Living & Eating on Long Island's East End 

                  Excursions:  The Hamptons Witch Trial

My name is Monique.
I'm a 2-time Emmy Award winning TV Producer.
Having been in the business for over 15 years I've produced my share of live tv cooking segments, but never had much time to devote to cooking myself.

Last year when I got married, I moved out of New York City to the east end of Long Island, to ...wait for it...The Hamptons.

Now before you roll your eyes, there's more to the Hamptons than mansions and celebrities.

The Hamptons have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, miles of productive farmland, plus a rich clamming history that continues to this day.

When I moved out east and realized I was surrounded, not just by the bounty of the sea, but also local farms and vineyards, I couldn't wait to explore and sample my new environment.

That's what this blog is about.  Cooking, living, exploring and sharing those experiences.

You'll notice that my blog is a little of this and a little of that, kind of like a potluck meal.

We all know the history of the Salem Witch trials that saw both men and women die for the crime of being a "Witch". Most people think that was  basically it for America's witch hysteria. But would you believe that 35 years before Salem, Long Island saw it's first and only witch trial begin right here in the Hamptons?

Goody Garlick was a 50-something resident of East Hampton back in the mid 1600s. Her real name was Elizabeth Garlick. The name "Goody" being a short term for "Goodwife". Goodwife and Goodman were terms of address in that day for a married person of average rank - similar now to Mr. and Mrs.

In 1657 the village of East Hampton, then known as Easthampton, was only about 10 years old. Residents were still struggling to work together and build a community.

In February of that year a 16-year old new mother by the name of Elizabeth Gardiner Howell lay bedridden with a fever. Suddenly she screamed out that she saw a witch in her room.

                  Lion Gardiner's farm in Easthampton

Elizabeth's father Lion Gardiner was one of the community founders. He came to her room asking her to describe what she saw. Elizabeth pointed to and described seeing a black shape at the foot of the bed. When the family pressed her for more details, the delirious girl now claimed she saw both the black shape and Goody Garlick at the foot of her bed.

Two days later Elizabeth Gardiner Howell was dead, but her accusation had already set things in motion. Goody Garlick lived just down the street from the Gardiners. Her husband Joshua Garlick was a farmer who worked for Gardiner on his island, "Gardiner's Island", which still exists today.

                             Gardiner's Island today

Goody Garlick was taken into custody and on February 19th the village justices held a hearing. Many people testified against Goody, with wild accusations of black cats, children with mysterious ailments and animals dying suddenly.

One particular resident by the name of Goody Davis seemed to have it in for Garlick. She recounted how a child had died mysteriously on Gardiner's Island. She believed he'd been bewitched and claimed no one else could have done it except for Goody Garlick. Davis also claimed that another child had become sick after being held by Garlick.

Another villager testified how Davis had told them how an oxe had suddenly come up lame.  Again Garlick's name was connected as an act of witchcraft.

Why was Goody Garlick targeted? No clear answers. Some articles claim she was not the nicest person herself , while others hint that it may have been jealousy. Goody's husband worked for Lion Gardiner on his island, which was considered a plum job. Joshua Garlick was well respected and there is correspondence of him carrying large sums of Gardiner's money to make purchases for the town leader. 

                    Lion Gardiner's gravesite

So Goody Garlick was charged with witchcraft and sent to Hartford, Connecticut for trial. In the 1650s the East End of Long Island belonged to the British, who's administrative headquarters were in New England.

Luckily the man who oversaw her trial, John Winthrop, Jr. was considered more forward thinking then most in that day. According to Connecticut historian Walter Woodward and author of "Prospero's America: John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1675" (University of North Carolina Press, 2010) ,Winthrop was a scholar and very skeptical of witchcraft and people performing magic.

Goody Garlick's trial lasted about three months. While there is no record of testimony, she was eventually found not-guilty of the indictment. This did not mean she was found innocent, only that there was not enough evidence to prove her guilt.

So Goody (Elizabeth) Garlick went home and lived out the rest of her days in Easthampton as the village's brief witch hysteria came to a close. Strangely her main accuser Goody Davis died just two weeks after the Hartford trial ended.

35 years later in 1692 America's more famous witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts would leave an indelible stain on this country's history as 7 men and 17 women were put to death for crimes of "Witchcraft."

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