Now that three Salem Village residents stood accused of witchcraft, an investigation ofthe charges was in order. Two magistrates from Salem Town, John Hathorne, thegreat-grandfather of famed writer Nathaniel Hawthorne (Nathaniel added a "w" to hisname to help disassociate himself from this great-grandfather) and Jonathan Corwin,traveled to Salem Village to investigate the cases of witchcraft. Their investigation ofSarah Osborne, Sarah Good and Tituba was conducted in the Salem VillageMeetinghouse. During the questioning of the three accused, Betty, Abigail, and six othergirls would often scream and tumble on the floor of the meetinghouse. Even with theharsh questioning by the two magistrates and the unusual actions of the afflicted girls,Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne maintained their innocence. Tituba, however, confessedfor three days.
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No one died as a convicted witch in America again after the Salem witch trials. It wasalso the last of the religious witch hunts. Salem Village separated from Salem Town in1752 and became the town of Danvers. However, this separation did not wipe away thehistory of the witch trials from its past. For over 300 years, historians, sociologists,psychologists and others continue to research and write about them to this day, and theycontinue to serve as a reminder of how politics, family squabbles, religion, economics and the imaginations andfears of people can yield tragic consequences.
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Originally a fishing village built around the High Street, and formerly known as Stonehive, the town has grown to a population of around 11,000.
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The Putnams were the leaders of the separatist group primarily because they owned themost farmland in Salem Village. They hoped to solidify a separation from Salem Town byestablishing a congregation unique from it. So in 1689, a congregation was formed underthe Rev. Samuel Parris and began worshipping in the Salem Village Meetinghouse. However, the congregation only represented a select group since over half of its memberswere Putnams. If this action did not further strain already weakened relations between thetwo factions, the events concerning Parris contract did.
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Many of the Salem Village farming families believed that Salem Towns thriving economymade it too individualistic. This individualism was in opposition to the communal naturethat Puritanism mandated. Thus, they were out of touch with the rest of Salem Village. One particularly large farming family who felt that Salem Town was out of touch with therest of Salem Village was the Putnams.