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The Salem witch trials stand as one of the infamous moments in colonial American history. More than 150 people -- primarily women -- from 24 communities were charged with witchcraft; 19 were hanged and others died in prison. This second edition continues to explore the beliefs, fears, and historical context that fueled the witch panic of 1692. In his revised introduction, Richard Godbeer offers coverage of the convulsive ergotism thesis advanced in the 1970s and a discussion of new scholarship on men who were accused of witchcraft for explicitly gendered reasons. The documents in this volume illuminate how the Puritans' worldview led them to seek a supernatural explanation for the problems vexing their community. Presented as case studies, the carefully chosen records from several specific trials offer a clear picture of the gender norms and social tensions that underlie the witchcraft accusations. New to this edition are records from the trial of Samuel Wardwell, a fortune-teller or "cunning man" whose apparent expertise made him vulnerable to suspicions of witchcraft. The book's final documents cover recantations of confessions, the aftermath of the witch hunt, and statements of regret. A chronology of the witchcraft crisis, questions for consideration, and a selected bibliography round out the book's pedagogical support.
This book offers a comprehensive record of legal documents written in 1692 and 1693 in connection with the Salem witch trials. It is the most comprehensive edition of those records ever published, and includes for the first time the records in chronological order, all newly transcribed from the original manuscripts
Decades after witch-hunting had begun to die down in Europe, North America was about to witness its bloodiest witch hunt in history. The Massachusetts of 1692 was a very different one to the state we know today. Populated by colonists, many of them a generation or less from life in an England bathed in religious turmoil,
The Salem Witch Trials is based on over twenty-five years of archival research--including the author's discovery of previously unknown documents--newly found cases and court records. From January 1692 to January 1697 this history unfolds a nearly day-by-day narrative of the crisis as the citizens of New England experienced it.
The Salem witch trials remain one of the most shocking and studied episodes in American history. Within the span of 15 months, the legal proceedings around the trials swept up at least 144 people, secured the confessions of 54 individuals and led to the execution of 20, mostly women. The hysteria and the accusations reached far beyond the geographic limits of Salem Village, eventually engulfing more than 20 towns and villages in the vicinity. Now, in this Special Edition from TIME-LIFE -The Salem Witch Trials- readers can revisit the witch trials, study their European origins and understand "the climate of fear" both then and now. This Special Edition is also full of historic photographs and images of Salem, the participants, and more, and a special section devoted to modern witchcraft and witches in the movies and on television.
Describes the witch hunt that took place in Stamford, Connecticut, in 1692, detailing the story of Kate Branch, a seventeen-year-old afflicted by strange visions and given to wails of pain and fright, who accused several women of bewitching her.
Abigail Accused steps into life in the Puritan village of Andover and reveals the callous truth of what has become one of many landmark cases against injustice during the Salem Witch Trials. Abigail Dane Faulkner, daughter of the town¿s respected minister, was convicted of witchcraft in 1692 and condemned to die. Her story is based on eye-witness accounts and 17th century documents. How did the people of Massachusetts Bay Colony become victims of the fear and religious fanaticism that led to the arrests of nearly 200 citizens and the executions of 20 innocents? Why did Abigail's own family¿her own daughters¿testify against her? Mofford brings to life the dramatic realities of the period and the events of daily life along with events such as courtship, marriage, the sin of fornication, childbirth, poverty, and terrifying attacks by Native Americans upon this frontier community. Abigail¿s abiding love for her husband, Francis Faulkner, sustained him through bouts of what we recognize today as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.Abigail Accused is the historical revelation of how one wife and mother, alongside her minister father, fought bigotry and helped bring an end to the deadly witch hunts. Petitions by father and daughter are landmark documents of free speech and remind us all of the ongoing struggle for human rights.
This book looks beyond single-factor interpretations to offer a far more nuanced view of why the Salem witch-hunt spiraled out of control. Rather than assigning blame to a single perpetrator, Ray assembles portraits of several major characters, each of whom had complex motives for accusing his or her neighbors. In this way, he reveals how religious, social, political, and legal factors all played a role in the drama.
Salem witchcraft will always have a magnetic pull on the American psyche. During the 1692 witch trials, more than 150 people were arrested. An estimated 25 million Americans—including author Diane Foulds—are descended from the twenty individuals executed. What happened to our ancestors? Death in Salem is the first book to take a clear-eyed look at this complex time, by examining the lives of the witch trial participants from a personal perspective. Massachusetts settlers led difficult lives; every player in the Salem drama endured hardships barely imaginable today. Mercy Short, one of the “bewitched” girls, watched as Indians butchered her parents; Puritan minister Cotton Mather outlived all but three of his fifteen children. Such tragedies shaped behavior and, as Foulds argues, ultimately played a part in the witch hunt’s outcome. A compelling “who’s who” to Salem witchcraft, Death in Salem profiles each of these historical personalities as it asks: Why was this person targeted?