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The details of the infamous witch trials in salem massachusetts

Daniel Andrews Other victims include two dogs who were shot or killed after being suspected of witchcraft. The fact is, no accused witches were burned at the stake in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem was ruled by English law at the time, which only allowed death by burning to be used against men who committed high treason and only after they had been hanged, quartered and drawn.

Crafts, circa 1876 As for why these victims were targeted in the first place, historians have noted that many of the accused were wealthy and held different religious beliefs than their accusers. This, coupled with the fact that the accused also had their estates confiscated if they were convicted has led many historians to believe that religious feuds and property disputes played a big part in the witch trials.

Life After the Salem Witch Trials: Daily chores, business matters and other activities were neglected during the chaos of the witch trials, causing many problems in the colony for years to come, according to the book The Witchcraft of Salem Village: The people had been so determined upon hunting out and destroying witches that they had neglected everything else.

Planting, cultivating, the care of houses, barns, roads, fences, were all forgotten. As a direct result, food became scarce and taxes higher.

History of the Salem Witch Trials

Farms were mortgaged or sold, first to pay prison fees, then to pay taxes; frequently they were abandoned. Salem Village began that slow decay which eventually erased its houses and walls, but never its name and memory. Since the witch trials ended, the colony also began to suffer many misfortunes such as droughts, crop failures, smallpox outbreaks and Native-American attacks and many began to wonder if God was punishing them for their mistake.

On December 17, 1697, Governor Stoughton issued a proclamation in hopes of making amends with God. The proclamation suggested that there should be: And according to his infinite benignity and sovereignty, not visit the sin of him, or of any other, upon himself or any of his, nor upon the land: But that he would powerfully defend him against all temptations to sin, for the future; and vouchsafe him the efficacious, saving conduct of his word and spirit.

And particularly, as I was a chief instrument of accusing of Goodwife Nurse and her two sisters, I desire to lie in the dust, and to be humbled for it, in that I was a cause, with others, of so sad a calamity to them and their families; for which cause I desire to lie in the dust, and earnestly beg forgiveness of God, and from all those unto whom I have given just cause of sorrow and offence, whose relations were taken away or accused.

Since some families of the victims did not want their family member listed, not every victim was named.

  1. As a result, he was pressed, or crushed to death under a pile of stones. During the trial proceedings, the accusers would often collapse or cry out in pain.
  2. In the case of Rebecca Nurse, a well-respected church member, Nurse was initially acquitted.
  3. In 1992, three hundred years after the notorious witch hysteria, the city of Salem, Massachusetts, dedicated a memorial to the victims of the 1692 Salem witch trials.
  4. Tituba's confession removed any remaining doubt about the cause of the children's behavior in the eyes of the magistrates. Four-year-old Dorcas Good daughter of Sarah Good became the youngest of the accused after three girls complained that Dorcas's specter had bitten them.
  5. In addition to official court records there are also several books written by the ministers and other people involved in the trials. By October, more than 100 people had been accused of witchcraft, and 20 had been executed.

The bill cleared the names of: Since some of the law enforcement involved in the Salem Witch Trials were being sued by some of the surviving victims, the bill also stated: At the announcement ceremony, playwright Arthur Miller made a speech and read from the last act of his 1953 play, The Crucible, which was inspired by the Salem Witch Trials.

On October 31, 2001, the state amended the 1957 apology and cleared the names of the remaining unnamed victims, stating: Everything we know now about the trials comes from just a handful of primary sources of the Salem Witch Trials. In addition to official court records there are also several books written by the ministers and other people involved in the trials: The Salem Witch Trials.

About Rebecca Beatrice Brooks

Salem Witchcraft and Cotton Mather: Morrisiana, 1869 Jackson, Shirley. The Witchcraft of Salem Village.

Random House, 1956 Fowler, Samuel Page. Samuel Parris of Salem Village.

William Ives and George W. Smithsonian Institute, 23 Oct. Rebecca is a freelance writer and history lover who got her start in journalism working for small-town newspapers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire after she graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.

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