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Rachel Christ-Doane on the Salem Witch Museum and the Life of Dorothy Good

Rachel Christ-Doane on the Salem Witch Museum and the Life of Dorothy Good Thou Shalt Not Suffer: The Witch Trial Podcast

Learn about the latter life of Salem witch trial victim Dorothy Good and Discover what the Salem Witch Museum is all about as we chat with Rachel Christ-Doane, director of education at the Salem Witch Museum. Rachel discusses the history of the museum and the story of the building, the exceptional online educational programming that is available and she explains what a tour of the museum is like. You even get to hear a little about the tourism of the iconic city of Salem, aka Witch City. Next Rachel discusses her recent research project that has brought shocking details to light of what life became for Dorothy Good, the four year old child that was tried for witchcraft in the Salem Witch Trials.  During our advocacy talk we reflect on the plight of people in need in early modern New England and how we stop hunting witches. LinksThe Untold Story of Dorothy Good, by Rachel Christ Doanewww.salemwitchmuseum.comPodcast Episode "Leo Igwe on the Deadly Witch-Hunts of the 21st Century"Podcast Episode "Witchcraft Accusations in Nigeria with Dr. Leo Igwe"Salem Witch Museum Presentation by Dr. Leo Igwe Advocacy For Alleged WitchesDocumentary:"Why Witch Hunts Are Not Just A Dark Chapter From the Past”The International Network Against Accusations of Witchcraft and Other Harmful PracticesSupport Us! Shop Our Book ShopPurchase a Witch Trial White Rose Memorial ButtonSupport Us! Sign up as a Super Listener!End Witch Hunts Movement Support Us! Buy Witch Trial Merch!Support Us! Buy Podcast Merch!Join us on Discord to share your ideas and feedback.WebsiteTwitterThreadsFacebookInstagramPinterestLinkedInYouTubeTikTokSupport the show

Show Notes

Learn about the latter life of Salem witch trial victim Dorothy Good and Discover what the Salem Witch Museum is all about as we chat with Rachel Christ-Doane, director of education at the Salem Witch Museum. 

Rachel discusses the history of the museum and the story of the building, the exceptional online educational programming that is available and she explains what a tour of the museum is like. You even get to hear a little about the tourism of the iconic city of Salem, aka Witch City. Next Rachel discusses her recent research project that has brought shocking details to light of what life became for Dorothy Good, the four year old child that was tried for witchcraft in the Salem Witch Trials.  During our advocacy talk we reflect on the plight of people in need in early modern New England and how we stop hunting witches. 


The Untold Story of Dorothy Good, by Rachel Christ Doane

Podcast Episode “Leo Igwe on the Deadly Witch-Hunts of the 21st Century”

Podcast Episode “Witchcraft Accusations in Nigeria with Dr. Leo Igwe”

Salem Witch Museum Presentation by Dr. Leo Igwe Advocacy For Alleged Witches

Documentary:”Why Witch Hunts Are Not Just A Dark Chapter From the Past”

The International Network Against Accusations of Witchcraft and Other Harmful Practices

Support Us! Shop Our Book Shop

Purchase a Witch Trial White Rose Memorial Button

Support Us! Sign up as a Super Listener!

End Witch Hunts Movement 

Support Us! Buy Witch Trial Merch!

Support Us! Buy Podcast Merch!

Join us on Discord to share your ideas and feedback.











