Witchcraft in British America

Richard Godbeer

in The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America

Published in print March 2013 | ISBN: 9780199578160
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Witchcraft in British           America

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This article discusses the history of witchcraft in British America. The fear of witches was embedded within the culture which English migrants brought with them as they crossed the Atlantic to settle in North America, and so it is not surprising that witch-hunting became a part of the colonial experience. Over sixty trials for witchcraft took place in seventeenth-century New England, omitting the infamous Salem witch-hunt of 1692, which resulted in over 150 formal charges. Accusations of witchcraft occurred throughout the British colonies, but there were far fewer prosecutions in the middle and southern colonies than in New England.

Keywords: witchcraft prosecutions; British colonies; witchcraft; English migrants; witch trials; New England

Article.  9124 words. 

Subjects: History ; United States History ; Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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