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Upham, Charles Wentworth / Salem Witchcraft and Cotton Mather A Reply
Produced by Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Stephen Blundell
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
(This file was made using scans of
public domain works from the University of Michigan Digital
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SALEM WITCHCRAFT
AND
COTTON MATHER.

A REPLY.


BY
CHARLES W. UPHAM,
_Member of the Massachusetts Historical Society._


MORRISANIA, N. Y.:
1869.




TO
HENRY B. DAWSON, ESQ.,
PROPRIETOR AND EDITOR
OF
_THE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE_,
THIS REPRINT FROM ITS PAGES
IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED BY
ITS AUTHOR.

SALEM, MASS., December 10, 1869.




Transcriber's Note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.
Superscript text is preceded by the ^ character. Variant spellings,
including the inconsistent spelling of proper nouns, remain as
printed. Spelling errors in quotations have been retained, despite
the generally poor quality of the original typesetting.




PREFATORY NOTE.


The Editors of the _North American Review_ would, under the
circumstances, I have no reason to doubt, have opened its columns to a
reply to the article that has led to the preparation of the following
statement. But its length has forbidden my asking such a favor.

All interested in the department of American literature to which the
HISTORICAL MAGAZINE belongs, must appreciate the ability with which it
is conducted, and the laborious and indefatigable zeal of its Editor, in
collecting and placing on its pages, beyond the reach of oblivion and
loss, the scattered and perishing materials necessary to the elucidation
of historical and biographical topics, whether relating to particular
localities or the country at large; and it was as gratifying as
unexpected to receive the proffer, without limitation, of the use of
that publication for this occasion.

The spirited discussion, by earnest scholars, of special questions,
although occasionally assuming the aspect of controversy, will be not
only tolerated but welcomed by liberal minds. Let champions arise, in
all sections of the Republic, to defend their respective rightful claims
to share in a common glorious inheritance and to inscribe their several
records in our Annals. Feeling the deepest interest in the Historical,
Antiquarian, and Genealogical Societies of Massachusetts, and yielding
to none in keen sensibility to all that concerns the ancient honors of
the Old Bay State and New England, generally, I rejoice to witness the
spirit of a commemorative age kindling the public mind, every where, in
the Middle, Western and Southern States.

The courtesy extended to me is evidence that while, by a jealous
scrutiny and, sometimes, perhaps, a sharp conflict, we are reciprocally
imposing checks upon loose exaggerations and overweening pretensions, a
comprehensive good feeling predominates over all; truth in its purity is
getting eliminated; and characters and occurrences, in all parts of the
country, brought under the clear light of justice.

The aid I have received, in the following discussion, from the
publications and depositories of historical associations and the
contributions of individuals, like Mr. Goodell, Doctor Moore, and
others, engaged in procuring from the mother country and preserving all
original tracts and documents, whenever found, belonging to our Colonial
period, demonstrate the importance of such efforts, whether of Societies
or single persons. In this way, our history will stand on a solid
foundation, and have the lineaments of complete and exact truth.

Notwithstanding the distance from the place of printing, owing to the
faithful and intelligent oversight of the superintendent of the press
and the vigilant core of the compositors, but few errors, I trust, will
be found, beyond what are merely literal, and every reader will
unconsciously, or readily, correct for himself.

C. W. U.
SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS.




TABLE OF CONTENTS.


_Page._

INTRODUCTION. 1

I.

THE CONNECTION OF THE MATHERS WITH THE SUPERSTITIONS OF THEIR
TIME. 1

II.

THE GOODWIN CHILDREN. SOME GENERAL REMARKS UPON THE
CRITICISMS OF THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW. 4

III.

COTTON MATHER AND THE GOODWIN CHILDREN. JOHN BAILY. JOHN
HALE. GOODWIN'S CERTIFICATES. MATHER'S IDEA OF WITCHCRAFT
AS A WAR WITH THE DEVIL. HIS USE OF PRAYER. CONNECTION
BETWEEN THE CASE OF THE GOODWIN CHILDREN AND SALEM
WITCHCRAFT. 6

IV.

THE RELATION OF THE MATHERS TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF
MASSACHUSETTS, IN 1692. THE NEW CHARTER. THE GOVERNMENT
UNDER IT ARRANGED BY THEM. ARRIVAL OF SIR WILLIAM PHIPS. 12

V.

