monmouth's rebell. This explains the mean. of Sewall's Diary, where he writes "Mr. Hezekiah Usher's mother behead." This was not a happy m. and she went home 1687, and came not to Boston again during his life. He was of ar. co. 1665, d. at Lynn, 11 July 1696, but Sewall says was bur. 14th in own tomb at Boston. a JOHN, Boston, br. of the preced. m. Elizabeth d. of Peter Lidgett, had only ch. Elizabeth b. 18 June 1669, and by sec. w. Elizabeth d. of Samuel Allen, the royal lieut.-gov. of N. H. had John, b. a. 1699, H. C. 1719; Hezekiah; Elizabeth and Frances. He was, at first, a stationer, and encourag. by the Gen. Ct. prohibit. to all others for 7 yrs. in 1672, publish. the valua. edit. of thee laws of the Col. ar.co. 1673, freem. the same yr. col. of the Boston regim. under Andro's admin. was one of the most trusted counsel. and treasr. of his noble province of all N. E. yet manag. to be on the strong side, rem. to Portsmouth, was in 1692, made lieut.-gov. on N. H. serv. five yrs. and in a later yr. had the same honor for ano. term; rem. back to Mass. and s. at Medford, 5 Sept. 1726. His d. Elizabeth by first w. m. 15 Sept. 1686, David Jeffries, and d. 27 June 1698, leav. 8 ch. The compiler of the Parsons Geneal. In Geneal. Reg. I. 268, mistakes in call. him s. of Heezekiah, by the sec. w."
  • Wiki: Salem Witch Trials
  • First Hundred Years of Printing in America
  • Hezekiah I & II by Kathy Callaway
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Hezekiah Usher's Timeline

1639
June 6, 1639
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
1676
November 29, 1676
Age 37
1697
July 11, 1697
Age 58
Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts
July 14, 1697
Age 58