Soon, many people of Salem began to feel that the accusations and trials were getting out of hand and that they were claiming innocent lives. On October 12, 1692, Governor Phips issued orders to protect current prisoners from harm and to suspend the arrest of anyone accused of witchcraft unless the arrest was absolutely necessary. Robert Calef, a Boston merchant outraged by the trials, claimed that Phips finally called them off upon learning that his own wife had been accused of serving Satan.
The last trial was held in January of 1963 and the final count was 19 deaths by hanging and one by crushing rocks.
Houses and fields were left untended and the planting season had been interrupted by the trials resulting in crop failures and epidemics harming Salem. This left the Puritans believing that God was punishing them for the hangings of innocent people.
Salem's politics were altered also. The Essex County Court declared that the Salem Village committee was derelict and that they would be dismissed from their duties and soon replaced by an anti-Parris committee.
Parris was in jeopardy of losing his job so he decided to make a "Meditation for Peace" sermon, admitting that he gave too much weight to the spectral evidence. However, he did not gain the forgiveness of Salem and he agreed to move out of the village.
Joesph Green would replace Parris as the minister of Salem. He attempted to heal the scar of Salem by seating the accusers by the accused at his sermons. His attempt was pretty successful, resulting in many rejoining the congregation.
No one died as a convicted witch in American ever again following the Salem Trials.
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Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., Cohen, Elizabeth. The American Pageant. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998.
Salem Witch Museum (Online) Available 10/21/00 www.salemwitchmuseum.com.
Churella, Dr. Albert. Retrieving The American Past. Pearson Custom Publishing, 2000.
Famous American Trials (Online) Available 10/22/00 http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/salem.htm.
Salem Possessed: The Puritan Experience In American Social, Religious, and Economic Dynamics. (Online) http://www.dla.utexas.edu/depts/ams/online/smith/projects/salem2/GROUP~1.HTM.