Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BURROUGHS, George, clergyman, born about 1650; died in Salem, Massachusetts, 19 August, 1692. He was graduated at Harvard in 1670, was a preacher at Falmouth (now Portland), Maine, in 1676, and at Salem, Massachusetts, in 1680. Here he remained until 1683, when, in consequence of some dispute, he returned to Fahnouth, where his former parishioners had given him 200 acres of land. His place of residence after 1690 is not certainly known, but in 1692 he was accused of witchcraft in Salem. He was brought to trial on 5 August, and it was declared in the indictment that, by his wicked arts, one Mary Wolcott "was tortured, afflicted, pined, consumed, wasted, and tormented." The evidence against him was derived principally from the "afflicted persons" and from those who had confessed that they were witches. These latter affirmed that Burroughs had attended witch-meetings with them, and compelled them to the snares of witchcraft. Burroughs possessed great physical strength, and this fact was used against him. Just, after his arrest, as the constables were taking him through a wood, there had been a violent thunder-storm, and this, in the minds of the judges, was additional proof of his connection with the evil one. He was condemned to death. It is thought that his conviction was the indirect result of the prejudice that had been excited against him in Salem while he was pastor there. At the execution he repeated without mistake the Lord's prayer, which, it was said, could not be done by a witch. Ha moved many to tears by his last words; but Cotton Mather, who was sitting on horseback in the crowd, reminded the people that the devil often appeared as an angel of light. Burroughs was the only clergyman that suffered during the reign of this remarkable delusion. A list of works referring to him may be found in Sprague's "Annals of the American Pulpit."
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