Important Persons in the Salem Court Records

People and TopicsBiographical Data


The witchcraft crisis in Essex County, Massachusetts in 1692 has long been known for its unusual list of accused witches. The high proportion of men accused of witchcraft in the crisis has been noted by historians for decades, as has the unusual preponderance of wealthy, influential citizens and upstanding church members. There is one atypical group of accused, however, who have been largely overlooked. During the course of the crisis, at least eight children under the age of twelve were accused of witchcraft, and most were indicted. This examination of the eight cases of young children who were accused as witches will provide a vantage point from which to examine the dynamics of family and community that shaped the witchcraft crisis.

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