Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692. New Narratives in American History.



❴Epub❵ ❧ Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692. New Narratives in American History. Author Richard Godbeer – E17streets4all.co.uk Few events in American history are as well remembered as the Salem Witch Trials of But there was another witch hunt that year, in Stamford, Connecticut, that has never been examined in depth Now Rich Few events in The Other PDF Æ American history are as well remembered as the Salem Witch Trials ofBut there was another witch hunt that year, in Stamford, Connecticut, that has never been examined in depth Now Richard Godbeer Escaping Salem: PDF/EPUB or describes this other witch hunt in a concise, fascinating narrative that illuminates the colonial world and shatters the stereotype of early New Englanders as quick to accuse and condemn That stereotype originates with Salem, which was Salem: The Other MOBI õ in many ways unlike other outbreaks of witch hunting in the region Drawing on eye witness testimony, Godbeer tells the story of Kate Branch, a seventeen year old afflicted by strange visions and given to blood chilling wails of pain and fright Branch accused several women of bewitching her, two of whom were put on trial for witchcraft The book takes us inside the courtroom and inside the minds of the surprisingly skeptical Stamford townfolk Was the pain and screaming due to natural causes, or to supernatural causes Was Branch simply faking the symptoms And if she was telling the truth, why believe the demonic sources of the information, who might well be lying For the judges, Godbeer shows, the trial was a legal thicket All agreed that witches posed a real and serious threat, but proving witchcraft an invisible crime in court was another matter The court in Salem had become mired in controversy over its use of dubious evidence In an intriguing passage, Godbeer examines Magistrate Jonathan Selleck s notes on how to determine the guilt of someone accused of witchcraft an illuminating look at what constituted proof of witchcraft at the time The stakes were high if found guilty, the two accused women would be hanged In the afterword, Godbeer explains how he used the trial evidence to build his narrative, an inside look at the historian s craft that enhances this wonderful account of life in colonial New England.Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692. New Narratives in American History.

Richard Godbeer received The Other PDF Æ his BA from Oxford University in and his PhD from Brandeis University in He specializes in colonial and revolutionary America, with an emphasis on religious culture, gender studies, and the Escaping Salem: PDF/EPUB or history of sexuality Godbeer was born in Essex, England, and grew up in Shropshire and Gloucestershire He then lived in Oxford for three years as an undergraduate before crossing the Atlantic to Boston, Massachusetts, in Salem: The Other MOBI õ He moved to southern California in , where he taught for fifteen years at the University of California, Riverside He moved to southern Florida in the summer of to join the Department of History at the University of Miami He offers courses on a broad range of topics, including sex and gender in early America, witchcraft in colonial New England, religious culture in early America, and the American RevolutionGodbeer is author of The Devil s Dominion Magic and Religion in Early New England published in by Cambridge University Press and winner of the American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch Award for the Best First Book , Sexual Revolution in Early America published in by Johns Hopkins University Press and a featured selection of the History Book Club , Escaping Salem The Other Witch Hunt of published in by Oxford University Press , The Overflowing of Friendship Love Between Men and the Creation of the American Republic published in by Johns Hopkins University Press and The Salem Witch Hunt A Brief History with Documents published in as a volume in the Bedford Series in History and Culture Godbeer is currently working on a joint biography of Elizabeth and Henry Drinker, a Quaker couple who lived in Philadelphia during the second half of the eighteenth century He is grateful to have received research fellowships from a range of institutions, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and the Huntington Library in San Marino, California.

Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692. New
    Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692. New chilling wails of pain and fright Branch accused several women of bewitching her, two of whom were put on trial for witchcraft The book takes us inside the courtroom and inside the minds of the surprisingly skeptical Stamford townfolk Was the pain and screaming due to natural causes, or to supernatural causes Was Branch simply faking the symptoms And if she was telling the truth, why believe the demonic sources of the information, who might well be lying For the judges, Godbeer shows, the trial was a legal thicket All agreed that witches posed a real and serious threat, but proving witchcraft an invisible crime in court was another matter The court in Salem had become mired in controversy over its use of dubious evidence In an intriguing passage, Godbeer examines Magistrate Jonathan Selleck s notes on how to determine the guilt of someone accused of witchcraft an illuminating look at what constituted proof of witchcraft at the time The stakes were high if found guilty, the two accused women would be hanged In the afterword, Godbeer explains how he used the trial evidence to build his narrative, an inside look at the historian s craft that enhances this wonderful account of life in colonial New England."/>
  • ebook
  • 208 pages
  • Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692. New Narratives in American History.
  • Richard Godbeer
  • 24 January 2018
  • 1280535423

10 thoughts on “Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692. New Narratives in American History.

  1. says:

    Reads like a novel I thoroughly enjoyed this gripping narrative the extensive footnotes and resources sited in its appendices are a must have for anyone researching the subject of witch accusations in colonial New England The extensive sections telling us why the author chose to write each section the way he did, however, seem mostly unnecessary, but can easy be skimmed.

  2. says:

    A quick read about Connecticut s witch hunt Fun to learn about the history so close to my neighborhood

  3. says:

    First of all I love little books Second of all, I love historical little books surrounding this gruesome and paranoid time in our country s history This little book recounts the time period of 1692 with one community s divided rally to either burn the witch or let the accused go free all based on delusional finger pointing A great read for the season.

  4. says:

    Written by Richard Godbeer and published in 2004, Escaping Salem is a true story based on historical records, reconstructing a lesser known second set of witch trials that took place in 1962, in the small town of Stamford, Connecticut Historians of early America andspecifically witchcraft know that the number of people executed and even accused of this crime in Salem heavily outweighs the totals anywhere else in New England, throughout the whole seventeenth century These trials in Sale Written by Richard Godbeer and published in 2004, Escaping Salem is a true story based on historical records, reconstructing a lesser known second set of witch trials that took place in 1962, in the small town of Stamford, Connecticut Historians of early America andspecifically witchcraft know that the number of people executed and even accused of this crime in Salem heavily outweighs the totals anywhere else in New England, throughout the whole seventeenth century These trials in Salem continue to create large amounts of scholarly attention even to this day Godbeer s aim throughout his novel is to clarify and challenge the common assumption of New Englanders at this specific time, as irrational witch hunters This is entirely based on the panic that evolved around the Salem Witch Trials, when in fact the Stamford trial wastypical of trials at this time The events of Escaping Salem which Godbeer relives through this historical fiction narrative are extremely intense It s June 1692 and the Salem Witch trials were starting to begin Katherine Branch a seventeen year old maid was beginning to experience fits which alerted the people around her and could potentially indicate Kate being bewitched She periodically cried out, collapsed, stiffened, and fell into trances Following this she would then claim to see visions of witches in both human and animal form Abigail and Daniel Wescot called for Sarah Bates the local midwife to find a natural explanation and gave them some suggestions to try These were unsuccessful, the Wescot s themselves began to believe it was in fact witchcraft Many locals and neighbors helped with watching out after Katherine and for many this was also to see if she was truly bewitched or faking it Over the summer months she became able to identify and name one of these witches It wasn t until September that a special court was put into place and five different women were accused of Katherine s bewitchment Only two were held for full time trial, these being Elizabeth Clawson of Stamford and Mercy Disborough of Compo At first no verdict could be reached, so then informed by the Connecticut General Assembly to review the case a second time and reach a decision and this is what they did October had arrived and judgements were handed down Elizabeth Clawson was found not guilty whereas Mercy Disborough was sentenced to death after being found guilty Not long after this sentence Disborough s supporters appealed on her behalf and after six months the General Assembly acquitted her too Godbeer is correct in saying that this is a typical trial, Katherine was a young orphan who faced poor chances of ever marrying someone and was the type of young lady New Englanders would imagine witches wanting to recruit The house of the Wescots was a place where one could see potential bewitchment occurring, especially after years earlier when one of the Wescott s daughters had experienced the same fits Although witchcraft seemed like the most possible explanation for what was happening to Katherine there were of course other possible explanations Allegations turned towards older women generally with a reputation for being bad tempered or grumpy When these accusations occurred a significant amount of people came forward to defend the women and support their good behavior Godbeer s account of this series of events and the process of what occurred is a gripping historical fiction narrative was created from mainly readings of the evidence collected for the trial In the Afterword, Godbeer discusses how he avoided interpreting the case reports He presented the events that occurred as they were described These aspects included people s descriptions of suspected witchcraft, visions others had and even perceptions of Katherines fits He avoids explaining these events individually or by fitting them into a chronological narrative.What occurred in this time period and in this book are all evaluated and analyzed by the people in the narrative, who were the ones involved in all the events They all present different opinions and perceptions of what occurred in the series of events in the Salem Witch trials and evenimportantly the evidence used in the related cases This makes the narrative extremely interesting as well as easy to read because the explanations of events occurring are coming from people involved in the time period This causes you feel as though you are a part of the trials and makes the book a lot better to read This is a very smart and engaging technique used by Godbeer in his writing This narrative is not a traditional monograph it focuses on telling a story and includes history that isacademically focused on making an argument based on the evidence Therefore it can either be used for academics or just be read by anyone It differs from general history genre as it voices the opinions and ideas from those involved in the events that occurred many years ago Personally, I rate Richard Godbeers narrative, Escaping Salem The Other Witch Hunt of 1692 a four out of five and would definitely read it again

