Theda Kenyon

“The blackest chapter in the history of Witchcraft lies not in the malevolence of Witches but in the deliberate, gloating cruelty of their prosecutors. ” When Theda Kenyon made this observation she was thinking about the atrocious behavior and actions that took place in Salem in 1692. During this tragic event neighbors were turned against one another and no bond was sacred. The men and women of Salem faced accusations from all directions and often the accusers were their close friends, business partners, and even their spouses.Panic filled Salem village and suddenly the slightest discrepancy in behavior became a reason to name someone as a witch. One of the greatest examples of how the hysteria brought upon lethal allegations for some of Salem’s citizen is the case of Bridget Bishop, the first person to be tried and executed for witchcraft in Salem. The story of Bridget Bishop is a sad yet enlightening account on the events that took place throughout the course of the witch hunt. Bishop’s case involves every dynamic thought likely by historians to have aided in the severity and length of the trials.Her life before the trials, her checkered past with neighbors, and, of course, her behavior during the trials aided in her guilty verdict, but there is still more to be explored. Her story also encompasses the political, cultural, social, and psychological dynamics at play in the community as well. By taking a closer look at the life and trial of Bridget Bishop, historians can get an accurate and insightful look at the trials as a whole. What people often fail to recognize about witch hunting is that it had occurred in Europe on a much larger scale for a longer period of time before Salem was even granted its first charter.It is estimated that the Great European Witch-hunt was responsible for anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 executions. Witches were often held responsible for many unfortunate events that befell communities and individuals and many guidelines and rules were set up for discovering witches among the population. Several works appeared centuries before the Great European Witch-hunt such as the 744 “List of Superstitions” in the Canon Episcopi written by Regino of Prum in 900. In it he laid the framework for how a witch was defined.However possibly the most influential piece of literature that influenced witch hunts in Europe and the New England colonies was the Malleus Maleficarum. Published in 1486 by Kramer and Sprenger it proved “the reality of witchcraft by defining and explaining its nature. ” By setting up the basis that witches would be tried upon, Kramer and Sprenger’s work was the foundation for the hearings and trials of the Salem citizens. Every great event in history has a beginning, and the start of the Salem Witch Trials can be found in the actions of a group of five young girls.In January of 1692 Betty Parris, the daughter of the village minister Samuel Parris, and Abigail Williams began to act strangely after it was rumored they participated in witchcraft practices with the slave woman Tituba. Shortly after this account several others girls who were friends with Betty and Abigail became afflicted and soon the hysteria and witch hunt would follow. To this day the girls’ motives are uncertain to historians but several theories have been presented ranging anywhere from boredom to the side effects of ergot poisoning.While the causes of their actions are uncertain, the effects are immediately apparent to any researcher as the events that followed are well documented. One of the first people to experience the severity of the girls’ accusations was Bridget Bishop. While others had been summoned to a hearing at the Court of Oyer and Terminer, Bishop was the first one indicted and tried for witchcraft. Although Bridget was unfamiliar with the Court and the girls, she was all too familiar with charges of witchcraft being brought upon her.In 1680 she had been accused of bewitching several horses before disappearing in front of the eyes of a slave. The court records of this accusation have not survived and while there is no record of conviction, those charges would prove to be quite damning to Bishop twelve years later. Bridget led a colorful and often controversial life in the community of Salem. Before becoming Goody Bishop she had been married twice before, with each marriage featuring the same theme of disagreements, quarrels, and the occasional public fight resulting in punishment.Her first husband, last name Wasselbe, had died sometime before 1666 because in that year the widow Wasselbe became Goody Oliver after marrying Thomas Oliver, a widower who had three children. Several accounts claim that Bridget and Thomas had a daughter together but not much else is known about this child and in 1679 Bridget was once again a widow but this time she had been left in charge of her late husband’s estate. A few months after Thomas’ death the first accusation of witchcraft was brought upon Bridget’s head, and although no conviction