THE SPECIAL COURT OF OYER AND TERMINER. HOW IT WAS
ESTABLISHED. WHO RESPONSIBLE FOR IT. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
PROVINCE CONCENTRATED IN ITS CHIEF-JUSTICE. 15

VI.

COTTON MATHER'S CONNECTION WITH THE COURT. SPECTRAL EVIDENCE.
LETTER TO JOHN RICHARDS. ADVICE OF THE MINISTERS. 19

VII.

ADVICE OF THE MINISTERS, FURTHER CONSIDERED. COTTON MATHER'S
PLAN FOR DEALING WITH SPECTRAL TESTIMONY. 23

VIII.

COTTON MATHER AND SPECTRAL EVIDENCE. 30

IX.

COTTON MATHER AND THE PRELIMINARY EXAMINATIONS. JOHN PROCTOR.
GEORGE BURROUGHS. 32

X.

COTTON MATHER AND THE WITCHCRAFT TRIALS. THE EXECUTIONS. 38

XI.

LETTER TO STEPHEN SEWALL. "WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD."
ITS ORIGIN AND DESIGN. COTTON MATHER'S ACCOUNT OF THE
TRIALS. 44

XII.

"WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD," CONTINUED. PASSAGES FROM
IT. "CASES OF CONSCIENCE." INCREASE MATHER. 50

XIII.

THE COURT OF OYER AND TERMINER BROUGHT TO A SUDDEN END. SIR
WILLIAM PHIPS. 54

XIV.

COTTON MATHER'S WRITINGS SUBSEQUENT TO THE WITCHCRAFT
PROSECUTIONS. 57

XV.

HISTORY OF OPINION AS TO COTTON MATHER'S CONNECTION WITH
SALEM WITCHCRAFT. THOMAS BRATTLE. THE PEOPLE OF SALEM
VILLAGE. JOHN HALE. JOHN HIGGINSON. MICHAEL WIGGLESWORTH. 61

XVI.

HISTORY OF OPINION AS TO COTTON MATHER, CONTINUED. FRANCIS
HUTCHINSON. DANIEL NEAL. ISAAC WATTS. THOMAS HUTCHINSON.
WILLIAM BENTLEY. JOHN ELIOT. JOSIAH QUINCY. 68

XVII.

THE EFFECT UPON THE POWER OF THE MATHERS, IN THE PUBLIC
AFFAIRS OF THE PROVINCE, OF THEIR CONNECTION WITH
WITCHCRAFT. 70

XVIII.

COTTON MATHER'S WRITINGS AND CHARACTER. 74

XIX.

ROBERT CALEF'S WRITINGS AND CHARACTER. 77

XX.

MISCELLANEOUS REMARKS. CONCLUSION. 84




SALEM WITCHCRAFT AND COTTON MATHER.




INTRODUCTION.


An article in _The North American Review_, for April, 1869, is mostly
devoted to a notice of the work published by me, in 1867, entitled
_Salem Witchcraft, with an account of Salem Village, and a history of
opinions on witchcraft and kindred subjects_. If the article had
contained criticisms, in the usual style, merely affecting the character
of that work, in a literary point of view, no other duty would have
devolved upon me, than carefully to consider and respectfully heed its
suggestions. But it raises questions of an historical nature that seem
to demand a response, either acknowledging the correctness of its
statements or vindicating my own.

The character of the Periodical in which it appears; the manner in which
it was heralded by rumor, long before its publication; its circulation,
since, in a separate pamphlet form; and the extent to which, in certain
quarters, its assumptions have been endorsed, make a reply imperative.

The subject to which it relates is of acknowledged interest and
importance. The Witchcraft Delusion of 1692 has justly arrested a wider
notice, and probably always will, than any other occurrence in the early
colonial history of this country. It presents phenomena in the realm of
our spiritual nature, belonging to that higher department of physiology,
known as Psychology, of the greatest moment; and illustrates the
operations of the imagination upon the passions and faculties in
immediate connection with it, and the perils to which the soul and
society are thereby exposed, in a manner more striking, startling and
instructive than is elsewhere to be found. For all reasons, truth and
justice require of those who venture to explore and portray it, the
utmost efforts to elucidate its passages and delineate correctly its
actors.

