Gettysburg Diorama

Gettysburg Diorama
The Gettysburg Diorama in Gettysburg showing the Battle in miniature.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

"Connecticut Witch Trials" by Cynthia Wolfe Boynton

Everyone knows about the Salem witch trials of 1692, but it seems that not a lot of people are aware that "witches" were put on trial and executed in other areas too.

Cynthia Wolfe Boynton's book, "Connecticut Witch Trials" covers the events that happened in Connecticut starting 45 years BEFORE the events in Salem.

Like the Salem events, records are scarce on the Connecticut Trials.  Alse Young is noted as being the first executed witch in Connecticut (and America).  The author acknowledges that there is barely any mention anywhere of this.  She also brings up the fact that it is very possible that earlier executions could have occurred, but the records no longer exist.

Considering the rareness of records, Boynton has done an amazing job of piecing together as much of the story as she can.  She includes an easy to use timeline of events and a chart of Connecticut residents accused (including their residence, and the result of the accusations).  Also, a lengthy bibliography is included.

Luckily, there were a few people who questioned the whole process of prosecuting witches, and the "evidence" used against the accused.  A governor does much to disrupt the hysteria, as do a few others.  Still, many are reluctant to question, as they do not want to also be singled out.

This book had a lot of good info in it that I will need to follow up on later.  Mentioned are sites related to the events (just like with Salem, the exact hanging locations are questioned), but at least one in Bridgeport CT. is pretty well known).  Also, Cynthia mentions several other books on the Connecticut Witch Trials, including some independently published works by descendants of those people involved in the trials (any help on tracking those down would be appreciated!)!

AND, like the Salem trials, some fiction based on the events has generated myths relating to the actual facts.  Boynton covers that topic too!

Until more journals or other records are found, I think this is a pretty complete book covering the Connecticut With Trials!

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