[00:00:20] Josh Hutchinson: Welcome to Thou Shalt Not Suffer: The Witch Trial Podcast. I'm Josh Hutchinson.
[00:00:25] Sarah Jack: And I'm Sarah Jack.
[00:00:27] Josh Hutchinson: In this episode, we talk to Rachel Christ-Doane, director of education for the Salem Witch Museum, about the museum, Salem, and the tragic life of Dorothy Good, youngest victim of the Salem Witch Trials.
[00:00:40] Sarah Jack: This is such a special episode. We are talking to the Salem Witch Museum in this episode. If there is an extended tour, this might be what it's like. You're gonna learn so much about the Salem Witch Museum history, their robust educational programming, and the future of the museum.
[00:01:01] Josh Hutchinson: We'll get the behind the scenes of the Salem Witch Museum. Rachel has done a lot for the museum. She does excellent research and has put together a number of very special educational opportunities and offerings. You can find many of them on the website, Others you can experience in the museum or purchase in the gift shop, such as their descendant packets of information on the victims of the Salem Witch Trials.
[00:01:41] Sarah Jack: And those packets were researched personally by Rachel and Jill Christiansen.
[00:01:47] Josh Hutchinson: They do thorough research putting together biographies of each of those individuals who were involved in the trials, and as Rachel says, coming up in the episode, it's an extended project. They're always coming out with new packets.
[00:02:08] Sarah Jack: I visited the Salem Witch Museum for the first time in May.
[00:02:12] Josh Hutchinson: How was your experience there, Sarah?
[00:02:15] Sarah Jack: It was really exciting. I actually enjoyed seeing the tourists' excitement as they walked in. And it's just you're anticipating what is it you're gonna learn? What is it you're gonna see? And the staff is so welcoming.
[00:02:36] Josh Hutchinson: I was actually there at the same time you know what that experience was like. I've been to Salem several times, but that was my first time going in the museum and seeing their highly engaging presentation about the history of the Salem Witch Trials. And the tour guide was very knowledgeable. After the initial presentation, you'll be guided into another room where you'll see exhibits on the history of witch trials and the image of the witch over time, and then you'll be taken to a wall with a timeline of witch hunts over several centuries.
[00:03:28] Sarah Jack: You are left wanting more, and that is why their virtual programming is so great. You can stay in touch and keep learning.
Our visit was extra special, because we were accompanied by Dr. Leo Igwe, director of Advocacy for Alleged Witches, and that same day he did a virtual presentation for the Salem Witch Museum, which you can watch, and we have the link in our show notes.
That really was special that we got to do that with him.
[00:04:02] Josh Hutchinson: You'll remember Dr. Leo Igwe from two of our previous episodes, and we'll have links to those in the show notes.
We're also going to learn about the history of the Salem Witch Museum's iconic building.
[00:04:16] Sarah Jack: What is dark tourism? Is Salem tourism and its attractions dark tourism?
[00:04:21] Josh Hutchinson: We're gonna get an introduction to young Dorothy Good, who was four years old when she was arrested in the trials. We'll learn what happened to her and her family.
[00:04:35] Sarah Jack: Rachel has uncovered new details of Dorothy's life after the trials.
[00:04:41] Josh Hutchinson: We'll learn where she went and how she lived.
[00:04:46] Sarah Jack: You will also find out a little bit about Ann Dolliver and how some of her adult experiences mirrored what Dorothy and other women in those situations suffered through. 
Welcome Rachel Christ-Doane, the director of education at the Salem Witch Museum. She holds a bachelor's in history from Clark University and a master's in history and museum studies from Tufts University. Today she's going to introduce us to the educational programming the Salem Witch Museum offers and introduce us to the recently discovered details of the life of Dorothy Good, Salem's youngest witch trial victim.
So we're gonna start with talking about the museum first. Can you tell us when it was founded?
[00:05:31] Rachel Christ-Doane: The Salem Witch Museum was founded in 1972, so last year was our 50th anniversary.
[00:05:39] Josh Hutchinson: Wow, that's a big one.
[00:05:41] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yeah, it was very exciting. It was a lot of fun. We had a private party, but various kind of Salem officials came, and then quite a few people who were involved in actually creating the museum were here, which was really neat to meet them, because our museum's a very kind of unusual format. It's presentation-based, and especially for the seventies, that was a very unusual way to present historical information. So it was really neat hearing about what the process was like creating it and how it's endured and remained, with kind of minimal changes over the years. That's really it. It was like a series of happy accidents led to this place, which is very neat.
[00:06:24] Josh Hutchinson: We had a great time there in May, and we love the building that you're in. What can you tell us about that?
[00:06:32] Rachel Christ-Doane: We are very fortunate to have it, but it's also one of our kind of greatest obstacles. So it's a really neat historic building. It was built in mid 19th century, and it was constructed as a church. So it was originally constructed for the East Church congregation of Salem that eventually became known as the Second Unitarian Church, and it served as a church until about the like 1940s, quite, quite a long time. And then the congregation disbanded and was absorbed into other local churches. The building was then an antique car museum for a while. It was an auto and Americana museum, which the pictures from that museum were really wild, seeing these old timey cars in here. And then there was actually a really serious internal fire that destroyed a significant portion of the inside, the internal portion of the museum. So the car museum was gone, and the Salem Witch Museum was founded a couple years later.
[00:07:31] Sarah Jack: It's very fortunate that they didn't just level it and leave, start from scratch, because the image is such a iconic piece now.
[00:07:42] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yeah, that's actually the second fire in the museum's history that we know of. We're actually internally not sure that some say there were three fires. There were definitely two. There was another one in the early 20th century, which damaged the towers. So we have those two towers in front of the museum and they actually used to be much taller, and the fire weakened one of the towers, so they both had to be taken down, reduced to their present size. So hopefully that's it for fires with the building.
[00:08:13] Josh Hutchinson: And for our listeners who haven't been able to join you there yet, what is the presentation like? What's a tour consist of at the museum?
[00:08:25] Rachel Christ-Doane: So we're a two-part presentation. So the first part, you go into a large darkened auditorium, which was actually where kind of the main congregational space when this building was a church. And you see an audiovisual presentation about the Salem Witch Trials. So it's about 20 minutes long. Large life-sized dioramas that tell you the story of the Salem Witch Trials from the very beginning to the very end, an overview of the event. It is theatrical. It's intended to be entertaining, engaging, I should say, but it is a history presentation at its core. And then our visitors go into a second exhibit, which was added in 1999. It's called Witches: Evolving Perceptions, and that's about the evolving image of the witch, the European witch trials, modern day witchcraft. And then we talk a little bit about the meaning of the word witch-hunt and why we should be learning about these events.
[00:09:24] Sarah Jack: Your social media is really strong, and you're always enticing us into the programs that you're offering. Do you wanna tell us about what programs are available and how people can experience those?
[00:09:38] Rachel Christ-Doane: One of the silver linings of the pandemic we can say is we really surged into kind of the virtual stratosphere. So one of the resources we've been offering in the past couple of years are these virtual programs, which are honestly really fun. They're maybe my favorite part of the job. Myself and our assistant education director, Jill Christiansen, work on these programs from year to year. 
So we typically offer three to four programs a year, sometimes more, sometimes less. And they cover just a variety of topics from researching the Salem Witch Trials and how historians make mistakes in the research process, we did an event about that this year, to contemporary witch hunts, such as those that are going on in Africa, which we posted a guest lecture. Dr. Igwe was here this year. We do events about women's history. We did an event about race and the Salem Witch Trials a few years ago, where we talked about how contemporary conceptions of race informed the way the trials or impacted the way the trials took place and then also how ideas about race have informed the narrative of the witch trials over time. So it's a variety of different events. 
We create in-house a lot of lectures, which is really fun for us. And then we also bring in guest speakers. And that's just been a way for us to widen our audience and get our information out to people who can't necessarily come visit us in person or who want to visit us in person but haven't had an opportunity yet.
[00:11:11] Sarah Jack: I just appreciate how broad and deep and enriching the program topics that you offer, and as an out of state descendant, I gleaned a lot of history and information from attending, last May, I attended the panel that you did with several of the Salem authors and that was probably my introduction to the museum, actually. And then getting to visit this May, a year later. But I really appreciate when I see that a program is gonna be happening, it's not, "oh, it's more of the same thing." It's always something that is gonna be really important for people to get to experience. So thanks for doing that.
