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Historiography of Puritanism and Witchcraft

Created by
Haylee
Node Type Description Visible
Carol Karlsen Gender
Carol Karlsen - Gender
(http://paganpresence.blogspot.com/2012/04/in-search-of-history-salem-witch-trials.html)

The Devil in the Shape of a Woman (1987)

Carol Karlsen's book, "The Devil in the Shape of a Woman," allows her readers to dive into Salem both before and during the outbreak of the witch trials of 1692. The overarching argument of Karlsen's text showcases how the Colonial witch craze was a direct correlation of Puritan sexism against women who attempted to gain power within Early American societies. Karlsen explicitly states in the preface of her book that "the history of witchcraft is primarily a history of women" and questions why most women were witches in the Colonial period opposed to men. [1] Karlsen also emphasizes that that previous scholars either completely ignore the factor of gender altogether or only slightly mention it in their overall explanation of the Salem witch trials. Karlsen contributed to the scholarship of Puritan involvement with witchcraft as she was the first to correlate the women who were accused of witchcraft and how they did not have a male heir to inherent land after the patriarch of the family died. She argued that women who gained land inheritance posed as a threat to the Puritan society's order of keeping women as second class citizens who do not have any monetary power. Karlsen used a plethora of evidence in order to enhance her argument's validity. She used sources such as Essex/Salem county records, deeds, trial transcripts, wills, other historians and statistical tables provided throughout the book to provide a visual synthesis. Karlsen's book was published in 1987 which can explain her gendered approach to Puritanism and the Colonial witch trials as the second wave feminist movement was underway. Karlsen's argument, contribution to witchcraft scholarship, and the evidence she used has landed her as the main scholar for a gendered approach on this network analysis. Karlsen's work has inspired many other's to take a gendered approach to Puritanism's involvement in the witch trials, which explains why she is the main node for the gendered perspective.

[1] Carol F Karlsen, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England (New York: Norton, 1987), Xiii. 
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Elaine G Breslaw Race
Elaine G Breslaw
(http://www.elainebreslaw.com/about/)

Tituba's Confession: The Multicultural Dimensions of the 1692 Salem Witch-Hunt (1997)
Historian Elaine Breslaw in the article mentioned above provides a racial component to the Network involving Puritanism and witchcraft. According to Breslaw, Puritan "fantasies, fears, and cultural biases" e.g. racism all contribute to the explanation of why Salem experienced such intense witch hunts. [1] Breslaw's argument therefore, includes Tituba's confession and how it fueled Puritan's fear to expand and intensify their searches for witches. Breslaw also makes note of religious perspectives as the Puritans were highly paranoid that Satan infiltrated their town and many people were following his legion. Breslaw includes many forms of evidence to assist her argument including quotes from Tituba's confession, Cotton Mather's interpretation of the event, and other scholars that have studied Puritans in the past. Breslaw's text, in addition to the religious components, also attributes the reaction to Tituba's confession to the social strains between the whites and minorities living within New England.  Her racial connections takes a step further when she explains the "witchcake" that Tituba allegedly created for Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Parris which did not fall under the Puritan's definition of what religion looked like as it stemmed from Tituba's culture. [2] Here we see a moment in which the definition of religion is not defined in the same manner that Puritan social and religious ideologies connect with and therefore is then associated with witchcraft.  Breslaw's article took numerous approaches including racial, social, and religious perspectives which furthered the scholarship of Puritan involvement with witchcraft trials.
 

