Public Program- Walter Woodward

Lectures and Performances
Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 7:30pm

John Winthrop

"New England's Other Witch Hunt: John Winthrop, Jr. and the Hartford Witch Hunt of the 1660s"
by Walter W. Woodward

In the years before Salem, Connecticut, not Massachusetts, was New England's most zealous prosecutor of witchcraft. Not only did Connecticut conduct the first witch hanging in New England, it executed each of the first seven persons indicted for that crime. This talk focuses on John Winthrop, Jr. and the Hartford Witch hunt of the 1660s, showing how this alchemist, physician, political leader, and authority on the occult intervened to transform Connecticut from New England's fiercest witch hunter into a colony that ended executions permanently a generation before Salem. This talk is based upon the new book Prospero's America: John Winthrop, Jr., Alchehemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676 (University of North Carolina Press, 2010).

Walter W. Woodward is the Connecticut State Historian and an assistant professor of history at the University of Connecticut. He has published widely on Early America, the Atlantic World, and Connecticut history.

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