Parris controversy fuels trials

Samuel Parris was born in London, England, and made his first attempt at a career as a sugar merchant in Barbados, an island in the West Indies in the Caribbean. When a hurricane wrecked his business he moved to Boston, Mass-achussetts, with his family and tried to start over. After failing again as a merchant, Parris decided to become a minister. He moved to Salem Village in 1688, bringing with him his wife, three children, a niece, and two slaves. He was hired by the Putnam family to take over the congregation—which consisted mainly of the Putnams and their relatives—that was separate from the one in town. Normally, a town minister would receive a modest salary, the use of a house, and free firewood as payment for his services. Parris got all of these benefits in addition to the title and deed to the parish (the

Sir Edmund Andros was sent from Great Britain to act as the governor of the New England colonies.

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Boredom and Toil for Girls

In New England winter was a time of relaxation for men and boys, who traditionally farmed and worked outdoors in the summertime. They spent the long, bitterly cold days socializing, hunting and fishing, and visiting their neighbors. Yet there was no rest for women, who continued the monotonous and difficult household chores that sustained their families through the season. Young girls helped their mothers with sewing, spinning, washing, and cooking. Play was a forbidden activity for children, and they were faced with long boring months of isolation and hard work inside as winter raged outside. Boredom and unrelenting work for girls became a major factor in the Salem trials.

area where the congregation members live) that surrounded his land. This deal angered residents who did not want separate churches for the village and the town. They saw Parris as an unnecessary drain on meager resources. They rebelled by not paying their local taxes, which paid Par-ris's salary, and refusing to worship at the Salem Village meetinghouse. In 1691 they elected a committee, made up mostly of Parris opponents, who ruled against using taxes for his salary and revoked the deed to his house and land. As a result, Parris would have to sustain himself and his family solely off voluntary contributions. Nevertheless, lines had been drawn between the powerful Putnams on one side and opponents of Parris on the other. Events were set in motion for the Salem trials that came later the next year.

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