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1692 Witch Hunt: The Laymanís Guide to the Salem Witchcraft Trials
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1692 Witch Hunt: The Laymanís Guide to the Salem Witchcraft Trials. George Malcolm Yool. Softcover, 1992, Index, 155 pp.
This book is based on several accurate accounts of the Salem witchcraft hysteria that occurred between the years 1692 and 1693. The historical facts, as chilling as they may be, are true and show how easy it is to come to the wrong conclusions when the whole truth of a matter is neither sought nor wanted. Over two hundred people were imprisoned for witchcraft and about the same number fled during this period of hysteria and economic upheaval. (Salem Village [now known as Danvers] was torn between being a suburb of Salem Town and the desire to become an independent city.)
Presented as a chronological account of the witch hunts from their humble beginnings In 1691 to the dramatic conclusion in 1957, this work contains a wealth of Information gleaned from museums, court records, and the personal archives of the descendants on both sides of the conflict Most of the material contained in the book has not been available to the general public for several years. The author has transcribed several documents into contemporary English so that the modern reader can feel the true impact of their content. Several prominent people, such as Judge Samuel Sewall, wrote books and kept diaries during the trials. For the readerís edification, excerpts of their first-hand observations are included, along with a short history of each person. The last chapter contains the confessions and written public apologies of some of the main participants in this tragedy including the jury, Judge Samuel Sewall, and Ann Putnam, Jr., one of the ďafflicted childrenĒ.