« Stuff You Missed in History Class

What really happened in Salem?

2012-10-24 | 🔗

In 1692, girls in Salem Village experienced fevers, pains and strange behavior. A doctor deemed the affliction supernatural, and the girls pinned the blame on several people. These accusations led to a witch hunt -- but what was really to blame?

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by Maloney cookies work. Sometimes that longs in yoga classes just now in the cards, so maybe a cookie is peppered farm. Olano believes you should make some time for yourself once in a while. I know I have a particular space in my sewing room that I like to just take a few minutes. Every day, I sit there. I think about things it's kind of like metal. should an munching at the same time being it that yummy, beautiful cookie flavour makes it luxurious and delightful, and I always feel recharge. Mulatto cookies, are truly a treat worthy of your me time, their delicate and crispy, with luxuriously rich chocolate in the middle. You really want to keep these just for you so remember to save something for yourself with peppered farm Olano. Available now from my heart, a new series presented by T Mobile for business, the restless ones join me Jonathan Strickland
thy explore the coming technological revolution would be restless business leaders who stand right on the cutting edge. They know There is a better way to get things done, and they are ready, curious xx, cited for the next technological innovation to unlock their vision of the future in each episode will learn more from the restless ones themselves and dive deep into how the five g revolution could enable their teams to thrive, The restless ones is now available on I radio, up or wherever you listen to bide Welcome to stuff you missed in history class from Housetop works, dot, com, Welcome to the pike, understandably, my truck reporting and unfair, and we are continuing with our block its task and honour the hollowing season, and
how will we be, of course without which is one of the classic scary figures of how are we in a classic column, costume, nor yet no matter what age you are right, a classic hollowing costume. Here, I've done it, you have, did you do it as it as a child? I wish you d like the sexy which adult ass, I was a child, but I timed it pretty perfectly for when a lot of my baby teeth were coming out of our, and so I think I did and up looking half you have because I was nothing quite a few teeth at the time nice. So I mean where were joking about the costumes and the association with the season, but this is why, for this, Pied Cast were taking a look at one of the economy which related events from history, the Salem which trials. Now. This is the first time that this package is touched on the Salem which trials. We should say that right up front canvassing Josh did a show in two thousand eight about something called ergot
connection to the trials and we're gonna talk about a little that today too, but since this was only three minute podcast that they did, and there are new theories emerging all the time about the trials, including a new and that made headlines just this year, we figured they warranted a closer look. the twin that we still get requests for him, we still get requests for topic. Fleet covered, we figure. They may have second leg, though, of course especially, if you're from the? U s too? This is partly a topic. You do know you you might even know it well, but just ask yourself before we start how much do you really know about the sale in which trials any we both started? Did this before we got into it and- and you know the basic story, but it's amazing how many detail third get glass yeah thinking about Salem. In those events in sixteen ninety two for a lot of people conjures up these. Images of rebellious young women being burned at the stake, but that in
is really wrong in more ways than one first off it wasn't just women who are convicted of witchcraft and condemned to die in Colonial Massachusetts that year and secondly, burning, really didn't, have anything to do with it now more into that later, but before we give too much away and go into the theories of why the witch trials happened. To begin with, we need to recount the story for those of you who are totally share. What hath indoor, need some brushing. I thought it, though it all started in early. Sixteen. Ninety two in Salem Village, which is present day Danvers Massachusetts, Phelan Village, with eight miles from Pheelum town, which was the real he'd of local power and became what is today fella Massachusetts to town Feelin Village fill in town. You got it so in around January or February of that year: Elizabeth Paris, who is the nine year old daughter of sale and villages minister at the time, the Reverend Samuel, Paris and the
friends, eleven year old, niece, Abigail Williams? They both started to act very strangely for one thing: He started having these sort of raving fits. Would scream and they would throw things they also contorted themselves into strange positions. he made a weird sounds for exam It would run around on all fours and bark like a dog. They complained of fever, also and pain. So there was an element of actual sickness to those in the world. right so one by one other girls in town, including the eleven year old, an Putnam Mary Walcott, and seventeen year old mercy, Louis they all started to suffer from the same symptoms. So, of course, you can imagine all these girls in town not feeling well acting strangely, the adults in town are concerned and for they call him the doktor, William Gregg, to examine the girls he checked now, but
