Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:00pm

Connecticut Witch Trials, 1647 - 1697

Sponsored by: Milford Public Library

In the fall, many Connecticut residents become infatuated with its dark seventeenth-century past. They indulge in decorating their homes with spider webs, witches, and cauldrons, watching movies like Hocus Pocus, and visiting seemingly spooky villages such as Salem, Massachusetts. Yet, such accessibility to and immersion in witch-related pop culture has actually created a misunderstanding. Salem was not the first community to try and hang witches in the New World. Instead, Connecticut, over forty years before the events in Salem, had its own witch trials that were just as tumultuous, if not more so.
  In this presentation, Patrick Cumpstone will explain why he thinks many of the women tried for witchcraft in Connecticut Colony between 1647 and 1669 were accused. By fitting the trial details into the cultural context of the period, he suggests an explicit connection between the women’s speech and their accusations. He will also review the scholarship that has since been done on the Connecticut Witch Trials and its influence in driving legal change in the state.
  Patrick Cumpstone is an avid young historian and educator. He is a history teacher at Amity Regional High School and will be graduating with his Master’s degree in American Studies from Trinity College in May. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in History and his teaching certification from Southern. He is currently researching nineteenth-century portraits from New England, approaching the topic from a material and class studies perspective.

Admission: Free
Milford Public Library
57 New Haven Ave.
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