[1] Elaine Breslaw, "Tituba's Confession: he Multicultural Dimensions of the 1692 Salem Witch-Hunt," Witches of the Atlantic World: A Historical Reader & Primary Sourcebook (2000), 444. [2] Breslaw, " Tituba's Confession ," 446.
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Elizabeth Reis Gender
Elizabeth Reis- Gender
https://macaulay.cuny.edu/directory/elizabeth-reis/

The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England (1995)
Elizabeth Reis in her article, 'The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England," in addition to Karlsen, posed the question: why were women the primary targets within the Colonial witch trials? Reis' answer to this question appears in her argument that involves the Puritan's ideology that the soul was gendered as feminine as it passively waited for God such as a female Christ bride.[1]  Thus, with Puritans believing that both men and women's souls were feminine, the body was the "primary battleground in struggle between the devil and the individual souls" between the masculine God or Devil.[2] Therefore, Puritan justification for sending more women than men to trial was due to their notion of women being the "weaker vessels" and could then be penetrated easier by the devil. [3] Reis supports her argument with a plethora of sources including trial transcripts from Salem, the Malleus Maleficarum, testimonies from Cotton Mather/Reverend Henry Smith/John Winthrop, 17th century drawings, and other historians. [4] Reis is able to infer that Puritans believed that everyone's soul was feminine by observing the feminine pronouns given to people's souls in primary sources.[5] By using a range of sources from different locations and peoples, her argument including the Puritan view of a feminine soul being easily seduced due to female's weaker body is showcased through her evidence. The concept of a feminine soul being applied to both genders was a major contribution to the scholarship to witchcraft to explain why witches were the primary targets of the Colonial trials. 

[1] Elizabeth Reis, "The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England," 16. [2] Reis, "The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England," 17. [3] Reis, "The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England," 15 [4] Reis, "The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England," 23.  [5]  These authors include Carol Karlsen, Mary Beth Norton, Stephen Nissenbaum, and Paul Boyer. In addition, she also took testimonials from both Bridget Bishop and Mary Bridges' trials on pages 29-30.
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Emerson W. Baker Religion
Emerson Baker
http://w3.salemstate.edu/~ebaker/Emerson_Baker_240x270.jpg

The Devil of Great Island : Witchcraft and Conflict in Early New England (2007) 
Bakers overarching argument involved the intensity for the witch trials being fueled by Puritan's fear of their own religious beliefs and the fear of outside religion's influence over the Puritan people. For example, the Massachusetts Puritans believed that the land in which they lived on was a "wicked place in need of moral reformation" as there were a lack of ministers and a fear that the "region would revert to paganism of Catholicism." [1] This argument was supported by quoting other scholars such as Keith Thomas/Malcom Gaskill, primary sources such as Cotton Mather/Samuel Parris, religious tests, and court documents. While I would argue that his argument did not necessarily add anything new to the scholarship of witchcraft, I do believe that his in-depth arguments and research allowed this book to help expand people's knowledge of the Colonial witch trials. This node is connected to the gendered node as he believed that a gendered approach to explaining the witch trials is too simplistic. [2] In addition, I connected this node to the racial perspective as he mentioned the fear Puritan's had with "heathen" Indians who were in close proximity to the villages in which were hit hardest by the trials. 
 

[1] Emerson  W Baker,  The Devil of Great Island : Witchcraft and Conflict in Early New England, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. 19.  [2] Emerson  W Baker,  The Devil of Great Island : Witchcraft and Conflict in Early New England, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. 3.A����0
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Franklin G Mixon Economics
Mixon, Franklin G.
https://turner.columbusstate.edu/faculty_profiles/mixon_frank.php

"'Homo Economicus' and the Salem Witch Trials" (2000)
Franklin Mixon contributes to the scholarship of witchcraft and Puritanism as he connects the economic factors of the Puritan church and the trials. Mixon argues that Salem Ministers "employed Puritan religious doctrine regarding witchcraft to maintain and perhaps strengthen their churches' [financial] monopoly and increase church membership." [1] Thus, the conclusion towards his argument shows how ministers controlled the trials as they were the key players to determine symptoms and punishments. His argument involving the church's monopoly has clear connections to the religious perspectives that many other authors have provided in past scholarship. However, Franklin utilized an economic approach by including evidence such as the salary of Samuel Parris and other authors who have studied the Puritan Church. 

