Saturday, August 4, 2007

Rebecca Nurse

There's a powerful story recounted by Andrew Hyman at the Confirm Them blog (a blog that, IMHO, should be visited daily, btw).

I've posted Andrew's words here:

Fred Thompson recently mentioned the Salem witch trial of Rebecca Nurse, so out of curiosity I looked her up. Here, then, are a few brief remarks about Rebecca Nurse.... She was a 71-year-old great-grandmother in 1691. Some girls in Salem got sick, and so the witch-hunt began. If we look on the bright side, Nurse was well along in years at the time, which is probably the best stage of life to face such a horrible fate (i.e. after living a long and happy existence). At her trial in Boston, the jury found her not guilty, but the judge insisted that the jury reconsider that verdict, and the jury then obligingly produced a guilty verdict. The colonial governor issued a reprieve, but later withdrew it. Public outrage about Nurse's trial and execution have been credited with generating the first opposition to the witch trials. In 1711, her family was compensated by the government for wrongful death, and her excommunication was eventually revoked in 1714 --- unfortunately, her execution could not be as easily revoked. Upon being accused of witchcraft, this is what that wise old great-grandmother of seventeenth-century Massachusetts said:

"As to this thing, I am as innocent as the child unborn."

May God please bless Rebecca Nurse, a voice from our past.

How ironic are Nurse's words -- and her fate -- when read in a post-Roe America.

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