Friday March 11, 1692, during the day the community’s minister, the Rev. Samuel Parris asked the girls to reveal another witch. They did, and what they said shocked everyone who heard it for it was Martha Corey a new but upstanding member of the congregation. However, she had never shown support for the witch trials, since she did not believe witches existed. Immediately they sent out to the Corey farm to interview the accused in the hope of clearing up this discrepancy.
When she was asked, Martha Corey had a sarcastic response to what the girls said.
This sarcastic remark disheartened the delegation who immediately called for her arrest. Her trial was the scene of much tension. In the courtroom Martha’s accusers screamed in agony as they were forced by an unseen power to mimic the witch’s (Martha Corey) every movement. What ever Martha Corey did the girls did also. When Martha moved her feet the girls did also, when Martha bit her lip the girls were compelled to bit their own lips, crying out in pain.
This was enough evdience to persuade the jury of her guilt.
She denied all that was charged upon her, and said they could not prove her a witch. She was that afternoon committed to Salem prison. She was hanged on September 22, 1692. In March the girls accused Martha Corey. The three women previously denounced as witches were trivial to the public. Martha Corey was different; she was an upstanding member of the Puritan congregation – her exposure as a witch demonstrated that Satan’s influence reached to the very core of the community.
Events snowballed as the harsh atmosphere got worse and reached the peak.
During the time from March into the fall many were charged, examined, tried and put to death. The hangings started in June with the death of Bridget Bishop and continued through September. As winter approached, the panic played itself out as criticism of the procedures grew. In October, the colonial governor dissolved the local Court of question. The convictions and condemnations for witchery stopped. Nineteen victims of the witch-hunt had been hanged, one crushed to death under the weight of stones, which was Martha Corey’s husband Giles Corey.
He refused to undergo a trial and was executed by pressing, a slow crushing death under a pile of stones. When the sheriff asked how he would plead, he responded by asking for more weight. He died on September 19, 1692, three days before his wife Martha was hanged. At least four died in prison awaiting trial. The research that was found portrayed the fictional version on “The Crucible” and the actuall events to be close to the same if not the exact same that was portrayed in the novel and I the movie.
Martha Corey was acussed by the girls of being a witch in real life, just as in the movie “The Crucible”. There were not any mayjor differences from the book and the actual events. Miller did a good job with “The Crucible” in making Martha Corey story almost exactly what happened in real life. Sources: Lawson, Deodat, A Brief and True Narrative of Some Remarkable Passages Relating to Sundry Persons Afflicted by Witchcraft at Salem Village(1692) [reprinted in Commager, Henry Steele, The Heritage of America (1949)] “The Salem Witch Trials, 1692,” EyeWitness to History, www. eyewitnesstohistory. com (2000).