Salem witch trials
The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts. Thirty were found guilty, nineteen of whom were executed by hanging. It was the deadliest witch hunt in the history of colonial North America. The episode is one of Colonial America’s most notorious cases of mass hysteria.
About Salem witch trials in brief
The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts. Thirty were found guilty, nineteen of whom were executed by hanging. It was the deadliest witch hunt in the history of colonial North America. The episode is one of Colonial America’s most notorious cases of mass hysteria. It has been used in political rhetoric and popular literature as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of isolationism, religious extremism, false accusations, and lapses in due process. In November 2001, an act passed by the Massachusetts legislature absolved five people, while another one, passed in 1957, had previously absolved six other victims. As of 2004, there was still talk about exonerating all the victims, though some think that happened in the 19th century as the Massachusetts colonial legislature was asked to reverse the attainders of \”George Burroughs and others\”. In January 2016, the University of Virginia announced its Gallows Hill Project team had determined the execution site in Salem, where the 19 ‘witches’ had been hanged. The city dedicated the Proctor’s Ledge Memorial to the victims there in 2017. The events in 16921693 in Salem became a brief outburst of a sort of hysteria in the New World, while the practice was already waning in most of Europe. While witch trials had begun to fade out across much of Europe by the mid-17th century, they continued on the fringes of Europe and in the American Colonies. The earliest recorded witchcraft execution was that of Alse Young in 1647 in Hartford, Connecticut.
Historian Clarence F. Jewett included a list of other people executed in New England in his 1881 book. Only 14 other women and two men had been executed in Massachusetts and Connecticut during the 17th century. In 1668, in Against Modern Sadducism, Joseph Glanvill claimed that he could prove the existence of witches and ghosts of the supernatural realm. The trials were started after people had been accused by teenage girls such as Elizabeth Hubbard, 17, as well as some who were younger. William P. Mather had been working on obtaining the charter for the enlarged Province of Massachusetts Bay for four years, with his son Increase Mather joining him in London in 1691. William and Mary Simon Bradstreet and Thomas Bradstreet were the colony’s last leaders under the old charter, but lacked constitutional authority to rule. William Mather brought out a new edition of Increase’s book on witchcraft in 1684, and his son Cotton Mather published one in 1689. The original 1629 Royal Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was vacated in 16 84, after which King James II installed Sir Edmund Andros as the governor of the Dominion of New England. Andros was ousted after the Catholic co-rulers replaced with the Protestanters William andMary Simon Bradforth and Thomas Danforth, who were the last leaders of the new colony. The new charter was given final approval in October 1691, with William Pather often brought out to London.