The Witchcraft Delusion in Colonial Connecticut, 1647-1697

By John M. Taylor | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V

"It was not to be expected of the colonists of New England that they should be the first to see through a delusion which befooled the whole civilized world, and the gravest and most knowing persons in it. The colonists in Connecticut and New Haven, as well as in Massachusetts, like all other Christian people at that time -- at least with extremely rare individual exceptions -- believed in the reality of a hideous crime called witchcraft." PALFREY'S New England (Vol. IV, pp. 96-127).

"The truth is that it [witchcraft] pervaded the whole Christian Church. The law makers and the ministers of New England were under its influences as -- and no more than -- were the law makers and ministers of Old England." Blue Laws -- True and False (p. 23), TRUMBULL.

"One ----- of Windsor Arraigned and Executed at Hartford for a Witch." WINTHROP'S Journal ( 2: 374, Savage Ed., 1853).

HERE beginneth the first chapter of the story of the delusion in Connecticut. It is an entry made by John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, in his famous journal, without specific date, but probably in the spring of 1647.

It is of little consequence save as much has been made of it by some writers as fixing the relative date of the earliest execution for witchcraft in New England, and locating it in one of the three original Connecticut towns.

What matters it at this day whether Mary Johnson as tradition runs, or Alse Youngs as truth has it, was put to death for witchcraft in Windsor, Connecticut, in 1647, or Martha Jones of Charlestown, Massachusetts, was

-35-

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The Witchcraft Delusion in Colonial Connecticut, 1647-1697
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • TWO INDICTMENTS FOR WITCHCRAFT viii
  • Contents xi
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 6
  • Chapter III 15
  • Chapter IV 23
  • Chapter V 35
  • Chapter VI 45
  • Chapter VII 62
  • Chater VIII 79
  • Chapter IX 101
  • Chapter X 122
  • Chapter XI 142
  • HISTORICAL NOTE 161
  • BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 165
  • Index 167
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