not able to figure out what's wrong with them. None of the remedies he attempt seem to help at all. So finally, he declares that the cause of the girls quote. Affliction must be something supernatural it certainly beyond his powers, as doctors must be from, on an at this time. That just hang knows this would have been acceptable. I mean it sounds kind like a cop out now, but according to an article by just Bloomberg, innocent in many people around this time, did believe and witches and witchcraft, and they thought that the devil gave, which has the power to harm people In exchange for the witches loyalty and just as evidence of of disbelief at the time, Bloomberg points to a witchcraft craze that swept Europe from the fourteenth through the seventeenth century, thousands of women were executed as well during this time so saying that these girls were affected by something or afflicted by something that was supernatural was not an unusual thing to say it all right
I mean another example of a guest. Evidence of this was that the cotton matter had recently published a work called memorable providences, which described a woman suspected of witchcraft and apparently one of her victims act, kind of the way, the girls and Salem Village, or acting according to Douglas Linder and an article on the University of Missouri, Kansas Goodies website on the trials, so the Salem girl seem to fit. What was that this point of a pattern for how which victims might act alma exactly So, ok, if these girls are the victim of witchcraft, say we buy this. Their acting just like victims of witchcraft are supposed to act, and you know we believe that this is possible. So who were the witches then had targeted them all
press. The girls named three women, as the guilty parties to do by the Paris is West. Indian slave Paris had been a planter and a merchant and Barbados so that their slave had come along with them. When they move to Massachusetts, it also accused was a beggar names. Sarah good and another woman named Sarah Osborne who had lived with her second husband before they were married, so she had kind of a scandalous pass. All the witches have to be fairer than a fairy just going into that out of these three ladys. How did they end up being the ones who were accused him in Dublin age? Sort of hinted at one of them, but did you know with an obvious choice because of her back Then it was said that she had told the girls voodoo stories, maybe even practised magic. Maybe the girl had participated in fortune telling activities
and perhaps even encourage this implies. I mean on the surface in specially looking back at, it seems like a activities for these preteen girls to be redo fortune telling foundling, pretty standard sleep over stuff and develop a video, but It's coming Anthony's Hollow this year? It is it's it's. Maybe our theme of the season, though, but anyway teach about her connection to these girls. In her background made her seem like a pretty obvious choice for them to denounce as a witch and according to an article by Benjamin see re in the Journal of American Academy of religious studies. There is actually no documentation that names the girls by name and confirms that they were involved in such activity. So it makes sense that if you actually look for the evidence to back it up, it's not really there
regardless the three women were arrested and they were thrown in jail on March the first they were interrogated by magistrates and an audience and they were asked things like. Are you a witch and have you seen Satan so point blank: it we have a very full. They were asked in a way that I mean. Obviously the people were asking them assumes that they were already guilty. They were also put to a kind of test the afflict girls, as they were known, were brought before them and started contorting and having their fits in the presence of these women, and this was seen as proof that they were in the presence of witches who were causing their strange me. Here and there, with testimony to people, testified against these three women villagers would come forward and offer evidence of things like my cheese, bad were my livestock died shortly after one of these Ladys had visited my home
very everyday life sort of things, but attributed to the presence of a witch. The women, of course denied guilt, but then somewhere along the way to budget something really unexpected. She confessed. She said that Tal black man who to the interrogators would have obviously been Satan, came to her and wanted her to sign his book and to do his work and she said she did sign that book and she admitted to being a witch and also said. several other women, including good and Osborne, were which is as well and that they had all flown around on pulls together. So that Women were kept in jail, and this confession the fact that she did confessed really did convince alot of people who were originally sceptical of the situation is difficult.
