v v v
Samuel Abbe is the father of Ebenezer Abbe.
Samuel Abbe had eleven children. With the birth of Jonathen in 1674, the family added Junior (Jr.) to his name. He was only 47 years old at the time of his death.
Samuel Abbe first appears in the Wenham, Essex, Massachusetts records at the time of his marriage. He received a grant of ten acres of land in Wenham, to set his house upon, from his father, John Abbe Jr., and his mother, Mary Loring, on April 3, 1675. (Recorded in the Essex Deeds, 15:150)
Samuel and his wife Mary, were communicants of the church in Wenham in 1674. He was a land surveyor in 1676 and appears upon the town records as a husbandman, made freeman, October 3, 1680. (Massachusetts Records, 5:540) He also was named in his father's will in 1683.
A map of Salem dwellings in 1692, published in Volume I of the book, Salem Witchcraft, written by Charles Upham, 1867 Reprint, shows the location of Samuel Abbe's house, number 114 on a plot in the south-west part, east of Bald Hill, within the 500 acres laid out to Robert Goodell in 1652 and its subsequent additions.
Samuel Abbe was living in Salem during the days of witchcraft and was one of those opposed to its fanaticisms. One Rebecca Nourse, (could also be spelled Nurse) on trial as a witch, produced a paper signed by several "respectable inhabitants" of Salem, among whom was Samuel Abbe. This document as to her good character caused her to be set at liberty but the sentence was later changed and she was put to death as a witch. In 1913, a monument to her memory was erected by her descendants.
Our research shows Samuel Abbe was present, as a witness, for the following trials, one of which he brought the charges:
REBECCA NOURSE OR NURSE - The mother of eight children was 71 years old when she was hanged on Gallows Hill with four other women, July 19, 1692. She had been one of Salem Village's most respected and religious citizens, so much so that the magistrates hesitated in delivering the warrant for her arrest. A petition was drawn up and signed on May 14, 1692, by most of the richest and most influential people, such as Israel Porter (his name appears first), Daniel Andrews, SAMUEL ABBE, and 34 others. This petition speaking of her good character was sent to Governor Sir William Phipps who responded with a temporary reprieve. When the reprieve ran out, she was tried and found not guilty, but at the verdict, the accusing girls fell into such violent fits that the jury was instructed to reconsider. The jury foreman, allowed to question Rebecca, got no response from the old women who apparently could not hear his questions over the noise of the girls. Her silence, apparently, was taken as a sign of guilt for the jury returned with a verdict of guilty. After she was hanged, Rebecca was buried in such a shallow grave on Gallows rocky hill that some body parts remained exposed. Her family came in the dark of night, collected her remains, and reburied her on the family's homestead.
MARY EASTY - Samuel Abbe testified and said that on the 20th of May 1692, he went to the house of Constable John Putnam about 9 o' clock in the morning. When he arrived, Mercy Lewis lay on the bed in a sad condition and continuing speachless for about an hour. A group of hysterical girls said that a disembodied image of Mary Easty was pinching them. Shortly thereafter, Abigail Williams and Mrs. Ann Putnam arrived. They said that as they were coming along the way they saw the apparition of Mary Easty. Both of them said that the apparition of Mary Easty told them that she was afflecting of Mercy Lewis, and when they arrived at John Putnam's house, both of them said they saw the apparition of Mary Easty afflecting the body of Mary Lewis. Mary Easty was arrested, tried for witchcraft, and sentenced to prison. She was eventually released from prison. Yet, due to the outcries and protests of her accusers, SAMUEL ABBE being one of them, she was arrested a second time. Mary Easty was brought to trial again in a court where there existed almost no possibility of proving innocence. Under the Puritan court, the pressure to confess and atone for one's sins was immense. Innocent individuals with nothing to confess were subsequently often lead to admit to crimes which they did not commit. Moreover, other accused witches confirmed that Mary Easty had been working with them. Mary Easty was tried and condemned to death. She was hung by the neck until dead on September 22, 1692. Five years later, the people of Massachusetts recognized that Mary Easty had been innocent and that they had unjustly executed her. The Colony held a day of fasting on January 14, 1697, and especially the judges who had tried Mary Easty looked into their guilty consciences. None of this made much difference to Mary Easty, already long since dead and buried.