  5. says:

    Outside of the gleaming spotlight shining upon Salem s infamous witchcraft phenomenon lies the dim unexplored tales of small town common folk wrapped up in an occult mystery all their own Richard Godbeer s narrative historical account, Escaping Salem The Other Witch Hunt of 1692, highlights the town of Stamford, Connecticut and its impact in reversing the stigma surrounding the witch trials Instead of taking an academic writing approach, which typically centers around a strong thesis argument Outside of the gleaming spotlight shining upon Salem s infamous witchcraft phenomenon lies the dim unexplored tales of small town common folk wrapped up in an occult mystery all their own Richard Godbeer s narrative historical account, Escaping Salem The Other Witch Hunt of 1692, highlights the town of Stamford, Connecticut and its impact in reversing the stigma surrounding the witch trials Instead of taking an academic writing approach, which typically centers around a strong thesis argument, Godbeer uses his faithful analysis to convey the historical timeline, daily life, raw emotions, and personal opinions of the town s residents, from accusations to the trial s conclusion in fascinating detail It was these minute details on quarrels, ill circumstances, and religious dogmas that sparked an inner turmoil within myself to question if powers of the occult had truly cast a cloud over the seemingly unsuspected and undeserving young servant and her colonial town While Godbeer s ability to use words to show imagery is wonderful, my one criticism is that it feels at times he drags on his points to give his pages length through unnecessary descriptions and filler words.By allowing a glimpse into the sentiments of those accused and the lawmakers prosecuting the crime, Godbeer humanizes characters often hated Thus, he adds a uniqueness to this book by capturing a perspective often overlooked The telling of the character s backstories intensified my understanding of the moral weight upon the shoulders of magistrates, and the fate of both the goodwives and the town if an unjust verdict prevailed In regards to the law makers particularly, I enjoyed the moral significance Godbeer placed upon upholding the standards of the law whilst balancing the public s opinions of the courts When magistrates were interpreting the law, I felt Godbeer did a tremendous job of modernizing and simplifying colonial legal jargon, so that the reader could also come to a verdict themselves As a rational person, I respected and agreed with the magistrates claim that the evidence and testimonies were insufficient to convict Therefore, both women were innocent Despite the jury s ultimate decision, Godbeer s writing makes it clear that voices of reason were present within a time where claims ran wild and peers were quick to condemn That religion was not the sole factor in decisions, and the law upheld justice to its best decree All in all, I was truthfully satisfied to have read an account on witchcraft trials that did not end in tragedy and regret by the book s conclusion Thus, it left me to ponder If the law was so meticulously dissected and townspeople defended the accused instead of quivering in fear of reprisal, would other witch hunts throughout colonial history have concluded with the same positive result With questions lingering as the book comes to a close, Godbeer s afterword provides closure to readers with the discussion of the town s forward progress and both rud and confirmed outcomes of the trial participant s lives post witch hunt However, to say Godbeer s afterword is just a what happened next would discredit his historian skills The first aspect I particularly enjoyed of Godbeer s afterword, was his explanation on the social significance and interrelatedness of women and witchcraft Godbeer recognizes the societal stigma of women who defy norms and challenge authority Because unruly women threaten the existence of social structure as we know it, they are punished for their actions and shamed through derogatory names to keep them in line In 1692, a disorderly woman was deemed a witch Swap the first consonant in 2000 s and beyond, and the term is too inappropriate to put pen to paper Overall, I was appreciative of Godbeer tipping a nod of respect to women and other minority groups today who are not being burned at the stake, but are still suffering and facing discrimination and oppression through political, religious, and social based witch hunts Lastly, while I have enjoyed this book for many reasons, my favorite thus far has been Godbeer explaining why he chose to tell this tale It gave the book a personal touch that showed the extensive effort and research he put in to achieve a historian s standard of perfection While Escaping Salem The Other Witch Hunt of 1692 is not the typical academic read, it is addictive, fast paced, and enjoyable My fingers flew through the pages at a rate paper should catch fire It s numerous illustrations complement the descriptive, yet modern, text to take the reader s mind to the period itself Overall, I would recommend this read to scholars, witchcraft enthusiasts, and yearning history buffs alike