[00:11:54] Rachel Christ-Doane: Thank you. That's always really good to hear. And that's the kind of best part about this subject is it's so rich, there's so many different angles you can come into talking about the history of witchcraft. I don't think we'll ever run out of topics for these events. 
[00:12:11] Josh Hutchinson: And you have another event coming up that looks very intriguing.
[00:12:16] Rachel Christ-Doane: It's July 20th. We are offering an event called Witch Trials and Antisemitism: a Surprisingly Tangled History. So this is an event that I personally have really wanted to do for several years now. So basically we're gonna very broadly be discussing the kind of overlap in connections between the treatment of Jews in European history and witches. And essentially the kind of very short version is a lot of the stories that are used to demonize Jewish individuals in the medieval period, stories about how Jews eat children and kill babies and drink blood, things that are, of course, 100% incorrect. These are just stories used to demonize others. 
Those same stories end up getting recycled and used again during the witch trials period. But instead of being used against Jews, they're used against witches. So we're gonna really dive into that overlapping history, and we felt that this was a particularly important topic to talk about, because there has been such a surge in antisemitism over the past few years, and a lot of these same stories are coming up again.
There's this secret conspiracy of people who are hiding in plain sight, and they're eating children, and it's you hear a lot of rhetoric today that could have been copied and pasted from 1200 or 1500, so we felt like this was a really important topic to really dive into.
And it's a little bit outside of our comfort zone, cuz we're really diving into the medieval period. But we've put a lot of time and effort into this research, and we've had some really wonderful outside sources consulting with us for this. So I think it's gonna be a really great program.
[00:13:59] Sarah Jack: That's wonderful. Would you like to tell us how you got started at the museum?
[00:14:05] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yeah, I ended up here by accident. I always say. It was a fortuitous journey. So when I was in the midst of my undergrad career, I was a history major, and I was interested in women's history, and I didn't quite know how I was going to ever make money out of, find a profession that would actually pay me to do that kind of history.
I applied to a bunch of different museums across Massachusetts, thinking it would be good to just get some experience in a museum space. And I applied at the Salem Witch Museum, and they had a opening position. So I worked here on the floor as just a general staff member, and I just fell in love with Salem and with this history. And I, you know, have have been here ever since. That was 2015. So I ended up finishing out my undergraduate career really focusing on witchcraft history. And then when I graduated, I came back to the museum and was able to pursue a master's degree while working here. And I've been the director of education since about 2018.
So it's been a really fun journey and now I always joke that I'm so specialized in this now I can't leave. Not that I would ever want to, this is definitely a job like no other, which is really special.
[00:15:24] Josh Hutchinson: We're so glad that you're there. You're doing wonderful work with all these programming and the educational offerings that you have. I know summer's a busy season for you, but what is life like there in October?
[00:15:41] Rachel Christ-Doane: So I've been working here for about eight years now, and even in just that time, October has become steadily more and more difficult to manage in some ways as time has gone on. So for those who might be listening who don't know, October is by far the busiest time of year for Salem. The city sponsors an event called Haunted Happenings. It's a fall festival that goes on for the entire month of October. And it was actually envisioned as, it was created as, a one weekend event in 1982. It was just supposed to be two days. And nobody could have foreseen how popular this festival would become.
There's all kinds of things happening throughout the city throughout that time. The different businesses do special events and things like that. There's tours, there's concerts. It's a really fun time to be here. But Salem is actually quite a small city. We were never meant to be hosting a festival that's this popular.
So even in the past few years since the pandemic, last year, we had the busiest year on record. We had over a million people come in the month of October, which was just unbelievably crazy to a point where the city's infrastructure simply can't handle it. Restrooms were breaking all over the city, like the plumbing of Salem couldn't physically handle it. It's a testament to how much people love Halloween and the popularity of that particular fall holiday, which people now very strongly associate with Salem. So it's a blessing and a curse. 
It's really fun to work here in October to a degree. You get to meet people from all over the world who are in full-on Halloween costumes for the entire month of October, who are just so happy and excited to be here, so that's really fun. But at the same time it's also very demanding, and people tend to get a little frustrated trying to get in and out of Salem and are maybe not so nice to the service workers while they're here. So this is a friendly reminder to always be nice to service workers wherever you go, because it's people just trying their best to make your visit fun.
So it's good, and it's stressful. And it's also what allows Salem to thrive as a community, because the revenue that's generated in October is what keeps the city going throughout the winter. So again, it's a blessing and a curse all in one.
[00:18:12] Sarah Jack: And is there any other aspects of the tourism that you might like to speak to as far as the city or your museum?
[00:18:21] Rachel Christ-Doane: So I always say that Salem is a very unique example of tourism. We're a case of what would be called dark tourism. Contemporary tourists traveling to a site associated with dark or tragic history. So Salem is this very kind of unique, strange place because when most people think of the word witch today, they don't necessarily think of the historic criminal offense of witchcraft.
Of course, they know witch trials happened here and usually are aware that resulted in the deaths of innocent people. But for most people, witches are a pop culture phenomena. They're Hocus Pocus and Harry Potter and Wicked and Charmed and all of these kind of beloved cultural figures we know today.
So that makes tourism here very tricky, because what draws people here is not necessarily a colonial history lesson. It's this kind of deeper story of the supernatural and magic and the occult and things like that. Which I always say is not a bad thing. It's very tempting to condemn the contemporary tourism industry here and say, "this is so inappropriate, none of it should happen. Why would the city feed into this at all?" And I always say, it's not a bad thing that people have this in mind. You can't criticize people, because that's just what our culture is today. The important thing to do is once they're here and they're excited about being here, is to then use it as an opportunity to educate them about the importance of this history and what really happened and what a witch really was in 1692.
And you know, I won't flatter myself to say that every person leaves our museum, for example, with this kind of more enlightened view of the witch, but we certainly hope that many of our visitors do. And again, it's this kind of really unique opportunity to educate that most historical sites only dream about. So it's an interesting place, Salem.
[00:20:26] Josh Hutchinson: And what are some of the historical points of interest that are near the museum?
[00:20:33] Rachel Christ-Doane: There's lots of stuff nearby the museum, lots of places with direct connections to the witch trials and also just to the broader history of Salem. Salem is an embarrassment of riches when we talk about the history here, beyond the witch trials. 
But in terms of our witch history, we're very close to several important sites. The site where the Salem Jail stood is right around the corner from our building. The site where the courthouse was and the meeting house. Those are all very near where we are. And when you guys were here, we obviously, we did a little walking tour and showed you the sites. And we do have a witch trials online sites tour on our website, where you can see different sites in Salem and across Essex County that have these connections.
So even if a marker isn't there today, we will show you the approximate location and the history of that site. That's our assistant education director's baby. That's a project she will work on for the rest of her life. So it's an ever expanding resource. But then we also have the Witch Trials Memorial that's very close to us.
So that memorial was actually in part created by our museum. We were very involved in its creation. Our director at the time and education director were extremely involved in organizing the tercentenary and the creation of the Witch Trials Memorial. And we actually have an entire virtual lecture about the history of the memorial, if anybody is interested in it, but that site is a really special place. It's right next to the Old Buring Point Cemetery, which is one of the oldest cemeteries in America, and several of the judges from the witch trials are buried there. Yeah, if anybody's ever visiting Salem, I always recommend going to the memorial, because it's really, it's a good place to reflect on what really happened here and the real people who were involved.