SARAH GOOD - Samuel Abbe and his wife Mary Knowlton, were witnesses in a witch trial in Salem in 1692 against Sarah Good, a women of vicious temper who had lived with Samuel Abbe and his wife in their home for a time but was dismissed on account of her disagreeable ways. She vowed vengeance upon them and when several of Samuel's cows and hogs died or were taken sick, the blame was laid to her as a witch. Samuel and his wife Mary brought charges against her for witchcraft and a warrant for Sarah's arrest was given at Salem, Massachusetts February 29, 1692. Sarah was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to death. Sarah Good hanged on Gallows Hill, July 19, 1692. Sarah Good was the wife of a common laborer and known to the towns people as a "destitute, wizened, pipe smoking hag".
In September, 1692, people started wondering if they were doing the right thing. The Witchcraft Trials of Salem Village have been described as "Americas most notorious episode of witchcraft hysteria". The Salem Witch Trials were the last witchcraft executions in America. The General Court of the Colony created the Superior Court to try the remaining witchcraft cases which took place in May, 1693. This time no one was convicted. The trials stopped after Pastor Cotton Mather delivered a sermon arguing against the mass convictions, and some clergy began to openly criticize spectral evidence. Governor Sir William Phipps, after several months of hesitation, freed all those who were in jail and the executions stopped.
After eight months of terror, the Salem Witch Trials ended---but not
until after the loss of twenty---innocent people, including two dogs. Some
may feel the wrong people went to the gallows.
Those who were different, who didn't conform to societies incredibly strict standards, were declared witches instead of being accepted as individuals. The trials scared people into admitting they were someone they weren't, and were terrifying examples of corruption. The twenty people (and two dogs) executed were twenty-two lives to many, and action should have been taken sooner to stop the injustices. The Salem Witch Trials were a major tragedy, and those killed are still being mourned today.
Samuel Abbe married Mary Knowlton, October 12, 1672. Mary Knowlton is the daughter of William Knowlton and Elizabeth Smith. She was born about 1649 or 1653.
The following notes are from the Knowlton Ancestry, compiled by Rev C.H. Stocking of Freehold, New Jersey, published 1897:
The name Knowlton reaches back traditionally to the time of William the Conqueror, 1066 - 87. Richard Knowlton was born 1553, at Knowlton Manor, which is situated about six miles from the great cathedral at Canterbury, Kent County, England. He married, July 17, 1577, Elizabeth Cantize. The last of their four children was William, commonly called Captain William, born 1584, married Elizabeth Smith. They had six chidren, two of whom died young. Captain William with his remaining family sailed for America in 1632. He died on the passage and was buried in Nova Scotia. His gravestone read, William Knowlton, 1632, and was discovered there by a land-surveyor in 1839. The family appear to have moved to Massachusetts the next year, probably to Hingham, later to Ipswich. William, the second son of Captain William, born in England, 1615, was a member of the first church in Ipswich and a freeman, 1641 -42. He was a brick-layer by trade and died in 1655.
On November 19, 1689, the Salem Village church was organized as a covenanted body. Listed as one of the first 27 members was "Mary, wife to Samuel Abbe." Samuel was not listed as one of these members. All these 27 members were either Putnams or friends of the Putnam family. <source> page 82, The Devil Discovered - Salem Witchcraft 1692, by Enders A. Robinson.
The Putnams and the families pushed for a new church in Salem Village because they wanted to be free of Salem Town's political power. These people "were exclusively farmers and they favored the old ways of Puritanism." They lived on the remote, western side of Salem Village. Having their own church would give them political power in Salem Village. <source> page 63, The Devil Discovered - Salem Witchcraft 1692, by Enders A. Robinson.
Samuel Abbe and his wife Mary Knowlton united in forming the first church at Salem Village, the date of its formation being November 15, 1689. Salem Village is now Danvers, Massachusetts.
The Putnam family was a driving force in the accusing of witches. Most of the complaints against witches were from the extended family of Thomas Putnam. "For a few complaints, some trusted friends were also allowed to participate." <source> page 110, The Devil Discovered - Salem Witchcraft 1692, by Enders A. Robinson.
Samuel Abbe and his wife Mary testified at one witch trial, " William Good and his wife Sarah Good being destitute, we out of charity let them live in our house for some time. Sarah Good was so spiteful and maliciously bent that we were forced, for quietness sake, to turn her and her husband out of the house. Ever since, she has behaved herself very crossly and maliciously, calling our children vile names and has threatened them often." <source> page 139, The Devil Discovered - Salem Wichcraft 1692, by Enders A Robinson.
Children of Samuel Abbe and Mary Knowlton are: