Who are the key people involved in the “the other witch hunt?” what roles do each play in the incident? Specific examples/evidence from book the whole
1) Katherine Branch
a) Servant of Daniel and Abigail Wescot
b) Has fits may or may not be real
c) accuses Disborough and Clawson
i) claims Disborough was her guide to compo there and back ii) accused Clawson of pinching her and later red spots appeared on Kate which later turned into black and blue bruises
d) begins trial and other colonist’s confession to start coming forward because of her
2) Mercy Disborough
a) Accused witch by Katherine Branch
b) Many neighbors accuse her of witchcraft
i) Goody Godfrey and Goodman Benit’s daughter went to visit Mercy Disborough and told her about …show more content…
Kate then popped wide awake and ran outside. Kate then had another fit and they brought her back inside while she was “senseless”. Again they take out the knife and again she suddenly wakes up saying “you’re going to cut me!”
According to Godbeer, what is the local legal process of dealing with Katherine Branch’s “bewitching”?
1) Many people of Stamford watched Kate closely and carried out experiments to ascertain whether her fits were natural, supernatural, or counterfeit. Once everyone was convinced that it was witchcraft, her tormentors had to be identified, evidence had to be gathered, and witnesses willing to speak out.
a) This was risky because most previous trials had not resulted in conviction. If witches were tried, acquitted, and released, they might wreak terrible revenge upon those who had testified against them.
According to Godbeer, what is the colonial legal process of dealing with Katherine Branch’s “bewitching”?
1) Everyone went to trial, suspects, witnesses, judges, magistrates, jurymen, defendants
a) Tried to put together all evidence into either a conviction or not
What does the ending or the conclusion of the trials indicate about the process of “bringing witches to justice” in Puritan New England?
1) Few witches were actually convicted and sentenced to death
a) Of the sixty-one known prosecutions for witchcraft in
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Godbeer refers to the situation with Katherine Branch. She was the servant of the Wescott family and began to get strange symptoms such as screaming from intense pain, or losing all of her mobility and not being able to move off of the ground. To check if she indeed was a witch, one of the neighbors tried “the sword test”. The sword test is supposed to be an accurate way to see whether a person is actually bewitched or not. To perform it, a person simply holds a sword above the person who is believed to be taken over by supernatural forces. If the person who is taken over by the supernatural forces laughs, then the sword test has indicated that they are indeed bewitched. Katherine Branch did indeed laugh when the sword was held above her head. However, some of the towns-people had already been having suspicions that Katherine had been faking her bewitching, so they decided to perform the test to Katherine in secret when she did not know. To confirm their suspicions, she did not laugh at all. Eventually Katherine Branch’s story ends with her accusing six women of witchcraft, but only two of them being acquitted. Godbeer uses this story as key evidence to show that the people were not so naïve in the seventeenth century. The courts were very careful as to who they were actually acquitting and random accusations of bewitching did not go through so
Your Excellency, Judge Danforth. You know, I have graduated from Harvard College and I am an expert in all things witchcraft and the supernatural. When I first arrived in Salem, I was tangled in a web of lies and a sheet of deception. In this trial, I believe that the accused are innocent people with good names. There is absolutely no mark upon my credibility and it is in my honest opinion that hysteria is running through Salem. Your Honour, Abigail Williams is nothing but a whore who wants to dance
In January 1692, when a group of juvenile girls began to display bizarre behavior, the tight-knit Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts couldn’t explain the unusual afflictions and came to a conclusion. Witches had invaded Salem. This was the beginning of a period of mass hysteria known as The Salem Witch Trials. Hundreds of people were falsely accused of witchcraft and many paid the ultimate price of death. Nineteen people were hung, one was pressed to death, and as many as thirteen more died in prison. One of the accused Elizabeth Bassett Proctor, a faithful wife and mother, endured her fictitious accusation with honor and integrity.
I am writing this report today to explain the major reasons behind the horrific witchcraft trials that took place in Salem, Massachusetts in the years 1692 and 1693. For years this event has been ignored. However, after analyzing the evidence in this case, I have some startling news to share. First, I will share with you the various theories that make the most sense. Then I will explain what I believe caused the Salem community to respond in such a cruel and violent way.
