Witch-Hunting in Seventeenth-Century New England: A Documentary History, 1638-1693 / Edition 2

Witch-Hunting in Seventeenth-Century New England: A Documentary History, 1638-1693 / Edition 2

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by David D. Hall
     
 

This superb documentary collection illuminates the history of witchcraft and witch-hunting in seventeenth-century New England. The cases examined begin in 1638, extend to the Salem outbreak in 1692, and document for the first time the extensive Stamford-Fairfield, Connecticut, witch-hunt of 1692–1693. Here one encounters witch-hunts through the eyes of those

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Overview

This superb documentary collection illuminates the history of witchcraft and witch-hunting in seventeenth-century New England. The cases examined begin in 1638, extend to the Salem outbreak in 1692, and document for the first time the extensive Stamford-Fairfield, Connecticut, witch-hunt of 1692–1693. Here one encounters witch-hunts through the eyes of those who participated in them: the accusers, the victims, the judges. The original texts tell in vivid detail a multi-dimensional story that conveys not only the process of witch-hunting but also the complexity of culture and society in early America. The documents capture deep-rooted attitudes and expectations and reveal the tensions, anger, envy, and misfortune that underlay communal life and family relationships within New England’s small towns and villages.

Primary sources include court depositions as well as excerpts from the diaries and letters of contemporaries. They cover trials for witchcraft, reports of diabolical possessions, suits of defamation, and reports of preternatural events. Each section is preceded by headnotes that describe the case and its background and refer the reader to important secondary interpretations. In his incisive introduction, David D. Hall addresses a wide range of important issues: witchcraft lore, antagonistic social relationships, the vulnerability of women, religious ideologies, popular and learned understandings of witchcraft and the devil, and the role of the legal system. This volume is an extraordinarily significant resource for the study of gender, village politics, religion, and popular culture in seventeenth-century New England.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822336136
Publisher:
Duke University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
378
Sales rank:
943,051
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition1
Introduction3
Guide to Sources and Abbreviations17
1.The Early Cases (1638-1651)19
2.The Parsons of Springfield: A Family at Odds (1651-1652)29
3.Suspicion: A Widow's Resistance (1653-1655)61
4.The High Price of Silence (1654)74
5.A Handful of Troublemakers (1652-1661)87
6.A Long-Running Feud (1656-1675)99
7.One Man's Many Accusers (1658-1669)115
8.Mother and Daughter: The Holmans of Cambridge (1659-1660)134
9.The Hartford Witch-hunt (1662-1665)147
10.A Father's Battle (1666-1667)164
11.One "Cunning Woman": At Odds With All (1668-1670)170
12.Three Ambiguous Cases (1669-1681)185
13.A Servant "Possessed" (1671-1672)197
14.Vehement Suspicion: Eunice Cole of Hampton (1656-1680)213
15.Two Grandparents, One Grandson, and a Seaman (1679-1681)230
16.The Strange Death of Philip Smith (1683-1684)260
17.The "Possession" of the Goodwin Children (1688)265
18.The Salem Witch-hunt (1692)280
19.The Stamford-Fairfield Witch-hunt (1692-1693)315
AppendixThe Hartford Witch-hunt: Additional Texts355
Selective Bibliography359
Index365

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