[00:22:25] Sarah Jack: Yes. Thank you so much for that walking tour. It was really memorable to be able to do that with you. And we had Dr. Igwe with us, and I remember when we were at the memorial, when we walked up and he saw the quotes there from some of the victims, how much that struck him, because he hears those words now too many times where he's working. So thank you for giving us that extra little history lesson and experience when we visited. 
What is next for the Salem Witch Museum?
[00:22:59] Rachel Christ-Doane: It's kind of a two-part answer. So we're in the midst of the series of very large updates, interpretive updates. This is something we've been working on for many years now. The kind of first leg of this project was updating our second exhibit, Witches: Evolving Perceptions. So when I say updating, the kind of most significant element of this is removing some dated scholarship.
So scholarship, as we know, changes all the time. We learn more and more all the time about this history and kind of particularly in regards to witchcraft history. This field is still relatively new. It doesn't become a very serious academic discipline until the mid 20th century. So a lot of research has been produced since the creation of our museum and the creation of these exhibits.
So updating the interpretation, removing some dated content, such as when that exhibit, second exhibit was created. It was widely believed that a million people were executed during the European witch trials. Now, we now know that that's actually impossible given the population of Europe and the effects of the Black Plague. And historians have come up with the more reasonable estimate that it's closer probably to about 45,000 people on the lower end of the spectrum. Getting rid of information like that, adding new information just in response to our audience and what we see people interested in learning about, adding some new artifacts back there has been a big push in recent years. 
We have a first edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in our section where we talk about the evolving image of the witch. We do actually have a copy of the book, The Malleus Maleficarum, which was an incredibly important text during the European witch trials. It was a manual for witch hunters. We have a copy of that and several other texts related to demonology in our collection that are not yet on display, but are hopefully going on display in the next few years. 
And then the next big saga or the next chapter is updating our main presentation and doing the same thing, removing points of dated scholarship. So that presentation was created in 1972, and since 1972, we've learned a lot about the trials. We've learned a lot about the kind of story of events. So the kind of cause and effect at the beginning of the trials, particularly the role of Tituba, who's an enslaved woman who's one of the first accused. That's something we've learned a lot about and had to unlearn some narratives since 1972. Things like knowing the location of the hangings, knowing it's not Gallows Hill, it's Proctor's Ledge, these are all relatively recent elements of the scholarly conversation. So all this to say, this is the next big project.
But the project has been going on for many years now, and it's been a series of really unfortunate events. The first time we started working on this, the front of the building started to separate from the building. It started to sag off. So that was a million dollar project just to fix the structure of the building.
And that's why I say our building is a blessing and a curse, because maintenance to a 19th century building is very difficult. And then the second time we had pulled the plug on this, it was January of 2020 and a couple months later, the entire country shut down. So we are now in round three.
I swear if there are any more destructive, life-altering events, we're gonna have to burn a sage bonfire or something, cuz it's feeling like this project is a little cursed. But anyway that's the next big thing on our horizon is just finishing finally that big project so that we can move on and work on building additional exhibits and adding additional content and things like that.
[00:26:44] Josh Hutchinson: Thank you for sharing so much about the museum. We absolutely enjoyed ourselves there and your programming. And you also are heavily involved in research, and you've done some very incredible research into Dorothy Good, one of your subjects. And could you introduce Dorothy to the audience?
[00:27:10] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yeah. So Dorothy is arguably one of the saddest stories from the Salem Witch Trials. So she is the daughter of Sarah Good, who's one of the first people accused. She is executed during the trials, and Dorothy is four years old, so she is accused of witchcraft not long after her mother. She is arrested and placed in prison, and she remains in jail for about eight months, seven or eight months. So she's not released from prison until December of 1692. And she is so traumatized by her experience that she is never able to recover. Her mother dies. Her infant sister, who accompanies her mother to jail, because she's too young to be separated from her mother, also dies in jail. And she's four years old, shackled in a prison cell. So the emotional trauma she carried with her through the rest of her life is just, it's very hard for us to really even imagine today.
[00:28:15] Sarah Jack: I was wondering what, were there other types of situations where they would have imprisoned and shackled a child of that age during that time?
[00:28:25] Rachel Christ-Doane: Maybe. It's very hard to envision. There are cases of extreme poverty where, they wouldn't necessarily, and this is also a little bit later after 1692, you wouldn't necessarily be arrested and shackled, but you might be sent to a poor house. But yeah, it's very difficult to envision another situation where a child that young would be arrested for a crime. It would have to be a very unusual situation.
[00:28:54] Sarah Jack: It really struck me when you were giving your presentation for History Camp and you talked about what it would've even been like to get her to the prison, that she would've not walked herself there. She would've been brought there, like physically carried, picked up.
[00:29:12] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yeah. So my research in recent years, the past couple years, has been about her adult life. And I stumbled upon these records in the Salem town selectmen record book that show she kind of, as an adult, bounces around from house to house for most of her adult life, because she's unable to care for herself. So it's this really horrible story about not only the youngest accused witch during the Salem Witch Trials but also the life of a colonial woman who couldn't contribute to society. So if you weren't able to fulfill the role of mother, wife, keeper of the house, society struggled to deal with you.
And honestly, it's, that is true to this day, right? We still have a difficult time dealing with people who can't contribute to society. And Dorothy is, it turns out, a really clear example of that, so I have been working on this research about this story of her adult life for a few years. I published an article in the American Ancestors Magazine this past, I think it was the Spring edition, where I talk about the discovery and what we know now.
And now I'm currently pivoting and trying to work on this as a full book, just really diving into what do these records really tell us about a woman in the 18th century who couldn't function, who's struggling with a mental health issue, whatever that may be in clinical terms? She's not able to care for herself, so what does that mean? So it's really depressing research, but it's really interesting, and it certainly aligns with, I've always been interested in women's history. Turns out women's history is extremely depressing.
[00:31:05] Josh Hutchinson: What does the story mean? What is the importance of this new information about Dorothy for understanding the aftermath of the Salem witch trials?
[00:31:17] Rachel Christ-Doane: Sometimes people are a little shocked when they hear that 20 people are executed and shocked in terms of they think that number should be much higher. And I think that stems from the Salem Witch Trails are just so famous. You hear about them in popular culture so frequently. They're arguably the most famous witchcraft trial in Western history. So they assume that the, quote, unquote, "body count" should be higher or it should have been more brutal or something like that. And this is a reminder of 20 people being executed is a very large amount, number one. We can't discount that, but then we also can't discount the people who lived afterwards were forever altered by this experience. You didn't just go back to your day-to-day life like nothing had happened. So many people were traumatized, would've certainly struggled to live in this community or just live out the rest of their lives. We can only imagine, especially those people who were imprisoned for months and months. So it's kind of a reminder of these events were absolutely devastating to every person involved, not just the executed but the survivors were also forever destroyed by these events.
[00:32:36] Sarah Jack: And in the Good case, prior to the execution of Sarah, their family was already really struggling. Mr. Good wasn't necessarily helping Sarah contribute to society, and now she's gone, but he is still there. So Dorothy still has a father. Did he remarry? Did he take care of Dorothy? What happened?
[00:33:03] Rachel Christ-Doane: So he does remarry. He remarries relatively quickly after the trials. I don't remember the date exactly, it's I'll have to look it up, but it's maybe a year or two later. It's pretty fast, which was not uncommon during the time, especially because he now has this very traumatized four-year-old daughter. He likely needed a partner in the house to help him. He actually submits a request for a reparations payment when the reparations process is happening in the 1700s. And previously, that request for a payment had been all that we knew about Dorothy. 