With these views I hail with satisfaction the criticisms that may be
offered upon my book, without regard to their personal character or
bearing, as continuing and heightening the interest felt in the subject;
and avail myself of the opportunity, tendered to me without solicitation
and in a most liberal spirit, by the proprietor of this Magazine, to
meet the obligations which historical truth and justice impose.

The principle charge, and it is repeated in innumerable forms through
the sixty odd pages of the article in the _North American_, is that I
have misrepresented the part borne by Cotton Mather in the proceeding
connected with the Witchcraft Delusion and prosecutions, in 1692.
Various other complaints are made of inaccuracy and unfairness,
particularly in reference to the position of Increase Mather and the
course of the Boston Ministers of that period, generally. Although the
discussion, to which I now ask attention, may appear, at first view, to
relate to questions merely personal, it will be found, I think, to lead
to an exploration of the literature and prevalent sentiments, relating
to religious and philosophical subjects, of that period; and, also, of
an instructive passage in the public history of the Province of
Massachusetts Bay.

I now propose to present the subject more fully than was required, or
would have been appropriate, in my work on Witchcraft.




I.

THE CONNECTION OF THE MATHERS WITH THE SUPERSTITIONS OF THEIR TIME.


In the first place, I venture to say that it can admit of no doubt, that
Increase Mather and his son, Cotton Mather, did more than any other
persons to aggravate the tendency of that age to the result reached in
the Witchcraft Delusion of 1692. The latter, in the beginning of the
Sixth Book of the _Magnalia Christi Americana_, refers to an attempt
made, about the year 1658, "among some divines of no little figure
throughout England and Ireland, for the faithful registering of
remarkable providences. But, alas," he says, "it came to nothing that
was remarkable. The like holy design," he continues, "was, by the
Reverend Increase Mather, proposed among the divines of New England, in
the year 1681, at a general meeting of them; who thereupon desired him
to begin and publish an Essay; which he did in a little while; but
there-withal declared that he did it only as a specimen of a larger
volume, in hopes that this work being set on foot, posterity would go on
with it." Cotton Mather did go on with it, immediately upon his entrance
to the ministry; and by their preaching, publications, correspondence at
home and abroad, and the influence of their learning, talents, industry,
and zeal in the work, these two men promoted the prevalence of a passion
for the marvelous and monstrous, and what was deemed preternatural,
infernal, and diabolical, throughout the whole mass of the people, in
England as well as America. The public mind became infatuated and,
drugged with credulity and superstition, was prepared to receive every
impulse of blind fanaticism. The stories, thus collected and put
everywhere in circulation, were of a nature to terrify the imagination,
fill the mind with horrible apprehensions, degrade the general
intelligence and taste, and dethrone the reason. They darken and
dishonor the literature of that period. A rehash of them can be found in
the Sixth Book of the _Magnalia_. The effects of such publications were
naturally developed in widespread delusions and universal credulity.
They penetrated the whole body of society, and reached all the
inhabitants and families of the land, in the towns and remotest
settlements. In this way, the Mathers, particularly the younger, made
themselves responsible for the diseased and bewildered state of the
public mind, in reference in supernatural and diabolical agencies, which
came to a head in the Witchcraft Delusion. I do not say that they were
culpable. Undoubtedly they thought they were doing God service. But the
influence they exercised, in this direction, remains none the less an
historical fact.

Increase Mather applied himself, without delay, to the prosecution of
the design he had proposed, by writing to persons in all parts of the
country, particularly clergymen, to procure, for publication, as many
marvelous stories as could be raked up. In the eighth volume of the
Fourth Series of the _Collections of the Massachusetts Historical
Society_, consisting of _The Mather Papers_, the responses of several of
his correspondents may be seen. [_Pp. 285, 360, 361, 367, 466, 475, 555,
612._] He pursued this business with an industrious and pertinacious
zeal, which nothing could slacken. After the rest of the world had been
shocked out of such mischievous nonsense, by the horrid results at
Salem, on the fifth of March, 1694, as President of Harvard College, he
issued a Circular to "The Reverend Ministers of the Gospel, in the
several Churches in New England," signed by himself and seven others,
members of the Corporation of that institution, urging it, as the
special duty of Ministers of the Gospel, to obtain and preserve
knowledge of notable occurrences, described under the general head of
"_Remarkables_," and classified as follows:

"The things to be esteemed memorable are, especially, all unusual
accidents, in the heaven, or earth, or water; all wonderful deliverances
of the distressed; mercies to the godly; judgments to the wicked; and
more glorious fulfilments of either the promises or the threatenings, in
the Scriptures of truth; with apparitions, possessions, inchantments,
and all extraordinary things wherein the existence and agency of the
invisible world is more sensibly demonstrated."--_Magnalia Christi
Americana._ Edit. London, 1702. Book VI., p. 1.

