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About this collection

The Salem witch trials began during the spring of 1692, after a group of young girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, claimed to have been afflicted by witches and accused several local women of witchcraft. As a wave of hysteria spread throughout colonial Massachusetts, a special court convened in Salem to hear the cases; the first person convicted of witchcraft, Bridget Bishop, was hanged that June. Eighteen others followed Bishop to Salem’s Gallows Hill, while some 150 more men, women and children were accused over the next several months. By September 1692, the hysteria had begun to abate and public opinion turned against the trials.

 

This collection of 29 documents, formerly named “The Essex Institute Collection,” was created from documents in the Harriet Putnam Fowler Papers donated in 1931 (MSS 672), and from donors W.D. Pickman (1865), Daniel White (1850), and Alfred Putnam Goodell (1934).  For digital images of the trial records on deposit from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, go to http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/archives/ecca.xml. For transcriptions of these documents, go to http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/texts/tei/swp.

 

Click here to browse all items in the Salem Witchcraft Trials Records collection.

 
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