was handed down, Bridget’s reputation would never be able to live own such damning charges. From 1679 onward until the trials several people would bring Bridget to court for anything from theft to slander. By the time the trials had begun in Salem, Bridget was now married to Edward Bishop and was somewhere between the age of fifty-fix or sixty. Her character was known throughout the village as menacing, hateful, and a bad influence upon the male gender and children, so it comes as no surprise that she was one of the first to be accused with committing various acts of witchcraft upon the innocent people of Salem village.On April 19th Bridget gave a statement regarding the girls’ behavior claiming “I never did hurt them in my life. I never saw these persons before. I am as innocent as the child unborn. ” When she further stated she had never even stepped foot into the Salem village center, the girls fell into fits, prompting Hawthorne to ask Bishop if she was troubled to see the girls tormented, to which she quickly and sharply replied “No. ” While Bishop may have spoken the truth, no one was convinced for a moment she may have been innocent.In fact upon further questioning by Hawthorne, Bishop explained that she wasn’t even sure of what a witch was, to which he quickly respsonded with the question “how can you know, you are no Witch, and yet not know what a Witch is? ” Yet Bishop, not to be silenced with rhetoric defiantly responded “If I were any such person you should know it” to which Hawthorne, probably shaken by her aggressive reply, said “You may threaten, but you can do no more than you are permitted. ” Her defiant attitude towards her accusers, while deserved and justified, was condemning enough to convince the population of her guilt.On April 21, 1692 a warrant for the arrest of nine people, including Bridget and her stepson Edward, had been issued and out of these nine seven would be formally tried and sent to trial, the first of these being Bridget. Bridget was the first person to appear before the newly formed Court of Oyer and Terminer on June 2, 1692. On this court, created by Governor William Phips, sat prominent men such as Deputy Governor William Stoughton and Captain Samuel Sewall, who would hear the case against the ‘witch’ and a jury would ultimately determine their guilt or innocence.Though the court was set up as a way to be objective and fair to the accused, it was far from fair. The preliminary hearings were used as a primary source in the trials as well as testimonies from the afflicted girls as well as the neighbors and relatives of the accused. But perhaps the most controversial form of evidence the court allowed was what is known as spectral evidence. Spectral evidence was based strictly upon a person’s testimony and could not be proved in any way beyond the wild behavior of the girls and the elaborate tales of people who had been visited by a witches’ specter.This type of evidence was often the most used would almost always guarantee a guilty verdict. Often, if spectral evidence was given in court the accused were stripped and searched for any unusual marks known as witches’ teats, which were used to nourish the specter. The accusations against Bishop relied exclusively on spectral evidence from not only the afflicted girls, but also the people who had lived and worked alongside Bishop for years who had claimed to experience strange events that could only be explained through witchcraft.During her trial over fifteen people testified against her about various mysterious happenings that they believed were the direct result of Bishop and her specter. One of the first people to testify against her was Deliverance Hobbs who at the time was imprisoned in Salem’s jail for being a witch. Hobbs was believed to be psychologically disturbed and after confessing to witchcraft, she quickly became an informant to the judges on information regarding her fellow witches.In her testimony she claimed that Bishop, as well as Goody Wilds, appeared to her two nights in a row demanding her to set her hand in the book of the Devil, and while she refused their requests each time, they still pressured her to recant all of her previous testimonies and to remain silent of their visits. Hobbs offered her testimony willingly to anyone wishing to listen and she placed an emphasis on Bishop’s involvement in several witchcraft activities and ceremonies, including a witches “feast both of Roast & Boyled meat [in which they] did eat & drink. Her testimony relied solely on spectral evidence as she was unable to provide any physical proof of Bishop’s involvement in the dark arts, nor was she able to provide any other witnesses to what exactly she saw. The testimony of a confessed and possibly deranged witch was just the first of many to flood Bridget’s trial. The next person to offer a testimony against Bishop was a member of Salem Town known as William Stacy. Fourteen years prior to the trials, Stacy had developed a case of smallpox and during this time Bishop had visited him and