The Devil in the Shape of a Woman Witchcraft in Colonial New England

Confessing to "Familiarity with the Devils" Mary Johnson, a servant, was executed by Connecticut officials in 1648.

Author: Carol F. Karlsen

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393317595

Category: History

Page: 394

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Confessing to "Familiarity with the Devils" Mary Johnson, a servant, was executed by Connecticut officials in 1648. A wealthy Boston widow, Ann Hibbens, was hanged in 1656 for casting spells on her neighbors. In 1662, Ann Cole was "taken with very strange Fits," and fueled an outbreak of witchcraft accusations in Hartford a generation before the notorious events in Salem took place. The witch-hunting hysteria that seized New England in the late seventeenth century still haunts us today. Why were these and other women likely witches? Why were certain people vulnerable to accusations of witchcraft and possession? The author draws a detailed portrait of the women who were persecuted as witches and in the process examines a society in transition, where fears and witch hunts were manifestations of much deeper sexual, religious, and economic tensions.

The Devil in the Shape of a Woman Witchcraft in Colonial New England

made witches unusual was not how they behaved but how their behavior was understood in New England's hierarchical society. As older women, in most cases as poor, middling, or unexpectedly well-off women, some of their attitudes and ...

Author: Carol F. Karlsen

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393347197

Category: History

Page: 384

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"A pioneer work in…the sexual structuring of society. This is not just another book about witchcraft." —Edmund S. Morgan, Yale University Confessing to "familiarity with the devils," Mary Johnson, a servant, was executed by Connecticut officials in 1648. A wealthy Boston widow, Ann Hibbens was hanged in 1656 for casting spells on her neighbors. The case of Ann Cole, who was "taken with very strange Fits," fueled an outbreak of witchcraft accusations in Hartford a generation before the notorious events at Salem. More than three hundred years later, the question "Why?" still haunts us. Why were these and other women likely witches—vulnerable to accusations of witchcraft and possession? Carol F. Karlsen reveals the social construction of witchcraft in seventeenth-century New England and illuminates the larger contours of gender relations in that society.

Witch Hunting in Seventeenth Century New England

See also Carol Karlsen, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England (New York, 1987), chap. 2; and “Appendix 5: Witches Accused in New England, 1620-99,” in Lyle Koehler, A Search for Power: The “Weaker Sex" in ...

Author:

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822382201

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 577

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This superb documentary collection illuminates the history of witchcraft and witch-hunting in seventeenth-century New England. The cases examined begin in 1638, extend to the Salem outbreak in 1692, and document for the first time the extensive Stamford-Fairfield, Connecticut, witch-hunt of 1692–1693. Here one encounters witch-hunts through the eyes of those who participated in them: the accusers, the victims, the judges. The original texts tell in vivid detail a multi-dimensional story that conveys not only the process of witch-hunting but also the complexity of culture and society in early America. The documents capture deep-rooted attitudes and expectations and reveal the tensions, anger, envy, and misfortune that underlay communal life and family relationships within New England’s small towns and villages. Primary sources include court depositions as well as excerpts from the diaries and letters of contemporaries. They cover trials for witchcraft, reports of diabolical possessions, suits of defamation, and reports of preternatural events. Each section is preceded by headnotes that describe the case and its background and refer the reader to important secondary interpretations. In his incisive introduction, David D. Hall addresses a wide range of important issues: witchcraft lore, antagonistic social relationships, the vulnerability of women, religious ideologies, popular and learned understandings of witchcraft and the devil, and the role of the legal system. This volume is an extraordinarily significant resource for the study of gender, village politics, religion, and popular culture in seventeenth-century New England.

The Devil of Great Island

This and the following paragraphs are based on Hall, ed., WitchHunting in New England, 238–39, 249–56; Demos, ... case in The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England (New York: W.W. Norton, 1987), 62–63, 262.

Author: Emerson W. Baker

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 0230606830

Category: History

Page: 256

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In 1682, ten years before the infamous Salem witch trials, the town of Great Island, New Hampshire, was plagued by mysterious events: strange, demonic noises; unexplainable movement of objects; and hundreds of stones that rained upon a local tavern and appeared at random inside its walls. Town residents blamed what they called "Lithobolia" or "the stone-throwing devil." In this lively account, Emerson Baker shows how witchcraft hysteria overtook one town and spawned copycat incidents elsewhere in New England, prefiguring the horrors of Salem. In the process, he illuminates a cross-section of colonial society and overturns many popular assumptions about witchcraft in the seventeenth century.

Gender and Witchcraft

47 Carol Karlsen , The Devil in the Shape of a Woman : Witchcraft in Colonial New England ( New York : Vintage Books , 1987 ) ; Marianne Hester , Lewd Women and Wicked Witches : A Study of ...