So he says in that payment that he is asking on behalf of his wife who's died, his other child who has died, and then his daughter Dorothy, who was shackled in a prison for months. And he says she is "chargeable, having little or no reason to govern herself." So when you look up the phrase chargeable, it actually means she's expensive. So meaning that her care is difficult, it's taxing on him financially. And then saying with little or no reason to govern herself, we have long inferred that meant she's clearly struggling with some sort of debilitating mental illness as a result of her trauma.
So we know that she lives with her father for quite a few years after the trials and his new wife. However, she in, I think it's around 1708 or so, starts to appear in the care of other people. So he clearly is not capable of taking care of her. And when he actually is awarded his reparation payment in 1711, he directs that payment go to the person who's currently caring for her, which indicates she's not living with him, certainly by that time.
William Good does not come across as a good person in history, and it's always hard to draw those definitive lines about who's a good person and who's not, especially cuz we have such little information about them. But he's not a good provider for Sarah. We know that the couple were destitute, they were forced to beg in the years before 1692.
Then during Sarah's trial or pre-trial examinations, he comes forward, and he says that she's probably a witch. Like he implicates her. And then after the trials are over, he ends up giving up Dorothy into the care of somebody else. We don't know what's going on with him. Maybe he's struggling with his own demons. Maybe he just wasn't capable of providing for a child that was that sick. But he does abandon her ultimately into the care of someone else. And then he disappears. And interestingly, his second wife, whose name is Elizabeth, she actually appears in the Selectmen records as well and seems to be in the care of other people. So I think he abandons both of them. He either dies, and his death is not recorded, which is certainly possible, or he just disappears, and he leaves them both, and he moves away. So either way, not a great ending for William Good.
[00:36:06] Josh Hutchinson: And given the struggles that her family had with poverty and then her own challenges, I'd like to know, was there a system in place to aid people who had needs like that?
[00:36:21] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yes. And that's actually why we know why there are records about Dorothy in the years that follow. So New England's poverty laws are very much mimicking the poverty laws in England. So essentially they're supposed to have an overseer, set of overseers of the poor, people who pay attention to the poor in your area and make sure that they're being cared for. 
They do have a requirement about quote, unquote, "deserving poor." So these are people who are legal residents of your town. So that's to say that if somebody wandered into your town who was from Billerica, let's say, wanders into Salem Village. Salem Village would not be legally obligated to provide for that person. They would pass them back to Billerica, because it was Billerica's duty to be the one who's caring for them. 
 So it's, yes, they did have a system in place to care for them, but it's, they're really trying to pass people off. They try very hard not to have to care for you if they don't have to. And basically the systems that it is in place for many years is people would be put into the care of a local family. So you would live with someone for X amount of time. Usually they're doing it year by year, and the town would pay that family for your care. So they would pay for your clothing, for your food, things like that, and then, a year later, if that family still wanted to take care of you, they would keep you, and there would be a notation about it in the selectman records, or if not, somebody else would take you in, ideally, and the cycle would continue. 
So that's how I was able to find Dorothy, is I was looking in the selectman records for somebody else, for Ann Dolliver, who is also accused of witchcraft, and she lived where our museum actually stands today. I was trying to figure out when her death date is, and I knew she was involved in this system of caring for the poor. And in looking for her, I found all these records from selectman, year to year, commenting on the care of Dorothy.
[00:38:28] Sarah Jack: Who ended up taking care of Dorothy?
[00:38:31] Rachel Christ-Doane: So it's a series of people. There's a Putnam who actually cares for her for a little while. It's Benjamin Putnam. Who is in terms of, if you know anything about the witch trials, the Putnam's are the villain family. They're the chief accusers, we can say, Thomas Putnam's family is. But this is a very large family, and there's certainly members of the Putnam families who are not involved in the witch trials or are sympathetic to the victims. So Benjamin is part of the family where his father hadn't been very involved. He hadn't been very involved. His father signed a petition, in fact, in favor of Rebecca Nurse. So they seem to have been sympathetic to the victims. 
So he cares for her for a while. He then passes away, and his son Nathaniel takes over her care for a little while. And then she actually disappears and comes back pregnant. So that's, we don't really know what happened, or I'm working on finding out what happens to her, but whether she got pregnant living in Nathaniel's house, whether she left the house, went somewhere else, and returned pregnant is unclear. There is no record indicating who the father of the child is, so it's a big question mark. She and the baby end up living with Nathan for a little while, and then she bounces around from a few different houses. 
She ends up in the house of corrections for a little while, which is like a poorhouse. It's places that people who were impoverished, who weren't showing signs of participating in society at all, so who were not helping in the houses they were living in or being quote, unquote, "lazy." Things like that could get you a stay in the house of correction. So she's there for a little while. She ends up getting pregnant a second time and gives birth in Concord, which is very confusing. How and why she ends up in Concord is still very unclear. 
And then ultimately she ends up for most of her life, or most of her adult life, in the care of a man named Jonathan Batchelder, who lives in Beverly. He's very interesting, because he actually testified against Sarah Good years before, during the witch trials. He's young at the time. He's a a teenager. But he's one of the people who offers testimony against her. So we can make all kinds of speculations about is he taking care of Dorothy, Sarah's child, out of guilt, out of Christian charity, because he feels remorse for what he did? Whatever the case, he ends up taking care of her and her second child.
And then after Jonathan dies, Dorothy disappears, no idea where she goes. That's, I have some theories about it, but no definitive proof. And we don't know when or where she dies definitively, although I'm probably gonna spend the rest of my life trying to figure it out.
[00:41:20] Josh Hutchinson: One of those men you mentioned in your talk and in the article in American Ancestors was Robert Hutchinson, and he's my ninth great grand uncle. And thought I'd mention that. But his father, Joseph, was one of the ones who accused Sarah Good. So I always wondered, once I learned that Robert had involvement with Dorothy Good, was he making up for something? It's speculation, of course. 
[00:41:49] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yeah, that's fascinating. Especially because, so I will confess, I have a negative view of Robert, because Dorothy doesn't seem to wanna stay with him. So there's two or three occasions where she's, there's a record that says she's supposed to go into his care, and then she ends up somewhere else, either in the House of Corrections, or she ends up in Concord giving birth to a child.
She, it seems like there's a couple of attempts for her to stay with him, and she does maybe stay with him for some amount of time, but it's very interesting to me that it doesn't really stick. And we can make a lot of speculations as to why, so I, we all have like fictional narratives of what's going on, and then I kind of wonder if maybe she just didn't like him or didn't like living in his house for some reason. Is something going on there? But that's very interesting. If you find anything else about your relative, let me know.
[00:42:43] Josh Hutchinson: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:42:45] Sarah Jack: My speculative narrative on that situation is maybe Mrs. Hutchinson didn't want her there.
[00:42:51] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yeah. So the kind of darkest narrative, I will confess, is she does get pregnant around one of the times where she's supposed to be living with him. Is he the father of her child? That is total speculation. I have literally no reason to think that other than she's just near him. But so I don't wanna slander the name of Robert Hutchinson, but it's interesting to consider, you know, especially because we have no leads.
Normally in a case of an unwed mother, or I should say regularly in a case of an unwed mother, they would really try to figure out who the father is, because that helped with the financial situation. It was in the town's best interest to have a recorded father, because then they could be financially responsible for the child, as opposed to if no father is named, then now you've got a baby born out of wedlock, so you have to support the mother and the baby.
I have been through the records looking at cases of premarital sex and bastard children, and there's a lot of records of women and their baby daddies, for lack of a better term, that the court would force them to on record say who it was, and Dorothy just does not appear in those records. So that's really interesting. Could they just not get her to say who it was? We don't know. Given her mental state, was she capable of telling them who it was? It's unclear. We don't know how cognitive she is. We don't know how she might not have been a verbal person. It's very kinda shady the way her mental health is described.