  6. says:

    This is a fairly straightforward recounting of the events of 1692 in Stamford, Connecticut, where a seventeen year old servant named Katherine Branch started having fits in April too early, in other words, for her to be influenced by reports of the goings on in Salem Godbeer chronicles her master and mistress attempts to find an explanation, either natural or supernatural, and the eventual uneasy settling on witchcraft the comparatively slow process by which Kate came to accuse Elizabeth This is a fairly straightforward recounting of the events of 1692 in Stamford, Connecticut, where a seventeen year old servant named Katherine Branch started having fits in April too early, in other words, for her to be influenced by reports of the goings on in Salem Godbeer chronicles her master and mistress attempts to find an explanation, either natural or supernatural, and the eventual uneasy settling on witchcraft the comparatively slow process by which Kate came to accuse Elizabeth Clawson and Mercy Disborough as her tormentors and Goodwives Clawson and Disborough s trial and eventual acquittal It s all very familiar if you ve read much of anything about witchcraft in colonial New England and probably a good place to start if you haven t The most interesting chapter is the examination of the magistrate William Jones notes on the legal requirements for a conviction Unfortunately, the least successful chapter is the last one, where Godbeer steps back from his narrative to provide historical contexts and some very rudimentary analysis Most of his best points are simplified from other authors particularly John Putnam Demos , and he doesn t do anything with them Also, although he does some comparisons with Salem, he doesn t discuss the points I thought were the most interesting 1 Kate Branch s affliction was not contagious, unlike the very similar fits of the girls in Salem No other persons joined her in her suffering and this despite the fact that Joanna Wescot, the daughter of Kate s employers, had suffered fits of the same sort a few years previously.2 The magistrates in Connecticut seem to have been following very different rules than the ones in Massachusetts, including the a priori disallowal of spectral evidence i.e., anything an afflicted person claimed to have seen or heard in one of her fits the insistence that there be two reliable witnesses for any piece of evidence and the clear focus on the covenant with the Devil as the prosecuteable offense, not the sufferings that the accused might or might not be inflicting on her neighbors Books about Salem spend a lot of time, of course, talking about the controversy over spectral evidence although Godbeer makes it sound as if there was no controversy, that the legal situation was unambiguous which my other reading has suggested was not the case , but the other two points also the point that judicial torture was illegal under English and therefore colonial law, which means a most of the confessions in the Salem trials were invalid and b the actual criminals were the authorities are things I haven t seen discussed before I would really have liked a littleunpacking of this particular issue.3 The attitude shown by the magistrates toward the afflicted parties were polar reversals of each other Whereas the afflicted girls in Salem were considered to be unimpeachable witnesses and were all but encouraged to perform at the trials of those they accused, Kate Branch was treated with extreme skepticism If she was present at the examinations of Goodwife Disborough and Goodwife Clawson, either she did not fall into fits or the magistrates disregarded her fits as evidence Partly, of course, they were determined not to follow Salem s terrible example, but I would have liked Godbeer to have discussed in greater depth the process by which, in Stamford, the focus shifted away from Kate Branch once the legal proceedings began.In general, this book is quite useful for throwing a spotlight on the moments at and ways in which Salem fell off the beam and into what can be quite accurately called hysteria Ironically given its title and Godbeer s stated aim of correcting our view of witchcraft trials in colonial New England I found that this, being a single case study and without any ground breaking analysis, didn t tell me anything new about the general subject of witchcraft in New England, but it DID highlight peculiarities of the situation in Salem and suggested new questions to ask