[1] Franklin G Mixon, "'Homo Economicus' and the Salem Witch Trials," The Journal of Economic Education (2000): 179. ays���~�9
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Isacc Reed Social
Isaac Reed
https://sociology.virginia.edu/content/isaac-reed

"Why Salem Made Sense: Culture, Gender, and the Puritan Persecution of Witchcraft"(2007)
Isaac Reed's text provides the audience with an argument involving the Puritan's culture and society as a means to justify why there was an outbreak of witch trials during the Colonial American period. Reed emphasizes that the Puritan society, both the "judges and the populace were attempting to restore order" to their society and in order to understand Puritan's motives for the trials, on must better understand their culture.[1] In order to support his claim, Reed used a vast amount of text written by feminists, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists to support his claim of why the trials occurred. Through an interdisciplinary perspective of sociological, gendered, and symbolic approaches, Reed was able to make new claims and add to the scholarship of witch craft by critically thinking about Puritan's evidence left behind opposed to simply taking their texts at face value. This node has been connected to every gendered approach node as he cited all three authors and also agrees with their claims that women's gender was a large factor of why they were chosen over Puritan men to be tried. Reed mentions that through the utilization of the witch trials, Puritan society was attempting to suppress female's "sexual order" or any financial gains such as acquiring land interested by other men. [2] This node has also been linked to the racial nodes, the religious node and the economic node as he used all three of these approaches in his overarching interdisciplinary approach to this subject. 

[1] Isaac Reed, "Why Salem Made Sense: Culture, Gender, and the Puritan Persecution of Witchcraft," Cultural Sociology  (2007): 219.[2] Reed, "Why Salem Made Sense" Cultural Sociology, 210-218.Z����0
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John Demos Religion
John Demos
http://www.fieldstonecommon.com/tag/john-demos/

Entertaining Satan : Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England (1982)

John Demos has been assigned as the main node in the Religion category as well as the network analysis as a whole as his arguments in the book, "Entertaining Satan : Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England" connects to every other node presented here. Demos' argument includes the Puritan's social strains stemming from their Religion to explain why the witch trials were so prominent in New England. Demos shows within his book that the Puritans "deserve the reputation that history has given them" as their  "religious experience was distinctive in intensity." [1]Another main reason why Demos has many links in this analysis includes what he contributed to scholarship. Demos took a highly interdisciplinary approach when synthesizing his argument that includes various perspectives from psychology, anthropology, sociology, religion, and gendered approaches. [2] In regards to religion, Demos showcased the bipolar Puritan ideals from religious ideologies that emphasized selflessness and their economic ideologies that favored "self- reliance and exploitation." [3] Therefore, Demos was successful in illustrating how Puritan religious and social concepts made New Englanders feel guilty for not helping those with lower status which ultimately lead to the trials. From this perspective, one could easily see how Puritan religion was heavily involved with their economy which eventually led to the trials. Ina addition, the evidence that Demos uses includes court and county records as well as biographies to develop his argument. 
 

[1] John Demos,  Entertaining Satan : Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University, 310.[2] Michael McGiffert, "Review: Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England by John Putnam Demos," The Journal of American History (1983): 395. [3] William McLoughlin, "Review: Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England by John Putnam Demos," The Georgia Historical Quarterly  (1983): 219. 
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Malcolm Gaskill Religion
Malcolm Gaskill
https://www.toppingbooks.co.uk/events/ely/malcolm-gaskill-2/

Witchfinder (2005)
Gaskill's main argument in his book Witchfinder included the oppressive religious  environment that lead to the extreme witch trials in the Colonial period. Gaskill's text added to the scholarship of witchcraft as he listed numerous examples of how the witchcraft ordeal was really a clash of Protestant and other religious beliefs that left people to be tried and executed as witches. He argues that the "propaganda war between evangelical Puritans and their Catholic opponents" canted to assert an "unique efficiency in dispossession" and identifying witches. [1] His evidence base included other scholars, Essex County records, law records of the time, sermons, Colonial drawings, and various texts involving Colonial theology studies. This node connects to the gender node as Gaskill maintained that the Colonial witch  trials had very little to do with gender and more to do with the competition between religious factions. 
 

