A sermon preached on the occasion of the execution of Katherine Garrett, an Indian-servant, (who was condemned for the murder of her spurious child,) on May 3d. 1738. : To which is added some short account of her behaviour after her condemnation. : Together with her dying warning and exhortation. Left under her own hand.
Adams, Eliphalet, 1677-1753.
Page  38

IT may Possibly be Acceptable to the Publick, if some brief Account were given of the person, on the Occasion of whose Execution the foregoing Dis|course was Delivered.

SHE was of the Pequot Tribe of Indians & Descended from one of the best Families among them; In her Childhood she was put into the Family of the Re|verend Mr. WILLIAM WORTHINGTON, where she was taught to read well and to write & Instructed in the principles of religion; During her Confine|ment she often Lamented her neglecting to Improve the Advantages she Enjoyed, always speaking honou|rably of her Master, who was frequent in giving her good Instruction and Advice.

Having Unhappily fallen into the Sin of Fornication & being with Child, it pass'd for a while without Sus|picion by any in the family, at length being Question'd about it she deny'd it & turn'd it off, assigning other causes for the appearances that were observ'd, so that the sus|picions about her were thereby very much laid asleep:

When her hour was Come, she was Delivered alone by her self in the Barn; upon search the Infant was found, with marks upon it of Violence, that had been used, of which wounds it soon Dyed.

Upon this she was Committed to the County Goal, where she lay Confined for a considerable time, & the longer because the Witnesses who were to give Evidence in the case, were, by reason of Infirmity (one of them) not able to travel so far from home to the place where the Court was to be held, to bear their Testimony.

During this space, I have little to observe Concern|ing her; Only, that when the Court for her Tryal was appointed to be held at Saybrook, she seemed to Enter|tain a full Expectation that she should be Cleared.

But when upon her tryal, the proofs of her Guilt, appeared so plain and full to the Jury and the Court, that she was brought in Guilty and Sentence of Con|demnation Page  39 was pronounced against her, she was thrown into the utmost Confusion & Distress, Her Expressions were rash and unguarded and she scarce forebore throwing blame on all sorts of persons; With this Disposition of mind (tho' somewhat moderated) she was remanded back to her prison.

From this time pains were Continually taken with her, not only to allay this resentment, but to make her Sensible of the Heinousness of her Sin, of her Lost and undone Condition by Nature and her need of an Interest in Jesus Christ, setting forth at the same time the greatness of Gods mercy and that there is forgive|ness with him that he may be feared, which pains (together with Gods Blessing, upon her reading the holy Scriptures and other good Books that were put into her hands and her attendance on the Ministry of the Word, on Sabbath and Lecture days, as well as at private Meetings from house to house in the Neighbour|hood to all of which she was allowed to come) it is to be hoped were sanctifyed to give her quite another sight and sense of things than she had before: One of her Expressions were, That she seemed to have been a|sleep in the former part of her Life and that things ap|peared to her quite other wise than they used to do.

The Authority were so favourable to her, as to allow her Large Opportunity (almost six Months from her Condemnation to her Execution) which Time she was diligent to Improve in making preparation for her Death;

Having Never been Baptized, she was Earnestly De|sirous of that, wherefore pains were taken to Acquaint her with the main principles of the Christian Reli|gion and the Nature of the Covenant of Grace. The understanding of which her former good Education, made more Easie to her. And after some time, upon her making an Open Acknowledgement of her great and Crying Sins, taking shame to her self & manifesting her Sorrow on that account; Professing the Christian Faith & Consenting to the Covenant of grace, she was Baptized.

Page  40 Soon after, She was Extreamly Desirous to partake with us at the Lord's Table before she Suffer'd, And upon its appearing that she understood the Nature & Design of that Ordinance, at her request she was allowed and had the opportunity to Communicate with us twice.

In her attendance upon the ministry of the Word her Behaviour was Decent & she ever appeared as one Ex|ceedingly Affected, Especially when her Case was more particularly touch'd upon whither in Prayers or Sermons.

When I visited her in her prison, she seldom could part with me, without Desiring that I would Pray with her before I went, which favour she Desired of others also, who Visited her during her Confinement.

Many of her Expressions from time to time were Valuable and worth the Preserving.

