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Katherine Harrison and the Adoption of Rules of Evidence

While a single young woman, Katherine Harrison worked as a servant to Captain John Cullick of Hartford. She enjoyed telling the other servants their fortunes after having read a book on the Katherine Harrison and the Adoption of Rules of Evidencesubject and one of her fortunes concerning whom one of the servants would marry came true.

Later in life Katherine married John Harrison, the Wethersfield town crier, and had three daughters. Her husband died in August of 1666, and she was left to raise her children and farm the land. She was not well liked by her neighbors and suffered various forms of harassment by them. 

On October 12, 1669 she was brought before a jury and found guilty of witchcraft. Despite the guilty finding the court was hesitant to have her executed. It called on a panel of ministers for advice on establishing rules of evidence and to formulate procedures that made it much more difficult to convict someone of witchcraft.

In the end Katherine was released with the understanding that she leave Wethersfield for her own safety and to appease her neighbors. Katherine went on to live in Westchester, New York.

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