All communications, in answer to this missive were to be addressed to
the "President and Fellows" of Harvard College.

The first article is as follows: "To observe and record the more
illustrious discoveries of the Divine Providence, in the government of
the world, is a design so holy, so useful, so justly approved, that the
too general neglect of it in the Churches of God, is as justly to be
lamented." It is important to consider this language in connection with
that used by Cotton Mather, in opening the Sixth Book of the _Magnalia_:
"To regard the illustrious displays of that Providence, wherewith our
Lord Christ governs the world, is a work than which there is none more
needful or useful for a Christian; to record them is a work than which
none more proper for a Minister; and perhaps the great Governor of the
world will ordinarily do the most notable things for those who are most
ready to take a wise notice of what he does. Unaccountable, therefore,
and inexcusable, is the sleepiness, even upon the most of good men
throughout the world, which indisposes them to observe and, much more,
to preserve, the remarkable dispensations of Divine Providence, towards
themselves or others. Nevertheless there have been raised up, now and
then, those persons, who have rendered themselves worthy of everlasting
remembrance, by their wakeful zeal to have the memorable providences of
God remembered through all generations."

These passages from the Mathers, father and son, embrace, in their
bearings, a period, eleven years before and two years after the Delusion
of 1692. They show that the Clergy, generally, were indifferent to the
subject, and required to be aroused from "neglect" and "sleepiness,"
touching the duty of flooding the public mind with stories of "wonders"
and "remarkables;" and that the agency of the Mathers, in giving
currency, by means of their ministry and influence, to such ideas, was
peculiar and pre-eminent. However innocent and excusable their motives
may have been, the laws of cause and effect remained unbroken; and the
result of their actions are, with truth and justice, attributable to
them--not necessarily, I repeat, to impeach their honesty and integrity,
but their wisdom, taste, judgment, and common sense. Human
responsibility is not to be set aside, nor avoided, merely and wholly by
good intent. It involves a solemn and fearful obligation to the use of
reason, caution, cool deliberation, circumspection, and a most careful
calculation of consequences. Error, if innocent and honest, is not
punishable by divine, and ought not to be by human, law. It is covered
by the mercy of God, and must not be pursued by the animosity of men.
But it is, nevertheless, a thing to be dreaded and to be guarded
against, with the utmost vigilance. Throughout the melancholy annals of
the Church and the world, it has been the fountain of innumerable woes,
spreading baleful influences through society, paralysing the energies of
reason and conscience, dimming, all but extinguishing, the light of
religion, convulsing nations, and desolating the earth. It is the duty
of historians to trace it to its source; and, by depicting faithfully
the causes that have led to it, prevent its recurrence. With these
views, I feel bound, distinctly, to state that the impression given to
the popular sentiments of the period, to which I am referring, by
certain leading minds, led to, was the efficient cause of, and, in this
sense, may be said to have originated, the awful superstitions long
prevalent in the old world and the new, and reaching a final catastrophe
in 1692; and among these leading minds, aggravating and intensifying, by
their writings, this most baleful form of the superstition of the age,
Increase and Cotton Mather stand most conspicuous.

This opinion was entertained, at the time, by impartial observers.
Francis Hutchinson, D.D., "Chaplain in ordinary to his Majesty, and
Minister of St. James's Parish, in St. Edmund's Bury," in the life-time
of both the Mathers, published, in London, an _Historical Essay
concerning Witchcraft_, dedicated to the "Lord Chief-justice of England,
the Lord Chief-justice of Common Pleas, and the Lord Chief Baron of
Exchequer." In a Chapter on _The Witchcraft in Salem, Boston, and
Andover, in New England_, he attributes it, as will be seen in the
course of this article, to the influence of the writings of the Mathers.

