Primary Source

Confessions of Dorothy and Abigail Faulkner, Jr. [Legal Document]


Dorothy and Abigail Faulkner: aged 10 and 8

Dorothy Faulkner and Abigail Faulkner, Jr. also lived in Andover, Massachusetts, and their mother was accused of witchcraft as well. While short testimonies, these two children’s stories include the same elements noted in the other children’s trials. Their case is similarly based on the direct implication of mothers in children's confessions. Abigail Faulkner Sr. was an accused witch whose daughters stated that "they were lead into that dreadfull sin of witchcraft by hir meanse." One of the most interesting aspects about these two children is that their grandfather, Reverend Francis Dane, was a vocal critic of the trials (perhaps not all that surprising). He and 23 other ministers wrote an open letter condemning the Salem trials on October 18, 1692. This petition argues that the children’s confession was not motivated by religious fear. Again, these sources convey the depth of Puritan belief even in the very young.


Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library, "Thomas Carrier", The Salem witchcraft papers, Volume 1 : verbatim transcripts of the legal documents of the Salem witchcraft outbreak of 1692, edited by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, <a class="external" href=""></a> (accessed September 1, 2009).

Primary Source Text

Confessions of Dorothy Faulkner, Abigail Faulkner, Jr., et al.

dorritye Forknor and Abigale Forknor children: to [Abigall Forknor of Andover now in prison confarsed before the honoured majastrats upon thire exsaminations heare in Salam the 16 day of this enstant subtember: 1692 that thire mother apared and mayd them witches and also marth [a] Tyler Johanah Tyler: and Sarih Willson and Joseph draper all acknowlidge that they ware lead into that dradfull sin of witchcrift by hir meanse: the fores'd Abigale forknor

The above named persons Each & Every one of them Did affirm before the Grand inquest that the above written Evidences are truth:

17 sept: 1692

(Reverse) Dorety Falkner vs Abigail Falkner

Recognizance for Dorothy Faulkner and Abigail Faulkner Jr.

Know all Men by these presents That I John Osgood sen'r. of Andover in the Cownty of Essex in New England And Nathan'll: Dean Sen'r of the Same Town & Cownty afforesaid Husbandmen Are holden & firmely Bownd Joyntly & Sevirally to theire Majesties King William & Queen Mary of England & Scottland France & Ireland King & Queen Defenders of the faith in the full & Juste Sum of five hundrid pounds Sterling for the True & Just payment of which s'd Sum of five hundrid Pownds to theire Majesties King William & Queen Mary Wee do bind Our Heires Executtors Adminstrators & Assignes firmely & By these presents Dated in Salem

the Sixth day of october in the Year of Our Lord One thousand six hundrid & Ninety & to and in the fourth Year of the Reign of Our Majesties King William & Queen Mary King & Queen of England Scottland france & Ireland Deffenders of the faith --

The Condition of this Obligation is Such that whereas the Abovenamed John Osgood Sen'

How to Cite This Source

"Confessions of Dorothy and Abigail Faulkner, Jr. [Legal Document]," in Children and Youth in History, Item #284, (accessed August 10, 2021). Annotated by Tom Rushford