cared for him frequently.During his time of illness he claims Bishop professed a great love for him, to which he replied favorably at first, but soon talk around town about her being a witch had swayed him to reject her advances. Stacy claims that shortly after rejecting her affections, strange things began to happen to him. The first unusual occurrence he described involved payment from Bishop to Stacy for a service he had done for her. He claims that shortly after placing the money in his pocket, he hadn’t made it half-way home before it had disappeared never to be seen again.The second strange situation involved Stacy’s cart becoming stuck in a hole in the road, but upon getting out of the cart to inspect the wheel, no hole was seen and the cart was free without any explanation. Stacy also lists other strange occurrences ranging from visits from Bishop or her specter and upon confronting Bishop to admit it had happened she became furious but offered no declaration of innocence. But the most serious accusation against Bishop brought upon her by Stacy was the murder of his young daughter just two years earlier.Stacy claimed that his daughter “was alikely Thriveing Child. And suddenly Screaked out and sow continued in an unsuall Manner for about. a fortnight & soe dyed in that lamentable manner. ” While of course Bishop denied vehemently that she had ever committed murder, in the eyes of the judges Bishop had not only a motive, but the supernatural means to commit such a crime. Similar testimony involving the murder of a child came from a man who had never seen nor heard of Bridget Bishop prior to his encounter with her specter some fourteen years before the trials.Samuel Gray claimed that he had been asleep in his bed when he was woken up to find several lanterns in the house turned on, a small fire in the fireplace, and a woman standing between his bed and the cradle that held his child. He rose up to see the figure disappear and after following it out the door, it appeared to have vanished so he returned to bed only to be woken up later by the figure sitting on his chest with something cold placed upon his lips.Once she moved it he claims the child “gave a great screech out as if it was greatly hurt and she [the figure] disappeared and takeing the child up could not quiett it in some howres from which tyme. ” After the incident Gray claimed his child who had once been healthy lived in a “sad Condition” for several months until it died. Less than a week after his child’s death he saw for the first time a woman in the exact same attire that looked just like the woman who appeared in his house and he soon learned that the woman’s name was Bridget Bishop of Salem.Out of the first three testimonies, two had already accused her of murder which in any society is a serious offense. However the townspeople of Salem would not be content with just a few testimonies given to convince the judges of Bishop’s guilt. Still more people would step forward to shine more light upon her dastardly deeds. Samuel and Sarah Shattuck claimed that their otherwise healthy child had suddenly and unexpectedly taken ill and his condition would grow worse upon the visits Bridget would make to their house.The boy showed several symptoms of being bewitched and only grew worse as time carried on, all while his parents, neighbors and doctors stood bewildered at why the child was forced to suffer so greatly. Samuel Shattuck claimed that one day a stranger approach him and questioned him concerning his son, to which the Shattuck’s could offer no explanation nor any names of people they felt could be responsible to which the stranger replied “you have a neighb’r that is a witch ; She has had a falling out w’th yo’r wife ; Said in her hart your wife is a proud woman ; She would bring downe her pride in this Child. It was this conversation that lead Mr. Shattuck to recall that his wife had a falling out with none other than Bridget Bishop. Another man testified that after quarreling with Bridget about her chickens coming into his garden earlier in the day, he awoke in the middle of the night with an intense weight upon his chest and “did clearely see s’d Bridget Bushop — or her likeness sitting upon my stomake and puting my Armes of the bed to free myselfe from that great oppression she presently layd hold of my throat and allmost Choked me.. and in this Condition she held mee to almost day. Upon confronting her the next day in his orchard Bishop vehemently denied doing any such thing and threatened him to remain silent about the whole ordeal. During her trial Bridget was asked about the confrontation in the orchard and she testified that it had never taken place. John Bly and his wife came forward with a testimony that Mr. Bly had purchased a sow from the Bishop’s and all was settled and in agreement until Bridget later came to their house complaining they had not paid a fair enough price for the pig and shortly after the pig began acting strangely.After giving the pig a homemade remedy, it recovered from its