"What was it like to be there and, if you were lucky, to live through it? In a compelling combination of narrative and groundbreaking historical research, Salem Witch Trial scholar Marilynne K. Roach vividly brings the terrifying times to life while skillfully illuminating the lives of the accused, the accusers, and the afflicted."--Back cover.
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.
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?
Beginning in January 1692, Salem Village in colonial Massachusetts witnessed the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in early America. Villagers--mainly young women--suffered from unseen torments that caused them to writhe, shriek, and contort their bodies, complaining of pins stuck into their flesh and of being haunted by specters. Believing that they suffered from assaults by an invisible spirit, the community began a hunt to track down those responsible for the demonic work. The resulting Salem Witch Trials, culminating in the execution of 19 villagers, persists as one of the most mysterious and fascinating events in American history. Historians have speculated on a web of possible causes for the witchcraft that stated in Salem and spread across the region-religious crisis, ergot poisoning, an encephalitis outbreak, frontier war hysteria--but most agree that there was no single factor. Rather, as Emerson Baker illustrates in this seminal new work, Salem was "a perfect storm": a unique convergence of conditions and events that produced something extraordinary throughout New England in 1692 and the following years, and which has haunted us ever since. Baker shows how a range of factors in the Bay colony in the 1690s, including a new charter and government, a lethal frontier war, and religious and political conflicts, set the stage for the dramatic events in Salem. Engaging a range of perspectives, he looks at the key players in the outbreak--the accused witches and the people they allegedly bewitched, as well as the judges and government officials who prosecuted them--and wrestles with questions about why the Salem tragedy unfolded as it did, and why it has become an enduring legacy. Salem in 1692 was a critical moment for the fading Puritan government of Massachusetts Bay, whose attempts to suppress the story of the trials and erase them from memory only fueled the popular imagination. Baker argues that the trials marked a turning point in colonial history from Puritan communalism to Yankee independence, from faith in collective conscience to skepticism toward moral governance. A brilliantly told tale, A Storm of Witchcraft also puts Salem's storm into its broader context as a part of the ongoing narrative of American history and the history of the Atlantic World.
Tackling the same twisted subject as Stacy Schiff's much-lauded book The Witches: Salem, 1692, this Sibert Honor book for young readers features unique scratchboard illustrations, chilling primary source material, and powerful narrative to tell the true tale. In the little colonial town of Salem Village, Massachusetts, two girls began to twitch, mumble, and contort their bodies into strange shapes. The doctor tried every remedy, but nothing cured the young Puritans. He grimly announced the dire diagnosis: the girls were bewitched! And then the accusations began. The riveting, true story of the victims, accused witches, crooked officials, and mass hysteria that turned a mysterious illness affecting two children into a witch hunt that took over a dozen people’s lives and ruined hundreds more unfolds in chilling, novelistic detail—complete with stylized black-white-and-red scratchboard illustrations of young girls having wild fits in the courtroom, witches flying overhead, and the Devil and his servants terrorizing the Puritans— in this young adult book by award-winning author and illustrator Rosalyn Schanzer. Taught in middle and high schools around the U.S., the 17th-century saga remains hauntingly resonant as people struggle even today with the urgent need to find someone to blame for their misfortunes. Witches! has been honored with many prestigious awards, including:. Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor Book 2012 Notable Children's Books—ALSC NCSS—Notable Social Studies Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies 2012 School Library Journal Best Books of 2011 SLJ’s 100 Magnificent Children’s Books of 2011 Chicago Public Library Best of the Best 2011 From the Hardcover edition.
Award-winning historian Mary Beth Norton reexamines the Salem witch trials in this startlingly original, meticulously researched, and utterly riveting study. In 1692 the people of Massachusetts were living in fear, and not solely of satanic afflictions. Horrifyingly violent Indian attacks had all but emptied the northern frontier of settlers, and many traumatized refugees—including the main accusers of witches—had fled to communities like Salem. Meanwhile the colony’s leaders, defensive about their own failure to protect the frontier, pondered how God’s people could be suffering at the hands of savages. Struck by the similarities between what the refugees had witnessed and what the witchcraft “victims” described, many were quick to see a vast conspiracy of the Devil (in league with the French and the Indians) threatening New England on all sides. By providing this essential context to the famous events, and by casting her net well beyond the borders of Salem itself, Norton sheds new light on one of the most perplexing and fascinating periods in our history. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Salem Story engages the story of the Salem witch trials through an analysis of the surviving primary documentation and juxtaposes that against the way in which our culture has mythologized the events of 1692. Salem Story examines a variety of individual motives that converged to precipitate the witch hunt. The book also examines subsequent mythologies that emerged from the events of 1692. Of the many assumptions about the Salem Witch Trials, the most persistent one remains that they were precipitated by a circle of hysterical girls. Through an analysis of what actually happened, through reading the primary material, the emerging story shows a different picture, one where "hysteria" inappropriately describes the events and where accusing males as well as females participated in strategies of accusation and confession that followed a logical, rational pattern.
Provides a glimpse into the ordinary lives and history of the seventeenth-century New Englanders who accused their neighbors, friends, and family of involvement in witchcraft. Reprint.
Geoff Williams is a freelance journalist who regularly writes for U.S. News & World Report and has written for numerous other publications, including CNNMoney.com, Life and Reuters. He is also the author of Washed Away: How the Great Flood of 1913, America's Most Widespread Natural Disaster, Terrorized a Nation and Changed It Forever. He lives with his two daughters in Loveland, Ohio.
Sifting through the facts, myths, and half-truths surrounding the 1692 witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, a historian draws on primary sources to explore the events of that time.
