Elizabeth Johnson Jr, Salem's Last Witch, Pardoned: What's Her Story?

She was the last victim of the witch hunt during the Salem trials in the 17th century. Nearly 330 years after being convicted of witchcraft, Elizabeth Johnson Jr has finally been pardoned. Why ? Who was she?

Elizabeth Johnson Jr. was here last “witch of Salem” not to have been pardoned. Convicted in 1693 for witchcraftduring the sadly famous salem trials, in America, in Massachusetts, she was finally exonerated… thanks to a class of college students from North Andover, near Boston and Salem! The students decided to present a bill to Democratic Senator Methuen Diana DiZoglio to to exonerate the woman who had been convicted of witchcraft in 1693.”They’ve spent most of the year working to get this ready for the legislature, […] doing all the researchexamining the testimony of Elizabeth Johnson Jr“, explained their teacher Carrie LaPierre to the Boston Globe.

Elizabeth Johnson Jr: how was she pardoned?

In August 2021, the students completed their project and the senator was able to present it to the Massachusetts General Court in 2022. Thanks to their efforts and determination, Elizabeth Johnson Jr is listed on the register of residents convicted of witchcraft in Salem and cleared by the statesince May 26, 2022, 329 years after his conviction.

Who was the last witch of Salem?

But who was this woman accused of witchcraft? Daughter of Lieutenant Stephen Johnson, she was arrested on August 10, 1692 with several members of her family, then tried in January 1693. At the time, a paranoid uproar had triggered a real witch huntespecially in Salem, where 19 people were hanged and one man was stoned.

Convicted of witchcraft, she was first sentenced to hang. Eventually, the Royal Governor of Massachusetts, William Phips, agreed to the save from capital punishment.

Elizabeth Johnson Jr, marked with the seal of shame

In 1712, Elizabeth Johnson Jr had tried to obtain the acknowledgment of his innocence in court, but to no avail. She remained marked with the seal of shame. She is finally died aged 77, in 1747, without ever having been pardoned. She died without having been married and without having had children, which, at the time, confirmed the accusations of witchcraft.

In the centuries since his accusation, the names of around 15 people suspected of witchcraft at the Salem trials have been bleached, including that of Elizabeth Johnson’s mother. But her daughter had never benefited from such treatment…until now. “We can never change what happened to these victims, but we can at least restore the truth“Senator Methuen Diana DiZoglio told the Boston Globe.

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