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The Specter of Salem – Remembering the Witch Trials in Nineteenth-Century America - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Specter of Salem: Remembering the Witch Trials in Nineteenth-Century America

Gretchen A. Adams


This book reveals the many ways that the Salem witch trials loomed over the American collective memory from the Revolution to the Civil War and beyond. Schoolbooks in the 1790s, for example, evoked the episode to demonstrate the new nation's progress from a disorderly and brutal past to a rational present, while critics of new religious movements in the 1830s cast them as a return to Salem-era fanaticism, and during the Civil War, southerners evoked witch burning to criticize Union tactics. Shedding light on the many, varied American invocations of Salem, the author ultimately illuminates the ... More

Keywords: Salem, witch trials, nineteenth-century America, Civil War, religious movements, witch burning, Union, fanaticism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780226005416
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226005423.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gretchen A. Adams, author