  7. says:

    Richard Godbeer s title, Escaping Salem, suggests that this story will present a different perspective on the popular history surrounding witch hunts and witch trials This narrative of a trail in 1692 indeed presents an exceptional view of historical evidence Escaping Salem follows the story of Kate Branch, a servant of the Wescot Family who is suddenly incapacitated by fits seizures After exhausting the limited medical and spiritual treatments available in that century, the townspeople de Richard Godbeer s title, Escaping Salem, suggests that this story will present a different perspective on the popular history surrounding witch hunts and witch trials This narrative of a trail in 1692 indeed presents an exceptional view of historical evidence Escaping Salem follows the story of Kate Branch, a servant of the Wescot Family who is suddenly incapacitated by fits seizures After exhausting the limited medical and spiritual treatments available in that century, the townspeople decide that Kate must be bewitched Lack of scientific and medical knowledge leaves humans to explain phenomenon in supernatural terms Kate goes along with this and names a total of six witches who are attacking her A trial ensues Throughout the trial, Godbeer guides the reader through the process of collecting evidence and explores the surprisingly interesting conflict about what makes legally valid evidence.In a word, Godbeer assesses the community as conflicted Godbeer makes every effort to show the thought processes of those involved with this trial and emphasizes that these are people who are struggling to explain the natural world not one dimensional, fanatical zealots The judge presiding over the trial constantly balances the public pressure to prosecute witches with the judicial standards raised as a result of the earlier Salem witch trials Godbeer treats the Puritan townspeople with respect and a lack of modern judgment as he attempts to explain them as a product of a seventeenth century worldview that mixed reason with the supernatural and which made sense to them Popular history is a difficult genre in which to write One must balance giving the reader a compelling story and dialogue while remaining historically accurate to the source texts Godbeer seems to master this task Godbeer s writing effectively weaves facts into an interesting tale while making it obvious whenever his writing turns to informed speculation An example comes in the very end of the book when he distinctly separates his speculation about one of the characters leaving prison with the actual fact of the matter I am sure if I took the time to comb through the original court documents this work is based on I could endlessly nitpick on small bits of inconsistent framing or context, but in general, Godbeer does a fine job of weaving a compelling narrative with the facts of the situation I only have three pieces of meaningful criticism for this work First, and most importantly, Godbeer seems to not expect you to remember every event that has happened in the book so he often repeats himself which I would argue adds unneeded length and confusion to the book This is a short book and repeating the details of situations can feel like padding Now this is hardly a large issue as this likely happens in order to alleviate my second issue The second bit of criticism I have is that it can be difficult to keep track of who is who Many of the characters share last names which is the main way of referring to them Now of course this will not be an issue for everyone so take this bit of criticism with a big grain of salt And finally, the last bit of criticism is that I wish Godbeer went intodetail about what the acceptable standards for prosecution of witches were before this hunt I can understand why he did not write that in though as it could go too deep into the realm of speculation and it does not quite fall into the focus of this book So, does Escaping Salem effectively show that colonists are not simply bloodthirsty zealots who are looking to find everyone they do not like as a witch Godbeer emphasizes this argument mostly with the descriptions of the townspeople Godbeer takes just about every possible opportunity to mention how conflicted the public are about this trial When it is decided that Kate is bewitched, Godbeer emphasizes that not everyone was even convinced of that basic premise Some of the public thought she was simply faking it for attention The chief judge s main moral dilemma even is over how to balance the perceptions of the public with the new judicial standards to decide whether someone is a witch These along with other examples in the test, supposing they are accurate of course, convince me that people back then werecomplex than you might think from the Salem witch trials In conclusion, if I were to give this book a rating it would be four stars out of five Despite my mild criticisms, I do think this is both a well written book and a compelling retelling of the witch hunts in Stamford The good here definitely outweighs the bad and I am satisfied with the book as a whole

