Sunday, October 28, 2012

Imagine a meeting

In the context of the last Beacon (Vol. II, No. 5) which considered the roles involved with the unfolding of the events of 1692 in Salem, the point was that many, who are alive now, have a mixture of ancestors who would have been, collectively, in all of the roles. So, then, one might think of calling a family meeting to discuss what was going on, in their heads, at that time.

This type of gathering could not have happened at that time. The 'family' is a larger collection, having been built up through time. And, it's the insulation of the years, and generations, that allows our viewpoint and creates the fan-in of influence from several converging family lines.


(poor little dear)
At the meeting, we would not invite the accused or executed to sit at the table. They are those who bore the consequences. We'll let them observe, quietly. Not that those who were accused are a small group.

For a modern individual's tree, the accused group could contain tens of people, with more than a handful having paid the ultimate price. Some of the families might be like the following list: Aslet, Ayer, Barker, Bradbury, Bradstreet, Clements, Dane, Dutch, Hawkes, Hooper, Howe, Jackson, Johnson, Lord, Marston, Osgood, Parker, Perkins, Pratt, Solart, Wardwell, Wilson, Wright.


01/26/2013 -- Reading Frances Hill caused me to re-look at this page. It's obvious that we need to mention Sarah Solart Poole Good who was an aunt and who needs special mention due to the ordeal of her young daughter, Dorothy, who was less than five years old and who was seriously abused by the elders that she had the misfortune to live under. (see Wikipedia: SarahDorothy)


We want to talk to those who felt that they had to mete out the consequences.

What about the accusers? That's a whole different issue.


What we want to do is gather together those who were responsible  for damaging lives plus those who were very much vocal in opposition to what ensued. Perhaps, some understanding might come forth. Plenty has been written about the subject, including several well-known literary pieces.


By the way, a modern collective viewpoint would not have been possible at the time that Nathaniel was considering the role of his ancestor and possible invitees.

Invitees? Suppose that we took a cut across a tree at a certain generation (plus or minus) of that time. Tree? Yes, starting with a modern person, such as yourself, you have your parents, then their parents, and so forth (a power of two). We can pick any generation and collect the people who were alive then. We would select a number of young adults (which would be large group given how far back we are talking). For each of these young adults, we could consider a relationship with the person who [would] be invited to the meeting. Remember, these young adults, being on the tree, are great-grandparents of the current person who is anchoring the tree and that they were alive during those times.

Hence, that young adult would have parents and grand-parents. As well, there would be aunts and uncles and cousins (usual affair, with siblings of parent and niece/nephew of the parent). The prior generation for this young adult (or these young adults) would have 'great' attached to it with the usual meaning (great-grandparent or great-aunt or great-uncle). Now, great-cousin, of course, would be the cousin of the parent.

The Invitee list, shown below, is an example of what could come off of a modern tree.


02/01/2013 -- Aside: As far back as are these times of turmoil, everyone has over a thousand ancestors in the mix. So, having a large fan-in from all of these players is not unusual. Being able to document the fact is where the issues arise.


The table is not meant to be complete or considered as such. Rather it is to illustrate a point and to facilitate the look backs that will be coming. Too, it shows the mixtures that are possible and that are of interest.

Invitee Relationship
John Hathorne Great-uncle Judge
Jonathan Corwin Uncle Judge
George Corwin Cousin Sheriff
Cotton Mather Cousin Supporting minister
Deodat Lawson In-law Supporting minister
John Dane Grandfather Juror
Joseph Eveleth Grandfather Juror
Henry Herrick Great-grandfather Juror
Nicholas Noyes Uncle Officiating minister
Thomas Perkins Cousin Juror

The following were critical
of (opposed to) the proceedings

Francis Dane Great-uncle Critical minister
Elizabeth Hathorne Grandmother Critical laity
Israel Porter Grandfather Critical laity
John Wise Grandfather Critical minister

What  a mix! We see plenty who sat in judgment. Too, there are those who provided the rationale, usually with the devil as a central theme. Then, we have four who were anti-trial, God bless their souls.

There are many other mixtures that it would be interesting to hear about.

