Marilynne Roach

  • Aired:  01/20/14
  •  | Views: 23,166

Marilynne Roach dispels popular myths surrounding the Salem witch trials. (5:44)

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS AN HISTORIANWHO HAS WRITTEN SEVERAL BOOKS

ABOUT THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS.

HER LATEST IS "SIX WOMEN OFSALEM.

THE UNTOLD STORIES OF THEACCUSED AND THEIR ACCUSERS IN

THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS." PLEASEWELCOME MARILYNNE ROACH.

HOW ARE YOU?

>> FINE, THANK YOU.

>> Jon: THANK YOU SO MUCH FORBEING HERE.

>> MY PLEASURE.

>> Jon: THE BOOK IS CALLED"SIX WOMEN OF SALEM."

YOU KNOW, WHAT IS SO FASCINATINGABOUT THIS INCIDENT IN AMERICAN

HISTORY IS HOW LONG WE HAVE HELDIT UP AS SORT OF AN EXAMPLE OF

WHEN PARANOIA AND IGNORANCE ANDA CERTAIN, YOU KNOW FUNDAMENTAL

FERVOR COMBINE TO CREATE THISTYPE OF DISASTER, NEIGHBORS

TURNING ON NEIGHBORS.

>> YEAH, IT WAS UNUSUAL FOR THETIME.

USUALLY IT WAS JUST ONE SUSPECTAT A TIME BUT THIS ONE

SNOWBALLED FROM THE BEGINNING.

>> HOW PREVALENT WAS THIS IDEAOF ACCUSING SOMEONE OF

WITCHCRAFT AND TAKING THAT TOCOURT TO HANG THEM OR --?

>> WELL, IT WAS A DUE PROCESS.

>> Jon: INNOCENT UNTIL PROVENA WITCH?

>> YES, RIGHT.

[ LAUGHTER ]WELL IT HAPPENED EVERY SO OFTEN.

IT WOULD -- THEY MADE YOU GO TOTRIAL FOR IT.

YOU DIDN'T JUST TAKE THE LAWINTO YOUR OWN HANDS BUT SOME

PEOPLE WERE SUSPECTED FOR YEARSAND BRIDGET BISHOP -- ONE OF

SIX IN THE BOOK WAS SUSPECTED,ARRESTED AND JAILED BEFORE THIS,

AND YOU DON'T HEAR ABOUT THECASE SO SHE HAS THAT HANGING

OVER BUT SHE SURVIVED THE FIRSTGO AROUND.

THE NEIGHBORS ARE STILL SUSPICIOUS.

>> Jon: ONE OF SERVANTSCONFESSES UNDER DURESS.

>> YES, SHE'S ONE OF FIRST TO BEACCUSED.

SHE SAYS SHE'S NOT GUILTY WHENTHEY -- SHE'S AT THE HEARING AND

THE QUESTIONING.

THYOU CAN TELL THE MAGISTRATEFIGURES

SHE'S GUILTY AND EVERYTHING SHESAYS IS TAKEN AS ADMISSION.

SHE SAID SHE'S NOT GUILTY ANDBACKS INTO A CORNER AND SAYS THE

WITCH IS INVISIBLE TO ANYONEELSE.

>> Jon: EVERY TIME SHE WOULDSAY I'M NOT GUILTY THEY WOULD

SAY THAT'S WHAT A WITCH WOULDSAY.

AND SHE WOULD BE IN A CORNER.

>> SHE WAS SAYING OH THEY'RE.

AFTER ME TOO.

THEY MADE ME PINCH THE GIRLS ANDFINALLY SHE HAS SORT OF A

FAINTING SPELL AND CAN'T TALK.

SHE AGREES WITH ANYBODY THATTHEY SAY MIGHT BE A SUSPECT.

>> Jon: IN POPULAR MYTH THEYWERE BURNED OR HAD DUNKING.

THEY PUT THEM IN THE WATER ANDIF THEY

FLOATED THEY WERE AWITCH. IN REALITY, THEY WENT TO

TRIAL AND THEY WERE HUNG. IT'SONOT AS BIZARRE.

>> THERE WAS THE HEARING, GRANDJURY AND TRIAL JURY AND EVIDENCE

AND STUFF.

>> Jon: YOU HAVE THE NOTESFROM THESE TRIALS.

>> A LOT OF IT SURVIVED.

IT'S ONE OF THE REASONS IT'SREMEMBERED SO WELL.

A LOT OF IT IS IN PRINT NOW.

>> Jon: IT'S HELD UP AS SUCHAN EXAMPLE OF PARANOIA.

THEY APOLOGIZE AND CAME TO THEIRSENSES PRETTY QUICK.

>> NOT QUICK ENOUGH FOR 19 OR 20OF THEM.

SEPTEMBER WAS AWFUL.

THERE WERE EIGHT PEOPLE HANGEDAND A LOT OF ACCUSATIONS.

IN OCTOBER THEY DREW BACK ANDRECONSIDERED HOW THEY WERE GOING

TO DO THIS BY ACCEPTING SPECTRALEVIDENCE, WHICH IS REPORTS OF

WHAT SPIRITS WERE DOING,WHICH IS REPORTS OF WHAT THE

WITCHES WERE DOING, IF THAT CANBE COUNTERFEITED BY THE DEVIL

THEY FINALLY FIGURED ALTHOUGHONE OF THE ACCUSED MENTIONED IT

ON THE FIRST DAY.

>> Jon: EVEN IN THEIRILLOGIC THERE WAS LOGIC.

>> YES.

>> Jon: IT'S BIZARRE.

>> HUMAN NATURE.

>> Jon: YOU SEE IT IN OURDEALINGS TODAY NOT TO THIS

EXTREME OBVIOUSLY BUT THE SAMEMECHANICS OF IT EMOTIONALLY.

>> HUMAN NATURE.

>> Jon: YOU'VE STUDIED THISA LONG TIME.

DO YOU STILL BELIEVE IN PEOPLE?

WHERE DO YOU GO ON THE SPECTRUM?

>> DO I BELIEVE INWITCHES?

>> Jon: NO, NO.

I GUESS MY POINTIS ARE YOU A

WITCH?

DOES IT LESSEN YOUR BELIEF INPEOPLE?

>> I'VE ALWAYS BEEN A LITTLECYNICAL.

WELL THEY DID APOLOGIZE AND THEMASSACHUSETTS GOVERNMENT TRIED

TO MAKE AMENDS LATER AFTERPEOPLE WHO SURVIVED AND THEIR

FAMILIES PETITIONED THEY DIDCLEAR THE NAMES OF THE PEOPLE IN

THE PETITION SO THAT IF YOU HADA DEATH SENTENCE THAT WAS PASSED

IF YOU WEREN'T HANGED YOU DIDN'THAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT AND THEY

DID REIMBURSE THE JAIL EXPENSES.

YOU HAD TO PAY ROOM AND BOARD.

>> Jon: WHEN YOU WERE IN JAIL?

>> DOESN'T GROW ON TREES.

SHACKLES ARE EXTRA.

>> Jon: IF THEY ACCUSED YOUTHEY WOULD SEND YOU TO JAIL AND

CHARGE YOU. AND THEY WERE THEWITCHES.

ALL RIGHT.

>> COMING OUT OF TAXPAYERSPOCKET.

>> Jon: UNBELIEVABLE.

FASCINATING STUFF AND NICE TOSEE IT LAID OUT BECAUSE THE

MYTHS AND REALITY COME TOGETHER.

IT'S NICELY DONE.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEINGHERE.

SIX WOMEN OF SALEM ON THEBOOKSHELVES NOW.

MARILYNNE ROACH.

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