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1692]

EXECUTION OF TWENTY VICTIMS.

139

bewitched, and gave evidence against their relations and friends. Testimony that would have been excluded in other cases, was received and acted on. Weak-minded fanatics, children, and even those who were known to have perjured themselves, were admitted as witnesses. When other means failed, the accused were tortured until they acknowledged themselves guilty. One young woman was so wrought upon as to give evidence against her grandfather, but afterwards took back what she had said. The judges, while they accepted her testimony, rejected her recantation, and sent the old man to the gallows.

Among those hanged in August, was a minister named Burroughs (bur'-roze), who had denounced the proceedings of Mather and his associates, and declared that there was no such thing as witchcraft. He made a speech on the scaffold, and repeated the Lord's Prayer so affectingly as to draw tears from the spectators. At this moment Mather appeared among the crowd on horseback, and quieted the people with quotations from Scripture. An old man of eighty, refusing to plead because he saw that every trial resulted in conviction, was barbarously pressed to death. This was followed by the execution of eight more unfortunate victims on the gallows. Twenty in all had now become martyrs to the delusion, while upwards of fifty had been frightened or tortured into confession.

210. At last the people began to awake to the horror of such scenes.

When the legislature of Massachusetts assembled in October, 1692, numerous petitions for protection were presented. Mather, who gloried in these judicial murders, had feared this; and, in a work entitled “The Wonders of the Invisible World”, he sought to prove that the heinous sin of witchcraft really existed among them, and that the proper course had been taken to root it out. Notwithstanding this, the legislature promptly abolished the special court

the charge of witchcraft? What was done to an officer who refused to arrest the accused ? Describe the excitement that prevailed. What story is told of a young woman? What is said of the execution of Burroughs ? What was done to an old man of eighty? By what was this barbarous execution followed ? How many in all fell victims to the delusion? 210. What step did the people at last

in which the pretended trials had been conducted. Prosecutions were again attempted; but the eyes of the people were opened, and the accused were acquitted as fast as they were tried. The despotic power of a few fanatics was broken; there was no more hanging or torturing. Most of those who had participated in the bloody work afterwards confessed their error, but Mather defended his course to the last.

CHAPTER XXIII.

NEW YORK UNDER LEISLER, SLOUGHTER, FLETCHER, AND

BELLAMONT. —CAPTAIN KIDD.

a

211. WHEN news of the fall of James II. was received in New York, a committee of safety, formed of ten citizens, took possession of the fort, and intrusted the government to Jacob Leisler [lice'-ler]. His authority was denied by Col. Bayard [bi'-ard] and the magistrates of Albany, who held commissions from James II. Having forwarded to King William a candid statement of what had been done, Leisler sent his son-in-law to demand the submission of Albany. This was refused with an open defiance of his power. Bayard continued his opposition; but in a few weeks he fell into Leisler's hands, and was consigned to prison.

Meanwhile the king had appointed Sloughter [slaw'-ter] governor, and in 1691 he arrived. Leisler immediately surrendered the fort, but had no sooner done so than he was arrested on a charge of treason. He had ruled nearly two years by the authority of the people, and with the silent consent of the king; but he was now in the power of the governor's council, of which Bayard was a member, and his fate was sealed. A court composed of persons whose opin

take for protection? How did Mather try to keep up the delusion? What course did the legislature pursue? What was the consequence? What is said of those who had participated in the bloody work?

211. What took place in New York, when the news of James Second's fall was received? Who denied Leisler's authority? What steps did Leisler take for enforcing it? How did he treat Bayard? Whom, meanwhile, had the king made

1691]

EXECUTION OF LEISLER.

141

ions were already formed, pronounced him guilty; and Gov. Sloughter, while intoxicated, was persuaded to sign his deathwarrant. He and his son-in-law were led to the gallows

[graphic]

LEISLER ON THE GALLOWS.

in the presence of an immense crowd, who, though overawed by English soldiers, testified with groans and shrieks their abhorrence of the execution. Leisler in his dying speech maintained that his course had been that of a sincere patriot. The people regarded him as a martyr to their cause, and saved pieces of his garments as precious relics. During the execution, his enemies were drowning the rebukes of conscience in wine and revelry.

