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Witches and poisoners in the colonial Chesapeake.

Author: Rebecca L Logan; Union Institute.
Dissertation: Ph. D. Union Institute 2001
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : eBook   Computer File : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This dissertation recounts the life stories of five women who were tried for witchcraft, or the allied crime of poisoning, in the Chesapeake colonies of Virginia and Maryland between 1685 and 1748. Rebecca Fowler and Hannah Edwards were tried as witches in 1685 and 1686 in Maryland; Grace Sherwood was tried as a witch in Virginia in 1705; and Eve and Letty were tried for poisoning in Virginia in 1745 and 1748.
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Details

Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Rebecca L Logan; Union Institute.
ISBN: 9780493421001 0493421009
OCLC Number: 781722706
Notes: Adviser: Minnie Bruce Pratt.
Description: 1 online resource (295 pages)

Abstract:

This dissertation recounts the life stories of five women who were tried for witchcraft, or the allied crime of poisoning, in the Chesapeake colonies of Virginia and Maryland between 1685 and 1748. Rebecca Fowler and Hannah Edwards were tried as witches in 1685 and 1686 in Maryland; Grace Sherwood was tried as a witch in Virginia in 1705; and Eve and Letty were tried for poisoning in Virginia in 1745 and 1748. Rebecca, Hannah, and Grace were English women, while Eve and Letty were African women.

These five stories dispel prevalent stereotypes of witches by bringing to life the ordinary human beings who were accused of witchcraft. Their lives, families, social networks, and neighborhoods are reconstructed through genealogical and historical methodologies. Sources used to piece together the women's stories include original and published records, community studies, county histories, maps, genealogies, archaeological discoveries, building reconstructions, and Chesapeake social history.

The lives and criminal trials of these five women are examined in relation to social, political, and economic conditions in the Chesapeake colonies; to English beliefs about magic and witchcraft; and to colonial beliefs that Native Americans and Africans practiced diabolical magic. the women's life stories illustrate the complex intersections of class, race, and gender with witchcraft accusations.

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