Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692
The Salem Witchcraft Trials took place in the village of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The year 1692 seems to have been a particularly troubled one in New England. It was a time of political uncertainty, with Increase Mather at the English Court, seeking clarification of the colony's government. The French were waging war, and the Indians were on the warpath. Taxes were intolerable, the winter was cruel, pirates were attacking commerce, and smallpox
showed first 75 words of 2644 total
showed last 75 words of 2644 total
for vindication, since their names were exposed to infamy and criticism on the public record. The General Court at last declared that the use of spectral evidence was unlawful, and on October 17, 1711, reversed the attainders of twenty-two of the thirty-one convicted in 1692 (Declaration of Regret). The act was not perfect, for the Governor never signed it, and there is some suspicion, too, that the act was intended to protect the Salem lobby against civil suits.