|Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible to criticize both New England's Salem's Witch Trials and McCarthyism. The phrase "witch hunt" is still widely used today. Photograph from our personal archives.|
“Now hell and heaven grapple on our backs, and all our old pretense is ripped away - make your peace.”
- John Proctor, in Arthur Miller's The Crucible
A staple of many New England prep schools' curricula, especially this time of year, is Arthur Miller's The Crucible. We have all read it, seen it, discussed it, written papers about it, taken tests on it, and likely acted in one or more productions of it. What makes it more interesting is how many classmates had ancestors that were involved.
In our family trees, we have direct ancestors who played many of the roles (using the elegant language of web site Miner Descent) "in the 17th Century Witch Trials: Accused, Accuser, Witness, Neighbor, Jury and the Law."
Our 9th Great-Grandparents who were accused witches and convicted witches include: Susannah Martin, Mary Perkins Bradbury, Frances Alcock Hutchins, John and Joan Carrington and Jane Walford.
Salem today is replete with references, historical and other.