In the Preface to the London edition of Cotton Mather's _Memorable
Providences_, written by Richard Baxter, in 1690, he ascribes this same
prominence to the works of the Mathers. While expressing the great value
he attached to writings about Witchcraft, and the importance, in his
view, of that department of literature which relates stories about
diabolical agency, possessions, apparitions, and the like, he says, "Mr.
Increase Mather hath already published many such histories of things
done in New England; and this great instance published by his son"--that
is, the account of the Goodwin children--"cometh with such full
convincing evidence, that he must be a very obdurate Sadducee that will
not believe it. And his two Sermons, adjoined, are excellently fitted to
the subject and this blinded generation, and to the use of us all, that
are not past our warfare with Devils." One of the Sermons, which Baxter
commends, is on _The Power and Malice of Devils_, and opens with the
declaration, that "there is a combination of Devils, which our air is
filled withal:" the other is on _Witchcraft_. Both are replete with the
most exciting and vehement enforcements of the superstitions of that
age, relating to the Devil and his confederates.

My first position, then, in contravention of that taken by the Reviewer
in the _North American_, is that, by stimulating the Clergy over the
whole country, to collect and circulate all sorts of marvelous and
supposed preternatural occurrences, by giving this direction to the
preaching and literature of the times, these two active, zealous,
learned, and able Divines, Increase and Cotton Mather, considering the
influence they naturally were able to exercise, are, particularly the
latter, justly chargeable with, and may be said to have brought about,
the extraordinary outbreaks of credulous fanaticism, exhibited in the
cases of the Goodwin family and of "the afflicted children," at Salem
Village. Robert Calef, writing to the Ministers of the country, March
18, 1694, says: "I having had, not only occasion, but renewed
provocation, to take a view of the mysterious doctrines, which have of
late been so much contested among us, could not meet with any that had
spoken more, or more plainly, the sense of those doctrines" [_relating
to the Witchcraft_] "than the Reverend Mr. Cotton Mather, but how
clearly and consistent, either with himself or the truth, I meddle not
now to say, but cannot but suppose his strenuous and zealous asserting
his opinions has been one cause of the dismal convulsions, we have here
lately fallen into."--_More Wonders of the Invisible World_, by Robert
Calef, Merchant of Boston, in New England. Edit. London, 1700, p. 33.

The papers that remain, connected with the Witchcraft Examinations and
Trials, at Salem, show the extent to which currency had been given, in
the popular mind, to such marvelous and prodigious things as the Mathers
had been so long endeavoring to collect and circulate; particularly in
the interior, rural settlements. The solemn solitudes of the woods were
filled with ghosts, hobgoblins, spectres, evil spirits, and the
infernal Prince of them all. Every pathway was infested with their
flitting shapes and footprints; and around every hearth-stone,
shuddering circles, drawing closer together as the darkness of night
thickened and their imaginations became more awed and frightened,
listened to tales of diabolical operations: the same effects, in
somewhat different forms, pervaded the seaboard settlements and larger
towns.

Besides such frightful fancies, other most unhappy influences flowed
from the prevalence of the style of literature which the Mathers brought
into vogue. Suspicions and accusations of witchcraft were everywhere
prevalent; any unusual calamity or misadventure; every instance of real
or affected singularity of deportment or behavior--and, in that
condition of perverted and distempered public opinion, there would be
many such--was attributed to the Devil. Every sufferer who had yielded
his mind to what was taught in pulpits or publications, lost sight of
the Divine Hand, and could see nothing but devils in his afflictions.
Poor John Goodwin, whose trials we are presently to consider, while his
children were acting, as the phrase--originating in those days, and
still lingering in the lower forms of vulgar speech--has it, "like all
possessed," broke forth thus: "I thought of what David said. _2 Samuel_,
xxiv., 14. If he feared so to fall into the hands of men, oh! then to
think of the horrors of our condition, to be in the hands of Devils and
Witches. Thus, our doleful condition moved us to call to our friends to
have pity on us, for God's hand hath touched us. I was ready to say that
no one's affliction was like mine. That my little house, that should be
a little Bethel for God to dwell in, should be made a den for Devils;
that those little Bodies, that should be Temples for the Holy Ghost to
dwell in, should be thus harrassed and abused by the Devil and his
cursed brood."--_Late Memorable Providences, relating to Witchcraft and
Possessions._ By Cotton Mather. Edit. London, 1691.

