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    • December
      • Who were the witch trial judges?
        Prior to the return of newly appointed Massachusetts governor, Sir William Phips and the accompanying new provincial charter, no trials could be held for capital crimes in the colony. For this reason, between February 29 and May 25, 1692, pre-trial examinations were conducted by two, Essex County ci

    • November
      • Were the Salem Witch Trials the worst event to take place in colonial America?
        The Shakespearean reference characterizing the Salem witch trials as the "worst" historical event, certainly might be reasonably argued by some. In a sense, the trials of 1692 were the most outrageous travesty of justice to befall the Puritan community. It involved hundreds of falsely accu

      • How were the Salem victims executed?
        One of the most widespread misunderstandings about the Salem episode is the belief that the condemned victims were burned-at-the-stake. While this form of execution was commonly practiced in continental Europe in cases of witchcraft and heresy, it was much less common in England. This is especially

      • Why was witchcraft considered a crime?
        Contemporary people are often incredulous that any form of belief system could have ever been regarded as so dangerous as to constitute a capital crime. For such persons it is difficult to imagine a society where norms of both social and religious behavior were determined by the laws of the state.
      • Common misunderstandings about the Salem witch trials
        In beginning this site, one of my primary concerns is to correct some of the common misunderstandings and misconceptions about this tragic event. Some of these are so basic that it is surprising that they have become so firmly entrenched in our public consciousness, while others are more abstract, a

      • A misunderstood event
        The Salem witchcraft trials are perhaps the most well known and yet misunderstood series of events in American history. They are not unique to colonial New England since literally dozens of witchcraft cases took place in Massachusetts and Connecticut prior to 1692. They are not unique to Puritanism,

      • Incipiat!
        This entry marks the humble beginnings of what will surely become an indispensable source of information about the Salem witch trials in 1692.

    • April