After making a treaty with the Iroquois at Albany, Sloughter died. He was succeeded by an intemperate tyrant named Fletcher. Fletcher employed himself mainly in quarrelling with the people, whose rights, since the revocation of their

governor? On his arrival, what did Leisler do? What charge was brought against him? By whose authority had he held the government? Give an account of his trial. Describe his execution. With whom did Sloughter make a

charter, had been sadly curtailed. In 1698, he gave place to the Earl of Bel'-la-mont, a man of enlightened and liberal views. Bellamont's commission gave him authority over New York, and the whole of New England except Rhode Island and Connecticut.

212. About this time, a person named William Kidd gained a wide notoriety. Having proved himself an able naval officer in the war with France, he was appointed commander of a vessel fitted out by private enterprise in England to cruise against the pirates in the eastern seas. Not finding the voyage as profitable as was expected, Kidd and his men turned pirates themselves. After taking many vessels and accumulating a large amount of treasure, Kidd ran for the West Indies, and there learned that a proclamation had been issued against him in England. In spite of this, he ventured to return to New York. Fletcher, the old patron of pirates, was no longer governor; and Kidd, after secretly depositing part of his treasure and distributing the balance among his crew, proceeded to Boston to meet Bellamont, who was one of the projectors of the enterprise. The latter, not satisfied with his statements, arrested him, and sent him to London for trial. Here, after some delay, granted him in the hope that he would implicate those who had sent him out, Kidd was convicted. He was hanged in chains, in May, 1701, protesting his innocence to the last, and declaring that he had attacked none but French vessels, and consequently violated no law, France and England being then at war.

213. Repeated attempts have been made to find the treasure supposed to have been buried by Captain Kidd. One tradition

says
that his vessel was taken

up

the Hudson, and sunk with its valuable cargo at the foot of the Highlands. The general opinion, however, points to Long Island Sound

.

1

treaty? By whom was he succeeded ? What was Fletcher's character? In what did he mainly employ himself? To whom did Fletcher give place? What was included in Bellamont's charter? 212. Shortly before this, who had become notorious ? What was Kidd's early history? What led him and his men to turn pirates? After accumulating a large amount of treasure, what islands did Kidd make for? Where did he then go! What action was taken by Bellamont? What became of Kidd? What did he declare to the last? 218. What attempts

1690]

SOUTH CAROLINA UNDER SOTHEL.

143

as the place, and a box known to have belonged to the pirates was actually found on Gardiner's Island, containing 750 ounces of gold and 847 ounces of silver, besides other valuables. The balance of Kidd's ill-gotten gains have been diligently sought for by treasure-hunters, but in vain. A small island in the Sound, visible from the Connecticut shore, is still known as “Kidd's Island”. A cave is shown where the pirates are said to have slept, and a deep hollow in a rock is called “Kidd's punch-bowl”. Throughout the whole neighborhood, according to the old song,

“Ever since the days of Captain Kidd,
The Yankees think there's money hid."

CHAPTER XXIV.

SOUTH CAROLINA FROM 1690 TO 1700. 214. AFTER Colleton was deposed in South Carolina, Soth'el, one of the proprietaries and a man of the people's choice, was appointed governor. Though his administration was distinguished by some wise measures, such as the admission of Huguenots to the privileges of citizens, it was on the whole unsatisfactory; and, threatened with legal proceedings, Sothel deemed it best to withdraw. His successors tried in vain to reconcile the differences between the people and the proprietaries. It was not till 1695, when the government fell into the hands of an honest Quaker named Archdale, in whom all parties had confidence, that harmony was restored and prosperity revived. Archdale made a treaty with the Spaniards of St. Augustine, the sincerity of which was proved by mutual acts of kindness. There was now nothing to check

have been repeatedly made? Where is it thought the treasure was buried ? What was found on Gardiner's Island ? Where is “ Kidd's Island”? What are still shown? What does an old song say?

214. After Colleton's deposition, who was appointed governor of South Carolina ? What course did he pursue? Why did he resign? What is said of his successors ? Who was at last made governor? With whom did he conclude

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