condition only to succumb to it hours later and then finally return to a normal state. John Bly and his son also came forward to discuss their findings some seven years earlier in Bridget’s old house when she had sent them there with the job of tearing down an old cellar wall. Upon tearing down the wall the Bly’s claimed to have seen “Severall popitts made up of Raggs And hoggs Brusells w’th headles pins in Them. w’th the points out ward. This was the first testimony given that did not rely on spectral evidence, but rather a tangible piece of evidence, and while the poppets were never presented to the court or actually seen by anyone else, it was a damaging testimony for Bishop. Richard Coman also claimed to have been visited by Bishop during the nigh some eight years earlier, although this time she was not alone. He claimed three figures entered his room and although two of them he could not identify, one was wearing a dress accentuated with red fabric, a characteristic known exclusively to Bishop’s choice of dress.He claimed that Bishop placed herself upon his chest in a way that “oppressed him that he could not speake nor stur not so much as to awake his wife. ” After experiencing this phenomenon several nights in a row, he asked his brother to stay up with him in order to protect him from the specters and while they conversed late into the night the three women appeared yet again and tried to disarm Richard, who this time was armed with a sword. After fighting them off, Coman claims they never appeared in his home again.Finally came the testimonies of the young girls who were at the center of the trials. Mary Warren claimed that Bridget Bishop’s image would appear to her and demand her to sign the Devil’s book and upon her rejection of Bishop’s request she would be tortured and afflicted by the angered specter. These visits all took place while Bridget had been placed in jail and bound in chains so it was believed that it had to have been Bishop’s specter.Susannah Sheldon also claimed to have had an encounter with Bridget and her comrades several nights in a row when Bishop demanded that the girl of eighteen sign her book and upon her refusal, Bishop announced she had been a witch for twenty years and that she had committed four murders. Following her announcement the specters of Bishop’s fellow witches attacked and tormented Sheldon, forbade her to eat, and after biting her they all disappeared. The testimonies offered by the girls were always heavy on the juror’s ears.The girls were seen as the best detectors of witchcraft during the trials and with their testimonies against Bishop, it appeared as though she had no chance to escape the charges. During the Salem witch trials the process of physical examination was practiced on all accused of witches. By this process it was to be determined if the accused had anywhere on their bodies, evidence of ‘witches teats’ which were used to nourish the specters of witches. On June 2 a group of women examined Bridget’s body for such marks as well as the bodies of several other accused such as Rebecca Nurse, Elizabeth Proctor, and Sarah Good.Upon searching Bridget the women claimed to have “discovered apreternathurall Excresence of flesh between the pudendum and Anus much like to teats & not usuall in women & much unlike to the other three that hath been searched. ” However when they searched the accused again later that afternoon they noticed that any and all suspicious markings on Bishop had disappeared, prompting swift suspicions of Bishop’s prowess as a witch. All of the evidence and testimonies brought against Bishop made her trial extremely quick.Her trial had begun early on June 2 and later that day the jury returned with a guilty verdict. The sheriff issued and signed her death warrant and declared that “upon fryday next being the Tenth day of this instant month of June between the houres of Eight and twelve in the afternoon of the same day You safely con-duct the s’d Bridgett Bishop als Olliver from their Maj’ties Gaol in Salem…to the place of Execution and there cause her to be hanged by the neck untill she be de[ad]. Exactly eight days later, just as the death warrant required, Bridget was executed at the infamous Gallows Hill and shortly after her body was cut down and buried in a shallow, unmarked grave since witches were barred from being buried in church cemeteries. After her death, with the court in a brief recess, the accusations against others declined and one of the judges, Nathaniel Saltonstall, had resigned after becoming frustrated at how the court handled the trial.The community may have believed her to be guilty, but her execution struck a sense of reality into the community that they had not been prepared to deal with. Bishop had more people testify against her than any of the other defendants during the trials, and many of these testimonies were considered malicious and full of contempt towards Bishop. Bridget was overall a highly controversial and colorful character in Salem who had many more enemies than