In what is now New England, the first witch trial is believed to have occurred in Springfield, Mass., in 1645 and the first hanging, that of Alse Young of Windsor, Conn., in 1647. Young’s daughter Alice Beamon was also condemned some 30 years later, but survived.
A fervor for hunting witches in the mid-1600s led to an increase in prosecutions in New England and New York. Men and women would be accused of witchcraft within New York’s colonial borders into the mid-1700s and these trials would have a lasting impact on the families of the accused, the colonies and the country.
The Connecticut Witch Trial Exoneration Project is a growing team of people, including descendants, authors, historians and others working with Connecticut State Representative Jane Garibay to overturn the convictions of 46 men and women unjustly accused, and in some cases tried and hanged, for the crime of witchcraft in Colonial Connecticut in the years 1647 through 1697.
The collaboration is a continuation of what has been previously accomplished by Beth M. Caruso, a Connecticut witch trials expert and author of the book One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America’s First Witch Hanging (Lady Slipper Press, 2015) and retired police officer Tony Griego.
The Project is currently engaged in historical research, outreach to supporters, and lobbying for legislative action. They have established a petition online and are currently seeking interviews with descendants of witch trial victims.
For more information on the project follow them on Twitter @CTwitchhunt, on the CT Witch Memorial Facebook group, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Jack, Josh Hutchinson, Mary Bingham, Beth Caruso and Tony Griego. says
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