Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials | Chapter 34 of 53

Author: Marilynne K. Roach | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 1119 Views | Add a Review

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introductions

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James Bailey upon the account of the portion of Mary his wife which they had received” and £20:8:6 “paid to Thomas Putnam and Ann his

wife on account of his wife’s portion.”

The sons-in-law and William Carr protested, and the matter went

to court at Salem in June. Under a doctor’s care from the rigors of attending his father-in-law and unable to perform “my necessary em-

ployment in order to the recovery of my health,” Bailey penned a

lengthy petition protesting the second inventory, stating that it was

“suddenly obtained in the absence of some of the persons concerned,”

including himself, that it undervalued the estate, and that it omitted some things entirely. He had so far seen “little or nothing” of his wife’s marriage portion, even though “my father Carr” was always especially fond of Mary and had said on his very deathbed that “she should not be wronged.” But now, “by reason of the endeavors of some to get the estate into their own hands,” it seemed she would be cheated of her rightful due. In his view “mother Carr” had shown “too much partiality to the case, viz. against the daughters in striving to get the estate (to the great damage of the daughters) settled upon the sons.”

Widow Carr countered with her own petition that detailed her understanding of her late husband’s wishes. George, William, and

Richard were married, with families of their own. Having “been careful of his father’s business and dutiful to him,” living with and working for him even after he came of age, James was to have the Island and was to care for John, who was “crazed or distempered in his head these seven years and is not capable to govern himself.” Her brother-in-law Richard Carr, who had long lived with them, was now “ancient and

cannot provide for himself.” Her husband had wanted his brother to have £10 or £11 a year, but the court would have to decide just how the estate could afford that. For herself, she wished to continue living in this household and for James to manage her part of the estate. She desired the magistrates “to leave something of the estate to be at my dispose at my decease among my children, for I did bring to my husband in that which was good estate to the value of two hundred

pounds”—her marriage portion. As for the daughters, Elizabeth and

Sarah had been raised as their uncle and aunt’s children, who provided for them well (for instance, a £500 dowry to Elizabeth when she

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Six Women of Salem

married Woodmancy). She could not see how the late Elizabeth’s son John Woodmancy had any rights to George Carr’s estate. (This countered her kinsman James Oliver’s testimony that Carr had indeed

promised that his grandson would inherit his mother’s portion.) Her daughter Mary Bailey had received £23:1:0, whereas £20:8:6 went to

“Ann the youngest, the wife of Thomas Putnam.”

The sons-in-law—Thomas Putnam, James Bailey, and Thomas

Baker—petitioned again in October, proposing as a conciliatory gesture, among other matters, “that our honored mother shall enjoy the Island and ferry during her natural life.” They also offered to purchase the Amesbury ferry from George Carr Jr. at more than the appraised value and asked that the rest of the estate be proportionately divided so “that everyone may know his part.” The Carrs did relinquish one of the horses to count toward Mary’s inheritance, for Bailey rode it on a journey “southward” to negotiate with the Killingworth, Connecticut community about being their minister. The horse that Thomas Putnam had was no doubt considered part of Ann’s portion. The estate’s papers included several lists of differing amounts due to each party.

Although the first set of appraisers insisted that the widow and the two favored sons refused to show them all of the Carr estate, the court took the widow’s side: the Carr enterprises remained with Elizabeth, George, and James.

(The same June court session also annulled Ralph and Katherine

Ellenwood’s marriage due to his “insuffiency.” Katherine declared that she “would rather die than live with this man,” whereas Ralph was reported to have blamed his problem on the presence of witches in the neighborhood.)

Perhaps forewarned by the contentious Carr probate, Thomas Put-

nam Sr. wrote a will of his own in February 1683, “being ancient and sensible of the declining of old age, and weakness, and symptoms of mortality daily attending upon me.”

Meanwhile, as Burroughs’s opponents circulated angry letters that

led to slander suits and grievance committees, Ann gave birth to a daughter on May 29, 1683. Despite family resentments over the Carr estate, she named the child Elizabeth—her mother’s name. The Putnams, however, evidently never cared for Burroughs and likely showed 9780306821202-text_Roach 6/18/13 8:47 PM Page 57

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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