Between June 10 and September 22, 1692, nineteen people were hanged for practicing witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. One person was pressed to death, and over 150 others were jailed, where still others died. The Story of the Salem Witch Trials is a history of that event. It provides a much needed synthesis of the most recent scholarship on the subject, places the trials into the context of the Great European Witch-Hunt, and relates the events of 1692 to witch-hunting throughout seventeenth century New England. This complex and difficult subject is covered in a uniquely accessible manner that captures all the drama that surrounded the Salem witch trials. From beginning to end, the reader is carried along by the author’s powerful narration and mastery of the subject. While covering the subject in impressive detail, Bryan Le Beau maintains a broad perspective on events, and wherever possible, lets the historical characters speak for themselves. Le Beau highlights the decisions made by individuals responsible for the trials that helped turn what might have been a minor event into a crisis that has held the imagination of students of American history.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra, the #1 national bestseller, unpacks the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials. It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death. The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic. As psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminal, THE WITCHES is Stacy Schiff's account of this fantastical story-the first great American mystery unveiled fully for the first time by one of our most acclaimed historians.
This unique anthology is the first to provide a multicultural perspective on witchcraft from the 15th to 18th century. Featuring primary documents as well as scholarly interpretations, Witches of the Atlantic World builds upon information regarding both Christian and non-Christian beliefs about possession and the demonic. Elaine G. Breslaw draws on Native American, African, South American, and African-American sources, as well as the European and New England heritage, to illuminate the ways in which witchcraft in early America was an attempt to understand and control evil and misfortune in the New World. Organized into sections on folklore and magic, diabolical possession, Christian perspectives, and the question of gender, the volume includes selections by Cotton Mather, Matthew Hopkins, and Samuel Willard, among others; Salem trial testimonies; and commentary by a host of distinguished scholars. Together the materials demonstrate how the Protestant and Catholic traditions shaped American concepts, and how multicultural aspects played a key role in the Salem experience. Witches of the Atlantic World sheds new light on one of the most perplexing aspects of American history and provides important background for the continued scholarly and popular interest in witches and witchcraft today.
A haunting examination of groupthink and mass hysteria in a rural community The place is Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, an enclave of rigid piety huddled on the edge of a wilderness. Its inhabitants believe unquestioningly in their own sanctity. But in Arthur Miller's edgy masterpiece, that very belief will have poisonous consequences when a vengeful teenager accuses a rival of witchcraft—and then when those accusations multiply to consume the entire village. First produced in 1953, at a time when America was convulsed by a new epidemic of witch-hunting, The Crucible brilliantly explores the threshold between individual guilt and mass hysteria, personal spite and collective evil. It is a play that is not only relentlessly suspenseful and vastly moving but that compels readers to fathom their hearts and consciences in ways that only the greatest theater ever can. "A drama of emotional power and impact" —New York Post
Profiles a New Hampshire community ten years before the infamous Salem witch trials that suffered a series of mysterious events, from demonic sounds and unexplainable movements of objects to the raining of stones on a local tavern, in an account that documents the phenomenon's contributions to subsequent witchcraft hysteria throughout New England. 10,000 first printing.
Fresh from his trip to Britain, Marcus Didius Falco needs to re-establish his presence in Rome. A minor role in the trial of a senator entangles him in the machinations of Silius Italicus and Paccius Africanus — two real-life lawyers at the top of their trade. These notorious ex-consuls play a dangerous game, where success brings rich pickings but a mistrial or a wrong verdict entails huge financial penalties. The senator is convicted but then dies, apparently by suicide. It may be a legal move to protect his heirs, but Silius hires Falco and his young associates to prove it was murder. As Falco shows off his own talents in the role of advocate, he exposes himself to powerful elements in Roman law: offending the wrong people may lead to charges he has not bargained for, in a contest that threatens financial ruin for himself and his family. . .
Findings by University of Virginia researchers have compelled award-winning author Stephen Hawley Martin to reconsider what led to the 1692 witch hysteria that ravaged the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Hence this new edition of his Amazon 4.5-star-rated book first published in 2006. Martin writes that now, after 325 years, the discovery by U.Va. provides the missing piece of the puzzle that makes the others fall into place. Nineteen were hanged, including the author's seven-times-great grandmother, one was crushed to death, and five died in prison. Why? Were the so-called "afflicted" faking their symptoms as many historians maintain? Martin didn't think so in 2006, and he does not think so now. He pursues several avenues of investigation that include the remarkable power of belief, the possibility indicated by quantum physics experiments that thought creates reality, and arrives at an explanation thought to be impossible until the U.Va. findings were released. "A Witch in the Family" is nothing less than a riveting, real-life murder mystery-the ultimate reality show no one who wants to know the truth should miss.
Against the backdrop of a Puritan theocracy threatened by change, in a population terrified not only of eternal damnation but of the earthly dangers of Indian massacres and recurrent smallpox epidemics, a small group of girls denounces a black slave and others as worshipers of Satan. Within two years, twenty men and women are hanged or pressed to death and over a hundred others imprisoned and impoverished. In The Salem Witch Trials Reader, Frances Hill provides and astutely comments upon the actual documents from the trial--examinations of suspected witches, eyewitness accounts of "Satanic influence," as well as the testimony of those who retained their reason and defied the madness. Always drawing on firsthand documents, she illustrates the historical background to the witchhunt and shows how the trials have been represented, and sometimes distorted, by historians--and how they have fired the imaginations of poets, playwrights, and novelists. For those fascinated by the Salem witch trials, this is compelling reading and the sourcebook.
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