On this day in 1692, Bridget Bishop stood trial for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. She was the first of many to be tried and, ultimately, was the first to be hanged as a result. She was convicted based on charges made by people she said she never met in a place she had never been.
Her trial and conviction were based on the swooning of her accusers based on imagined spectral advances by her. Judge Hawthorne asked, “How is it that your specter hurts those in this room?” Bridget replied, “I am innocent to a witch. I know not what a witch is.’ Hawthorne turned this answer to his advantage by asking, ‘How can you know, you are no witch, and yet not know what a witch is.’ She replied, ‘I am clear: if I were any such person you should know it.”
In total, 14 women and 6 men…
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