Katherine Branch’s fits are presented by Goodbeer in an objective manner. He provides evidence from both sides of the argument. Abigail Wescot stated that “she neither liked nor trusted [Kate],” (15) giving Kate the status that she can be deceiving, also making her fits questionable. The fits could be accounted to a hereditary illness carried by Kate’s mother as she “had also suffered from fits-the falling sickness or epilepsy,” (17) rising more questions about the credibility of her symptoms. The fact that Kate had similar symptoms as the Wescot’s daughter didn’t help her case as she could simply imitate the fits. Joanna Wescot “had been plagued by spasms of pain and insisted that something or someone entered her room at night to torment her.” (15) Maybe Kate was motivated by a hunger to be loved, having attention payed to her or just pure laziness to be released from her duties as a servant. Another reason that could motivate Kate, could be the desire to please her master as she accused two women who had past disputes with the Wescots. When the neighbors started to experiment with her, she clearly failed the experiments even though she was supposed to be in a trace every time someone tried to...
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...ed, claiming that officials had used intimidation and, in some cases, physical torture to extract confession from them.” (104). The case in Stanford took more than a year, with different people in charge of the investigation. At the end, all women were clear of the accusation of witchcraft. That just proves that the Stanford court wanted enough evidence and didn’t bend to the will of the people even when the pressure to convict the witches was extremely popular.
Goodbeer presents an unbiased case of a witch hunt located in Stanford, Connecticut. Where he breaks the stigmas around witch trials, creating an important piece for American history. The case was not taunted with presumptions or wasted focus in trying to persuade the reader that one side was right. At the end, Goodbeer delivers a book full of reliable facts to the American public to form their own opinion.
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