So yeah, we can, we can, and I do, make many speculations about it on my own, but in lack of firm evidence, all we can say is there's two babies. One's a boy and one's a girl, and we have no idea who the fathers are.
[00:44:42] Josh Hutchinson: And you mentioned a house of corrections. What was that?
[00:44:49] Rachel Christ-Doane: So it's like a workhouse, poorhouse. So the house of corrections in Salem is actually built as an attachment onto the jail, which is a whole other layer of kind of, a whole other disturbing layer here, because Dorothy is certainly in jail in Salem for some amount of time. I don't think she's there for the majority of her imprisonment. I think she's in Boston. But she was brought there for her initial questioning. She may have been transferred there at some point. Her mother is certainly transferred there before her trial. The fact that Dorothy is then as an adult sent to the house of correction, which is just a building added on to that jail space, that's horrible that we can only imagine how triggering that would be. 
So when people who are sent there, there are some lines in the records describing other women who are there, who were set to work like spinning and things like that. So this was a place for people who, again, were not contributing to society. There's some very strong language in the Massachusetts laws that say, if you're idle, if you're slothful, things like that, you will be sent to the house of correction. So yeah, what she's actually doing in there, who can say, but other people who were in that situation were required to like spin wool and things like that.
[00:46:13] Sarah Jack: I was wondering who took care of her children.
[00:46:17] Rachel Christ-Doane: So both children become indentured servants, which was very common for children in that situation. Even if both parents were known, if they were both impoverished parents who couldn't necessarily care for the children, the kids would be sent out to work in other people's homes and be raised there.
So an indentured contract essentially says you are going to be a servant in my home for X amount of years. I believe for boys it's 18 years. For girls it's 21 years. I think I could have that backwards, but I think it's boys 18, girls 21. And in exchange, the master of the house will teach them a set of skills. So they will clothe them, they will bathe them, they will feed them, and they will teach them a trade. So for girls, domestic work, for boys, depended on the trade that person was in. And we'll teach them to read and write. We'll teach them some amount of literacy. So it was, in a way, kind of a good solution.
The idea was a child will be able to leave an indentured contract and have a trade, so be able to support themselves to some degree. So we know that her daughter is indentured to Nathaniel Putnam, and she's there for her set term, and her son, whose name is William, is indentured to Jonathan Batchelder.
And Dorothy actually disappears before Williams' indentured contract is up. So I would assume both kids stay where they're supposed to be for their full contracts. But I haven't been able to find any records of where they might go from there. Maybe they die, maybe they move away and they're just gonna appear in a different town records. They're not in the vital records at all. So that's another thing I'm gonna be hunting down for the rest of my life. I was joking with Marilynne Roach, the historian, that this is gonna deteriorate into me going selectman record to selectman record, town to town. And she laughed, cuz she wrote the Day by Day Chronicle, which took her like 30 years. So who am I to complain?
[00:48:27] Josh Hutchinson: And is it known what trades the children were being trained for?
[00:48:35] Rachel Christ-Doane: So Dorothy, the, girl is being trained as a domestic worker, so to be able to serve in a house. I don't remember off the top of my head what William's trade was. I think it might have been carpentry, but I'll have to look it up. The indentured records for both of them exist. This housewright? And there's no record of him. I have got, so he's living in Beverly at the time. So I have been to Beverly to look through their records to see if there's any indication of him working as a housewright. And nothing yet. Unfortunately, their records are missing a big chunk in the exact time I'm looking for, which that happens. Maybe there was a record of him that just hasn't survived. So we will never know.
[00:49:19] Sarah Jack: Some of the timeline of Dorothy's adult life shows that she was a wanderer. It looks like there's records that show she was warned outta town. What does that mean, warned outta town?
[00:49:31] Rachel Christ-Doane: So warned out of town is essentially somebody who is being forced to leave for one reason or another. So it oftentimes has to do with a woman becoming pregnant. And it has to do with your status as a resident. So again, if you're not considered to be a legal resident of that town and you do something that it is not favorable to the town. For example, Martha Carrier, she and Thomas Carrier are warned out of Andover after the smallpox epidemic in the 1690s. So they don't actually end up leaving, it seems. They're told to go, and it doesn't seem like they do. So it's like a kind of official notice saying you need to go. 
Dorothy is warned out. In her case, which is very common, it's after she gets pregnant, there's this notice that says you have to go, we're not taking financial responsibility for you, essentially. In her case, she doesn't, she also doesn't leave. And it seems that she then immediately kind of ends up in the care of Nathaniel Putnam. So my thought is that there's this notice issued and Nathaniel steps in and says, "I will take her, and she will live with me, and that will be the solution to this."
Yeah, it's, it's just kind of part of their system of caring for the poor. It's a really kind of brutal system of care and it's, a lot of it has to do with money, as it does today.
[00:50:54] Josh Hutchinson: Yeah, that's just another layer of this multi-layered tragedy. Just that she gets pregnant, has children, the fathers don't step up, the town won't want to assume the bills, so basically nobody does, except that, fortunately, Nathaniel Putnam does offer to take her in.
[00:51:20] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yeah, but there's, this is just one case of, it's an interesting and really sad window into women's lives, of what happens if nobody stepped up for you. You're just left destitute. And Sarah, her mother is in that position. She's got, she does have a husband, but the husband's pretty useless. She's wandering around the town, she's, she doesn't have anywhere permanent to live, and she's got a four year old and an infant baby in 1692. And her life has deteriorated into just living off of charity.
[00:51:56] Sarah Jack: I just think that it's really gonna be incredible as you're working on your book that you can take, you know, this tale of little Dorothy from the Salem Witch Trials. But these records that are emerging are going to put a lens on the experience of women in the 17th century in these situations. So it's really a beautiful thing. She's gonna be able to teach us more about those experiences, and you're able to give that to the world. So thank you.
[00:52:29] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yeah, and I say that there's a silver lining to this horror. It's, number one, it's, it gives us this really interesting window into the life of impoverished women in the colonial period. There has been some really excellent work about women's lives during this time. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, for example, has written some phenomenal works about being a woman and just your day-to-day life.
But it's so rare to have information about impoverished people, because they don't, they're not showing up in the records, unless they're, they have done something wrong. They're not, they're, the records of their lives don't exist. So having access to that is really incredible.
But I also, I've said a few times this discovery is meaningful, because it also tells us that Sarah Good's line might have continued. So until now, we've thought that it stopped after Dorothy and her sister, who dies, and Dorothy, we just assumed didn't have children, and we now know she has both a son and a daughter. You know, I've yet to figure out what happens from there. But the fact that she has two children certainly may suggest her line continues. So that would be really incredible to find out that she has living descendants to this day.
[00:53:48] Josh Hutchinson: We're talking about 17th and 18th century, how unfortunate people were treated, and, unfortunately, our legacy of treatment of the unhoused, the impoverished, unwed mothers hasn't been stellar since then, either.
[00:54:09] Rachel Christ-Doane: I'm thinking that's the epilogue of this book is that we, when we're talking about the 17th century or the 18th century, we tend to say, "oh, those unenlightened early colonists, they were just less intelligent than us today, more brutish, less civilized. And we have made it so far since then." And the truth of the matter is that is absolutely not the case. We have so many similarities with people living during this time. We are still struggling with the same issues they struggled with. We may have indoor plumbing, but that doesn't make us better than them or more intelligent than they were.
So that's something that I always feel like it's really important to stress. And yeah, in this case, looking at the treatment of unwed mothers, of women who struggle with a mental illness that's debilitating, there's a lot of similarities between then and now. And we can't ignore them.
[00:55:09] Josh Hutchinson: There are so many laws that really disturb me today, and more come up every day about, that almost make it illegal just to be impoverished. You can't sleep in public. People are taking benches away, so you can't even sit down in a lot of places, and it just makes it, it's an impossible situation you're in already, and it's so much harder. You end up spending a lot of time behind bars, unfortunately.