No wonder that the country was full of the terrors and horrors of
diabolical imaginations, when the Devil was kept before the minds of
men, by what they constantly read and heard, from their religious
teachers! In the Sermons of that day, he was the all-absorbing topic of
learning and eloquence. In some of Cotton Mather's, the name, Devil, or
its synonyms, is mentioned ten times as often as that of the benign and
blessed God.

No wonder that alleged witchcrafts were numerous! Drake, in his _History
of Boston_, says there were many cases there, about the year 1688. Only
one of them seems to have attracted the kind of notice requisite to
preserve it from oblivion--that of the four children of John Goodwin,
the eldest, thirteen years of age. The relation of this case, in my
book [_Salem Witchcraft_, i., 454-460] was wholly drawn from the
_Memorable Providences_ and the _Magnalia_.




II.

THE GOODWIN CHILDREN. SOME GENERAL REMARKS UPON THE CRITICISMS OF THE
NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW.


The Reviewer charges me with having wronged Cotton Mather, by
representing that he "got up" the whole affair of the Goodwin children.
He places the expression within quotation marks, and repeats it, over
and over again. In the passage to which he refers--p. 366 of the second
volume of my book--I say of Cotton Mather, that he "repeatedly
endeavored to get up cases of the kind in Boston. There is some ground
for suspicion that he was instrumental in originating the fanaticism in
Salem." I am not aware that the expression was used, except in this
passage. But, wherever used, it was designed to convey the meaning given
to it, by both of our great lexicographers. Worcester defines "_to get
up_, 'to prepare, to make ready--to get up an entertainment;' 'to print
and publish, as a book.'" Webster defines it, "to prepare for coming
before the public; to bring forward." This is precisely what Mather did,
in the case of the Goodwin children, and what Calef put a stop to his
doing in the case of Margaret Rule.

In 1831, I published a volume entitled _Lectures on Witchcraft,
comprising a history of the Delusion, in Salem, in 1692_. In 1867, I
published _Salem Witchcraft, and an account of Salem Village_; and, in
the Preface, stated that "the former was prepared under circumstances
which prevented a thorough investigation of the subject. Leisure and
freedom from professional duties have now enabled me to prosecute the
researches necessary to do justice to it. The _Lectures on Witchcraft_
have long been out of print. Although frequently importuned to prepare a
new edition, I was unwilling to issue, again, what I had discovered to
be an inadequate presentation of the subject." In the face of this
disclaimer of the authority of the original work, the Reviewer says: "In
this discussion, we shall treat Mr. Upham's _Lectures_ and History in
the same connection, as the latter is an expansion and defence of the
views presented in the former."

I ask every person of candor and fairness, to consider whether it is
just to treat authors in this way? It is but poor encouragement to them
to labor to improve their works, for the first critical journal in the
country to bring discredit upon their efforts, by still laying to their
charge what they have themselves remedied or withdrawn. Yet it is
avowedly done in the article which compels me to this vindication.

The _Lectures_, for instance, printed in 1831, contained the following
sentence, referring to Cotton Mather's agency, in the Goodwin case, in
Boston. "An instance of witchcraft was brought about, in that place, by
his management." So it appeared in a reprint of that volume, in 1832. In
my recent publication, while transferring a long paragraph from the
original work, _I carefully omitted_, from the body of it, the above
sentence, fearing that it might lead to misapprehension. For, although I
hold that the Mathers are pre-eminently answerable for the witchcraft
proceedings in their day, and may be said, justly, to have caused them,
of course I did not mean that, by personal instigation on the spot, they
started every occurrence that ultimately was made to assume such a
character. The Reviewer, with the fact well known to him, that I had
suppressed and discarded this clause, flings it against me, repeatedly.
He further quotes a portion of the paragraph, in the _Lectures_, in
which it occurs, omitting, _without indicating the omission_, certain
clauses that would have explained my meaning, _taking care, however, to
include the suppressed passage_; and finishes the misrepresentation, by
the following declaration, referring to the paragraph in the _Lectures_:
"The same statements, in almost the same words, he reproduces in his
History." This he says, knowing that the particular statement to which
he was then taking exception, was not reproduced in my History.

