By Owen Davies
America Bewitched is the 1st significant background of witchcraft in the United States - from the Salem witch trials of 1692 to the current day.
The notorious Salem trials are etched into the recognition of contemporary the US, the human toll a reminder of the risks of intolerance and persecution. The chorus 'Remember Salem!' was once invoked usually over the consequent centuries. As time handed, the pains turned a milepost measuring the gap the United States had advanced from its colonial earlier, its sufferers now the righteous and their persecutors the shamed. but the tale of witchcraft didn't finish because the American Enlightenment dawned - a brand new, lengthy, and chilling bankruptcy used to be approximately to start.
Witchcraft after Salem used to be not only a narrative of fire-side stories, legends, and superstitions: it persevered to be an issue of lifestyles and demise, souring the yankee dream for lots of. we all know of extra humans killed as witches among 1692 and the Nineteen Fifties than have been finished earlier than it. Witches have been a part of the tale of the decimation of the local americans, the event of slavery and emancipation, and the immigrant adventure; they have been embedded within the non secular and social background of the rustic. but the heritage of yankee witchcraft among the eighteenth and the 20th century additionally tells a much less anxious tale, one who indicates how varied cultures interacted and formed every one other's languages and ideology.
This is accordingly even more than the story of 1 persecuted neighborhood: it opens a desirable window at the fears, prejudices, hopes, and desires of the yankee humans as their state rose from colony to superpower.
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Additional resources for America bewitched : the story of witchcraft after Salem
One obvious reason for the weakness of fairy lore is that in Western Europe the fairies -were rooted in local geographies and popular interpretations of the ancient landscape. They inhabited liminal places, physical and metaphysical boundaries between the past and present, this -world and other realms, natural features that represented portals between different states of being. So we find fairy legends and sightings focused around prehistoric earthworks and burial mounds, and landscape features such as venerable trees, streams and bridges.
This corresponds to information collected in Ireland and Scotland in the same period. It was reported in early nineteenth-century Ireland that the inhabitants of County Antrim, 'will show you the spot where you may feel a hole in the flesh, but not in the skin, where the cow has been struck'. In Sutherland, Scotland, the symptoms of elf shot were described as the animal feeling uneasy, breathing hard, and refusing food. 83 The second element of the fairy shooting tradition was evidential. While the entry points of their missiles left no visible wound, the reality of such assaults was confirmed by the existence of the prehistoric stone arrowheads that were brought to the surface by ploughing, particularly the distinctive barbed and tanged arrowheads of the late Neolithic and Bronze Age.
Can answers be found by exploring environmental and agricultural developments in America? Perhaps hair balls -were more prevalent in American livestock in the nineteenth century. Huge numbers of European dairy cows •were exported to the states. The Guernsey cow, for instance, was first brought to America in the 18305 and nearly 35,000 -were exported live over the next century. The last two decades of the nineteenth century saw a substantial increase in Magic of A New Land | 37 imports, not only from Britain but also breeds such as the Holstein-Friesian from the Netherlands and the Brown Swiss from Switzerland.