Saturday, June 24, 2017

Gallows Hill: Salem Witch Trials

A short respite from family updates.

The Spring 2017 [Vol. 18; no. 1] issue of American Ancestors magazine [NEHGS] has an interesting article for descendants of the victims [and perpetrators] of the Salem Witch Trials: Gallows Hill Project [Re-]Discovering Proctor's Ledge by Marilynne K. Roach, a member of the Gallows Hill Project.

The article discusses the quest to determine the exact location of the executions of those convicted of being witches in Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1692. One of those hanged was my ancestor, Rebecca Towne Nurse.

Two possible locations existed for the site of the executions: Gallows Hill and Proctor's Ledge at the base of the hill. A combination of modern technology [geophysical instruments and computerized mapping programs], court documents and testimony from the time of the event, oral history and the research conducted by lawyer-historian Sidney Perley in 1901, led the research team to the conclusion reached by Perley. The executions took place on Proctor's Ledge.

If you can get access to the magazine, I highly recommend reading the article!

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