It may be as well here, at this point, as elsewhere, once for all, to
dispose of a large portion of the matter contained in the long article
in the _North American Review_, now under consideration. In preparing
any work, particularly in the department of history, it is to be
presumed that the explorations of the writer extend far beyond what he
may conclude to put into his book. He will find much that is of no
account whatever; that would load down his narrative, swell it to
inadmissible dimensions, and shed no additional light. Collateral and
incidental questions cannot be pursued in details. A new law, however,
is now given out, that must be followed, hereafter, by all writers--that
is, to give not a catalogue merely, but an account of the contents, of
every book and tract they have read. It is thus announced by our
Reviewer: "We assume Mr. Upham has not seen this tract, as he neither
mentioned it nor made use of its material."

The document here spoken of was designed to give Increase Mather's ideas
on the subject of witchcraft trials, written near the close of those in
Salem, in 1692. As I had no peculiar interest in determining what his
views were--as a careful study of the tract, particularly taken in
connection with its _Postscript_, fails to bring any reader to a clear
conception of them; and as its whole matter was altogether immaterial to
my subject--I did not think it worth while to encumber my pages with it.
So in respect to many other points, in treating which extended
discussions might be demanded. If I had been governed by such notions as
the Reviewer seems to entertain, my book, which he complains of as too
long, would have been lengthened to the dimensions of a cyclopędia of
theology, biography, and philosophy. For keeping to my subject, and not
diverting attention to writings of no inherent value, in any point of
view, and which would contribute nothing to the elucidation of my
topics, I am charged by this Reviewer, in the baldest terms, with
ignorance, on almost every one of his sixty odd pages, and, often,
several times on the same page.

All that I say of Cotton Mather, mostly drawn from his own words, does
not cover a dozen pages. Exception is taken to some unfavorable
judgments, cursorily expressed. This is fair and legitimate, and would
justify my being called on to substantiate them. But to assume, and
proclaim, that I had not read nor seen tracts or volumes that would come
under consideration in such a discussion, is as rash as it is offensive;
and, besides, constitutes a charge against which no person of any self
respect or common sense can be expected to defend himself. I gave the
opinion of Cotton Mather's agency in the Witchcraft of 1692, to which my
judgment had been led--whether with sufficient grounds or not will be
seen, as I proceed--but did not branch off from my proper subject, into
a detail of the sources from which that opinion was derived. If I had
done so, in connection with allusions to Mather, upon the same principle
it would have been necessary to do it, whenever an opinion was expressed
of others, such as Roger Williams, or Hugh Peters, or Richard Baxter. It
would destroy the interest, and stretch interminably the dimensions, of
any book, to break its narrative, abandon its proper subject, and stray
aside into such endless collateral matter. But it must be done, if the
article in the _North American Review_, is to be regarded as an
authoritative announcement of a canon of criticism. Lecturers and public
speakers, or writers of any kind, must be on their guard. If they should
chance, for instance, to speak of Cotton Mather as a pedant, they will
have the reviewers after them, belaboring them with the charge of "a
great lack of research," in not having "pored over" the "prodigious"
manuscript of his unpublished work, in the Library of the Massachusetts
Historical Society, the whole of his three hundred and eighty-two
printed works, and the huge mass of _Mather Papers_, in the Library of
the American Antiquarian Society; and with never having "read" the
_Memorable Providences_, or "seen" the _Wonders of the Invisible World_,
or "heard" of the _Magnalia Christi Americana_.




III.

COTTON MATHER AND THE GOODWIN CHILDREN. JOHN BAILY. JOHN HALE. GOODWIN'S
CERTIFICATES. MATHER'S IDEA OF WITCHCRAFT AS A WAR WITH THE DEVIL. HIS
USE OF PRAYER. CONNECTION BETWEEN THE CASE OF THE GOODWIN CHILDREN AND
SALEM WITCHCRAFT.


The Reviewer complains of my manner of treating Cotton Mather's
connection with the affair of the Goodwin children. The facts in the
case are, that the family, to which they belonged, lived in the South
part of Boston. The father, a mason by occupation, was, as Mather
informs us, "a sober and pious man." As his church relations were with
the congregation in Charlestown, of which Charles Morton was the Pastor,
he probably had no particular acquaintance with the Boston Ministers.
From a statement made by Mr. Goodwin, some years subsequently, it seems
that after one of his children had, for "about a quarter of a year, been
laboring under sad circumstances from the invisible world," he called
upon "the four Ministers of Boston, together with his own Pastor, to
keep a day of prayer at his house. If so deliverance might be obtained."
He says that Cotton Mather, with whom he had no previous acquaintance,
was the last of the Ministers that "he spoke to on that occasion." Mr.
Mather did not attend the meeting, but visited the house in the morning
of the day, before the other Ministers came; spent a half hour there;
and prayed with the family. About three months after, the Ministers held
another prayer-meeting there, Mr. Mather being present. He further
stated that Mr. Mather never, in any way, suggested his prosecuting the
old Irish woman for bewitching his children, nor gave him any advice in
reference to the legal proceedings against her; but that "the motion of
going to the authority was made to him by a Minister of a neighboring
town, now departed."

