Salem Witch Trials Essay

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Although many events contributed to the infamous Salem witch trials, irrefutable evidence supports that the Indian War caused the trials. Their time in Indian captivity affected many of the accusers and the accused psychologically. The politics which accompanied the war landed some highly ranked men in trial. Native Americans exhibited a far greater threat than any other earthly or supernatural force the Puritans knew.
The Indian War occurred at two separate junctures: King Phillip’s War in 1675, and King William’s War in 1689. When three Wampanoag Indians murdered a Christian Indian, Puritan officials executed them in 1675. In retaliation, the Wampanoag launched a vicious attack on the Puritan colony of Plymouth, thus instigating King Phillip’s …show more content…

The Native Americans forced the afflicted girls to assimilate to their culture, and they more than likely observed many of the Indian traditions. The fits which tormented the accusers parallel symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, most likely triggered by the extensive period spent with the Indians. Ann Putnam, the first afflicted girl to make an accusation, was an Indian War refugee. As a veteran of King William’s War, Ann Putnam’s father may have contributed to her accusations against some of the men who associated with Native Americans, such as John Proctor. Proctor, famously accused of witchcraft after making his disbelief of it publicly known, also sold alcohol and spirits to Indians. Another man, George Burroughs, left Salem to settle in Maine immediately before the Indian attacks. His convenient departure attributed to his suspected involvement with the enemy. Burroughs preceded Samuel Parris as minister in Salem Village, and later became the “alleged leader of the witch conspiracy.” These men did not fit the stereotypical witch, making it evident that the politics of the Indian War played an immense role in the witch …show more content…

The Native Americans truly frightened them. One tormented witch confessed that the Devil promised her that “if she would serve him, she should be safe.” Witches and accusers alike had a fear and anxiety regarding the indigenous population, and evidently took extreme measures to protect themselves.
The first accused witch in Salem descended from Native Americans. Tituba lived as a slave in Samuel Parris’ household. Her customs and culture were foreign and unknown to the Puritans; as an outsider Tituba served as a prime suspect for a witch. Tituba’s accusers, however, were refugees of the Indian War. One can clearly distinguish a connection between the Indian War and the witch trials. Tituba brilliantly confessed to witchcraft, and her accusers slowly recanted their allegations. Because the Puritans believed that the Devil retained a hand in their worldly affairs, they believed that the Devil caused all their misfortunes. The distinct correlations between the Indian War and the Salem witch trials, however, proved that perhaps the Native Americans boasted a greater threat than Satan. The Indian War affected the Puritans physically, psychologically, and politically. The Indian War, inevitably, instigated the Salem witch

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