  8. says:

    Escaping Salem is a book written by Richard Godbeer The story views a 1692, Puritan society in Stamford, Connecticut The people living in Stamford had already heard about the Salem Witch Trails and were weary to condemn people so quickly The story begins with a young woman named Katherine Kate Kate was a servant to Daniel and Abigail Wescot Kate begins to have fits which is suspected to be caused from witchcraft The book gives a detailed summary about how people determined a person was Escaping Salem is a book written by Richard Godbeer The story views a 1692, Puritan society in Stamford, Connecticut The people living in Stamford had already heard about the Salem Witch Trails and were weary to condemn people so quickly The story begins with a young woman named Katherine Kate Kate was a servant to Daniel and Abigail Wescot Kate begins to have fits which is suspected to be caused from witchcraft The book gives a detailed summary about how people determined a person was possessed by the devil, then who was causing the episodes using witchcraft, and how the suspected witches were tried and punished From reading this book, I gained a better understanding of people s views on witchcraft in the 1600s I assumed when a person was suspected of witchcraft, they were immediately hung and prosecuted This book educated me on the step by step process of evidence and trials related to witchcraft in the late 1600s First, I was intrigued at the beginning of the book I believe Godbeer did an excellent job in depicting the struggle Kate was having As I was reading, I started to understand the Wescot s fear and the torment Kate had felt I would like to further discuss the visit Joseph and Nathaniel Wyatt had visiting Kate Mr Wescot agreed to let the two men watch over her As she was doing her chores, she had a fit and the two men had to carry her inside Both men along with a few others had suspicions she was faking her fits and wanted proof she was being honest They were going to use a knife to carry out an experiment to prove her outbursts were legit The first time they brought the knife out, Kate immediately ran away in fear This was suspicious to both men and they did not want to be fooled by a woman She eventually collapsed again The men retrieved her and began the the experiment for a second time In that moment, she declared I m possessed by the Devil and he appeared to me in the henhouse in the shape of a black calf He wants me to be a witch and if I will not he ll tear me to pieces Godbeer, 31 After her proclamation, all three noticed a light dart through the room Godbeer then describes questions the men would have thought at that point From this scene, the reader truly understands the torment Kate was under Godbeer strategically describes what Kate and both men were feeling I empathized with Kate and her struggle She thought her convulsions were being caused by the devil and feared the unknown Her only way of defending her convulsions was to blame the devil This scene also shows how other people reacted to suspicion of witchcraft People were weary to believe in witchcraft and wanted proof They used certain experiments to gain proof and justification Escaping Salem did a great job describing a person possessed by witches I also now understand how townspeople reacted and felt towards individuals influenced by witchcraft At first, five women were going to be prosecuted Eventually three women were exempt, and only two were put on trial Elizabeth Clawson and Mercy Disborough were both put on trial, accused of witchcraft Before the trial, Godbeer explains the process gaining evidence that women were witches Godbeer gives several examples of evidence and describes how proof was assessed I will discuss one example that stuck out to me He explains that woman were asked to search Clawson and Disborough for marks of the devil After both suspects were searched three times, the woman could not agree if the marks were natural or marks of the devil They reverted to different tests but no one could agree on a consensus Because no conclusion could be agreed upon, the magistrates decided to hold the women in jail until they had a trial.The book gives an extremely detailed report on the trials and dives into the thought process the jury, magistrates, and even townspeople had Considering these aspects, the book receives four out of five stars The prosecuting process for witchcraft wascomplex than I had originally assumed Elizabeth Clawson was found innocent and was freed after the trials Mercy Disborough was found guilty and was kept in prison Several of Mercy s followers or fans discovered and error in her trial which eventually granted her freedom Godbeer defies my preconceived notion that suspected witches were normally hung Even after Mercy was found guilty, people tried to prove her innocence and help her gain freedom People demanded evidence of witchcraft and made sure there was substantial proof and agreement before condemning a person