[00:55:43] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yep. And again, it's not very different. It's not so different from the 17th century, unfortunately.
[00:55:49] Josh Hutchinson: Yeah, and so we don't know where she went after Salem and Beverly?
[00:55:57] Rachel Christ-Doane: Not definitively. So I say at the end of the lecture there's a theory. So there is this very intriguing newspaper article that is published in New London, Connecticut that says, that's a death notice for a woman named Dorothy Good that describes her as a transient, vagrant person who has been found laying dead in a bog meadow. And it is, I don't remember the exact timing, but it's maybe like 20 years after she disappears. So I can certainly speculate.
I think maybe, and this is all super speculation, but Jonathan Batchelder may have been a consistent person in her life. She stays with him for a very long time. That's the truth of the matter. Does she feel safe with him? Does she, is that kind of becoming a home for her? And then he passes away, and she disappears? So my thought is, and she also has this recorded tendency to wander, that's something that comes up in the records a couple of times, that she's a wandering person. So my thought is he dies, and maybe she leaves, and she just ends up wandering town to town, maybe getting warned out of other places. That's my, not hope, but going forward, my last kind of thread here is looking at other notices of people being warned out to see if she appears anywhere else that would at least give us some indication of where she is.
And maybe because it's a period of numerous years, she certainly theoretically could have wandered as far as Connecticut. It's a very long period of time she's missing. That is a very far distance to go. It seems impossible, but it's, it is, it is technically possible. And just the description of her, Dorothy Good, a transient, vagrant person. It sounds like her, it sounds the way that she's described in the records in Salem. 
So it's been pointed out by my colleague, this could also be her daughter, whose name is also Dorothy Good. It seems less likely to me, because Dorothy Good, Jr. is in a more stable situation. She's an indentured servant for Nathaniel Putnam. She's learning a trade. It feels to me like why would she end up being a transient person? It's possible. But yeah, it does feel like that could. I have this kind of just feeling it's her. I can't say it definitively, but, and what a horrible ending, though. Like part of me doesn't want it to be her, because if it is, she ends up dead in a bog. She ends up dead outside probably having died from exposure. And that's horrible. I really want her to have ended up somewhere where she's being cared for by a loving family. But who can say? It doesn't always work out that way, unfortunately.
[00:58:53] Sarah Jack: Yeah, it's really incredible that a name was even included in that description, because then it, you could have never put this as a possibility to her story. And then I know you had mentioned how this post was in multiple news outlets. That's very interesting.
[00:59:14] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yeah, it's republished in three other papers in addition to the one in New London, including one in Massachusetts. There's, I believe it's two in New York, one in Massachusetts. I did have a long conversation with the historian in New London or the archivist in New London about this. She very kindly is the one who helped me find the full text for it. And she was wondering, is it just because it's so sensational of a story, it could just be that's a horrible way for someone to die. Maybe that's why it's published in multiple news outlets. It also feels to me, though, like it's certainly possible people were aware of her role in the witch trials. It's a reach, because they don't say anything about the witch trials in that death notice. Maybe that's why it reaches so far is because people are aware, or maybe people regionally had been aware she was involved in the witch trials in New London, and they wanted people back home to be aware she had died. So it's a very interesting little piece of text. 
And I also mentioned in the article that Good is not a very common surname at this time. If you look in vital records in both Massachusetts and Connecticut, there are very few Goods, if any, beyond this family. There's variations of the name Good, like longer versions of the name, but just to have someone with the last name Good, and then to have also the first name Dorothy. It's either a very remarkable coincidence, or it's one of the two Dorothys from Salem.
[01:00:47] Josh Hutchinson: Yeah, after I had heard you mention that, I did some searching online, and it was very difficult to find anybody named Good. It, you'd think it sounds like it would be a common name, and then it's absolutely not.
[01:01:05] Rachel Christ-Doane: There's lots of Goodwins, there's no Goods. And that actually makes it very difficult. I have no idea what William's story is, Sarah's husband, where he's born, where he comes from, where he's living before he meets Sarah, that is all up in the air. Because again, there's just very, there, I have not been able to find any mentions of his family or his lineage at all.
So that's another kind of big question mark of where did he come from? Is he the one who's starting the kind of Good family name here? Because there are Goods showing up in the 19th century, so a full century later. So what is happening there? That's an interesting question.
[01:01:52] Sarah Jack: Yeah, this research on Dorothy Good and then how could pieces get filled in through identifying descendants, that is like, there's so much promise there possibly.
[01:02:07] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yeah. That's the interesting part about a research project like this is there's a lot of possible ends, and some of them will have reward. I went to the Phillips Library looking for indentured records, not knowing if I would find anything, and I did find William and Dorothy, so that was a huge day for me. But then, going back and looking again through prison records and court records of unwed mothers and their children, nothing, dead ends. That's the kind of frustrating and rewarding part about research is you'll have a spurt where you find something and it's thrilling and then dead ends for years. So we'll see.
[01:02:53] Josh Hutchinson: I was really blown away that you found anything at all, because I had always thought that her story dead-ended with her just being chargeable and needing maintenance the rest of her life.
[01:03:07] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yeah, me too. This, as I said, was a total accident. It was just, it was research about another person who I didn't know if I would be able to find anything about her. But, Ann Dolliver is a pretty obscure research subject. She, she, like Dorothy, is another person who struggles with mental health issues. She's the daughter of Reverend John Higginson, who is one of, he's the older minister of Salem in 1692. So I was just looking for, I knew she was in the care of the town after her father died, and I felt like logically there should be a record of the payments for her care from that point on, cuz it's a financial transaction, and theoretically when those payments stop, that means she has died. And so I was just super lucky to have access to the selectmen records. They were digitized only a few years ago, evidently. And it, you could have knocked me over the day where I started to realize that there was another very familiar name in these records that I kept coming across.
So yeah, it's, it was all just kind of luck. But and it also begs the question of what else is hiding out there, what other stories are in records that we haven't found yet?
[01:04:28] Josh Hutchinson: And Ann Dolliver also is interesting to me that she ends up in a similar situation, because of who her father was and the status of her brother, John Higginson Jr., also.
[01:04:40] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yeah, so she actually has a lot of similarities to Dorothy, in a way. So she is married to a fisherman in Gloucester, who appears to be a horrible guy. They have three kids together, and then he abandons her. So because he has abandoned her, she ends up having to come back and live with her father.
And the similarities are in terms of the way that they're described in records indicates she's not stable to a degree, you know, and again it's such vague language, we can't really make a diagnosis of what's going on in either case. But Ann also seems to really have struggled with what they would call melancholy. She is not able to live independently or remarry. And she ends up in the care of another family, very similar, in a similar way that Dorothy does, who take care of her for the rest of her life, again indicating she's not able to support herself, and she actually ends up living away from her children like Dorothy, probably because she either couldn't or wouldn't care for them.
So yeah, it's, again, it's just a window into this is what happened to a woman if you couldn't marry and have kids and fulfill your expected role.
[01:06:00] Sarah Jack: I think it's incredible how, when historians and writers and researchers like yourself start to work on a story, records start revealing the story. It's, it really is like a voice from the past, but it's also a look into ourselves. It's such an important thing, the story. So I'm so excited about this era of research in general for our society and, but particularly with the witch hunts it, there's so much to glean from it.
[01:06:36] Rachel Christ-Doane: Yeah, very much so. My hope is that these warned out records will show up, so that's, it's why you can never put the pen down, right? Because things will just keep coming up.
[01:06:47] Josh Hutchinson: Do you have anything that you want to add or anything else you wanted to talk about? Either the museum or anything else?
