Susannah North Martin

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In 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, a series of afflictions, convictions, accusations, and even executions played out known as the Salem Witch Trials. Among the over 200 people accused of practicing witchcraft was a woman by the name of Susannah North Martin. She lived in colonial Massachusetts of said time period and as a widow of 67 was executed for performing witchcraft, in conjunction with many other innocents blamed for similar faults. Witchcraft was known as the “Devil’s magic,” and many assorted Christians and often Puritans had a strong belief that the Devil could grant certain mortals power to harm in turn for their loyalty; these mortals were known as witches. Among the “witches” convicted were Sarah Osborne, Tituba, and Sarah Good, who had all been in a distressful state. Osborne was an elderly and impoverished woman, Tituba a slave, and Sarah Good was a homeless beggar. To that, Susannah North Martin had been an old widow, a likely target for the witchcraft conviction. Not only the trials themselves but also the general aura of fear of being persecuted threw Salem and even all of the Massachusetts Bay Colony into disarray, weakening the colony in the air of paranoia. The historical significance of Susannah Martin’s trial is in communion with each other convicted witch, in that an idea can lead to destruction, not only destruction of the lives that were taken due to this idea, but almost to the colony itself. In order to explain the life of Susanna Martin it is first necessary to explain the life of the Salem witch trials. The era of the witch trials lasted less than a year, from the first arrests on March 1, 1692 to the final hanging on September 22, 1692. In 17th century New England, witchcraft under British law was seen as a felony and a crime committed against their government, and the punishment for the crime was hanging. There is often a
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