TitleThe Salem Witchcraft Trials
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Title:The Salem Witchcraft Trials
Published by:Franklin Watts
Type of Literature:Non-Fiction
The story takes place during the sixteen-nineties (1690's or early colonial America). This was a time when superstition was well beleived and it was quite frightening for most people.
The place where the events in question took place was in Salem, a town in the colony of Massachusetts. Around Salem were the towns of Andover to the NW, Topsfield to the North, Wenham to the NE, Royal Side to the East, Lynn to the SW, and the town of Reading to the West.
The Salem village was not a very rugged place, it was just, to be frank, normal, no mountains or large depressions, although it was not completely flat either.
In The Salem Witchcraft Trials there was no main character, anyone and everyone was in on the trials. Many people testified against the accused witches, not many defended them. Perhaps this was because they might be accused of wizardry of being a witch themselves if they did so. I can say that there were important families such as the Carrier, Jacobs, Proctor, Good, Hobbs, Nurse, and the Cory's. Also many children were supposedly being hurt by witches and they banded together against the accused.
The predicament in this story was that events such as a bad crop season of the girls being bewitched needed to be explained. To say that "witchcraft" is the answer the these questions. The unfortunate circumstance for some of the accused witches/wizards was that some of them had admitted to such crimes. The girls had fits and calling outs that didn't benefit them either.
Some important happenings were when at Reverand Burrough's trial he argued that there were no such things as witches or wizards and that was considered a lie to the court since others had already confessed. Another event of somewhat similar nature was at her execution on Gallows Hill, Goody Good, said to the minister on hand that wanted her to confess " You are a liar. I am no more a witch than you are a wizard, and if you take away my life, God will give you blood to drink." One other strange incident was the death of Giles Corey.He would not plead, therefore,without a plea, they continued to pile rocks on him until his ribs broke and his lungs were crushed. Since there was no trial his land could not be seized like that of other accused people's had been. His children would then have somewhere to live.
The outcome of these circumstances were that the ministers, towns people, villagers and others were upset. The final person to be upsetted by this was Gov. Phis, the leader of the colony of Massachusetts. When he returned from an expedition from Canada he was shocked to find over one hundred and fifty suspects jailed, even more shocked to learn that people had been hanged on the basis of "spectral evidence" alone. Last but not least he was astounded to learn that his wife was among the accused. He released most of the people in jailed with the argument that they would become ill or die during the winter. These people would have trials in the spring. He also changed the court of Oyez and Terminer(to look and to decide). Courts in other towns would be used instead. This meant the jury would have no personal conflicts with the suspects in question. When the trials started again nearly all of the accused were released. Later the accused witches brought lawsuits against the girls and suddenly their fits stopped.
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Religion, Culture, Paranormal, Witch trials, Salem witch trials, Witch-hunt, Witchcraft, Sarah Good, Salem, Massachusetts, Elizabeth Proctor, Cultural depictions of the Salem witch trials
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