Escaping Salem Book Review
Escaping Salem : The Other Witch Hunt of 1692, by Richard Godbeer. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. In the city of Stamford year of 1692 there begins numerous odd events that are hard to make sense of or even explain for that matter. In colonial times the state of Connecticut isn’t automatically associated with any evil doings or witchcraft, but this wasn’t always the case for Stamford in the county of Fairfield. Richard Godbeer’s totally neutral very detailed explanation and description of the Salem Witch trials gives us a needed insight of colonial period law and the running of the court systems. The story begins in 1692 of the household of Daniel and Abagail Wescot. Katherine Branch was their seventeen-year-old maidservant that was defiantly going through either very dangerous evil possessions or was giving the town of Stamford a show they would never forget. On two specific periods Katherine described the Devil himself taking form of a black calf and a white dog. Katherine started to illustrate signs of some sort of possession from the Devil himself or as we find out later by actual witches. On many occasions Katherine would have horrific fits where she would cry out her guilty parties’ names that were causing her to go through these agonizing times but also moan, appear paralyzed, and sometimes have terrifying convulsions. Daniel Wescot was no stranger to the behaviors Katherine was exhibiting. It was not long before that the Wescots own daughter exhibited similar behaviors and insanity. Times at the Wescot household became very hard to manage because of the daily duties that needed to be attended by the family, but now this new addition of care needed by Katherine. At first the Westcots had a midwife to help the situation which worked for a while, but as time went on she needed to be watch upon at all times. At this point the Westcots had to ask for a helping hand from their neighbors so they could work or just to get...
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