Posts Tagged ‘Ann Foster’

Photo of the Week

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

1996.117.49

In 1996, Andover celebrated it’s 350th birthday. Throughout the year, 88 sponsored events took place to celebrate. It took three years for a committee to plan all the events, including an inaugural on January 21st, a banquet with former President George Bush, and the town’s biggest parade ever, pictured here on September 15th. 3,000 participants walked from Phillips Academy to Shawsheen Square. In this picture, actors from the Andover Historical Society dressed up like women accused of being witches. By looking closely at the women,  Ann Foster and Hannah Post can be identified as former witches in Andover.

Ann Foster came to Massachusetts from London in 1635. She married Andrew Foster and they had five children together in Andover. In 1692, a local woman came down with the flu, and doctors suspected witchcraft. Two ladies from Salem came to Andover to arrest Foster, who now was a widow at age 71, and brought her to Salem. Foster’s daughter, Mary Lacey,  was also accused. Foster resisted her accusations, even after torture. Mary Lacey accused her own mother and had her jailed in order to save herself. Foster took the guilt to save her daughter, but died in jail after 21 weeks on December 3rd, 1692.

There was not a lot of info on Hannah Post, but from what I understand, she was accused of being a witch and confessed. At first she resisted Salem authorities, who were probably torturing her. Then, however, she admitted that the Devil had appeared to her as a pig and then a cat. She was forced to sign the Devil’s book with her own blood. Thanks to this artifact:  http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/texts/tei/BoySal2R?div_id=n101

I hope I’m around for Andover’s 400th birthday to watch the next big parade!

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