30 March 2015

Online Primary Sources of the Salem Witch Trials

There was some buzz on Facebook, last week, about HBO's, The Devil You Know, series that is in production. Normally, I would be excited about a historical television show, but I am skeptical about the portrayal of this period in American History.  The last portrayal via television was disappointing and I don't have high hopes at this time for HBO's. If you want something based on fact and thorough research, the book, A Storm of Witchcraft, is one of the finest.  I have written about the book, here.

Baker's book provides excellent notes and references that enables the reader to find out more about the witch trials, many with primary sources.  One, I was especially interested in, was found at the website, 17th Century New England, with special emphasis on Essex County Witch Hunt of 1692 compiled by Margo Burns.

First, I went to the witchcraft section, which has 109 links to explore.  I was interested in the "Guide to Online Primary Sources of the Salem Witch Trials. One will find many primary sources pertaining to the Salem Witch Trials at this website.  Next, I was interested in finding more on my ancestor, Mary Clements Osgood, which I did on the List of Accused People, which is shown below. Mary Clements Osgood was found on page 5 of 7.

The information provided on this chart shows Mary Clements Osgood involvement with the Salem Witch Trials.  Checks for Mary Osgood are examination, imprisonment, grand jury or indictment, jury trial and restitution.  No checks for complaint or arrest, evidence, conviction, and execution. The website provides more information on the meaning of each category below the chart.

Additional information can be found by clicking on Mary (Clements) Osgood's name. Ten links of sources and images are available for Mary Osgood. You access this information by clicking on the Numbers to the left.  If an image is not available of the actual document, a thorough source citation is provided for further research.  I have spent many hours looking at documents pertaining to the Salem Witch Trials.

If you are looking for primary sources for the Salem Witch Trials, look no further than the Margo Burns 17th Century New England website. It is a comprehensive website with lots of excellent resources.

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