[1] Malcolm  Gaskill, Witchfinders: A Seventeenth-century English Tragedy. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2005. 29. 
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Mary Beth Norton Gender
Mary Beth Norton
http://woodrow.org/news/perspectives/profiles-giving-back-mary-beth-norton/

In the Devils Snare (2002)
Mary Beth Norton offered a new perspective on the Essex County witch trials in her book, In the Devil's Snare, published in 2002. Norton placed a "dual narrative of war and witchcraft" with the first and second Indian Wars.[1] While her main objective for her book was to show the correlation between those who were involved in the war and accused as witches, Norton begins her book with a gendered approach to Puritanism. Norton wanted to showcase the central role that women and girls played in the Essex trials from a "feminist reinterpretation of familiar materials" of a gendered perspective of Colonial New England. Like other scholars, Norton attributes to women being accused of witches at a higher rate than men due to the misogyny throughout Puritan Colonies. Norton uses both the analytical perspective of chronology like a positivist while also attempting to tap into the psyche of Colonial Puritans with an idealist approach. In addition, Norton uses evidence such as other historians, statements from Cotton Matter/Samuel Parris,  and Puritan text involving religion and race. In addition to her gender and war perfective, Norton also incorporates aspects of race through evidence of Tituba's and other Indians labeled as Black who were claimed to be involved with witchcraft as well as a religious approach when she showcases how Puritans believed the land in which they lived upon was godless. [2] While her main perspective of this paper focused on the Indian Wars, Norton's central theme throughout the book involved Puritan misogyny. 
 

[1] Mary Beth Norton, In the Devil's Snare (New York: Vintage Books, 2002), 4.  [2] Neal Salisbury,"In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 by Mary Beth Norton." The Journal of American History. (2004): 201-02. 
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Paul S Boyer & Stephen Nissenbaum Economics
Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum - Economic
(https://salemwitchmuseumstore.com/home/salem-possessed)

Salem Possessed (1974)

Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum's book,  Salem Possessed, published in 1974 argued that various Puritan economic ideologies from opposite sides of the village of Salem collided which caused the witch trials; therefore, in order to prove their argument, these historians analyzed the "patterns of residence, wealth, religious affiliation" and political agendas. [1] These two co-authors showcased how the Salem Puritans "split into "two hostile and continuous factions" in which the western side of the village was a "peasant-based economy" while the eastern side "subverted to mercantile capitalism."[2] By adding an economic approach to Puritan culture and the Salem Witch trials, these historians added a new approach to this scholarship that had not yet been analyzed. For example, Boyer and Nissenbaum make a direct connection between the pattern of the accusers residing within the western portion of the village while the people within the eastern side where more often the accused.[3]  Both authors used many sources in order to convince their audience that their argument is valid. Their sources include tax lists, church membership roles, and petitions from Salem. [4] By showcasing the social tensions from the two economically different Puritanism ideals, these historians not only tapped into the wealth of knowledge involving Puritan economics, but also the social tensions and the religious factors that contributed to the chaos in Salem in 1692. 

 

[1]Paul Boyer  and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed; the Social Origins of Witchcraft, Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press, 1974. 103.[2] Philip J Greven, "Salem Probed," Reviews in American Histor (1974): 515.[3] Stephen Foster, "Review: Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft by Paul Boyer; Stephen Nissenbaum." The Journal of American History (1975): 1078.[4] Greven, "Salem Probed," 514.
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Richard Gildrie Religion
Richard Gildrie
http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2014/11/12/clarksville-arts-heritage-development-council-gives-lifetime-achievement-awards-dr-joe-filippo-dr-richard-gildrie/

"Visions of Evil: Popular Culture, Puritanism and the Massachusetts Witchcraft Crisis of 1692" (2003). 