friends. Her actions were numerous and her influence in the community was almost immeasurable.What about Bridget and her life would cause an entire community to not once question her guilt in such a serious accusation such as witchcraft until years after it was all over? The answer to such a question lies in the structure of Puritan society, gender roles in the 17th century, and the common medical beliefs of the time period. Puritan society was extremely strict and had numerous rules and guidelines on how Puritan people should live and behave. Women in Puritan society were given especially strict rules on how they should behave, but the idea of subordination to men was the dominant idea in every aspect of their lives.Puritan society was strictly patriarchal and Puritan doctrine “justified this arrangement by emphasizing woman’s descent from Eve and her innate irrationality, both of which made her more vulnerable to error and corruption than man. ” In this sense the wives’ view of their husband was to be symbolic of God in the sense that she was to obey his every command and aim to please him and in return he would guide her and protect her. Husbands enjoyed the ability to have dominion over their wives in everything they did, and women were expected to accept any burden or suffering with quiet grace and dignity, even in the most extreme cases.Cotton Mather commented on several occasions on how a woman should tolerate an abusive husband stating “But if thou hast an Husband that will do so, [beat his wife] bear it patiently; and know thou shalt have — Rewards — hereafter for it, as well as Praises here … ” Men respected women for their submission and quiet strength because it was expected of them. Women were to remain in the background and only men were supposed to contribute to the overall workings and progress of the town and community.Any woman attempting to further herself outside of her subordinate housewife role was quickly judged and chastised. This was Bridget’s first fatal flaw in the eyes of historians. She was witnessed to have quarreled with her husband multiple times in public and was charged on several occasions with exchanging blows with him and cursing him on the Lord’s day. She never quietly suffered, rather she spoke about the wrongs against her publicly and never seemed to take heed of Puritan society’s watchful eye.It’s very possible that Bishop not only angered the men of the town with her outspoken nature and disobedience towards her husband, but she very well could have angered the women who chose the path of obedience. These women suffered day and night at the hands of their husbands, fathers, and male neighbors and they were to take it all in quiet dignity, yet here is a woman who chose to disregard the social standards and follow her own rules. If Bishop’s disobedience didn’t anger the women of Salem, her lifestyle and attire surely did the trick.Puritan dress at the time was extremely conservative and usually held no color beyond neutral dull hues. However Bridget was known for her ‘”black cap, and a black hat, and a red paragon bodice bordered and looped with different colors. ” So while Bishop’s style of dress was no more physically revealing than other women’s outfits, her incorporation of color was a very questionable practice that many considered a “snare and sign of the devil” that drew the unwanted attention of the women, but quite possibly caught the eye of the male population.Bishop was certainly not the ideal Puritan woman by any standards of dress or speech, but it was also believed by the community that she was quite the temptress. Bridget was also said to have owned a tavern in which she had guests until very late at night and they would often play the game of shovelboard while drinking alcohol, which was forbidden in Puritan society. Bridget was also said to have a very provocative nature towards men, which shows in the testimony of Thomas Stacy in which he references her profession of love for him that she gave some fourteen years earlier.The combination of questionable dress, red hot temper, and smooth demeanor around men was bound to draw the resentment of the surrounding women in the community and it is very possible that they were angered enough to never give Bishop a fair review at trial. Bishop’s trial is unique in the sense that because of her questionable behavior with men, her trial was one of the few to call into question the idea that witches have sexual interactions with Satan.In the European witch hunts it was a commonly held belief that witches would participate in sexual acts with the Devil in order to solidify their pact with him. In Salem however these accusations were absent in all but two trials, one of which was Bishop’s. At one point during her trial her husband Edward had hinted at a sexual relationship between his wife saying “the Devil had come unto his wife, that she was familiar with the Devil,” and that “she sat up all night with the Devil. Such accusations were possibly quite damaging in her trial since sex