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Children's LiteratureThe Salem Witch Trials were one of the earliest defining moments in United States history. Fear of witches had pervaded Europe for centuries and was carried to the New World when the Puritans left England in search of a place where they could practice their religion freely. Prior to the hysteria that surrounded the witch trials of 1692, only a few men and women had been accused of practicing witchcraft. Before the Salem Witch Trials were over, 144 men and women had been accused of being witches and had been imprisoned due to the mostly superficial evidence which consisted of accusations by those who claimed to see specters of the accused causing harm to themselves or others. Before the furor died down, twenty people had been executed and as many as thirteen people died in prison. Uschan has provided a detailed first look at the Salem Witch Trials, providing information about key cases, the hysteria surrounding the Witch Trials, and the efforts to make amends by those who had accused others of being witches. Full color and black and white illustrations appear throughout, as well as brief asides that give detail into the trials and life in Puritan New England. Included at the end of the text are a time-line, an index, a glossary, and additional sources to consult. Part of the "Landmark Events in American History" series. 2004, World Almanac, Ages 8 to 13.