Rev. Samuel Parris, organizer Salem Witch Trials

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Rev. Samuel Parris, organizer Salem Witch Trials's Geni Profile

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Samuel Parris, Rev.

Death: Died in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Parris
Husband of Elizabeth Parris
Father of Elizabeth Parris, Salem Witch Accuser; NN Parris; NN Parris; Thomas Parris and Susannah Parris
Brother of Martin Parris

Managed by: Rowan Parris
Last Updated:

About Rev. Samuel Parris, organizer Salem Witch Trials

He was the Rev. involved in the salem witch trials. source of profile picture

He was born in London, England, the son of cloth merchant Thomas Parris. His family was one of modest financial success and religious nonconformity, not unusual for this time in London.[2] He emigrated to Boston in the early 1660s, where he attended Harvard University at his father's behest. When his father died in 1673, Samuel left Harvard to take up his inheritance in Barbados, where he maintained a sugar plantation and bought two Carib slaves to tend his household, one by the name of Tituba Indian and the other John Indian. profile for Tituba profile for John

The events that led to the Salem witch trials began when his daughter Betty Parris, and her cousin Abigail Williams, accused the family's slave Tituba, and Sarah Good of witchcraft. In February 1692, Betty Parris began having "fits" that the doctor and other ministers could not explain. It soon spread to include her cousin, Abigail Williams, among others. The hysteria and trials lasted sixteen months, concluding in May 1693.

His church brought charges against him for his part in the trials, leading him to apologize for his error. However, despite the intense dislike of the villagers, Parris stayed on for another four years after the panic had run its course. In 1697, he accepted another preaching position in Stow, and eventually moved on to Concord and Dunstable before his death in the town of Sudbury on February 27, 1720

One judge, Samuel Sewall, admitted he'd done wrong, but others, such as the presiding justice, deputy governor William Stoughton, remained stubbornly unrepentant. Members of the jury said they'd been unable to "withstand the mysterious delusion of the power of darkness and prince of the air." In other words, the devil made them do it. Though largely uncontrite, parson Samuel Parris, a driving force behind the witch hunt, did receive some punishment when the town, cash-strapped and feeling a little used, decided not to pay his salary. His congregation largely abandoned him, and he was finally paid about 80 pounds (roughly $24,000 now) to get lost.

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