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Monday, 31 May 2010

Cotton Mather And Salem Witchcraft

Cotton Mather And Salem Witchcraft Cover

Book review: Cotton Mather And Salem Witchcraft by William Frederick Poole

Nearly two centuries have passed away since the saddest tragedy of early New England history was enacted at Salem and Salem Village. Instead of fading out from the memory of men, the incidents of Salem Witchcraft are receiving more attention to-day than at any former period. Tlie fact of its being the last great exhibition of a superstition which had cursed humanity for thousands of years, and that every incident connected with it has been preserved in the form of record, deposition, or narrative, impai*ts to it a peculiar interest, and one which will be permanent. It is not as a record of horrors, but as a field of psychological study, that the subject will retain its hold on the minds of men. More victims than suffered at Salem were hurried to the gallows by witchcraft, year after year, in a single county of England, during the seventeenth century; but the details of English trials, then so common, were generally not thought worth preserving. Probably as much authentic and reliable information resi)ecting the Salem proceedings is extant as of the trials of the thirty thousand victims who suffered from the same cause in England.

How did the Salem delusion originate ? 'WHio was resiwnsible for it ? Was it wholly the result of fraud and deception, or were there psychological phenomena attending it which have never been explained ? Is there any resemblance between the proceedings of the " afflicted children" of Salem Village and modem spiritual manifestations ? Were the clergy of New England, or any other profession or class in the commmiity, esiHScially implicated in it ? Any one of these questions affords a theme for discussion. We propose, however, to i^eview the incidents of this fearful tragedy for the purpose of re-examining the historical evidence on which, in the i)opular estimation, so large a portion of the culpability for those executions has been laid upon one individual.

Download William Frederick Poole's eBook: Cotton Mather And Salem Witchcraft

Free e-books (can be downloaded):

Paul Huson - Mastering Witchcraft
John Stearne - A Confirmation And Discovery Of Witchcraft
William Frederick Poole - Cotton Mather And Salem Witchcraft