The Salem Witch Hunt

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The Salem witch hunt is without a doubt among the most infamous events in American history. Indeed it is one of the few occurrences from the colonial period with which most modern Americans are familiar. During 1692 over 150 Massachusetts women and men were formally charged with the crime of witchcraft; many more were named informally as suspects. By the time the trials came to a halt, 19 of the accused had been hanged. Several others died in prison and one man was crushed to death during interrogation. This was by far the worst witch panic in colonial America; but it was not the only one, even in 1692. It may be surprising that for a long time historians paid very little attention to witchcraft in early New England. Perry Miller's belief that…show more content…
The idea that witches were women seems to have been more strongly held by local authorities, magistrates, and juries. Men who had the power to decide the fates of the accused than it were by accusers as a whole according to these sources. The single most salient characteristic of witches was their sex. At least 344 people were accused of witchcraft in New England between 1620 and 1725. Of the 342 who can be identified by sex were female. Roughly half of the seventy five males accused were suspect by association. They were the husbands, sons, other kin, or public supporters of the female witches. There were three main women who were accused of witchcraft. Tituba was a West Indian Slave. Sarah Good was a pauper who went around the village begging aggressively for food and lodging. Gammer Osborne while somewhat better off was a bedridden old woman. Why were these women accused of witchcraft? These first three women to be accused of witchcraft can be seen as deviants or outcasts in their community. The kinds of people who anthropologists have suggested are particularly susceptible to such…show more content…
She had witnessed there being devils books around the house and him being Satan’s advocate but did not want to declare the in the testimony. Suspicions of Burroughs first surfaced in mid April 1692 after Abigail Hobbes confessed that the devil had recruited her as a witch about four years earlier while her family too was living in Falmouth. Abigail did not initially name the minister as Satan’s agent but about thirty six hours later Ann Putnam Jr. did. George Burroughs was the ring leader of all the

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