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In Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” the playwright notes that “gentleness exudes from” a unwell, elderly woman named Rebecca Nurse.
At age seventy one, Nurse became the oldest woman killed on the Salem witch trials of 1692 and 1693. About 200 people had been tried for witchcraft in Puritan New England and 19 of them, normally women, had been hanged for the crime.
Now, many individuals declare Nurse and the other victims as ancestors.
Nurse’s domestic in Danvers, Massachusetts, is now a museum. When the Rebecca Nurse dwelling house invited people to send cards for her 400th birthday, they had been greatly surprised at how many came in, more often than not from her descendants.
The Rebecca Nurse home is the most effective domestic of someone carried out during the witch trials that’s open to the general public. Kathryn Rutkowski, curator and president of the Rebecca Nurse abode, says two sorts of americans come to discuss with: people all in favour of the witch trials and descendants of Nurse from across the nation and past.
When she began working on the dwelling house at age 14, Rutkowski changed into shocked to peer so many descendants as somebody who isn’t concerning anyone from the colonial period. And now, people can easily find out about their ancestry.
The record of descendants of Nurse includes former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, “Scrubs” actor Zach Braff and “i really like Lucy” star Lucille Ball.
“the majority of the americans that come in each day are ancestors,” she says, “and even every so often [they] find out that the same individuals touring are from the identical line and that they’re cousins.”
Postcards to rejoice Rebecca Nurse’s 400th birthday (Kathryn Rutkowski)
Historians say witch trials had been an try and hold girls in line. However in Salem, the younger girls who claimed others had solid a spell on them fell very ill and had seizures. Some now speculate it could have been a pandemic.
company regularly ask what truly came about all through the time of the trial, however Rutkowski struggles to respond with one reply. Historians describe the time as “the perfect storm” as battle with Native americans coincided with a harsh wintry weather, she says.
on the time, Puritans believed that whatever happened — first rate or unhealthy — signaled a punishment or reward from God, she says.
“I suppose as contemporary people, we basically want to villainize them and make them into these dangerous individuals,” she says. “but they have been individuals reacting to a extremely true possibility of their village.”
I Became A Nurse Because Your Life Is Worth My Time Poster
The strict non secular neighborhood believed their life aim changed into to head to heaven after loss of life, she says, and that the possibility of witches could avoid them from making it there — a terrifying concept.
americans now take into account that up to date-day witches and Wiccans uphold a nature-primarily based practice that isn’t “darkish or evil,” but the witch trial victims have been accused of “signing their soul to the satan and wreaking havoc of their religious neighborhood,” she says.
in response to court docket documents and surviving information, Nurse didn’t call the girls liars or deny the accusation of witchcraft. In its place, she appeared inward and wondered what she did to deserve such an accusation, Rutkowski says.