Pretty legit at this point, while right, because why would you confess to something if you hadn't done it, especially something that was this bad? Clearly, your life would be on the line right. So soon more girls became on the line right? So soon more girls became afflicted with these strange fettes and many more people were accused of witchcraft along the way, including a lot of women, for example, just to name a few Bridget Bishop, who is a six you're old tavern, owner known for being very gossipy and promiscuous off Susanna Martin, a woman who potentially stood to inherit a lot from her father, Rebecca nurse Seventy one year old woman, according to an article on Newsweek by large Shapiro as the matriarch of a large family. So we can see some similarities to some between some of these lemon here already right
but then probably one of the most shocking people to be accused was Dorcas good. Who is the four five year old daughter, ass there a good- and she was the first child to be accused and thrown in EL, according to Shapiro article, they had to make a special set of chains for her, because the usual shackles were too large a fan, tie on Bobby Brown welcomed my my podcast beyond the deity new show from I radio you probably Who is the founder of a cosmetics company, but I walked away in twenty. Sixteen and boy. Have I learned a lot. I've learned how to build a business, how to leave a business, how to take chances at a dive in and just try things, and I'm constantly trying to figure out how to keep myself healthier and should live a better life. But you know, I still have a lot of questions, so I'm gonna be sitting down with different people each week that I think we can all learn from
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we D Angelo and more if you watch the bachelor franchise, we're gonna, love hanging with us. What we get into the hot details of the shop that you may have other choices and bachelor I guess, but none that this funny and we truly are fans, listen to www, this rose on the Iheart, radio, app apple podcast or wherever you get your broadcast to the afflicted girls do you have to wonder how did this? For a five year old girl get accused in the first place that the afflicted girls in town said that Dorcas had bitten them had pinch them said that they had seen or doing not, even though these attacks torrent visible to anyone else. She apparently was in jail for eight months. Are her mother get carried off to the gallows? Really, maybe one of the founder parts of an already sad story
So, as we hinted in the intro, it wasn't just females who are accused, though several men were arrested at this time as well. One was tavern owner John Proctor, who becomes essential figure in Arthur Miller, the crucible. If he read that- and he really spoke at the time and like others who spoke out against what was going on, he paid the price for that Another man was the villages former Minister George Boroughs, who is living in vain in sixteen ninety two. He was accused of being the rings of all the which is just too. Here. This is an example of how it wasn't just people in Salem Village who are affected by this witch hunt. According to an article by Latin or in the Journal of Social history, of the total one hundred and fifty one, which is whose residence is known. They came from twenty five different communities in New England so now,
super local problem right, but we are getting a little bit ahead of ourselves. We're talking about holes and stuff, like that, of course accusation started flying in more and more people were locked up? They couldn't just be left to languish in jail for what, Thing jails were reaching capacity and things were starting to get out of control. So on May twenty seven. Sixteen ninety two governor, William Phipps, ordered the creation of a new court to hear the witchcraft cases. It was called the court of oil and terminal at which meant to here and to decide actively William Stoughton friend of cotton matter was appointed chief justice here, and the court was considered a kind of controversial even back temporary standards mainly because allowed something known as spectral evidence already found, sketchy. The added basically spectral evidence was testimony that consisted of things like dreams and visions. So, for example, as an accuser you could say you were visited or tormented by us,
back spectre, and that would be accepted were actually gonna. Have another pod cast coming up. That has some spectral evidence in it but according to raise article. This way, against quote thirty years of judicial, restrained in resolving complaints about witchcraft. I thought that was a really interesting point that these witchcraft trial of earlier days. it is intended that they had not allowed so much to be included in the trial right, which makes you dark to wonder even more about the motivations and things which will discuss later on bullying, and there is another issue about this court, another the court allowed, which was quite lax and quite out of the oars, Mary, usually accusers, were required to post a monetary bond for prosecution of their complaint, though that people from just filing countless frivolous complaints, accusing simply of witchcraft, just because
Your cheese went bad, an aquarium because you like that also carried out like them. You have something just every day annoyance become of legitimate check to file a complaint. If you can just, that Willy nilly that, according to raise article, the court of An terminator didn't require this monetary Bonn so there why? just an endless stream of accusations, arrest, hearing for petty grievances people had the hearings became something practical to almost like a show because they were open to the community, and at the hearings like those early interrogations, the so called afflicted. Girls were on display to help prove guilt or innocence, and the accused seldom had a chance in the situation
no, they really didn't the first one that went to court with Brigitte bishops case shows that the tavern owner right didn't admit to practising witchcraft and instead she said quote I'm innocent as the child. Worn. She was convicted, though, on June tenth, sixteen ninety two and with hanged on what later came to be known as gallows Hill and feel em and that's a point to to get into. In fact, all of the people convicted and the sound which Charles were hanged, no one was burned. Jake, that's a misconception. One man who is accused of seventy one year old child Corey was pressed to death with heavy stones because he refused to stand trial. He didn't want to be Victor because he knew that if he was his farm would go to the state instead of his relations he also wasn't about to admit to which arrived here, because he felt the whole thing was kind of reply. Yes,.
