Escaping Salem : The Other Witch Hunt Of 1692 By Richard Godbeer Essay

Escaping Salem : The Other Witch Hunt Of 1692 By Richard Godbeer Essay

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Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692 by Richard Godbeer. This book was published in 2005 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Richard Godbeer examines the witch trials in the seventeenth century. When a young girl Katherine Branch of Stamford, Connecticut is stricken with unexplainable convulsions, her master and mistress begin to think it is caused by something supernatural. Godbeer follows the incident without any bias and looks into how the accusations and trials are handled by the townspeople and the people in charge of handling the trails. Godbeer’s purpose of writing this book is to prove that Salem was not the norm. Godbeer’s approach of only one using one case, slightly weakens his effectiveness that Salem was not the norm.
Kate Branch a seventeen year old girl, living in Stamford, Connecticut is suddenly stricken by strange visions, pain, and convulsions that began in April of 1692. Kate lived with the Wescot family because her parents were deceased and she had no money and nowhere else to go. She was a servant to the family. Once she began having issues the Wescot’s and the town thought it could be many things, a medical condition, mental illness, faking it or something supernatural. Witchcraft. Kate began to name the women who were tormenting her. Some people in the town sat with Kate to see if her fits are legitimate and if they could be witchcraft. Many of these people believe Kate and begin to tell others that she is truly bewitched.
Witchcraft was taken very seriously. The townspeople gathered the women accused of bewitching Kate and put them on trial. Others who have been affected by the women speak out during the trial and tell about their encounters and the supernatural events that took place. The prob...


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... witch trials in New England. Many believe that all people accused of witchcraft were just hanged because they were accused, they also think that they were not put through a fair trial, which most were.
To conclude, Godbeer’s use of primary sources, the narrative approach and the subject make the book easy to read, and to get useful information out of the text. The book helps the reader understand how a witch trial was more likely to be handled and the outcome. Godbeer overall does a good job at getting these points across. The narrative approach is more appealing to readers rather that just facts and figures. It helps the reader understand and connect with characters in the book. Adding additional sources and other cases would have added to the story. All in all the book was effective and the reader is able to have a better understanding of how the trials worked.

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