  9. says:

    Escaping Salem, which was written by Richard Godbeer, takes an interesting look at what was going on during a witch trial, this time not in Salem This book, however, goes and it looks at the story of a woman farther south in Fairfield, Connecticut The book takes this historical event that was very prominent during the time and turned it into a story using assumed dialogue between the characters to tell the story This makes it unique to other historical reads Rather than just being a historic Escaping Salem, which was written by Richard Godbeer, takes an interesting look at what was going on during a witch trial, this time not in Salem This book, however, goes and it looks at the story of a woman farther south in Fairfield, Connecticut The book takes this historical event that was very prominent during the time and turned it into a story using assumed dialogue between the characters to tell the story This makes it unique to other historical reads Rather than just being a historical read, the story follows a narrative of a very young woman named Kate who was thought the be bewitched This book shows Godbeer s interpretation of the facts of the time period She was an indentured servant for a well respected family in the community who had similar issues with their daughter in previous years The book goes through what Kate, the family, and the rest of the community experienced during this worry some time This was frightening due to them having to believe that not only a member of the community was bewitched, but also that there was at least one witch in the community who wanted to do them harm I personally found the book interesting as I have always been intrigued by the Salem witch trials That being said I feel as if it is rare to hear of other cases during this time period in other locations This made itinteresting as it went through the personal experiences the people had to endure It goes through all the symptoms Kate was exhibiting and even provided a list of what the people during that time period would use to determine if someone was a witch or not It goes through the process of how the community came to the conclusion that the girl being bewitched along with the actual trials of the women they accused of bewitching the girl It discusses the common test that they would use to determine if someone was bewitched They would perform these tests and would see how Kate reacted to them when conducted on her It includes drawings of depictions of the trials along with actual documents that were produced during the time having to do with these trials I enjoyed learning about this historical event in the way that the author told it as it was unique for a historical read This book also indirectly showed what was going on during the time period It showed how the community would come together in times of need such as this one It was stated in the book that other members of the community would often stay and help watch over Kate while the family did other day to day tasks This showed the community effort and how they would all work together to protect Kate and get to the bottom of the situation This was a reflection of the time and how the community really depended on each other during these times of need The book gives a copious amount of information indirectly about how societies during this time period would work together and often need to lean on each other This allows the reader to go deeper than just a story of a young bewitched woman The only issue I had with this book was how repetitive it was, especially near the end during the trials of the accused The last two chapters said the same thing in about thirty different ways, which got very annoying Due to this I would give the book three out of five stars The beginning of the book was face paced and interesting as it followed the struggles of Kate along with the struggles of the family and community This changed drastically once it got to the issues of who bewitched her and how the community was going to deal with the women accused However, it did go into detail about the entire process the community went through to properly convict the two women accused It follows the story all the way up to what happens to the women who were accused of bewitching the young woman It also discusses why they believed it was the accused women who did it to her It shows how detailed the process was to actually convict a witch Overall, I would say that this book is a very good read, especially if you are interested in the witch trials As the book goes into great detail about how communities would deal with these issues As I stated previously, I would only give the book three out of five stars due to the repetition However, it provides full details of everything they had to do surrounding the case making it not only interesting but also very informative