was something regarded as acceptable only within the confines of marriage, and to be accused of such acts with a purely evil being was a repulsive and offensive idea in the communities eyes. Bridget was by no means an ideal Puritan woman, nor did she ever attempt to fool the public into seeing her as a quiet and kind person. She led a gossip-filled life and for reasons we in the present may never be able to know, she rebelled against her community and its practices.She never once considered how her actions in the present could possibly affect her future. She was honest and quick on her feet and was never scared to show her true colors. Her behavior had lethal consequences for her in the end, but her trial would influence not only the trials immediately following her own, but future interpretations of the events years after the trials had ended. The community was stunned for only a moment after Bishop’s death and shortly after the Court of Oyer and Terminer continued hearing cases of accused witches.The second execution took place on June 28 with the death of the elderly Rebecca Nurse. From its creation until its disbandment in October of 1692 the Court saw a total of 156 people, had heard 44 confessions, convicted 30, and had sent 19 people to the gallows. In addition to the 19 people hung, one man, by the name of Giles Corey, was pressed to death for refusing to enter a plea and four others had died in prison.The Court could have continued the trials for quite some time if it were not for the growing public opposition to the trials and Governor Phips bewildered return to Salem only to find it in ruins and his own wife accused of witchcraft. Sometime after the trials had died down, several witnesses to the madness published works in an attempt to help the masses understand what had happened. In Cotton Mather’s1693 publication The Wonders of the Invisible World he attempted to explain and justify why several of the trials were just and correct in their convictions.He makes the claim that Bridget was one such case where the conviction was correct and that she truly had been practicing witchcraft. He lists the many testimonies and the mound of evidence that had been compiled against her during the trial and makes the statement “She was the first witch to be tried (June 2) and executed (June 10) — perhaps because she had so long been under suspicion. ” While his report was accurate, it only included information that would support Mather’s claims and critiques would tear his work apart for every misconception he gave in his ill-timed report.Mather was overall a complex part of the grand scheme of Salem who on one hand believed the Devil really was attempting to destroy the world with Salem as his leap pad but yet at the same time desired that the Court of Oyer and Terminer practice extreme “caution in their deliberation, especially in handling spectral evidence by which the judges condemned so many people. ” Throughout the rest of his life Mather would face criticism for his actions during the trials, but he would hold his ground on the belief that he had done good for the glory of God.Others, however, would later realize the weight of their accusations and actions and would take the steps to repent their sins against their fellow man. Of all the girls who had started the accusations, only one would ask for forgiveness. Her name was Ann Putnam and at twenty seven years old she asked the Salem church to forgive her for accusing twenty one people of witchcraft. She claimed that “It was a great delusion of Satan that deceived me in that sad time” and she acknowledged she was used as “an instrument for the accusing of several persons of a grievous crime, whereby their lives were taken from them. Before she had been a primary instrument in the trials of almost two dozen people who if they maintained innocence after hearing Putnam’s testimony, would surely be put to death. But now she stood alone in front of the relatives and friends of the dead and proclaimed she knew them to be innocent. She must have obviously been truthful and earnest in her apology, for despite the great pain many of the congregation still carried within their hearts, they forgave her and accepted her with welcoming arms.The most prominent member of Salem to repent was Judge Samuel Sewell. In 1697, overcome with guilt for his part in the condemnation of the innocent, Sewell declared that January 14th would be a day of repentance and forgiveness for “the late tragedy raised among us by Satan and his instruments. ” The day was open to anyone to confess their guilt in the hopes that they could at last feel relief from God that sin had been removed from their lives.On the first observation of the day, Sewell along with twelve jurors from the trials would come forward and profess their guilt to the community. Overall the confessions all seemed sincere and full of remorse, and as one historian has made the analysis that those confessions “supplied a framework for the colony to make sense of what happened in 1692” and