Lectures on Witchcraft: Comprising a History of the Delusion in Salem in 1692
Charles W. Upham
These lectures on the witchcraft delusion in Salem in 1692 were originally prepared for delivery in the Salem Lyceum. “The subject of which they treat is intimately connected with the history, not merely of New England, but of the imagination of man, as it has been developed in various regions and ages. Very inadequate and unjust views are entertained of the scene in our annals, which they illustrate, and of the persons who acted or suffered in that scene.”
‘We may lament then,’ says he [Hon. Joseph Story, 18 September 1828], ‘the errors of the times, which led to these prosecutions. But surely our ancestors had no special reasons for shame in a belief, which had the universal sanction of their own and all former ages, which counted in its train, philosophers as well as enthusiasts, which was graced by the learning of prelates, as well as by the countenance of kings, which the law supported by its mandates, and the purest judges felt no compunctions in enforcing. Let Witch-Hill remain forever memorable by this sad catastrophe, not to perpetuate our dishonor, but as an affecting, enduring proof of human infirmity, a proof, that perfect justice belongs to one judgment seat only — that which is linked to the throne of God.’
(1831), 2022, 5½x8½, paper, 288 pp.