At Hampton Beach Restored Citizenship To Accused

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Restored Citizenship To Accused

Hampton Union, Thursday, August 25, 1938

The above picture shows Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Walker, who are spending the month at Hampton Beach Community Church. Dr. Walker will preach at both services Sunday, August 28, after which he leaves with his family for Los Angeles, California, where he is pastor of Temple Baptist Church.

A throng of more than 1,000 persons attended exercises at Hampton Beach Thursday afternoon in which “citizenship was restored” to Eunice “Goody” Cole, who was condemned and imprisoned for witchcraft in the town of Hampton in 1638.

On the platform were representatives of Governor Murphy, descendants of Hampton’s first families, selectmen, officials of the town and the local civic agencies.

Introduced also were Rev. Charles L. Page of Boston, whose ancestor settled in Hampton in 1637, Dr. Edward Saint of Hollywood, president of the American Society of Psychic Research. Brief remarks were made by Mrs. Harry Houdini, whose late husband was the world’s most famous exponent of theatrical magic and who gave his life to destroying superstition.

Assisting on the program were the Rev. Herbert Walker and the Rev. R. Waldo Dewolf of Hampton. Judge John W. Perkins read the resolution restoring Goodwife Cole’s rights, Arnold Philbrick of Haverhill read a statement concurring in the Resolution. Mr. Philbrick’s ancestor Thomas Philbrick’s ancestor Thomas Philbrick was one of the original accusers of Goody Cole. Selectmen of Hampton assisted in the burning of copies of original documents pertaining to her case and condemnation, and the Hampton Beach Concert Band played several stirring selections.

Dr. Ralph Walker of Los Angeles. well known here for his activities in the Community Church at Hampton Beach, was the principal speaker, and said, in part:

“Far from being a mere publicity stunt, this occasion is to be interpreted as the hammering of a few more nails into the coffin lid of superstition. Whoever helps to loosen the hold of superstition upon the mind of the people is a public benefactor. Restoring citizenship to “Goody” Cole after 300 years is hardly more than a gesture, but what we do here today, if it minimize prejudice and spread information as to the true, heinous nature of superstition, is a patriotic benefit and we are therefore proud of this meeting.

“We sincerely congratulate the people of Hampton who have given to New England such a wonderful week of pageantry. They have succeeded in re-creating the very atmosphere of the scenes and events, yes, the very personalities, of three centuries ago, and have rendered a service to all history.

“Superstition in witchcraft is by no means dead. A Boston woman was told last week by a travelling gypsy that her money had put a curse upon her. By playing upon. this poor woman’s superstition, she was robbed of many hundreds of dollars. In Indiana recently a woman was banished from the state because it was believed she had put “the evil eye” on a town policeman.

“Still do self-seeking men expel it the ignorance of the people to prejudice them; still do men make gain of people’s credulousness; still an entire race of men can be persecuted by an entire nation for the sins of a minority of that offending race. We speak against the ignorance that breeds superstition, and the superstition that breed ignorance.”