WITCH HOUSE — SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS
(click to enlarge)
I’ve always felt a strong pull towards Salem, Massachusetts, but I didn’t understand why until I began researching my family history. As it turns out, my 12th great-grandfather was Reverend Samuel Skelton, the first Pastor of the Puritan First Church of Salem. The church, established as part of the Anglican Church, later split off and became the Second Independent Congregational Church in New England. This split enabled the Pilgrims and Puritans to unite as one colony — the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Reverend Skelton died in 1634, so he missed the Salem Witch Trials. His daughter Mary and her husband, Nathaniel Felton, spoke out against the trials and signed petitions of innocence in favor of John Proctor, George Jacobs, and Rebecca Nurse. In spite of their efforts, nineteen people hanged, unjustly convicted of witchcraft. I think of these people every Halloween and admire the courage they showed in the face of such intense hysteria.
CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE
SALEM WITCH TRIALS (HAWTHORNE)
PURITAN FIRST CHURCH OF SALEM MARKER
PURITAN FIRST CHURCH OF SALEM – NOW A UNITARIAN CHURCH
PETITION TO FREE JOHN PROCTOR
PETITION TO FREE REBECCA NURSE
Text copyright 2013 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.