The intriguing biography of Abigail Williams, an accused-turned-accuser of witches in the Salem Witch Trials. On March 19, Abigail accused the respected Rebecca Nurse of trying to force her to sign the devil's book. The next day, in the middle of the service at Salem Village Church, Abigail interrupted Rev. Lawson, claiming she saw Martha Corey's spirit separate from her body. Martha Corey was arrested and examined the next day. A warrant for the arrest of Rebecca Nurse was issued March 23.
Rebecca Nurse (February 21, 1621–July 19, 1692) was a victim of the notorious Salem witch trials, hanged as a witch at 71 years of age. Despite being a fervent churchgoer and an upstanding member of the community—a newspaper of the day referred to her as "saint-like" and "a perfect example of good Puritan behavior"—she was accused, tried, and convicted of witchcraft and put to death without the legal protections Americans would come to enjoy.
“The Lord knows that I haven’t hurt them” illustration of Rebecca Nurse by Howard Pyle, published in “Dulcibel: A tale of old Salem” by Henry Peterson, circa 1907. Rebecca’s accusers, including Abigail Williams, Ann Putnam, Jr, Ann Putnam, Sr., Edward Putnam, Thomas Putnam, Henry Kenney, Mary Walcott, and Elizabeth Hubbard were either Putnam family members or friends of the family. Rebecca Nurse had often criticized the afflicted girls for dabbling in fortune-telling prior to the witch trials.