What had been just a suspicion turned into a craze, the conflict these people had created would kill many innocent people until a compromise was found. Most women accused as witches were older, ugly, and unkempt (Wilson; 26; Roach 84). If someone was different in any way they could be accused as a witch; age, physical disability, mental disability, looked down on, powerless, outcasts, or criminals (Smith; how). The witch trials would then continue, so special courts were needed. A special court was set up by Sir William Phips to decide the fate of the witches. The two courts were Oyer; to hear, and terminer; to decide the fate of witches (Cellania; Roach 3). People were accused as a witches if they denied their existence (Latson). All the witches had
The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. These trials began after a group of young girls in Massachusetts claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several other locals of witchcraft. After this broke out a special court convened in Salem to “hear and determine” (Mather 328)
Currently the most widely accepted view is that the cause of the trials, was due to fraud and hysteria. It is rarely debated that it was the girl's diagnoses of being bewitched that was the catalyst for the trials so if it could be proved that the girls symptoms were fraudulent, then this could be easily be ascribed as the cause' of the trials.
The Salem witch trials, that occurred in colonial Massachusetts, were a hostile part of American history. People lived in a constant state of paranoia and fear. A great number of people were accused of practicing witchcraft, which was thought to be connected to the devil, and some were even executed. Eventually, the colony realized the faults in the trials. By reading the primary sources ‘A Modest Inquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft Chapter II’ by John Hale and Two Letters by Governor William Phips, we are able to discover a wealth of knowledge about the aforementioned trials. The two sources allow the reader to gain insight into how the trials were flawed by showing the nature of the Salem Witch Trials, the evidence used to find the witches guilty, and the role native americans played in the trials. While also exhibiting how primary sources can be a disadvantage in navigating through historical events.
Imagine living in a household in Salem, Massachusetts. It is the year 1692 and you are a young female, around the age of 20. Now while a mass of events involving witch hunts are happening, everyone around you is panicking, accusing your friends, family and finally you of witchcraft, whether it was true or not that you had been practicing such sorcery. You confess anyways, being terrified, what happens to you next? The Salem Witch Trials should have been taken care of in a different way. The Salem Witch Trials a way to suppress people from exposing the truth behind the Government. The Trials were unfair, the Government and the townspeople were corrupt, and they had stress from outer threats surrounding the village.
In Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692 by Richard Godbeer examined the witchcraft hysteria which happened in Stamford, Connecticut as the hysteria escaped from Salem, Massachusetts and how the panic of witchcraft caused by Katherine Branch in June of 1692, intensified beliefs and readjustments in the legal system in the Puritans society in Stamford, Connecticut. Consequently, Katherine Branch’s accusations in the summer months of 1692, propelled the Puritan community of Stamford into the witchcraft hysteria, as she claimed to have been bewitched and through spectral visions blamed those of who bewitched her; be they human or animal. As such, Puritans
Although in this case (Kate Branch) the Enlightenment thought directly influenced the process of the trail, still the testimony of the women involved held less value than that of a man. Any women seen challenging the thought of a man was at a greater risk of being accused of witchcraft. Daniel Wescot and other men describe incidents involving Goody Disborough and Elizabeth Clawson. These events started with an argument between a man and a women; the man later accused the women of cursing livestock, children, or themselves by witchcraft. (Godbeer, 2005) The reason that women were accused was that they disagreed with a man’s point of view.
The cases that came before the Suffolk court differ in a variety of ways from the accusations made against Bridget Bishop. The
These individuals may or may not have been witches, yet the jury many times chose to hang any accused individuals with or without reasonable cause. Today, much like during the Witch Trials, people are sent to prison for crimes they didn’t commit. Of course, many guilty people are sent to prison and rightfully so, but sometimes good lawyers are able to convince the jury unjustly sending innocent individuals to a life in prison. Though, Americans are not scared of being sent to jail for witchery, they are scared of being in the wrong place at the wrong time due to the fear of governmental polices.
He stooped down to pick up the rake or pitchfork to strike her, when she vanished.”2 The slave testified against her as a witch, and even though she was not convicted of witchcraft this earlier trial demonstrates that Bridget was previously suspected of witchcraft.
Your honor, today, it has been brought to my attention that Martha Carrier and her bewitched spirit has caused violence towards the witnesses’ lives in this vehement environment. Apparently the specter are “ruining” their lives, but if she really was, why are those victims still here? Wouldn’t they be dead by now from the revenge of her accusations if Martha was truly a witch? Her innocence is my responsibility and I will gladly guide you through their erroneous assumptions.