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Sarah Good: Accused Witch

Updated on August 24, 2017

Sarah Good: Accused of Being a Witch During the Salem Witch Trials

Sara Good was a daughter, wife and mother. She was also homeless and considered to be a little different.

What is wrong with being poor and different? Nothing unless you were living in time of the Salem witch trials. Good was an easy target for her accusers with no one to speak for her, not even her husband William, whose words only helped victimize Good. The story of Sarah Good does not end well as Good was one of the first to hang, In Salem village during the Salem Witch trials her death was inevitable.

Learn the details of Sarah Good's story and how her daughter Dorcus became the youngest imprisoned accused witch.

Sarah Good: A Life of Potential Cut Short

Early Life of Sarah Good

Sarah Good born to John Solart, a well off Wenham Innkeeper, was supposed to have a good life, but when her father killed himself in 1672 everything changed. She was only seventeen at the time of his death. Solart left a 500 pound inheritance which was devided among with his late wife, two sons with a small share set aside for his seven daughters. Unfortunetly, most of the girls never received their share of their inheritage because their mother quickly remarried, and her new husband came in possession of his new wife's share of the inheritage and the unclaimed shares of the daughters.

Sarah eventually married a man named Daniel Poole, a former indentured servant, who left Sarah with a load of debt when he died in 1682. The debt followed her into her second marriage to a man named William Good. When they married Sarah and William became responsible for Poole's debts. Part of their land was seized to pay off their creditors, but that was not enough. Eventtuallly the debt crushed them and they were forced to sell the remainder of their land. Good and her family were left homeless, and she was forced to beg for food, shelter and work from her neighbours.

Source: Sarah Good

Sarah Good's Frustration - Salem Witch Trials and the Gallows

Sarah routinely cursed and yelled at her neighbours who refused to give her and her family charity. Do you think this was an understandable response? In Salem Village in 1692 Sarah's behavoir was proof that she was a Witch. If you were alive during the Salem Witch trials what would you believe, say or do. Take a moment to think about you answer as people who stood up for the accused would be looked at with scrunity and possible the next to be accused of witchcraft.

You are living at the time of the Salem Witch Trials and Sarah Good is on trial. Is she a Witch or not?

Salem Witch Trial Game: Find Out How You Would Do? - Could you avoid the noose?

Take a moment to try these games and get a feel for what it would have been like to live in Salem Village in 1692.

Sara Good and the Salem Witch Trials

What is an accused witch to do?

Sarah Good was accused of being a witch by Tituba and was among the first three people accused of being a witch. Her neighbors lined up against her to testify about her mutterings when they refused to give her charity; however, the most damaging and tragic accusation came for her daughter Dorthy/Dorcus Good implicating her mother as a witch in her confession of engaging in witchcraft March 23, 1692. It might seem monsterous to turn against your mother, but Dorthy/ Dorcus was an impressionable four year old. Good's daughter was the youngest person locked up and accused of being witch; though, she was spared the noose she was psychologically scarred from her ordeal. Her father, William Good, would later receive compensation in 1711 for the cruelties his daughter suffered.

Source: Sara Good

The Good Story

The Examination of Sarah Good

What are those asked accused of witchcraft?

During Sarah Good's examination she was asked why she tormented the afflicted girls, and she answered she did not and that she scorned anyone who did. She was repeatedly asked who she served and she would answer God or God in Heaven; though, the examiner thought these were lies. She was questioned about her mutterings only to reveal she was repeating a psalm, which psalm was never recorded.

Upon reading the examination of Good I found her answers sensible ridiculous and her examination notes absurd. Noting she could not say God, which she in fact did, and was wicked when dealing with the authorities. Evidence for her being a witch was cited third party recollections of what William Good had allegedly said in a conversation about his wife. The third party claimed that William Good thought she was a witch or could soon be a witch because of her mistreatment of him. He is reported to have said, "I may say with tears that shee is an enimy to all good."

This provided the authority with proof of Good's guilt during the Salem Witch Trials. Today, it might be considered nothing more than an utterance of a disgruntled husband.

Note: the examination of Sarah Good was written by Ezekiell Chevers on March 1, 1692.

Recommended Salem Witch Trial Books - Learn more about the Salem Witch Trials

The Accuser Tituba

Did Tituba start the Salem Witch Trials?

Tituba's fortune and story telling created the ideas in the afflicted girls head that they were possessed; however, the afflicted girls actions,simulated convolutions and statements about devil possession, led to the Salem Witch Trial and the execution of 19 people, plus those who died in prison.

Tituba was an Indian woman (this has been contested by some) and a slave of Rev. Samuel Parris. She was the third name mentioned by the afflicted girls, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams. of witchcraft but Tituba was the first to confess to witchcraft and indicate other members of the community were witches. Sarah Good was among those she accused.

While Good was hung for being found guilty of witchcraft Tituba was not hung. She was eventually let out of prison. No one knows what happened to the fortune teller after her release.

Source: Wikipedia

Tituba: A Question of Morality - Beyond her confession

Tituba decided to confess to being a witch and engaging in witchcraft, flying around on sticks, and being in league with the devil. Not a bad strategy considering she survived the Salem Witch Trials, even if she fueled the witchcraft hysteria, but why does she introduce new people into the tragedy.

Is Tituba to blame for the hanging of Sarah Good or do you think she came to believe the lies?

"Every of them to be hanged by the Neck untill they be dead"

- from Sarah Good's Death Warrant

Sarah Good from the Scaffolding

The Salem Witch Trials end for Good

"You are a liar. I am no more a witch than you are a wizard, and if you take away my life God will give you blood to drink." is what Good is reported to have said to Minister Nicholas Noyes, in response to his final attempt to get Good to confess. Taken as a curse her wish was fulfilled when Noyes died bleeding from the mouth because of an internal hemorrhage. Too bad that this news was not seen as proof that Good had been innocent of participating in witchcraft.

Source: Sara Good

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