In this case, it is nice to see the opposition set, that was quite vocal, yet ineffective sometimes (not in all cases, as there were successful attempts to save the accused). There are many ways to look at these types of mixtures; but, each time that there is a re-look, it's not hard to find parallels with today's problems.

Perhaps, that is part of the eternal fascination with Salem of 1692. Looking at this event speaks some type of truth.


10/10/2018 -- Pulling together the posts related to the witch trials for future discussion.

05/16/2015 -- anceSTORY's article on Mary Perkins Bradbury.

10/31/2014 -- Gardner Research: "The Trials of the Wilson Family" (also, TEG (2014) 34:155).

10/30/2013 -- I am in the process of reading Katherine Howe's book, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. Dane, as in being related to Francis, of course. I wondered if there would be motivating material for a Beacon issue (we did have 1692 as a theme in 2011 and 2012). It is an interesting plot, especially the balancing of the characters, and their interactions, in two time periods is nice. The description that Katherine provides of little Dorcas Good in the underground cell surely depicts the poor, young thing's misery and shows Katherine's grasping of the horror. One wonders, from some of the modern views and comments, if people really understand the dire situation. Too, the main hypothesis might have some truth, in a slightly altered construction. You see, science has not shown as much light on human matters as some might think. But, then, for any knowledge that we have gained, we have also seen that the unknowns do not diminish. It's just that we get better able to cover (as in, remove from awareness) the holes in which lurk the demons.

09/04/2013 -- Again, the scene is built as follows. Those who came over are from the 10th to 13th generations back (for the most part) for someone alive now. By the time of 1692, lots of the earlier arrivals had passed on. So, that left the second generation (again, for the most part) as the elders. Now, taking a cohort mix (generational cut) round or about 1692 would give us someone on the current person's tree who would have about three generations living (including the level of their own cohorts). So, we would see siblings/cousins, parents/aunts/uncles, and the greats. In other words, it's a composite person that is built from that cohort mix (meaning, of course, that being on the tree implies ancestry) for which we can identify relationships blood (including 1/2 blood), in-law, and even friends. What Marjorie's chart does is to take someone who is in the mix and look at extended relationships. Now, consider what we would have if we did that for a large part of the composite mix. Would it not be an interesting view?

09/03/2013 -- Boosted up the font on the image caption after reading of Rev. Francis Dane's extended family and their ordeals.

06/10/2013 -- Having spent some time collecting text-oriented media (books, etc.), decided to see what video has to offer. After all, that technology is the core of many new formats for socializing. Well, there is a lot of organizing to do of this information (and other media, to boot). For instance, there are many educational items, going back to the early years of filming (tape based). Then, we have the more recent. After running across this little thing by Lady Gaga, had to put a link here for future reference. She does, after all, have French Canadian roots, meaning ties to these times, albeit in a locale a little distant from the mad milieu. Then, one can find a copy of Kirstie Alley's movie on youtube. So, media, examples, and good context ought to be the task.

02/10/2013 -- Fan-in from the turmoil of all types of ancestors.

02/01/2013 -- Hill's book is a great resource for the newcomer. There was some history to discuss prior to the event, and she lays things out in an almost chronological framework. Not sure that I agree with her assessments in a few areas, but that's to be discussed later. Turns out that here may be some associations (primarily, in-law) with the accusers in the above context of a meeting but haven't seen any as ancestors, as of yet. It's interesting that Gen. Israel Putnam was a son of Joseph who sided with Israel Porter who is mentioned a few times as voicing opposition.

01/26/2013 -- Special mention of Sarah Good and her daughter, Dorothy (toddler).

11/14/2012 -- Throughout history, witch hunt occurs so much that we can consider it to be a meme (we'll get back to that theme).

11/12/2012 -- Added in the names of some of the families of the accused as family members would have experienced the turmoils, too; also, friends would have felt an impact. It's hard to image this type of thing in our generally peaceful times, at least domestically. Yet, we see 'witch hunt' used quite a bit nowadays. The image shows one harmless victim being harassed along the road to trial or to jail.

Modified: 10/10/2018

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