Transcribing Faith

Cases of Conscience Concerning Witchcrafts

This is a partial manuscript of the Cases of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits by Increase Mather, an influential Puritan minister and president of Harvard who also administered the Salem Witch Trials. This copy was probably used to prepare the work for publication, as it includes corrections and annotations in Mather's own hand. This work defends the actions of the court in the trials, but  nonetheless criticized the use of "spectral evidence" (apparition of witches or spirits in dreams or visions); it also includes Mather's famous formulation, "It were better that Ten Suspected Witches should escape, than that one Innocent Person should be Condemned." View: Catalog record | Digitized item | PDF
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