  10. says:

    The narrative Escaping Salem The other Witch hunt of 1692 written by Ricard Godbeer is a historic mystery nonfiction narrative that takes place in Stamford, Connecticut This narrative tells the fascinating story of how Stamford community members come together to attempt to investigate the strange epileptic fits of a seventeen year old orphaned servant named Kathrine Kate Branch, whose masters are Mister and Mistress Wescot They believed to have become bewitched and tortured by various wit The narrative Escaping Salem The other Witch hunt of 1692 written by Ricard Godbeer is a historic mystery nonfiction narrative that takes place in Stamford, Connecticut This narrative tells the fascinating story of how Stamford community members come together to attempt to investigate the strange epileptic fits of a seventeen year old orphaned servant named Kathrine Kate Branch, whose masters are Mister and Mistress Wescot They believed to have become bewitched and tortured by various witches in the community Unlike in Salem, Massachusetts, the people of Stamford, Connecticut only wanted a reasonable explanation as well as to prosecute specifically the members of the community in which they believed to be witches beyond a reasonable doubt utilizing a methodalong the lines of our current judicial system as opposed to what eventually happened with Salem going almost into chaos and almost a mob rule They were witches, hence the section of title The other witch hunt of 1692 The story goes into great detail explaining how Kate is suspected by her masters and many community members to be bewitched and the steps taken by them to determine who or what the actual cause of this bewitching was The story outlines the constant struggles as well as the conflicts experienced by the community in determining the answer to the main question of Is Kate being possessed and tormented by various witches or if she is faking the entire thing to gain attention The book goes on to show how the townsfolk were actually skeptical of the accusations made by Kate as to who actually bewitched her The reader is almost forced to applaud the community efforts to maintain order amid the accusations made against their community members Overall, I think this narrative is very well written for being a relatively short story It has a fantastic storyline that also remains informative for the reader The story dives right into precise events that are not typically discussed concerning the era This is largely because the Salem witch trials beingstudied due to the barbaric and haphazard methods used to determine who was a witch in the later part of the Salem trials of Massachusetts The book is easy to follow the writers point, due to the simple text as well as clear articulable details about the characters as well as the events discussed Although I did find this book to be somewhat repetitive with the discussion of the events that occurred, I think the book does an outstanding job expressing the need the community felt to establish a guilt beyond a reasonable doubt that accused community members of witchcraft were indeed guilty of such crimes This is important to the reader to outline because it is made clear they didn t allow dubious evidence The narrative takes you inside the investigative journey and the minds of these skeptical townsfolk The community did not take lightly the accusations of the multiple women ultimately put on trial for witchcraft Mr Godbeer shows the legal thicket the judges had to sift through in the attempt to determine if this was based in natural causes or supernatural causes or the mind of a seventeen year old girl I believe that this book was both informative and accessible It gives you a general idea of how the witch trials occurred and the investigative process utilized by the community It takes a look at what constituted proof of witchcraft at the time Mr Godbeer does an excellent job utilizing the notes used by Magistrate Selleck on establishing said guilt The book is very clear and articulate as to the methods used by the community, but does so in a way that spares thesqueamish reader unnecessary gore and or gruesome details that add nothing to the actual content of the information Due to the above mentioned aspects evaluated in this narrative review of Escaping Salem The Other Witch Hunt of 1692 , written by Richard Godbeer, I believe the book isthan deserving of a four out of five star rating enhancing a wonderful account of life in colonial New England

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