Engaging Methuen Readers

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Author Visit: Salem Witch Trials of 1692

Nevins Library presents:

Salem Witch Trials of 1692 with M. E. Kemp

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

@ 7:00 PM


The Salem Witch Trials is one of the more interesting periods of our Massachusetts history.  Author M.E. Kemp has done extensive research on the Salem Witch Trials, at first for her historical mystery book Death of a Bawdy Belle.  She now continues her research constantly to discover and share new information in her lectures.

This is sure to be an fun and informative talk about The Salem Witch Trials of 1692!

Copies of M.E. Kemp’s books will be available for purchase & signing.

Refreshments will be served.  Click here to register


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February 29th, an inauspicious day in Massachusetts History

Leap Year Day, February 29th, was an inauspicious day in early Massachusetts history.

On this day, Feb. 29th,  in 1692, the first of the accused “witches” were arrested in Salem, Massachusetts. Several Salem girls exhibited strange behavior and attributed their ailments to the mysterious workings of three women: Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba, a West Indian Slave.  This was the start of the witch hysteria and the resulting trials that Salem, MA will forever be known for.   When all was said and done, 19 people had been hanged, 5 had died in jail, 1 had been tortured to death, 2 dogs were executed, and more than 150 people had been imprisoned.*

To read up on this accursed history, try Pulitizer Prize winning author Stacy Schiff’s new book,  The witches : Salem, 1692 .   Schiff analyzes the Salem Witch Trials in order to offer key insights into the role of women in its events, while explaining how its tragedies became possible.

Or, try the modern classic, The Devil in Massachusetts: a modern enquiry into the Salem witch trials  by Marion L. Starkey that offers a psychological interpretation of the historic event.

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Twelve years, or three leap years, later, on February 29, 1704, the garrison at Deerfield, MA, was raided and burned by French and Native American forces.  47 persons were killed and 120 were taken captive and brought to Canada. Apparently, the object of the raid was to recover a bell that was supposed to have been for a Native American church in Canada.  The Deerfield congregation bought the bell not knowing of its intended destination, or that it was heisted off of a captured ship.*

For further reading on the subject, check out this amazing resource of first-hand accounts of the raid from varying points-of-view:

Captive Histories:  English, French and Native Narratives of the 1704 Deerfield Raid

For curious residents or history buffs, read all about the above topics and more in the storied history of the state:  It Happened in Massachusetts by Larry B. Pletcher, with contributions from Daniel Spinella.

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* From Chase’s Calendar of Events, 2016

photo of the author, Rory O'Brien

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Author Program: Season of the Witch

The Nevins Library Presents:

Season of the Witch with Rory O’Brien

October 19, 2015 @ 7pm

Have you read The Crucible?

Do you love The House of the Seven Gables?

Or maybe you just love the history of the Salem area?

Salem licensed tour guide Rory O’Brien, author of the recently published novel, Gallows Hill, will lay out the story of what happened during the Salem Witch Trials, separating fact from fiction.

Rory grew up in New England, surrounded by books, history, and the long shadows of Poe, Hawthorne, and Lovecraft.  He spent months haunting the streets of Salem, speaking with tourists, townies, witches, cops, and business owners.  He spent a ridiculous amount of money in kitschy tourist attractions, read every guidebook he could get his hands on, and took every walking tour in town … all in the name of “research.”

His book Gallows Hill will be available for purchase.

Please drop by or contact the Reference Desk at 978-686-4080 x12 or click here to reserve a space.