Richard Gildrie argues that the Puritan's rigidity and oppressiveness with religious beliefs led to cultural tensions and "conflicts between Puritan standards and traditional values." [1] Gildrie's article illustrates how New Englanders were not always fully abiding to Puritan ways which created conflicts between the people and the Puritan leaders. He states that the Puritans were more harsh in what they considered interaction with the devil while  some people practiced forms of beliefs that Puritans would consider witchcraft that others would consider a form of religion. [2] In order to assist his argument, Gildrie used primary sources such as quotes from common New Englanders and Cotton Mather's Remarkable Providences. He also maintained his religious perspective by indicating Puritan leaders' perspective of believing that people who were not abiding to the social order was the devil by separating people from the Puritan's religious standards. [3] In addition, he added to Puritanism and its involvement with witchcraft by taking an anthropologic, social, and psychological approaches between old and new Puritan ideologies to better understand why the witch trials occurred. 

[1]Richard Gildrie, "Visions of Evil: Popular Culture, Puritanism and the Massachusetts Witchcraft Crisis of 1692." Journal of American Culture. (1985): 17 and 20.[2] Gildrie, "Visions of Evil," 18-20.[3] Gildrie, "Visions of Evil," 28.
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START HERE!
Welcome to the network analysis of the historiography of Puritan involvement in the Colonial with trials! Here you will be able to visualize the various camps in which scholars have placed themselves in based on their arguments on the matter of Puritanism and witchcraft. On the bottom left hand corner within the legend you will see the various camps: gender, race, religion, economics, and social perspectives that each scholar has focused on. However, you will soon realize that although scholars have fallen within different camps on Puritanism, all have relational components with other camps or scholars. For instance, a historian's main opinion on Puritanism and witchcraft may be a religious component; however, many authors have cited each other over the years or incorporated a multilayered argument including other perspectives from different camps. By clicking on a specific scholar, you will see which link is attached to whom. Keep an eye out on the direction of the link (e.g. if the link has an arrow) that indicates that the author in which the other scholar cited their source material. Through this visual analysis I hope that you have fun as you interact as the scholars have over the years. Watch for the relationships and join in the debate as you zoom in on the historiography of Puritan contribution  in Colonial witchcraft trials! 

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Timothy J McMillan Race
Timothy McMillan
https://afriafam.unc.edu/people/tim-mcmillan

"Black Magic: Witchcraft, Race, and Resistance in Colonial New England" (1994)
Timothy McMillan, in the article mentioned above, takes a racial perspective to the witch trials occurring in Colonial America within Puritan society. The argument made by McMillan includes a two sided story: blacks were attempting to escape the oppression and prejudice that was "founded on New England Puritan religious beliefs" through the use of magic; however, by doing so, the Puritans categorized Black's religious practices as witchcraft. [1] McMillan contributed to the scholarship of Puritanism and witchcraft by taking a historical and anthropological approach as he concluded that magic was used as "methods of reducing or expressing social tensions" between the blacks and Puritans as they believed blacks were "true witches" that were connected to "satanic wickedness". [2] The main use of evidence provided by McMillan was his utilization of previous scholars who studied various primary sources from Colonial America. On top of the social and racial perspectives that McMillan provides, he also added the element of economic factors. While Puritans believed that Blacks were evil and thus associated with witchcraft, Blacks were not accused as frequently as Whites as they were "economically valuable." [3] Through the various approaches and evidence utilized, McMillan was able to create a concrete connection between the racial component to Puritanism's involvement with witchcraft. 
 

[1] Timothy McMillan, "Black Magic: Witchcraft, Race, and Resistance in Colonial New England." Journal of Black Studies (1994): 110-111. [2]  McMillan, "Black Magic," 112.[3] McMillan, "Black Magic," 114.
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Veta Smith Tucker Race
Veta Smith Tucker
http://bookfestwindsor.com/portfolio-view/veta-smith-tucker/

"Purloined Identity: The Racial Metamorphosis of Tituba of Salem Village"(2000)
Veta Tucker within her racial perspective in regards to Puritanism and witchcraft unfolds in the article listed above. The main purpose for her article was to illustrate that Tituba's race played a key role in the Salem witch trials and questions why more scholarship has not been dedicated to her. Her racial perspective is mixed with a religious and social aspect as she notes that Puritans believed that Blacks and Indians were "blackened by their association with the Devil" as they practiced "pagan rituals" from an "alien culture."[1] Here, she combines Puritan racism with their oppression religious natures to separate their religious practices from others. Tucker also takes an economic approach when she indicates that after the Salem outbreak, people were gifted County money as a means to apologize for the trials; however Tituba's family was never offered any sort of financial reimbursement. [2] While the lack of compensation again follows her racial approach, Tucker added an socioeconomic approach the showcased the struggle between Puritans and who was "worthy" of a financial apology. Tucker used other historian scholars as her evidence to her article and added to the racial perspective of Puritanism and witchcraft by showing the unjust ways Blacks were perceived and treated in Colonial America. 