Author: Brian Paul Levack

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 081533673X

Category: Demonology

Page: 474

View: 333

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Researching Your Colonial New England Ancestors

... John Putnam Demos , Entertaining Satan : Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England ( Oxford : Oxford University Press , 1982 ) ; Carol J. Karlsen , The Devil in the Shape of a Woman : Witchcraft in Colonial New England ( New ...

Author: Patricia Law Hatcher

Publisher: Ancestry Publishing

ISBN: 1593312997

Category: Reference

Page: 170

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When the early colonists came to America, they were braving a new world, with new wonders and difficulties. Family historians beginning the search for their ancestors from this period run into a similar adventure, as research in the colonial period presents a number of exciting challenges that genealogists may not have experienced before. This book is the key to facing those challenges. This new book, Researching Your Colonial New England Ancestors, leads genealogists to a time when their forebears were under the rule of the English crown, blazing their way in that uncharted territory. Patricia Law Hatcher, FASG, provides a rich image of the world in which those ancestors lived and details the records they left behind. With this book in hand, family historians will be ready to embark on a journey of their own, into the unexplored lines of their colonial past.

Spellbound

Carol F. Karlsen, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England (New York, 1987), 24—27; 222-23. In these cases, in contrast to others that Karlsen analyzes, property was much less important as an issue, ...

Author: Elizabeth Reis

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN: 9781461642565

Category: Social Science

Page: 301

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Spellbound: Women and Witchcraft in America is a collection of twelve articles that explore crucial events in the history of witch-hunting and its demonization of women in American and American women's own use of witchcraft as a source of identity and strength, as well as the complicated relationship between the two. Beginning with the accused 'witches' of colonial America, Spellbound extends its focus through the nineteenth century to explore women's involvement with alternative spiritualities, and culminates with examinations of the contemporary feminist neopagan and Goddess movements.

Converging Worlds

Carol F. Karlsen, The Devil in the Shape afa Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England (New York: Norton, 1987), 47. On gender roles in Puritan New England, see Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives af Women ...

Author: Louise A. Breen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781136596742

Category: History

Page: 648

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Providing a survey of colonial American history both regionally broad and "Atlantic" in coverage, Converging Worlds presents the most recent research in an accessible manner for undergraduate students. With chapters written by top-notch scholars, Converging Worlds is unique in providing not only a comprehensive chronological approach to colonial history with attention to thematic details, but a window into the relevant historiography. Each historian also selected several documents to accompany their chapter, found in the companion primary source reader. Converging Worlds: Communities and Cultures in Colonial America includes: timelines tailored for every chapter chapter summaries discussion questions lists of further reading, introducing students to specialist literature fifty illustrations. Key topics discussed include: French, Spanish, and Native American experiences regional areas such as the Midwest and Southwest religion including missions, witchcraft, and Protestants the experience of women and families. With its synthesis of both broad time periods and specific themes, Converging Worlds is ideal for students of the colonial period, and provides a fascinating glimpse into the diverse foundations of America. For additional information and classroom resources please visit the Converging Worlds companion website at www.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415964999.

The Devil s Dominion

Female healers were much more likely to be accused of witchcraft than were their male counterparts , partly because ... 45 Carol Karlsen , The Devil in the Shape of a Woman : Witchcraft in Colonial New England ( New York , 1987 ) , pp .

Author: Richard Godbeer

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521466709

Category: History

Page: 272

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A detailed look at the folk magic used by settlers in early New England.

Damned Women

Carol F. Karlsen, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England (New York, 1987), 47; Michael Wigglesworth, “God's Controversy with New England,” in Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1871–1873, ...

Author: Elizabeth Reis

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9781501713330

Category: History

Page: 240

View: 602

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In her analysis of the cultural construction of gender in early America, Elizabeth Reis explores the intersection of Puritan theology, Puritan evaluations of womanhood, and the Salem witchcraft episodes. She finds in those intersections the basis for understanding why women were accused of witchcraft more often than men, why they confessed more often, and why they frequently accused other women of being witches. In negotiating their beliefs about the devil's powers, both women and men embedded womanhood in the discourse of depravity. Puritan ministers insisted that women and men were equal in the sight of God, with both sexes equally capable of cleaving to Christ or to the devil. Nevertheless, Reis explains, womanhood and evil were inextricably linked in the minds and hearts of seventeenth-century New England Puritans. Women and men feared hell equally but Puritan culture encouraged women to believe it was their vile natures that would take them there rather than the particular sins they might have committed. Following the Salem witchcraft trials, Reis argues, Puritans' understanding of sin and the devil changed. Ministers and laity conceived of a Satan who tempted sinners and presided physically over hell, rather than one who possessed souls in the living world. Women and men became increasingly confident of their redemption, although women more than men continued to imagine themselves as essentially corrupt, even after the Great Awakening.