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A Long Way From Executing Witches

By Richard Brown and Lawrence Goodheart

New England has long balked at executing women. Among the 168 people put to death in Connecticut since 1636, only 19 were female. This month marks the 100th anniversary of the last time a woman from the region (Mary Mabel Rogers of Vermont) was executed. But New England authorities were not always reluctant to put women to death. All but one of the 19 Connecticut women executed met their fate in the Colonial period.

Of the 11 people hanged for witchcraft in Connecticut in the 1600s, nine were women. (The scriptural injunction that witches be put to death often lent itself to misogyny during times of social stress in a patriarchal culture.) All those women were white, mostly from the lower social orders, aged, single or in some other way outside respectability. No woman who was well-connected to the church, magistracy or landholding class was convicted of witchcraft.

Read the original article at: Harford Courant

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