[1] Veta Smith Tucker, "Purloined Identity: The Racial Metamorphosis of Tituba of Salem Village." Journal of Black Studies  (2000): 668.  [2] Tucker, , "Purloined Identity," 626.
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Source Link Target Date
Carol Karlsen Both Authors Included Religious & Gendered Perspectives John Demos
Carol Karlsen Cited this Author Paul S Boyer & Stephen Nissenbaum
Elaine G Breslaw Included Social Perspectives Isacc Reed
Elaine G Breslaw Included Religious Perspectives John Demos
Elizabeth Reis Cited this Author Carol Karlsen
Elizabeth Reis Included Religious Perspectives John Demos
Elizabeth Reis Cited this Author Mary Beth Norton
Elizabeth Reis Cited this Author Paul S Boyer & Stephen Nissenbaum
Emerson W. Baker Did not agree with Gendered Perspective Carol Karlsen
Emerson W. Baker Included Racial Perspective Elaine G Breslaw
Emerson W. Baker John Demos
Emerson W. Baker Cited this Author Malcolm Gaskill
Franklin G Mixon Included Religious Perspectives John Demos
Franklin G Mixon Paul S Boyer & Stephen Nissenbaum
Isacc Reed Included Gendered Perspective Carol Karlsen
Isacc Reed Cited this Author Elizabeth Reis
Isacc Reed Cited this Author Mary Beth Norton
Isacc Reed Cited this Author Paul S Boyer & Stephen Nissenbaum
John Demos Carol Karlsen
John Demos Included Social Perspectives Isacc Reed
Malcolm Gaskill Did not agree with Gendered Perspective Carol Karlsen
Malcolm Gaskill John Demos
Mary Beth Norton Carol Karlsen
Mary Beth Norton Included Racial Perspective Elaine G Breslaw
Mary Beth Norton Cited this Author Paul S Boyer & Stephen Nissenbaum
Paul S Boyer & Stephen Nissenbaum Included Religious Perspectives John Demos
Richard Gildrie John Demos
Timothy J McMillan Elaine G Breslaw
Timothy J McMillan Included Religious Perspectives John Demos
Timothy J McMillan Included Economic Perspective Paul S Boyer & Stephen Nissenbaum
Veta Smith Tucker Cited this Author Elaine G Breslaw
Veta Smith Tucker Included Social Perspectives Isacc Reed
Veta Smith Tucker Included Religious Perspectives John Demos
Veta Smith Tucker Included Economic Perspective Paul S Boyer & Stephen Nissenbaum

Description

Welcome to the network analysis of the historiography of Puritan involvement in the Colonial with trials! Here you will be able to visualize the various camps in which scholars have placed themselves in based on their arguments on the matter of Puritanism and witchcraft. On the bottom left hand corner within the legend you will see the various camps: gender, race, religion, economics, and social perspectives that each scholar has focused on. However, you will soon realize that although scholars have fallen within different camps on Puritanism, all have relational components with other camps or scholars. For instance, a historian's main opinion on Puritanism and witchcraft may be a religious component; however, many authors have cited each other over the years or incorporated a multilayered argument including other perspectives from different camps. By clicking on a specific scholar, you will see which link is attached to whom. Keep an eye out on the direction of the link (e.g. if the link has an arrow) that indicates that the author in which the other scholar cited their source material. Through this visual analysis I hope that you have fun as you interact as the scholars have over the years. Watch for the relationships and join in the debate as you zoom in on the historiography of Puritan contribution  in Colonial witchcraft trials!