17th Century New England, with special emphasis on the Salem Witchcraft Trials


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Resources at this Website

These are my own personal contributions to the web, mostly transcriptions of primary sources. The Holy Grail of the Web: Original Content.

Best! A Guide to the On-Line Primary Sources of The Salem Witch Trials by Margo Burns [Link #375]
This website is a portal to make it easier to access the on-line primary sources -- both in transcription and facsimile images -- of the Salem Witch Trials located at other websites on the internet. Most of the links will take you to the Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive at the University of Virginia, others will take you to the Witchcraft Collection at the Cornell University Library website, and a few others will take you to other sites, such as the Library of Congress, Maryland State Archives and the NEHGS. Texts or images are generally not hosted at 17thc.us: these webpages are only an index to make locating what you want on-line easier.

Includes cross-references to digital facsimiles available on-line of the original manuscripts and the entries in Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt, Bernard Rosenthal, General Editor (Cambridge University Press, 2009), Salem Witchcraft Papers, Paul Boyer ∓ Stephen Nissenbaum (DaCapo, 1977), and Records of Salem Witchcraft, Woodward (1864).

Best! Some Miscellany Observations On our present Debates respecting Witchcrafts, in a Dialogue Between S. & B. by Samuel Willard [Link #282]
The text of a pivotal public dialogue about the witchcraft trials in Salem in 1692, transcribed more accurately than the version at the University of Virginia website.

Witch-Hunting in Early New Hampshire by Margo Burns [Link #343]
In the seventeenth-century, the best-known witch-hunting cases in New England took place in Massachusetts and secondarily in Connecticut, but my home state of New Hampshire had its share along the seacoast. Includes information about the following, which include a growing collection of primary sources about the cases:

Reading 17th Century Handwriting by Margo Burns [Link #344]
A guide currently under development to help 21st century historians, genealogists and anyone who is interested in primary sources of the period to understand the penmanship and handwriting practices used by 17th century writers in New England.

A Further Account of the Tryals of the New-England Witches [Link #350]
This is a letter prepended to Increase Mather's Cases of Conscience in the London printing, not found in the first edition. It includes a brief description of the trial of Sarah Dustin/Dastin (spelled "Dayton" in the text), at which the letter-writer claims to have been present.

Salem-Witch List by Margo Burns [Link #24]
This is an e-mail discussion list for descendants of the people involved in the Salem Witchcraft trials of 1692, hosted by Roots Web, a terrific source of genealogical information. There is a digest mode as well as regular mail mode.

from the Salem Witchcraft Papers [Link #73]
17th c. Colonial America & the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria by Margo Burns [Link #79]
My own annotated bibliography of my personal library of books about Salem, witchcraft, Indians, Puritans, and more. Primarily books for adults, but there are a few for younger readers..

Arthur Miller's The Crucible: Fact & Fiction (or Picky, Picky, Picky...) by Margo Burns [Link #85]
My interest in the historical facts of the events in Salem in 1692 made it hard for me to acheive a "willing suspension of disbelief" while watching the recent movie version of The Crucible. To vent my frustration, I wrote this page to outline the major differences between the screenplay and actual historical fact. NOTE: There are also differences between Miller's play and his screenplay, so if you're familiar with the play, you may find some of the changes he made for the big screen kind of perplexing, too!

Please also check my FAQ before writing to ask me anything about this piece:
  • My FAQ - brace yourself: my answers may not be the ones you want to hear!

Selected Vital Records from the 17th c. and Early 18th c. [Link #104]
These are vital records, copied from sources at the Phillips Library of the Peabody-Essex Museum:

Salem Quarterly Court Records and Files [Link #105]
These are some cases involving the Nurse family, found in the Records of the Salem Quarterly Courts:

The Tryal of G.B.at a Court of Oyer and Terminer, Held in Salem, 1692 by Cotton Mather [Link #106]
Cotton Mather's dislike of Rev. George Burroughs of Wells (Maine), formerly of Salem Village, is abundantly clear in his description of Burroughs' trial, conviction, and execution for witchcraft.

17th c. Witchcraft Accusations by Margo Burns [Link #124]
A list of the basic information for over 200 people who were accused of witchcraft in 17th-century New England.

My Lineage to Rebecca Nurse by Margo Burns [Link #125]
A brief description of my lineage back to Rebecca Nurse, my 10x-great-grandmother.

Rev. Samuel Parris: Undated Miniature Portrait [Link #180]
A color scan of the only portrait known to exist of Rev. Samuel Parris of Salem Village, at the center of the witchcraft hysteria.

My FAQ by Margo Burns [Link #209]
This FAQ gives my answers to the questions that I, as the author of "Arthur Miller's The Crucible: Fact & Fiction", get asked on a regular basis. In it, I try to make it clear that my speciality is 17th century history and the Salem witchcraft trials, not Miller's 20th century play, but it is obvious that most people who write to me haven't read enough of my site to grasp that. If the tone of this FAQ seems especially negative, then you are probably hoping that I have answers to questions about the play, not history, or that I'll do your homework assignment for you. (I won't.) Includes some of the hysterical flames I've received from visitors over the years who don't like my "attitude". With the right attitude on the reader's part, however, you should get a good laugh -- I know I do! -- and some solid advice on how to do homework.

Links in this Category = 16

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This page was last updated Feb. 15, 2009 by Margo Burns, margoburns@gmail.com