Tituba, Reluctant Witch of Salem: Devilish Indians and Puritan Fantasies

Tituba, Reluctant Witch of Salem: Devilish Indians and Puritan Fantasies

by Elaine G. Breslaw, Hans-Hermann Hoppe
     
 

ISBN-10: 0814713076

ISBN-13: 9780814713075

Pub. Date: 08/01/1997

Publisher: New York University Press

In this important book, Elaine Breslaw claims to have rediscovered Tituba, the elusive, mysterious, and often mythologized Indian woman accused of witchcraft in Salem in 1692 and immortalized in Arthur Miller's The Crucible.

Reconstructing the life of the slave woman at the center of the notorious Salem witch trials, the book follows Tituba from her likely

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Overview

In this important book, Elaine Breslaw claims to have rediscovered Tituba, the elusive, mysterious, and often mythologized Indian woman accused of witchcraft in Salem in 1692 and immortalized in Arthur Miller's The Crucible.

Reconstructing the life of the slave woman at the center of the notorious Salem witch trials, the book follows Tituba from her likely origins in South America to Barbados, forcefully dispelling the commonly-held belief that Tituba was African. The uniquely multicultural nature of life on a seventeenth-century Barbadan sugar plantation—defined by a mixture of English, American Indian, and African ways and folklore—indelibly shaped the young Tituba's world and the mental images she brought with her to Massachusetts.

Breslaw divides Tituba’s story into two parts. The first focuses on Tituba's roots in Barbados, the second on her life in the New World. The author emphasizes the inextricably linked worlds of the Caribbean and the North American colonies, illustrating how the Puritan worldview was influenced by its perception of possessed Indians. Breslaw argues that Tituba’s confession to practicing witchcraft clearly reveals her savvy and determined efforts to protect herself by actively manipulating Puritan fears. This confession, perceived as evidence of a diabolical conspiracy, was the central agent in the cataclysmic series of events that saw 19 people executed and over 150 imprisoned, including a young girl of 5.

A landmark contribution to women's history and early American history, Tituba, Reluctant Witch of Salem sheds new light on one of the most painful episodes in American history, through the eyes of its most crucial participant.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814713075
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
08/01/1997
Series:
American Social Ex DUP DO NOT USE Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
270
Sales rank:
788,036
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Illustrationsxiii
Acknowledgmentsxv
Introductionxix
PART I: BARBADOS
ONE Tituba's Roots: An Arawak from Guiana3
TWO My Own Country: Tituba in Barbados21
THREE Strange New World: An American Indian on a Barbados
Plantation39
PART II: MASSACHUSETTS
FOUR An incomplete Transformation: A Tawny Puritan65
FIVE The Devil in Massachusetts: Accusations89
SIX The Reluctant Witch: Fueling Puritan Fantasies107
SEVEN Creative Adaptations: Complaints and Confessions133
EIGHT Devilish Indians and Womanly Conversations: Tituba's
Credibility156
EPILOGUE: Altered Lives171
Appendix A. Timetable of Accusations and Confessions,
February-November 1692183
Appendix B. Chronological List of Fifty-three Confessions, 1692187
Appendix C. Transcripts of Tituba's Confessions188
Abbreviations197
Notes201
Index239

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