Among other things she said, That it was a Mercy she was found out, otherwise she might have gone on in her Course of sinning & been Eternally Lost. That sin seem'd now like poison to her & those sins in which she was wont to delight, were now Loathsom: That she had found more pleasure in her prison, than Ever she did in the Days of her Vanity. That she was heartily sorry for her sin not so much for the shame & punishment that it had bro't her to, as because thereby she had offended and dishonoured God. She could submit to the shame of her Death, It would be soon Over & then she should not know what people talked of her. Some (she said) had reported of her things that were false, but she heartily forgave them; She Entertained no grudge or malice against any person on any account, for that alone, she knew, would ruin her, if she did. The Devil was very busie, she said, to hinder hr from Praying & Reading, but she did it the more, to spite him (that was her word) and the Temptation Vanished & she found Comfort. She often Expressed her Concern lest she should build upon a sandy foundation. Being asked from time to time, how Death seemed to her, the nearer it Approached. She answered, Some|times More Terrible, sometimes Less Terrible. And Page  41 being asked at what times she Observed it to be less Terrible, she replyed, That after she had been Earnestly seeking to God, the fear of Death very much Abated. She said, that her dependance was upon the Righteousness of Christ for her acceptance with God and look'd up on him as a surety who had paid their debts for believers.

But I forbear gathering up any more of her Ex|pressions, That I be not too tedious.

The Day before her Execution she was Exceedingly Overwhelmed and cast Down, It seemed to be the most trying time to her, during her whole Confinement, whither it were Occasioned by the want of her taking her usual rest or food or whether the near approach of Death were Left to be an Uncommon Terror to her.

Every one's Compassions were moved for her, and she was Visited more frequently & by greater Numbers of persons and Prayers more fervently made on her account. Towards the Evening her Master came from Saybrook to take his last farewell of her, with whose presence, the Instructions and Consolations that were given & the Prayers that were made for her, she som|thing revived and was Overheard in her Prayers (after the people were, many of them, gone) to bless God who had sent his Servants that Day to Pray for, to Instruct and Comfort her a poor Dying Creature.

On the Day of her Execution, she was more strengthened and enabled to attend at the Sermon that was preach'd on that Melancholy Occasion, altho' with some faintings; Upon her retiring to the Prison, when it was Over, she made apt and pertinent remarks, upon the sight of her Cossin, the taking off of her fetters, the putting the rope about her Neck & other such Occur|rences. Then she took her Leave of her friends thank|ing them for the good Offices which they had done her (as she Ever Expressed a grateful Spirit to every one, that at any time, had shewn her any Kindness) She passed on foot in the sad procession, for about a Mile, to the place of Execution & still went On praying.

Page  42 Excepting when the Rev'd Ministers in the Neigh|bourhood (gathered together on the Occasion & who gave her their Company) Endeavoured to fill up the time, by ministring to her Counsels, Comforts & En|couragements, to whom she made satisfactory replyes.

When she was arrived at the place of Execution, (which was surrounded with a Vast Circle of people, more Numerous, perhaps, than Ever was gathered together before, On any Occasion, in this Colony,) she first Commended her self to God's mercy. In a more set and very fervent Prayer. Tho' sometimes the Expressions were more broken and Incoherent

Next Her Master, Full of Concern and Affection for her, Spread her Case before God; Her Warning left in writing was publickly read to which she ad|ded many Other Warnings and Counsels by word of mouth, Lifting up her Voice as she could that she might be the farther heard; We took our Leave of her and she of us in an Affecting Manner;

The few moments she had to live after this, she spent in warm & Devout Addresses to her Heavenly Father, till her breath was stopt; And with her hands lifted up, as she cou'd, she past out of life, in the posture of one praying.

She was of a proper Stature & goodly Countenance and seemed to be Naturally of an Ingenious Disposition;

By her good Behaviour all Along she generally gain'd the Esteem and good will of those that Came about her and it is Charitably hoped, that she might find Mercy in the sight of the Lord.

May this Example be of use to all Persons in our times to keep them from Sinning against God, that every one may hear & fear and do no more Presumptuously

Particularly, may all her Country people, in their several Tribes, whither round about us or farther off, hearken diligently to the Offers & Proposals of the Gospel that are made to them! Let there be Nothing to Obstruct & Discourage so good a work, May the Time to favour them now Come, the set time let it Come! Amen.