America Bewitched: The Story of Witchcraft After Salem - download pdf or read online

By Owen Davies

The United States Bewitched is the 1st significant heritage of witchcraft in the USA - from the Salem witch trials of 1692 to the current day.

The notorious Salem trials are etched into the recognition of recent the US, the human toll a reminder of the hazards of intolerance and persecution. The chorus 'Remember Salem!' used to be invoked often over the consequent centuries. As time handed, the pains turned a milepost measuring the gap the US had advanced from its colonial prior, its sufferers now the righteous and their persecutors the shamed. but the tale of witchcraft didn't finish because the American Enlightenment dawned - a new,
long, and chilling bankruptcy was once approximately to begin.

Witchcraft after Salem was once not only a narrative of fire-side stories, legends, and superstitions: it persevered to be an issue of existence and loss of life, souring the yank dream for lots of. we all know of extra humans killed as witches among 1692 and the Fifties than have been finished sooner than it. Witches have been a part of the tale of the decimation of the local americans, the event of slavery and emancipation, and the immigrant event; they have been embedded within the non secular and social background of the rustic. Yet
the heritage of yankee witchcraft among the eighteenth and the 20th century additionally tells a much less annoying tale, person who exhibits how varied cultures interacted and formed each one other's languages and beliefs.

This is for that reason even more than the story of 1 persecuted group: it opens a desirable window at the fears, prejudices, hopes, and goals of the yank humans as their nation rose from colony to superpower.

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Extra resources for America Bewitched: The Story of Witchcraft After Salem

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It was in the drama of the courtroom that the motives behind accusations were often laid bare in detail. It is the newspapers that provide us with such accounts. In 1847 the New-Bedford Mercury printed a brief thought-piece inspired by the continued belief of witchcraft in Yorkshire, England, as reported in English newspapers. 37 But he was forced to change his mind after reading about a case of witchcraft from Maine in one of the state’s papers, the Northern Tribune. The journalist came to realize that, in this enlightened day, and even in this State, there are many persons who as firmly believe in the existence of witches, as they do in the truth of the Christian religion – men, too, of good common sense in every other respect.

He has thousands of signs, omens, cures, and beliefs that are a continual source of annoyance to him, and perpetually keep him in a state of dread’. 29 The nineteenth-century American sense of superiority that consigned witchcraft to dark-skinned ‘heathens’ also extended to the ‘old world’ people of Europe. Dripping with condescension, the St Louis Republic opined in 1896 that ‘Most people believe that witchcraft among civilized people ended when the “Salem witch mania” ran its course and died out in the year 1692.

There was no great panic, no appetite for the destabilizing effect of systematic persecution at an already precarious time. The movements certainly fed from the widespread fear of witchcraft generally, but were alien in their pursuance. Repugnance at Handsome Lake’s involvement in the killing of an accused witch in 1809 chipped away at his support. No more than sixteen witch executions can be found in the sources regarding Tenskwatawa’s campaign. Most of his accusations against other chiefs did not stick.

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America Bewitched: The Story of Witchcraft After Salem by Owen Davies

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