according to raise article, some folks followed titty Buzz example of confessing and naming other suspects, and you might wonder why they, wouldn't a name other suspects, why would they want to bring other people into this in its because they saw that this was a way to get your trial postponed indefinitely, but, of course that just perpetuated the whole thing, because more and more people are accused. out into the end where this is, of course, why Arthur Miller got interest business in this topic to compare it to think that were happening in his error, that many people were hanged, that some arming the difference between the the people not being burned at the stake? There were still a lot of people who are executed but by early fall. The atmosphere surrounding this whole, which has started to change and, according to Bloomberg, call both cotton mother in his father increase mother, who was,
that point President of Harvard spoke out against the use of spectral evidence and increase. Even wrote quote, it were better that ten suspected witches should escape Then one innocent person be condemned. Other people also began to point out obvious that settlement otherwise good respectable people couldn't all be witches. Mean come on. How many witches can there be in one town seems like a good point, another point made by boss Minister Samuel Willard was basically hey if the devil can make a spectre of the guilty person appear. Couldn't the devil also make the spectre of an innocent person appear to some to seems likely. Seems likely may be convinced by these points, or maybe, if you're, taking a more cynical point of view, because his wife was also question in regards to witchcraft the governor, ordered that spectral evidence, no longer be allowed in court. An auction
we're twenty. Ninth, he dissolve the court of oil or in Germany, are altogether replacing it with the superior court of judicature without the use of structural evidence. Only three out of fifty six accused people, infected and those three were eventually pardons, along with everyone else who was present at the time, ultimately there really was too little too late for a lot of people. Nineteen people, been hanged. One press to death, others had died in jail and, according to lenders, article, even a couple of dogs had been executed as witches accomplices of several people involved. Ultimately, including a judge and several jurors, later publicly admitted that they had been in the wrong they apologized and in seventeen or to a court even declared that the trials were unlocked. Fall and in seventeen eleven a bill was path that restored the rights and the good names of those who had been in cute accused go love backtracking pretty shortly after the trial, tap
that bill also gave six hundred pounds to the heirs of the accused as restitution. It did take tune in fifty years, though, for a massive chooses to formally apologized for what had happened in sixteen ninety two that have the nineteen fifty seven hey listeners. I wanted to tell you about a new podcast from my heart radio called the women hosted by rose red. It is fascinating and deep dive interview show where rose talks, to change makers in disruptors and she finds out what really drives them. So she will ask each of them. What was your first stand, and how do you navigate success and failure and really the cost of fighting for others. These interviews are really personal and their candid answer those there a little bit crass, but they are always really enlightening. You can listen to these firebrands and take away lessons. They will help you navigate your own life and for your own path. The Davy season includes women like Valerie, Plain, the former CIA agents, who is now running for Congress and whistle blower and pediatrician Doktor Mona Hannah, a teacher who exposed
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define destination to is planning out this whole trip or us yeah, and during that week we are going to see some of the great artists that we have talked about on this show many times, including Michelangelo's David. We are going to go to Tuscany, we're going to say: Peters Basilica. We are going to the Sistine Chapel, so it's going to be a fantastic trip, even get the whole list of places that we are going and information about. Looking at defined, destinations, dot, com, scroll down to the roman foreign strip, was stuffy, miss than history glass or come over to our social media. We have posts about it there too little time to get to the theories apology, These have been taken care of what happened, and it's interesting so much time. So many studies on this that scholars have yet
to agree. What really happened in film? What was going on? I mean, of course, the whole thing started with these girls acting funny and that's a pretty good place for for us to start. There is the ergot theory that Josh Candice discussed in their earlier episode. Ergot. If you haven't listen to that, that pod cast its fungus that thrive, in warp damp climates and can be found in rye, and if you eat foods that have been contaminated by it, it can affect your central nervous system, causing things like muscles fathoms and delusions and hallucinations. It contains one of the main ingredients in drug lsd, hence the hallucinations, and that might explain what some of the girls were seeing. Many say because it had been a cold winter and human spring and summer in sixteen ninety two that conditions were perfect for ergot contamination of rye grain. It's also said there had been a crop failure that could have forced the peace,
tends to eat freshly harvested rye, so Linda Corporeal came up with this theory published in science and nineteen. Seventy six. That ergot was to blame for the girls behaviour and some other clues point to this as a possibility, also for it. for some animals in the area I think, were also affected in sixteen ninety two. Some cows died and suspected that they might have been affected by the market, but according to an article by Alan Wolf in clinical toxicology. There are still a few and why ergot poisoning is an unlikely cause one? There is no. the of the crop failure there were none of the constitutional residual effects typical of argotiers touches weakness structure dementia. So, though, the after facts after the delusions path and then make them wine. Here, the symptoms of the girls, the afflicted
