1876 illustration of the courtroom; the central figure is usually identified as Mary Walcott
Mercy Lewis (ca. 1674/75 – 17??) was born in Falmouth, Maine. On September 30, 1689 an Indian attack killed her grandparents, aunts, uncles and most of her cousins; as a result the 14-year-old Mercy was placed as a servant in the household of the Reverend George Burroughs. By 1691 she had moved to Salem, Massachusetts, where a married sister was living; she became a servant in Thomas Putnam's household.
Lewis played a crucial role during the accusations of the Salem witch trials in 1692, when 20 people were executed for witchcraft, including her former master George Burroughs.
As a member of the Putnam household, Lewis became friends with Ann Putnam, Jr. and her cousin Mary Walcott. Putnam and Walcott's accusations would help launch the witch hysteria. In early April 1692, Lewis claimed that Satan had appeared to her, offering her "gold and many fine things" if she would write in his book; shortly thereafter, Satan appeared to her in the form of Burroughs, whom she reported "carried me up to an exceeding high mountain and showed me all the kingdoms of the earth, and told me that he would give them all to me if I would write in his book." Lewis also accused Mary Easty, sister of Rebecca Nurse, who would be tried and hanged. Others accused by Lewis include Giles Corey, Bridget Bishop, Susannah Martin, John Willard, and Sarah Wildes.
Lewis herself was the subject of accusations. Ann Putnam, Jr. claimed that she had seen Lewis' apparition, though she said it had not harmed her. After the trials, Mercy moved to Boston to live with her aunt. There she bore an illegitimate son. By 1701 she had married a Mr. Allen in Boston, Massachusetts.