that for a great deal of time after the crisis had passed it was seen as “a dark time of delusion, a time when good people were lead astray and shed innocent blood. The effects of the trials would been seen for decades after the last noose was hung from the tree atop Gallows Hill. Confessions of guilt by several accusers were not enough to satisfy the injustice many families had yet to overcome. Family land had been illegally confiscated, survivors who had been convicted had been slandered, and the names and reputations of the dead who were now presumed innocent still held the horrid echo of witchcraft in the eyes of the church.Survivors and relatives flocked to the courts and demanded the return of family estates, reparations for things that could not be returned, and the restoration of the good name of the families marked with the humiliation of being related to a “witch. ” In 1709 a petition was raised by seventeen people who demanded their names be restored to reputable status and gained the support of Cotton Mather, and in 1711 it eventually succeeding in getting several families a monetary payment for what the courts believed the damages amounted to as well as reversing the excommunication and slander placed upon many of the deceased and surviving condemned.But a series of mistakes and setbacks led to a realization that the reversal of 1711 was incomplete as it was never formally signed and that six people, one being Bridget Bishop, were never listed in the petition so they were never forgiven in the first place. After several attempts to pass legislation to clear the names of the final six had failed, and yet another act of legislation passed in 1957 was deemed incomplete because it only listed one of the six by name, relief was finally offered to the descendants of Bridget and the six others on Halloween of 2001.Over 300 years after it had begun, the Salem witch trials had finally ended. Bridget’s story is one marked with tragedy and unfortunate circumstance. Fate had placed a rebellious, outspoken, provocative woman in a society that is historically known for its strict religious structure and is infamous for its treatment of anyone deemed as different. She dared to be different and her defiance demanded she pay the ultimate price. Bridget never had a chance to escape the accusations against her, but out of her story historians today are able to learn so much about the era from which she hails.Her life and death is a near perfect case study involving every aspect of the trials and offers a great observation into the mood of Salem in 1692. Her trial offers us insight into the minds of the population and how they treated every action or word spoken by their closest friends, while her lifestyle and social interactions show us the social, psychological, and gender issues that Puritan society had injected into the lives of the people living in Salem. Some historians may consider the story of Bridget Bishop the perfect example of an American witch and they would accurate to make such a claim, but her story is more than that.It is a tale to be remembered and echoed through time as the perfect example of how individualism and the courage to be different can sometimes be hailed as visionary and world changing, but could just as easily be condemned as an evil attempt to destroy the very structure of society. Bridget never meant to be either one, but fate cast her a hand that she had to play and it ultimately led to her becoming a pivotal part in one of the darkest moments of American history. Bibliography Gragg, Larry. The Salem Witch Crisis. New York: Praeger, 1992 Kenyon, Theda. “Quotes On Witchcraft. ” Notable Quotes. http://www. otable-quotes. com/w/witchcraft_quotes. html. Internet; accessed 20 October 2010. Le Beau, Bryan . The Story of the Salem Witch Trials. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2010. Linder, Douglas. “Famous Trials. ” Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692. Available from http://www. law. umkc. edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/salem. html. Internet; accessed 27 October 2010. Mather, Cotton. “The Wonders of the Invisible World. ” Wonders of Invisible World (January 10, 2009): 12. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed October 27, 2010). Saxton, Martha. “Bearing the burden? Puritan wives. ” History Today 44, no. 0 (October 1994): 28. America: History ; Life, EBSCOhost (accessed October 26, 2010). University of Virginia Library. “The Salem witchcraft papers, Volume 1: verbatim transcripts of the legal documents of the Salem witchcraft outbreak of 1692 . ” Available from http://etext. virginia. edu/etcbin/toccernew2? id=BoySal1. sgm;images=images/modeng;data=/texts/english/modeng/oldsalem;tag=public;part=9;division=div1 Internet; accessed 30 October 2010. Watson, B. “Salem’s dark hour: Did the Devil make them do it?. ” Smithsonian 23, no. 1 (April 1992): 116. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed November 1, 2010).

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