could be turned on and off depending on the audience. You know there in front of the three which is they ve, been the accused and and lay there are having their their affliction right. That's pretty good points here, because if you actually had ergot poisoning from what I understand, you can't just turn it on and off like that exactly other theories, of course, for what caused the sale in which trials, what cause these girls to act this way and for all these people to accuse their neighbours of witchcraft, they range. Gender related reasons. Political theories to local feuds raise article is all about religious tension, saying that it was a struggle between those who followed Reverend Paris and went to his church and the people in town who were non church going and that's where the struggle came from. There are also economic theories. One prevailing theory is that if you look at
a stale and village. You can divide it in half and on a one half of the acute, nurse, who are mostly farmers whose way of life was being threatened by the other committees aw and also more secular side of town and the merchant class who lived there, and this is the theory I remember learning about in schools. I knew I mentioned in our Bronte upset. I could think of that little map with the water supply going under the cemetery. I can think of this map to fail and village versus Salem town in how clear it was where the accusers lived and where the accused right well, the most recently it has to do with the weather. U S searchers, including Emily Astor, who is a university of Chicago Economics. Professor shows that the trials may have been caused by a spell of cold weather that occurred in sixteen ninety two, and so I mean why cold weather you're, probably wondering apparently witch hunts have often coincided with cold weather, because people fall
hard times during cold weather, they lose crops and I believe that which has can control the weather. So obviously the witches must be responsible for their parts. I think that something that mine, Christina Stepmom ever told you mentioned a while back in an absurd they did on, which is the hard times coming from external, problem finding bad weather, coinciding with the spike in which accusations I mean it makes sense if you look at it from from a big picture. But, of course, if we look at this story, it means a whole lot more now than what should happen in philammon. We talked a little bit about Arthur Miller play already, but it's too, fallen into our general vocabulary than it
as I mean, we ve talked about Arthur Miller a little bit in this package, and I know you and then mention ten and the Mccarthy as a mania Mccarthyism episode, because Miller used the trials is an oligarchy for Mccarthyism birds other ways in which we ve brought this into popular culture, so to speak as well. There's an article that aggression, items around and oh H, magazine of history and sheep, out how it's become over the years, just a way to its a metaphor that is used to just basically malign your opponents in any way. Anyone interesting example she brought up was the civil war and how confederates would use it as a way you cannot add characterize northerners and abolition ass. You know characterizing it as a witch hunt against them and we throw around the term witch hunt all the time to describing it though
clear what somebody means when they, when they use that term I dont know if we should talk about fail a little bit too used to live in Massachusetts. I'm sure you have have visited the town. Today I did, although I can't really speak to them much. I spent one really kind of short day there I didn't realize, as you should all know, if you ever visit Salem, especially during the whole whimsies, and you have to make reservations, to see a lot of the things that you want to see and I just sort of hops train with some friends and went out there, my first year in Massachusetts and wandered around the town wondering what to do and where everything was, and it was very and organise- and I think we just ended up like having ice cream or something I think I have similar advice. I went there with my now fiance. years ago- and you know I was expecting a witch for just the everywhere. I don't need to plan for the full. Just go see cool historical faith
I didn't realize- and this little naive of me that, of course there is a huge which entertainment industry, and sail other is in so he just got off the map. You're gonna go to be haunted which house not the real which ass I did fortunately end up at the at the main surviving historical site in Salem, which is the one of the judges homes. You can walk around. You can see where his kids Tina have the crib and everything that up and think he came home every night after those trials into this house, though it is, it is clear that there is some surviving stuff in this in this city from an event that happens so long ago of course there's nothing wrong with going to the commercial goods house. I think I would have settled worker in that line
We know how you feel now: thou Haunted House, that's true. I don't know. I said that I would have been freaked out, but it was during the daytime anyway, I would have been fine- are a foe move onto them. Certainly the way in what do we have today? Well, what we have another. gladly requested very frequent. They have other hosts card between the deterrent clan with a postcard here from listener rag and its from North Bay, Ontario and Canada, and he says high on our recent but back home I decided to bring my daughters to the Quincy Museum. Theirs is an incredible story, one hand. It was a story of great hope during a time of depression on the other story of exploitation and abuse of governmental power, and then Erhard cross their paths, and it would make this a great subject to cover your podcast. So thank you break
suggestion. Rest assured we get that all the time you people really want to hear about them. It is the really cool postcard, though it's when it's like a hand, tinted card and five little all in meant green dress with their doctor, I believe then it's a really cool way to get a request, because it sort of official visual reminder all the time like hey, do. Those were the topic so another third honour its on West. So thank you very much Gregg for that. We also got a really. we heard from Mongolia, which was from one of our peace corps, lesson listener wore an end. I just like giving a shot out to all the efforts we have listening mother in the peace corps and I'm not sure how many procedures have gotten from Mongolia before this evening scared, look pretty,
the late. So thank you thanks to everybody again his headquarters hard over the summer and keeps on sending them areaway too, and if you would like to send us a note in another way. You can email s, history had cast discovery, dot, com or you can look up on Facebook and were on Twitter is industry and we deal, as you might imagine, have an article on the sale and which trial seeking search for them and type in Berlin on our homepage W W how that works, dot, com, for more or less and thousands of other topics as a house for Stockholm,
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