[Ads-l] A non-apology apology from 1694

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Sat Jul 18 15:51:23 UTC 2015

One of the chief accusers of witches in 1692 was Samuel Parris, the minister of Salem Village.  The accusations and trials became almost universally condemned during 1693.  In 1694 Parris "made a (heavily qualified) apology" [quote from Demos, The Enemy Within, p. 186].  Parris said: 

"I do most heartily, fervently, and humbly . . . beseech pardon . . . of all my . . . mistakes and trespasses in so weighty a matter, and also all your forgiveness of . . . every offense in this and other affairs wherein you see or conceive I have erred or . . . offended ...".

[This is attributed to a sermon, "Meditations for Peace".  It probably is in (I have not looked) _The sermon notebook of Samuel Parris, 1689-1694_, edited with an introduction by James F. Cooper, Jr., and Kenneth P. Minkema (Boston: Colonial Society of Massachusetts; [Charlottesville, Va.]: Distributed by the University Press of Virginia, 1993).  The CSM publication would be _Proceedings_, vol. 66.  The quotation allegedly also appears in Chadwick Hansen, _Witchcraft at Salem_.]


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