The Reviewer, in a note to the last item, given above, of Goodwin's
statement, says: "Probably Mr. John Baily." Unless he has some
particular evidence, tending to fix this advice upon Baily, the
conjecture is objectionable. The name of such a man as Baily appears to
have been, ought not, unnecessarily, to be connected with the
transaction. It is true that, after the family had become relieved of
its "sad circumstances from the invisible world," Mr. Baily took one of
the children to his house, in Watertown; but that is no indication of
his having given such advice. The only facts known of him, in connection
with Witchcraft prosecutions, look in the opposite direction. When John
Proctor, in his extremity of danger, sought for help, Mr. Baily was one
of the Ministers from whom alone he had any ground to indulge a hope for
sympathy; and his name is among the fourteen who signed the paper
approving of Increase Mather's _Cases of Conscience_. The list comprises
all the Ministers known as having shown any friendly feelings towards
persons charged with Witchcraft or who had suffered from the
prosecutions, such as Hubbard, Allen, Willard, Capen and Wise; but not
one who had taken an active part in hurrying on the proceedings of 1692.

If any surmise is justifiable, or worth while, as to the author of the
advice to Goodwin--and perhaps it is due to the memory of Baily, whose
name has been thus introduced--I should be inclined to suggest that it
was John Hale, of Beverly, who, like Baily, was deceased at the date of
Goodwin's certificate. He was a Charlestown man, originally of the same
religious Society with Goodwin, and had kept up acquaintance with his
former townsmen. His course at Salem Village, a few years afterwards,
shows that he would have been likely to give such advice; and we may
impute it to him without any wrong to his character or reputation. His
noble conduct in daring, in the very hour of the extremest fury of the
storm, when, as just before the break of day, the darkness was deepest,
to denounce the proceedings as wrong; and in doing all that he could to
repair that wrong, by writing a book condemning the very things in which
he had himself been a chief actor, gives to his name a glory that cannot
be dimmed by supposing that, in the period of his former delusion, he
was the unfortunate adviser of Goodwin.

When Calef's book reached this country, in 1700, a Committee of seven
was raised, at a meeting of the members of the Parish of which the
Mathers were Ministers, to protect them against its effects. John
Goodwin was a member of it, and contributed the Certificate from which
extracts have just been made. It was so worded as to give the impression
that Cotton Mather did not take a leading part in the case of Goodwin's
children, in 1688. It states, as has been seen, that he "was the last of
the Ministers" asked to attend the prayer-meeting; but lets out the fact
that he was the first to present himself, going to the house and praying
with the family before the rest arrived. Goodwin further states, as
follows: "The Ministers would, now and then, come to visit my distressed
family, and pray with and for them, among which Mr. Cotton Mather would,
now and then, come." The whole document is so framed as to present
Mather as playing a secondary part.

In an account, however, of the affair, written by this same John
Goodwin, and printed by Mather, in London, ten years before, in _The
Memorable Providences relating to Witchcraft and Possessions_, a
somewhat different position is assigned to Mather. After saying "the
Ministers did often visit us," he mentions "Mr. Mather particularly."
"He took much pains in this great service, to pull this child and her
brother and sister, out of the hands of the Devil. Let us now admire and
adore that fountain, the Lord Jesus Christ, from whence those streams
come. The Lord himself will requite his labor of love." In 1690, Mather
was willing to have Goodwin place him in the foreground of the picture,
representing him as pulling the children out of the hand of the Devil.
In 1700, it was expedient to withdraw him into the background: and
Goodwin, accordingly, provided the Committee, of which he was a member,
with a Certificate of a somewhat different color and tenor.

The execution of the woman, Glover, on the charge of having bewitched
these Goodwin children, is one of the most atrocious passages of our
history.



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