HIS378: Historiography & Historical Methodologies
Instructor: Stacy Manning
November 26, 2012
In the colonial American time period during the seventeenth century there were many important sources that have come up missing. Some are just missing and others destroyed. The modern- day historians have the task of trying to find this lost information to determine the facts about the past. Some of the missing facts are about the economic and population problems. The Salem Witch Trials were also some information that had to be studied by the historians.
The first question that will be answered is to what extent does the survivability of sources (or lack thereof) affect the ability of historians to reconstruct and interpret the history of this period? The historians study the exact events that happened during the Witch Trails and find that some of the information is missing. They have come across some people that their families lived during this time and asked questions to get to the truth. This would be considered a secondary source because the person telling the story got the information second-hand. Then the historian would have to come up with facts that proved the information they received was true.
In Salem there would be some records of the Salem Witch trials but it was not easy for the historians to prove if it was fact or fiction. A lot of the people put on trial were innocent, but because they acted strangely they were put on trial and hung at the stake because of it. Not a lot of records were made during this time so the facts could not always be proved. There were some people that kept...