• Thu, Mar 1 2012

This Day In Women’s History: The Salem Witch Trials Began

As part of our celebration and coverage of Women’s History Month we will be highlighting moments in women’s history on the anniversary of when they actually occured.

Oh the Salem Witch Trials. I wonder if back then women thought that their persecutions to practice rituals and dark arts would be the fodder for so many popular movies and TV shows. I doubt it. In 1692 on this day, three women were brought before local magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning what would become known as the Salem witch trials.

According to Today In Women’s History, in Salem during the winter months, two young girls, including the daughter of Reverend Samuel Parris, began having strange epileptic-like fits but there were no signs of physical ailment. When other women in the village began to show the same symptoms, a search commenced to find the person or person(s) responsible. And, of course, it was the three slightly different women in the village that got the finger pointed at them: Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba (well with a name like Tituba, can we really blame them?) Sarah Good was a begger, Sarah Osborne didn’t attend church meetings and Tituba, as a slave of a different ethnicity than the Puritans, was obviously a target for accusations.Not going to church and begging for food? Boy, I would not have survived long in Salem.

All of these outcast women fit the description of the “usual suspects” for witchcraft accusations, and no one stood up for them. These women were brought before the local magistrates on the complaint of witchcraft and interrogated for several days, starting on March 1, 1692, then sent to jail. And so was born the Salem Witch Trials. Thank God women don’t get persecuted and outcast by a bunch of men anymore for being powerful.

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