Court records show Abigail Williams testified during a witch trial in Salem on June 3, 1692, but she disappeared from public record after that. One of the speculations about what happened to her after her disappearance include her never getting married and dying a single woman. In Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," she was rumored to be working as a prostitute in Boston.Continue Reading
Abigail provided testimony against many of the people first accused of witchcraft in Salem, including Tituba, Sarah Osborne and Sarah Good. Later, she and her friends accused other people, including Martha Corey, Mary Easty, Rebecca Nurse, and Elizabeth and John Proctor, of witchcraft.
One popular theory about why she testified against people is that she wanted to get attention and raise her profile in Salem. With no family and no dowry, she had few prospects. During his trial, Joseph Hutchinson tried to discredit her testimony. He swore that she told him she could converse with the devil as easily as she could converse with him or anyone else. Abigail identified 41 people as witches and testified during seven trials. She disappears from history about a week before the first execution.
Abigail suffers a similar fate in "The Crucible." In the play, after testifying during a witch trial, she robs Reverend Parris, runs away and is not seen again, though some believe she flees to Boston. Arthur Miller relied on claims that the real Abigail worked as a prostitute in Boston after leaving Salem.Learn more about US History