[01:06:57] Rachel Christ-Doane: I would say that just the best way to keep up with what we're doing here is following us on social media. So we are just @SalemWitchMuseum on both Facebook and Instagram, and actually TikTok, also, which kind of our new, newest addition to social media, which I still don't know if I like or not. But yeah, that's where we post about our upcoming virtual events like the antisemitism lecture, which is coming out next week. And that's where we post about new research that's going on, like additions to our online sites tour or new descendant packets. We will actually have hopefully five new descendant packets, we currently have four finished, we're going for the fifth, that will be ready in September this year. So that's where you can see what's new, what's happening, and then also just our day-to-day, what our hours are and things like that. Please follow us on social media, and then check out our website, which is, which has a whole bunch of different resources for descendants, for teachers, for students, for just avid history lovers. So yeah, that's the best place to see what we're doing and what's going on here.
[01:08:04] Josh Hutchinson: I also want to plug your YouTube channel. Do put these wonderful virtual events on there, and I've gone again and again to watch video after video, so I appreciate that you do that.
[01:08:20] Rachel Christ-Doane: Thank you. Yeah, that's another one. We also have the videos on our website as well, so there's a couple different places you can see them, but we always try to record virtual lectures. The only lectures we don't record are the ones that are ticketed, which these days are not many. Almost all of them are free now. So if we can record it, we do. And then, yes, those are available on our YouTube page and also on our website.
[01:08:43] Sarah Jack: And now for Minute with Mary. 
[01:08:54] Mary Bingham: Joanna Towne. I would like to address the misconception that our grandmother, Joanna, was accused of being a witch. She was not formally accused ever, but she was named in 1692, long after her death. 
The misconception originated circa 1670 when Reverend Thomas Gilbert of Topsfield was accused of being drunk before Sunday service, during Sunday service, and at the dinner following the Sunday service. Actually, he was so late to service that morning that some congregants actually left, but those who stayed were in for quite a show. Thomas was seen falling as he entered the building, slurring his words, and messing with the order of the service so that Isaac Cummings stood up and declared, "Stop. You are out of order and dangerously close to blaspheming the Lord's name." Thomas told Isaac to zip it and sit down. Things got so wild that Thomas quit his ministry at Topsfield right then and stormed out of the building, only to return three weeks later.
If that wasn't enough, there was a dinner that same afternoon after the fiasco at the parsonage, where many accused the minister of swigging too generously from the communion cup he shared with the diners, one of whom was Joanna Towne. Joanna, however, was the only person in attendance at that dinner who did not notice any odd behavior displayed by Thomas, nor did she think that he drank too much from the cup.
When this matter eventually went to court, Joanna proclaimed that everyone else was wrong. According to Joanna, Thomas ate and drank in moderation that day, and he was fully aware of his behavior. 
Fast forward to 1692, 10 years after Joanna died. John and Hannah Putnam's infant daughter became sick and died within two days. Sadly, the child died such a violent death, as John Putnam said, it was enough to pierce a stony heart. According to a prior conversation with his cousin-in-law, Ann Putnam, Sr. regarding Joanna Towne's daughters, he said that the apples didn't fall far from the trees. John had heard that rumors that Rebecca Nurse's and Mary Esty's mother was a witch. After all, it was a common belief that witchcraft was passed from mothers to their daughters. John concluded that since Rebecca and Mary's specters could not kill him, they killed his child. 
The Putnams were distant cousins to the Goulds, who were present at that service and dinner at Topsfield in 1670. Ensign John Gould, who filed the complaint on behalf of his wife against Thomas Gilbert, does not mention Joanna Towne in his complaint, though she offers the deposition in defense of Thomas. So I can only speculate that the gossip about Joanna's role traveled via the Gould family members, most likely those female family members, to their Putnam cousins who lived five miles south in Salem Village. I imagine these families visited from time to time, therefore sharing some of the gossip from their towns. 
Thank you.
[01:12:42] Sarah Jack: Thank you, Mary. 
[01:12:44] Josh Hutchinson: Here's Sarah with End Witch Hunts News. 
[01:13:04] Sarah Jack: End Witch Hunts, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), Weekly News Update. Today is July 20th. It is the day after the 331st anniversary of the hanging of five innocent alleged witches in Salem, Massachusetts on July 19th, 1692. The mother of Dorothy Good, Sarah Good, was among them, along with Sarah Wildes, Susannah Martin, Elizabeth How, and Rebecca Nurse. Rebecca, an accused elderly woman, was examined the same day Dorothy was examined.
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead Facebook page posted yesterday, quote, "accounts say that Rebecca Nurse was seen to be praying while on the cart and right before execution, only stopping to look at her children and family in the crowd. Sarah Good would have none of that. When they arrived at the hill, Reverend Noyes urged her to confess so she would at least not die a liar. She denied the guilt. Noyes said he knew she was a witch. 'You are a liar,' she snapped. 'I am no more a witch than you are a wizard, and if you take away my life, God will give you blood to drink.' This curse was based loosely on a verse in Revelation. 
What happened to these accused witches of the past is not unlike what is happening today. What you learned about Dorothy's experience as a four-year-old and the outcome of her adult life is the same story we hear today. Right now, people are targeted and hunted just like the Goods. They're believed to have used sorcery or evil to cause misfortune to their family, neighbors, or community. In many, many countries today, misfortunes like dangerous weather and unexplained or even everyday common sickness or death are still believed to be caused by humans doing supernatural harm.
In Ghana, women are hunted as witches, and thousands of them are now in refugee camps. These refugee camps are known as witch camps. The women sent away to them are alleged witches. They're innocent. They are not witches. These are not witch camps. These are refuge camps loaded with forgotten women, women who have not forgotten the life they were torn from, women who carry the visible scars and damage on their bodies from the attacks they endured. They survived brutal attacks, but now they are set aside. Their existence is buried in the past that they were plucked from. They're barely surviving. Many of them do not survive. 
Multitudes of women do not supernaturally cause mischief and misfortune. Once a person, once a child, is targeted as a witch, their old life is over. Nothing is ever the same for them again, the family is never whole, they are no longer in their home with their family unit living life as it was prior to the accusations. Most often, extended family is no longer close. Family is scattered. 
Awareness of the violent, modern witch Hunts against alleged witches is increasing across the world. You are aware and can take action, share the information, make a financial contribution to an advocacy organization. International media, organizations, governments, and individuals are taking action and educating about it directly in the affected communities. In Africa, India, Melanesia, and in additional affected places, many advocates are risking their lives to educate, rescue, intervene, and rehabilitate victims in the communities gripped by harmful practices and violence due to sorcery fear or witchcraft fear.
The United Nations Human Rights Council is acknowledging the crisis and urging additional efforts by all stakeholders. We are all stakeholders in efforts to stop these witch attacks and abuse crimes against men, women, and children. When you see it in the news, read about it and share it. Educate yourself and others. 
Next week, you'll hear from advocate and professor Miranda Forsyth, director of the working committee of The International Network Against Accusations of Witchcraft and Associated Harmful Practices. Expect to hear specific ways many organized groups of people are working as advocates. Learn about Papua New Guinea's action plan for sorcery accusation-related violence. Expect to hear specific ways you can start advocating. You do not have to wait to get involved. It is everybody's business to take a stand against the violence humans endure due to the supernatural fears of other humans. 
Thou Shalt Not Suffer Podcast supports the global efforts to end modern witch hunts. Get involved. Financially support our nonprofit initiatives to educate and intervene. Visit to make a tax-deductible contribution. You can also support us by purchasing books from our bookshop, merch from our Zazzle shop, or by subscribing as a Thou Shalt Not Suffer Podcast super listener for as little as $3 a month at Keep our t-shirts, available on, in mind when you start to get excited about Halloween 2023, and buy some fun wear. Sport one of our awesome shirts, and introduce people to the podcast or one of our projects by leaving your house looking cool. 
[01:17:57] Josh Hutchinson: Thank you, Sarah.
[01:17:59] Sarah Jack: You're welcome.
[01:18:01] Josh Hutchinson: And thank you for listening to Thou Shalt Not Suffer: The Witch Trial Podcast.
[01:18:06] Sarah Jack: Thank you for joining us every week for our great episodes.
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[01:18:32] Sarah Jack: Thank you.
[01:18:34] Josh Hutchinson: Have a great today and a beautiful tomorrow. 
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